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Dragonhead Stout - Orkney Brewery

Not Rated.
Dragonhead StoutDragonhead Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

268 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 268
Reviews: 176
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 20
Gots: 10 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 268 | Reviews: 176 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheMistler
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very dark brown brew, opaque. Lots of tan head, may fingers' width, displaying very good retention. Also nice lacing, somewhere between drapery and solid wall.

Sweeter chocolate to the aroma as you pour, with the roasted notes becoming more noticeable as the beer settles. The hops noted on bottle (I do appreciate the "On the Nose" and "On the Palate" notes featured on Orkney bottles) are indeed there, not un-spicy, crisping things up a bit.

A light dusting of cocoa powder. Roasted graininess, with the hops evidencing themselves with a slight grassiness. A rather "sharp" taste, if you will, also with a smokey tang that increases with each sip. Although it finishes dry, it is nonetheless refreshing. Not the most full of palates, but nice.

Light bodied, nicely carbonated - if it didn't display such an impressive head, I'm fairly convinced the CO2 would've been too much. Very quaffable - if it were more available, this would have a chance at becoming my stand-by session stout.

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

gotta love that bottle. cool label plus heaps of info on the beer on the back.

seriously dark with a thick dark tan head. the head settles but continues to leave good lacing down the sides of the glass.

aroma is full of coffee (beans) and chocolate. lightly sweet malts. great stout smells all around.

smooth. more coffee and roast malt. some astringency from the roast maybe? this is quite light at only 4% and the color so dark that maybe the roast flavor comes across a bit heavier. anyway, thats a minor complaint. this is still quite a nice beer and incredibly full flavored. not bitter (from hops anyway) but still not too sweet.

great mouthfeel. just the right amount of body to make it a light abv sipper. maybe drops the drinkability a bit, but certainly something i would not mind drinking again.

Photo of thekanna
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken at the Brickskeller in Washington, D.C.

A: Pitch black with a thin, coffee colored head.

S: Strong smokiness, like being bathed in a cigar room or a smokehouse, with some slight lingering malty sweetness.

T: Extremely smoky and dark. A bit one-dimensional otherwise.

M: Too think with not enough thickness or kick to underscore the flavor.

D: A decent session brew, but not much else. Make mine stronger, please.

Photo of mapofthedead
3.17/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a nice deep black with a small off-white head which disappeared very quickly.

S: I got chocolate and coffee from this, nothing too overstated but there.

T: A nice rich chocolate note with some coffee.

M: Watery with a little fizz.

D: Alright, nothing special.

Notes: 500 ml bottle poured into an Imperial Pint Glass. BBE JUN 09.

Photo of tmoneyba
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured black color with a large light brown head that diminished slowly with good lacing.

Moderate roasted malt aroma.

Medium body with a smooth texture.

Moderate roasted balanced flavor with a smooth bitter sweet finish of moderate duration.

Solid drinkable brew and very good for style.

Photo of jimsimply
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 500ml bottle into a pint glass. Rich, black color, admits no light even with light behind. The head is big, three fingers high, and remains for some time. When it subsides, the lacing is prominent along the glass's sides. There's plenty of smoky malt aroma, some English chocolate (less sweet than American) smells, and something spicy almost vinegary. The coffee taste is certainly there, something dark and robust. The hop flavor hangs around after, and it rounds out a mouth feel that fills my mouth and engulfs my tongue.

Drinkable, sure. I could drink only this for a session. A good stout that stands up to most.

Photo of Proteus93
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I never drink enough English brews, it seems. This was picked up to try out the style, and with the Skull Splitter being enjoyable, I have high hopes for this one.

A: Opaque black with a nice, frothy head like a roasted marshmallow. Retention is excellent as it slowly recedes, leaving a lace film over the sides of the glass.

S: Roasted malts offering scents of lighter chocolate and sweetened coffee. There's a little bit of a salty note to it. Warm but mellow... quite nice.

T + M: Flavours are quite similar to the aroma, with the graininess of the malt roast having a bit more of a cereal taste to it. The coffee notes are still there, while the chocolate is quite light. There's also a hint of some light burning... or perhaps just heavily roasted. A rather soft flavour, with a bit of that smoky aftertaste being a highlight. Body is also a little light. Not thin, exactly, but not thick or particularly creamy. Speaking of sweetened coffee, the feel would appropriately be that of an iced coffee.

D: Of course, being a softer alcohol content makes it very easy to take back, but it does have a nice quality of having a few different flavours and moments in which each of those shine, so it's nice to sip away and think about. A decent brew... Orkney did not disappoint with this one.

Photo of BobbyBeerman
4.82/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep dark brown/black - no light penetrates it. Dark beige head that faded quickly leaving not much lacing.

S: Robust nose: chocolate and coffee notes.

T: Well balanced yet powerfully flavored shout in a 4.0% ABV. Chocolate/coffee flavor have a nice malt start with smoky finish.

M: Medium body with a smooth mouth feel and balanced carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. I would drink another but limit it to one per session.

Photo of ralree
2.8/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Deep black with a tan head. Head is small and dissipates quick, but laces decently.

S: Very sweet and malty, dark fruit, yeast, roasted and toasty.

T: Roasted malt isn't as sweet as I thought it might be. Seems pretty watery to me - all the flavors seem weaker than they should be. Coffee is in the background in addition to the flavors in the smell. Sadly, this is pretty undrinkable.

M: Non-astringent, watery, carbonation is lower than it should be.

D: Smelled and looked good, but it's completely undrinkable. It's undercarbonated and tastes bad.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Authentic Orcadian stout.

A: Poured a dark, opaque cola color with a dark beige head that was moderately lasting.

S: On the nose was a rich and very dark roasted malt aroma with some fresh dark coffee beans and some smokey bitter chocolate. There was a slight spiciness from the hops as well coming through.

T: The initial flavor was dark, bitter roasted malt with some bitter black coffee. There was some burnt woody notes, dark licorice, and anise as well. There was a slight roasted burnt coffee lacing on the tongue upon warming. There was a slight acidic nature with some bitter hopping that really stood out. Overall a really dark, rich roasted malt bill with heavy notes of bitter chocolate and coffee and black patent malting.

M: surprisingly light with a slight creaminess to it, but was very rich and dark flavor wise.

D: A creamy, smooth, and rich dark roasted flavor in a modest 4.0% packaging.

Photo of mcsquint
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle purchased at Gomer's in Lee's Summit into a large dimpled mug.
A - Opaque black in color with creamy, dark tan head. Head dissipates a bit quickly leaving nice lacing.
S - Rich chocolate malt aroma with dark roasted coffee notes.
T - Tastes of rich chocolate malt with notes of coffee on the finish.
M - Full mouthfeel. Perfectly carbonated.
D - This is an excellent version of a dry stout produced by a small brewery. While the cost, $5.00ottle, might limit drinking several, it's certainly worth saving up for!

Photo of Brad007
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch-black color with a thick brown head. Looks about right.

Aroma is rich and creamy with roasted coffee and chocolate notes in the nose.

Taste is full of roasted coffee, creaminess and chocolate. Seems smooth and drinkable.

Mouthfeel is creaminess followed by roasted coffee. Feels just a wee bit thin at the back of the throat but otherwise, a very nice example.

At 4%, this is a highly drinkable English Stout. It has all the classic hallmarks of the style. I wonder if it would taste even better on tap or even from a draught-style can? If you love stouts, this is a good choice.

Photo of ReadyFireAim
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It always gives me a giddy feeling when I see the creamy, chocolate-hued heads form on my stouts. This one had a great toffee-colored topper that faded into a smooth-looking halo throughout the entire drink. On the nose it's pretty bitter/astringent (and I kinda pick up hints of molasses and a *slight* vinegar tinge), a bit nutty, with a decent amount of spice. Taste is definitely chocolate - and bitter, too. There are some closing notes of fruit, and it's just a bit sticky on the finish. There's a little spice from the Goldings on there, but it's not overly bitter for its style.

I could definitely see myself making this a session beer, especially since it's only about 4% ABV. I'd love to try this barrel-aged, man.

I love the artwork on their bottle for this brew. Vikings rule(d).

Photo of champ103
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nearly pitch black color. A large tan head forms and gently recedes. Rings of sticky lace are left behind.
S: Dominated by coffee and a bit of coco. Plenty of roasted malt. A large burnt wood and acidic aroma detracts a bit.
T: Roasted malt right off the bat. Again, a large coffee and espresso taste. Chocolate and coco powder. A harsh burnt wood flavor sticks around, but the acidic character seems to have gone away.
M/D: A medium body that is creamy and well carbonated for my tastes. This is a low ABV stout, and very easy to drink.

This is a nice stout to enjoy. Not my favorite stout, but still pretty damn good. I could see myself quaffing a few of these at a nice pub.

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured an almost pitch black body with a tan head that was two-finger head but receeded quickly. A thick, heavy roasted malt smell is prevelant with coffee, toffee and roasted malts along with some citric (and maybe sour apples) notes in the background. A creamy, thin to medium bodied brew that has a sweet malt taste with a dry backbite that seems to contain coffee malts and some sweet and smoky malt aftertaste (something like tobacco or weeds). This is a quality beer that I could session.

Photo of EagleTalon
2.48/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours to dark tan head with lacing and deep brown-black color. Aroma is a pleasant scent of roasted barley and malt. Flavor is not so much roasty as burnt and dry. Thin, no other flavors stand out. Reminds me of a burnt breakfast (toast and bacon) or burnt chicken--disappointing. Mouthfeel is thin, rough and chalky. Not a pleasant stout except for the look and smell.

Judging from other reviews, I either have a bad bottle or it caught me on a bad day for tasting stouts.

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a creamy tan head that leaves some lacing.

The smell is of baker's chocolate, toffee, some smokey notes and an earthy, somewhat woosy, fruity spiciness.

The taste is of smoke, chocolate and coffee. There are toasty and nutty undertones. Maltiness balanced by roast and an earthy bitterness in the finish.

It has a smooth medium body.

Nicely balanced, an enjoyable, mild, easy drinking stout.

Photo of CHADMC3
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gorgeous beer pouring an oil slick black with an abundant, yet firm tan head with generous carbonation bubbles subsiding to a friendly consistent lacing which lasts throughout the beer.

Abundant chocolate and coffee malt with faint spice and somewhat roasty.

Taste again consists of chocolate and coffee, but much smokier than the aroma suggested, yet still delicious.

Pleasantly smokey even on the palate, medium to almost light in body, and mild carbonation.

Altogether, this was a winner. One I will definitely revisit offering easy drinkability and a nice variety of flavors to seek.

Photo of lackenhauser
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Jet black with a pale, coffee colored head. Nice, low roasted aroma. Somewhat burnt and resiny. Good dose of roasted malt flavor without being harsh. Toasted malt and oats. Just a hint of bitterness with a mild lingering sweetness. Great body-not too thin and leaves a slick finish on the tongue. Hard to believe the low abv. A great all around beer. I love a dark beer with this much flavor and a low abv. I could do this all night. Really exceptional. Might replace Dark Island as my favorite Orkney brew.

Photo of EStreet20
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 pint .9 Fl. Oz. bottle poured into a 20 ounce nonic.

A - A nice looking black stout. About a finger of head the color of cola fizz fills out the top of the nonic pint.

S - Some coffe/chocolate notes with a roasted character. Not a huge strong aroma, but what is there is very inviting and pleasant.

T - A nice flavor. Some chocolate comes through more than one would expect after the aroma. The smokiness is there, not huse, but there.

M - A little short on body. If this was either just a tad thicker or maybe even more carbonation it would score higher. Just a bit thin overall.

D - Nice flavor. Obviously a nice session stout with good flavor at 4% ABV. Just needs a tiny bit more body as noted above, which makes the drinkablility suffer a little.

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 Avryle
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Wonderdful appearance. Pours black with a sizeable one-finger head of dark tan head.

S- Dark roasted malts. Bittersweet chocolate. Tangy-bitter hops.

T- Heavy on the roasted malts. Very nutty as well. Strong bitter chocolate notes in the middle. The chocolate and light hints of coffee really start to come out as it warms

M- Medium to full bodied. Pretty low carbonation

D- A nice british stout with a bit more flavor kick. Will likely pick up more in the future

Photo of avalon07
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: When poured from a bottle to a mug, had a black as night color and an equally thick consistency. There was a quarter inch head that stuck around for awhile, as well as some nice lacing.

S: Rich aroma of coffee, roasted malt, chocolate and a small amount of hops.

T: You get pretty much what I described in the smell section. To certain degree, I think the coffee component was slightly overdone. Otherwise, this has a decent flavor.

M: This could have used a bit more carbonation - not that it was lacking altogether. Very dry finish.

D: This is a pretty drinkable beer. Like all stouts, it's heavy, not something I can drink a lot of.

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 brendan13
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint glass pitch black with a 1.5cm beige/lightbrown head that slowly falls away.
S - Chocolate, coffee, some burnt bitterness. Some dark fruit esters & floral hops also come through.
T - Over ripe fruitiness backed up by the chocolate & coffee roastiness that was also evident in the smell.
M - Medium to full bodied, fairly low carbonation.
D - A very nice beer indeed. A stout that I would drink on a fairly regular basis if it were a bit cheaper.

Dragonhead Stout from Orkney Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 268 ratings.