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Dragonslayer - Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

460 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 460
Reviews: 344
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.85%
Wants: 66
Gots: 29 | 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: 460 | Reviews: 344 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dick783
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pitch black in color with a nice 1 1/2" brown head on it. Small bubbles of carbonation can be seen rising up through the glass if you look closely. Just a thing of buety to look at

S: Delicious bakers chocolate smell to it. I get some coffee and the roasted malts come through as well. Exceptional Smell.

T: Started drinkin it too cold but once I let it warm up a bit the taste really came through. Nice bitter chocolate taste to it with some black coffee coming though as well. All and all pretty good.

M: Somewhat thin in the mouth but overall not bad.

A good imperial stout. I've had better but I dont see any reason not to pick up another one of these.

dick783, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of bjohnson
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After seeing the reviews, I was very excited to find this 22 oz. Bomber and try it out. Pours a black or very very deep/dark brown with a 2 to 2 1/2 finger soft foamy head. Smells of chocolate, coffee, smokey, roasted malts with tastes of coco, coffee, and a little fruit in there somewhere. Mouthfeel is great, not too heavy, easy to drink which is suprising for the ABV. This is a very drinkable beer especially one for that cold winter day while sitting by the fire.

bjohnson, Nov 10, 2005
Photo of jdhilt
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a two-finger brown head that fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Black, opaque color. Medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Nose is roasted coffee. Starts semi-sweet roasted coffee, finish is burnt coffee. Expecting something just a little sweeter. Label has an ABV of 9.5% but it is not noticable. $4.99 for a 22 oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

jdhilt, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of MattBrooks
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber.

I have long been a fan of this style and I believe I have now found not only my favorite in this category; but perhaps one of my all-time favorite beers. I'll agree with some of the other posts, that for a beer of 9+% alc it does go down almost too easily, but that only make me like it more. Black in color, smoky and chocolatey on the nose, it has perfect balance and does not come on too bitter or too sweet. Very smooth on the finish. This is the ultimate beer for those seeking a warming libation in the cold weather.

MattBrooks, Nov 05, 2005
Photo of Danny2321
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Sunset 11/3

A - Small dark brown head with a blackness so dark it looked like oil, so for fun I held it up to a light. Nothing came through, just how I like my imperial stouts.

S - For a beer so strong, it smelt sweet. I even let one of my roommates take a whif, and to quote him, "wow, this just smells good"

T - Phenomanal. A smooth chcolate undertone is definately there with the upfront roasted barley. Aftertaste lingers nicely and doesn't get too bitter, especially as it warms up a bit.

M - Silky smooth, not too thick, but not too thin. Somewhere in the middle there. Could have been thicker for such a stout, but I feel any more than is there would take away from how smooth it really is.

D - For a 9%+ ABV, this goes down almost too easily. I finished my 13oz glass with a smile on my face. I couldn't sit and pound this, but I definately could have had another.

Danny2321, Nov 04, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber.

Pours out an inky black with a generous brown head that clings pretty well and leaves big, cobwebby lacing. Very nice to look at, not the biggest head, but retains well.

Smell is predominantly sweet malt and roasted barley, with the roastiness coming through loud and clear. No real hints of alcohol in the nose, but there is some light fruitiness and a big coffee scent that couples well with the roasted aromas.

Flavor is fantastic, particularly as it warms up a bit. Hugely, almost over-the-top, roasted barley flavor, but it's not quite overdone. There's a generous smattering of chocolate, coffee, and fruit (am I getting a little fig in here?) in the flavor, with some raisins and a tiny little bit of hops that impart the slightest extra bitterness. The finish is all roasted grains, and the aftertaste lingers long with roasted grains and a hint of cocoa.

Mouthfeel is just a tad thin, I think, and could stand to be a tad chewier to stand up to the complexities of the flavor. It's by no means bad, just not as perfect as the rest.

Overall: Wow, I didn't even know they bottled this one until tonight. I'd heard so much about it, and it didn't disappoint, just a really supremely-crafted big stout with tons of roastiness.

whartontallboy, Nov 02, 2005
Photo of FirstMan
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at Redbones bbq in Somerville, MA. Kudos to them for having this.

Big black blackness in the glass with a mocha-colored frothy, fluffy head. Good retention, leaving sticky lacing as it dies down.

Nose is rich with coffee as the predominant note. A flat sweetness, tempered by tones of woody smoke.

Oh yes. This is an imperial stout. Coffee again is the big player, but there's a strong alcohol presence that really wakes you up. Slightly acidic in the mouth, but tempered by a sweet, roasted malt flavor that tends toward the dry side. Hop bitterness isn't big in this one, but it's there.

This is a one-pint kind of beer for me. Big and strong. Great as a warmer on a cold evening, but not something I could drink more than one of.

FirstMan, Oct 30, 2005
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

DarkerTheBetter, Oct 28, 2005
Photo of NEhophead
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

NEhophead, Oct 25, 2005
Photo of wedge
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

wedge, Oct 24, 2005
Photo of tastybeer
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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.

tastybeer, Oct 24, 2005
Photo of orfeu
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.]

orfeu, Oct 23, 2005
Photo of Naes
2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

Naes, Oct 23, 2005
Photo of Truh
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Truh, Oct 18, 2005
Photo of MuddyFeet
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

MuddyFeet, Sep 15, 2005
Photo of warriorsoul
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

warriorsoul, Sep 15, 2005
Photo of CBFanWish
4.9/5  rDev +21%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

CBFanWish, Apr 05, 2005
Photo of Loki
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Loki, Mar 29, 2005
Photo of meathookjones
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

meathookjones, Mar 23, 2005
Photo of HappyHourHero
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

HappyHourHero, Feb 12, 2005
Photo of SheepNutz
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

SheepNutz, Jan 31, 2005
Photo of clvand0
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

clvand0, Jan 27, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

kmpitz2, Jan 27, 2005
Photo of shippos
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

shippos, Jan 10, 2005
Photo of CRJMellor
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

CRJMellor, Jan 08, 2005
Dragonslayer from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
90 out of 100 based on 460 ratings.