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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

227 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 227
Hads: 466
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 9.57%
Wants: 45
Gots: 56 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 227 | Hads: 466
Photo of whitefire
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a Burgundy Glass.

A: Pours to a solid obsidian black with a foamy espresso colored, two-fingers that lasts for minutes.

Smell: An intoxicating smell of chocolate, coffee, licorice and candy. Not my favorite combination but still really nice.

Taste: A nicely balance IS that lingers and holds its muscle.

Overall: A very nice beer. I've been fortunate to have it in a bottle and at the brewery where it's poured fresh from the source. I must admit that I'm new to stouts so my opinion is not based on a wide history of skill with this style but I can say that this one made me really happy.

As the bottle says: Here's to those that don't fear the mighty! (692 characters)

Photo of Hophead101
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

blind beer labeled #5 from flexabull

A:4.5 poured this dark as night brew into my snifter glass. produced a great tan frothy head that was quite large and lasted long. excellent lacing followed. great looking beer in general, can't wait to try this one.

S:4 lots of roasted malts. smoke, coffee and chocolate. great mix of scents teasing me prior to drinking it.

T:3.5 same taste as flavors above in the nose, some bitterness as well. decent tasting beer, but nothing that totally wows me.

M:4.5 great feel, a little thin on the body, but great mild carbonation and overall a very well balanced beer.

D:4.5 while the taste itself is decent, it is one of those beers I could drink a bunch of. (696 characters)

Photo of beerbellydaddy
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a dark and heavy brown, but flows fast not thick. I couldn’t see the sun through a glass of it. Its pour leaves lingering tan foam along with good lacing. Smell is underwhelming but hints at its flavor, which is malty primarily, with dark chocolate and caramel under tones. Some people taste licorice but I don’t. Its 8.75% alcohol content is detectable yet modest. A mouthful is surprisingly light and clean, with a satisfying, well balanced aftertaste. I enjoyed Drakonic and regard it as a pleasant surprise. (531 characters)

Photo of pleasewearpants
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good khaki head rests on top of a very stark black beer. Smells like chocolate malt, toasted grain, with a hint of espresso. Flavor is a lot like Jamocha Almond Fudge™ ice cream. Nice hop balance to keep the malts in check. Finishes cleanly on the dry side I guess but very pleasant. Really drinkable, slight hit of chocolate milk in the aftertaste. This would be a great beer to drink right before egging someone's house. (424 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Black and totally opaque with a 1/2 inch dark brown head and good retention with some spotty lacing and a thick collar

Smell: Roasted malt that blends beautifully with some chocolate, licorice and molasses notes

Taste: The beer is very malt forward and very heavy on the malt. There is a slight bit of alcohol that backs up the malt profile. The beer then finishes with just a touch of coffee and chocolate with some bitter hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation

Overall: I think this is a good but not great RIS. I do however highly recommend it (569 characters)

Photo of kbuzz
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz omber into my trusty snifter. No date to be found.

A: Pours an intensely thick, opaque black color. A one finger creamy mocha head fades quickly. Alcohol legs are present.

S: Massive roasted malts. Bittersweet baker's chocolate. Some faint vanilla and burnt rown sugar. A touch of coffee, but not too much.

T/M: A lesser version of the nose. Very sweet and chocolately. The roastiness gets lost somewhere in the back. And there's no coffee tast to speak of. A decent bitter hop presence. Very rich and creamy...definitely full-bodied. Leaves a coating on the palate after the swallow. Just a touc of alcohol presence - more in warmth than taste.

O: Kind of a mellow overall version of a RIS. Very palatable and easy drinking considering the ABV. The mouthfeeel is wonderful, but I'd like to get just a bit more roastiness or even some coffee in the taste. (879 characters)

Photo of kaseydad
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very black ale with a nice brown foamy head that completely disappears quickly. Even with moderate agitating...not much occurs. Shame. The aroma consists of black licorice, dark roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate and light whiffs of black coffee. The taste is slightly sweet on the first wave and then some nice bittering hops on the swallow. Chocolate and a lot of malt going on here. Pretty hoppy too! Big kick of coffee bean in the aftertaste. Just wait....it'll come. The mouthfeel is lacking. Much too thin for all that's been presented so far. Overall for the cost I like this beer but many other RIS to partake of. Will definitely consume again and a nice venture into the RIS market for the Drake's crew. (722 characters)

Photo of snpub540
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Pours a deep black with a two finger brown head. Head has great hang time and leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma is chocolate, roasty malt, and some piney hoppiness.

Taste is slightly sweet before roasted malt flavors take over. Bitter chocolate in the finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty good but it doesn't have that velvety texture I look forward to in Imperial Stouts. Its an easy drinking Impy and I enjoyed it on this cold winter night, but I think I'll stick to the bigger Imperial Stouts out there. (537 characters)

Photo of JupiterJesus
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, served in newcastle schooner glass.

Completely pitch black with no highlights. Thick creamy head that sticks around a while. Thick lacing.

Smell is alcohol/bourbon, coffee/roast and spice, like cinnamon (hops?).

Flavor is extremely roasty bitter, coffee, alcohol and spice. A tiny bit of baking chocolate, mostly in the finish, but relatively little chocolate going on. A bit of herbal, with a finish on the tongue that is sharp and numbing, almost like a breath mint.

Mouth feel is thick, even for an imperial stout. The numbing character is strange, and makes it difficult to continue judging the beer.

Smoother alcohol character than Old Rasputin (my favorite imp stout) but not as drinkable, mostly due to the minty numbness I got after only a few sips. A good sipper though, would go great with dessert. (827 characters)

Photo of orangesol
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Deuane for bringing this one to our Stout Day party.

A - Pours jet black with a small half finger tall tan head leaving little to no lace down the glass.

S - Smells of chocolate, coffee, smoke, dark fruits, and a weird metallic aroma. The flavors are all there but they are a little muddled together.

T - Starts off with a quick dose of chocolatey sweetness quickly giving way to a mix of light smoke, coffee grounds, dark fruits, and a very faint hop bitterness. The weird metallic flavor continues from the nose, further helping to muddle the flavors. The finish is a mix of dark roast and smoke, lingering on the pallet for some time.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderately low carbonation. A bit too thin for my liking, I think the low carbonation really hurt this one.

O - I wasn't really a fan of this one. When compared to all the other stouts we were drinking this was one of the worst. (912 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drakonic pours a deep brown, borderline black color that has nice subtle hints of amber and burgundy. A nice fluffy caramel head sits atop the glass and lets out a nice dark chocolate aroma balanced with some strong coffee notes. The flavor is heavy on the chocolate, but balanced with some nice complimentary coffee notes and some interesting biscuity flavors which are really nice because it has a milky texture. This is a borderline breakfast stout but it does have a nice alcoholic heat to it that asserts it’s imperial status.

Verdict: The great body and nice dark chocolate flavors make this a really fine all around beer. I’ve had my share of great stouts and Drake’s is really keeping up with the Joneses here. Really tasty stout. (746 characters)

Photo of FreshHawk
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Inky black color that looks pretty slick. Average sized, thick, cakey, airy, mocha brown head. Decent retention leaving a ring of lace.

S - Loads of chocolate, both sweet and bittersweet. Roasted coffee and mocha along with charred malt.

T - A lot of chocolate flavor as well. Some sweet dark chocolate and some bittersweet baker's chocolate along with a mocha flavor. Some roasted black coffee coming out mid sip. Charred malt provides a subtle bitterness as well. Subtle hints of dark fruit (mostly cherry) and anise. A touch of sweetness on the finish.

M - Medium to full body with average carbonation. Smooth and creamy feel.

D - Pretty well balanced. Fairly easy to drink however the chocolate and coffee are a little too dominant and make it fairly one noted.

Notes: Decent RIS, not outstanding but solid. A little too strong with the chocolate and coffee but not bad. Worth a try, it won't offend anyone, and an RIS I could see having once in a while but nothing I'd particularly crave. (1,002 characters)

Photo of Jules11788
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark black, lets no light through; small head, good lacing

S: Chocolate, dark fruits, oak

T: Dark Chocolate, smoky wood, roasted coffee

M: Medium thickness, medium carbonation; slightly sharp and dry on the tongue, not as smooth or thick as I would have liked in an Imperial Stout

O: This is a good Imperial Stout, not fantastic, but definitely solid. (364 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a globe glass from a 22 oz, bomber. Pours a deep black with a rich tan head. Offers pretty solid lacing and retention.

Offers a rich chocolate flavor with a touch of dark fruit and alcohol. Similar complexities segue to the flavor. Nice, rich and complex overall. Solid hop aroma with warming.

Feel is full and creamy. A bit spicy perhaps but well played for the style. (384 characters)

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great looking beer, inky dark and black with a very nice brown head that left great lacing.

Smelled and tasted of roasty burnt malts, chocolate and coffee, and a great portion of hops bitterness that balanced the whole beer perfectly. There's even a campfire smoky aspect that really added a nice touch.

Drinkability was amazing, great creamy full body and thick feel, great roasty bitter aftertaste.

Very well done, an exceptional beer. (440 characters)

Photo of brotherloco
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber. Served in a goblet at cellar temperature.

Pours pitch black with a small mocha colored head. Some lacing, but only leaves small islands.

Supremely chocolate aroma. Like hot chocolate mix. Big, sweet, and malty. A hint of alcohol.

Flavor isn't nearly as sweet as the nose. Dry roasty-ness hits you first, then semi-sweet chocolate malt in the middle blends with significant bitterness, notes of cherry juice. Some alcohol burn in the finish. Roasted coffee bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.

Medium-full body and carbonation, texture is a touch gritty and alcohol heat builds quickly. (603 characters)

Photo of dgilks
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a foamy tan head. Poor head retention for a cask ale.

Sweet, roasty aromas with chocolate and earthy notes. Good.

Smooth, sweet chocolate and roast. Earthy hops.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Really good.

A well balanced and nicely drinkable stout. Great flavour. (298 characters)

Photo of laituegonflable
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark colour, not really penetrable by light, with gorgeous ochre head, nice, thick and dense with lovely retention. Looks just about perfect.

Smell is coffee and cocoa. Lots of rich, roasty sweetness, touch of bitterness to it but pleasant, dark and chocolatey. Well-rounded, enjoyable dark beer smell.

Taste is lovely and dark; all the right notes from the start with dark chocolate, cocoa, black pepper with some nice spicy stout notes that are full of flavour. Nutmeg and a touch of coriander come through, balanced by nice smooth unsweetened chocolate notes towards the back. All very nice, toned, smooth and enjoyable.

A bit too much texture, with a bit of sharpness from the booze, just a bit hot towards the back. Otherwise it just glides through the mouth.

Lovely, smooth and drinkable. A big beer that can be appreciated by all. (854 characters)

Photo of jm1229
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My First review on the site. Held off due to intimidation/ didn't think I could uphold the BA name, but let's give it a try.

No bottling date. Opened on 8/3/11. Served at 55 degrees in my Port Brewing pint glass.

Appearance: Dark dark dark. Black as you'd think "Drakonic" would imply. Poured a thick, two inch head; fluffy, creamy look to it. As the head dissipates, nice lacing is left on the glass. Can't wait to taste.

Smell: Chocolate. A blend of milk and dark. Really rich. Nice. Coffee. Really intoxicating. It says there's licorice on the label but I don't smell it (good thing seeing I don't really care for licorice). Edit: as it warms, some licorice comes out, but it's in no way overpowering.

Taste: Follows the nose. Lots of chocolate, lots of coffee. It's almost like a mocha blend but at it's best. Slightly bitter coffee aftertaste that sits really well on the palate. Alcohol hidden well.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation. Creamy. Really enjoyable.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. Was a little worried about jumping into a RIS on a hot, southern California day, but it was really quite a treat. For $6, really great option. I'll be looking for this one again. (1,181 characters)

Photo of IRONRakkasan
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew was molasses in a bottle...but damn good.

Barely any head with lacing through the finish. No light is getting through this bad boy. I got a dried cherry/cranberry nose.

As far as the flavor goes, I figured it was as if a few cherries were steeped in a nice French Roast pot o' coffee. The light carbonation worked well, and on the whole the 8.75% ABV was hidden nicely. Was planning on a jog later....but that idea was quickly scrapped.

While a lot of Imperial Stours for me leave a terrible aftertaste, this one was mellow while leaving that dark roasted coffee flavor.

Definitely recommended. (610 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Pours a pitch black, like really absolutely black. Has a thick, viscous appearance and produces a very thin finger of mocha brown head.

S- Bitter dark chocolate, powdered chocolate, coffee, dark fruit.

T- Loads of roasted malts and char, the finish has loads of coffee and char in it. Lots of chocolate, also a decent dose of fruit (thinking cherries). It has a considerable hop bite to it as well. After a while some astringency starts to show up in the finish but it's not overpowering.

M- Medium to full bodied, creamy and thick, surprising amount of carbonation on this one, maybe it's a bit overdone but it keeps the beer very drinkable.

O- A pretty good Imperial Stout, I love beers overloaded with coffee and char. Super drinkable with loads of flavor, definitely worth a try. (835 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color with a small brown head that disappears quickly. Scent is very chocolatey with a hint of vanilla. I also get a bit of espresso and roasted aromas. A pretty strong malty profile. Taste is initially sweet milk chocolate which slowly fades to bitter dark chocolate. Some pleasant coffee flavors with a hint of hoppiness. I definitely pick up the caramel malt used. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied without being overly syrupy like a lot of imperial stouts tend to be. Drinkability is fairly high as alcohol is pretty well-hidden. Overall, this is a good offering from Drake's. I see BIG thing for this up-n-comin brewery in the future. P.S. I am aware that Drake's has been around for a while, it just seems like they're doing more things and expanding lately. (782 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The mind can grow gritty looking into such a black abyss - seriously, all you need now is some fire and brimstone. Not a single strand of light successfully permeates this oily onyx body. Drakonic is indeed 'draconian' (meaning 'great severity') with regards to its opacity, which is quite drastic. As for head retention, it's far more lenient - there is none.

The aroma is replete with bittersweet mocha notes the likes of which I've never smelled from any Indonesian, Colombian or Kenyan coffee beans. I have, however, on many occasions, smelled far more impressive and elegant such scents in other imperial stouts. While it unquestionably has more character than most beers, it is relatively dull for a RIS.

Like so many comedians, the imperial stout style has made a career out of impersonations: coffee and chocolate are its best impressions, but it does a mean black licorice, dark fruit and tobacco leaf too. This particular example has a lot of those flavours but it is as delicate as it is intense, which is both a positive and a negative, depending on your appetite.

An oily but heavily charred coffee bean astringency quickly shows up in the aftertaste like it had been sprinting to get there. Although it's only 40 IBU, what would a Californian beer be without just a little hoppiness; leafy pungency is noted on the finish as well. The charred sensation left on the palate replaces chocolate flavours with ones of wood and cigar smoke.

As a Blue Jays fan, I'm constantly frustrated by the fact that no matter how good the team is, ultimately it's too much to compete in a division with the Yankees and Red Sox - that's how Drake's must feel. This is a well-brewed, perfectly serviceable imperial stout that has a lot of good pieces but can't really compete in a division with Great Divide, Brooklyn, North Coast, Stone, Bell's, Great Lakes, Oskar Blues, Hoppin' Frog and so many others. (1,905 characters)

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I would like to thank Ultraman9000 for sending this amazing beer to me. I was rooting through my cellar and decided tonight was a good night to open this up.

It pours with a vigorous 2in foam which dissipates quickly to leave a small foam ring around the edge of the beer. It pours with a dark coffee color which cannot be seen through. Now, as for the nose it's packed with a nice roast coffee malt, and also some really nice dark fruit, licorice, and some light molasses. When it comes to taste it is packed with dark fruits, unsweetened chocolate, molasses, licorice, and some birch notes. As for the mouthfeel it has a some really nice carbonation going on which enhances the birch root and molasses notes. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer from Drake's; although I really enjoy almost all of Drake's offerings. I think this stout was very well done, but also mirrored Kern's Class V stout, which is amazing as well. I could definitely have one of the stouts everyday; this stout was very well done. Bravo, Drake's! (1,022 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch dark khaki head that fades to a thin cap. Nice distinct thin rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smells of freshly roasted coffee beans, cocoa powder, and some dark malts. Taste is of dark chocolate covered espresso beans and dark roasted malts. Very rich and delicious tasting. This beer has a low carbonation level with a very creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good RIS with some great coffee and dark chocolate smells and flavors. A very tasty beer for a very good price ($5.99 for a 22 oz. bottle). (572 characters)

Drake's Drakonic Imperial Stout from Drake's Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 227 ratings.