Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #455
Ranked #5,586
4.05 | pDev: 11.85%
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
New York, United States
Reviews: 353 | Ratings: 509 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of RobertColianni
RobertColianni from Pennsylvania

3.22/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

12-16 year old bottle: roast, charcoal, pepper, water, light metallic, well carbonated.

This held up considerably well, but the watery feel and light metallic taste distract from pleasantly fragrant roasted coffee and char notes.

Dec 06, 2020
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.17/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Consumed February 20, 2016.

Pours black, brown head, 1/2". Roasted barley. Didn't get much of that dark fruit yeast that Russian Imperial Stouts like to kick around on the regular (thankfully).

Taste did kick some of those dark fruit bitter notes. A lot of them. Also might have aged all those prunes and raisins (joking) in a vat of pennies. Its bitter. Charred smoke note. Not charred coffee note, like a charred raisin note. Aytime you get a bunch of these notes, it seems like it just amps the mouth feel for alcohol up into the stratosphere and here is a prime example of that. Pretty acrid at times. Licorice prunes with shots of vodka. Seems like big stouts get away with a lot here.

I don't get it, people will write a less than flattering review and then give it a score of "very good". For me, I have to be in a unique mood to get into a beer like this. Do I want ashtray notes? Sometimes, but not often.

May 27, 2020
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LuckFreeZone from New York

4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one excels everywhere but taste . . . which is pretty important. That's not to say I don't like the taste . . . I do; but just not as much as some other RISs. To make matters slightly worse, where it differs it's not (in my mind, today, 19 ounces into a 22 ounce bottle) 'interestingly different' or 'right beer, wrong time' different . . . it's just less appealing different. To me, your mileage may vary. The difference (again, to my unsophisticated palate) is that as it gets close to room temperature the taste is a bit bitterer and more lingering than I would like.

Dec 20, 2016
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Sabtos from Ohio

2.11/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Dark brown with a fizzy tan ring.

I smell smokey ham, swiss cheese, with funky, metallic starburst...I'm not sure this was intended.

Taste is smokey malt, then...cherry cough syrup.

Mmmm, thinking this should have been had fresh.

Aug 28, 2016
Photo of Irene1984
Irene1984 from New York

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

I had heard about this beer and I had to taste it in person and over all I would recommend this beer to anyone it doesn't matter what kind of beer you drink anyone would honestly enjoy it!! Mind you! I personally enjoy drinking a very vast choices of beer anywhere from dark stouts to lighter American ales!

Apr 30, 2016
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FriedSlug from North Carolina

3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice dark our with a thick brown head. Smells like booze and chocolate with roasted malt. Tastes hoppy with coffee and a bitter chocolate finish. Boozy with an astringent bitter aftertaste.

Oct 02, 2015
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donkeyrunner from Massachusetts

3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

King Richards fair bottle art. Licorice, dark chocolate and alcohol aroma. Dark malty flavor with heat and hops in back. Very little roast or char. Not thin but not as big bodies as it tastes or smells.

Sep 23, 2015
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mabermud from Washington

3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Medium pour into a brandy snifter creates a beige head that quickly dissipates into a thin ring around the collar. The body this collar is above is opaque. With a twirl of the glass, the sides melt. The aroma is malty and sweet, with a faint smell of bakers chocolate in the background. The taste is slightly bitter and one dimensional. Unripe dark fruit and char. Extra carbonation at the finish. Body is thin.

Overall, this is not that bad. For me, nothing stands out.

Jan 23, 2015
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ClavisAurea from New York

3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber in a small glass. ( I had to share this one with my wife; its her favorite style) No date on the bottle (I don't think Middle Ages Brewery dates their beers, too bad)

Appearance: BLACK, opaque, thick and dark brown head of tiny bubbles. Poured very thick and syrup like. Head fades to

Nose: chocolate, burnt malt, toffee, hazelnuts, dark baking cocoa powder

Taste: Hoppy and bitter up front that leads to a smooth and rich mouthfeel with chocolate, strong coffee, no alcohol detected (dangerous in a 9.5%er), slightly fruity (maybe from the house Ringwood yeast strain).

Notes: I'm going to get a few more bottles of this and age them for a few years to see how the flavors develop. This is an excellent Russian Imperial Stout and very true to style.

4.5 rating

Nothing much has changed in the nose; less chocolate and more toffee maybe. The taste is still pretty bitter and chocolaty with a lot of Ringwood fruit character. The body is thinner than I remember on this one but I didn't make a note of it the first time so I don't remember exactly. I was a little too generous with the points earlier. I think the current score is a more accurate reflection.

3.77 Rating

Oct 16, 2014
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Flounder57 from Massachusetts

3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle was poured into 2 tulip glasses.

Appearance: A one finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pit h black color with little charity. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Smoke, roasted, chocolate, a little booze, and a little molasses.

Taste: Ashy bitterness, bittersweet chocolate, roasty, molasses, and a little booze.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full bodied, ashy, a little booze, some bitterness, and medium carbonation.

Overall: A nice RIS. I have seen it at a few places here in Boston. A hard find around here. A quality beer.

Apr 01, 2014
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keithmurray from Connecticut

3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - jet black color with tan head

Smell - dark chocolate, molasses, roasted barley, cocoa

Taste - dark chocolate, molasses, cocoa, roasted barley

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, slight sweetness upfront, slight bitterness in the back, body lacks the boldness of other imperial stouts

Overall - decent stout for the price, my constructive criticism says that the body drinks more like a regular stout versus an imperial stout

Price Point - $5.49/22 oz bottle

Feb 28, 2014
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on January 13, 2014.

It pours extremely dark brown to nearly black but even up to the light it is still more brown than black. Short-lived mocha tan head that laces its way gently down the big glass I used.

The aroma starts out with the expected dark toasted malts but there is a cherry character pushing itself into the picture. And musty. It smells like I pulled it out of a dank cellar and it some instances that is a very true statement but this one did not come out of my cellar. No alcohol aromas anywhere in this 9.5% ABV beer.

Medium and creamy body.

A fascinating array of flavors on the palate that start out like the aroma with a toasted dark malt character. The cherry taste is not as bold as in the aroma but it is there briefly halfway through the first sip and then it erupts into a mildly bitter dry lingering finale. No booze in the taste either so the alcohol is well integrated. A fine Impy Stout.

Jan 13, 2014
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utopiajane from New York

3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours the darkest brown just shy of black. Thin head of mocha colored foam that that fell to a thin cap and ring and a film on top. Wet lace and refreshes with each turn.

Nose begins with a roasted dark malt. It has some light sugar and a soft sweetness. There is the happy scent of cherries. Cherries are such a happy fruit and the perfume they give is great. There is a good bitter chocolate and nice strong coffee. There was no alcohol on the nose.

Taste is big roast flavors. At first they start out soft and without any burned tastes. In fact, at the beginning of the drink you notice that the malt meets a delicate edge with the bright cherry and just stays there for a moment. Then, a hop character shows up to lay a chalky dryness into the middle of the beer. The roasted coffee is slightly bitter and the chocolate bittersweet. The coffee steals the attention and continues to intensify as this warms. As the finish begins the hop character together with the bold roast begins to show it's bolder and more bitter side. There's a little ashy burned quality and that gives this a very robust and forceful finish. The nose sweetens deeply as it warms but the beer doesn't. it actually becomes more bitter.

The body is full and smooth and the hop presence is unusually strong . It grew on me though. The roasted character is bold and dominant in the drink and not for the weak. This is not a terribly sweet beer. The sweetness it has though is ample to excite the nose. The bitter it has is sufficient to provoke the palate. It is as though they set out to tempt and then slay you.

Sep 22, 2013
Photo of davey101
davey101 from Connecticut

3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber into a tulip. Bottle has no date indication but its a dusty bottle so a year or so of age?

Pours a black body with a finger of dark mocha foam. Moderate lacing with weak retention. Has some alcoholic legs. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and some cherries. Taste is heavy on the roasted malts with notes of chocolate and some cherries. Mouth feel is creamy and full bodied. ABV is very well hidden. Overall this is a really solid RIS that is demonstrating some light notes of oxidation. Really nice RIS.

Jun 06, 2013
Photo of bylerteck
bylerteck from Canada (ON)

4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Binghamton Beer Depot. From notes.

A - Poured black with a two finger mocha/brown head. Spotty lace rings and a good half finger of retention.

S - Super chocolatey, really rich, mocha, iced coffee. Such a lovely and inviting aroma.

T - Lot's of roast. Lot's of chocolate. Rich and sweet. A touch of alcohol. Tasty stuff.

M - Nice mild carbonation. Full body and a sweet then dry and bitter finish.

O/D - Pretty nice Imperial Stout. Rich and tasty. Makes you know what you're in for with the alcohol, but makes you want more as well. Nice stuff.

May 15, 2013
Photo of Brad007
Brad007 from Vermont

4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a pitch black with a nice brown head into my glass. Nice lacing too. At least the presentation is spot-on.

Coffee, cocoa and cream notes. Luscious. If the reviews are any indicator, this is shaping up to be one mean bastard.

Lots of roastiness to greet the tongue. As it reaches the back of the throat, the cream and cocoa notes make their presence known. There are no dominant flavors here as all share the bill equally.

Creamy mouthfeel is a treat as a lot of imperial stouts tend to finish on a roasty, alcoholic note.

I'd rather slay a dragon than wear green and drink beer at a commercialized "irish pub" on this St.Patty's Day!

Mar 17, 2013
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GreesyFizeek from New York

3.18/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This is both buttery and ultra bitter, which doesn't meld well together. The yeast that Middle Ages uses leads to a bit too much diacetyl, which just doesn't work with this style. There's some nice chocolate, but the smoke is overwhelming as well. This is not recommended.

Mar 06, 2013
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390 from Indiana

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Black in the glass, two finger tan/brown head, nice carbonation and lacing.

S-Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, tad burnt malt, nice balance.

T-Roasty, some coffee, a little burnt, Chocolate is more of a dark chocolate. Some darker fruits even.

M-Lighter for a stout, nicely carbonation.

O-It was a good beer, just not great. Still a much better offering from Middle Ages.

Feb 20, 2013
Photo of Dope
Dope from Massachusetts

3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Unsure of the age on this one, I don't see a date. I would assume 2-2.5 years old.

A: Black pour with an overly huge and fluffy medium brown head. Fades slowly with excellent head retention. Small thin tufts of lacing remain behind.

S: Mild char and chocolate. Some dustiness, maybe this bottle is older than I think. Kinda smells like old hops. Sweet.

T: Definitely get some remnants of hops up front. Kinda piney. Lots of char and chocolate in the middle and then turns into a total cardboard fest. Hmph, oxidized I would say. Bottle stored properly for not very long, surprising. Has a sawdust, cardboard and dust flavor from the middle onwards which pretty much dominates along with a bunch of acrid char. Mild hints of dark fruit in there, throughout.

M: Medium bodied, standard.

O: It appears this one had some potential but it's either a bad bottle or oxidized. Shame. It's almost still drinkable but I poured it out in favor of some Old Raspy anniversary. Honestly I'm not sure if the flavors aren't intended, but they're not very good either way.

Feb 01, 2013
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jmarsh123 from Indiana

2.96/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Pours jet black and viscous with just a little light around the edges. Very little retention, but some good lacing.

Lots of chocolate in the aroma along with anise and some earthy hops. There is some sweetness too that I can't quite pin down. Molasses maybe?

Very odd flavor profile. A lot roastier than the smell lets on, but is still sweet despite being chalky. Lots of licorice and stale hops as well. Too ashy after it warms.

Medium to heavy bodied. Finishes chalky.

Very odd beer. At times it's sweet and at times it's ashy and the combo didn't really work for me.

Jan 08, 2013
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Geegmasta from New York

3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- Black as night, as any stout should be. Developed a nice, light caramel colored head around 0.75''. It slowly reduced into the body of the beer leaving a nice coating on the sides of the glass.

Smell- A classic scent of roasted malts and barley with a slight hint of coffee.

Taste- A burnt malt flavor but rather a bit bland. A slight coffee aftertaste. No hint at the ABV of 9.5% which is nice.

Mouthfeel- A light carbonation but more than I would like in a stout. Doesn't coat the mouth as much as I thought it would and absorbs swiftly into your mouth.

Overall- As far as look and smell I was pretty excited but upon tasting it I was disappointed. The taste did not thrill me and it felt like I was drinking something lighter. It's not a bad beer but I would not buy it again for a price of $7.99.

Dec 08, 2012
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good to see the reviews so high since I was able to pick up an aged bottle of this for 6 bucks at the local House of 1,000 beers.

A - Very thick, dark as viscous the way I like em! The head is a deep dark mocha as well, sticky lacing and seems to stay around for quite a bit.

S - Well I can smell the hops from my computer but up close it kind of reminds me of Samuel Smith's imperial in a way it touches on a mix of hops, licorice, molasses, and slight levels of bittersweet chocolate.

T - Wow it's very hoppy and a touch drying (chalky) which was unexpected since I do like sweeter stouts. It does seem to balance after a while to an enjoyable level of roast and ashy chocolate.

M - Medium to heavy in body. Sipping on it right now.

Overall again I am a huge fan of more balanced sweeter stouts and this one seems more traditional in the heavy handed hops and chalky roast. I am actually not sure if it's even that old since the hops are still kicking hard. I love the style just not this beer.

Dec 05, 2012
Photo of sirsurly

4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Very special, ongoing effort from Middle Ages. Albeit super expensive. 9$ for a 22 around town. As a former dark beer dork, turned hop hound, this russian imperial has drawn me back to the dark side. A real experience in a dark beer is a rare thing. Even some of the more sophisticated Pacific NW breweries fumble with trying to get a dark imperial out that is actually delicious, much less enjoyable. If this brewery could do away with their raspberries, their wheats, and a few of their ales (old marcus, highlander, etc.), and focus on their real winners (IPA, double IPA, SPA, and Dragonslayer) they could be a real force to be reckon with.

Oct 23, 2012
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greenmonstah from New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into tulip glass

A - Nice color, black with brown/ruby hued edges. Two finger light brown head with fine bubbles and smattering of larger ones. Looks tasty!

S - Milk chocolate is the driving aroma here. Sweet. Dark fruit aroma, roasted malts. Relatively simple and really very good because of it.

T - Intense roast, darker chocolate than the nose, cocoa powder, hint of raisin, sweet. Nice lightly pine-y hop bitterness late in the profile delivers some balance.

M - Medium to full in body, not so thick and syrupy like some RIS. And RIS you can actually drink without chewing! Bubbles are way too active, tickling the mouth too much. This bottle seems over-carbed, especially when comparing to other reviews.

O - Overall a great take on the style, fairly simple and unassuming, while still very tasty. This is the kind of RIS I would buy regularly like Old Rasputin, but not one that I would hang on to for any long period of time or save for a special occasion. Very good beer.

Jul 25, 2012
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

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

This was a very pretty beer. Near black in color with a thick orange/tan head. There was a little bit of lace.

Roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate aroma. There was also some licorice aroma, or at least something that resembled that.

The taste was mostly espresso. The chocolate tasted both like cocoa and dark chocolate. Whatever I thought was licorice in the aroma didn't come through in the taste.

A nice RIS. I thought it mostly resembled a strong cup of coffee.

May 13, 2012
Dragonslayer from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 509 ratings