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

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Bourbon Barrel Aged DragoBourbon Barrel Aged Drago

Brewed by:
Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Russian Imperial Stout aged on bourbon barrels.

Added by xdtfx on 03-16-2014

For Trade:
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Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 198
Photo of jzbikowski
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very good barrel aged stout. I was really surprised how good it was. Compared favorably to KBS and Bourbon county, but at much less $$.
Can't wait for this year's release

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Photo of darktronica
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A really nice barrel-aged stout for a good price from a brewery I was unfamiliar with... why yes, don't mind if I do! Not a ton of barrel character, but the ageing provides some nice thickness to the mouthfeel and a bit of vanilla on the tongue. Plenty of milk chocolate and malt makes this a sweeter RIS, but I wonder if they're calling it Russian for its namesake as much as for its style. Not an intense power puncher, but an excellent smooth sipper. I will definitely be looking for another four-pack of this in the future.

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Photo of SeanBond
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Excellent stout that 1) I've never heard of, from 2) a local brewery I'm not very familiar with, so awesome surprise! The stout has the sort of profile that I really enjoy in my RIS--Sweet but not too sweet, with a backbone of hops and some roast. The barrel-aging gives the beer a little vanilla creaminess that compliments the rest of the beer.

Not quite as thick as I'd like (most aren't; I've been spoiled by BCBS), but a very tasted and underrated BA stout. Very impressed by Wild Onion!

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was a pleasant surprise from a brewpub whose beers are mostly generic craft.
Pours an inky black with a small beige ring around the glass, no lacing.
Aroma was mostly bourbon, hints of oak, raisin, vanilla and plum.
Flavors were quite similar and improved as it warmed.
This was thinner than the best BA and Imperial stouts.
Overall, this is a really nice beer, compares nicely with Budweisers BCS and comes in at a better price point than this year's BCS.
I think they have a winner here!

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Photo of tobelerone
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'd only had one other WIld Onion beer in the past when I saw this on the shelf at the reasonable price of 13 dollars for a 4-pack of 10% BA imperial stout. I'm fairly impressed, and glad I have four to work through to form a complete impression.

Appearance is pretty strong, particularly at first, with an inky black body and a nice cap of brown foam. Head retention isn't great but that's kind of expected for this style and ABV. Decent lacing. You can tell just by looking at it that it might be a little thin-bodied, and it is (but not egregiously so). Aroma is excellent but fleeting; dark chocolate and bourbon, oak and vanilla - smells like the real deal, just without a lot of staying power.

On the palate it's much the same - a delicious blend of sweet chocolate and vanilla notes and an ample barrel character, which will please fans of bourbon (including myself). I think it's well balanced for the style; there's enough to the base beer - just enough - that it doesn't feel overshadowed by the whiskey barrel. It's not the most massive example of this style and that keeps it pretty drinkable. I enjoy the way the ample barrel notes keep the sweetness in check and prevent it from having a cloying character.

The body is medium, possibly a little lighter than is de rigueur for an imperial stout. There's a certain fleeting quality that takes it out of the upper echelon but this is still a solid A- or so in my book, and I'd glad buy more at the price I paid.

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Photo of circuitmonkey
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In my opinion this is one of the most under rated barrel aged beers... and this is coming from someone who really hasn't been a fan of anything that's come out of the onion pub/brewery.

Not as good as bourbon county (though not many beers are), but I find it way more enjoyable than drinking dragon's milk for about the same price ($17 / 4 pack).

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Photo of MNJR
3.74/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This tastes very similar to New Holland Dragon's Milk. Or, mostly Dragon's Milk with a touch of BCS. This is my first experience with a beer where I really do feel like the brewers have done a good job, but might not be doing anything very original, or adding to a style with any new twist. There are coffee, chocolate, raisin, vanilla, and coconut flavors here. Very good, but done before and I would say a tad better. I feel like this is a very complex style of beer that could yield something new. ??

I have to rate it on flavor, but there should be some deduction for coattail riding.

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Photo of CaptFrothy
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding quaff, not a whole more I can add to the below reviews, really resembles BCBCS at a more affordable price point, with a touch more bourbon on the front end and just a smudge thinner.
I paid $16.99 for a 4 pack. Can't wait to crack another one and experiment with cellaring a few.

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Photo of zac16125
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a tulip
no bottling dates

Thanks to Billyvig02 for sending this one over as an extra.

A: Pitch black, appears thick on the pour, 1 fingers width of very dark mocha colored head that dissipates at a moderate rate but leaves essentially no lacing. 4.25

S: Big aroma of chocolate, dark fruits, and roasty notes. Barrel characters with charred oak, bourbony vanilla and peat. Great nose. 4.25

T: Big barrel notes of charred oak and vanilla. Nice base beer characters with sweet dark malts, cocoa, roastiness. Barrel characters compliment the base beer very nicely. Excellent roasty and barrel notes on the finish that linger for a long time in the after taste. 4.5

M/D: Full bodied, almost but not quite thick, carbonation on the high end which detracts a bit from the smoothness. ABV is well masked and drinkability is pretty good. 4

O: This was a very nice surprise from a beer I had never heard of. Excellent beer. 4.25

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Photo of W_Des
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a tannish head from the bottle. Has a very pleasant boirbon and oak aroma. The body is full of delicious roasted coffee and chocolate with a very smooth mouthfeel. The finish is a very nice warmth. This is a surprisingly fantastic beer!

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I must break you.....you being this bourbon barrel aged stout. Quite a treat. Darker than a siberian night. This is a lighter side imperial but one that has a full enough feel to keep you on a good track whilst training in a snow covered barn. Big chocolate tones with hints of almond, brownie and dried currants. Warming booze on the back end. Very well put together - this will go the distance.

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and thick with dark chocolate highlights. 1 finger dark khaki colored head is effervescent and bubbles off quickish. Small ring of dark khaki foam lingers while linger. Moderate amount of lacing left behind but it doesn't last long.

Big roasted malt aroma with whiskey as a strong complement. Caramel, burnt brown sugar, and dark molasses. Bitter chocolate and some licorice.

Caramel and bitter chocolate on first taste with the whiskey strong like the aroma. Roasted malt. Sweet molasses, licorice, espresso, and toffee. A bit of alcohol. Vanilla barrel notes.

Smooth, thick mouth feel. Medium carbonation. Sweet and sticky on the tongue. Lingering bourbon and chocolate. A bit of dryness in the aftertaste.

A very pleasant surprise. Expected to like this beer but it really impressed me. Sweet without being cloying and good blend of flavors.

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Photo of John_M
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and considerable lacing. On the palate, this beer smells great, as I pick up vanilla, light milk duds, chocolate, coffee and considerable bourbon. The flavor profile replicated the nose pretty closely in this beer, and as others have advised, the beer opened up considerably as it warmed and sat in the glass. The beer was a tad sweeter than I would have liked, but that's really my only complaint. Also, I found the mouthfeel to be soft and fairly full, so I'm puzzled by some of the reviews that noted a thin mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile, and drinkability was terrific.

Couple of thoughts. I really wish more breweries would go with the 12 ounce format for beers like this, as it's pretty hard for me to work my way through a 22 ounce bomber of 10% abv (or more) BA RIS. For me, a 12 ounce pour of a beer like this at the end of the evening was just perfect. Also, maybe it's just my imagination (or perhaps this just the style that brewers go for in the Chicago area), but this beer reminded me very much of a somewhat lighter, less boozy version of BCBS. Whatever, this was an excellent beer that I wish I had access to a regular basis.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I had heard good things about this offering from Wild Onion so decided to grab a bottle to try. Very solid offering overall and of course you need to let any BA RIS warm to room temp before you can fully appreciate..all things considered I was surprised at how well this one turned out. Sure, a tad thin on the palate but that could be reasonably expected.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, served in a snifter glass.

Pours a dark cola-mahogany colour, half finger offwhite head that dissipates fairly quickly, not much retention or lacing. Smells of chocolate fudge, a fair amount of vanilla, oak, mild toasted malt. Smells fairly chocolatey, which is quite nice. Flavour doesn't quite follow the nose though- some chocolate fudge, a bit of milk chocolate, oak, mild vanilla and toast, a bit of dark fruit and an astringent earthy espresso bitterness on the backend. Good, but not as chocolate fudge-forward as the nose would have you think. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, not thin, but not substantial either. Lower on carbonation. A fairly solid bourbon barrel RIS, in some ways it's like BBPt5, but the mouthfeel lets it down a bit.

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Photo of Elumbeer
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12oz into an oversized snifter (definitely prefer to the Belgian tulip). Initial sips at about 51 degrees.

Deep dark caramel-brown in color. Light can get through, but not much. Aggressive pour yields a respectable tan head with very little lacing or retention.

Smells like bourbon. I genuinely got very excited while pouring this, purely because the smell that filled the room was straight bourbon. I mean I've had a lot of bourbon barrel-aged stouts, and none of them smelled more like bourbon than this. The scent is definitely more sweet and vanilla-y than actual bourbon, but it even pierces the nostrils in a similar manner when you get close. I'm a fan.

Taste is on the sweeter side. Maybe even a little too sweet, but I can appreciate that. Fairly strong vanilla & caramel flavors, with some milk chocolate. Creamy. I'd almost believe it if you told be this beer was made with Milky Way bars.

Definitely not the thickest beer I've had, but it's got a nice weight to it. Carbonation isn't biting me at all. Plenty sticky. 'Refreshing' is not in this beer's vocabulary.

I'll be the first to admit that I have a soft spot for sweet bourbon-barrel stouts, but I absolutely believe this beer is massively underrated right now (4.12? Who's drinking this- hop-heads?). Not on the same tier as a Bourbon County, but not a far cry either. Oh, and I don't think there's anything RIS about this- whatever roastiness the base beer might have started with has mellowed-out to American levels, but I'm not knocking any points for that. I will not hesitate to buy more of this the next time I see it.

Very similar taste to Central Waters' [reserve] Bourbon Barrel Stout, but a tiny bit thicker than the 2015, for anyone that's had one of Wisconsin's finest on-the-shelf offerings.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A 4.25 - brown/black beer with mocha head that clears quick
S 4.75 - bourbon, oak, burnt marshmallow, caramel, toffee, chocolate, umami
T 4.75 - bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee burnt marshmallow, umami, chocolate.
M 4.75 - heavy mouthfeel, alc covered, aftertaste bourbon, caramel, toffew, vanilla, oak
O 4.75- great bourbon barrel aged stout

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Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -5%
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 -17.5%
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 +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 Readily available in the winter for $16 per 4 pack too.

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Photo of RyBrew54
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
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 +1.2%
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 +0.7%
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 -6.1%
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 -7.3%
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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Bourbon Barrel Aged Drago from Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 198 ratings.
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