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Dragonslayer - Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

480 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 480
Reviews: 346
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 68
Gots: 40 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-22-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 480 | Reviews: 346
Photo of numenor1
4.61/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours inky black with a thick dark tan head that lasts for an age. Incredible lacing. Amazing. Smells sweet, deeply roasted and earthy. Flavor is stunning. Immediate roastiness across the palate, smoky, espresso notes, dark chocolate, raisins and currants, molasses. It's a spinning kaleidoscope of flavors, becomes supremely earthy and roasty to an unbelievable extreme through the finish, drying. Beautiful. One of the absolute best. Mouthfeel could be thicker but this is fine for my tastes. It drinks well.

Photo of Lnedrive14
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle from Bauer...

A: Thick, syrupy black with a dark tan head. The head leaves a ring around the glass for the duration of the session with nice lacing throughout.

S/T: Crisp, roasted malts, with a really spicy nose. Taste is really overwhelmingly east indian type spices. Coriander, cumin, others spices that start with C's. They are all in there. Quite a unique brew in that respect. Definitely some unrefined cocoa beans and coffee in there as well.

M/D: Sweet and creamy. Quite a drinkable brew. Could have sipped it all night long.

Photo of Higravity
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good Imperial Stout. Black as hell with a semi-coco colored head that falls in and leaves some lacing. Smells of coffee and sweet chocolate tempered by a touch of fruit hops in the background. Well rounded roasted flavor, with just the right amount of bit. A good dose of coffee and some char, with a nice malt finish and crisp hop pop at the end. The alochol is well hidden and the body is great leading to a very drinkable beer.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rather plain labeled 22 oz'er revealing no info. Wow! This pours a totally black hole black with no light squeaking out of the sides in this glass. Folks, it doesn't get any blacker with a quickly settled sand colored headcap.

Aroma is lighlty buttery with a thick scent of roasted malt. Sweet pastry notes in the nose.

First swigs: Black coffee and molasses. Full flavored stout. I enjoy the way that the toffee and butter from the Ringwood works with this. Dry floury lingering aftertaste. The most impressive aspect of Dragonslayer is that the 9.5% ABV is totally hidden.

Last swigs: Roasted malt and vanilla. Excellent version! Special big thanks to fellow BA IthacaBaron for the generous bottle.

Thick full feel with a syrupy feel.

Photo of sponberg
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I knew it was great on tap. And it's outstanding in bottle. But on cask... wow. Just... wow. Pours opaque, with a creamy brown head that leaves tell tale lace down the side of the glass. Aroma redolent of roasted malt, cocoa, toffee-alcohol, and maybe sone dried plums way in the back. Beautiful.

I can't improve on LBB's flavor profile description - it's all that. Go read what the Bum wrote then come back.

*patiently waits*

Now, I've never had a beer with such a silken yet chewy mouthfeel, combined with that delectable cask carbonation. It just doesn't get any better. Yet what kills me about the cask version is its ungodly drinkability. The alcohol remains almost undetectable. It goes down like it's an ESB. Seriously. Just look at your pint glass as you drink this. Look at the foam lines an inch or so apart from each of the quaffs. Then look at your empty glass and remember that it's 9+% ABV.

I don't give out all fives easily. This one... this one's all fives.

Photo of Prufrock
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into a pilsner.

pours pitch black with an inch and a half of tannish brown head that leaves nice lacing.

aroma is dominated by dark chocolate and coffee. reach deep and there's a touch of pine, dark fruits (plums?) and hints of alcohol as well. coffee aroma is incredibly strong, maybe too strong...like i've got a pot of fresh beans brewing right next to me.

thick, rich, nutty, chocolatey, mocha-y. enough hops to bitter the aftertaste and to keep the sweetness from being overpowering. very drinkable for an imperial stout. bit too much coffee in this one for my personal tastes, but this is one well put-together beer.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Ubiquitous 22 ounce Bomber sealed with a brass colored crown cap that has black “Middle Ages” text on it. Attractive label looks completely different to that one shown in the BA Database. The bottle label shows a silhouette of a flying dragon set against a yellow Moon which in turn is set against a black night sky. Listed as “Dragonslayer Imperial Stout” and “9.5% ABV” slightly higher than the current 9.2% strength listed on BA I note. No freshness date but I do know that this is a fresh bottling.

Appearance: Jet black on the pour, it appears to gloop like a liquid tar poured from a hose. A viscous heavy pour is slow at and so is the emergence of the head, but the feisty brown head soon appears out of the blackness. Backlit it exhibits a nice mahogany translucent body. The thick dark brown head soon builds into a cap covering; the carbon dioxide is finely dissolved and produces a silky soft conditioning cloud when gently swirled. Looks great.

Nose: Vinous, which I don’t recall from the Tap version, but I like it. Crushed coffee beans, dark chocolate, raisins and plum brandy pie with raisins. Rich dark chocolate tends to dominate but there is a nice hoppy aspect to this one too.

Taste: Gorgeously smooth with a beautifully crafted set of ingredient flavors that interact to sheer perfection. Dark chocolate, raisins, ground coffee beans, roasted malts and a very nice hoppy ending. The finish builds in strength and reveals some mild Vanilla and espresso coffee as it warms. The finish has a lovely hop laden twist too. This Imperial Stout is just soo good, nothing is out of place and it is impossible to critique.

Mouthfeel: Lots of thick textures and rich oily flavors, almost perfect with a silky lay down. The flavors previously listed all settle into a deep caramel base which adds a chewy aspect. Sinfully good.

Drinkability: I had a hard time not awarding a 5 here, I thought about reasons to a put 4.5, you know not to make it look perfect, but I struggled, the more I drink this, the easier it slipped down and the harder it became for me not to put a 5.0 here.

Overall: I managed to sample this famous libation at the Which Brew in Easton recently fresh from the Tap and was utterly marvelous from the Tap. Doesn’t seem quite as complex from the bottle, but it is just as great in different ways, let this one breathe a little to get the best from it. Thanks to erica for this bottle!!!

The legendary Dragonslayer, it really is that good.

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, I see no freshness nor vintage indication. Pours almost black with a cappucino head and respectable lacing. Nose is of powdered sugar, cocoa and some piney hops. This is an easy drinking RIS, pleanty of burnt malt, coffee, dark chocolate and vanilla notes. BA worthy suds for sure, go get some of this classy brew and enjoy.

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

my bottle says 9.5%, but what does the bottle know. 2005 fall release. 22oz. different label but what else is new around here.

solid black and shiny/oily pour creates a rich, creamy brownish head bearing shades of magenta. small bubbles appear at the crest, solid sea-foam candy lacing. head reduces but leaves a respectable layer. attractive. nose is amaretto, artificial banana, white chocolate and hop-flavored milk. also, another intriguing and complex scent that earns a certain level of respect. initially, flavor jolt of hops attacks.. big hops. flanked by sour english yeast and bitter, roasted peanut skins on either side. malt, choco-ness and java are expected and present. finishes a bit chalky and metallic, but overall a small white stain on a large black wall. creamy and heavy, perfectly balanced texturally for a stout of this magnitude and abv. as with most excellent russkies, this beer is able to hide the alcohol under flavor layers. well executed and a definite repeater.. especially at 1/2 the price of dark lord per bottle.

one of the three best beers from MA.

happy 500. hope you freaks like reading these.

Photo of Franchise
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a onyx color that leaves no chance of seeing through it. It leaves a thick brown lace that sticks to the glass giving you the perception it might have some sweetness. The appearance is so delicious, clear, and smooth.

As I lift this glass to my nose chocolate, nutmeg, brown sugar, roasted nuts all come out. With no smell of alcohal to be found. The taste is spectcular, the bitterness of the hops come out. it tastes like roasted bitter herbs followed by a hint of dark chocolate with only the faintest essence of burnt coffee in the aftertaste. Overall this beer is very crisp, sharp, with no hint of sweetness throughout the beer. A good RIS

Photo of deBeers
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh my! The beer gods have smiled upon me this cold and foreboding night. This pours a black the color of engine oil with a generous two finger creamy head of caramel colored goodnes.

At first very crisp and carbonated but not overly so. This beer grabs holds of your senses the way an experienced tango dancer would lead a novice partner. This is very fresh & superpbly delishous. Not as thick as some but the drinkability is unmatched imho.

As is settles and warms a bit the mouthfeel becomes more creamy although the the slight carbonation never leaves the picture. A hint of dates (or figs?) and raisins but primarily it's the roasted coffee and cocoa that soothes my tastes buds ever so subtley, yet at the same time upfront and forthright.

Decadent, rich and creamy; this is the most exsquisitely drinkable RIS I've had to date. Great for cold winter sessions but just watch the sneaky abv. I smuggled this into an open mic night and everyone was loving it. My smile couldn't be hidden enough and Guiness didn't even stand a chance.

Big thank you goes out to WarriorSoul for this lovely handcrafted brew. Thanks as well to Middle Ages and all who made this possible.


Photo of Foxman
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It came to me a seemingly featureless black, impassible to light...but no, faint glimpses of mahogany flash quickly in brighter light. A creamy two fingers of rich mocha head settle slowly to brown dots of froth. Caramel colored lacing clings valiantly to the inside of the glass.

The aroma was initially dominated by the swirling vapors of alcohol, but then gave up the dark bitterness of long-roasted coffee, along with bittersweet chocolate and a damp earth essence. The merest glint of soy glittered before the alcohol wound around again to evaporate all else.

The first sip was all about the deep roasted malt bitterness that boasted currents of espresso and barely sweet chocolate. Approaching but never reaching burnt, the profound roast unleashed a vinous center, with hints of raisin and cherry and a slight doughiness. A very mild taste of hops, general in nature, poked through for just a moment, before the alcohol burrowed its way to the surface, with ground given more grudgingly here than in the aroma, but still ceded just the same. The finish was fairly lingering, leaving a roasted grain bitterness along side a faint leathery earthiness. While at first glance a nice blend, and indeed it is, on reflection it seems to fall a bit short of the complex beast that many of this style profess to be.

Pretty much heavy of body, it's thick and substantial, chewy and very present on the palate.

This is one very good RIS, no question, but as others have mentioned, it was not as involved as I expected it to be. It's flavorful, rich, and blended artfully, but it's never really dense. And the ABV is very apparent, and may even go a ways toward limiting some of what you experience in both the aroma and the flavor. Also, that ABV is to be heeded, as it is no joke. Taken on its own, notwithstanding style, it is a pleasure to drink, and while it might have its quirks, I enjoyed it a lot. And frankly, I will again.

Photo of Shovelbum
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
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
4.88/5  rDev +20.5%
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
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
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
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
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
2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
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
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
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
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
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
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
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
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Dragonslayer from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
90 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.