29 July 2007

Here be dragons

Many mythical beasts are hybrids of known species, and the Gulden Draak is no exception. I suspect it has a Flemish red ale somewhere in its ancestry, providing the deep ruby hue and lip-smacking sour flavour notes. Gulden Draak is no easy-going, Rodenbach-style, light ale though: it's a 10.5% monster, and could pass for stronger. All that alcohol gives it a warmth which suggests that the Belgian Scotch ale style may be its other close relation. By and large, however, there's very little out there like this: a sour Scotch ale; a Belgian barleywine; a "dark tripel". You could while away many a fireside hour discussing this one.

They probably have little call for firesides at the home of Dragon Stout. This rich, thick 7.5% stout is a legend in Jamaican beer, and rightly so. It is possessed of a marvellously complex aromatic floral taste: rich, sweet and moreish. A beautiful beer to sip, which you have to since it only comes in half-pint bottles. When I got to the end I felt the need to run an immediate comparison with similarly-strong Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, which highlighted that the two are very very different drinks. Guinness Foreign Extra is much fizzier and far drier in comparison. Despite GFE being Ireland's best mass-produced beer, I'll take the Jamaican over it anytime.

1 comment:

  1. Bailey9:41 pm

    I've always wondered if Dragon was any good -- all the shops where I live sell it, and Guinnes Foreign Extra (both the Nigerian and Irish varieties) but I've never indulged. I often see people walking up the street swigging it from the bottle.