2009 Birra Artigianale Draco (5 year aged) by Birrificio Montegioco

10583940_10102017681926210_657510507677618174_n 10609527_10102017682530000_5964678051733629388_nRating: 6/5

2009 Birra Artigianale Draco (5 year aged) by Birrificio Montegioco is an 11% ABV Beertilla/Mirtilla/ Italian Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed with Blueberries.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Draco has a dark red color and a persistent head. It is full bodied and has a moderate level of carbonation. The nose shows a great complexity with aromas of honey, caramel and forest fruits. The hops brings out pepper and plum. The initial taste confirms the nose with notes of caramel and initial sweetness. The finish is a fine balance of hops and bitter notes. Draco is produced using a mix of select malts. The beer is fermented three times. During the second fermentation the blueberries are added along with the yeast and malt sugar. The alcoholic content obtained from the fermentation of the malt is of 8.5% by volume, while the final one is 11% by volume.
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A tribute review to an old favorite which was brewed in 2009 and kept hidden in the dungeon of Nubisanctum never to see the light of day until now. Draco has awaken and wants revenge on my palate. This was the first beer I have tried from Italy back in 2011 which had a really awesome dragon label. The fact that the beer had blueberries and a Belgian Strong Dark Ale was enough for me to definitely go out of my way to find it. I had bought 2 bottles back in 2011 and decided to keep one hidden. Back then I did not know the beer had already been 2 years old but at that time it was damn good. Trying it again 5 years later is what is definitely worth the wait in gold. If you can somehow find this amazing bottle, that would be awesome as I am not sure if this is still brewed anymore. Good Luck and Cheers!…or at least I will need it to tame this beast!

Aromas:
Rich Dulce de leche caramel covered blueberry muffin, dark fruit raisins, plum, raspberry, dark cherries, figs, raisin bread pudding, flan, bananas, clove spice, bourbon, vanilla, marshmallow, port wine, pecan pie, hazelnut, crème brulee, toffee, rye bread, stone fruit peaches, apricots, apples, peppercorn, rock candy, dark candi sugar, blueberry cheesecake, blueberry yogurt, wine grapes, tart currants, brown sugar, sour apples and honey.

Flavors:
Rich dulce de leche caramel, blueberry muffin, blueberry cheesecake, caramel sour apple, Danish cream, dark fruit raisins, tart currant skins, plums, raspberries, figs, raisin bread pudding, notes of bourbon, marshmallow, chocolate hints, graham crackers, brown sugar, flan, bananas, pecan pie, clove spice, port wine, peppercorn, toffee, rye bread, rock candy, dark candi sugar, biscuit bread, honey comb, hazelnut, wine grapes, honey, stone fruit peaches, apricots, dragon fruit, dark cherry yogurt, matured apples and dried blackberries.

Aftertaste:
Blueberries, pecan pie, caramel, earthy notes, rye bread, bananas and vanilla linger. No alcohol in the taste. Sipping yet smooth drinkability, Dark gold and amber full body, mildly syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall:
Aged has done this old reliable some great justice. Reminding me a lot of Trois Pistoles if Trois Pistoles had gone Gold and amber. The beer has become more smooth than the last time I remember it and a lot more dark fruit forward as well but creating a greater complexity of flavors as well. It is more dangerous as well since you need to take your time with it. This elusive beer is one that was rare top favorite of my and still holds its place as on of the best despite what other reviewers say. I think the problem is that not many people have tried this beer to get to really know it. Specially if they can find a vintage one like this one. Highly recommended for sure! Just like I mentioned in my original review:

“Dragons are legendary, stories of fairy tale, but trust me they do exist and the magic brew they make is friggin’ awesome!! If you ever spot one like this…take it…it really is a nice magic potion….”

Anime Corner:
Freya Crescent from Final Fantasy IX was used in this pairing as the last since I wanted to pair what goes great with Dragons and in this case, Dragoons. Freya is a lone Dragooness having to do many deeds for her kingdom harvesting the power of the dragons. Her story is a sad one but she lives to reclaim herself in a world with turmoil and has many friends to help her. While Freya herself is on an anthropomorphic rat and not a dragon per say, she fairs well with the dragons as awesome creatures of legend and lore. Or at least in the sense of final fantasy. She not only pairs well with the beer herself in terms of the colors of the label, the flavors being ingredients and their colors but also a rarity that is much more beautiful skin deep and aged than when the original beer came out. Freya is one of my favorite Dragooness’s, Lady of the Dragons!

Sources:
http://blog-imgs-27.fc2.com/s/i/z/sizurueuphoric/freija1.jpg
http://www.zerochan.net/full/928329

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