Dragonhead Stout - Orkney Brewery

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Dragonhead StoutDragonhead Stout

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very good

181 Reviews
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Reviews: 181
Hads: 285
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 14.84%
Wants: 23
Gots: 14 | 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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 181 | Hads: 285
Photo of homersimpson
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep reddish brown with a tan head.
The nose is all malt, sweet, and simple.
Medium, somewhat watery body.
Very light up front and really malty. Thinner than expected. The payoff comes in the end. The finish is an interesting amalgamation of peat and a bit of coffee that hangs around for a while.

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Photo of oberon
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of edchicma
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A decent stout. Poured almost balck with a nice craemy head. Smeel was predominantly malt and sweet....nothing special. Taste was lightly malty with a light bitter finish. Very smooth in the drinkability category....light feel. Mouthfeel is light with the malt presence introducing itself nicely. Not bad for such a low abv.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

deep. dark color, with crimson highlights, beneath a creamy cocoa-tan head.
Aroma is gentle, yet still roasty, emitting warm notes of chocolate and coffee, rich, bittersweet, with espresso tinges, and fairly uplifting, I like it!
Warm, rich, smooth satisfying mouthfeel. Just drips over the palate, lolls around the tongue, very silky smooth.
Not as thick or full as some stouts, but that's okay, sometimes. Thoroughly pleasing, with an additional toffeeish sweetness, that really brings a smile.
I can't help but like this beer, and I'd advise you to try it, at least. Doesn't rock any worlds, but damned if it doesn't taste good, and that's all I'm caring about right about now.

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Photo of Brent
2.22/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was very let down by this beer. Poured a beautiful rich black with a delayed mocha head. Aroma was smokey malt, and the smokeyness followed in the flavor as a monotone smoked malt. Not dry enough to be enjoyed as a dry Irish, and not rich enough for an English stout - simply lackluster and boring. I tried to find a freshness date to give this the benefit of the doubt, but found none. Orkney continues to underwhelm me, notwithstanding some nice looking bottles.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 500ml, half litre, 1 pint 0.9 fl oz. wide bodied brown glass bottle with a thin neck, as depicted in the BA Database picture. Main obverse, reverse and small neck label. Lots of black and gold form the background to the Viking Longboat picture that punctures the front label. Listed at 4.0% ABV, but I couldn’t find a freshness date as hard as I looked.

Appearance: Extremely dark with a large Cocoa brown head that laces extremely well, lots of beer welts down the Glass as you take down gulps of this quaffable Scottish Stout. Reasonable carbonation but it lacks a little life at times.

Nose: Lots of roasted malts, coffee and a whiff of warm roasted chestnuts.

Taste: Dominated mainly by a silky smooth roasted malt start, dark chocolate, thick liquorice toffee and burnt percolated coffee with some dark fruits. Has a bitter chocolate finish that lingers for quite some time after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Rather average overall. At first you could be forgiven for thinking that this is rather thin, yet concentrate and stick with it and you will come to realize that this is rather a deceptive Stout with a funny delicate chewy aspect.

Drinkability: Brewed for the ‘Gallon-a-Night’ man, this is no Jessie’s Stout when it comes to knocking down the Imperial Pints. I found this to be a highly enjoyable and quaffable Stout – I paired the last half of this bottle with some aged Dubliner Cheddar, they accompanied each other rather well, it must have been the common Celtic blood.

Overall: Bottled British beers remind me of the fancy meals you get in Business Class on most Airlines, they have all the ingredients of greatness – yet somehow they always fail to deliver and just never feel right. It is easy to knock this offering, and I would be the first to admit that this is most certainly not the best beer to come from the Orkney Brewery. But when you remember that it is only a 4.0% ABV Stout brewed for imbibing, when put into that context, this is far from a disappointing brew. I have had the fortune to drink this rare Scottish Stout on Cask several times in the UK, yet from the bottle, it feels a little dumbed down I have to say, and as such, sadly it is not allowed to reveal all of its real “Session” strengths that it exhibits on Cask.

Incredibly sexy when pulled through the Beer Engine, but a rather above average feel from the bottle. Not bad value for $3 in California though, for this is still an expensive beer in the UK, when you can find it that is.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

OK I just love the Orkney Breweries pint bottles..great shape and classy label.With Viking longship prow.
This is a beautiful beer to behold very solid black..with a great coffee and creme coloured head..very attractive.
Smell also is good..very strong hints of chocolate , roasted malts..fresh despite it being all the way here in Oregon.

The taste is rather weird though,,but in a good way..very woody, salty..on top of dark chocolate I wonder if they used the same process for growing the barley Heather Brews used for "Kelpie"?
MOuthfeel while comfortable..ios too thin for a great stout.
Overall a good drinkable stout..nice for the low alcohol.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured black with ruby highlights near the bottom of the glass when held to light. The brown head was large upon pouing and fell back quickly. Aroma is smoky roasted, coffee, and chocolate with a caramel/toffee undertone. Flavor is bone dry and has coffee and chocolate with a dry finish of coffee. The beer has a bit of diacetyl. The body is med-light and the drinkability is good.

Beer came in a 16.9 ounce bottle.

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Photo of JISurfer
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

All 4's for me. This is another great brew from Orkney. I would rate this one up with, maybe even slightly better than, D. Carnegie's Stout. It's appearance was really nice too. It was thick black with a frothy, pillowy head that lasted a little while. The smell was like a typical stout, deep, rich, roasted, and chocolatey. The big thing that seperated it from most stouts was the super chocolatey smell and taste. The taste was similar to the smell, but on a grander scale. It was very warming to drink and left me quenching for more. As far as drinkability, I could drink this great stuff all day at work and night at home. Then again, that could be a bad thing!

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Photo of aracauna
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black, but reddish brown around the edges. The head is probably the darkest I've ever seen for such a weak stout. The brown foam on top of this is what you expect for a 6% or an imperial stout. Instead it's on top of a 4% stout. Quite impressive. I was expecting to be let down, but then I stuck my nose into the glass and the aroma is HUGE. Much fresh coffee aroma. It's kind of like sticking your nose into a bag of coffee. A little chocolate backing it up. The flavor is equally big. A bit sweet, a little smokey, but oh so good. It's a little rich to be a quick drink, but you enjoy every sip. I'm impressed that they packed so much flavor into such a relatively small beer. Kudos to Orkney.

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Photo of Crosling
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The appearance on this Stout was the highlight. Poured a deep opaque brown with a creamy light brown head. Fantastic Head Retention with excellent lacing left behind.

The usual suddle coffee and chocolate flavors but I noticed some molasses and some roastiness or burntness to the malt as well. Very suddle caramel or toffee type flavor. Can't really pick it up though.

Overall, A good stout. Give it a try if you haven't had it.

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Photo of Elemental
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty good color that is extremely dark and thick. It has about an inch of frothy brown head. There is a sweet chocolate oaky aroma to this beer. the flavor was robust. Not to sweet and not to dry with a good balance of malts and bitterness. there are a lot of flavors going on in this beer ranging from a bittersweet chocolate to a roasted flavor. All and all a pretty good stout with a lot going on.

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Photo of SetarconeX
4.46/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

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Photo of grynder33
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

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Photo of marburg
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jet black beer with a frothy, tantilizing head. Aromas of chocolate, maple syrup, and dark (and sweetened) fruits. Taste starts light and creamy and moves to a quick roasted flavor -- almost smoky though not *actually* smoky. It's roasted in the way a marshmellow is roasted. Light coffee tones drop off to a strangely absent finish -- hard to describe, really -- where the flavor really disappears with little significant aftertaste. An easy drinking stout that loses its creaminess quickly -- so it's a bit thin in finish and in body. Nothing spectacular but definitely nice.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From NERAX 2003, this beer had a large following as was evidenced by the long lines formed in front of the tap. Roofing tar in color with a tint of brown when held to light. The rather large bubbles pop and fade quickly leaving a thin trace of lace. A faint aroma of molasses, malt and hops. Semi-dry. The lightly sweet malt balances well with tea-like and mild citrusy hops. Weak coffee and a trace of camphor are detected. A nice stout to swish around and gulp.

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Photo of sponberg
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of Wildman
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very dark amber, almost black color and formed a huge dark tan foamy head that coated the glass with lace as it very slowly subsided. Almost a float like appearance to it. An aroma of malt and burnt chocolate and coffee. A flavor of malt and coffee. A slightly burnt aspect to the finish, but not in a bad way, and a little lighter than I thought it would be.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(No bottled on date) -- Appearance: Pours a opaque black in color, and the head is creamy, sticky, rocky and cardboard in color; good retention. Decent carbonation. On the nose there is a pleasant aroma of dark chocolate, roastiness, and toasted bread. The body is light and mouthfeel is creamy smooth. The flavors consist of rich dark chocolate, dry charcoal, roasted malts, hints of some fruit, slight bitterness, hints of toffee, and a lingering dry roastiness. I enjoyed this brew...a very tasty stout…

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
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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Photo of stcules
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Chocolate, burnt coffee, nuts and dry fruits. Full and round body. iIf you consider the low alcoholic level (4 ABV), this beer has a perfect body, a complet mouthfeel with a freshing flavour. Herbal notes. If you drink one of this beer, you are tempted to drink another one (and you'll do it, if you just have it...), and you'll be an happy man!. Very satisfating.

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Dragonhead Stout from Orkney Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 181 ratings.