Stout. Why do I persist with it? I’ve never been much of a stout drinker, yet I keep giving it yet another try. Why then did I decide to give Jamaican Dragon Stout a go?
Well look at it. It is tiny. By far the most diminutive bottle I have yet seen. It holds only 284ml which barely fills a half-pint glass. Unlike others where a small bottle is a drawback, for me, here, it could be a benefit if it means there is less drink to get through.
But let’s not write it off so hastily. At 7.5% volume, it’s the most potent beer I’ve yet tested. And I’ve tested some strong beers over the last few weeks. And then there’s the price. At my local off-licence, it’s only £1.09. It mightn’t be long then, until the teenagers of the land gather in parks late at night to down bottles of cheap and strong Jamaican stout.
The labels tell us almost nothing. Other than the facts I have just mentioned, we are only told that it has been established since 1920, and that it comes from Jamaica. A million miles from our home-grown ales boasting heritage dating back centuries. I like to know what I’m drinking. Or thinking about drinking, while looking at the bottle while standing in a shop. To that end, I’d warmly welcome more information on the labels of this enigmatic drink.
Once emptied into a shockingly small glass, everything looks problem-free. The head is white and frothy, and liquid is the right colour. Unlike a famous Irish stout however, it takes no time at all for it all to settle. Useful, if you’re in a hurry. Which anti-social teenagers in parks late at night are prone to be.
You better like the smell of barley. Should you happen to inhale whilst your nose is in the same hemisphere as this drink, you may detect more than just a hint of the stuff. This is no bad thing if, unlike me, you’re already a stout drinker. I, on the other hand found it repellent in a cough medicine way.
Does it taste as strong as it smells? Without a doubt. But does that make it revolting? Not exactly. There’s no denying the super-strong taste, and aftertaste of barley that you’d expect. But there’s something else in there too. Something hotter or spicier than you’d expect. Not much of it, but I’m nearly certain that it’s there. Like someone added a tiny drop of Worcester or Tabasco sauce.
I’m surprised as you are to find myself reporting that this strong and violent Jamaican is actually drinkable. Somehow, it managed to be light and crisp. How? How does it manage that? This soon led to the contents of the miniscule bottle vanishing all too quickly. Despite my indifference to stouts.
All in all, an interesting experience. Not to my taste, but I still enjoyed it. Like with Innis & Gunn’s Oak Aged Beer. That said, Jamaican Dragon Stout isn’t perfect. To be different, Dragon Stout needs to up the ante on the spiciness and fruitiness. Play more on the on the theme of being an unusual Caribbean take on a traditional old brew.
What do you think? Would my plan lead to big things for Dragon Stout?
Rating: 3.25. But if I was a fan of stouts, you could bring it up to 4.25.
Have you drink Jamaican Dragon Stout? What did you think of it?