Dragonhead Stout | Orkney Brewery

very good
296 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 296 |  Reviews: 187
Photo of ReadyFireAim
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
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).

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Photo of champ103
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of BrewAskew
2.48/5  rDev -35.4%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.48/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

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Photo of EStreet20
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of Avryle
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
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

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Photo of avalon07
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of psycherex
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
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

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Photo of brendan13
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of hefevice
4.39/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black as night, copious tan head, good lacing.
S - Wow - dark malt in the form of chocolate to me, seasoned with a sweet malty background. Had trouble getting my nose out of it.
T - Plenty of it. A Journey - roasted malt, a light smokiness, burnt toast, finishing with a light tang. Pleasant lingering dark malt bitterness. Wonderful!
M - Smooth, light, with low carbonation. Almost perfect.
D - Massive flavour for only 4% ABV. Could quite easily drink this all night. What an excellent stout!

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Photo of JamesS
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a wonderful stout, one of the best I've ever had.

It came to the table with a wonderfully opaque, black look with a tan head (bubbly) and had great lacing. It had an outstanding burnt grain scent, very deep and strong, a great aromatic sensation. There was an excellent burnt grain flavor with great coffee overtones and even an excellent bitterness for a stout. One of the smoothest stouts I've had as well. Outstanding!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of therica
4.63/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

AMAZING stuff. Throw out your Guinness Stout's!

I saw some complaints about high-price per bottle for this, but keep in mind-- it's a HALF-LITER bottle, ie 16.9 ounces, ie "a Pint," unlike the standard 12-ounce beer.

A= like pouring melted licorice-- even the dark-brown foamy head. Gorgeously different.

S= potently exciting. Up-front liquor-odor but not nostril-burning. Chocolate, coffee, licorice, anise/hyssop, very strong scent but inviting rather than offensive.

T= Dark roasted malts, licorice, anise/hyssop, light sweet-water aftertaste (rather than bitterness). All sorts of other intriguing subtilities, including strong black-coffee. Some hoppy bitterness when first poured, which gradually seems to dissipate after setting for not too long, into a nice blend. When it's first poured and there's a slight foam on the head, a few quick sips will taste like a good oldfashioned early/mid 20th-Century Chocolate Phosphate Soda.

M= like I just ate some nutty licorice coffee snacks or something?

D= very drinkable bottle, maybe a few, would love to see how many I could take, on-tap.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into my tumbler a 50 degrees. The beer was black and poured a poor head with no lacing. The taste was nice and was like bacon or smoked meat with a coffee aftertaste that was just about right. I will buy again and I thinkyou should try this product. They are a good brewery.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours pitch black with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both average. It smells like roasted malt, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate, a good malty aroma. It tastes pretty much the same way it smells, however the aroma is stronger than the taste. Also, there's a little bit of citrusy hops noticable in the taste. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium. It's a little bit slick, but it's also a little on the watery side. Carbonation is low which makes this easy to drink, but I prefer my stouts to have more body to them. Overall it's not a bad beer, but there are a lot better stouts out there that I'd rather drink.

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Photo of Vvall
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I loved this !! But alas,at 5 bucks a bottle it is too expensive to drink on a regular basis.It poured black as coal,with not much head or carbonation and smelled divine.The taste was exceptional,and went down nicely.I will treat myself to this again...soon.

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Photo of Bobikel
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearamce - With an aggressive pour two fingers of chocolate milk colored head arose. A slow dissipation left gobs all over the glass.Extremely black, even when held to light.

Smell - Roasty malts, coffee, and unsweetened chocolate. Hints of caramel, Hops? Yeasty esters? Nope. Just roasted goodness.

Taste - A sweet stout, much sweeter than the appearance suggests. The roastiness no longer dominates and is replaced by a slight citrus hopping. The coffee and malts do come through in the end, but not nearly strong enough as compared to the rest of the eperience. To bad...

Mouthfeel - Thin and a little watery with nearly no body to speak of. Carbonaation however is just about spot on leaving a little interest after each swallow.

Drinkability - Easy drinker, just not my cup of tea.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: An opaque, pitch-black beer topped by two fingers of head that dissipates at an average rate, with little lacing.

S: Smoky, roasted malt aroma with a sweetness, combined with a hint of spice and a slightly alcoholic smell.

T: Big roasted maltiness up front, burnt and tasty. Dark chocolate notes, barely detectable hop bitterness, but mostly the roasted character. Ends up finishing rather dry, with a small bit of malt lingering.

M: Not a high level of carbonation, with a slightly watery mouthfeel. Also, some viscosity from the malt presence.

D: A low abv and that quintessential roasted, chocolatey malt profile make for a pretty drinkable stout. Not the most amazing, by any means, but a good offering from Orkney.

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Photo of joepais
3.01/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured jet black and the head quickly subsides to a thin lace .Aromas of milk choclate, rosted malts and some coffee. It was creamy but the body was not as full as I like for a stout .My tastebuds picked up on the chocolate malts ,some what of a burned after taste there is also a lite hoppyness to it as well . I give the bottle high marks for the art work tho definatly one for the colection

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Photo of IPAcraig
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked this beer up in Nashville about a month ago. Poured into my alaskan brewing co. pint glass. Pitch black with a one finger mocha head that held up ok

Has a big aroma of cream. This doesnt say it is a milk stout, but I would bet this beer has some lactose in it. Has a slight smell of chocolate. A wonderful smelling beer, though a touch of roastiness would have been appreciated. Towards the end of the pint I get a hint of banana. Not like in a Hefeweizen, but like smelling a frozen chocolate banana.

Upon the first sip, the roasted coffee taste is present, but light and not overpowering. It is followed by that cream stout flavor that was apparent in the nose. This beer is slightly more malty and sweeter than I would have imagined, but I suppose that is to be expected from a Scottish brewery making an English stout. A bitterness that wasnt present at first shows up near the end of this beer adding great balance. A great tasting session stout. A treat.

An extremely creamy, lightly carbonated mouthfeel is near perfect for this beer.

Perfect drinkability. An excellent beer that I could drink all night and still be able to walk home from the bar ... and it taste excellent too.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz bottle thanks to Josh

Pours black with a small mocha head that recedes. Decent lacing on the glass.

Aroma is roasty with a hint of burnt coffee and dark cocoa.

Nice roasted malt taste upfront with hints of espresso and a light cocoa taste. Mild bitterness midway that lasts through the finish. Lingering roasty flavor.

Thin body, mild carbonation.

Overall, a tasty stout that's easy to drink. The body could stand a slight boost to stand up to the rather robust flavor. Otherwise, it's one that any stout lover should enjoy.

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Dragonhead Stout from Orkney Brewery
3.84 out of 5 based on 296 ratings.
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