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Dragonslayer - Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

453 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 453
Reviews: 343
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.85%
Wants: 66
Gots: 27 | 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
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Ratings: 453 | Reviews: 343 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


4.65/5  rDev +14.8%

This beer pours engine oil black. I had trouble seeing through the stream as it poured from the bottle. My maglite barely got through it. The head is a dark brown (for a head) that looks like foam rubber. After it set for a bit, it looked like oatmeal. Very enticing.

Good chocolate/coffee smell with a strong malt behind it. Wow!

The flavor is just painted on my tongue. There’s a huge roasted coffee flavor that picks up chocolate notes from the sweet malt. There are some secondary fruity notes here, but they are utterly obscured by the power of this roasted malt. The finish is dry and sour (in a good way) and leaves the palate awaiting the next sip.

The mouth feel is a bit thin, but it works very well for the flavor.

This beer summed up in a word? Intense!

10-28-2005 21:27:48 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of NEhophead


4.35/5  rDev +7.4%

Thick and frothy chocolate-colored head with good retention. Ringed, spotted, and intricate lacing scattered around the glass' sides with great strength. Opaque black in color.

Roasted chocolate and espresso aromas; semi-sweet yet burnt. Moderate oak and smoked quality masking a whaff of warming alcohol. A few notes of dark fruit as well: cherry, plum.

Big milk and dark chocolate flavors; deep roasted malt character. Velvety smokiness giving a complex blend with the roasted espresso and vinous, ripe fruit. Big, bold flavors with waves of warming alcohol leading to a mouthful of hops and dark bitterness. An aftertaste of chewy, roasted chocolate and rich cafe.

Full bodied; rough and thick on the palate. Not as syrupy as I like, and look for, in an Imperial Stout.

Very drinkable for the style; at 9.2% abv, the alcohol presence is rather mild. The flavor is dead on for the style. A great offering worth searching for.

10-25-2005 14:58:13 | More by NEhophead
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +16.5%

Jet Black. Thick, creamy tan head leaves a nice sticky lacing behind. Smells of roasted malts and dark fruits - complex and rich. The flavor is fantastic - big roasted malts, burnt chocolate and fruit notes, some light hoppiness, dry espresso-like bitterness in the end. Alcohol is well hidden. Thick, robust mouthfeel...very smooth and so damn rich and tasty its quite easy to drink. I could consume these until I fall over.

This is a great stout...complex and satisfying. I will be getting this again in the upcoming winter months. Impressive offering from Middle Ages.

10-24-2005 03:05:47 | More by wedge
Photo of tastybeer

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +23.5%

Thick black with dark chocolate head. Smells packed full of fruit and burnt coffee, bitter chocolate, and intense malts. Taste is an explosion of thick intertwined tastes like the smell. Bittersweet finish but little sign of 9.2 ABV. Thick full and complex beer insanity, and very drinkable for an imperial stout. No complaints here.

Overwhelmingly + ridiculously satisfying.

10-24-2005 02:50:26 | More by tastybeer
Photo of orfeu

New Mexico

4.85/5  rDev +19.8%

Allright! I have been waiting for the bottling of this beast for months! Let's hope it lives up to the hype...
Poured into an imperial pint glass, this one is pitch black, with a full, smooth, bubbly head the color of coffee with milk.
It smells initially hoppy and doughy, with that familiar Ringwood yeast in the background.
The taste is terribly smooth for such a formidable style, with chocolate and hops, yeast round the back and a kick ass dark roasted coffee aftertaste. Diacetyl from that Yorkshire yeast Middle Ages loves so much. Alcohol warms up ever so sneakily in the belly.The head dissipates over a few minutes, with minimal to moderate lacing. Halfway through the glass only a thin cap of the head remains.
The mouthfeel is thinner than I expected, but chewy and full nonetheless. The alcohol leaves its trace with a slight numbing effect on my gums and tongue.
As far as drinkability is concerned, I wouldn't have trouble polishing off a couple bombers of this stuff on a cold evening. In any case, Dragonslayer is impressive. Certainly deserving of it's covetedness/reputation.

Notes: I'd like to have tried this on tap, in its unfiltered state for more of a full-bodied drinking experience. This smells samey for Middle Ages (gotta be the Ringwood). But this is definitely one to seek out. Highly recommended!

[update, June 2006: Either my senses have improved, or subsequent batches of Dragonslayer have thickened up in mouthfeel and become more roasty and chocolatey in fragrance, but whatever the case, this is certainly one of the finest examples of the style I've yet encountered. Since consuming a second bottle of this, my cellar is almost never without a bottle or two of Dragonslayer.]

10-23-2005 20:00:34 | More by orfeu
Photo of Naes

New York

2.98/5  rDev -26.4%

This is a black beer with a nice milk chocolate colored head.
The aroma is slightly roasty with hints of chocolate.
Its flavor is quite bitter for a stout, similar to black coffee with some semi sweet chocolate mixed in. It’s also a bit smoky with just the slightest alcohol presence.
The moth feel is medium bodied and is generously carbonated.

10-23-2005 07:31:57 | More by Naes
Photo of Truh

New Hampshire

3.7/5  rDev -8.6%

Barely avoided the beast's talons with this one on 10/17/2005. 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bomber poured twice in a shaker glass.

Huge, mocha fluff, close to an inch high of initial carbonation, even with a careful pour. Lots of lace, very nice. Pitch black with the exception of the very bottom of the glass where some light penetrates the tumescent hue. Coffee, burnt chocolate, licorice, liquid smoke all frag about on the nose. Real burnt wood taste on the mouth, with a creaky caramel, root beer barrel notes, but the crunchy, campfire smoke note overpowers at the end. Alcohol is increasingly present as the pour warms.

On the whole good, but a little bit thin, and simply overdone with the roastiness.

10-18-2005 01:07:10 | More by Truh
Photo of MuddyFeet

North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +6.2%

Noticed a mention on the Redbones beer menu last week that it was gonna be tapped "soon." Stopped in today for lunch and found it to be "soon." Poured a dark black with no light sneaking through. Almost a slight tinge of purple to the beer. Came with no head, but I saw the bartender pour it and tried to get her to stop from systematically shoveling of a thick foamy head that was stained brown throughout. Nose was full of figs, cherries and malty butterscotch. Very sweet and filling even before the first sip. Taste was very complex and deeply earthly. Malts had a plethora of flavors rising out of the bittersweet malts including toffee, caramel, vanilla bean, dark chocolate, and hints of dark roast coffee. Plenty of fruits as well, mostly of the deeper variety: figs, prunes and cherries. Mouthfeel was almost heavy with a medium body. Tried to broaden out the cheeks but fell just short. Can only find bare hints of the alcohol--not a bad trait. Very drinkable, but if I were to have more than two glasses I would feel extremely gluttonous.

09-15-2005 18:27:06 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of warriorsoul


4.38/5  rDev +8.1%

Enjoyed a 12oz. of this rare find on tap at Redbones...
Arrived a deep, dark black w/ no light passing through...almost no head and very little lacing.
Aromas filled w/ robust coffee and dark chocolates...no alcohol detected at this point.
Taste is very enjoyable w/ more of the same (chocolate/coffee) and some vanilla bean added to the mix...the alcohol is very well hidden in this puppy. Not a lot of hops which I prefer b/c I'm not into the whole bitter RIS style. Again, the alcohol is nowhere to be found...gotta love that. Finish is quite dry and the sweetness is to a minimum.
The mouthfeel was a tad thin and the carbonation was a bit too high to score this one as one of the best, but either way, it is one hell of an Imperial stout and one I could enjoy without the desire to move onto anything else.

09-15-2005 16:07:53 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of CBFanWish

New York

4.9/5  rDev +21%

Middle Ages has always been a love hate brewery for most beer enthusiasts. For me, It has always been a very loving relationship. I first fell in love when I was introduced to the wonderful Wailing Wench.
Now, I have fallen even deeper in love with Syracuse, New York's finest brewery. This love comes in the form of an Imperial Stout by the name of Dragonslayer.
The pour is a deep black colour that can only be explained by the word pitch. Rising to the top is a thick, frothy tannish caramel coloured head that never wants to go away, and when it does, it leaves a spiderweb laced throughout the glass.
The aroma is full of as many scents as a brewer can pack into a stout. Coffee, chocolate, and cherries fill the air with what is to come next.
The taste mimicks the smell with even more fury. Deep dark chocolate, cherries, and espresso give my pallate a strong beating
I love this beer. It has a rich smoothness that is often not found in most imperial stouts (usually there is something to give a slight bite back). If it wasn't so much at once, I would have given this a perfect 5.

04-05-2005 00:19:54 | More by CBFanWish
Photo of Loki

North Carolina

4.85/5  rDev +19.8%

Sampled from a Growler via sponberg. Thanks man!

Appearance: Huge, toffee colored head with a spongy surface. Body of shear, opaque blackness. Sticky, thick lacing.

Smell: Currant, black cherry, warm, brandy-esque alcohol. toffee, worchestersauce, aged leather, chocolate malt, espresso.

Taste: Bitter espresso, roasted malt, smooth semi-sweet chocolate. Hop bitterness, caramel and toffee undertones with hints of oak, smoke, and some vanilla notes that float in and out. Wonderfully full of flavors and

Mouthfeel: Wonderffully smooth and cream at first. Coffee and hop bitterness. Finishes a little too dry for my tastes, kind of like an Irish Stout, but not quite.

Drinkability: For me, all the time, except for the dryness.

Thanks sponberg and Middle Ages for this great Beast.

03-29-2005 00:03:04 | More by Loki
Photo of meathookjones


4.33/5  rDev +6.9%

Reviewed from a growler courtesy of shippos. Pours out an inky black with a good sized tan foamy head. Some scattered lace but not much in the way of head retention. Aroma is big on the roasted malt notes and ripe dark fruits. Alcohol is present but not to strong. I believe the Ringwood yeast also lends to the aroma as I detect a similar scent that I have got from most of their beers. Very full rich scent. Taste starts off with sweet fruits before the big roastiness comes in. Ringwood adds a very interesting layer to the flavor. End on a lightly sweet roasty note. Mouthfeel is slick and pretty full. Goes down quite easy and is definitely a sipper. Tasty stuff that I recommend, pretty unique as well.

03-23-2005 15:30:41 | More by meathookjones
Photo of HappyHourHero


4.45/5  rDev +9.9%

Big, foamy, chocolate milk brown colored head that is all kinds of sticky and leaves a bunch of lace. Inviting roasted malt and cocoa aroma. Opaque black colored beer. Taste is barely sweet, mostly chocolate and roasted malt with a mild vinuous/tobacco undertone. The finish is that kind of dry, dark malt bitterness. Moderately thick body with and incredibly smooth mouthfeel, like velvet.

02-12-2005 17:20:14 | More by HappyHourHero
Photo of SheepNutz


4.33/5  rDev +6.9%

Growler sent by shippos to clvand0, thanks to both of them! It pours an opaque black color with half a finger of dark tan head. There is no lacing on the glass. The smell is packed with roasted malt, dark fruit, and a good dose of alcohol. It's a nice full smell. The taste is very chocolatey, with hints of coffee and a bit of a warming alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is nice and this beer goes down smooth. The drinkability is decent for a 9.2% brew. Not too shabby!

01-31-2005 03:35:33 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of clvand0


4.7/5  rDev +16%

Thanks to shippos for sending me a growler of this goodness. Seems they don't bottle it, but they should. It pours an extremely dark color with a small head that fades quickly, but leaves some nice lacing on the glass. Pours sort of like dirty motor oil - very thick, very dark. Nice. The aroma is very nice as well. Lots of dark, sweet malts with molasses. The flavor is right on with this one. Lots of roasted malts. Lots of chocolate notes. Quite a bit of coffee. Very thick and complex. Love the flavor here. Some alcohol is present in the flavor, but it's well masked. One of the better/best Impy Stouts I've had. Mouthfeel is pretty thick - big on the body. Drinkability is very good. Wonderful beer here.

01-27-2005 14:32:32 | More by clvand0
Photo of kmpitz2


4.7/5  rDev +16%

The beer comes courtesy of shippos and clvand0. Holy darkness batman. This beer pours as black as pitch, with a small tan head that falls to ring the top of the beer. Damn, this looks good. The nose is a bit hoppy and a bit sweet molasses. Not a lot of the chocolate or coffee tones. The flavor is chocolate covered hops that move towards a sweeter molasses, finishing coffee bitter that moves to a nice residual hop bitter. Fantastic balance between all the flavors. Not even a hint of oxidation though the growler is 3 weeks old. Wow. The feel is not quite as thick as I would expect, though it is still nice and full, just not huge thick. For being over 9%, you would never know without trying to find it. This beer is very good. Thanks to all that helped get this beer to my glass.

01-27-2005 02:33:46 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of shippos

New York

4.4/5  rDev +8.6%

poured from a growler filled from the brewery.

poured thick and black witha dense dark chocolate head that settled to around a quarter inch. dark chocolate and hops followed by a deep roasted character, thick chewy malt and molassess . a bit of a buttery yeastiness, not sure if this is some ringwood character showing through. smooth rich taste, thick mouthfeel followed by a roasted grain/coffee with some spicy alcohol, witha mild bitter hop finish.

01-10-2005 15:22:39 | More by shippos
Photo of CRJMellor


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Liter swing top growler, cool bottle.
Pours midnight black with just a faint tint of maroon shining through. Big dark tan head kicks off lots of spots of uneven lace.
Aroma of chocolate, raisins, espresso and some fruity, resiny hops.
Flavor of prunes, raisins, cassis, chocolate, cocoa, coffee beans and a deeply resined aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is sweet, chocolaty, some roasted nuttiness, vinous alcohol and a gritty short burst of bitterings. Wow, seriously complex and really jumps as it warms a bit.
Drinkability is great. I generally base how good a stout is my the amount my wife will consume with me. Needless to say she drank several half pints. Awesome beer.

01-08-2005 00:40:31 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

01-03-2005 00:27:02 | More by Sammy
Photo of francisweizen


4.8/5  rDev +18.5%

On-Tap @ Clark's Ale House in Syracuse, NY (like five blocks from the brewery) Only 1 day after the 2004 batch was unveiled!

This is a stunning looking brew! Into-the-void opaque black with bison blood coloured highlights and a deep, espresso coloured head that looks like an entrance into a mythical black hole. Yes, this shit looks awesome in an imperial pint glass!

The aromas are awesome as well. Chocolate, espresso, dark/deep roasted malts, caramel, milk, burnt fruit (currants), a unique juicy green hop aroma, dark fruits, and more. More, more, more!

The taste is absolutely exceptional as well. As this stuff hits your lips the first thing that you taste is deep/dark roasted malts and all the flavor notes that are associated with them. hints of smoke, oak, vanilla, dark fruits, chocolate, espresso, and more. The middle is sweet, and almost reminiscent of chocolate milk, or a caramel-infused coffee beverage. The finish is roasted, slick, slightly oily, and hoppy, with some raw, leafy, green hop flavors showing up as well.

The mouthfeel is perfection. Thick, and slightly oily. This stuff is so viscous, it is definately one of the thickest beers on the market!

Drinkability is awesome, but since this beer is so thick, rich, and decadent I can only give it a 4.5/5. The distinctive ringwood yeast strikes again here. Delivering an amazing and intense flavor profile that whilst fruity, buttery,and English for the style, is never too much.

Yes, this stuff is legit. It was worth the day-trip to bring back over a gallon of this stuff. Only 64 ounces are left, OH-NO! I'm very happy that the brewery will be bottling a batch of this in January or February! Yahoo!

11-25-2004 23:21:49 | More by francisweizen
Photo of erica


4.58/5  rDev +13.1%

Took a trip up to Syracuse specifically for this beer. 7.5 hours round-trip of driving... i suppose it was well worth it.

So I ordered a pint of the old Dragonslayer... Imperial pint, that is. It was quite pretty, big brown head on top of a blacker than coffee beer. The aroma was fantastic, with lots of roasted malts, like a strong alcoholic espresso almost. The taste was amazing as well, had to knock it a half point only because it had a tad too much of an alcohol flavor. Otherwise it was real roasty, sweet, chocolatey a bit, dry bitter end with a caramel aftertaste. Very very nice. Mouthfeel was perfect, smooth and not thick like a milkshake. Went down almost too easily. Drinkability was good, but again because it was so strong and did actually taste strong, I would be passed out if I stuck to this all night.

Again, it was worth the drive, I was glad we went right when this was released, as we heard the brewer at Middle Ages saying that it's gone in about 2 weeks. Looking forward to them bottling it in January!

11-23-2004 16:02:22 | More by erica
Photo of GreatPondBrewer


3.95/5  rDev -2.5%

While I was pleased with this beer I don't think it really lives up to the hype. It was a damn tasty one, but there was something lacking that a Stone or Storm King seems to possess. The pour from the growler produced a dark, black hole contained within my chalice and a burnt, carmel colored head. However, the head was very loose and disappeared within 30 seconds leaving just a flat black looking liquid in the glass. The nose was nice and sweet without the alcohol dominating the aroma. It relied heavily and caramel and chocolate notes and didn't possess much coffee character. There was alos a fair bit of grain notes present. The taste was about what I expected given the nose. It was a little thinner than most Imperials and had a very smokey almost burnt flavor. The sweetness was still there but it was less dominant. The alcohol had a definite warming effect and was quite substantial, but didn't knock the other flavors out of the picture. The mouthfeel was a tad thin as already stated and could do with some beefing up. All in all this is a fine beer and I am glad I found it on tap. I will certainly revisit it, but considering my impressions I will have to say that Storm King is still my top choice.

08-19-2004 15:21:47 | More by GreatPondBrewer
Photo of sulldaddy


4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

This was my first brew at the recent cask fest in New Haven. What a way to start!
The brew was poured into my sample glass and it is pitch black. No light getting through at all. There is a brown, soft, foamy head across the top of the brew.
Aroma is roasty coffee, chocolate dominated.
FIrst sip reveals an incredibly thick brew! The beer is very rich and malty, coffee and chocolate flavors from the start with a mild sweetness as well. The finish is very crisp and hoppy. This was one of the best brews I tasted at the fest, cant wait to try it again sometime!

01-27-2004 22:19:28 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of DagFishHead

New York

4.58/5  rDev +13.1%

1/2 Gallon Growler from Finger Lakes Beverage Center (Ithaca)... an incredible bargain at $11.29
Appearance: Used-oil black with garnet highlights at glasses edge. Frothy dark-espresso head just wont fade away leaving sheets of creamy lace.
Smell: Smokey/peaty roasted malt, espresso, bitter chocolate, burnt dark fruits, noticable hop nose, a touch of butterscotch and a big whiff of alcohol.
Taste: Medium-bodied, smokey semi-sweet malt to start. Bitter smoke with peat and dried dark fruits at the top. Alcohol glow fades to reveal a surprisingly dry and hoppy-bitter aftertaste. Dragon's breath.
Mouthfeel: Body is a bit thin for the style, carbonation level is medium and tingly. Alcohol warmth is full and round. Puckery finish.
Drinkability: The smokiness is just tad over the top for me as is the very dry, bitter-hop aftertaste. A very interesting departure from the "sweeter" examples of the style. I recommend you seek this out. Middle Ages is one hell of a brewery!

01-20-2004 00:17:02 | More by DagFishHead
Photo of nomad


4.9/5  rDev +21%

A black full glass crowned by a cafe au lait colored thin bubbly head, this was a modest looking stout with some messy lace. That's all.

Its smell comes in stages, successively: dark malt, chocolate cake, espresso, roasty malt, bitter chocolate, soapy hops, softly sweet herbal leaf scents. In sum, it smells of a nice roast and chocolate with espresso nips. Big, round, and lovely.

Taste is a wonderful mash of complex chocolate flavors: dark, sweet, and barely bitter. Lots of tasty nips of slightly milky espresso through the middle, as delicious mocha notes are occasional and a nascent roastiness lurks. The tangy hop finish is moderately long but low-lying, while warming alcohol hides after the swallow. A full body of flavours but, finally, an Imperial Stout without noxious hoppiness. Like its smell, big, round, and lovely. Not sweet, bitter, or mouth-pounding. Somewhere between all of the above, it deftly shifts through many of the great aspects of an Imperial Stout with a bare ripple from the Ringwood yeast.

I could not get enough of this full and rich stout in need of no aging, just begging for quaffing. Found it to be truly amazing and easily more than a step above Victory Storm King or Samuel Smith Imperial Stout.

NOTE: Two months later and I still can't forget this beer...

12-30-2003 01:08:26 | More by nomad
Dragonslayer from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
90 out of 100 based on 453 ratings.