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

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BA SCORE
89
very good
230 Reviews
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Drake's Drakonic Imperial StoutDrake's Drakonic Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

Added by xlperro on 08-20-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
230
Ratings:
486
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
14.36%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
62
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 230 | Ratings: 486
Photo of popery
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now, let me first say I like the beer very well. It's not the greatest Russian Imperial Stout, but it would probably have a higher score if they upped the abv a bit and went for a somewhat bigger flavor. This beer pours a big black with a nice foamy head. The nose is sweet and malty with chocolate and mild smoke notes. The flavor is coffee, chocolate, vanilla and some good balancing bitterness. The feel is just a notch below excellently smooth, but it's not quite there. It's a RIS with a low abv, which might make it physically easy to drink but it is missing some of the complexity of a bigger beer. Whether or not, this precisely fits the undefinable "drinkability" isn't going to keep up nights. At any rate, the presentation is great. The pirate theme fits well with the big hearty stout and the bottling choice.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

4.25/3.75/4.25/4/4.25
22oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours black with three fingers of dense mocha colored, fluffy, long lasting head that slowly faded into a thin film leaving rings of lace down the glass.
S: Roasted malt dominates, light coffee, bitter black chocolate, touch of vanilla. Smells good but pretty standard.
T: Follows the nose. Creamy rich chocolate, deep roasted malts, char, bitter black coffee, roasted coconut finish, toasted marshmallow and a bitter aftertaste. Anise is in there with the roast, too.
M: Light booze, fuzzy carbonation, smooth mouth, heavy, viscous full body but not motor oil.
O: A very solid stout. Straight forward, clean, but complex enough to be interesting. Drinks well, nothing too overpowering.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A thin head on a pitch black colored body.
The aroma is boozy and burnt wood. Smells like darkness.
The taste is roasted and burnt malt with a good dry"ness" to it. The finish has a tingling of alcohol.
The texture is soft, but thick with low to moderate carbonation.
It's a fine enough imperial stout with a good profile.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

CELLARED – This is a 2005 vintage that I popped in Nov 2007, so it’s probably a bit over two years old.

Appearance – This stout is black as night with a small, ashy head that showed great retention.

Smell – The roasted malt smells are damn near perfect. They are dripping with liquid sugar. The sugars are very complex consisting of table, brown, and some heavy raw unsulphored cane.

There’s a deep chocolate liquor aroma as well. It is refined and perfectly suited for this brilliant bouquet.

Taste – The flavors really sweeten up at the taste. The malts are big and roasty but not harsh and bitter. The sugars tamed the while beast. The chocolate alcohol notes bring it all together giving this RIS a sense of royal regalness.

Mouthfeel – This is almost full-bodied and incredibly smooth. The alcohol has a strong presence but is not stingy.

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Photo of gford217
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500mL swingtop courtesy of thequeue poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark, dark chocolate that settles in black in the glass underneath a huge fluffy tan head that shows very good staying power. Sheets of lacing form after each sip. This is quite a nice looking RIS.

The aroma has tons of dark roasted chocolate malts and lots of dark fruit sweetness with figs and raisins. I'm also picking up lots of licorice and a bit of espresso as well.

The flavor starts with the slight bitterness of the bakers chocolate with some dark fruit sweetness. The dark roasted malts form a solid backbone and the finish brings in a touch of hop bitterness and hints of coffee.

This mouthfeel is very smooth with lots of carbonation and just coats the mouth completely.

Well, this one really impressed me and maybe my expectation were a little too low. It's a great representation of the style and I think this bottle has just the right amount of age on it. Very nice.

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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.

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Photo of illidurit
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a snifter. Jet black body with a luxurious 3 finger head that rises in perfect proportion to the rim of the glass. Moderate cocoa colored lacing.

S: Rich dark chocolate, dark fruit.

T: Again, dark chocolate. The aromatic dark fruit manifests as a distinct black cherry note in the taste. Finish is roasty but not burnt and a tiny bit lactic. Not terribly complex but seamless and tasty.

M: Body is just a bit thin for a RIS but the carbonation is spot-on. Well-blended flavors contribute to a nice overall smoothness.

D: Tasty without regressing to booziness with warmth, smooth and sweet. A very drinkable RIS.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.67/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Funky and rather attractive Half Litre (500 ml, 16.9 fl.oz.) brown glass bottle that has a short, wide & squat body with a tall neck complete with a familiar but nevertheless distinctive white ceramic swing top arrangement. Main label is as per the BA Avatar; a large Sailing Ship with sails fully released has the words “A Pint a Day Keeps Scurvy Away”. Some information on the left hand side of the includes ‘Original Gravity of 21.5°P by a Malt Bill of 91% Malted Barley, 4% Crystal Malt, 3% Roasted Barley and 2% Chocolate Malt. Chinook Hops were added to balance the Beer…weighs in at a robust 8.75% Alc. by Vol.”
No freshness Date but the Bottle really does look very cool I have to say.

Appearance: Thick black oily resinous pour that positively oozes into the Stone Imperial Russian Stout Glass I had ready. Tan colored head rose quickly but soon dissipated to a thin covering, that eventually broke to reveal only a thick bubbles halo ring. Minimal carbonation.

Nose: The nose takes some work, though it does improve with some heat input. Chocolate malts dominate with some toasted coffee and a very light hop character. As it warms the roast coffee improves the nose and allows the hops and alcohol to come through to the front more.

Taste: Very bitter start, the Chinook hops immediately make their presence known though they tussle with a strong roast coffee and dark chocolate middle. The back is tart and somewhat alcohol laden with a sour twist in the swallow. Sharp tastes that need to be rounded off, for they are a little prickly and harsh at present.

Mouthfeel: Big. Lots of Malt and Alcohol ensures that this Imperial Stout gives you something to chew on, even after the swallow. Bitter malty finish and lingering harsh hop infused alcohol on the tongue long after the beer is gone.

Drinkability: Nice roasted start, but this is a little bit harsh at the moment in the middle and a tad raw in the back end. Nice enough last of the night beer and it finished me good, so much so I forgot to post this Review at the time I did it!! Needs a little more time to improve the Drinkability I feel.

Overall: I suspect I drank this one a bit fresh and that the harsh hop character and alcohol will start to smooth out and round off into a more palatable brew given as little as another 6 months. Worth buying and keeping one to experiment with in the Cellar I think. Age will certainly mature and improve this for sure.

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

appearance: The pour gives a low, mocha colored head that soon becomes just a tiny ring around the snifter. The beer is, as expected, nearly black in color.

smell: Roasts dominate, backed by an earthy hop aroma. Various malt aromas lend a light sweetness to the nose. A slight dusting of cocoa powder. Just a touch of sour in the aroma. Needs more malt complexity.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is smooth, between low and medium. The body comes across as being too thin, especially for an RIS.

taste: At the front I find big flavors of roasted malts that bring to mind coffee and, to a lesser extent, cocoa powder. Low-moderate sweetness level. An unexpected acidic tartness comes in just after the swallow...not the typical hop bitterness, which comes in a second later. There is plenty of flavor here, but I would definately like to see a heavier complexity. The "twang" I mentioned earlier is pretty strange, also. Seems to be a bit more standard than imperial.

drinkability: easy enough for a "good"...the 8.75% is well disguised

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Photo of FosterJM
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1549th Review on BA
Tap to Taster

@Drakes Brewing, San Leandro, CA

App- A highly thick and dense stout with a good head behind it. The edges retain a bit of browns and lightness. The beer is very dense as mentioned and doesn't show any light through. A good amount of cling and lace down the sides.

Smell- This was a straightforward stout and didnt pull any punches. Big and creamy on the nose with a lot of chocolate and malts. The columbus hops did add a nice layer on the nose and didnt overpower.

Taste- This was a nice stout. Like the nose it was creamy and rich and then it added in the malts and kept the chocolate levels very high. Just needs another layer to it to make it really pop.

Mouth- A big medium dense body with good rich malts and chocolate on the finish. The carbonation is spot on as well. Residual chocolate makes this like a chocolate dessert. Very decedant and smooth.

Drink- Very nice beer. I will have to pick up some bottles.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprisingly De Bierkoning in Amsterdam got a box of these a while back.

From a bomber into a snifter
IBU: 40
Columbus hops

APPEARANCE: Clear, dark brown pour yields a 2+ finger, medium looking, creamy tan head with excellent retention. Clear back body with lower levels of carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a good full cap and coats the sides of the glass. A ring remains leaving some nice dots of lacing down the glass. A touch clear, but great head and lacing.

SMELL: Big nose of roasted grain, milk chocolate, sweet cream and caramel notes. Light vanilla with roasted aromas, milk chocolate, coffee and licorice. Mostly roasted with chocolate and cream. Really nice and plenty forthcoming.

TASTE: Roasted flavors with lots of caramel and milk chocolate sweetness up front. Licorice notes as well, with sweet cream at the swallow. Big and lingering finish of roasted flavors, tobacco, sweet cream, milk chocolate and some bitter black coffee. Flavorful and enjoyable. Solid.

PALATE: Medium-full body with medium carbonation. Plenty creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes a touch drier. Good feel for sure.

OVERALL: Really good stuff, as is their Jolly Rodger barleywine as well. High quality, flavorful and complex without being overly high in alcohol. Something I'd gladly drink on a regular basis if the price were right. If you find this one, give it a shot. Recommended.

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Photo of tpd975
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark flat black hue with a nice mocha head. Nice spotty lace as well.

S: Aroma of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, wood, earth, dried dark fruit, and citrus hops.

T: The flavor is nice and roasty, with hints of chocolate. Loads of dark fruits in the middle, with a touch of licorice.

M: Full bodied, very rich with nice balanced carbonation.

D: Not too bad. Tasty but there are better Imperial stouts to be had.

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

Cool bottle. Espresso-black body with a big, thick, creamy, muddy-brown head. Light barely penetrates the burley brown edges. Nose consists of rich, sugary milk chocolate and bitter dark chocolate. A sharp, roasted coffee bitterness pervades. Dry, bitter dark chocolate up front. Quickly moves to velvety smooth, rummy fruits (plums, raisins), but with a tart edge. Roasted barley is there too. Bitterness rises and swells into the finish. A very hoppy imperial stout, exemplified by the long, bitter, dry finish. Traces of roasted fruit and alcohol are there too. Maybe a bit hoppy, but still good.

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

I had this one a couple times and both from bottle.

Poured a dark black with an averaged sized brown head. Aromas and tastes of chocolate, molasses, vanilla and roasted malts. Very light bitter finish with light alcohol.

The second time around I also noted some smokiness and dark fruits.

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Photo of arizcards
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at JV Wine & Sprits in Napa today for $5.99. I was in the mood for an impy stout after a day of wine tasting.

Beer poured black with a nice brown head that is hanging pretty well.

Nose is hints of coffee and mocha.

Taste is dark chocolate, roasted coffee, mocha, with a nice hop oil finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth, not as chewy as hoped.

Overall this is a real tasty brew, love the flavors going on, not as viscous as hoped but good nonetheless.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Hamilton's, San Diego, CA on 7/8/09. Served in a goblet.

A - Dense dark brown body with deep reddish highlights and a wonderful finger's width of creamy burnt tan head that retained exceptionally well and deposited a thin sheet of lacing around the goblet.

S - Muted nose with chocolate notes, sweet malts and a mild coffee presence. Some alcohol notes emerged as the liquid warmed up. Sweet caramel and toffee notes round out the aroma.

T - Flavor is heavy on the chocolate with quite a bit of roasted malt, the latter of which really opened up as it reached room temperature. An apparent coffee presence also emerged, followed by a slight nutty character. Finish is quite bitter overall with earthy hop notes and dark chocolate.

M - Medium bodied with a very smooth, silky mouthfeel and soft carbonation. Finish is bitter and slightly astringent with some residual stickiness on the palate.

D - Fine RIS that was quite smooth and drinkable. While this was heavy on the chocolate, it also possessed a nice roasty character to complement the sweetness of the malt.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a midnight black with a thin, tight layer of foam. The aroma is that of roasty coffee with some toffee and dark chocolate notes rounding it out. The Drakonic has a big roasty flavor, with some dark chocolate and espresso. There’s an evident bittering to it and a sharp flavor which brings everything in focus. I enjoyed the dark mushroom nuances which emerged gradually as it warmed. Delicious. I just wish it had a fuller body to develop and hold up to the strong flavors.

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Photo of merlin48
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml swingtop bottle as pictured, pours dark and opaque. Very creamy looking cocoa head has excellent retention and deposits some attractive sheets of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is dark chocolate, complimented by notes of walnuts, coffee, and some figs and raisins. Lots of dark roasty essences here as well as some hints of caramel.

Mouthfeel has a creamy full body with a bit more carbonation than expected.

Taste is all about the roasty chocolate. Some scorched coffee notes provide a solid bitterness and there is a distinct walnut nuttiness that adds complexity. A vague hop presence is also interesting. Smooth and creamy all the way through and the alcohol is well concealed.

"A pint a day keeps scurvy away" says the label. Okay, I'll be happy to fight scurvy with this fine stout. Very well put together, with no flaws. Many thanks to IntriqKen for the opportunity.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my secret bunny goodies! I am sampling the beer at room temperature in a pint glass.
The beer pours motor oil dark and no light passes through the glass when held to the light. A tan frothy head foams up about 2cm and fades quickly to an edge layer. Aroma is failry mild with some chalky chocolate scents mixing with a bit of roasted malt and a small hint of raisiny dark fruit.
First sip reveals a fairly robust body with fine tingly carbonation.
The flavor is very malty with strong roasted profile and some chocolate and even a hint of coffee flavor as well. The label mentions chinook hops to balance the malt but I find no evidence of hops on the nose or flavor.
The beer is very smooth and I only get a hint of the ABV by the warming in my belly, no bitey hot alcohol here in a beer that is 8.75% I think that is pretty well crafted.
Overall a solid Imp Stout.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a fancy swingtop 500ml bottle to a tumbler.

A: Very dark with a pencil-thin trace of auburn around the edges. 1-1/2 fingers of creamy tan head that stuck around for quite a while.

S: Smells nice, not necessarily bold. Sugary roasted malt, some fruit, a trace of coffee and molasses.

T: Very likable smoky maltinesss, caramel, toasted nuts, dark sweetness. The epitome of "Imperial Stout": rich, husky, slightly sweet and heavy. Slightly oaky and tannic. Chocolate and coffee flavors are substantial but not overbearing at all. A very tasty RIS.

M: Thick and creamy, bordering or syrupy. Mellows as it warms to a velvety, full mouthfeel.

D: Not my favorite, but this is near the top of the list. Terrific flavor, smoothness & texture. Smells very rich and taste backs it up - I'd gladly have more of this. Thanks to flexabull for this one.

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

Into the tulip

A - Jet black, mocha head leaves fast. Thin clinging lace.

S - Dark roasted barley, coffee.

T - Yum. Coffee, sweet dark malt, and, as another one wrote, chocolate milk. I get it too. Cool. Hops are hard to discern.

M - Medium. Kinda light for the style.

D - I like it. Just not all night.

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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.

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Photo of flexabull
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep black color, with a nice retaining tan head. Good looking beer.

Aromas are a bit of an odd mix. Slightly vegetal, chocolate, coffee, and a hint of hops on the nose... interesting.

Taste is hot of alcohol up front. Some coffee in the middle, and finishes with a chocolate malt character. Very nice, flavors are balanced well and not overpowering.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Very full flavored, and the tastes really linger and hit your mouth.

This beer is drinkable, I'd certainly drink another some other time, but I wouldn't want to have 2 in one night. A very good example of the Imperial Stout style.

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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

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Photo of Floydster
3.41/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9 ounce swing top bottle, last one from BevMo in Redlands, guy said they sold out in a couple days

Pour a dark brown color with a huge tan foamy head into a large glass mug

Smell was chocolate and toffee

Too cold to make any distinctions at first, so let warm and found that it was very sweet with coffee hints

Could drink a few of these, but not too many

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Drake's Drakonic Imperial Stout from Drake's Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 230 ratings.
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