This week has been so amazing, I am actually really happy! It is all thanks to a giveaway I took part in a couple of weeks ago and I was selected as the winner. Firstly, I personally have to send a massive thanks to Beer Review Club for organising the giveaway along with Coast Beer Company based in Edinburgh who has supplied the beers.
Secondly, the giveaway prize was a full box (24) of selected alcohol-free beers, I am really looking to sampling these beers and I am excited to bring you a new load of content on to my blog over the next couple of months, so please keep your eyes peeled!
Dark Drake is a classical and stylish oatmeal stout that is proudly brewed by The Dancing Duck Brewery which is based in Derby.
This is the second beer that I’ve studied from this brewery, if you would like to check out my Ay Up review post just click here!
After the 1st anniversary, Dancing Duck Brewery decided to launch there next set of beers and Dark Drake was one of those, and this started the life for this particular beer that became dominant in terms of awards over the course of ten years.
Furthermore, it is jointly joined by Ay Up being the flagship beer for the brewery and one that is certainly popular and enjoyed very much by the brewery’s regulars.
Due to Dark Drake making its name for the brewery, the team at Dancing Duck decided to adapt there Dark Drake and create an even stronger oatmeal stout, Imperial Dark Drake (6.5% ABV)! I actually remember about 5 years ago, I attended an enormous beer festival in Nottingham and actually sampled Imperial Dark Drake for the first time and it was absolutely beautiful.
Just to put it into context, the total amount of awards that Dark Drake has won is twenty-six and in my mind, that number will continue to rise as the years move on. The real question is why is this beer so dominant and the answer to that question is so simple, it’s down to the four characteristics of a beer, appearance, aroma, flavour and after-taste. Clearly, Dark Drake is unbeatable, it reminds me of Titanic’s Plum Porter which is also a popular award-winning beer.
In 2015, Dark Drake was awarded CAMRA Gold Champion Beers of Britain within the porters and stouts category, this is overall the top award that can be given to a beer in this instance, this labels the Dark Drake as being the best stout in Britain! I have to admit I think it’s phenomenal that this beer has been awarded so many times and it just makes me think that this is the beginning for this beer, I expect this beer to pick up more awards as the years roll by.
A full-bodied stout that has delicious malty, caramel and liquorice flavours that combine together to deliver a smooth and drinkable oatmeal stout. The ending is sweet with roasted coffee and toffee pouring onto the palate! This beer is ultimately moreish and has a luxurious creamy texture.
The first time I sampled Dark Drake was around five years ago in one of the gastropubs in my hometown, The Crossing to be precise! Now thinking about it, this is the only pub in Burton that actually stocks this beer so I was relatively lucky that I managed to sample it when I first turned 18.
One thing I know for sure about myself is that I am such a beer hoarder, I’ve had this very bottle of Dark Drake now for over six months, I’ve just never got round to sampling it, until now! In fairness, when I buy bottles of beer I like to leave them for a certain amount of time before opening them, I just think they taste so much nicer, whether that’s true I don’t know, but I think it is!
It’s the same for Whisky as well, I open up some of my bottles and I just leave them for months before I decide to sample them again, anyway before I start boring you all with my beer hoarding tips, I am now going to move on to the beer review.
Say hello to the Dancing Duck!
Firstly, you are pleasantly welcomed by some amazing aromas, such as lingering amounts of coffee, toffee and roasted malt, which was absolutely beautiful, however, the taste was perfect! If you are a keen lover of chocolate then this is certainly the beer for you.
The chocolate malty flavours just felt like heaven, it was very sweet and gorgeous, I was really enjoying this outstanding stout. It’s certainly one of the most amazing stouts I’ve ever sampled in a long time, not just because of how well it tasted, but just the overall style of the beer, it was brilliant, the creamy mouthfeel texture just made this beer extra special.
I would certainly suggest this beer to you all, I highly recommend it and if you are interested in where this can be purchased from, I would suggest the best place is around Derbyshire the beers home turf and also The Beer Boutique at The National Brewery Centre, however, this shop is currently closed at this moment in time due to COVID-19!
If you are wanting to sample this beer in cask form, I recommend The Crossing in Burton Upon Trent, this modernised gastropub actually serves Dark Drake and each time I’ve sampled it, it’s been absolutely amazing each time!
I really hope you’ve enjoyed this post, if you have any questions on this particular beer, or if you have any beer requests, please do send them to my email on my website!