Stronghold Session Ale | Dragoon Brewing Co.

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Stronghold Session AleStronghold Session Ale
46 Ratings
Stronghold Session AleStronghold Session Ale

Brewed by:
Dragoon Brewing Co.
Arizona, United States

Style: English Dark Mild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 46 |  Reviews: 14
Photo of Riled-Up94
4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of emptyglassagain
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rgk3
3.67/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of CraftJunkie96
2.03/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: One finger white head, brown body.

Smell: Toasted bread, mild dark chocolate, mild coffee.

Taste: Same as above, but some milk chocolate and mild earthiness.

Feel: Light body, medium carbonation. A slight suggestion of sweetness upfront, mildly dry finish.

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Photo of CLSimps
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper almost cola color, with a thin head that quickly dissipates. The nose is most malt and a little cocoa, and tastes of brown bread, malt and coffee. A little touch of hop bitterness at the end really puts a bow on a brew I really enjoyed. It didn’t look or taste like a session ale as I’m used to (limited exposure of course) which have mostly been of the dry hopped low octane IPA variety. Very good.

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Photo of Phoodcritic
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of TheCrowsEye
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Although the term "session ale" has largely been kidnapped by American craft brewers and strewed to mean a lot of new and different things, the brewers at Dragoon are working to restore the original intent of the phrase with an English-style mild ale with all the malty, hoppy and drinkable charm that's often lacking in craft beer. Well, sorta.

Deep in copper, the ale sure doesn't look like a session anything as its rich appearance shines with a clean and masculine demeanor. A creamy ecru froth separates from the ale underneath and emits a host of toffee, nutty, toasty aromas along with a faint herbal grassiness. Sweet on the palate, the richness of caramel, pecan, toast and biscuit align on the early palate.

As the ale travels onto the middle palate, the sweetness drifts and the hop flavors bring a sense of woodsy, fragrant, herbal and dry grassy taste. Slight of grapefruit and currant, a soft ester profile pulls from the hops with an elegant taste of marmalade, stone fruit and a hint toward fresh sweet tobacco. Broadly bitter on the late palate, the hops work to balance the beer and little more. A bittersweet late palate continues to dry and leaves the palate light and airy.

Medium bodied, it's easy to accredit the beer with higher body and strength due to its complexity and malt influence, but the beer ultimately is crisp, minerally and highly refreshing, living up to its near session promises. Where the Brits decry that any session ale may never extend to 4.8% in alcohol content, this English styled pale ale lingers with a spicy bitterness that slightly outlasts any trailing malt sweetness in a medium length aftertaste.

 1,653 characters

Photo of Korbynlehr
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours like coke with a light brown heard that disperses quickly. The nose is of cocoa, at least a hint of cocoa. The taste is soft, but definitely cocoa and bread. Very good session Ale.

 186 characters

Photo of tucson_brewson
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can poured into an imperial pint glass.

L - Pours a dark, reddish cola brown. A good inch of foamy tan head that dissipates to a thin lacing with good retention. Looks like a nice brown ale.

S - Not strongest on the nose, but a balance of burnt cocoa, coffee, bread, and earthy English hops.

T - A very toasty biscuity malt, freshly-baked bread, light caramel sweetness, dark fruit, with a slightly spiced hoppy finish. I'm a fan of beers that let the bready malt flavors stand out, and this is no exception.

F - Medium bodied, light carbonation, smooth and creamy, slightly dry finish. Very drinkable.

O - This session ale comes across as a lighter English brown ale. A nice balance of caramel malts and complex dry hops. Another great ale from a brewery whose flagship IPA is one of the best and available everywhere. Will definitely try again and hope to see more on tap around town.

 903 characters

Photo of Nat1975
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of superwho24
4.74/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75


5 characters

Photo of WilliamBrasky
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No idea how to rate this beer other than for what it truly is. When you see the word "Session" in this game your mind thinks of one thing only...but why not, let's screw with the psyche even though it clearly states otherwise on the can.

 238 characters

Photo of RyanK252
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Dragoon Brewing

A: Pours chestnut brown with a frothy khaki head that settles to a light layer and laces nicely.

S: Toasty roasty malt, earthy, floral, a bit fruity, and a touch of burnt sugar.

T: Toasty slightly roasty malt, floral, lightly spicy and earthy, a bit of dark fruit, and a touch of toffee and burnt sugar.

M: Light to medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: The world needs more beers like this. It's no 4x dry hopped imperial barrel aged wild whatever, just a really nice flavorful session brew.

 523 characters

Photo of Fee
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Described at Dragoon as "smooth like toasty bread" this American mild is just that. The taste is even a bit reminiscent of a stout - but just the slightest.

 156 characters

Photo of breadwinner
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a brew. In a craft world of trend chasing and complete disregard for originality, much less nuance, here is Dragoon's Stronghold Session Ale. They've been making this since they opened it seems, and it's just such a, dare I say, inspirational beer. Imagine a brewery fixing to make a flavorful sub 5% beer, but in lieu of a hackneyed session IPA, they create what is, basically, an Americanized mild ale. Hops are present, to be sure, differentiating it from it's delicate English counterpart, but the attention to the malt profile is fantastic, dry cocoa mixing with dark crusted bread, light touches of dark fruit and leather, alongside a consistent earthy hoppiness. Deep mahogany body with a superb layer of cream-colored foam, excellent body for a beer of this size, thanks in part to the addition of oats. This is a brewer's beer, one of thoughtfulness and intention, and I sure as hell wish other brewers would follow suit.

 935 characters

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Pours a medium to dark brown in color with a very bright body. A small head retains for a good long while and then laces pretty well. Looks like an American brown ale in the glass.

S- Somewhere between a chocolate brown ale and a schwarzbier, this one displays a toasty, somewhat sweet scent with a bit of hop balance in there as well.

T- The front end of this one displays a solid, chocolatey backbone right up front. Next comes the traditional brown ale components of a bit of caramel malt and toasty malts. The back half of the drink displays a lightly hoppy taste profile after the darker, sweeter front half to balance it all out.

M- Relatively thick, this one drinks smooth, yet pretty easily. The balance between malt and balancing hop is recognizable as the beer goes down easy with great balance.

Overall, this is a great table beer, just as the label claims. I'm sad I only grabbed a single, but I'm glad that I can go back and grab a four pack,

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Photo of mkh895
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Beerucee
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My kind of brown! Not too sweet. Perfect with Reds BBQ.

55 characters

Photo of Dave2234
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BarkBrewing
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of BigAl18
3.4/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of teraflx
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Stronghold Session Ale from Dragoon Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 46 ratings