Giant Slayer - Tri-City Brewing Company

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Giant SlayerGiant Slayer

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47 Reviews
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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 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 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 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 JustLikeMyDad
2.7/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Drank from the bottle, so I can't comment on looks, but I assume it pours dark. It tastes dark.
It smelled chocolaty, and even thick. And it felt even thicker to drink.
Tasted heavily of chocolate, like drinking melted chocolate, but not quite as thick.
If you like bitter, and bold chocolate tastes, this is for you.

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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 Chaz
3.21/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a pitch black in color, topped with a dark tan head. An aggressive pour allows for a nice-sized, dark tan head, and just a little in the way of lacing. Head falls at an average rate.

Nose is very good, roasted malts. Smells sweet, with notes of chocolate and espresso. Slightly acidic and tangy.

Rather sweet on the first sip, but with all of the aspects from the nose being otherwise present. Rich, a bit tangier than usual (and in a good way), reminding me a bit of Le Coq -- a benchmark of the style at some level.

Lighter in body than many examples out there today, but not by too much.

Seems to have been well-filtered, or at least there is not much in the way of sediment at the end of the pour.

The bar on this style of beer has been set fairly high for years, now, and Giant Slayer just squeaks-by as being slightly above average. Worth a try.

Poured from a bottle: No production codes / best-by dates that I can see.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.29/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

$ 1.89/12 oz bottle at Lager Mill
Bottle at 40 degrees into imperial pint
Aroma of malt and chocolate
Head – basically none – a small head forms but disappears almost immediately after the pour, leaving a 2 mm ring which is light brown
Lacing none
Body very dark brown to black, opaque
Flavor of dark malt and chocolate, moderately sweet; no alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl. There is some bitterness at the end.
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation.

Overall, a decent RIS with a good price point. The flavor could have more depth and longevity, but overall this is an acceptable gateway RIS.

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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 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 SerialTicker
3.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A surprisingly cheap $2 single. Poured it into a shaker pint. Had their Giant Vanilla Slayer at last year's World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth and thought it was a fantastic beer. How's this one?

Appearance: A half-aggressive pour had to be stopped after three ounces due to an insane amount of foaming. What? I haven't seen that for an Imperial Stout in my LIFE. Huge cinnamon colored head that eventually went down to about half a finger and stayed. A lot of lacing. Pitch black hued brew.

Smell: B-L-A-H. Worst Imperial Stout I've whiffed, that I can remember. I've never smelled one quite so bland. Mild roast, but I actually get a lot of hop character in there. So much so that it almost smells like a black IPA, but not quite. Well, I don't think it's so much that the hops are potent as the other characteristics are just subdued. A shame.

Taste/feel: A medium sort of feel with a moderate carbonation. Not quite what I'd expect for the style, but not bad. That hop character comes through on the start with a weird, surprising wave of... saltiness? This is an incredibly salty tasting beer. On the back there's a very pleasant roasty character with some chocolate and alcohol warmth, but it's not there enough through the sip, or even on the finish.

A decent beer. Considering a single bottle was $2, this is about what I expected. The biggest drawback for this beer, aside from the fact that it doesn't have a huge roasty boldness I affiliate with an Imperial Stout, and the feel is a bit off, is definitely that unusual amount of, for the lack of a better description, SALTINESS that I get on this one. Not a soy sauce sort of flavor or anything, just... salt. So much in fact that for a moment after each sip I take, I swear I feel a slight bit of acid reflux -- and I very, very rarely get acid reflux. In case you're wondering, no, I didn't eat anything recently that'd cause it.

It's a fair value for $2 for the ABV alone... and hey, it tastes alright as well. just don't drink too much of this, because you may end up dehydrated. Not from the alcohol, but from the salt.

(I swear to God, there must be a tablespoon per bottle. Why doesn't it ruin the beer for me?)

Give Giant Salter -- I mean Slayer -- a run for yourself.

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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 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 HarrySTruman
2.85/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured a dark brown with a small head into a tulip.

Smells like chocolate and malts. A bit of toffee or coffee rings through.

Tastes of chocolate and roasted malts. A hint of something sweet, but really just a hint.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin and almost carbonated. Really lacks the smooth and robust profile I prefer in an RIS.

Worth a taste, but a bit below average for the style. Lacks any real complexity and isn't much of a warmer. I think the thin mouthfeel is where it really falls short. I think the lower ABV for an RIS at 8.5% may be a reason why it is so underwhelming. Not a big flavor or a nice, thick RIS.

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Photo of gmfessen
3.13/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, Giant Slayer is black as night and pours like motor oil. The head is one-finger, fluffy and mocha colored. The nose is all malt as you might expect, dark fruits like dates and currants along with roasty malt notes like burnt coffee and dark chocolate. The taste follows suit with the fruity notes coming to the forefront; acrid, bitter notes on the finish. Mouthfeel is light for a RIS, with the carbonation being very inactive and thin. Overall, not an overly impressive RIS... Drinkable but not something to seek out.

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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 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 ThickNStout
2.58/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

12oz bottle from Beer Barron (Detroit, MI). 2.69. No bottling info but I brought it back from MI last June so it's at least 7 months old. Served in a Red Brick snifter.

Pours deep brown, near-black with a quarter finger mocha head that laces a decent amount.

Smells are muted but include cocoa, cream and a little caramel.

Taste follows the nose, including the 'muted' aspect. Cocoa, mocha latte, caramel, toffee and bitter/sour dark fruit skins.

Medium feel with an over sharp carbonation. Long bitter, almost sour cocoa/cherry pit finish.

Not really bad but far from great. As another reviewer suggested, I'm not sure if I'm dealing with an infected batch or just something that just plain isn't brewed to my preferences. At any rate I plan to pass on this in the future.

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Photo of n2185
3.13/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours black with an explosive three fingers of brown head that fades into a thin ring with a little lacing.

S: Roasted malts with creamy chocolate and coffee aromas. The finish is smokey and a bit charred.

T: Roasted malts here as well with bitter cocoa and some slight coffee notes. The finish is slightly bitter and charred with an odd sour cherry character.

M: Thick body with mid-high carbonation, this beer has higher carbonation than most imperial stouts, but it works out well.

O: An alright imperial stout overall. It's a bit lacking in depth and I think it might be a bit infected based on the slightly sour flavor and high carbonation.

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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 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 ghostwalker
3.21/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap in a MI Whole Foods.

A: Appropriately dark body with a thin finger of tan head.

S: Not a lot of nose. Roasty, malty, slightly fruity.

T: Dark fruits and roasty, in that order. Low complexity and no real hop character. Thin on flavor for the style. What there is is a well balanced combination.

M: Thin, slightly oily. Decent carb level.

O: Solid, but unexceptional RIS. Love the D&D influenced label.

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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 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 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 StoutHunter
3.31/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I picked up a bottle of Tri-City's Giant Slayer a couple weeks ago for $1.79 at The Lager Mill. I have about getting this beer before but have always passed it up for more well known RIS's, but I decided to stop procrastinating and give it a try, so let's see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label on this beer looks a pretty good, I like the action shot of the knight, it's fitting for an RIS. It poured a pretty dark black color that didn't let any light through when held to the light and it had a fingers worth of mocha colored head that quickly died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end.

S- The first thing I pick is a pretty noticeable rubbing alcohol like aroma that is followed by some dark fruits and a pretty noticeable chocolate aroma. I didn't get any hops in the aroma. It smells like it's going to be pretty boozy.

T- The flavor starts of with a good amount of medium roasted malts that impart a nice steady chocolate flavor with a little bit of dark fruits thrown in for good measure. Alcohol is noticeable, but not nearly as overpowering as it was in the aroma. It had a slight bitter finish with no hops to be found.

M- Smooth, on the full side of being medium bodied, and it had a light amount of carbonation, that could have had just a little more.

Overall I thought that this was a OK RIS. It had a pretty good flavor that wasn't as complex as I would like it but still pretty true to the style. I thought from the aroma that this was gonna be pretty boozy, but thankfully it was toned down much more in the flavor and that made it pretty drinkable for an RIS. What I liked most about this beer was the flavor, it was pretty on par for the style but not as complex as it could be. What I liked least about this beer was the aroma, the dark malt aromas weren't bad, but the booze really came through and overpowered a lot of the other aromas. I might buy this beer again when wanting and RIS, but there's a good chance I will choose an Old Rasputin instead. This RIS is worth a try but it doesn't compare to some of the best in the style. This beer was good for what it was but it wasn't on par with founders RIS, or Old Rasputin. 2013 I've had this beer a few times since I first reviewed and I think it's a little better then I gave it credit for so I'm adjusting the scores accordingly.

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