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Dragonhead Stout - Orkney Brewery

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Dragonhead StoutDragonhead Stout

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very good

275 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 275
Reviews: 177
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.95%
Wants: 21
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Stout |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 09-01-2002

Dragonhead is a legendary stout: dark, intense and fully-flavoured it is our tribute to the Vikings and their cultural legacy in Orkney. On the nose, this black stout has a smooth roasted malt aroma giving bitter chocolate, dark roasted coffee and smoky notes balanced by hints of spicy Goldings Hops. On the palate, the dark roasted malts combine to give a rich, rounded palate of chocolate, toast and nut, with a satisfying spicy hop finish.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 275 | Reviews: 177
Reviews by RblWthACoz:
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black. Tan head. A big head at that. Nose is really nice chocolate tones. Smooth and consistent. Really good fragrance. Flavor is more bitter, but consistent. The chocolate may be on the nose, but it certainly isn't on the flavor profile. The bitter smoothes out over time. Feel is nice and thick on the liquid. Good carbonation too. Drinkable, yes. Well made, just doesn't have any crazy flavor characteristics, but who needs it.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep amber with a slightly off white creamy head that leaves a good amount of lace,aroma is light for a stout but appetizing I pick up some roasted malt and a touch of nuttiness.taste as well is on the mellow side but is very appetizing some unsweetened chocolate and roasted malt with alingering earthy finish.A big time quaffing stout mellow and easy to drink with some flavor,a tad thin but well done from Orkney.

Photo of cam477
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Zakk
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a decent, solid stout from Scotland. It reminds me a lot of something Young's would make, just not as good, and with a lower alcohol content.

There's great coffee (and maybe some chocolate, too) tones in this beer. Very lush and smooth, but still with proper carbonation (in other words: not like Guinness. That's a good thing). I find the (relatively) low alcohol level a bit strange and find myself wondering how/why this happened.

Dragonhead Stout is worth a try at least once, but as it is an import, it's a little pricey, and there are plenty of other stouts equal or better to this one that you could also get for a much better price.

Photo of sponberg
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep opaque brown with a big light brown head. Plenty of malt, a little roastiness, and some treacle in the aroma.

Interesting. I get heavily toasted bread, dark fruit, maybe some toffee, and a molasses-like flavor that I can't quite put my finger on - I even had my wife (a non-beer-drinker) sniff it to see if she could place the aroma/taste, but she could'nt place it either. The brew has a seriously well-rounded maltiness. There is some roast coffee/chocolate flavor as well, but it hides behind the rounder, sweeter malt aspects until the brew warms a bit. Almost tastes like a cross between a milk stout and a dark mild. Decent chewiness for a 4% brew. One of the more interesting stouts I've tried recently - worth getting a few more bottles to figure it out some more.

Photo of grynder33
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured black as night, with a lovely one inch chocolate soda head, interesting initial nose, sort of mochaish, the first taste however followed up on none of that. thre was a lingering roasted taste that lingered till the end, but all in all it could be classified a light stout.

Photo of shapudding
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

No dating. Deep and dark, almost black.... can only see a twinge of ruby if you hold it to the light. Nice amount of head settled down to a thin khaki layer of creaminess that you can catch glimpes of dark through. Dark roasted malt scents, chocolate and sasafrass.... tobacco as it warms. I was surprised with the bitey carbination, but it still feels pretty good, just a bit shocking. Medium bodies. Nice roasty flavors with chocolate and coffee blended in. Goes down very smooth and easy, nicely drinkable.

Photo of psycherex
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Poured dark and thick with a firm tan head that was slow to settle.

S-A wonderful rich aroma of dark chocolate and coffee with a slight nuttiness.

T-Rich taste that was not overly sweet or bitter complimenting its smell.

M-Smooth and slightly creamy, yet not to thick.

D-A good slow drinking beer. Easy to enjoy

Photo of niknar
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a deep, dark, completely opaque black color with a small almond colored head that quickly disappeared. Leaves a little lacing on the glass, but not much. The aroma has strong coffee notes as well as some expressions of chocolate and caramel. Overall a very pleasant smell. Taste is also strongly suggestive of coffee and sweet, dark malts. Slightly over carbonated and thusly a little thin for a stout. Mouthfeel suffers slightly, but not enough to make this one a loser. Overall, a very tasty brew that brings a slightly different interpretation of the stout style. Not the best on the shelf, but definitely worth a try.

Photo of Dizzy
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown/black with garnet highlights and a creamy light tan head. Smell is coffee, chocolate and lots of sweetness. Taste is dominated by roasted malts. Medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. This is a great one, wish it was more widely availabe as this would make a great session beer with plenty of flavor, body and a low alcohol content.

Photo of ADR
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Opaque brown, little light comes through, mousse-like dark tan head of good retention. Laces in thick smears. Aroma is sweet, light caramel with just a hint of a sparse roast. Mouthfeel is lightish, more carbonation than some. Starts slowly and agreeable, chocolatey with some oily bitterness, then the profile thins pretty dramatically, leaving a slightly unsatisfying impression. Finishes with the coffee and carbonation intact but without a lot of meat left to the mouthfeel or malt impact. Fairly drinkable, light in alcohol, too thin for my expectations.

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

ST: Pint bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Dark, black, with a thick brown head.

S: Not a strong smell, but, there are some coffee notes, smoke, sugar and malt.

T: Fruity with some sugar and coffee.

M: Very light actually, lighter than I thought it would be.

D: For a stout, because it is light, it can be consumed rather easily.

Overall: Pretty good stout, not intense or heavy, but nice and fruity with some good smoke.

Photo of DarrellK
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Schlafly33
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of SetarconeX
4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What a nice little brew. Surprisingly dark. In fact, it's probably the darkest beer I've seen in recent memory. A real black hole of a stout. Lovely brown lacing around the top that hangs around for a good amount of time.

Tastes just the way a stout should, and then just a little bit. Weighty and quite toasty, with a good clean finish. Perhaps nothing too unusual, but certainly a fine example of this beer's style.

Oh, and despite not being allowed in as a scoring factor, the bottle is one of the coolest looking I've ever seen. Drink this one if you can find it.

Photo of mrbigpappa
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Harrison831
1/5  rDev -74%

Photo of biboergosum
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. What is it about the Orkney islands that is so appealing to me, at least on an intoxicating beverage level?

This beer pours a deep abyss of blackness, until upon further inspection an ethereal reddish cola highlight presents itself to break up the overall bleak monotony, with two fingers of rocky, tightly foamy beige head, which leaves broad, brash swaths of storm center-worthy lace around the glass as it gently ebbs away.

It smells chiefly of dry chocolate malt, mild day-old coffee, some soft just-expired milkiness, and musty, leafy hops. The taste is somewhat tart dark fruit, middling baker's chocolate, some soft pale graininess, a weird lactic sourness, stale coffee, and earthy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is present, and gently simmers as things progress, the body on the lee side of medium weight, and generally smooth, but with a growing clammy character. It finishes off-dry, the bittersweet chocolate rather tempered by that edgy dark fruit sourness, some lingering milkiness, and over-matched leafy hoppiness.

This looks quite good at first glance, but the eventual strange fruitiness, in all its underwhelming sideshowiness, kind of mars an otherwise decent stout, what with its inherent chocolate tendencies. Oh well - I guess that this is just one of those 'easier to drink than analyze' offerings. Hey, it happens.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orkney- Dragonhead Stout

A- Dark flat blac with a small creamy tan head.
S- Strong hints of charcoal, mocha coffee, and smoked wood chips.
T- Mild chocolate, smokey malt, light roasted coffee beans, and creamy caramel all evenly blended.
M- Creamy yet smokey feeling. Finishes of smooth and flavorful.

Overall- An easy sipping Stout. Smooth and enjoyable.

Photo of tastybeer
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thick black and red with a slight purple cream head that reforms a 1/4 inch each time you swirl. MIlkshake like head. Aroma is loaded with caramal toffee, roasted nuts and a robust dark fruit. Taste begins creamy and then fully roasted chewy dry bitterness. Interesting sequence of tastes for this stout. Medium, slightly thick body, relaxed carbonation. Kind of porter-like but still different. Not bad at all.

A different kind of stout, and definitely worth trying.

Photo of SpruceMoose
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Being an accustomed stout fan, I revelled in the opportunity to try Orkney Brewery's addition to the scene. Although it sports an ABV of only 4% (remarkably low for a stout of its taste and calibre), Dragonhead promises a warm treat on a winter's night with its bold taste and enticing appearance.

Appearance: A mildly aggressive pour leaves a beige-brown head that retains its size for a few minutes. The body is completely black and characteristically opaque, informing the drinker that it is a full-bodied stout.

Smell: Hints of coffee, chocolate, toast and other bitter aromas are instantly noticeable upon the first whiff. The beer's odour is as deep and bold as its taste, not dissimilar to Samuel Smiths stouts.

Taste: A strong and cohesive combination of bitter and smoky flavours is instantly pleasing. An aftertaste of coffee and chocolate flavours remains on the senses long after this beer.

Mouthfeel: Thick and bold yet not overly carbonated. Classic stout mouthfeel, heavier than Guinness yet smoother than other English stouts.

Overall: A brilliant stout that is to be tried by anybody even vaguely interested in darker beer. However, the intensity of its flavours means that such people should perhaps warm themselves up with contemporary stouts such as Guinness or Murphy's before abandoning the sweetness and nitro-carbonation for the rich smokiness and experience of Dragonhead. Another fine brew by the lads at Orkney!

Photo of cokes
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A faux-blackness built from the shadows of burnt orange, topped with a fat, frothy, lumpy, beige cream.
Scented of chocolate, ground coffee, cherries, plums, and mineral whispers.
An ashen roastedness begins things. All grill residue: charcoal and beef burnt black. Eyes of bitter chocolate, plums, and dark breads peep from sheltered corners, but cannot approach to sweeten anything. Dry this will stay. A slap of mineral and wood preceeds a dusty, dried herb hop closure.
On the waifish side through the mouth, with a mild but perky carbonation. Fattened a tad, this might congeal into something truly special. Even as is, this is drinkable in nothing less than gulps, and represents the Dry Stout style very well.

Photo of topgun1911
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Although this is brewed by the wonderful, small Orkney brewery, it pales in comparison to their other brews... although that is partly due to the style itself. The body is typically opaque black, and it's topped by a full and frothy dark tan head that soon drops to a thin surface covering. It does, however, leave some nice lace throughout the glass. The nose expresses some dull fruitiness and minor roastiness which is nice, although there seems to be some minor acetone/solvent-like character as well. The body is typically light with a very nicely creamy mouthfeel from a very fine and moderate carbonation that's intended to replicate their cask-conditioned version. The flavor, again, expresses the typical characteristics of a dry Irish stout with a gently fruity (apple), lightly tangy (low pH) and smoothly roasty malt that's well backed by firm bitterness. It finishes quite dry with a light touch of tart fruitiness and a lingering roastiness. A very straight-forward rendition that's much better direct from the cask than in the bottle.

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Dragonhead Stout from Orkney Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 275 ratings.