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Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dragoon's Dry Irish Stout

Dragoon's is a Dry Stout by Moylan's Brewery & Restaurant in Novato, California. This stout is named after the 4th Continental Dragoons during the American Revolutionary War which was led by General Stephen Moylan. I'm not sure if there's a familial relation.

Apparently the 4th Continental Dragoons were so cool that there's a group that "recreates the activities of the regiment". As a history nerd, I also enjoyed their history as a unique fighting force led by an Irishman.

If you want to here an interesting discussion on the dry stout, check out an interview with John Palmer, the king of home brewing.

I bought this at Tower Liquor in Sacramento for $6.49 for a 22oz bottle. It has an ABV of 5%.

The beer pours a dark, opaque brown with a frothy light brown head that soon dissipates and leaves average lacings. The aroma has assertive chocolate and roasted malts with hints of vanilla and coffee. The taste has a nice complexity of roasted flavors -chocolate, coffee, caramel and a bit of vanilla at the end. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with perfect carbonation and a dry, creamy finish.

Overall I like this stout. There's a complexity to the roasted flavors, but the flavors are not overpowering. I've had dry stouts that leave a lingering roasted bitterness, which Dragoons doesn't do. This is exactly what you look for in a dry stout - bitter, creamy, and roasted. Stouts are a favorite style of mine, but I usually go with an American or Sweet stout. I haven't tried too many dry stouts recently, so I will have to go through a few to see where this one ranks. But, I do think its a Must Have It.

Another aspect I have to respect is keeping with tradition. This stout only uses, barley, water, yeast, and hops, many of which are imported from the birthplace of the dry stout, the United Kingdom. It's hard to get complex flavors from those simple ingredients, so the flavors here say a lot about the skill of the brewer. Many stouts add ingredients to bolster the complexity -chocolate, coffee, etc. I enjoy those too, but seeing a tasty stout made with traditional ingredients is awesome.

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