Dragonslayer | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

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508 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

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Ratings: 508 |  Reviews: 350
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 tastybeer
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thick black with dark chocolate head. Smells packed full of fruit and burnt coffee, bitter chocolate, and intense malts. Taste is an explosion of thick intertwined tastes like the smell. Bittersweet finish but little sign of 9.2 ABV. Thick full and complex beer insanity, and very drinkable for an imperial stout. No complaints here.

Overwhelmingly + ridiculously satisfying.

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Photo of ABokononist
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of nh2032
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of blackened1339
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of dillon-tid
5/5  rDev +23.8%

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

Oh my...eh hem...judging just by the look and smell of this black nectar, I know it's going to be good. Yep I was right. Actually I cheated and sampled it before filling my growler...but would've guessed it anyway. And black nectar it is...opaque with a lovely dark head like the outside rim of an espresso macchiato. It leaves a nearly solid pattern of lace on the glass. The aroma is huge! Man, big, dark roasted malt, smokey peat, cafe espresso, and just enough alcohol to let you know this is a big ass beer. The taste is outstanding, delivering all the aroma elements times ten! As it warms it develops a bittersweet character with dark molasses hints as well as a suggestion of port wine. Finishes with a full mouthfeel and more bittersweet, roasted, smokey, malty goodness. I just came in the house from a bit of snow shoveling and can't think of any drink better to warm up with. Exceptional beer.

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Photo of Irene1984
5/5  rDev +23.8%
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!

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Photo of GennyCreamAle
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of cgise22
5/5  rDev +23.8%

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

Poured from a bomber.

I have long been a fan of this style and I believe I have now found not only my favorite in this category; but perhaps one of my all-time favorite beers. I'll agree with some of the other posts, that for a beer of 9+% alc it does go down almost too easily, but that only make me like it more. Black in color, smoky and chocolatey on the nose, it has perfect balance and does not come on too bitter or too sweet. Very smooth on the finish. This is the ultimate beer for those seeking a warming libation in the cold weather.

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Photo of dwoolley1
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of meich75
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of pauljunk
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of CBFanWish
4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Middle Ages has always been a love hate brewery for most beer enthusiasts. For me, It has always been a very loving relationship. I first fell in love when I was introduced to the wonderful Wailing Wench.
Now, I have fallen even deeper in love with Syracuse, New York's finest brewery. This love comes in the form of an Imperial Stout by the name of Dragonslayer.
The pour is a deep black colour that can only be explained by the word pitch. Rising to the top is a thick, frothy tannish caramel coloured head that never wants to go away, and when it does, it leaves a spiderweb laced throughout the glass.
The aroma is full of as many scents as a brewer can pack into a stout. Coffee, chocolate, and cherries fill the air with what is to come next.
The taste mimicks the smell with even more fury. Deep dark chocolate, cherries, and espresso give my pallate a strong beating
I love this beer. It has a rich smoothness that is often not found in most imperial stouts (usually there is something to give a slight bite back). If it wasn't so much at once, I would have given this a perfect 5.

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Photo of nomad
4.89/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A black full glass crowned by a cafe au lait colored thin bubbly head, this was a modest looking stout with some messy lace. That's all.

Its smell comes in stages, successively: dark malt, chocolate cake, espresso, roasty malt, bitter chocolate, soapy hops, softly sweet herbal leaf scents. In sum, it smells of a nice roast and chocolate with espresso nips. Big, round, and lovely.

Taste is a wonderful mash of complex chocolate flavors: dark, sweet, and barely bitter. Lots of tasty nips of slightly milky espresso through the middle, as delicious mocha notes are occasional and a nascent roastiness lurks. The tangy hop finish is moderately long but low-lying, while warming alcohol hides after the swallow. A full body of flavours but, finally, an Imperial Stout without noxious hoppiness. Like its smell, big, round, and lovely. Not sweet, bitter, or mouth-pounding. Somewhere between all of the above, it deftly shifts through many of the great aspects of an Imperial Stout with a bare ripple from the Ringwood yeast.

I could not get enough of this full and rich stout in need of no aging, just begging for quaffing. Found it to be truly amazing and easily more than a step above Victory Storm King or Samuel Smith Imperial Stout.

NOTE: Two months later and I still can't forget this beer...

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.88/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap from the Sunset grill and tap in Allston, Mass. Was presented to me in a 13oz. toulip glass. The beer was a very dark black with a thick one finger dark tan head. No signs of carbonation, and some spotty lace throughout the sample.

The smell was alcohol, chocolate, and slight coffee. Some fainter fig and raisin as well.

The taste was suprisingly chocolately upfront and this served to do an incredible job of masking the alcohol. The beer drinks as if it was half its ABV making it very smooth and easy to drink for an RIS. Little hop or bitterness at all. Just a slight hint of bitterness at the very end of each sip. Coffee flavors are subtle throughout each sip so too are darker fruits.

Medium to firm body with little carbonation. Not overly thick or syrupy and quite easy to drink.

This one was quite good. Its devilish Alc. character is so well masked that one could easily have several of these before realizing how strong they are. Flavors are balanced very well and the beer is so easy to drink. Now one of my favorite RIS.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.88/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Stoked to see this on tap at JP O'Malley's pub in Allentown, PA.

Insanely dark black pour with an incredibley thick, rich head of mocha foam that just paints my pint glass with 1/4 inch thick sheets of sticky lace. Artwork in a glass.

Aroma is powerful, brimming with bittersweet dark toasted malts notes, very dark chocolate, freshly brewed espresso, anise, and hints of pine and floral hops.

Flavor reminds me of what good stout is all about. Sticky chocolate and dark toasty malts, scorched brown sugar, molasses, bittersweet dark chcolate covered raisins, creamy espresso latte', licorice, hints of dark fruit, and a hoppy finish of pine and citrus. Alcohol is well concealed.

Body is just huge, sticky, and thick with the creamiest texture I have encountered. So smooth and silky textured with soft carbonation. Served at the perfect temperature too, this place takes care of their babies! Bliss sold by the pint.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.87/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is one awesome RIS, it pours a pitch black color with a creamy tanned head. The foam takes awhile to settle, as it does it leaves behind a nice amount of lacing.

The nose on this beer is just incredible. Lots of licorice notes along with molasses, sweet roasted/burnt malt and chocolate.

Tastes of roasted/burnt malt, chocolate, a well balanced hop bitterness, fruits ( almost like a red licorice), coffee and a good thick mouth feel. My favorite RIS to date I would recommend this to any fan of the style.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.87/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The pour created two fingers of mocha-brown head with excellent retention. The color was a deep, inky black allowing no light to penetrate. The nose was smoky with a bit of sweetness underlying the smoke. The mouthfeel was thick and chewy, reminiscent of fudge. There was lots of chocolate and smoke on the tongue, like dark chocolate in liquid form. The finish simply lingered with that chocolaty-smoky quality that I noted throughout. The sticky lacing that it produced will have to be jackhammered off. I would recommend this with a chocolate dessert or as a finish with a maduro cigar. Yum!

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Photo of Loki
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a Growler via sponberg. Thanks man!

Appearance: Huge, toffee colored head with a spongy surface. Body of shear, opaque blackness. Sticky, thick lacing.

Smell: Currant, black cherry, warm, brandy-esque alcohol. toffee, worchestersauce, aged leather, chocolate malt, espresso.

Taste: Bitter espresso, roasted malt, smooth semi-sweet chocolate. Hop bitterness, caramel and toffee undertones with hints of oak, smoke, and some vanilla notes that float in and out. Wonderfully full of flavors and

Mouthfeel: Wonderffully smooth and cream at first. Coffee and hop bitterness. Finishes a little too dry for my tastes, kind of like an Irish Stout, but not quite.

Drinkability: For me, all the time, except for the dryness.

Thanks sponberg and Middle Ages for this great Beast.

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Photo of Douglas14
4.83/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours very black, pretty much as black as it can get. Awesome head - dark tan, thick and leaves extraordinary lacing. The smell is heavily of coffee, dark chocolate, something else also that I can't figure out. It tastes absolutely amazing...burnt coffee and bitter chocolate. Surprisingly, there is little alcohol burn, if any, that is noticeable (especially for a Russian imperial stout). The after taste is one of the best I have ever experienced...every flavor comes out even more and it comes on stronger, which is amazing and I wish all beers had this great quality. I am very happy I found this beer as it is now up towards the top of my list...I highly recommend this to everyone, especially fans of Russian Imperial Stouts.

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Photo of orfeu
4.83/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Allright! I have been waiting for the bottling of this beast for months! Let's hope it lives up to the hype...
Poured into an imperial pint glass, this one is pitch black, with a full, smooth, bubbly head the color of coffee with milk.
It smells initially hoppy and doughy, with that familiar Ringwood yeast in the background.
The taste is terribly smooth for such a formidable style, with chocolate and hops, yeast round the back and a kick ass dark roasted coffee aftertaste. Diacetyl from that Yorkshire yeast Middle Ages loves so much. Alcohol warms up ever so sneakily in the belly.The head dissipates over a few minutes, with minimal to moderate lacing. Halfway through the glass only a thin cap of the head remains.
The mouthfeel is thinner than I expected, but chewy and full nonetheless. The alcohol leaves its trace with a slight numbing effect on my gums and tongue.
As far as drinkability is concerned, I wouldn't have trouble polishing off a couple bombers of this stuff on a cold evening. In any case, Dragonslayer is impressive. Certainly deserving of it's covetedness/reputation.

Notes: I'd like to have tried this on tap, in its unfiltered state for more of a full-bodied drinking experience. This smells samey for Middle Ages (gotta be the Ringwood). But this is definitely one to seek out. Highly recommended!

[update, June 2006: Either my senses have improved, or subsequent batches of Dragonslayer have thickened up in mouthfeel and become more roasty and chocolatey in fragrance, but whatever the case, this is certainly one of the finest examples of the style I've yet encountered. Since consuming a second bottle of this, my cellar is almost never without a bottle or two of Dragonslayer.]

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Ubiquitous 22 ounce Bomber sealed with a brass colored crown cap that has black “Middle Ages” text on it. Attractive label looks completely different to that one shown in the BA Database. The bottle label shows a silhouette of a flying dragon set against a yellow Moon which in turn is set against a black night sky. Listed as “Dragonslayer Imperial Stout” and “9.5% ABV” slightly higher than the current 9.2% strength listed on BA I note. No freshness date but I do know that this is a fresh bottling.

Appearance: Jet black on the pour, it appears to gloop like a liquid tar poured from a hose. A viscous heavy pour is slow at and so is the emergence of the head, but the feisty brown head soon appears out of the blackness. Backlit it exhibits a nice mahogany translucent body. The thick dark brown head soon builds into a cap covering; the carbon dioxide is finely dissolved and produces a silky soft conditioning cloud when gently swirled. Looks great.

Nose: Vinous, which I don’t recall from the Tap version, but I like it. Crushed coffee beans, dark chocolate, raisins and plum brandy pie with raisins. Rich dark chocolate tends to dominate but there is a nice hoppy aspect to this one too.

Taste: Gorgeously smooth with a beautifully crafted set of ingredient flavors that interact to sheer perfection. Dark chocolate, raisins, ground coffee beans, roasted malts and a very nice hoppy ending. The finish builds in strength and reveals some mild Vanilla and espresso coffee as it warms. The finish has a lovely hop laden twist too. This Imperial Stout is just soo good, nothing is out of place and it is impossible to critique.

Mouthfeel: Lots of thick textures and rich oily flavors, almost perfect with a silky lay down. The flavors previously listed all settle into a deep caramel base which adds a chewy aspect. Sinfully good.

Drinkability: I had a hard time not awarding a 5 here, I thought about reasons to a put 4.5, you know not to make it look perfect, but I struggled, the more I drink this, the easier it slipped down and the harder it became for me not to put a 5.0 here.

Overall: I managed to sample this famous libation at the Which Brew in Easton recently fresh from the Tap and was utterly marvelous from the Tap. Doesn’t seem quite as complex from the bottle, but it is just as great in different ways, let this one breathe a little to get the best from it. Thanks to erica for this bottle!!!

The legendary Dragonslayer, it really is that good.

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Dragonslayer from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 508 ratings