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Giant Slayer - Tri-City Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Giant SlayerGiant Slayer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

47 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 47
Hads: 141
Avg: 3.3
pDev: 32.42%
Wants: 1
Gots: 29 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Tri-City Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: david131 on 01-27-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 47 | Hads: 141
Photo of SometimesIfart
4.95/5  rDev +50%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Tri-City Giant Slayer.

Randomly grabbed this bottle at a convenience store I had never previously been to. Hell, never even heard of the brewer and they are apparently from a few dozen miles North of me. Let us see what we get.

Look - Well it is certainly black. As black as your ex girlfriends heart as a matter of fact. One finger of the darkest head I've ever seen on any beer in the history of ever. Retains okay, eventually breaking down into cloud formations meaning this one will be all straight flavor and no fairy tale gobbledegook. No lacing remains after a slain giant. 4.5.

Smell - These are the things true RIS are made. The alcoholic heat is immediately detectable in the nose, almost like this guy sat in bourbon barrels for a decade. This pretty much smells like a dark coffee on a cold Michigan late December-early January morning with a shot of your favorite whiskey tossed into it to ensure all those thoughts of your ex girlfriend I mentioned earlier fades away into the black abyss you may be about to enter. 5

Taste - Upon touching the tongue the booze delivers swift and immediate justice. Dark, DARK coffees and a touch of creamy espresso are the main flavorful factors in this guy. There is some sure roasted, almost burnt meats going on as well as the beer warms. This is truly a winter beer that I'm drinking on a cool July night, buttfukkithailsatan. 5

Feel - Oil. Oil. Oil more. Light carbonation tickles the tongue and it goes number and number as it sits due to the alcohol. 4.75

Overall - Well, it may not score a PERFECT 5..But this is one hell of a stout and I cannot believe there is only one review for it on here..Things like that make me want to just ship every member of BA a bottle. Too bad I'm not rich. BUT..if it ever gains the popularity the big names have, it will be a whale. You heard it here folks, grab 'em while they are still cheap and readily available!. This is officially the RIS that all other RIS' shall be judged by to me. And at 10 and some change percentage wise, and $2.19 a bottle, you'd be a fucking fool not to pick this up. 5.

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Photo of Bottleguy
4.62/5  rDev +40%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This stout is on POINT. Definately in my top three beers. What got me was the label, reminiscent of tabletop games. This beer would fit right in to that image. Light carbonation, definate stout feel, not a session, but great to have around with a few beer geeks. Love it.

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Photo of msquared36
4.24/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Solid black - opaque. Little head retention or lacing.

Aroma is chocolate and smoke.

Taste of leather and tobacco with a finishing ripe dark fruit sweetness.

Very smooth with a fine carbonation.

Well balanced beer. The roasted, tobacco taste is strong, but not overpowering due to the sweetness. Hides the alcohol well. This is my first beer from Tri City and am impressed.

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Photo of crossovert
4.14/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.

It pours pretty much the qiuntessinial way for a RIs Thick, inky black body with a huge fomay tan head that sticks forever before receding to some nice thick-walled style lacing.

The smell is pretty good. It is roasty, it reminds me of a baltic porter in a way, or rather an imperial baltic porter. Not in the yeast but in the overall cocoa, raoastinees, and caramel levels.

The flavor is pretty good. Just what I am looking for in a RIS, not too much cloying sweetness, waves of roasted malt flavors. Think abyss without all the additives.

edit: somehow i was the top score for this. I think there might have been a bad bath floating around out there.

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Photo of BierFan
4.05/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Decent sized cappuccino colored brown head and a very black body. Real good head retention for the style. Doesn't leave that great of lacing.

Smell: Lots of roasted black coffee, char, dark chocolate. Kinda smokey.

Taste: Smoke and coffee with an appropriate bitterness. Bitter dark chocolate sweetness comes mostly in the aftertaste.

Amazing RIS for the price I payed for the 12 ounce bottle. I really wasn't expecting much from this beer but it was a very pleasant surprise for me.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.03/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Pours a deep, jet black with two fingers of tan head that drop rather quickly.

Aromas of dark roasted coffee, licorise, roasted malts, and some dark cocoa.

Flavors of dark cocoa, dark coffee, licorise. Finish is long, darkly sweet, with hints of bitter cocoa.

Mouthfeel is big, chewy, malty. Some alcohol warmth.

Overall a good effort. Nothing too aggressive or offensive.

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Photo of WakeandBake
4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark black color pour with a big long lasting brown head , leaving lots of sticky lacing , medium carbonation , A very nice looking beer . Aroma is of charred sweet malt , caramel ,nuts , toffee and chocolate . Flavor is sweet up front lots of roast , coffee and chocolate , alcohol is well hidden , some earthy hops (could use a bit more) yet a pretty good level of bitterness seemingly from the malt . full body , big chewy mouthfeel with a long roasty finish . Very drinkable . Not a tun of complexity but still a very good stout , I gave an extra point over all for a kick ass name and label . . This brewery is serious about beer and Im stoked to be able to get this at my local beer store. I have bought this as single several times now and is becoming one of my favorite MI stouts . NIce work Tri City

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Photo of liamt07
3.91/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by solidfunk (RB), 12oz into a tulip.

Dark brown, medium brown/crimson head that leaves a ring of retention. Nose is chocolatey, earthy, mild vanilla and tobacco. Tastes of chocolate, banana, roasted malts, sweet dark malts anf roast carries into the finish. Medium full feel, low smooth carbonation. Relatively drinkable, and altogether not that bad from a brewery I've never heard about.

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Photo of biegaman
3.69/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

'Giant Slayer' is a cool name for a beer that looks so big and strong; its deep, inky-black tone is sure to be intimidating to most people. It's a natural to play 'David' considering none of the 'Goliath' breweries offer anything remotely so dark or opaque. The most colourful part of the beer is its hazelnut-coloured head... while it lasted.

To be entirely honest, I was expecting the worst after reading the reviews for this beer on the two big rating sites. It's my first offering from this tiny, unknown Michigan brewery. But much to my relief, the aroma shows no noticeable signs of infection and, along with the appearance, is promising. Fudge-y malts, dark fruits, and black licorice are a very decent start.

The flavour has enough chocolate, vanilla, and coffee to keep me happy. It's not the symphony that some Russian Imperial Stouts offer up but it's serviceable. The finish is lightly ashy with an appreciable smokiness and a leafy bitterness that's been entwined with black licorice notes. It's well composed for its strength (though 8.5% is conservative for the style).

The mouthfeel reveals an underlying sweetness reminiscent of brown sugar or molasses. This covers for the faint soy sauce-like impression (and compliments the chocolate brownie and black coffee flavours). It has a hint of oak too, even though it's not barrel-aged (this likely owing to the presence of vanilla bean on the finish). Drink it now. I doubt it'll cellar well.

It looks I was in the lucky minority to get a non-infected bottle of Giant Slayer - take my word, it's not a bad little.. err, big recipe. It doesn't rival Michigan's best Imperial Stouts (Founders' or any of the many Bells) but the people of Bay City can't consider themselves hard-done by; if this were on-tap near me I'd have to hire someone to carry me home.

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Photo of breakingbland
3.68/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served from a bottle.

The beer pours a deep opaque brown. The head is a persistent whipped cream medium brown. There is an aroma of malt, as well as some fresh fruit and alcohol. The taste is typical of a stout along with some alcoholic heat but nice. The beer has a rich body and good carbonation with a luscious feel upon warming.

Overall, this is a good beer and I would get it again. It was pleasant but not harsh.

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Photo of metter98
3.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short mocha colored head that died down a bit but never completely faded away.
S: Moderate aromas of licorice, dark malts and molasses are present in the nose.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and has additional hints of roasted malts in the flavors, most particularly towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation along with hints of dryness towards the finish.
O: This beer feels a little lighter in body compared to other Russian Imperial Stouts, but isn't too difficult to drink.

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Photo of Sammy
3.64/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Great head, thick and very bubbly. Black body. Aroma is chocolate and roasty. Taste is coffee and sweet. Rather sweet for a RIS. Rather fair for a RIS, but quaff able. Thanks Josh for sharing. Middling mouthfeel, though a spot acidic.Mouthfeel is tingling.

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Photo of silentjay
3.6/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours pitch black with a dark, dark mocha head that reminds me of a Dark Horse stout in appearance, though it quickly dissipates to a thin film leaving behind chunks of lacing.

roasty aroma with dark caramel, molasses, a lot of woody hops, some char and a slight bit of anisette. pretty aromatic and hits all the check-marks for the style.

taste is a bit lack-luster compared to the promise from the appearance and aroma. definitely roasty, but without the complexities I like in the style. a roasty milk stout, it seems, as there is a semblance of lactose sugar in there, although I have no idea if its brewed with it or not. Roasty with some lactose sweetness is all I'm getting. A touch of the woody hops come to play when it warms, but would like a lot more of this.

thinner than an RIS should be. creamy, though, like a milk stout. subtle carbonation works well, but overall it feels like drinking skim milk.

It's not bad. It's not great. pretty nondescript. I wouldn't pass one of these down, but I wouldn't seek it out either. with some pretty stiff competition in the style, this one fails to make a name for itself. Its definitely an above-average beer, but by no means is it legendary or a "giant slayer"

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.59/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to semibaked. pours a typical jet-black with dark reddish-brown head. a vigorous pour yields half a finger of head that quickly dissipates and leaves no trace behind. not quite on the level of giant slaying.

aroma is heavy on the roast, blackstrap molasses with sea salt, heather, leather and kiwi shoe polish undertones. coffee and some burnt bread. fairly subdued... I feel like I keep waiting for it to brighten up, but it doesn't happen.

taste is heavy on the roast. burnt coffee, wet leather, toffee, cocoa powder. I'm kind of digging it. not as boozy or intense as many a RIS, but certainly enjoyable. again, not quite as flavorful as I want it to be, but for a nice, heavily roasted RIS, I'm liking it.

Moderate body with a hefty viscous finish. decent carbonation for the style helps from being cloyingly thick. Not bad.

All in all, I actually quite enjoyed this one. Not as robust, rich, or boozy as many RISs out there, but I kind of like that. I was pleasantly surprised when i tried it, and even more surprised when i checked the other reviews. Maybe there's something about it that just jives right with my palette, although my other half commented that she wished we had more than the one bottle as well.

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Photo of MadScientist
3.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This is a jet black beer with a medium brown head. The head dissipates to a ring around the glass after a minute.

S: The strong malt aroma take on qualities of coffee, a slight chocolate and some burnt notes. There are moderate dark fruit notes of prune. There doen't seem to be any hops aromas but there is some alcohol.

T: True to style the flavor is deep rich and strong with roasted and dark grain flavors dominating. The roasty grain has flavors of coffee and chocolate with a moderately-light plum flavor. There is a bitter sweet chocolate flavor going on with a moderate amount of bitterness. The alcohol is evident but no too strong. There is a bit of sweetness in the middle but it all comes together with a relatively dry finish and lingering bitterness.

M: This beer is velvety and full bodied with a moderately light level of carbonation.

O: Giant slayer has a rich roasty coffee and dark fruit aroma with an outstanding mouthfeel. The first impression from the aroma had me anticipating a beer brewed with coffee the aroma was that strong. It's a good Russian Imperial, but not my favorite

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.57/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Kyle!

Pours black with not much head upon pouring. Agitation and an aggressive pour create a very nice mocha looking head. I wish that the beer would keep this keep this beautiful color.

The smell is strange for a RIS. Very malt heavy with a spicy pine smell, I can detect a touch of chocolate and coffee.

Mild chocolate and coffee bitterness round out the taste. Some sweet and spiciness add some flare to make this true to style.

Medium in the mouth, this does not provide much interest while on the tongue. Carbonation is a bit much for this style.

Overall, this is not the best nor the worst RIS. I would say this is low ABV for the style, and the taste shows this in the form of less flavor.

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Photo of enfield249
3.53/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark black with no highlights, and a head of espresso.

S - Sweetness, black patent, coffee and slight chocolate.

T - Basically the same as the smell, but with more of a accent on the coffee.

M - Full and thick. Slightly astringent.

D - A decent RIS. Very tasty, and full, but nothing out the ordinary. Perhaps we are all used to amazing beers, and a standard beer is considered "sub-par" Be that as it may, a fine beer.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.52/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on 6-4-09

Pours very thick and black, with lots of yest that I didn't realize was there until it was too late. A thinning head leaves small ring of lacing.

Smell is kind of fruity, tons of yeast, with a nice burnt malt and a decent anise aroma.

Taste is very smoky and burnt, actually rather enjoyable. Surprisingly bitter, the hops come through in a charcoal way, which is rather unique, and a nice twist.

Mouthfeel kills the whole experience, way too thin and watery. A major disappointment.

Drinkability would be better if the mouthfeel helped out a little.

Overall, much better than I expected, but still unfortunately flawed.

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Photo of BBP
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours black with a slight brown head. Decent lacing.

S- Initially it smelled like a porter with more of a dark malt focus but it began to take on more roasty aromas after it warmed up.

T- Roastiness and then more roastiness. A bit of chocolate in the aftertaste. The finish is very light but similar to a dark chocolate bar.

I got hints of the metallic taste like others but only when I was looking for it. It's possible that others may have had

M- Medium body to slightly light for the style. Fairly sticky in the finish and moderately dry.

O- To say this is a bad RIS would be completely wrong, but it didn't impress me all that much. I've still yet to have an imperial stout that I haven't liked.

I thought this one just seemed lacking in complexity and body compared to the others. The alcohol was hidden quite well as a plus, but for that reason I could almost see it fitting into the regular stout category a bit better.

From the reviews at hand, it seems there may be a consistency problem. I will have to try this again to see. For the price, it can easily merit a second go.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.43/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a nonic pint.

A- 1/2 finger dark brown head and a near jet body with red-brown highlights. Head drops to a thin film and leaves really good stick.

S- A little muted at first. Roasty malts, lighter, dark chocolate qualities. Almost smoky with a little warmth. Even later, alcohol reveals itself a bit too much. Roasty is the main scent. That said, it never seems to open up.

T- Lots of roasted malts. Medium, dark chocolate isn't overly sweet, but not very bitter either. Hints of dark, cooked or dried fruits later on. Alcohol is warm, not sharp, but kind of wears on you throughout the bottle. More flavor than the aroma would let on.

M- Light carbonation and solid viscosity is pleasant. A touch chalky perhaps. Warm alcohol in the finish. Generally good.

D- It's alright, but doesn't set itself apart. Dollar for dollar it's solid. However, I'm willing to pay $.50 more for a bottle of something I enjoy a little more. Glad I tried it. Not going to seek it out. Might buy it to round out a mixed sixer during the colder months.

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Photo of Gryphon69
3.42/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle
no visable date, purchased 12/13

A- Wow, insane amount of head, with only about half the bottle in the glass before I had to stop head was about 2inchs high lol. Dark mocha colored head, after 2-3 minutes the head fell to less than a finger high, but left crazy amounts of lacing all the way to the top and stays stuck. Beer is near black in color.

S- Was hoping for more after the crazy head. You can smell the roasted malts, some cocoas, small amounts of dark fruits, slight amount of coffee, some vanillas in the finish. Its all there I suppose, but nothing stands out and goes BAM.

T- Real close to the nose, with nothing jumping out to make you want to run out and grab more.

M- Medium body that is more watery than slick. Was expecting more creamy with the head, but no. Carbonations is light and fizzels over your tongue as it coats it.

O- The head is the most impressive part of this one and everything else is rather average, nothing bad, but nothing that makes me want to stock it. It was a good price at under $2 for the bottle, and worth trying just because its affordable. Average beer probably worth trying if you see it on the shelves.

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Photo of Bung
3.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. Black enough pour, ring of tan bubbles. Fairly calm looking which is fine.

Aroma, A bit phenolic, some more alcohol than one might like. Roast malt, molasses, chocolates peak out around that.

Taste, Quite roasty. Malt and coffee. Maybe considered near burnt, but it's on the border. Still dark chocolate and cocoa finish. Very dry, maybe more like a foreign stout. I had no overt problems with this.

Medium bodied, maybe a tad on the thinner side. Doesn't coat real well, more from the dry nature I think.

In all honesty I thought this was just fine. Maybe more over roasted roast coffee and cocoa than some would like.

All right, so the coffee becomes a little overbearing after a while.

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Photo of aasher
3.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This beer poured a medium bodied dark chocolate brown in color with a dark khaki lacing around the glass. It looks harmless enough. The nose is full of chocolate with some earthy leather to it. It almost has some salty smoke to it as well. The flavors are light yet effective. There is plenty of bitter chocolate, plenty of dark malt, an ever so slight roast, and that earthy leather again. It's decent. This beer could definitely have more body. It's probably the lightest I've seen yet for the style. It isn't off putting, just below average for the style. It drinks light enough to be an easy drinker, it just doesn't have a lot of flavor. It's definitely not as bold as it could be. It's not bad, just not much better than average.

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Photo of Brad_Ford
3.38/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Poured from a bottle into a pint glass 8/18/2015. Pours dark espresso with a bubbly tan, creamy head that dissipates to a wispy layer on top. As it warms, the head dissipated completely.

Aroma: Cream, smoke, oak, coffee, alcohol - appealing

Taste: roasted malt, coffee dominate upfront with an astringent alcohol finish that drops off quickly. complexity is a little lacking

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin throughout, looks like it would be more viscous than it is

Overall: Above average but barely. The look and smell lull you into thinking the taste will be better than it is. It comes with an overpowering punch of roasted malt and coffee flavor that falls off quickly to a thin wateriness.

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Photo of tpd975
3.38/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jale for this one. Jim is THE MAN.

A: Pours very deep dark black with a nice tall foamy mocha head. Excellent retention and nice big sheets of lace.

S: Dark chocolate, deep roasted malt, and a strange lactic aroma.

T: Nice rich roast, hints of dark fruit and acrid coffee. Chocolate peaks through. It has a bit of a strange metallic finish.

M: Medium in body, smooth, good carbonation.

D: Just okay, minus the strange metallic finish it would actually be quite good.

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Giant Slayer from Tri-City Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.