Dragonslayer | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

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507 Ratings

Brewed by:
Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
New York, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-22-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 507 |  Reviews: 350
Reviews by AaronHomoya:
Photo of AaronHomoya
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought this at a recent trip to Syracuse and stop at the brewery.

Near-black color with lots of a dark tan head. Great retention and lacing.

Aroma is sweet, fruity and has some chocolate in there.

Taste is roasted malt, sweet, and coffee at the finish. It also has some flavor I guess I would describe as mineral-y. Overall not as complex or chocolate and hoppy as many RIS's I have tried.

Medium bodied as the ABV is on the lower end for a RIS and is pretty smooth.

Drinkability suffers for the mineral flavor, but still a pretty good beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black I mean not a hint of light shown even when held up to a strong light with a rather large almost 2 finger mocha colored that settles into a creamy froth.Aromas are very rummy with big butter tones unsweetened bitter chocolate actually is underneath the rummy butter tones but it all melds very well together.Flavors have a burnt elemant a chardness over top of big bitter chocolate and sweet butter finishing with a hit of wood and dry earth.Wow the complexities of this beast are numerous and the flavors rock,incredible.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance – This RIP is super-brown in color with a gigantic head. This head is so thick you could balance a brick on top of it.

Smell – The malts are very complex even at the nose. Thanks to skyhand for that for keeping this at cellar temperature. There is a wonderful heavily-toasted maltiness that is mixed with some light espresso, lots of booze, and some raw cane sugar. A malt bomb if there ever was one.

Taste – The malts are darker at the taste, much heavier than the nose suggested. Otherwise all of that wonderful complexity from the gorgeous bouquet came through quite nicely as promised.

Mouthfeel – OK, we may have found a chink in the Dragonslayer armor. I like the smoothness of the mouthfeel, but this was quite light in the ass. Now, I enjoy a medium-bodied stout, but I like my RIPs to be bigger and this was BARELY medium-bodied. It’s not a bad mouthfeel, just a bit light in the ass.

Drinkability – The lighter body of this RIP along with the heavy sugaring made this a real drinker.

Comments – Thanks to my best bud skyhand for bringing this over to the 1st Annual NYC/Chi-town Pizza Cook Off, where everyone was a winner!

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to DirtyLou for sharing.

Pours a really dark brown, almost black with a thick chocolate milk head that settles at a steady ¼ inch. Intense aroma of bakers chocolate, anise, vinous dark fruits, and highly acidic coffee. Tastes of roasted malts, coffee, baker’s chocolate, burnt mulberry and raisons. Very dry and well hopped. Quite bitter. Mouthfeel is very numbing, although the alcohol is not present in the taste what-so-ever. Nearly a 5 for drinkability. Very impressive.

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Photo of hopsleeroy
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to LittleBreeze for this great extra

A-Poured from 22oz bomber. Huge 2 inch fluffy head that disappeared quickly. Good lace.
S-Coffee, Roasted aroma, Some fruit
T-Coffee Roasted aroma, Dark fruit reminding of plum inthe middle and finishes fairly bitter. More hop flavor than expected. Slight smokey flavor was underneath the whole time. Could taste the solvent alcohol flavor a little bit but not too much. Really enjoyed this flavor.
M-Smooth, creamy, low carbonation, and no foam up
D-High abv would limit me, but the flavor would not stop me.

Really enjoyed this one. Doesn't get as much hype but I thought it was really quality.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Middle Ages Dragonslayer pours from the bomber into my tulip glass a thick midnight black with a dark tan inch of creamy foam on top and lots of lacing. Looks really good in the glass. Aromas begin with dark roasted malts and a blast of big chocolate. Brown sugar, some dark fruits, licorice and a touch of roasted coffee meld into the overall aroma. Sucks you in and begs you to take that first sip.

A wonderfully rich dark, roasty maltiness leads the way that segways into a big chocolate presence. Hints of licorice, dark fruit, and a mellow roasted coffee midway through each sip. Flows down with a nice green hoppiness with a lingering bitterness. Tasty stuff here.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, rich and chewy. Sturdy carbonation works itself in nicely. Only a touch of alcohol is noticeable here. A tasty RIS that I am glad to have the opportunity to sample. Hopefully I'll run across this brew again someday! Thanks to dmeadows for sending this one my way.

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Photo of blitz134
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black body with a nice inch and a half of light chocolate head on top that refuses to go away. Thick foamy lace holds on the sides where it can.

Aroma is dark toasted malts as expected. Dark chocolate is the dominant aroma though. Has a touch of smokiness too. Not overly complex or overly strong. Nice, but kinda average.

Dark toasted malts again, as expected. I dont get too much in the flavor when held on the tongue, most of it comes out after and during the swallow. Has a super dry finish that comes on with coffee grounds and a touch of char and very dark chocolate. No evidence of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is quite full but finishes very dry. Lower carbonation levels.

Good drinkability. Little evidence of the alcohol in the taste or feel on the stomach. Some might find this overly dry, but I like it.

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Photo of JasonA
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an oreo cookie black. Almost a finger of light mocha head. Island lacing around the rim.

Roasted malt. Dark roasted, biscuit, bread, baking chocolate, some espresso.

Dry roast coffee. More dry, dark malt, almost burnt, like some starbucks coffee.

Dryness and not quite enough malt.

Quite dry brew. Like a Guiness Extra Stout with much more ABV. Solid brew, not sure I would look again for RIS.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of warnerry
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with 1-2 fingers of head leaving a moderate amount of lacing.

Smell is of cocoa, dark roasted malts, a bit of cherry and some definite alcohol.

Taste consists of a lot of bitter chocolate and coffee (slightly burnt coffee, that is). Taste is actually a bit bitter and slightly astringent with some apparent alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium and quite creamy, with a nice bitter finish.

As for drinkability, the alcohol is a bit too prominent, but this is a solid and interesting impy stout.

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Photo of sponberg
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

*patiently waits*

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

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

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitchblack with a huge, frothy, caramel colored head that retains wonderfully, leaving behind some great lacing.

Smells of sweet malts, huge roastiness, coffee, dark bittersweet chocolate.

Taste is is very earthy and extremely roasty. The front has some burnt notes with glimpses of sweetness and forms into a HUGE and ROBUST firepit roastiness, burnt coffee, burnt caramel, bittersweet chocolate, espresso, ...this is a man's beer. Very complex in it's roastiness. Just a huge stout.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, thick, oily, and light on the carbonation.

This is a sipper. Quite the meal in itself. For this, the drinkability can suffer, but I love it and could defintiely enjoy a couple bombers in a night...over a period of time. Savor this.

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Photo of Jason
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bomber with no freshness date. With special cellaring care this one should age quite well.

A- An excellent head, lots of light brown foam clings to the glass. Pit black color, so dark you can't even see any tinge in the edges of the glass.

S- French Roast coffee, coco powder, dark cherry juice fruitiness and a mild malt sweetness in the nose.

T&M- Big roasted grain flavors, strong suggestions of bitter dark chocolate and dark Sumatra Coffee. Lush full body, creamy smooth mouth feel. Big fruitiness in the middle ... tart dark cherries to be exact. Note of yeast and lightly metallic roasted malt in the finish ... a long lingering roasted finish it is.

D- At first I thought the roasted character was going to be a bit too much ... but it ended up growing on me, a lovely sipping brew. Paired well with my homemade booze brownies.

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Photo of merlin48
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle thanks to trade with OldTex29. Pours a dark and inky body with an immense light brown head. Retention is excellent and waves of sticky lace coat the glass.

Aroma is chocolate fudge, crushed red cherries, and fresh roasted coffee beans.

Thick and full bodied with solid carbonation.

Taste opens with an espresso like dark roasty bitterness that persists into the finish. Pleasant fruity and berry notes add a nice complexity. The fruity sourness is unique for style and quite enjoyable. Bitter and roasty on the finish and aftertaste.

Certainly one of the elite American renditions of the style.

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

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

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a 12oz. of this rare find on tap at Redbones...
Arrived a deep, dark black w/ no light passing through...almost no head and very little lacing.
Aromas filled w/ robust coffee and dark chocolates...no alcohol detected at this point.
Taste is very enjoyable w/ more of the same (chocolate/coffee) and some vanilla bean added to the mix...the alcohol is very well hidden in this puppy. Not a lot of hops which I prefer b/c I'm not into the whole bitter RIS style. Again, the alcohol is nowhere to be found...gotta love that. Finish is quite dry and the sweetness is to a minimum.
The mouthfeel was a tad thin and the carbonation was a bit too high to score this one as one of the best, but either way, it is one hell of an Imperial stout and one I could enjoy without the desire to move onto anything else.

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Photo of Skye1024
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of jaminjohnson
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of jondeelee
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dragonslayer (bonus points for a cool name) begins with a lovely aroma that is part familiar Imperial Stout--ash, coffee, tobacco, cream--and part novel, with hints of fig, port, and raisin. The aromas are nicely mingled and present in medium strength.

On the tongue, the beer begins with an immediate and strong caramelized sugar kick that lasts for about half a second, then an ashy undercurrent wallows to the surface and takes over completely, washing the tastebuds in smoke, ash, tobacco, and black malt goodness. Hints of fig and raisin lurk in the dungeons, along with a small touch of bourbon and, somewhat unfortunately, a slight touch of vodka and tequila, thanks to the 9.5% ABV. The aftertaste is a continuation of the ash and tobacco flavors, as well as a distinct sensation of having put back a shot of hard liquor. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high, adding a slight burn to the soft palate.

Overall, there are many good flavors in this beer, and the ash and tobacco notes are especially prevalent and delicious. If it weren't for the hard alcohol tinge at the beer's heart, this would be a great Imperial Stout. As it is, it's still a very good one, but be aware that you probably shouldn't breathe near open flame while consuming.

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Photo of far333
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Inky black and opaque, no light gets through even when held up close to a lamp. A finely bubbled thick head of light brown foam sits a full inch atop and lingers long. Sheets of lace and legs extend around the insides of the glass.

Aroma of cocoa and smoke, some hops, and espresso.

Rich and complex flavors right from the start, and they move in an out of different nuances as the liquid rolls around the mouth. Initially deeply roasted malt, burnt coffee, raisin, smoke, and brown sugar. Shortly after this morphs to cocoa and then deepends to tangy cherry, even some marshmallow. A fine and subtle hop undertone rides along, punctuating the other flavors. All that booze hides under cover of darkness, waiting to assault me later.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, very satisfying, finishes a little chalky. This is a tremendous beer, I'm enjoying every sip.

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Photo of BadBadger
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was more than a bit disappointed, when I finally got around to giving this Russian Imperial Stout a try. It pours a nice dark color from the bottle and into the glass. There is a good deal ofnice tan foamy head. The smell is of a mixture of malts and alcohol. The taste is the weak point of this brew, it is almost deficient in any flavor, it is a very odd damp thickness. The high alcohol is better hidden in the taste compared to the aroma. The after-taste is minimal. Sadly, I must say that I personally feel that this beverage is not worthy of a searching journey. But if readily available and affordable, what the hell, give it a go.

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Photo of nnthom266
1.5/5  rDev -62.9%

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a pitch black hole of English style impy stout glory, large tan head forms thick and I swirl this brewery's unique yeast around as I edge near the bottom of my bomber. Lacing sticks to my chalice in large chunky patterns with each sip from my chalice.

Aromatics serve up deep roasted malt notes coming off like dark nearly burnt roasted coffee beans and dark bitter chocolate with no artificial sweeteners. Actually the nose serves up some finesse with mild fruit layers rising up with sweet creamy notes as well as the beer warms up. Great smell characteristic Middle Ages yeast notes work well with this concoction, touch of butterscotch character coming through as well.

Flavors collide rich strong coffee espresso notes with fruity edges surrounding dark blasts of dry baker's chocolate. Herbal and mint like leafy earthy hops make their presence known, and again characteristic Middle Ages yeast comes to the party in a good way in this offering. A well balanced Imperial stout that makes all of it's components work together, I can see why this beer has been well received on BA since I've been around. Alcohol blends so well it never becomes a burden on the palate and a healthy mix of dark roasts and hops add to the bitterness making this one kickass impy stout.

Mouthfeel is full bodied coats my palate evenly with luscious malts and mild hop oils. Carbonation delivers with effortless smoothness the sides of the palate are awoken and the back of my tongue is hit with hop bitterness...what a nice mix, very smooth and cohesive for such a big beer.

Drinking wise I could fall in love with this beer on cask just like so many of the other Middle Ages brews that I hear good things about in that format. A bomber was easy to consume without a doubt one of the better imperial stouts of my recent memory. If the opportunity arises get a taste of this limited release out of Syracuse.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to orcasteve for tossing me a couple of bombers. Enjoyed on Xmas Day in a chalice.

Black pour with a tan head with quite a bit of lacing.

Toffee, caramel, burnt chocolate and coffee beans in the nose.

Much of the same in the taste but lets add in a little burnt brownie to the mix.

Good carbonation but this stout is surprisingly thin for me. Looks like it would be a monster based solely on the pour. Still, it's a pretty solid, albeit a straightforward RIS.

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Dragonslayer from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 507 ratings