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Bourbon Barrel Aged Drago - Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Aged DragoBourbon Barrel Aged Drago

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

20 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 20
Hads: 135
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 8.78%
Wants: 10
Gots: 47 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xdtfx on 03-16-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Russian Imperial Stout aged on bourbon barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 20 | Hads: 135
Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Adam for hooking me up with this. The brew pours black in color with barely any bubbles to form a head and well...it looks flat. A violent swirl releases a couple tiny bubbles that collect around the edge of the glass.

It smells roasty with anise and chocolate leading the way, then softer nuance of vanilla, caramel and pleasant bourbony booze all integrate well.

It tastes bourbony with roasty chocolate, earth and char. Some raw oak, vanilla and caramel also present with slight bitterness like strong coffee.

This is medium in body with light carbonation. A boozy and enjoyable sipper. Kinda surprised that ive never heard of this one before.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Drago Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout."

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz. Branded black pry-off crown cap. Brown glass. Appealing label design. Courtesy of Duff27 via a trade - thanks man!

9.5% ABV. Brewed with roasted barley. Aged in oak bourbon barrels for 8 months.

Served cold into a Guinness goblet and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption. Reviewed live as a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout per the label (and name). Expectations are somewhat high.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~1.75cm wide. Gorgeous khaki colour. Creamy, frothy, and full. Wonderfully soft, with a delightful even consistency. Supple looking. Good complexion. Almost mocha-like, though not quite that foamy. Retention is above average - ~3 minutes. Leaves a nice even ring of consistent lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Predictably, it's an opaque dark black - though not an ink or jet black. No yeast or sediment is visible within.

Looks nice for an imperial stout. Not unique or special, but well above average to be sure.

AROMA: The bourbon eclipses the base beer, bringing tame notes of faint vanilla, light coconut, some whisky-esque spice, and reticent oak. It's not that the bourbon is all that strong or overbearing; it's that the base beer just doesn't bring much to the table besides dark malts/schwarz malts, cream, and Whoppers/malted milk balls. The purported "vast amounts of roasted barley" are nowhere to be found.

I find no hops, booze, off-notes, or yeast character.

Aromatic intensity is average. Suggests a full-bodied beer with a pretty basic pairing of bourbon notes and an imperial stout build.

TASTE: Malted milk balls/Whoppers seem dominant, trailed by a vanilla-forward bourbon character. The bourbon barrel is dominant over the base beer, with subsidiary notes of backgrounded oak (which helps tie the beer together somewhat, lending it ample cohesion), faint coconut, and a biteen of whiskey-esque spice on the backend (though not as much as the aroma suggested). The base beer is quite basic, offering only the requisite notes of cream, dark & schwarz malts, and maybe some chocolate malt. A dab of dessert-like Hershey's.

Not really balanced in the sense that the barrel is a bigger flavour than the base. It's also not as intricate as the best beers in the style. But the bourbon barrel is lovely, though I wish there was more coconut. It's a rich beer, but it's not too sweet or dessert-like. Well-built for what it is, in any case. I quite like it in spite of its shortcomings. Not gestalt, but certainly cohesive. Flavour duration is average; flavour intensity is above average. Depth of flavour is pretty nice.

I find no barrel sugars, and the absence of roasted barley is sore. The oak isn't as refined or toasty as would be ideal; further time in the barrel might bring the oak more into the fore. Maybe some faint char or ashy character would help tame the sweetness a bit - or even some coffee roast. Or, you know, just the roasted barley the label advertised...

Has no off-notes, yeast presence, or overt hop presence.

TEXTURE: Sticky and creamy, with a necessary full body in addition to plenty of heft and weight on the palate. Still, it's smooth and wet - though its near silkiness makes it come off like more of an imperial milk stout (especially when combined with the Whoppers-y taste). Heavy as it is, it never feels syrupy. Coating.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, rough, or scratchy. Not chewy either.

Well-carbonated. Overall presence on the palate is pretty good. This doesn't elevate the beer as a whole, nor does it accentuate specific notes per se - though there is a bit of interplay between the creaminess and coconut that I like.

OVERALL: It's a nice sipper and disguises its high ABV well for the most part. True, its above average sweetness makes it a bit of a dessert beer, and the bourbon barrel is a bit overzealous (and/or the base is a bit underwhelming), but all things considered it's rather tasty. I'm eager to try more Wild Onion brews based on the strength of this one. Huge thanks to Duff27 for the opportunity to try it. I'd definitely recommend this to others, and think it would age gracefully for up to 4 years.

High B- (3.5)

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a small filming tan head with a thick very black body.
S: Bourbon, chocolate, definitely pickup the wood characteristics too. Smells great.
T: Wow! First sip is mellow bourbon, then chocolate. Well made, so smooth, no alcohol burn. Sweet flavors that last throughout the entire drink. This is everything a bourbon barrel aged stout should be. Very drinkable at 9.5%.
F: Coats my mouth wonderfully, so smooth, flavor lasts beyond the drink. It is only lacking in the thickness. But on the flip side, so drinkable.
O: I hope nobody buys this, leave it all for me and the few that know about it. LOL This is absolutely phenomenal. Readily available in the winter for $16 per 4 pack too.

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Photo of RyBrew54
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2013 vintage stored at 49°. Pours a deep olive amber with zero head. Very syrupy. Smell is toffee, oakey bourbon, black coffee, and light caramelized brown sugar. Taste is a sweet syrupy flavor, with notes of black licorice, butterscotch, burnt caramel, and black cherry. Smell is much better than the taste. Syrupy with a cough medicine like feel. Not great but not horrible. Aging may have tamed the booziness but the caramelized effects seemed to bring this brew to a flat, one dimensional, stout with an odd flavor profile.

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Photo of adapt313
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Didn't know what to expect from this one, recieved as an extra in a trade and had never heard of wild onion prior. Overall I was pretty impressed. Rich black color in the center, dark brown towards the edge of the glass, small dark khaki head. The smell was chocolate and whiskey, definitely a barrel heavy stout. There was quite a bit more going on in the taste, chocolate and bourbon still dominated but were balanced by toffee, caramel, vanilla, and toasted coconut notes, with a mild alcohol burn on the finish. My only real complaint about this was the lack of chewy viscous mouthfeel I love in imperial stouts. Overall this was a very solid ba ris.

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nearly opaque in the glass with dark chestnut highlights along the edges. Thin tan ring of bubbles quickly recedes to nothing. Smell of toasted coconut, tobacco, dark roasted malts, bourbon, and vanilla. Getting molasses, cherries, bitter dark chocolate, vanilla, some nuttiness, and sweet bourbon on the taste. Awesome smell and flavor, kind of like if Bourbon County met water. Medium mouthfeel, a little syrupy but lacks the dense chewiness I get off on. An excellent bourbon barrel imperial stout that doesn't rely on adjuncts to keep it afloat.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours nearly black with literally no head--I’ve never seen a beer pour like this before, with not even a trace of foam or froth on top. Aroma smells of raw molasses with hints of bourbon--simple, but punchy.

The taste features a big smack of molasses and bourbon up front, bolstered by a wave of soy sauce and beef broth. The bourbon struck me as a little coarse initially, but after habituation sets in, it finds its stride and offers nice staying power. The oaky vanilla flavor is reminiscent of parabola (which took things a bit too far for my tastes), so this is definitely barrel-aged in practice as opposed to name (unlike some beers). The aftertaste is terrific, as a big, beefy, boozy haze engulfs the palate. The medium body and borderline non-carbonation afford a slick, slightly oily mouthfeel that isn’t quite sturdy enough to support the big flavor.

Well, this surely is a RIS that will kick you in the teeth, which is just the way I like them. The barrel-aging is legit, and the straightforward but well-executed malt profile also delivers. I would have liked more body and texture, however this is still very good as is.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle sealed with pressure cap.

poured into HF wine stem.

thanks to TATURBO for this bottle!

Appearance: black body with 2 fingers of medium tan colored head. Quickly drops to thin ring around the glass. Some booze legs are noted on the glass after each sip. Not much lacing on the glass.

Smell: spicy bourbon and fusel alcohol. Chocolate fondue and mild roasty malt profile. Sweetness is the main theme in the nose.

Taste: This a very barrel forward RIS. Spicy, rich bourbon and deep woody oak notes permeate every sip. Vanilla, cola, and rootbeer with a hint of caramel and milk chocolate. This beer is definately sweet and rich. Pretty lite roast malt and a slight char note in this beer, but the bourbon barrel notes seem to dominate which isnt necessarily a bad thing.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low carbonation. Carbonation is adequate, but the body of this beer is just not thick enough. This is still a very smooth RIS without being very boozey yet still has an aggresive barrel aged flavor profile.

Overall: This beer is reviewed as a barrel aged russian imperial stout depite the placement of the beer into the american imperial stout category on beeradvocate. My reasoning is that the beer label says "barrel aged russian imperial stout". Assertive bourbon barrel flavor profile, but this one just needs a substantial thickness in the mouthfeel department to be considered a russian imperial stout in my opinion.

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Photo of GarMerr
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Not as boozy as some BA stouts, making it very approachable. Really nice barrel characteristics. Overall, a solid weeknight beer. Would definitely drink again. Chris at The Beer Temple with a typically strong rec.

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Photo of Ob1wan
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Good head/carbonation from this one. On the thinner side for feel. Smooth and light with the bourbon. Good recommendation.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours slick and oily with minimal khaki foam even after a hard pour.

Nutty, deep roasted notes, vanilla, dark chocolate, and a hint of bourbon sweetness.

Lush roasted barley, chocolate, oak, earthy, vanilla, and bourbon.

Heavy bodied, very light carbonation, slick, and unfortunately thin.

Smells wonderful, tastes alright, but the thin mouthfeel is off-putting for the style.

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Photo of njtmayhem
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is far too sweet for me. The bourbon flavors are nice and don't over power but the stout is bland and the vanilla seems to come through too much.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.31/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 1.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, 2014 release, 9.5% abv
A - jet black, but flat - no head whatsoever - even with a rigorous pour
S - roasted barley, bourbon, oak, vanilla, dark chocolate
T - similar to aroma - dark chocolate, roasty, vanilla, oak, heavy bourbon
M - thinner side of medium, no carbonation, sticky and sweet, fairly boozy, but appropriate for the style
O - big disappointment here. I'm usually not overly picky with imperial stouts, but this one lacks in quality control. Flavors are good, but the lack of carbonation is a big problem for me.

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Photo of stortore
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Pours with no head at all, even with a hard pour. Smells terrific- boozy, vanilla, lots of roasted malts. Don't know whose bourbon barrels they are using, but this tastes really good. A little oak and vanilla, a bit more of a boozy taste, but not detracting. Not as thick as most RIS's, but not thin.

First beer from Wild Onion and it's a great first impression.

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Photo of atomic
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%

Loved this beer!

Imagine a session BCBS, this is it. Same flavor profile but at "only" 10% means you can knock this one back and actually enjoy it all the way down. I can't do the same with BCBS.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%

Appearance - The stout poured a deep black color with a few mocha bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell - The bourbon makes a big impression in the aroma.

Taste - Deep rich chocolate is followed by bourbon. As the initial taste mellows, hints of vanilla and oak wait in the background. The aftertaste is slightly warm as the sting of the bourbon comes to the front.

Mouthfeel - The thickness of the stout allows the burn of the bourbon to linger. Carbonation is low, which allows a motor oil like coat in the mouth.

Overall - This is very good. This marks a surprisingly good first impression from Wild Onion.

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Photo of LANDRY
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

At first crack I thought this beer was very one dimensional but in a good way because it was a bourbon dimension. The sweet aroma of bourbon burns the nostrils and dulls the senses. As it warms up so do I and the caramel, coffee and chocolate reveal themselves underneath the cloak of bourbon. It tastes thin for such a bold beer, even with a hard pour it produces minimal head, but what little froth is there is chocolicious. Drinks almost like an impossibly dark wine. Really good beer, on the cusp of great, Id add vanilla or maybe dry hop it to give it more complexity but what the hell do I know.

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Photo of oldmankoch
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought this while in Chicago earlier this week and had the 4 pack shipped home along with some Surly and Pipeworks at the suggestion of the owner of Fischman Liquors.

As an aside, I strongly recommend stopping in there if you're in town. Super nice employees and an awesome selection of Midwest brewers that don't distribute to the Northeast.

Appearance is pitch black like dirty motor oil with an almost non existent head and no lacing (the only negative with this beer)

Smells of Vanilla Bean, Almonds, Mocha, Bourbon, Cream, Butterscotch, Dark Fruits, Cloves, and Maple Syrup. Simply one of the best palate wetters ever.

Taste follows the nose immensely well. Drinks strong and warm for only being 9.5% A great sipper and is quite reminiscent of BCBS (which is why it was recommended)

Mouthfeel is on the thinner side but is still super smooth with low carbonation & goes down slick and leaves a splendid bourbon flavored coating on the tongue

Overall and awesome BBA Stout and a deal for $16 in my book. Would love to see this over in Philly but will most likely have to wait until the next time in town

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Photo of emerge077
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours inky black with little to no head, there's a fizzy momentary skim that fades away after a few seconds, no lacing. Still glassy obsidian surface, sort of dull but par for the course.

Aroma is reminiscent of BCS, big oxidized roasty malt blended with malted milk balls and vanilla, traces of alcohol as it warms.

Roasty malt, chocolate, vanilla, whiskey, trace woodiness. Sticky on the lips, fairly thin bodied though the base beer is too. It's a pretty good BCS clone, though the nuances of the base beer seem lost. Not as boozy as BCS, so that's a plus if you're looking for a less heavy substitute.

Why did this get released in the middle of summer?

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Photo of maxcoinage
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage bottle into DFH Signature glass, just picked up yesterday/ The bottle indicates that the base beer, Drago, spent 8 months in Oak Bourbon Barrels

A - Poured like motor oil, thick. very small head, mocha colored, settled quickly

S - Sweet Vanilla, Bourbon, oak

T - Dark chocolate, molasses, toffee, vanilla, oak

M - Medium body, a bit lighter than I would expect. Low carbonation. Goes down smooth

O - Great BA RIS, though I wish just a bit more on the mouthfeel, but definitely worth the price tag at $17 a 4 pack. Might pick up another if I see it.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Drago from Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 20 ratings.