Dungeons & Stouts

Brewery and Country of Origin: Desnoes & Geddes, Ltd. of 200 Spanish Town Road, Kingston, Surrey Kingston, Jamaica

Date Reviewed: 1-02-14

If you've ever had beer from Jamaica, you've probably had a Red Stripe Lager from Desnoes & Geddes. This pale lager has been produced since 1928 and is among Jamaica's most recognizable exports. But Dragon Stout, a strong stout akin to the export stouts of Ireland, was first created in 1920, only two years after D&G was founded in an old soda factory. Dragon Stout wasn't officially introduced to wide scale markets until 1961. We're not entirely sure why this particular beer is called Dragon, but perhaps a bit of reaching can once again draw yet another unlikely connection (as we frequently do). So we know of dragons: mythical, reptile like creatures which breathe fire and fly. There are two culture centers of the Dragon: Europe, where dragons in mythology were primarily destructive, and Asia, where dragons are symbols of power, strength, knowledge, and good fortune. Both versions involve unique traditions and cultural influence, which has been portrayed in a wide array of media, especially in fictional literature and film. And because the founders of Desnoes & Geddes were of European decent, we'd imagine they were more familiar with the less benevolent, village burning, castle stomping dragons of European folklore. These are somewhat related to other mythological beasts like the Loch Ness Monster, and the Leviathan, from the Old Testament, and referenced by Harpoon's high strength "Leviathan" series. Though D&G's stout isn't on the same ABV level as Harpoon's high end series, a moderately elevated 7.50% puts it considerably higher than most, perhaps giving this beer a fairly just cause for the name. It should also be noted that this beer is brewed and sold primarily in a market dominated by lower alcohol strength pale lagers.
Date Sampled: 10-31-13 At: 7 Prescott Place, Allston, Boston, MA 02134, USA
Beer Style: Foreign/Export Stout
Alcohol by Volume: 7.50%
Serving Type: 284 ml Bottle, 16 oz Tumbler Glass
Rating: 2.94


Dragon Stout pours very smoothly with a low amount of carbonation action and turbulence, producing only an eighth inch tall foam head with a medium density and a low retention rate. This beer has a very dark brown color with an opaque appearance and no shine. This beer only gives off a very dull glow in extremely bright lighting, and displays moderate lacing. This beer contains no visible sediment or effervescent effect.


This malty beer has a medium strength aroma full of rich roasted malt with a sweet dark chocolate primary character, and a subtle coffee secondary. The aroma also contains a good amount of nuttiness and some earthy biscuity notes. There is no real hoppiness and overall, this is a very sweet smelling beer. The aroma does contain a small amount of alcoholic tinge, and no fruity notes to speak of.


This is a medium bodied beer which has a medium high viscosity, an average weight, and a smooth texture overall. This beer has a below average amount of carbonation and a dull, lingering, "wet" feeling finish. This beer offers no real refreshment, and the finish contains no crisp sensation or alcohol warming or bite.


Bold, dark roasted malt dominate this beer's flavor profile, which is fairly sweet overall with some dark coffee secondary notes. This beer's flavor also contains a fair amount of biscuity burnt cookie like taste with a good deal of nuttiness. There is a slight alcoholic tinge toward the back of the throat, and this beer finishes with a very short lingering sweet bread and toffee like aftertaste. The flavor contains no fruity notes and no real significant amount of detectable hops.

Our Take

Overall, this isn't a fire breathing, knight crushing stout that will fill you up quicker than bread. Despite this beer's appearance and style, this is a fairly easy going brew which will go well with a variety of seasons, though we'd still be inclined to save this for fall/winter. This is a fairly well proportioned malty flavored beer with a good deal of aromatic notes. But in general, this is not terribly well balanced, with almost no hops in the flavor or aroma to speak of. Instead, this is a decent casual drinker which has the added bonus of 7.50%, though this beer is only bottled in a smaller, 284 ml, 9.6 oz package. This is by far one of the better island beers we've had to date, but don't look for any records to be broken. As with stronger stouts, this beer would pair well with just about any dessert or sweet sort of dish. Avoid Emilia Clarke.