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

454 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 454
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 9.87%
Wants: 43
Gots: 52 | 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: 454 | Reviews: 231
Photo of DovaliHops
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of biegaman
3.83/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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!

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
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).

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a lush dark beer, no floaties, plenty of rusty cherry cola looking head. Aroma was lacking, didn't pick up roast flavor, chocolate etc. . .

Great taste, char, roast, chocolate all came out once sipped. Was amazed to see that this was almost 9%, drank like it was 6%, love that. Also, it wasn't over the top in respect to any particular quality. Wasn't the thickest, strongest, most roasted, chocolaty, smokiest etc. . . it just did everything very good, nothing particularly extreme about it, was nice and dry. Didn't pick up coffee or licorice like the description indicates, maybe because I didn't perceive much, if any bitterness from this. Nice and slick, creamy.

Photo of mdfb79
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 06/04/11 notes. Thanks to BigSexy410 for sharing this one; this was a Want of mine. Poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, and sour dark fruits. I was surprised by the sourness, but I've been it in a few reviews, so I guess that's how it was intended.

t - Tastes heavily of dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, toasted malts, and light sour fruit again.

m - Medium bodied stout and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a decent and interesting RIS. I was surprised by the sour dark fruit in the nose and taste. While I liked it, it wasn't quite what I picture in a RIS. Would be willing to give it another shot, but unsure if I'd spend money on a bottle.

Photo of mactrail
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sharp and less heavy strong black ale.

Very dark brown with a hint of red. I keep thinking of cherries. Quite fruity, but not as raisiny as Belgian styles. Hops are ample and balance the load of flavors well. Bitter in the aftertaste but more like bitter chocolate than hops. Feels very carbonated and rich in the mouth, but not at all syrupy.

Does seem to be a different take on the mega stout style. Has more tartness and less sweetness than some really big Imperial Stouts. Really an interesting beer and well worth a try if you like big black ones.

Photo of jlb502
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Price: $5.99 for a 22oz

Smell: Chocolate and nutty, kind of like chocolate covered peanuts. A faint perfumy fruit/floral smell that comes out more as it warms. It's actually kind of pleasant and delicate, two words I don't usually use to describe imperial stouts.

Taste: Bitter chocolate. Unsweetened milk chocolate, if that exists, but it does sweeten up somewhat as it warms. Peanuts again. It's more peanut pieces and skins that whole peanuts. Come on, you know there's a difference. A little bit of hop/plantiness in the background.

Mouthfeel: Nice creaminess but maybe a touch more carbonation than it needs. Not over-carbed by any means but I wouldn't mind it scaled back just a little bit. Could also use a little more body.

Overall: This beer seems like a lighter take on the imperial stout, which is a nice change of pace. I got some interesting floral and fruit notes, which if explored more, I think could really heighten the beer. If you're reading this Drakes, feel free to add some roses and/or cherries. Sounds weird but I think it could work.

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a Ballast Point pint glass...

A - Pours a deep brown with a two finger light brown head on a fairly passive pour. Head retention is decent and there is a good amount of lacing to be had...

S - Chocolate, coffee, and some roasty notes...

T - Lots of chocolate up front. Some coffee creeps in with dark roasted malts. Ends with bitter chocolate, and some bittering hops. A good amount of bitterness to be had here. Abv shows up a little in the finish, but just enough to let you know that is present...

M - A little light for the style. While I usually perfer a more viscous feel; I really enjoyed how easy to drink this one was. Could easily put a few of these back in a sitting. Wouldn't go as far to call this a session beer, but it is probably as close as your going to get with an Impy. Moderate amount of carbonation...

O - Probably the fifth or sixth one of these I have put back, and I keep coming back for more. For the price it doesn't get much better than this. While it is not world class, or anything above and beyond; I would definitely recommend this to someone who is looking for a solid impy stout for a decent price.

Photo of dragonWhale
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this bottle as an extra from a trade with SwillinBrew and my first thought was, oh no, not a drake's imperial stout. My only other experience with them was at a bar in Santa Cruz having the Drake's Imperial. It was one of the worst stouts I've ever had. I figured I must try it quickly to keep it from keeping space in what must remain a small cellar here.
Dark dark brown with mocha lace and a fine brown head that lingers on. My lady did the dirty work, and trusting her palate, I already knew that this beer would be a different animal..Some roast, some chocolate, booze quite present but nice, caramel, coconut. Rich and creamy, chocolate dominates, ethanol comes next with a little roast tang and hop bitterness.
I'm quite impressed by this beer, probably even moreso by the grand improvement over my last, very sad experience with a Drake's brew. I think they changed brewmasters early last year, so this is most assuredly a product of a prodigal mind. Cheers to the Bay..

Photo of Gobzilla
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a very dark brown in color with a thin brown head and left a very little amount of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: brown sugar, chocolate roasted malts, and mild coffee were noticeable on the first whiff alongside faint booze and dark fruits.

T: the booze was more potent on the palate with chocolate brown sugar notes but had roasty character and a touch of underlying dark fruits accents.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, mild fruity, roasty, and bppzy finish.

D: pretty decent IRS that had a good chocolatey flavor and had a good amount of booze that might have taken away from the overall taste.

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good stout. A bit too bitter though. Figuring age will mellow that out some. Being that I'm only the 4th to review this beer, I'm figuring it hasn't been in the bottle too long. Month or two maybe.

A - Good. Amazing the head that rises up from every slight swirl. Retention not so well though. Pitch black in the Delirium Tremens snifter I poured it in.

S - Very soft milk chocolate, smells creamy but not at all overpowering. The balance smells divine for a Imperial Stout under 10%.

T - Drink at room temp for best results. Pulled this out my closet and placed in the freezer for 10 min. First few sips were almost ashy. Not impressive. As it gets to room temp, much better - smooth milk-chocolate and mild hints of coffee but very mild hints of coffee. The bitterness eases up very much so at room temp but still a little too bitter. Again, this beer should be fantastic with 8-10+ months on it. I expected this to be more sugary than it is but its very well balanced. Not noted in nose, Black licorice noticeable if you look for it as well with hints of Vanilla.

M - I wouldn't go as far to say light. I'm used to 10-13% imperial stouts and this feels the 8.75% that it is. Smooth and easy drinking. Finishing the first 12 oz pour of the snifter pretty fast though.

O - Will buy another one of these to age. Reminds me of a Black Butte XXI minus the Bourbon component. Vanilla chocolate chip cookie. Very solid example of the style. As for the solid 4's across the board, everything about this beer is good. Very good but I wouldn't go as far as exceptional. Will buy again though without question.

Photo of dwilson01
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bomber into my arrogant bastard pint glass. It pours well, super thick and motor oil black topped with a creamy mocha brown head.

The smell is intensely chocolatey, like sweet milk chocolate with no bitterness to it at all. The roasted malts also add a tad of coffee scent which only heightens the allure of this brew for me.

The taste follows quite will from the nose. It's got a strong dominant chocolate input as well as a tad of coffee. The effect is almost like a mocha with a ton of extra chocolate in there.

The mouthfeel is very telling of an imperial stout, the heaps of malt thrown in this guy give a creamy, rich, thick brew that slides down your throat with ease, seriously goes down way smooth.
Give this beer to anyone who loves chocolate, and even if they say they don't like beer they have gotta like this one.

Photo of colforbin73
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

drakonic is a chocolate bomb.

cross your fingers that this brew is coming to your town. buy it. if you are looking for a knock you out Imperial Stout, this one is too drinkable for you. this is the imperial session stout that leaves you drooling after one too many.

if you barrel aged this, you might have something un-real.

pours a rich curtain of black with a foamy 2 finger head. it sticks to the glass, but doesn;t leave a ton of lacing. the smell is just a blanket of scrumptious sugary luxurious malt a tiny bit leathery. the payoff is in the taste and mouthfeel which follow suit.... with the additional chocy sweetness and nice hoppy bite on the back of your tongue.

this chocolate croissant of a beer was a pleasant surprise. i will hopefully be picking this up again very soon.

Photo of DaveHS
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours black with dark stained wood highlights and over an inch of rocky cola brown head. Leaves spidery lacing.

S-Milk chocolate, cocoa powder, light roastiness. A deep whiff exposes very light traces of phenolic booziness.

T/M-Fairly thin, and surprisingly light, given the style. There's a delicate roasted maltiness that runs through this, adding a nice contrast to the mild milk chocolate sweetness. Simple and very easy to drink. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O-I usually prefer beers in this style to be more complex, but this was a nice surprise. A great alternative to your average heavy, rich RIS.

Photo of womencantsail
2.09/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: The pour is dark brown with some red/amber notes to it and almost no head to speak of.

S: Starts off intensely roasty with a bit of ash. There's a definite metallic aroma and some acidity. I get some sour dark fruits like cherries and raisins.

T: The tartness is more pronounced on the flavor. The acidity from the roasted malts is strong, and there's a lot of sour cherry going on. The metallic character is quite strong, and although there are all these flaws, the beer is sort of watery overall--only a mild roast/stout character.

M: The body is medium with with a very low carbonation.

D: This was just awful. I like a lot of Drake's beers, but this was not one of them.

Photo of Abelmacias20
3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep black pour. Minimal head. Lacing remained through out.
Huge malt aroma with some toffee.
Mouth feel is very smooth and creamy. Little carbonation.
The alcohol is very well hidden. Not complex at all. Feel was very thin. I expect a full bodied feel from an Imperial Stout. Could drink several of these with no problem.
Overall...this stout was good for the price ($5). A bit on the thin side. Would not seek it out, but would purchase it again for the same price. overall average stout.

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL flip top bottle tried 8 Apr 2010.

Bottle had a little leaking around the flip top that had dried, this happened prior to purchase.

Poured in a 512 One snifter. Thick large dark brown head. Lightly carbonated. Beer is almost black. Smells of ethanol, roasty chocolate, kahlua and vanilla. Lots of coffee and espresso to start. Rum, dark fruits and figs through the middle. Roasty-sour finish with some cocoa in the aftertaste. Medium body, foamy mouthfeel. Alcohol is warming.

Overall a good but not great RIS.

Photo of ccrida
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml flip top that I've cellared for a year. Poured into my Delirium snifter, Drake's Imperial Stout is Black with a tight, dark tan head that leaves scattered lace.

Smell is a bit hoppy actually, some sweet alcohol. Some toffee develops as it opens up, as does the roasted malt.

Taste is big and malty, lots of chocolate, with a hoppy finish that is pretty impressive for being at least a year old. Just the right amount of roast to give it character without overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is great, a luscious creaminess without being to heavy, with a dry, somewhat spicy finish, indicative of the strength as well as the hops.

Drinkability is quite good, I'm really enjoying this RIS. Rich and satisfying, but very smooth and well balanced. Everything I've had from Drakes has been exceptionally well executed.

Photo of deruiz10
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A pitch black pour with zero head, she looks like a glass full of black coffee.

S - Chocolate and coffee, some dark fruit (prunes?) and some slight caramel sweetness.

T - Very similar to the nose: chocolate and coffee with some dark fruit fading to a finish of bitter dark chocolate and alcohol.

M - No carbonation and a little on the light side. Though the body is medium weight, it could definitely be excellent if it had a little more creaminess.

D - A sipper to be sure, though it is lacking a little character to be truly superb.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-deep black color that pours two fingers of a relatively thick dark caramel colored head that has a decent retention and leaves a very light lacing

S-big roasted malt hits the nose first followed by a hint of dark chocolate and some coffee notes and a light citrus hop finish

T-big flavors with a presence of alcohol, it follows the nose pretty well, a big roasted malt up front with some dark chocolate and hints of java, the hop presence towards the finish is a little more pronounced than the nose and brings some citrus, dark fruits, raisins and prunes.

M-it is nice and smooth, almost creamy; but relatively light body for an RIS and has too much carbonation imo

D-lighter body for a stout would actually make it more drinkable, but i like a thick ris so i'm docking it.

Photo of woodychandler
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

About a finger of deep-tan head with great retention on a humid evening. Color was a deep dark brown. Mouthfeel was thin and (dare I say) watery. Nose was very chocolaty. Taste had a good bit of chocolate, cinnamon, and coffee. Finish had a chili flavor accompanied with by a mild hoppiness.

Photo of stoutfiend27
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mlswing top..unsure of the vintage..poured into tulip slightly chilled..

a-deep deep brown almost black..nice ruby highlights when held up to light..huge fluffy khaki head that lasted throughout..no bubbles present..lots of lacing..

s-sweet malt..subtle hops..a tad coffee and caramel to round things out..

t-sweet roasty malt up front..bitter coffee notes...toffee...hops to balance things out but overpower...finishes dry like black coffee..delightful

m-oily and slick..goes down easy...slightly prickly from the carb..medium creamy mouthfeel..

d-could have a couple of these easy..the alcohol is well hidden and and flavors just keep you coming back for more..no complaints here

overall a solid very under the radar ris...big thanks to james for hooking me up with this brew in our last trade..extremely glad i got to try it..

Photo of vacax
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. 500 mL swing-top bottle.

Pours a black liquid with a vast dark mocha head. Retention is high, though it eventually settles down into around one half of a centimeter of respectable foam. Smells of plum, cookie dough, toasted coconut, and chocolate. All the good stuff I like in a good RIS.

Tastes of sweet malts with copious dark fruit: plum and prune especially. This intensifies on the midpalate and reminds me of leather, flora. Finish is intense, I want to say I get some heat, but in an aged bottle of a beer under nine percent that is not an accurate statement. This beer just smacks my tongue with an intense complexity of malts. Body is full, yet fuller would work better with the medium level of carbonation present. Overall this is a very good example of a Russian Imperial Stout, there should be a lot more buzz about this beer. A choice brew that is underrated.

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

I have to start off by saying I was a bit let down by this beer. Drakes has been extremely hit or miss for me. their IPA is absolutely one of my favorites, but the 1500 was a complete let down.

The pour on this beer absolutely leaves something to be desired... it's not nearly as dark as I would expect from an imperial stout and a rather vigorous pour produces practically no head. while there was a touch of lacing left by the big, soapy bubbles that formed a crown, even swirling my glass did practically nothing in the way of producing any head.

smelled fine enough. some sweet, roasty malts. a hint of chocolate and some apparent coffee. The nose was definitely the highlight of this beer.

taste was a different story. I don't want to say that it was necessarily complex, I think that would be a touch misleading... but I will say that it was kind of all over the place. It started out quite estery... dark fruits... prunes and the such. after about 4-5 seconds gave way to a hint of chocolate and then almost immediately moved into HEAVILY roasted malts. I'm wanting to type out that it was burnt coffee, but that wasn't quite the quality that I got... it was burnt something... just all together too roasty for me. eventually, the roasty quality became someone enjoyable as an aftertaste... but I don't drink a beer solely for its aftertaste.

mouth fell a bit short as well. while it was nice and creamy, it was entirely too thin. I can't say too much beyond that. I want a heavier body on anything categorized as "imperial".

while this beer wasn't "bad", it also wasn't "good". I guess I'll leave it at that.

Drake's Drakonic Imperial Stout from Drake's Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 454 ratings.