Dragonhead Stout | Orkney Brewery

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Dragonhead StoutDragonhead Stout
Very Good
303 Ratings
Dragonhead StoutDragonhead Stout

Brewed by:
Orkney Brewery
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: English Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by xlperro on 09-01-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 303 |  Reviews: 189
Photo of firkingroovin
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WynnO
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Macamah
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L-The beer pours black and glossy. The head is a tan two fingers of thick foam that looks like the surface of your hot chocolate on a cold winter day. The head recedes to a thick film leaving light lacing behind.
S-The nose is dark chocolate with a bit of mustiness. Hints of light coffee and smokiness underly the chocolate.
T-Smokiness is more prevalent on the palate than in the nose. Dark chocolate and coffee blend together well. The smokiness outlasts these elements and linger on the tongue.
F- Mouthfeel overall is medium. Carbonation is restrained.
O- A decent low abv stout option. This will appeal more to those fans of smokier beers than it does myself. Worth a shot.

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Photo of cwkash
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheEpeeist
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of _nickg_
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Smakawhat
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Deep dark rich burnt walnut dark brown to black body color. Touches of mahogany red, with an almost creamy nitrous head that's a good mocha brown, two fingers tall, with a shallow settling puck. Some lacing, touches of some light and clarity coming below the heads edge, but a real impressive nice looking stout.

Aroma is gold dust. Thick malted qualities, slightly fruity almost jammy ester, but a malt angle that pushes wood and teak like qualities to the hilt. Cedar and balsam like sweetness, with an incredible smokey quality of fireplace like embers. Giant smoked and burnt wood like quality, flirts with molasses just a touch but stays away from sweetness. Just wonderful.

Palate with the 4% abv displayed does give to notions unlike the nose and appearance suggest. A large and inviting aroma, is toned down by a much more session-able quality. Light bodied and thus more subdued flavors. Palate hits with ashen and smoke qualities, as to more hinting rich and meatier suggestions than the aroma suggests. Tannic but also some smokey berry ester quality just peaking out of this brew. Leaves a bit of cigarette like cheap ash feel though on the finish.

I realize this is lighter stout, but the aromas quality feels like it cheats me. I mean can we get this up to 5% even with more body? I could so rock this if it could.

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Photo of BlueShepard19
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of akopczyk
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Radome
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 ml bottle.

L - Extremely dark brown color that seems opaque in glass, but showed as clear with ruby highlights when being poured. Head is light brown, thick and creamy.

S - Strong, dark malt aromas of brown sugar, chocolate, espresso and light smoke. Bitter note in the finish that seems to be a mix of acrid smoke and earthy, woody hops.

T - Flavor start out as a conventional stout with strong coffee and chocolate-milk notes. These are followed by a strong, bitter shot of campfire smoke mixed with earthy hops.

F - Thinnish body. Low carbonation, as expected for style. No alcohol presence. Moderate bitterness may have contributors from more than hops, such as roasted barley or other grains.

O - An interesting stout with nice chocolate and coffee notes along with strong smoke and roasted barley.

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Photo of Dalv
3.24/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of TonyLema1
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L; black in color, with a nice, lacing tan head
S: roasty malts, and that British smell
T: definitely coffee and roasted malts
F: a little more watery than I thought, slightly bitter finish
O: nothing special

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Photo of papposilenus
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From the 500ml bottle. There's a code stamped on the neck but, if it signifies a bottling date, I am unable to decipher it. Served cool in a tulip.

Pours a fiercely carbonated caramely-black with no evident highlights and a small rocky head. Looks and acts pretty much like Coca Cola.

Faint smell of brown sugar and mocha java - admittedly, the drink is still cool; there may have been more nose had I had the patience to let it warm up a bit.

Semisweet tipping toward dry, brown sugar and raisins, mocha java, smoky malts, vegetal. Finishes with dusty cocoa, charred grain and a little saccharine tackiness.

Feel is light-bodied and slippery like talcum.

Overall, a lot of flavour for the relatively slight abv. I'm glad I had it but I don't know that I'd put it in the regular rotation. It would be a good beer if, I don't know, for some reason I had to drink a lot of stout and then operate heavy machinery?

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Photo of SmashPants
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: looks like a perfect Pommy stout - almost jet black with touches of amber around the edges. Frothing beige tan head pops on top and lasts the distance. Looks good.

Aroma: fairly strong on the nose for a mid-strength stout. Sweet toffee, plenty of roasted malts and a touch of something sweet-savoury that I can't put my finger on (update: thanks @metter98 - it's licorice!!)

Taste: I can't fault the flavour profile here, it's just a bit light for me - though I do like my beers strong in flavour. The roasted malts and toffees are evident, but the licorice unfortunately doesn't make an appearance.

Aftertaste: the malts back off, and the sweetness is a bit cloying. Still pleasant enough though, but I don't think I would call it a sessional.

Mouth feel: a bit on the light side for a stout. This one would be easy enough to throw down but for the sickly sweet on the finish.

Overall: yeah pretty decent for an English boutique - it's definitely one for every now and then. An equivalent case of 24 x 330mL would equate to AU$140, so it is in the upper end of pricing. Can blame the Aussie government's gouging for that though - I'll risk a bottle every now and then.

 1,187 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Dragonhead Stout from Orkney was very good.....a nice sessionable stout....a la Guinness. The beer poured an opaque black with no head and no lace. The scent had roast. The taste was mostly roast with hints of earth. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it is a perfect stout to go with pizza.

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark, almost black colour. Initial fluff of big cappuccino head shrinks to almost nothing very quickly, but does leave some lacing. Swirling it in the glass it looks--texturally speaking--rather thin. Such is the 4% ABV, I suppose.

Smells like a mix of liquid smoke, bacon fat, and milk chocolate. Slight milky creaminess. Lots of roasted malt, toasted malt and is that some crystal malt, too? Huge, huge hit of licorice.

Taste is licorice, an initial sweet hit, followed by a boat load of bitter roasted malt, coffee beans, and bitter chocolate. Slight green, vegetal hopping--herbal flavours here. As it warms, you get a bit more sweet chocolate notes, at least at the front of the taste. Definite fatty, smoky character. Makes me think of Highland Park whisky, actually. The body is rather thin, and the carbonation a bit aggressive.

All told, an interesting and respectable beer, but not one that's setting the world on fire. Too thin, and could use a bit more balance in the taste.

 1,002 characters

Photo of Miccal
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mwckiltedsavage
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of mytu420
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of hophugger
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Honeybourne
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of drmeto
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

-pours the darkest of brown with no light coming through and a big,frothy,khaki head
-grainy,milk chocolate,coffee,mocha,smoke,molasses,nutty
-coffee,grainy,smoky,bitter chocolate,slightly toasty
-medium carbonation (overcarbonated)
-light to medium body
A little alcohol sweetness wouldve really helped here.
Solid overall.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep black color with a very thin off-white head that keeps a nice lacing for a long time. Aroma is roasted malts, notes of coffee, dark fruits and slightly chocolate. Flavor is like aroma with a little bit more hoppy notes. Low carbonation and medium body with roasted malt finish.

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Dragonhead Stout from Orkney Brewery
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 303 ratings