Red Stripe Jamaican Dragon Stout 7.5% abv.
Stout is the national drink of Ireland and is popular in many other countries around the globe. Guinness have been brewing for over 200 years and have exported it throughout the world. Guinness is also brewed in many other countries, particularly West Africa and the Caribbean where it is very popular. It is interesting to find a stout which is brewed in Jamaica and exported to England.
Red Stripe Dragon Stout has been brewed in Jamaica since 1920. It pours a very dark, almost black colour and has a slightly burnt aroma. The taste is most unexpected, especially if you are used to Guinness and other dry stouts. Dragon is very sweet, and tastes rather like a milk stout. The beer has a distinct vanilla taste with caramel undertones. Although it is quite strong at 7.5% it is not a viscous drink like some Imperial stouts. It is a deceptively easy drinking beer whose sweetness masks the relatively high alcohol level of 7.5% abv. This is probably why it is sold in 284 ml. (half pint) bottles.
Dragon was brewed by Jamaican firm Desnoes & Geddes who were formed in 1918. They were taken over by Diageo, who also brewed Guinness. Dutch brewer Heineken now control Diageo’s interests in this company. Dragon stout is made with Black malt, corn syrup, caramel malt and hop extract. Sugar is also added before bottling. Stouts brewed in tropical countries tend to be much stronger than those we consume in the UK. Apparently in Jamaica stout is seen as a “man’s drink” which seems strange as sweet stouts used to be very popular in the UK particularly with older women.
Dragon stout is a bit too sweet to accompany a meal but might go well with a chocolate dessert or even ice cream. So get yourself a large serving of double chocolate chip ice cream, pour a glass of Dragon stout, which should be served at around 12º C (not ice cold) and listen to some Jamaican music. To me there was only one man from Jamaica who is up there in the pantheon of great rock musicians. That of course is the late great Bob Marley. Here he is performing one of his best songs, ‘No Woman, No Cry’.