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Dragonslayer - Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

468 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 468
Reviews: 345
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.85%
Wants: 67
Gots: 33 | 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)
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Ratings: 468 | Reviews: 345 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Shovelbum
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. No readily apparent evidence for dating.

Pours a robust frothy mocha-colored head over an impenetrable black body. Good lace and retention. Almost Belgian-like aromas of cherries, vinous fruit and alcohol with some hints of chocolate and roasted malt as well. Slightly sweet with chocolate, espresso, and roasted and burnt malt flavors. Hop bitterness is barely detectable, and only then in the finish. Full-bodied, not too syrupy, but a tad lean for the style. Low carbonation, low bitterness and quite smooth with a clean finish.

Complex, well-balanced flavors. An all-round great stout. Oh, and watch that ABV-- it'll sneak up on you.

Photo of OldSock
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – 22 oz bottle purchased from Julio's poured into my snifter. Black beer with a thin brown head that doesn't last long. Spotty lacing at best.

Smell – Strong alcohol aroma with chocolate, coffee and bread/dough playing support. There are some hops as well, mostly citrus. A bit too much alcohol in the nose for me particularly from a beer under 10% abv.

Taste – Slightly astringent roasted malt with mild alcohol and some light hops. The malt character comes across mostly chocolaty. The alcohol is the mouth is not nearly as powerful as the suggested. Fine flavor, but it lacks the complexity that RIS are know for.

Mouthfeel – Medium full body with carbonation that is too strong for my preference.

Drinkability & Notes – Seems a bit green, malts are too harsh and the alcohol needs to calm down. This beer is packed full of flavor, but it isn't particularly enjoyable or rewarding to drink. There are just too many exceptional RIS to drink this young, hopefully by the end of winter this will have mellowed a bit.

Photo of Sycodrummer
4.9/5  rDev +21%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap from the Sunset grill and tap in Allston, Mass. Was presented to me in a 13oz. toulip glass. The beer was a very dark black with a thick one finger dark tan head. No signs of carbonation, and some spotty lace throughout the sample.

The smell was alcohol, chocolate, and slight coffee. Some fainter fig and raisin as well.

The taste was suprisingly chocolately upfront and this served to do an incredible job of masking the alcohol. The beer drinks as if it was half its ABV making it very smooth and easy to drink for an RIS. Little hop or bitterness at all. Just a slight hint of bitterness at the very end of each sip. Coffee flavors are subtle throughout each sip so too are darker fruits.

Medium to firm body with little carbonation. Not overly thick or syrupy and quite easy to drink.

This one was quite good. Its devilish Alc. character is so well masked that one could easily have several of these before realizing how strong they are. Flavors are balanced very well and the beer is so easy to drink. Now one of my favorite RIS.

Photo of Derek
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice tan head, nice lace.

S: Roasty, a little plum/raisin.

T: Very smooth roasted flavour, no harsh/burnt flavour. Some really nice wine-like flavour (plum/raisin). There's certainly hop bitterness, but very little hop flavour (unlike some American versions). Truly awesome.

M: Full body, but not overly syrupy. Nice, moderately high carbonation.

D: Great.

A world class Russian Imperial Stout. I think it'd be rated as one of the best, if there weren't so many hop heads!

Photo of ppoitras
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased from Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1" dark dark brown head above theopaque black brew. Head hardly fades at all, with reasonable lacing. Aroma is dark malts and alcohol. Taste is burnt grains, with coffee and dark chocolate bitterness, alcohol warming at the close, with some dark fruit notes interpersed throughout. Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, and surprisingly light, for the style anyways, and drinkability is good, although the dark bitterness does stop you after a couple. Glad to see this one make it to the bottles.

Photo of tavernjef
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black. Thick. Percolating, fluffy, dark brown top of medium size sits atop. Lacing coats the glass like a fine frosting.

Aroma is dark and pungent with a good sized coffee roasted presense mixed with a dark bitter chocolate and rich chocolate cake. Notes of dark walnut, currants, and molasses make up the rest.

Thick and rich taster, velvety smooth, dark, very chocolatey, and welcomingly bold with bitterness. Deep and dark roastyness grabs at the front end all while tenderizing it with a semi sweet backing of burntish currants, milk, and molasses. Fills in with rich chocolate breads, fudge, coffee, and other realms of chocolatey goodness thats very bittering with a semi-slide into some oily green hoppyness and woodyness. Scorched, crispened leftovers of fudge brownies, coffee, and a light dance of dark fruit cake stay at the back as the coffee and super dark chocolate bitterness unsues for eternity. Nice...

Feel is thick, fairly full, or at least leads to fullness as it goes. Creamy and velvety with a lovely dark chocolate/coffee bitterness that lasts and lasts.

A full fledged stout that slays the palate with emense chocolatey bitterness, roasted coffee, and dark thickness. Middle Ages indeed!

Photo of mentor
2.93/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by crosling at a gather he hosted. Thanks for the enjoyable evening! Pours a thin layer of head over a pitch black liquid. No edging when held to light. Smells alcohol sting. Roast, chocolate, and mild toffee. Grassy hops. Tastes really sour black patent roasty. Chocolate and caramel a withered undertones over the astringent piercing black patent. Many hours over-cooked coffee. Too little on the supporting flavors for this one to be very enjoyable. A dry roasty finish pulls short due to the md-light body leaving the mouth very quickly.

Photo of waldowin
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured an inky black, capped by a dark brown thick head, which sticks around for ages, with excellent lacing.

Smells of cherries, bananas, and coffee.

Tastes heavily of bananas and cherries, with a finish of espresso and a hint of roast. Gorgeous!

Mouthfeel is big, chewy, rolling. Carbonation is spot-on, and your mouth is left with coffee.

The espresso finish and high ABV make this a bit of a stiff drinker, but it's very, very tasty.

Many thanks to IrishRedRock for this one! Wish I could get this stuff locally, it's a very good substitute for Stone's RIS.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.]

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dragonslayer from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
91 out of 100 based on 468 ratings.