Drago
Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co.

DragoDrago
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Style:
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #84
ABV:
9.5%
Score:
94
Ranked #1,485
Avg:
4.25 | pDev: 7.29%
Reviews:
72
Ratings:
317
From:
Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co.
 
Illinois, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  17
Gots
  90
SCORE
94
Outstanding
DragoDrago
Notes: Russian Imperial Stout aged on bourbon barrels.
Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 317 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Beginner2:
Photo of Beginner2
Beginner2 from Illinois

4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Suddenly in the same day, I've gone from zero to two Hads from Wild Onion. Read their website. Impressed by their commitment to the environment by repurposing an abandoned stone quarry. They put a Communist Hammer & Sickle on the label of their RIS. (Drago, as I curiously looked up, is the Russian giant that gets beat in the 15th round by Rocky Bilboa in Moscow as the Kremlin leaders look on woefully a few years before the Cold War folds and, in a great twist of fate, Roland Reagan looks like a genius.) And back to reality, Wild Onion's restaurant hosts weddings in one of the wealthiest communities in Chicagoland. Clearly, Onion has a sense of humor and a complicated personality... and they have produced a complicated and impressive RIS.

It looks normal for a RIS, a brown head of foam that disappears and becomes a syrupy substance.
The smell does not belie the alcohol, an achievement not made by many a RIS.
Taste gives me all that sweet malt and the vanilla and the what-not that comes from oak barrels that aged bourbon.
The mouthfeel is full and smooth and almost creamy.
And it all goes great with sweet cookies for dessert... which is what I've just done.
And... I just might again.

Feb 19, 2017
More User Reviews:
Photo of John_M
John_M from Oregon

4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Jan 25, 2016
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oldmankoch from Tennessee

4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought this while in Chicago earlier this week and had the 4 pack shipped home along with some Surly and Pipeworks at the suggestion of the owner of Fischman Liquors.

As an aside, I strongly recommend stopping in there if you're in town. Super nice employees and an awesome selection of Midwest brewers that don't distribute to the Northeast.

Appearance is pitch black like dirty motor oil with an almost non existent head and no lacing (the only negative with this beer)

Smells of Vanilla Bean, Almonds, Mocha, Bourbon, Cream, Butterscotch, Dark Fruits, Cloves, and Maple Syrup. Simply one of the best palate wetters ever.

Taste follows the nose immensely well. Drinks strong and warm for only being 9.5% A great sipper and is quite reminiscent of BCBS (which is why it was recommended)

Mouthfeel is on the thinner side but is still super smooth with low carbonation & goes down slick and leaves a splendid bourbon flavored coating on the tongue

Overall and awesome BBA Stout and a deal for $16 in my book. Would love to see this over in Philly but will most likely have to wait until the next time in town

Aug 08, 2014
Photo of ER527
ER527 from New York

4.87/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is perfection. Creamy, chocolate, chewy, no metal flavor that dogs so many bba stouts. Best of all, very present bourbon and boozy. Destroys kbs and bcbs

Jun 06, 2018
Photo of darktronica
darktronica from Indiana

4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Jun 13, 2016
Photo of scream
scream from Wisconsin

4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Did not know what to expect from this but was quite impressed.It just was good in all aspects. I would definitely grab this one again were it to be available around here.

Good job guys !

Aug 12, 2018
Photo of Barnoloid
Barnoloid from Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Jan 31, 2016
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to 5EKF for this bottle!

A - Pitch black and oil-like color, dense toffee colored lacing, no carbonation, lots of legs on the sides of the glass.

S - Bourbon, vanilla, cocoa beans, some delicate chocolate spiciness.

T - Nice bourbon blend with the rest of the beer, charred chocolate, oak, vanilla, roasted toffee, the alcohol does make itself know. Mild lingering smoked/roasted chocolate bitterness on the back end.

M - Thick, full bodied, semi-dry, very syrupy on the lips.

O - This beer is grossly underrated so far. Highly recommend.

Nov 20, 2016
Photo of circuitmonkey
circuitmonkey from Washington

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
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).

Mar 08, 2016
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78 from Illinois

3.31/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 1.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, 2014 release, 9.5% abv
A - jet black, but flat - no head whatsoever - even with a rigorous pour
S - roasted barley, bourbon, oak, vanilla, dark chocolate
T - similar to aroma - dark chocolate, roasty, vanilla, oak, heavy bourbon
M - thinner side of medium, no carbonation, sticky and sweet, fairly boozy, but appropriate for the style
O - big disappointment here. I'm usually not overly picky with imperial stouts, but this one lacks in quality control. Flavors are good, but the lack of carbonation is a big problem for me.

Jan 03, 2015
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone from New Jersey

4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Mar 27, 2016
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KCBeerNerd from Missouri

4/5  rDev -5.9%

Feb 25, 2014
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30MinutesSouth from Indiana

4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dec 28, 2014
Photo of Shandycan
Shandycan from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Feb 14, 2015
Photo of bdelonj13
bdelonj13 from Illinois

4.64/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dec 24, 2014
Photo of beersgud
beersgud from Kansas

4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Feb 23, 2015
Photo of Weaselbob74
Weaselbob74 from Illinois

5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jan 29, 2015
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Westyn from Texas

3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Feb 04, 2015
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KevBot89 from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jan 17, 2017
Photo of Domvan
Domvan from Texas

4.59/5  rDev +8%

Sep 21, 2014
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badmotorgrunge from Illinois

4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dec 20, 2015
Photo of Leag0002
Leag0002 from Illinois

4.78/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dec 26, 2014
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EdwardK77 from New York

4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jan 16, 2015
Photo of SaltofOH
SaltofOH from Ohio

4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, no visible date. Says 9.5%. Guinness pint.

A: pours dark black/brown, opaque with 3 fingers dark tan head that recedes to a thick foamy cap. Decent lacing, killer retention.

S: reeks of bourbon and vanilla! 8 months in a barrel will do that, I suppose. It was a good barrel; barrel selection is key. Some dark fruits lingering in the background with a touch of bourbon alcohol - not fusel, really smells like you poured a shot of bourbon in a stout.

T: taste is immediately sweet; caramel, bourbon, prune, golden raisin, milk chocolate, more! This absolutely blows dragon's milk out of the water.

M: thick, syrupy, some light carb.

O: holy smokes, this is a barrel aged beast. Great BARIS. Alcohol is not overpowering; bourbon character steals the show. Texture makes it dangerously drinkable. Careful with this one!

Feb 18, 2017
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Jdub2839 from Florida

4.25/5  rDev 0%

Sep 10, 2014
Drago from Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 317 ratings