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Giant Slayer - Tri-City Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Giant SlayerGiant Slayer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

48 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 48
Hads: 144
Avg: 3.31
pDev: 32.63%
Wants: 1
Gots: 28 | 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: 48 | Hads: 144
Photo of StoutHunter
3.31/5  rDev 0%
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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Photo of BBP
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
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 JonathanG
3.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this bottle up in MI back in May and am just now getting around to it. Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Wow, this is black and thickish, like really old, used motor oil. 1.5-finger dark tan/light brown head that quickly fades, with a film of head sticking around for the duration.

S: Molasses, dark chocolate, and french roast coffee grounds, as well as roasted malts. I don't really get too much alcohol off this, but it's pretty cold right now.

T: Mostly about the burnt coffee/french roast, with some dark chocolate coming in and out of play. Sort of like a metallic-hopped finish, along with the bitter coffee notes.

M: Medium-bodied, not too heavy at all for this style. Could maybe use a bit more heft. Needs to be "fleshed out".

O: It's OK, nothing special. Glad I tried it, but I don't know that I'll be buying more of it the next time I'm in MI.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.03/5  rDev +21.8%
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 djeucalyptus
3.59/5  rDev +8.5%
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 alleykatking
2.15/5  rDev -35%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks go out to VinnieVanGogh for this bottle.

A- Pours a deep black color. One finger mocha colored head shows horrible retention and seems to die before all the beer is poured out of the glass. Hints of speckled lace on the sides of the glass.

S- A little muted on the nose. Roasted malts come through with the help of my nose in the glass. Hints of darker chocolate come next then darker fruits. Light coffee in the backing with a distinct alcohol aroma in the end mixing with some overwhelming metallic tones in the finish.

T- Roasted upfront on this beer mixes with a touch of baker's chocolate in the inital front. The roast follows through as the baker's chocolate dies out. Hints of darker fruit and the first light alcohol note comes through. There is a coffee flavor that picks up from this point (middle of the beer) that welcomes the second coming of bitter chocolate. Darker fruits are on the ending along with a strong metallic flavor that makes me feel like I'm licking a can at first but by the end it is a only a minor annoyance. Alcohol is a little hot on the ending.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Light bitter chocolate, roasted malts, metal, and hints of coffee are left on the palate. Aftertaste is metal, light alcohol, light roasted malts, and chocolate. This beer is a little underbalanced I thought and needed a little more hop presence. A big metallic flavor was the key off flavor and killed a lot of the aroma and flavor profile to this beer. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer started off with some thing going for it. That is just about all it had though. A nice try but far from the mark in my book. If I could try this on tap it might be different. The ABV wasn't there which was nice but I'm thinking if the metallic overtones were missing then it might be a different story.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: pours a nice deep black with dark brown head, decent retention and a bit of lacing

S: notes of molasses, dark chocolate, dark fruits, and some herbal hops. Pretty mellow for a RIS on the nose.

T: sharp sweetness up front with bit of a metallic character. Finish is very sweet with a little bit of bitterness. There is some roast, but not enough to stand up to the sweetness.

MF: medium to light body for style, a bit sticky on the finish

D: not the best imperial stout. Some nice flavors in there, but overall its a little lacking.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.16/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle poured into my De Struise glass.... Terrible pour for a stout, only about half a finger of light tan head that is gone immediately to only a ring, light lacing. The body is dark brown, not much to see here... The aroma is tons of light bitter cocoa and chocolate, sweet but not half bad. A hint of roast... The taste is borderline terrible. The front for a millisecond is fine as there is some chocolate, but then you all there is terrible ash, charred coffee, bitter wood, and alcohol. Just horrendous, not one good thing about this...The feel is warm, ok carbonation.... This is not drinkable.

Big time pass.

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Photo of in780
2.61/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Here we go:

A - Black as night. A little bit of fizzy head, but fades quickly, and zero lacing.

S - Really muted, even ad it warms. I get some chocolate, but really more alcohol than anything.

T - Some highlights, creamy chocolate, sweet roasted malts. But oh boy, the coffee is overdone. I like coffee stouts, but this is way too overpowering and not that pleasant. Aftertaste is all bitter burnt coffee.

M - Pretty good, creamy and just a little carbonation

D - Not hard to drink, except for the aftertaste. Not reaching for another one.

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Photo of adams82
3.17/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours pitch-oil slick black, no highlights when held to a back light, no head what so ever, no lacing.

S: Roasted malt, dark chocolate, heavily roasted coffee, a hint of alcohol, raisin/dried plums. Almost seems too "standard" for the style; nothing really exciting, nothing really stands out.

T: Starts with the taste of sweetened bakers chocolate, which quickly fades as the roast kicks in which brings the heavy coffee flavor, bittersweet dark chocolate, finishes with a subtle nutty/dried dark fruit flavor with a nice bitter bite at the end. Little to no hop flavor. As it warms, the roasted flavors fade a bit and the sweet dark/dried fruit notes are more noticeable. Overall, I'd say this tastes like a "standard" RIS; it's just missing something that makes it memorable, fairly underwhelming.

M: The mouth feel is dense and robust; defiantly full bodied; silky smooth.

This certainly has the staple flavors of a RIS, but it's not complex and it really didn't "wow" me; nothing really stood out except for the fact that it didn't warm up too well. No head, no lacing, the aroma is lacking, and the flavor profile is rather mediocre.

If you're not too familiar with this style, I would start elsewhere if you want to wowed(perhaps Bell's Expedition), otherwise, its an "OK" beer that's suited for rounding out a mix pack; I wouldn't be apt to pick up more than a single.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.43/5  rDev +3.6%
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 SAxDRC5
1.9/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: pours a black with a mocha head that doesn't stick around for long. leaves an ok lacing.

S: the first thing i smell is coffee then a bit of chocolate, oak, and alcohol.

T: coffee is also the first thing I taste. it ends with a really strong alcohol burn and a strange and disgusting sour taste.

M: very carbonated, alcohol doesn't disguise itself at all, in fact it pretty much punches you in the face. 8.5%abv seems low for a RIS, but it is way to prevalent in the feel of this beer.

D: I don't want to finish this one.

In my quest for trying every Russian Imperial Stout I can get my hands on this is by far the worst I have tried.

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Photo of TCgoalie
3.57/5  rDev +7.9%
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 tpd975
3.38/5  rDev +2.1%
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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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.34/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. No bottle date or info.

A - Clear amber brown while it quietly pours, Giant Slayer ended up being as black as night in the glass with a dense two-finger, deep tan head. Good retention with a nice thick collar of lace left on the glass.

S - Soft English toffee blends with the light coffee nose and rich dark roasted malts momentarily before it turned into a rotting, moldy molasses funk as I can best describe it. I love molasses but this is off. Rank with damp cardboard.

T - Oxidized-like stale cardboard notes overwhelm the heavily roasted chocolate malts in here. Bitter chocolate and day-old cold coffee don't compliment well. Molasses finishes out and seems to be the only redeeming quality of this brew.

M - Thick and rich, Giant Slayer is full-bodied but extremely bitter-finishing, dry, and heavily carbonated.

D - Drain pour. This is overly off-putting and gross. It needs a lot of work to be quite honest. It's far too bitter and hard to choke down. This was a bad brew to end my sickness-induced ticking hiatus with.

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Photo of Magpie14
2.64/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: pours a murky brown and black with soft orange amber colors. Collectively a great mass of darkness. A quick and fleeting mocha colored cap did appear. Lacing is minimal. Body is large and in charge, looks like a good heavy stout

S: earthy, bitter cocoa, malts, and some illusive dark fruitiness. Coffee can be detected in the nose as well. Not sure if I have smelled anything like this before...whether good or bad I am not sure

T: hmm. Mostly full of heavy malts, cocoa and coffee beans with a hint of smokiness. These strong flavors bring out a snappy bitterness pulling in creamy nut-like notes and some dark fruit characters. In addition to this is wet cardboard. Warming does not enhance flavors but makes them overbearing, not to balanced this one. Alcohol peeks in as well

M: lush and pretty thick. Mouthfeel has some nice features but these are hampered by the clammy flavors

D: I pass on this one

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Photo of uno99
2.36/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served at 58 degrees into my Lucifer goblet. I like the sort of cliche' name and artwork, and the fact that there is no ABV anywhere on the bottle.

A: I've never seen a head dissapear faster and leave as little trace. The foamy 2 finger head was almost gone by the time I put the glass down. Looks kind of like squid ink or something sitting there in the glass.

S: Very boozy. I honestly cant detect much else but booze... what a shame. Might be better if there was some head.

T: Well, its boozy... but at least I can taste some malt in there. Pretty bad though to be honest.

M: Medium bodied, pretty sticky on the lips and teeth. a bit harshly carbonated. Could be the boozy nature of this beer making it feel harsher however.

D: This is a beer to avoid.

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Photo of BierFan
4.05/5  rDev +22.4%
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 enfield249
3.53/5  rDev +6.6%
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 WakeandBake
4/5  rDev +20.8%
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 sweemzander
2.98/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours thick & pitch black that produced an admirable frothy light brown head that initially cascaded for a second or two. Good retention behind the creamy looking head.

(S)- Lots of roasted coffee with even more raisin & molasses with tons of brown sugar & vanilla

(T)- Rather creamy with a big nutty sweetness with brown sugar. Behind that is a fitting roasted background with a light spice. Bits of cocoa & cola.

(M)- A slight higher carbonation than I would like in an RIS, but i guess its not too bothersome. A good balance of flavors. Very sweet & rich.

(D)- An alright RIS that fits the style to a point. The cola flavor is a bit weird. Gets better as it warms up. My biggest problem though is the more I drink of it, the more it strongly begins to taste of peanuts; not a big fan of that, particularly in an RIS.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.52/5  rDev +6.3%
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 david131
2.43/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Absolutely pitch black with only the slightest bit of light getting through at the edges. The head is very thick, creamy, and brown. Looks like serious business.

S- Cocoa powder, alcohol, malted milk powder, earthy, and just the slightest hint of cinnamon and a distinct nuttiness. This is just not appealing at all...

T- More appealing than the aroma, but still a distinct flavor that I do not like and have a bit of trouble placing- it's almost like melted plastic... Some chocolate, alcohol, nuttiness. Not a lot of depth.

M- A nice amount of carbonation and it is pretty smooth, but the aftertaste is just not nice. Pretty dry.

D- Well, this was just a disappointment. This is just not very good. I wish I knew what the ABV was so I knew what to do with this.

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Giant Slayer from Tri-City Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.