1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Dragonslayer - Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Not Rated.
DragonslayerDragonslayer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

457 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 457
Reviews: 343
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.85%
Wants: 66
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-22-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dragonslayer Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 457 | Reviews: 343 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a word, smooth. Very dark, and courtesy of the sample room of the brewery, with Marcus my host. Coffee, roasted malts, some acidity,creamy chocolately mouthfeel, and significant hops. Good after dinner stout.Marcus spoke of a bottled version that will be filtered more finely.

A year later, shared a bomber. Very thick with beautiful yeasty soap bubble foam head. Prickly carbonation. Coffee. Pronounced coffee. More mellow than on-tap.

In bottle, 2 years later this one lost some taste as we went. Sourness and edge off thick taste.

two years later had a bomber just myself and enjoyed smooth stout, with blanced bitter finish.

Sammy, Jan 03, 2005
Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

t0rin0, Oct 29, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mjtiernan for sending me this one!

Pours a thick opaque black with a huge 3 inch dark khaki head that fades to a small cap. The head on this beer is thick and pillowy. Very nice rings of lace are marked on the glass on the drink down. Smells of roasted malts, dark bread, cocoa powder, and slight cinnamon. Taste is of dark chocolate covered coffee beans, roasted malt, slight dark fruits, and mild alcohol. Pronounced coffee/cocoa bitterness on the palate after each sip. Very thick and creamy in the mouth. Overall, this is a very nice RIS. I am glad I got to try this one.

UCLABrewN84, May 03, 2011
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.2%

djrn2, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a quarter-finger high tan head that gradually died down and left a patch of bubbles on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of dark fruits in the nose along with some notes of coffee.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of dark fruits along with notes of dark chocolate and coffee.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. A bit of warming from the alcohol and dryness is present in the finish.
O: Considering its strength, this beer isn’t that difficult to drink because the alcohol is well masked.

metter98, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a "Dark Ages" black with a brown ring; the modest tan head starts out creamy and then fades rather quickly, while leaving a bunch of foamy dots here and there

Smell: More char and peat than the typical RIS, although there are some roasty aromatics as well; lacks the depth of aroma, however

Taste: Opens with a peaty chocolate flavor that turns in a roasty, somewhat bitter direction by mid-palate, when the char takes over; I almost imagine there is some bacon in there, too; after the swallow, the flavors settle down and some coffee joins the fray; still, it lacks the depth of flavor of the great examples of the style

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Sure tastes different than the typical RIS and, while it presents a nice contrast, there is just too much missing in the smell, the taste and the mouthfeel for me to score this higher

brentk56, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dragon's blood black that had generous crimson highlights as it entered the glass, but not a glimmer of accent once in the glass. The head is a big, burly hunk of mocha-colored cream that easily does justice to the ominous looking beer on which it sits. I don't believe that this is an overly hoppy stout, but the impressive lace display would suggest otherwise.

The nose keeps the pedal to the metal. All of the usual RIS characteristics are present with dark chocolate fudge as the clear ringleader. Its accomplices include heavily roasted barley, black coffee and black licorice. The sweeter scents of molasses and dark caramel fail to show up, but the nose is plenty complex without them.

Upon tasting... this is very good beer and is a classic example of the style. Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure that I can identify the Middle Ages 'house flavor' of slightly sour butter. It's much less apparent in this beer of course, due to the intensity of the other flavors, and is more than welcome to join the mouth party. In fact, it gives the beer a little added personality.

Obviously well-torched malt is the heart and soul of Dragonslayer. Each mouthful is positively bursting with it as coffee bean-flecked, chocolate-covered... uh... chocolate fills every nook and cranny of my mouth. I can't decide if the bitterness (easily the equal of the sweetness) is due to the charring of the barley or is due to hops. Probably a little of both. There's an underlying citric fruitness that is a welcome complement to all the testosterone-soaked rompin' and stompin'.

Nuance and earth-shaking power... gotta love it. Speaking of power, the very nearly double-digit ABV is masked pretty capably. Enough remains to let the drinker know that he's drinking a bad ass stout and that gulping will bring trouble in a big hurry. As the beer warms from barely chilled to room temperature, I'm enjoying the interplay among sweet, bitter and sour. Damn this stuff is good!

I've had bigger RISs. I've had creamier RISs. I've had more viscous RISs. I've had more chewy RISs. Just because the body/mouthfeel on this beer isn't at the head of a very distinguished class is no reason to think that it's anything less than exceptional. It's big enough to get the job done and the job is keeping this bewitching elixir on my taste buds look enough for them to get fat and happy on malt, hops and alcohol.

I don't believe that there's any style in the world of beer that has more amazing versions than Russian Imperial Stout. Hell, let's throw American Double Stouts in there for good measure. Dragonslayer definitely has a place at the head table and is easily the cream of the Middle Ages crop. Thanks to MuddyFeet for yet another outstanding beer.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 14, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a medium dark brown foamy head with good retention. Aroma of bitter hops and roasted malt is quite dominating and some faint chocolate notes may be hiding being this. Taste is dominating by bitter citrus hops and leaves little place to the roasted chocolate malt. Body is slightly above average with some good carbonation and no alcohol was discernable.

Phyl21ca, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this one if the I Want That BIF I believe it was, I don't know sometimes they all blend together, but anyway I did want to try this one for a long time so I was very happy when one finally rolled my way. Decided to take it out of the fridge and split it with my mother in law last night after dinner. Let it warm up to about fifty degrees and served it in two Terrapin Snifters. Pour was a deep dark black, completely opaque with no light coming through on this one at all. A good two inches of mocha colored head rose up and settled gently down on the top of the liquid, never really getting below about an inch in height, and all the while depositing thick and copious amounts of side glass lace. Excellent webbing as well. This was really looking the part of a big time stout.

Went in to take a sniff and was bowled over by the strength of the alcohol in this one at first. It came across kind of hot initially, so I backed off and came in a few moments later. The hotness faded and was instead replaced by a nice rich, and intensely bitter chocolate that was just really well placed. Lots of smoky notes now in here as well, really serving to thicken up the aroma, and as the last bit swirled in my glass I finally detected a little bit of sweetness in the vanilla like character coming through. The flavor was just spot on though. Rich, dark cocoa just rolling over the tongue from the first taste. A nice blend of roasted coffee and almost licorice, but not quite. Very dark flavors here with a decent amount of smoke thrown in as well. Nice balance between it all, and the alcohol I smelled when I first popped it was virtually non existent at this point. Definitely a very nice beer. The feel was good, full bodied and creamy, though not as thick as I would have liked given how big the flavor was. More then adequate carbonation then followed through and delivered the finishing blow. Superb drinkability as this was a very nice sipper that I enjoyed over the course of several hours to be honest. An excellent nightcap.

Overall I thought this was a more then adequate example of the style. A rich, full flavored stout that is right up there with the second tier of big stouts. I would have no issue at all with getting this one again any day!

mikesgroove, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of Knapp85
3.52/5  rDev -13.1%

Knapp85, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of oberon
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black I mean not a hint of light shown even when held up to a strong light with a rather large almost 2 finger mocha colored that settles into a creamy froth.Aromas are very rummy with big butter tones unsweetened bitter chocolate actually is underneath the rummy butter tones but it all melds very well together.Flavors have a burnt elemant a chardness over top of big bitter chocolate and sweet butter finishing with a hit of wood and dry earth.Wow the complexities of this beast are numerous and the flavors rock,incredible.

oberon, Feb 26, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black. Dark tan head - almost brown. Excellent head retention and lacing.

S: Fruity and roasty with some soft, sweetish malt underneath. Some hops as well. Some alcohol.

T: Rich. Solid. Bitter. Acidic. There's a nudge of candyish sweetness going on upfront, and then it becomes gently burnt, but always washed over by yeasty fruitiness and alcohol. Bittersweet chocolate and espresso. Kind of one-sided... hmmm... maybe not. There are a couple of sides to it. Still, it's intense, but mostly just intense... some notes of coffee grounds and burnt toast are clearly present, but it's the yeasty fruitiness (apricot, apple, dull cherry) that makes it work. It still centers on the almost-harsh, sharp pin-point of bitter black coffee and alcohol while all of the other flavors meander around that. Lingers seemingly forever in the mouth with a long-lasting burnt character.

M: Dextrinous medium body with a very-fine bubbled moderate carbonation.

D: Certainly a beer worthy of merit, simply based on it's alcohol content and roastiness, but there's something else there in the yeastiness that makes it unique. Worth trying.

NeroFiddled, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of Jason
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bomber with no freshness date. With special cellaring care this one should age quite well.

A- An excellent head, lots of light brown foam clings to the glass. Pit black color, so dark you can't even see any tinge in the edges of the glass.

S- French Roast coffee, coco powder, dark cherry juice fruitiness and a mild malt sweetness in the nose.

T&M- Big roasted grain flavors, strong suggestions of bitter dark chocolate and dark Sumatra Coffee. Lush full body, creamy smooth mouth feel. Big fruitiness in the middle ... tart dark cherries to be exact. Note of yeast and lightly metallic roasted malt in the finish ... a long lingering roasted finish it is.

D- At first I thought the roasted character was going to be a bit too much ... but it ended up growing on me, a lovely sipping brew. Paired well with my homemade booze brownies.

Jason, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a very dark brown color, with a thick brown head that fades slowly and leaves a heavy lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is rich and intense with dark chocolate and sweet berries along with some roasted malt.

T: The taste is dominated by the dark chocolate flavor. Berries and dark fruit compliment the chocolate and there are some coffee and caramelized malt flavors intertwined. There’s no hint of the 9.50% ABV. The after-taste is very bitter from the dark chocolate, but in tones down some as the beer warms (I think I may have had it a little too cold in the fridge).

M: Very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light carbonation, finish is slick but clean.

D: Quite tasty and it goes does very easily, to the point that the 9.50% ABV will catch up to quickly. It was a little bit filling however, which will slow you down a bit and makes this beer a perfect sipper.

I first tried this beer at a tasting and liked it a lot, but now that I’m drinking a whole bomber, it has fallen a bit short of what I anticipated. It’s still a very good beer though. I haven’t had a bad beer yet from Middle Ages.

TheManiacalOne, Nov 23, 2006
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a pitch black hole of English style impy stout glory, large tan head forms thick and I swirl this brewery's unique yeast around as I edge near the bottom of my bomber. Lacing sticks to my chalice in large chunky patterns with each sip from my chalice.

Aromatics serve up deep roasted malt notes coming off like dark nearly burnt roasted coffee beans and dark bitter chocolate with no artificial sweeteners. Actually the nose serves up some finesse with mild fruit layers rising up with sweet creamy notes as well as the beer warms up. Great smell characteristic Middle Ages yeast notes work well with this concoction, touch of butterscotch character coming through as well.

Flavors collide rich strong coffee espresso notes with fruity edges surrounding dark blasts of dry baker's chocolate. Herbal and mint like leafy earthy hops make their presence known, and again characteristic Middle Ages yeast comes to the party in a good way in this offering. A well balanced Imperial stout that makes all of it's components work together, I can see why this beer has been well received on BA since I've been around. Alcohol blends so well it never becomes a burden on the palate and a healthy mix of dark roasts and hops add to the bitterness making this one kickass impy stout.

Mouthfeel is full bodied coats my palate evenly with luscious malts and mild hop oils. Carbonation delivers with effortless smoothness the sides of the palate are awoken and the back of my tongue is hit with hop bitterness...what a nice mix, very smooth and cohesive for such a big beer.

Drinking wise I could fall in love with this beer on cask just like so many of the other Middle Ages brews that I hear good things about in that format. A bomber was easy to consume without a doubt one of the better imperial stouts of my recent memory. If the opportunity arises get a taste of this limited release out of Syracuse.

WVbeergeek, Jul 31, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Probably the most interesting imperial stout I have had in a while. The unusual roasted qualities here make it one to remember. Nice to drink, but personally I like this style to lean more towards the malty, chocolate, and coffee side. Still a decent enough one to go for.

RblWthACoz, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of russpowell
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to JasonA for this one!

Pours jet black with 2+ fingers of mocha/brown head. Good lacing with minimal head retention

S: Coffee & dark chocolate in modest amounts, plus dark fruits as this warms

T: Powdery & oaky dryness, a touch of vanilla & a bit of dark fruits up front. Oaky vanilla & dryness dominate as this warms, plus some ghost booze& a touch of dark chocolate & burnt grains. Finishes dry, dryness is felt on the throat & tounge& a touch of coffee & plums

MF: Oily, with medium carbonation & medium body & some wetness

Drinks a bit slow to me mostly due the dryness, the ABV is well hidden. More depth is needed, alright, not great as Imp Stouts go IMO

russpowell, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of Slatetank
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - a pleasing fluffy bubbled up tan head riding a midnight colored stout underneath

S - Strong toffee infused coffee and light anise spice with nutty vanilla aromas

M - Spicy bitter, smooth, creamy silky warming and ultra roasted

T - Creamy caramel and bitter sweet chocolate flavors grab my mouth by the tongue initially. Fruity like dried spiced currents mixed with brandy swirls around alongside nutmeg and boozy warmth. Deep chocolate with spicy heat and amaretto sweet vinous and luscious caramel toffee buttery smoothness

D - Sweet, strong roasted and no carbon copy Imperial stout effects. I loved it and would enjoy it again while it is a powerhouse of a mouth pleaser.

Slatetank, May 15, 2007
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky, opaque, deep inky black color...slim cocoa-tan head...very nice look, just what we want for this style of beer.

Aroma is rich and chocolatey, loads of espresso, some maple, anise, lots of dark, rich, pleasing flavors, mmmm, ...motor oil! Yum...Slick, and delicious.

On the tongue, it's that and more. Big, thick, tasty, profound, immense, characoal meets cocoa, with a kick of bourbon. Some bitterness, but not too much, and a boatload of malt, but never too sweet. This is a delectable mixture, and an excellent imperial stout, an easy match for the better versions of the style, of which I am so fond.
Lightly fruity, some deep cherries, darkly delightful. A pleasure for the senses. Invigorating, too. I'm ready to take on some kind of a monstrous reptile with my trusty sword, snicker-snack, and away goes the Jabberwock.
Cherries rise up again in the flavor, yums, nice fruit, and chocolate and coffee and whiskey roars in at the end and stay as the dominant flavors.
Nice one, here, nice one.

So glad to finally try it, and my thanks go out to DarkertheBetter!

feloniousmonk, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of oline73
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours almost black with a half finger of thick, light tan head that fades a a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet and very smooth. Roasted malt with some chocolate and dark fruit. Some warm alcohol at the end.

Taste: A lot like the smell. Very smooth with some mild alcohol. Bitter roast and dark chocolate. Some smoke as well. Just enough sweetness to balance things out.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side with tingly carbonation and a really dry finish.

Overall: Very smooth. I had never heard of this one before, but I'm really happy that I got to try it and would have it again.

oline73, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of WesWes
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick brown head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich and intense black and roasted malt scent. It's warm with an earthy aroma. The taste is good. It has a smooth and satisfying black malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes warm and earthy. It's mildly bitter with a roasted feel. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good beer. It's warm and full flavored with just the right amount of black malts and hops; a good drinker.

WesWes, Apr 01, 2006
Photo of mdfb79
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a jet black color with one and a half fingers of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for two to three minutes and leaves a little bit of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of roasted malts, vanilla, dark fruits, cocoa, bitter chocolate, and light coffee.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate, bitter coffee, roasted malts, hops, light dark fruits, and light alcohol.

m - Full body and low carbonation. Thick and chewy body, pretty good for a big RIS.

d - I thought this was a pretty good RIS. I liked the smell a little more than the taste and it had a nice body. Would have again.

mdfb79, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Rochefort10nh, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev -1.2%

DrunkinYogi, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of smcolw
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black in color (no light passes through). Solid four-finger beige head with lots of lace.

Strong chocolate and black patent malt aromas. Somewhat like chocolate milk. Some bitterness to the smell, but it comes from the burnt grains. Inviting and interesting.

Very dark (read: burnt malt) tasting. The high alcohol essence is balanced by this bitter flavor. Full bodied with an above average carbonation. The hop is subdued and not really necessary to provide balance since the beer is so dry and naturally bitter. The aftertaste is nearly all black patent malt.

Do you like burnt toast or blackened food? A yes answer will likely mean you'll love this brew. While I enjoy its unique flavors, I find them to be a bit too much. This does not have the smoothness of most Imperial Stouts (or Dry Stouts). Think black coffee or better yet, espresso, and you'll get the general feel for this brew.

smcolw, Jan 15, 2006
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Dragonslayer from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
90 out of 100 based on 457 ratings.