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Drake's Drakonic Imperial Stout - Drake's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Drake's Drakonic Imperial StoutDrake's Drakonic Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
88
very good

444 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 444
Reviews: 227
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 9.87%
Wants: 44
Gots: 49 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.75% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 08-20-2003

Drake's Drakonic Imperial Stout - 8.75% ABV, 40 IBUS
A big, malty beast of a beer that exemplifies the way we roll here at Drake's. Two-row malt is blended with Chocolate malt, roasted barley, and dark Crystal malts to make up the grist. Only one hop addition, Columbus, is added for bittering, allowing the abundance of malt in this beer to shine through. Enjoy the dense brownish head, the silky maltiness, and flavors of licorice, coffee and chocolate, rounded out with a slightly dry finish. here's to those who don't fear the mighty!
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 444 | Reviews: 227
Photo of brewcrew76
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with mahogonay highlights and a very thin tan head that disappeared immediately.

S - Coffee, creamy milk chocolate, roasted malt and some dark fruits buried underneath.

T - Roasted malt is the dominant flavor and gives off a coffee taste at times. Chocolate milk follows with a hint of a tannin like flavor that lingers on the tongue. The tannin flavor reminds of of stouts that have been aged in wine barrels although I know this one hasn't. Some piney hops come through in the finish.

M - Good carbonation but fairly thin an imperial stout. The piney hops create a dry finish.

D - The abv is well hidden. A bit on the light side but still solid.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to fartingdog for this brew. Pours with not much head. Big smell of coffee. Big coffee & malty taste with a bit of chocolate. Mouthfeel is smooth. Not much booze to the taste so it is drinkable. A solid brew from a very underrated brewery IMO. Recommended.

Cheers.

Photo of illidurit
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a snifter. Jet black body with a luxurious 3 finger head that rises in perfect proportion to the rim of the glass. Moderate cocoa colored lacing.

S: Rich dark chocolate, dark fruit.

T: Again, dark chocolate. The aromatic dark fruit manifests as a distinct black cherry note in the taste. Finish is roasty but not burnt and a tiny bit lactic. Not terribly complex but seamless and tasty.

M: Body is just a bit thin for a RIS but the carbonation is spot-on. Well-blended flavors contribute to a nice overall smoothness.

D: Tasty without regressing to booziness with warmth, smooth and sweet. A very drinkable RIS.

Photo of Stoneman78
4.11/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

New bottle (2007) poured into a Duvel tulip glass
A- Pours the darkest of brown hues, accompanied by an amazingly thick layer of brown creamy, dense head that is mostly sustained, tendrils of lacing on the glass
S- Nose is sweet chocolate, light coffee, and alcohol, some dark fruits and caramel in there too
T- Initial taste is light milk chocolate mixed with espresso, transitions to some roast malts and dark fruits before the slightly bitter finish
M- Full-bodied, creamy texture, subtle to moderate carbonation
D- A surprisingly creamy and smooth IRS, this lacks the boldness and punch typical of this genre, the alcohol is well-masked and it is fairly well-balanced, this would be good when you're in the mood for something in between a typical stout and more complex IRS's
Buy again? Probably
Personal score- 85/100

Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

CELLARED – This is a 2005 vintage that I popped in Nov 2007, so it’s probably a bit over two years old.

Appearance – This stout is black as night with a small, ashy head that showed great retention.

Smell – The roasted malt smells are damn near perfect. They are dripping with liquid sugar. The sugars are very complex consisting of table, brown, and some heavy raw unsulphored cane.

There’s a deep chocolate liquor aroma as well. It is refined and perfectly suited for this brilliant bouquet.

Taste – The flavors really sweeten up at the taste. The malts are big and roasty but not harsh and bitter. The sugars tamed the while beast. The chocolate alcohol notes bring it all together giving this RIS a sense of royal regalness.

Mouthfeel – This is almost full-bodied and incredibly smooth. The alcohol has a strong presence but is not stingy.

Photo of Floydster
3.41/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9 ounce swing top bottle, last one from BevMo in Redlands, guy said they sold out in a couple days

Pour a dark brown color with a huge tan foamy head into a large glass mug

Smell was chocolate and toffee

Too cold to make any distinctions at first, so let warm and found that it was very sweet with coffee hints

Could drink a few of these, but not too many

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of SS: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a small dark brown foamy head with some good retention and some lacing. Aroma of pure dark chocolate with some light bitter hops is interesting. Taste is dominated by some strong dark chocolate notes with some subtle dry coffee notes and not as much hops as I was expecting from the aroma. Body is full with some low to medium carbonation and no alcohol could be detected.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hollingshead's Delicatessen, in Orange, CA,

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a thick tan head, which leaves excellent lacing in a Weihenstaphen mug.

S: Roasted caramel malts and coffee mostly, typical RIS, but quite fragrant.

T: Good, lots of coffee, with a hint of strong espresso, some roasted malts and chocolate as well.

M: Rich and velvety, but quite dry, good amount of carbonation.

D: A good RIS, my first beer from these guys, after tasting these beers, I certainly don't hate the Drake.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.59/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a black body with a very, very thin tan-colored head.

Smell: Lush, malty aroma of sweet-smelling chocolate with subtle notes of coffee and dark fruits.

Taste: Bittersweet chocolate and coffee dominate the taste. There's an easily discernible sourness to it. The roasted character combines with the hop bitterness and a chalky ashen quality to make for an odd finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Right, then. Well, it looked and smelled just fine, but, for me, it was all downhill after that.

Photo of Overlord
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown. I'll have to disagree with the other reviewers, as this beer appeared a very deep brown, not black, upon examination.

No carbonation or head to speak of. Mouthfeel was thin ... almost watery. Not similar whatsoever to some of the thicker dark beers out there.

The taste was mostly coffee. While the smell promised chocolate as well, the chocolate undertones were fairly bitter and offered no sweetness to offset the coffee. Also not a lot of fruit or hop flavoring, if any, although the scent promised licorice and currants. Seldom, if ever, has the scent of a beer so misled as to the eventual taste.

The coffee is so overwhelming it almost reminded me of drinking cold espresso. Not my favorite stout by a long shot, and at 5.50 for a wacky 16.9 oz bottle, not one I'd be revisiting, either, even though I did end up enjoying it more as the bottle progressed.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fairly light colored for an Imperial Stout, meaning it is black with a touch more brown than one might usually find. The head is a frothy, light brown color that starts out almost two-fingers in height. Aromatic notes of chocolate are quite apparent as I pour this beer, again reinforcing that this beer did not go the heavy handed route when it came time to add the dark malts to the recipe. The aroma is actually quite nice, it is very smooth, especially since it is lacking in that acrid, overly burnt character that many an American Stout (much less the Imperial Stouts) have. Instead the focus remains on a concentrated, dark, yet not overly burnt, malty note that accentuates aromas of chocolate, toasty malt and a nice nuttiness. I really can't quite help but think of some sort of candy of my dreams, made from chocolate freshly ground malt with a hint of espresso for that extra boost. While this isn't the most complex beast out there, there is just something about the aroma of this brew that I am really digging right now; the aroma is much bigger than the 8.75% alcohol would suggest.

Soft and creamy up front, this beer grows in heft and palate coating character as it passes through my mouth. The finish has a solid bitter note to it that is a combination of hop bitterness as well as a drying, roast grain derived bittering. The flavor has a solid chocolate component to it as well, but in the taste a lightly roasted coffee character becomes much more apparent. Dusty cocoa, some roasted nutty notes, a perception of vanilla, something like subtle hazelnut. I really like the weight of this beer, it is not too heavy, yet is certainly thick enough to demand a sipping experience.

While this has lots of big flavors (as is expected of an Imperial Stout), it doesn't bang you over the head with the roast malt like many of the American beasts do. Sometimes the extreme is appreciated, but at other times (right now is one of these for me), something with a bit more restraint and a bit more balance (if such a thing can really be said for an Imperial Stout) is just what one wants. A very well crafted beer, that I am certainly enjoying quite a bit. I also have to praise the 500ml bottle size, not nearly as intimidating as a 22oz bottle would be.

Photo of Lothore
3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Pours black with very little head. I tried to aggrevate to get some more head but it seemed to only produce a thin layer of chocolate milk colored head.

S- Smells of coffee, malts, alcohol.

T- Taste is sweet with floral and berry hints along with coffee and burnt hops with a bitter tinge.

M- Mouthfeel is creamy, carbonated.

D- I don't think anyone would say this is an incredibly drinkable beer but for the style it goes down pretty smooth.

Photo of goschool
3.71/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This RIS looks amazing. A perfect layer of creamy light brown head sit on top of the opaque body.

Smell: The nose has milk chocolate, coffee, toffee, and a hint of hops.

Taste: The flavor profile begins with a shot of piney hops whose bitterness and acidity looms though the finish. The chocolate and coffee flavors that follow have a tart taste.

Mouthfeel: The body is chewy with a thin finish.

Drinkability: The bitterness and tart flavors keep the delectable roasted malt flavors from making this stout as tasty as the should.

Photo of clickpush
4.11/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12/27/2010
I reviewed this beer a few years ago. I think this bottle is from that same time period... it's got a paper label and I believe they've been using silk-screened bottles for quite a while now.
Pour: 500ml bottle to wide mouth glass. Opens with a hiss and mist arises out of the bottle. Hefty pour yields a thin, brief tan head that recedes quickly to nearly no lacing. Black, opaque body. - 2.5
Nose: Bourbon aroma explodes out of the bottle. Inside the glass is a strong cola smell. Lots of cherry combined w/ chocolate or, more accurately, Ovaltine. Very sweet smelling... makes me a bit anxious. - 3
Mouth: First thing is the very strong bubbly carbonation, but we'll see how this evolves as the beer warms. Completely unlike the aroma, this beer is super dry, very roasty, and has a tinge of acridity. Lingering roasted bitterness. Medicinal yet herbaceous. Coffee. - 2.5/2.5/2.5

5/11/2007
darker than coffee coming out of the bottle, this vigorous pour yielded a beautiful 3 finger tan head that appears to be in no hurry to leave. initial aromas emanating from the brew contain huge notes of chocolate, caramel, and possibly grape. webbing sticks all the way down the side of the glass like the black widow herself was spinning the web. smell is thick and inviting, very grainy, though nothing in the nose screams of dark roast. immediately upon entering the mouthfeel is immaculate, so creamy and smooth. flavor is a bit lactic for my taste, but the dark roasted malts really shine through, creating a nice burnt toast flavor that's accented by the heat of the exhale. alcohol slightly noticeable in the mouth, but nothing overwhelming. flavors of dark cocoa and bread crust abound. it finishes slightly sour for my taste, but is quite enjoyable nonetheless. Spot on for the style!

Photo of drseamus
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into a new Grottenbier chalice that I just got as a thank you from my beer store guy. This beer pours jet black but has no head. The smell is very sweet and reminds me of BCS. There is a bunch of chocolate, coffee, caramel, and toffee coming out of this glass. It smells slightly alcoholic. The flavor is really smooth. The flavor is very sweet and caramely initially and then quickly becomes very roasty. There is some chocolate in there as well. Initially it is quite full bodied but becomes thinner at the end. The alcohol is detectable but this is a good example of a RIS.

Photo of brentk56
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark coffee color but, uh-oh, there is no head

Smell: Rich dark mocha aroma with some cereal undertones

Taste: Starts out with a black bread flavor that adds some coffee bitterness and chocolate elements, mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors are primarily bittersweet chocolate

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body but flat

Drinkability: Despite the plastic wrapper around the swing top being intact, somehow this beer lost all of its carbonation; the flavors were nice but it lacked some complexity that I would expect from an Imperial Stout

Photo of Winter
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage.

C- Black with a thick tan head.

A- Chocolate malt, sweet caramel, milk chocolate, with a nice vinous quality to it.

M- Luscious and full-bodied.

T- Roasted barley, chocolate malt and caramel upfront. The vinous middle has notes of dark fruit throughout. Finish borders on being dry, yet it has a more layered dark chocolate flavor to it. Hop bitterness adds a nice balance to the dark chocolate tones.

D- This was rather enjoyable and an amazingly easy drinking beer for an Imperial Stout. The 8.75% abv is nearly undetectable.

Acquired via trade from IntriqKen. Thanks for the hook-up!

Photo of msubulldog25
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a fancy swingtop 500ml bottle to a tumbler.

A: Very dark with a pencil-thin trace of auburn around the edges. 1-1/2 fingers of creamy tan head that stuck around for quite a while.

S: Smells nice, not necessarily bold. Sugary roasted malt, some fruit, a trace of coffee and molasses.

T: Very likable smoky maltinesss, caramel, toasted nuts, dark sweetness. The epitome of "Imperial Stout": rich, husky, slightly sweet and heavy. Slightly oaky and tannic. Chocolate and coffee flavors are substantial but not overbearing at all. A very tasty RIS.

M: Thick and creamy, bordering or syrupy. Mellows as it warms to a velvety, full mouthfeel.

D: Not my favorite, but this is near the top of the list. Terrific flavor, smoothness & texture. Smells very rich and taste backs it up - I'd gladly have more of this. Thanks to flexabull for this one.

Photo of Luchman
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Came out the bottle cola colored, but looks black in the glass. A big fluffy, cocoa colored head sits on top and actually stays for some time.

S: Chocolate and hops hit the nose first. Some roasted coffee,light molasses, and toffee is also found. Those grassy, earthy hops smell pretty strong in this one, and I strangely like it. Smells good.

T: Chocolate hits tongue first, with roasted malts and hops following. Also has some burntness to it in the end. Another pretty hoppy stout that leaves a subtle bite on the tongue and ends semi dry. I can dig it.

M: Pretty good. A nice medium/full body with a creamy carbonation to it. Nice.

D: Not too bad at all. Flavors mix together wonderfully. Easy drinking and alcohol is completely hidden. Nothing overpowering and nothing off the wall. Check it out if you can find it.

Photo of GClarkage
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

03/18/07- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 16.9oz swingtop bottle with no freshness info to be found. Poured into my Stone RIS tulip. Note: This beer is not retired.

Appearance- Pitch black as a good stout should be. Larger than life dirty brown head of which a full 1/4 inch remains for the duration. Takes a full 10 minutes to get the entire beer into the glass with the exception of a few sips beforehand. Decent lace sheets prevail.

Smell- Very dark and roasted malt. Burnt chocolate and burnt coffee grounds...smells somewhat bitter as well.

Taste- Not as dark as the nose, but not far from it. Deep roasted and smoked malt. Deep coaco flavor and roasted coffee beans as well. Also I get some kind of mild sour fruity note. Seems like raspberry or something. Not sure if this is an off taste, or it was meant to be like this. The flavor isn't bad and it works in this case. A small amount of hoppy bitterness makes itself know at the end.

Mouthfeel- Fairly smooth with a tight carbonation which is about moderate for an RIS. Light bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Perfectly acceptable RIS. Good amount of flavor and pretty drinkable as well. Drake's usually doesn't fail.

Photo of bjohnson
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to skinnyelvis for the chance to try this offering.

A: Pours a jolly roger jet black color with a one and a half mocha toffee cappuccino colored head. Excellent retention all around with a lot of sticky lacing.
S: Coffee and nestle chocolate syrup aromas. Robust roasted malt. Hints of dark fruit. Coffee and chocolate become more bold as it warms.
T/M: Bitter coffee flavors. Unsweetened chocolate with a hint of tangy fruit--almost like chocolate covered raspberries. Dark fruit notes are quite apparent. Leafy hop bitterness on the tongue in the finish with a roasted malt aftertaste. Smooth with the perfect level of carbonation.
D: Silky smooth and surprisingly easy drinking. Higher abv is completely hidden. Quite enjoyable to sip on.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.67/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle. The liquid is as black as pitch with a 2 finger head over top that falls to a full coating. Few small bubbles work to the surface. The aroma on this one is fantastic. It smells like a milk chocolate espresso. It is incredibly robust. Taking a sip, I find a massive chocolate flavor that moves to a coffee ice cream flavor and finishing again with the chocolate. This beer is rich and as tasty as they come. As it warms a nice mild piney hop is apparent and adds a nice dimension. Mouthfeel is moderate but still silky smooth and with a very fine carbonation. This is an incredible beer. The harmony in aroma and flavor is sublime. I must have more.

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Still not sure why this is listed as retired. Maybe I didn't pay attention, but I've seen a few thread topics on the subject and it never seems to have gotten resolved. If the BA guides know something we don't, it would be nice to at least put something in the BA notes explaining that this is, perhaps, just still widely available despite not being brewed any longer.

The bottle's "Pint a Day Keeps..." slogan implied to me that Drake's brewers thought this RIS was better served in a pint glass than a snifter/oversized wine glass/etc. Therefore, this got poured into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Swing cork pops off nicely and produces some emanating chill haze. Pours with a nicely sized finger and half head, which is on the lighter side of the tan spectrum for a stout. Settles eventually into a half-finger. Lacing is intermittent, but produces some nice draping arm like patterns when it catches. The body is a solid, solid shade of black, pretty much completely opaque. A nice looking stout, and I'm not one to laud stouts for their appearance.

Smell: A nice, perhaps slightly toned down RIS. Nutmeg and cream, cork-y characteristics on the front end with a faint hop character. Some yeast funk. Dark and milk chocolates, caramel, butterscotch-ish hints, and dark fruits lie beneath. There are all, again, slightly toned down on the RIS "spectrum," but still very balanced and pleasing.

Taste: A nice cream front end again, which I really enjoy - usually I detect some coconut/cream aromas and flavors in stouts, but they usually lie beneath. Chocolate, that cork-y woodiness again, very slight bitterness on the tongue. Some hints of coffee and nutmeg, but I detect less coffee in this one than is perhaps "normal." Still, on the back end, it is there, in a sort of flavor impart of how fresh coffee beans smell. Very nice. Still a bit toned down for an RIS, but it's decidedly more assertive here than in the nose.

Mouthfeel: JUST the right amount of carbonation. At first I thought it might be edging on too much, but it dissipates nicely in the mouth in a small fizz. Perhaps thin for an RIS, but I think that you really have to search hard to make a firm basis for that complaint.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for an RIS, and overall a very good RIS offering. The notes are tuned down a bit here, yes, but not as much as, say, a Big Bear Black Stout, in my opinion. Still, that might not be a fair comparison, as this, unlike the Big Bear, does not have a hoppy character per se.

Photo of rallison
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at cellar temp from a 500ml bottle into a New Belgium goblet.

A: Nice, dark black (although not thick looking like some Imperial Stouts) with a 2 finger tan head that lasts nicely throughout the full 500ml.

S: Smells of milk chocolate and a bit of coffee.

T: Very nice. I kept enjoying this more and more. Milk chocolate definitely, some coffee (more of the sweeter type), and a sort of red wine like characteristic. Sort of like a lighter imperial stout that had been aged in red wine barrels. Very nicely balanced. It's unique, and quite enjoyable.

M: Lighter mouthfeel than most imperials, but it works nicely with this. The flavors are pronounced and distinct enough, and there is a nice level of carbonation, so this mouthfeel helps it from being too thick.

D: As I drank more, I kept wanting to drink even more. This is one of the most drinkable imperial stouts I have had.

Highly recommended. A nice, unique take on an imperial stout. I just picked this up today, and am bummed to find it retired. Guess I'll have to pick up a few more while I can!

Photo of dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml flip-top bottle obtained from one of my west coast compadres, either lou91 or irishsnake (may his BA tenure RIP)

A pint a day keeps the scurvy away

appearance: pours into a chalice...dark, opaque mahogany body with a huge foamy/creamy mocha head. wonderful retention and lacing left behind. a delicious looking stout

smell: creamy chocolate body, strong roasted malt, bakers chocolate, light underlying hopping - pretty good

taste: certainly on the lighter end of the imperial stout spectrum, which doesnt have to be a bad thing, and not everything needs to be compared to something like an expedition stout. Body and taste very reminiscent of chocolate milk - light roasted malt, bakers chocolate, light sweet underlying hopping...mmm

mouthfeel: light, but very silky and creamy; see chocolate milk comment above. light alcohol warming noticeable in the followthrough

drinkability: high

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Drake's Drakonic Imperial Stout from Drake's Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 444 ratings.