Ragnarōk | Draai Laag Brewing Company

Liked This Beer
3.87 w/ 43 ratings

Brewed by:
Draai Laag Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by RblWthACoz on 05-12-2013

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 43 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by RblWthACoz:
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is significantly easier to drink than St Angus, which I had prior to this one. Definite black currant influence here in a subtle way. This is very easy drinking. I could go for these all night. This is Draai Laag at its best, in my opinion. Make more of these, I say.

 272 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Draai Laag "Ragnarok"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, no apparent freshness dating
$75.47/case @ Holiday Beverage Inc., Indiana, PA

Carefully poured so as to leave the lees behind, Ragnarok displays a perfectly clear dark mahogany that's been stained cherry. When held to the light it becomes almost completely crimson and ruby beneath its massive head of foamy light tan. The head retention is excellent, bolstered by the teeming effervescent bubbles from below, and you'll most likely have to wait a moment or two for it to settle down enough to take a sip. As you progress through the glass it will leave creamy rings within solid walls of lacing, although with time they do erode and slide back down.

In the meantime you can enjoy the aroma, which is fruity with notes of both dark skinned fruits and juicer red fruits (altogether... cherry, grape, berry, fig, raisin) as well as a light touch of earthy and mineralish character (which may or may not be coming from Brettanomyces, even partially). As it warms there's even a passing whiff of smoke, like wood fire on a woolen shirt.

In the mouth it's medium-light in body, and surprisingly smooth given the head that rises up during the pour (of course all Draai Laag beers are bottle conditioned, so the way it's been handled makes a difference in the final presentation).

The flavor is as the aroma suggests, but with more berry flavor, less cherry, and just a touch of the dark fruit skins. It's also not as mineralish as you'd expect, but there is an interesting earthy woodiness that gives it complexity. At the front of the mouth it's fruity and just lightly tart and sweet, and then it becomes more malty with a bit of dark but soft caramel across the middle. The earthy woodiness rises, and then steadily fades in the finish as a mild smokiness arises. The more you drink, and the more it warms, the more smokiness comes out, essentially leaving you with a different beer than you began with! Now that's a trick of complexity that I haven't seen too often. It's impressive, and to add to that, the complexity isn't coming out of girth or brash use of ingredients, but rather a delft hand in combining ingredients. It's really quite accessible, and rather easy to drink, yet it's in the end remarkably complex! Worth seeking out!!!

 2,291 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +3.4%

It pours a deep ruddy nearly ruby hued amber brown color with light beige khaki head forming nicely and speckled lacing.

Aroma has deep tart cherries upfront, hint of oak, lingering yeast spiciness.

Flavor super carbonated upfront with straight up spiced yeast notes, and tart cherry notes the labels mentions elderberries, black currants, raspberries, and black cherry juice additions to this beer. Dry finish after the tart multitude of fruit notes hit.

Mouthfeel is super dry with each finish of every sip, super carbonated almost primed but this ale was aged on lees, nice chunks of yeast sediment settle out in the bottom of the bottle I drank.

Overall, it’s enjoyable, but there are some elements that made me feel, funny about enjoying this beer.

 760 characters

Photo of Stigs
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of geodonnokepyo
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Treyliff
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Draai Laag

A- pours a dark brown color with a creamy white head that reduces to a ring, leaving a bit of lace behind

S- dark fruity aroma with notes of currant and red grapes, a hint of fresh mint

T- currant flavor follows the nose with flavors of dark grape, smokey malt kicks in mid-palate with flavors of dried pork and peat moss, sour notes kick in, adding a bit of funk, finishes fruity and dry

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a dry finish

O- nice mix of smoky malt and sour currant

 538 characters

Photo of waddellc2
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of trevorpost
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of ArtAttackEd
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rjp217
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Griggsy
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of chrismattlin
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of aasher
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of OneDropSoup
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Deep purple-black, like a dark plum skin. Really pillowy, tight-bubbled head, like a glistening latte. Pretty nice-looking beer.

Nose is dominated by the black cherries & raspberries. At first there's a little earthy, loamy smell underneath that goes away, & later replaced by a more floral smell, soft like powder room soap. That cherry & raspberry combo lingers throughout, though.

Sharp berry taste up front, both tart & sweet, mineral kind of flintiness in the middle, kind of stony, giving away to a kind of lightly ashy flavor, at times like Scotch & at others like singed greens, ends dry & - dare I say it? - phenolic, with a little burnt plastic. I keep expecting that initial sweetness to return, which it never does. Interesting movements, if never fully satisfying. There's that cherry-dominated aftertaste.

Full-bodied & very effervescent, this will fill you up pretty good. That cherry sticks around on the tongue a while.

I'm finding a lot of Draai Laag's brews are more intriguing than gratifying. They give me plenty to talk & think about, they keep me engaged, they're stimulating, but I can't say they've made anything I've fallen in love with. This is right in line with that, though there are some definite highlights

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Photo of woodychandler
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It was difficult to contain my excitement when the FGBS initially began receiving distro from this Pittsburgh-area brewery, so I purchased what was then available & subsequently added to them. It was never my intent to create a Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody, but its eradication allows me the opportunity to conduct horizontals as I go. I am finding the results to be VERRRRY interesting & not at all stupid, per Arte Johnson of "Laugh-In".

From the bottle: "Ale Fermented with Elderberries, Black Currants, Red Raspberries and Black Cherry Juice".

Eeeek! It's the end of the world (as I know it, but I feel fine) so I am Pop!ping the cap & hoping for the best. If things were already angry, then there was no need to tempt the ire of the gods with an aggro pour. Instead, I was VERY gentle & once a sufficient quantity had been decanted & enough virgins sacrificed, I performed a vigorous in-glass swirl. This raised two fingers of fizzy, foamy, light-tan head that seemed determined to take cover as quickly as possible & reduced to wisps almost immediately. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled like the homemade Montmorency cherry wine that my maternal uncle once produced! I was also getting the scent of my late-paternal grandmother's red raspberry vines in her backyard during the summertime. They were the source of many pies & preserves as I was growing up & they were my entrée into cooking before I began HomeEc in high school. It also smelt of my late father, from whom the scent of elderberries often wafted. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, laying on my tongue like an odalisque in repose. The taste was at once tart, yet fruity. The cherries were the centerpiece, underlain by the others with the raspberries also being quite noticeable. I have not had either elderberries or black currants in a while, so it may be a limitation of my palate that I could not recognize them. Here was another very vinous beer, very much like a slightly tart red and very evocative of my uncle's creation. My next thought was: "What if they were to age this in oak?" I can imagine that it would be exponentially better with a side-by-side tasting being another possibility. My goodness, but this was quite tasty! Finish was semi-dry to dry, especially in comparison to the previous brett-fermented beer. This did not have the puckering quality of the other, plus the fruit was not overly tart. Again, I lobby for an oak-aged version, but I would certainly drink this again.

 2,535 characters

Photo of outoffocus
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Rojada1988
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of HollyHops
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark reddish brown with a large three finger fizzy off white head. Light soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is raspberries, currants and black cherry.

T - The taste is currant, raspberries, elderberries, black cherry, figs, candied sugar and Belgian yeast. The finish has a light tartness.

M - Full bodied with medium carbonation. Soft creamy mouthfeel with a sticky finish.

O - There is so much going on here. This reminds me off a Belgian strong ale mixed with a Flanders red. Definetly worth checking out.

 514 characters

Photo of redgorillabreath
4.14/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I was not expecting this fruity of a brew. It reminded me of a lambic that we can buy at our local grocery store. But as I worked my way through a 10 oz pour at a local, it grew in me. This is certainly an interesting brew, and I'd be more than happy to go back again.

 268 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish brown with a bubbly off-white head. Aroma is smokey, peaty, but also definitely fruity. In the taste, rich malt, Belgian yeast esters, berries, dark cherries, and currants come through nicely. Elderberries are used as well, perhaps thats the other taste I can't quite describe. Just a hint of smoke. Finishes funky, semi sweet turning dry. Has some fruity tart notes and very smooth through and through. Nice dry carbonation. Dangerously drinkable, the 8.8% is definitely not found in the taste. A hybrid of Scottish ale, Belgian strong dark, and "imperial" fruit beer. Good stuff.

 605 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle, no date

deep brown color with ruby highlights, good head. complex aroma of rich malt and slightly sour fruit flavors. the label says elderberry, black currant, red raspberry, black cherry were all use. I get them. slightly tart, but not overly sour. well balanced, overall well done.

 306 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours hazy very dark ruby red/purple/brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a spotty lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the lace. Aromas of big sweet/tart blackberry, raspberry, currants, black cherry, red grape, raisin, fig, plum, date, pepper, brown sugar, toasted bread, light smoke, herbal, floral, light funk, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, cherry/berries, and moderate dark/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big sweet/tart blackberry, raspberry, currants, black cherry, red grape, raisin, fig, plum, date, pepper, brown sugar, toasted bread, light smoke, herbal, floral, light funk, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of yeast spiciness and light fruit tang/tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of blackberry, raspberry, currants, black cherry, red grape, raisin, fig, plum, date, pepper, brown sugar, toasted bread, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, cherry/berries, and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/tart/spiciness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Moderate dryness from carbonation and yeast spiciness as well. High carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, crisp, moderately creamy/grainy, and lightly slick/acidic/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 8.8%. Overall this is a great fruited Belgian strong dark ale! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, cherry/berries, and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; very smooth, crisp, and easy to drink for the big ABV. Big on cherry/berry fruit presence; but still has great balance with the Belgian base beer, and is not overly sweet/syrupy from the fruit. A really enjoyable offering.

 2,042 characters

Photo of amalburg
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of ajm5108
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep ruby / amber, little head but persistent carbonation. Aroma does an excellent job highlighting lush berry aromas. It's decadent & inviting without being cloying. Elderberry, raspberry and lacings of earthy Belgian yeast. The berry doesn't translate as well to the tongue, but it is present & delicious. Balanced nicely against some medium lacto & dry yeast flavor, it has enough sourness to add flavor & depth without bullying the fruit flavors. Very fizzy on the tongue, full-bodied. Draai Laag's best, and an unappreciated American fruit sour.

 558 characters

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Ragnarōk from Draai Laag Brewing Company
Beer rating: 76.7% out of 100 with 43 ratings
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