Stronghold Session Ale | Dragoon Brewing Co.

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Stronghold Session AleStronghold Session Ale
42 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gueuzedude on 04-29-2012

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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of bennetj17
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh growler picked up this evening. Rich, brown colored beer that's very transparent up to the light. The tan foam is thick and long-lasting, leaving a smidgen of lace. Doughy malt nose, with suggestions of milk chcolate and toffee.

The flavor has a pleasant, lightly roasted character, only mildly sweet with a subtle hop balance. The bitterness at the back is perhaps a bit sharper than expected, yet enjoyable nonetheless. As anticipated, the alcohol is well kept in check. Medium thick body, with a very decent level of carbonation for style.

I've been waiting a long time for someone to brew a Dark Mild around here, and while it's not quite the ideal strength (around 3% ABV), I think it'll do just fine. Looking forward to drinking more of this as well as anything else this fine new brewery has to offer.

 817 characters

Photo of theParish
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of FMetzger
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4/5  rDev -2.9%

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 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 mc4z
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of UlfAndreas
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of trevorpost
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Chilly_E
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

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 DrinkSlurm
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tap into pint at 1702 Tucson. Pours a deep brown amber with nice creamy bead. Not much aroma here...some slight sweet malt and bitter hop with a bit of roastedness. Taste is really nice. Almost coffee roasted malts and sweet malts nicely balanced with some hop bitterness. Really smooth and definitely a session brew. Nice job and a good representation of the style...especially for being this far from England and in the desert.

 441 characters

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 Harvey98
4/5  rDev -2.9%

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

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 Azpittil57
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

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

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

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Stronghold Session Ale from Dragoon Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 42 ratings