Written By: Morgan Ellsworth (Twitter @jarg0naut)
When I don’t like a beer it bothers me. It makes me think that there is something wrong with my palate, or that I got a bad batch, or even that I am low life scum that doesn’t deserve to live and should commit seppuku on the spot. OK. Maybe not that last one but I do honestly second-guess myself when a beer makes a single tear roll down my cheek. Part of it is that I KNOW some bastard out there does like this beer and might even find it more divine than the ambrosia of Mt. Olympus and he is chortling endlessly at my ignorance. Why can I not feel the same way, laughing at pithy fools who dare try my favorite brews and languish helplessly? Luckily, whenever I find myself wallowing in self-pity, my arrogance takes over and this fleeting moment of vulnerability is gone. But still, the thought lingers, building with every single beer that I have a slight distaste for. I feel like I might snap and run screaming into the night, flogging random strangers. If you happen to see a guy bellowing, “AM I NOT WORTHY?!” into the San Franciscan night, that probably isn’t me but still, it would be pretty glorious.
The beer that I have so horribly set up is Drake’s Brewing Drakonic Imperial Stout. Like I may have alluded to in the absurd paragraph above, I want to like every beer I try. I really do. But I can’t bring myself to like this particular one. It starts off sweet and malty, but the bitterness soon takes me unawares. A striking coffee characteristic shines through, although it brings more bitterness than anything else. However, the subtle hops are accentuated by the coffee, so we must give it some credit. Drakonic Imperial is relatively complex and not particularly smooth despite the lack of hops. This beer is only hopped once and has a paltry 40 IBUs. That being said, “Imperial” isn’t there just for shits and giggles. At 8.75 percent, the brew carries a hefty blow – especially for a stout. The beer just left something to be desired. I feel like an idiot saying that but for me, that was definitely the case. I was left wanting more.
Drake’s Brewing has been around since 1989 and while I haven’t personally had any of their other offerings, you don’t last that long in this business without making a ton of quality beer. They are based out of San Leandro in Northern California and, according to their website, have about 14 year-round and seasonal beers so they have a wide variety to choose from. Even though my first taste of their beer wasn’t quite up to snuff, it makes me want to seek out what else they have to offer to either validate or destroy my (probably) ridiculous claims. I will definitely be back to Drake’s Brewing- probably more quickly than if I had loved this beer.
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