Draken Robust Porter
Kelsen Brewing Company

Draken Robust PorterDraken Robust Porter
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Robust Porter
Ranked #5
Ranked #3,171
4.2 | pDev: 7.86%
Kelsen Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States
Draken Robust PorterDraken Robust Porter
Notes: Big, malty and dark, Draken Robust porter exudes a roasty aroma from its tan head. You’ll taste a complex and rich chocolate and caramel malt character followed by a touch of warmth and light malt sweetness. Draken has subtle flavors of raisins and dark fruits and a touch of hop bitterness to balance the flavor on the palate. Despite its dark appearance, the beer is medium-bodied with a wonderful mouthfeel that allows the rich flavors to linger on your tongue just long enough to last until the next sip.
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 97
Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned 11/06/2018

L-The beer pours a glossy black with a 2 finger mocha head. The head recedes to a thin ring with central island leaving minimal lacing
S-First to my nose is the bitter black malt. Following behind this is a bit of dark chocolate and light roast.
T- The taste is nice blend of the malt with some dark chocolate which shows itself a little more here than on the nose. Light roast is present and pleasant even for this non coffee drinker. The flavors mix around with each other and I'm able to find each of them with little effort all throughout the sip.
F-Mouthfeel overall is on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is light. Finish isn't quite what I would describe as dry, but I find myself returning for further sips as I'm trying to type this review.
O- This is one of the best porters I've had. Up there with my other favorite Black Butte. Highly recommended.

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Photo of dainsleif
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft right the keg had been tapped. Great aroma, great taste. Had worked up a thirst after yardwork, and it really hit the spot. Creamy taste to it, an all around excellent porter. Filled a growler to enjoy that evening.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp 16 oz can poured into a snifter. The beer pours a rich chocolate brown color that is fairly clear and produces a creamy tan head of 3 .5 cm that slowly fades to a sturdy surface layer. This sticks around for the entire sampling and makes for a fine looking beer. The aroma is roasted malt and some dark chocolate with just a bit of sweet brown sugar. All malt with no hop presence or scent to be found here. I also dont detect any booze on the nose.
The first sip reveals an average body with fine and slightly spacious carbonation. The texture is fairly crisp up front and lingers with some stickiness on the swallow. Very easy drinking physical traits on this brew.
Flavor is rich chocolate malt sweetness up front and then some roasted notes that linger a bit on the finish. The finish also dries out my palate making me thirsty for the next sip. I also get no hops nor booze at any point on the flavor profile here.
This is a malt forward very drinkable brew. Im glad to have tried it and Im starting to think that Kelsen is one hell of a solid brewery. Next time in New Hampshire, Im gonna have to get a visit to them on the agenda.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I have to admit that I had not heard of either this brewery, or by extension, their beers, but we recently got distribution of their CANs & so I was quick to snap one up for The CANQuest (tm).

From the CAN: "Brewed and Packaged in Londonderry, NH".

I Crack!ed open yet another massive 16-fl. oz. craft CAN & CANmenced a slow, gentle Glug into the awaiting glass. Once it was sufficiently deCANted, an in-glass swirl raised two-plus fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, deep-brown head with moderate retention, slowly falling to wisps with light lacing left behind. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing cola highlights only at the edges. Nose was very roasty with lots of dark chocolate, light charcoal, moderate treacle and burnt caramel in the mix. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste remained very roasty and quite chocolaty, but not necessarily as intense as dark or bittersweet chocolate, more towards baker's chocolate, like chocolate chips. Along with the roasty smokiness, there was also the taste of raisins & prunes as well as treacle. When they identified it as "Robust", they weren't kidding. Finish was dry, but very easy-drinking. I put away easily half of the CANtents while I typed this review. A very nice American Porter that edged up on being a Dry Stout while remaining in the style.

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour with a thin cap of mocha that fades to a ring. Aroma is roasted, with faint lactose sweet versus a slight grainy sour. Not sure... Flavor is rich with cocoa, tobacco, leather, raisin, and slightly bitter but with that lactose-style sweet coming through in the finish.. I was hoping for a bit more sweetness to balance mid-sip. This is a good robust porter. Perhaps just not my ideal.

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Photo of RedSox3424
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Very dark appearance with copper color around the edges of the beer. Minimal lacing on a pour from the tap. Standard malty taste found in porters with a welcoming hop finish. Not a ton of mouth feel on the brew but it is pleasantly smooth. Overall a solid beer.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.81/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black in color with no penetration to light. There's a solid inch of thick, creamy, densely packed brown head. The aroma is milk chocolate and cocoa powder. I'm tasting bitter, dark malt and dark cocoa powder. The mouth is dry, dense, and lightly chalky.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 fl oz bottle sealed with gold pressure cap. bottle # 14607494

poured into HF wine stem.

Appearance: Black body with 3 fingers tall head from a moderate pour. The head has great staying power and leaves ample lacing on the glass.

Smell: Nice big roasty malt aroma. Smoke, light dark fruits, and chocolates with a light earthy hop presence.

Taste: Moderately bitter roasted malt balanced with a nice chocolate sweetness and hint of smoke. Earthy hop that is fairly light, but easily detectable. Finish has a nice lingering roasty malt profile.

Mouthfeel: medium body with moderate carbonation levels. Fairly creamy carbonation, but also has a very light dry finish. No booze what-so-ever. Well made porter and it shows with the texture of this porter.

Overall: This is a fantastic and world class Robust Porter. Draken is almost as good as HF Everett. It falls just a little short of Everett in the complexity of the flavor profile and the mouthfeel isn't quite as dialed in as Everett. Though with all that said...this is the second best porter that I have ever drank. Extremely well crafted robust porter that is no frills and is seriously awesome.

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Photo of Smakawhat
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Deep walnut brown body color. Quite clear from the head below. Tan to light espresso brown color, a creamy easy two finger height with excellent sheet like lacing.

Powdery slight dark chocolate like roast aroma on the nose. Fruity sensing ester, but faint grain sourness if ever so slight but not unpleasing to the senses. Hints a little large in heat but faint roast gives Porter sensing light grains as well.

Very unique palate. Light but fruity sensing chocolate mid palate. Starts off light but finishes with lingering silky softness. Creamy chocolate, and lots of cutting mineral warmth, that really cuts the texture. Shocking bouncing texture of light and rich. Dark melted chocolate and even peppery roast play out. Raspberry fruit, melting chocolate and mineral peppers. Cap it with some light acidic coffee warmth.

This is a very stunning and distinct Porter.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 8/28/2016 at Natty Greene’s Tavern in North Attleboro, MA, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains coffee, lactose, roasted malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong coffee bean flavor followed by some lactose creaminess. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer but there are better choices available in the style.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Service: Bottle
Bottled on: Who knows...

Pours a ruby-tinged-in-the-sun opaque black with a gorgeous three fingers of rich mocha foam insulation that eases down a bit (to a quarter-inch) as you drink. Very good retention; polka-dot/honeycomb lacing. (4.5)

Rich, sweet, soft roast. Dark berries, chocolate, caramel, nuts, maple syrup, coffee and cream. (4.5)

Charred coffee grounds, baker's chocolate, currants, slight astringency and hard water. (4.25)

Thinnish, medium body, pop-like carbonation, lingering roasty finish. (4)

A tasty robust porter with a cool bottle and unique (though I'm sure not literallly) dating system (if it worked).
Pours drop-dead gorgeous. The nose is a soft, melty showcase of the richer, sweeter side of porters (basically a candy bar of smells). The flavor is a melange of roast flavors with a little harsh roast/mineral undercurrent that balances it nicely. Much roastier than the nose lets on. As far as I can tell, this is a textbook robust porter. The reason I know that is that I really liked it, but I would really LOVE it if everything was turned down a notch. A smooth, velvety, drinkable porter with a big, bold roastiness thrown into the mix. Especially true for the flavor. I dug the roastiness, but not like I would have dug a reflection of the layered bittersweetness of the nose.
Regardless, I would definitely have this one again. (4.25)

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Photo of papposilenus
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a 22oz. bottle. Kelsen has provided me with a bottle number however, when I enter it into their 'beer tracker,' it tells me that it is invalid. Oh, well, cool idea and that's OK, because nothing I program ever works either. Poured into a 13oz. tulip.

Pours a deep, dark, chestnut-brown-black with maple highlights when held up to the morning sun - yes, it's morning, don't judge me - with a vast three-finger crown of tight mocha foam, fairly decent retention, and sheets of sticky lacing.

Smells bright and sharp, molasses, sweet coffee and vanilla.

First taste is of bitter, sweetened coffee and vanilla toffee, there are sweet roasted malts here but also some nice, understated bittering hops. Semisweet chocolate bits, brown sugar, raisins and walnuts follow, finishing with a briefly-lingering sticky, roast coffee bitterness.

Feel is smooth, medium-to-robust, and dry, with enough carbonation to show off the bittering but not so much as to overwhelm the more subtle malt flavours.

Overall, this is a highly serviceable beverage. So much so that I went back and bought the rest of the bottles at the Co-op. Sorry everybody-else, but some people are just dicks.

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Photo of Damian
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
Served in a pint glass

Fantastic appearance. A frothy, khaki colored crown quickly grew to two fingers tall before slowly receding over the dark brown body. Lots of sticky lacing. A thin patchy sheet coated the entire glass.

As this beer's name suggests, the aroma was indeed robust. Dark chocolate notes dominated. Boatloads of caramel malts. Perhaps a bit of toffee. There was a subtle nutty quality. Hint of vanilla. Semisweet. Really smooth with just a minimal amount of roastiness.

The flavor followed the nose. This was a really big and bold porter. Uber rich and chocolatey. Super malt forward. The beer contained some moderate roasty notes in the center. Cold coffee also came through. A bit nutty. There was a touch of vanilla as well. Semisweet yet dry on the back end. Very well balanced. The beer finished with a subtle roastiness and just a kiss of earthy hops.

The mouthfeel was slightly greater than medium bodied. Frothy and creamy. Soft and supple on the palate. Solid.

It seems these days that porters need to be barrel-aged, high abv monsters to get any attention, but Draken Robust Porter is simply a fantasticly well crafted, traditional take on the style. I really look forward to trying some of Kelsen's other beers as well.

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Photo of Dope
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

No bottling date but just hit shelves recently.

A: Pitch-black pour with a moderate sized medium brown head. Head is fluffy and fades pretty quickly. Sparse lacing.

S: Mild chocolate, a little roast and a little smoke. Once warmed, definitely a bit of char in there.

T: Whoa. Definitely robust. Lots of bittersweet chocolate, burnt grains and char initially. Drying and toasty like burnt bread on the back end; definitely well-attenuated. Lingering charred toast between sips with some cocoa. Maybe some earthy, herbal hops too? Really nice.

M: Soft, chewy mouthfeel for 6.8%. Impressive.

O: Seriously good porter. Great variety of bold, well-defined flavors. Great balance and it all works together well. Pretty much everything you'd look for in a beer like this, and more. Extremely impressed. Can't wait to try some of their other black brews.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Frothy, mocha tan head caps the very dark brown brew. Smells of chocolate and roasted coffee. Tastes starts as coffee flavored chocolate then mellows out to a roasty ash as it warms. Coats the palate with its velvet thickness. Fantastic porter that I thoroughly enjoyed. Well done!

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a blackish-brown color with a creamy khaki-colored head. Good retention on the head and tons of lacing.

The aroma is filled with notes of burnt dark chocolate, roasted coffee, and some subtle, nutty caramel.

The flavor definitely lives up to the "robust" name. I get plenty of dark chocolate, burnt coffee, and just a bit of sweet toffee. Hop character is present but subdued. Extremely well-balanced beer.

The feel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Very smooth and extremely drinkable.

Overall, this is one of my favorite porters. It's not quite as sweet as others I've had in the past, but the balance is fantastic and everything just works so well together.

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Photo of theandyday
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is probably my favorite beer of all time.

Like so many I had fallen victim to the onslaught of double IPAs flooding the market. For a good year and a half that's all I had. Draken brought me back to my "craft beer roots" which were with dark beers.

This beer pours a rich dark brown, with a beautiful creamy head. You're immediately bombarded with roasted chocolate malts. The beer keeps its promise with the first few sips - rich dark chocolate, some hints of dark fruit and the lacing of accomplishment it leaves is almost as satisfying as the beer itself. There's enough hop aroma and flavor in there to hold the malt in check. Balanced.

The mouth feel is best described as chewy. It's rich and complex and velvety deliciousness in a glass. I could smash a million of these. This is a perfect beer.

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Photo of chinchill
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared bottle at RBWG-2015.

Dark clear mahogany body with a minimal bubbly head.

A bit fruity, hoppy and sweet for style. Faint smoke.

Medium body and carbonation.

O: unusual, hoppy version of the style.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A one finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a dark brown black color with no vision of anything. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank too.

Smell: Roasted, ash, smoke, sweet milk chocolate, caramel,

Taste: Very , but a bit more ashy than I would like. Lingering bitterness in the rear too.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, ash bitterness, medium to full bodied, a little sweetness, and medium carbonation.

Overall: I am pretty content with this porter. Next time passing through I'll have to get some more.

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Photo of datalager
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Hmmm, porters...definitely a favorite style of mine. Ironically, the first craft beer I truly fell head over heels for was the robust porter from just across the way by that famous Portsmouth, NH brewery. Of course there is no intent to compare the two beers, since Draken stands firmly on its own two feet.

There are certainly all the notes one would expect from a well rounded porter, with deep roasted smells and rich, sweet flavors. Coffee, cocoa and smoke blend nicely in the swallow.

Unique to this porter is the hop profile. I haven't taken the time to research (yet) what variety of Lupulin is swimming around in there, but all I can say is WOW!

I was fortunate to try this for the first time last night at Thanksgiving dinner, and drove home with an unopened bomber (thanks, Bro). I'm waiting to crack into this one. I don't want to waste all of its goodness in one weekend.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

From the 22 oz. bomber. 2014 batch. Sampled on October 26, 2014.

The color is very dark brown with a soft and full light tan head. The head stays around.

The aroma has all kinds of inviting characteristics. I pick up sweet roasted malts, milk chocolate, a touch of raisins and a bit of cellar muskiness.

The body is medium.

The taste also has an immediate sweet malt presence but there is an unexpected earthy bitterness that rolls in and almost overtakes the malts. Very nice.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from a Lazy Dog
Pours a solid black with a huge fluffy tan head that shows remarkable retention and lace. The aroma is heavy on the coffee and roasted malts with bits of earth, toffee, and caramel. The flavor is creamed coffee, caramel and some butterscotch, light earthy flavors with a touch of pitted fruit round us out. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation. Decent brew, a bit more roast than chocolate for me and slight diacytyl keep me from giving this higher marks.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured on draft into a 20 oz pint glass. Pours a beautiful dark brown with a 2 inch dark tan head that leaves some nice lace behind.

Smell is coffee grounds, vanilla, chocolate, biscuit, toffee, and brown sugar.

Taste follows nicely some expresso upfront, vanilla bean, biscuit, toffee, and cocoa nibs.

Mouthfeel is above medium, spry carbonation, maybe a little dry, and excellent drinkability.

Overall this is a world class robust porter, that drinks larger than its ABV.

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Photo of risendragon
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

FIRST!!! Bought from the brewery itself and poured into a standard glass.

A- Dark, almost pitch black. Some very subtle mahogany and a nice beige head (4.25).

S- I get dark malts, dark chocolate, black cherries, creamy coffee, earthy hops. Very pleasing but unique as well (4).

T- Right off the bat I get midnight dark chocolate and coffee. Mellows out into a nice herbal hop afterglow. The bitterness comes more from the dark malts than the hops on this one and that's fine, I like my porters like this (4.25)

M- Smooth, carbonation's on the low side, very drinkable (4)

O- These guys used to be the best kept secret in New Hampshire, but not any more! I was looking forward to this one and Kelsen did not disappoint. Another great brew.

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Draken Robust Porter from Kelsen Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 97 ratings