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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:
485
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
14.36%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
62
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 230 | Ratings: 485
Photo of MPLS
3.74/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can't remember where I picked this one up, but believe it was an online purchase.

A: A nice dark ebony, but no lace, 0.5mm head that vanished like a one hit wonder. Looked very effervescent iniatially but took on a dead flat appearance soon after.

S: Sweet chocolate, alcohol, touch of licorice.

T: The dominant flavor is a sweet slightly bitter (coffeelike?) chocolate that fades to some roasted goodness. A tad underwhelming, but a pleasantly sweet stout.

M: This stout lacks the viscosity I crave, a somewhat dull beer, don't know how it lost the carbonation.

D: It's not a bad sipper, alcohol is masked well and I can handle anything in the chocolate realm.

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Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at BoHo in Hollywood, CA.

Pours black with a 1.5-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of roasted malts with good amounts of smooth dark chocolate. As it warms the dark chocolate becomes more prominent.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mild roasted malt flavors are joined shortly by unsweetened chocolate. As with the smell, the chocolate flavors gain steam as the beer warms. The ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I could have a few of these with no problem.

Overall this is a solid RIS but lacks the complexity to be great. Worth a shot.

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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 ThreeWiseMen
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL flip-top bottle picked up at the Modesto BevMo!

Poured into a New Belgium globe (because it was the best glass I could find).

Appearance: Bottle opened with a mighty POP! and instantly filled the air with dark chocolate, molasses, and coffee aromas. Nice start! A slow pour produced a creamy, half inch, brown head. Body is thick as hell and completely opaque (black). Looks like dirty motor oil. Very nice head retention, complemented by thick layers of lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt, dark fruits, something sharp - sour cherries?, rich dark chocolate, and vanilla (especially on big whiffs). Fun to smell, though not as pungent as I expected after the initial POP! As time went on, coffee emerged along with hints of anise. Strong alcohol also creeps into the picture as it warms. Nicely done.

Taste: Roasted malt, charred wood, sour cherries, and prunes. Very roasty. Extremely hoppy as well - feels like a handful of piney, resinous, hops are thrown in at the end of each sip. Dark chocolate, yes... especially as it warms. Alcohol is quite apparent. Coffee and molasses are also there, but lie quietly in the background.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is too high in my opinion. I was expecting a dense, creamy treat, but this RIS is quite vicious. The carbonation even masks a lot of the flavors early on. It fades eventually, but does a number on the palate along the way. Besides that, this beer is thick, roasty, and full bodied. One of the thickest Russian imperials I've had. I dig that; I like thick. Also finishes very dry. This is a rough beer - make sure you know what you're getting into.

Drinkability: This beer is not for beginners. Make sure you know what you're doing before you step into the ring with this one. Roasty, full, bitter, and high in alcohol != drinkable. Still, this hit the spot after a long-ass week at work. I was looking for an ass kicking, and I definitely got one. Thank you Drake's. May I have another?

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

A 500ml swing-top bottle poured into my nonic pint glass. The stout appears nearly black in color with about two fingers of lingering ecru foam. A nice pour! Nose and flavor are of rich roasted grains, alcohol, vanilla, bitter-sweet chocolate, sugary caramel malts. Almost full bodied and certainly amply carbonated. Good stuff, wish I had a few more of these.

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Photo of jdklks
3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Thick and black with amber edges and a tan head.

S- Sweet blueberry and roasty malts.

T- Wow. Really, really, too sweet. sweet bite at the end and sweet malts up front. tart sweet, not really dark fruity sweet like i like in a good stout. overwhelming sweetness, underwhelming overall taste.

M- good thickness, but over-carbonated.

D- would only have one of these.

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Photo of sholland119
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from Mauerhan in Powerball. Thanks, Topher!

A-A very attractive opaque dark brown to black with a thin tan head and little lacing.

S-Deep dark chocolate and vanilla hit you right off the bat. Background notes of caramel and a hint of alcohol.

T-Nice. An unexpected roasted malt in the front, then a subdued sweetness, much less than promised by the nose. A nice roasty bitterness in the finish.

M-Medium bodied and a little rich.

D-Yeah, I like this one a lot. Delicious with moderate ABV.

HV

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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 Buebie
3.34/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16 ounce brown swingtop into a pint glass.

Black in color with no light penetration. A 1'' light brown cola like head forms. Receeding slowly and leaving a thin cap of foam. Thin streaks of lace.

Aroma of gingerbread, molasses and chocolate malts. No alcahol at the knose. A good amount of sweetness here.

Mouthfeel is light bodies with just a bit of creamyness and some carbonation.
The taste is pretty good. Dark roasty chocolate grains, some sweetness and plenty of chocolate.
I'd consider this more of an american double then an ris. As an RIS it does not fit the style but as an American double it is pretty damn tasty.
Some warming into the swallow with grassy hops lingering. A cocacola like syrupy flavor, the sweetness is a little overbearing. Not a terrible beer but for an ris its got room for improvement.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.55/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Dark bottle into a glass.

A: Deep, opaque black with a short-lived tan head. Some rings of lacing down the glass.

S: Dark chocolate, roasted malt, and what smells like a tangy combination of plum, fig, and raisin, with a slight tartness. At first I thought this beer was infected or in the process of becoming so.

T: Dark chocolate on the initial taste, which leads into a roasted malt backbone adorned by coffee bitterness. The finish is dark fruits -- plums, figs, and raisins all detected -- with a noticeably tart aftertaste. It's an interesting flavor, but the combination of chocolate/coffee and full-on fruit is not one I enjoy. It was kind of like a fruit roll-up covered in Nutella. Again, I suspected infection at first given the poorly blended tartness.

M: Medium-to-high body, with medium carbonation. Still surprisingly velvety. Well masked ABV.

D: Definitely a sipper / sit-and-savor. But I didn't particularly enjoy the taste, and judging from others' comments, I seem to have gotten a proper bottle. I won't pick this up again -- not my sort of RIS.

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Photo of ThirdLap
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Jupiter in Berkeley. I've had this before from the bottle, but this is my first time sampling it on-tap.

Deep black as it sits in my glass, with a short-lasting dark tan head. Not much lacing as the glass empties.

The nose is dark chocolate, roasted malt, and cola. Hints of dark fruit.

Taste is surprisingly complex. While not barrel-aged, there is a woodsy oakiness to it, which combined with the dark chocolate undertones and perceptible alcohol makes it remnisicient of stouts that have spent time in a bourbon barrel. I don't remember the bottle of Drake's Imperial Stout I had several months ago having this characteristic.

Body is medium-high, with the carbonation right in the middle. Mouthfeel is creamy and luscious, with a slight bitter finish. Drinkability is excellent, as it took some effort for me to sit and savor this one.

I will have to try this again from the bottle for comparison, but from what I can remember, this is a different beast from the tap. Very nice.

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

Had on tap at Jupiter in Berkeley along with Rasputin on Nitro and some great pizza.

Looks like a very dark beer. The head is some what limited but a beautiful milk chocolate color. Looks a bit thin.

Just after serving the coldness of the beer limits the nose, but as it warms the dark fruits and bitter chocolat starts to sneak out.

The taste of this is really suprising. Imagine a small chocolate, shaped like a treasure chest, and inside is Glen Levitt liquor scotch. This beer has a unique tast to it that suprises with each and every sip. I can't get over the whiskey flavor behind this local brew. The after taste turns to a bitter chocolate that kind of slides down your throat.

Unfortunately the mouthfeel of this beer is lacking. Very thin and could benefit from some oatmeal texture. With some more thickness this beer could be a supreme contender with others on the top ten Imperial Stout list.

It is worth a try for anyone that likes bourbon type stouts. My first time trying it and I would have it again ...I hear it's much bettr on tap that in the bottle...maybe I'll try it out.
Not something that you can down, a sipper for sure.

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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 DefenCorps
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank this a couple of nights back. What a great beer! This is last years release, I grabbed it at Healthy Spirits in May and sat on it for a while.

A: In my Sam Smith pint glass, this beer gurgled a very impressive jet black with a thin dark brown head with decent retention

S: Wonderfully balanced on the nose, there's chocolate, coffee, cream and a little bit of oxidation that works very well with the chocolate

T/M: On the palate, the flavors from the nose are replicated with the semi-dark unsweetened chocolate leading the way. Oxidation is present and very enjoyable. Medium bodied with a soft carbonation, this beer finishes thick and enjoyable

D: This is one beer that surprised me, I think I should grab another at some point

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

On cask at The Rose & Crown in Palo Alto. Thanks Kasim.

Pours out a deep & dark brown/almost black color with a big bubbly & creamy tan colored head.

Big coffee & chocolate aromas, roasted malts, some fruitiness, and faint hoppiness. All balanced quite nicely. Yum.

Like the nose the taste is of roasted/toasted malts, and nice coffee & chocolate flavors, and some bitter hoppiness. I likey.

Medium to full, smooth, creamy, slick, velvety. Yeah.

This is a great beer & awesome on cask. Could drink this all night. And day. Work is stupid. I quit and am going to have one of these.

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Photo of mossadacity
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich dark brown, almost black. Persistent strong head, but little lacing. Strong licorice flavor, subtle bitter chocolate and coffee undertones. Bitter aftertaste which quickly faded away after a few sips. Very heavy beer; it's been a while since I really felt like I was drinking food :-) I absolutely loved this beer. I'm pretty new to the style, but this is the first RIS I liked let alone loved.

On cask at the Rose and Crown in Palo Alto, CA - 2-17-2009.
First pint ($6) off a fresh tap :-) Given that it runs for $7/16.9 oz bottle at the local BevMo, I was absolutely thrilled to try it draft.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.08/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

2006 release, acquired via trade from IntriqKen, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 500ml swing-top bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a no head no lace due to the age.

S: The aroma is of chocolate, coffee and roasted malts with a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty with flavors of chocolate and coffee. There's also a mild background of dark fruit and a very mild hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sweet. It definitely tastes like I might have held onto this one a bit too long.

M: Smooth but not crisp and kind of watery, medium body, very little carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Flavorful and I'm sure it would have been pretty tasty fresh, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, I'm hoping to someday revisit this beer as I fear I may have ruined a good beer.

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Photo of lhaqq
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours pretty much pitch-black with a sticky tan head with good lacing.
S: Smells of dark chocolate and coffee.
T: Coffee not as strong in the taste, though it does finish with a small twinge of coffee bitterness, along with a dry, woody flavor. The backbone of the flavor however, is a non-bitter dark chocolate mixed with some light caramel.
M: Thick, heavy, creamy, good level of carbonation. Great when served cool or after having warmed up.
D: Definitely my favorite imperial stout that I have had so far. Little alcohol present in the flavor or feel--quite drinkable, especially for a style that I usually find is not the best in terms of drinkability.

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Photo of John_M
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Toronado today.

The beer pours a very dark brown color with good head retention and lacing. I don't get a lot on the nose, just some light sweet roasted malt and a hint of hoppiness. On the palate however, this beer is just delicious. The beer is loaded with wonderful coffee, chocolate and licorise, with some noticeable hoppy bitterness in the finish. This is yummy stuff. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and the beer has a moderately long finish. Abv. is pretty well disguised, though certainly you wouldn't want to have more then one or two of these. The alcohol tended to become more and more noticeable as I went along, though at no point did it become tiring or heavy on the palate. All that being said, this is still a pretty substantial stout and is not the sort of thing I can imagine drinking a lot of. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this stout from Drake's. Not bad a all. :-)

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Photo of Irie
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black body with a heavy light brown head. Great retention and lacing on the head with fairly small fluffy bubbles.
Rich smell with heavy malts and molasses with a nut finish.
Great light feel on the pallet with a coffee/toffee flavor with a strong grain finish.
Great drink, nice and light taste with a heavy finish. Nice balance though a bit strong on the malt side, but delicious none-the-less.
Good times.

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

An incredible beer. Pours 10w40 black with a small but thick tan head. Heavy aroma of coffee, baker's chocolate, and cappucino. So many flavors that are balanced perfectly. The crystal malt and chocolate are dominant, but don't overshodow the coffee, oatmeal, and the mild hops. This only got better as the beer warmed. A huge, thick mouthfeel. One of the best.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured black with a creamy looking 2 fingers of mocha head. A little bit of lacing on the glass.

S: Really nice nose with a mix of roasted grain, chocolate, coffee, and a faint hint of hops.

T: Really smooth and complex. The transition from each taste to the next is seemless. Roast right up front then right into a really nice and rich chocolate blast. Finished smooth with some roasted barley.

M: Velvety mouthfeel. Really nice. I think the time on this bottle really helped it out but cannot be sure as I never had this fresh.

D: Really good. We split a bottle and I wanted more. Thanks to dmeadows for sharing this and for giving us a home gym to work off the beer!

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Photo of bigbelcher
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this and some other Drakes Barrel aged beers while going through the bottle cooler at the Freaking Frog in Las Vegas. Note-They were not on the list of available bottled beers. The beer had a nice roasted malt aroma with hints of chocolate a fruity aroma. Very smooth and well aged. Some roasted malt flavor but very drinkable. Alcohol was present but not overpowering. Pretty nice overall. Only drawback is that its body is a little on the thin side.

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

Thanks to mmmmBEEEER for sharing a bottle. The beer pours black with a wispy light beige head that disspates to almost nothing rather quickly. Spotty lace. Roasted coffee and chocolate in the nose, along with a bit of black licorice. Full, smooth body that falls a bit short on carbonation. Flavors of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee along with a bit of plum. The finish is roasty with mild hops and coffee lingering. Pretty solid all around, although overall it falls short of the best-in-class Imperial Stouts out there.

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