Dragonslayer | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

350 Reviews

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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Reviews: 350 | Ratings: 501
Photo of Sabtos
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.

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Photo of cosmicevan
2.45/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

bottle picked up locally a while back.

a - opened and filled my ccb snifter. poured the standard stouty black. very nice soft brown creamy head that hung out to look good on the top of the brew. lacing was pretty slippery.

s - roasted chocolate notes with an alcohol brisk like glisten. very coco and roasted malt. not much else in there.

t - burnt chocolate with a moonshine like alcohol top. didn't really love the flavor...finished bitter but the taste is all malts.

m - bitter finish with an alcohol shine.

o - overall...skip it. the booze is very vodka like, kind of like vodka poured into a not great RIS. i couldn't get through a single pour.

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Photo of klewis
2.46/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Pours midnight black with a huge foamy head. Good sustain and lacing.

S: Fairly light smell for an RIS. The usual stout aromas with any hint of alcohol well-hidden.

T: Massive earthy taste with flavors of cedar and burnt coffee. Quite bitter and astringent with a significant hop presence. No noticable malt flavor.

M: Full-bodied and well-carbonated. Finishes bone dry from the hops and bitterness.

D: Way too much bitterness for an RIS in my opinion. The astringency makes this one quite unpalatable and difficult to drink.

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Photo of alcstradamus
2.8/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes

Black pour with a huge brown head a spotty lacing. Aroma is dusty cocoa, hazelnut, coffee bitterness, and hints of marshmallow. The flavor is very waxy and is quite frankly not very good. Some ashiness, oak, nuts, cocoa powder, and metallic flavors underneath the wax. The body and carbonation levels are appropriate. Drinkability is poor due to the off flavors. Not a very good beer.

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Photo of emmasdad
2.91/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Got this one in a recent trade with ericwo, and this one did not live up to my expectations. Poured a nice black color with a good two fingers of light brown foam. Aromas of ash, bitter coffee and dark fruits. On the palate I get roasted malt, dark bitter chocolate and coffee. Somehow this was not a pleasant combination for me.

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Photo of jmarsh123
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.

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Photo of mentor
2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by crosling at a gather he hosted. Thanks for the enjoyable evening! Pours a thin layer of head over a pitch black liquid. No edging when held to light. Smells alcohol sting. Roast, chocolate, and mild toffee. Grassy hops. Tastes really sour black patent roasty. Chocolate and caramel a withered undertones over the astringent piercing black patent. Many hours over-cooked coffee. Too little on the supporting flavors for this one to be very enjoyable. A dry roasty finish pulls short due to the md-light body leaving the mouth very quickly.

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Photo of Naes
2.99/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a black beer with a nice milk chocolate colored head.
The aroma is slightly roasty with hints of chocolate.
Its flavor is quite bitter for a stout, similar to black coffee with some semi sweet chocolate mixed in. It’s also a bit smoky with just the slightest alcohol presence.
The moth feel is medium bodied and is generously carbonated.

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Photo of charlesw
3.01/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beautiful black. High dark head with tiny bubbles. Lasts and lasts and lasts... Not perfect 'cause it's too high. Very light nose - lightly metallic? Ah. Another extreme beer in the taste. Ah well. Ashes and other burned flavors predominate. Still, these are much lighter than in some other beers, but that's what this is all about. Some bitterness to help make the burned flavors more burned. Lingering citrus bitterness in the aftertaste. For the carbonation level the body is too weak. For the bitterness the body is too weak. I wouldn't want this again, but I can see that it might be an everyday kind of beer - it is too burned for me but much much less so than others.

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Photo of Stimack
3.01/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this beer on cask the other night. Was pulled to a pitch-black color with a dark tan head that actually had pretty good retention and did leave some chunky bubbly lacing at the top of the glass. The aroma was or roasted malts, maybe heading towards burnt. Also present was an alcohol scent that was pretty dominant. The taste was ok, maybe this brew was not for me but I usually do like Imperial Stouts. I notice a burnt malt taste from the get-go along with some dark fruit flavors and finishes with a strong alcohol flavor that seems to make it somewhat hard to get down. Also had a watery feel even though it had such a hard alcohol taste. I am pretty sure that I have had this brew before from the bottle and really enjoyed it but from the cask last night it was only passable.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.03/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black black black with brown head.

The smell is of chocolate and I pick up a good amount of hops.

The taste is where I loose interest. It is on the hoppy side, I'm not sure how fresh it is but must be fairly fresh. The over powering part is a charcoal/ash smoke flavor to it. It stays on my tongue and wont go away.

The ash flavor is just too much for me to really enjoy this whole beer.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.1/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of kv84 and his buddy. Thanks for coming by to hang out gents!

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Dark pour, almost black, yields a 1+ finger, medium-thinner looking, crackly, tan head with good retention. Black body with no real carbonation evident. Head eventually fades to a good wisp. Only a ring remains until the end leaving some good dots down the sides of the glass.

SMELL: Roasted and smoky malt, cacao powder, and some black licorice and toffee. Nose is medium in strength and meshes well.

TASTE: Roasted malts, smoky malt, black licorice and a good dose of caramel sweetness. Sweet toffee through the middle moves into a smoky, caramel sweet and cocoa chocolate finish. Aftertaste is medium but lingers nicely on the palate with lots of sweet toffee, caramel, licorice and a touch of cocoa.

PALATE: Medium-full body and really creamy smooth on the palate. Goes down smooth with a bit of a burn after the swallow and finishes somewhat sticky on the palate. Pretty solid feel.

OVERALL: A quality brew for sure, but the sweeter, toffee forward imperial stouts are usually not my bag. It lacks the bitter chocolate, coffee punch I enjoy so much, but this is still a well-executed brew. If you enjoy the more sweet, toffee and caramel type of imperial stout, this one will not disappoint. Despite the relatively average scores, this one comes recommended. Thanks again for the hook-up kv84.

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Photo of dondeez21
3.15/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This review is from a bottle I purchased.
A: Dark black with a thick foamy head. A bit over carbed for the style IMO.
S: Roasted Malt, Alcohol, with a slight sweetness
T: Very similar to smell but with the added carbonation the flavors seemed to bite a bit more than most other Imperial Stouts.
M: A bit thinner than I am used to for the style.
D: This beer is definatly drinkable. Although I found many other beers of this style that I would purchase before another bottle of this.

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Photo of gford217
3.19/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2007 bomber courtesy of ClockworkOrange poured into a tulip.

Pours dark, dark brown out of the bottle and settles in close to black with a fluffy tan head that recedes to a cap and leaves tons of lacing.

The aroma is a little metallic and doesn't have a whole lot of the imperial stout smells to it. Maybe some dark malts and chocolate but only a little. I'm afraid it may be oxidized.

The taste furthers my fear of oxidation with a very metallic taste with only hints of smoke, coffee and dark roasted malts. The finish is metallic all the way through leaving a fairly unpleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin with decent carbonation.

This bottle has definitely gone bad and tasted oxidized. Luckily, I've got a bottle of the 2008 that I'll give a shot soon.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.21/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber brewed with English hops. Jet-black brew, topped with three fingers of dark brown head that reduces to a thin cover and thick collar, leaving good lacing. Mostly bitter, citric hops in the nose, with charred malts hiding behind. Almost overly bitter on the palate, with strong white grapefruit and bitter orange peel. There are charred and eventually roasted malts, along with late hints of coffee on top of a medium, very dry body that lingers long into the aftertaste. Decent RIS, but it's a bit too harsh - I could go for a thicker malty body and some toned-down hops.

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Photo of Dope
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.

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Photo of egajdzis
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured an opaque black color with a medium sized, tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of dried fruits, roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla beans, light butter, and alcohol as well. Taste of more roasted malts and chocolate, light butter here as well, and some alcohol in the finish. Also rather thin for an Imperial Stout.

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Photo of bultrey
3.29/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Yikes... I'm in the minority on this one. Pours beautifully, just as you would want from a Russian Impy Stout, pretty much opaque with a creamy long-lasting tan head. Heavy vanilla in the aroma, along with some booze, and not much else.
Like many of Middle Ages' other beers, this just has too much of that buttery flavor, and it's like a movie-theater popcorn butter, not even natural butter. It is very similar to an over-oaked chardonnay, just too much vanilla and butter. Sure, there are some nice roasty notes evident in the finish, but these moments of enjoyment are too few and far between. Mouthfeel is delightfully smooth. Not a fan. You might be if you don't mind the butter bombs.-

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours thick and black like a light grade motor oil. A small 1/8 inch caramel/tan head. Average lacing. Aroma of deep roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. First sip is bittersweet with coffee and chocolate in an unwelcomed battle to be the dominating flavor. Body is surprisingly light considering the 9.5% ABV and how it poured. As a huge fan of the Imperial Stout, this is average at best. Not bad, but there is so much better out there.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.31/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

820th Review on BA
Bottle to snifter

Thanks to mjtiernan for this one.

App- When this poured it was a very dark murky brown. I’m gonna call it brown because honestly it looked purple. Could've been the light in the TV room. Had a dark mocha colored 1-1/2 finger head with a couple dots of watery cling.

Smell- A very effervescent mix of a roasted malt note with a bit of alcohol phenols. It was an interesting mix and had some chocolate IMO behind it.

Taste- A bit of the same as the note. A biting astringent with a hoppy presence and a little bit of a strong malt character behind it. Nice warming notes and a big presence with that 9%.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonation, bordering on high with the bubbly hops.

Drink- This was okay. A bit like night stalker but a bit thinner and more biting. I think a bottle aged for a bit would mellow nicely and become a bit smoother.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber purchased by my bro Ego at De Cicco's Market in Pelham, NY... thanks for hooking me up.

Served in an oversize snifter at cellar temperature with a side of Stilton cheese.

Appearance- Pours a chocolately liquid black, completely opaque, with a three finger head the color of the froth on a cold glass of Ovaltine. The crown gradually recedes to a craggy marsh of bubbles, now darker brown, with total coverage but various sizes. Island-like, sticky lacing is left in the wake.

Smell- Seriously big ass alcohol and chocolate cake... this one's a meal in the nasal passages. There are some great aromas going on here... smoke, brownies, alcohol soaked dark fruit, possibly licorice. I am getting smells of the lumber department at Home Depot... almost like a burnt wood character. Interesting!

Taste- A heavily burnt malt presence overwhelms the palate right at the start... an espresso/coffee grind character obliterates the center of the tongue, and concedes to a full blown hop attack on the sides and back. This one's a bit one-sided, I'm afraid... the wickedly aggressive smoky, coffee notes dominate and disseminate any subtleties lying within. The intensely bitter finish doesn't balance the malts, it just destroys them.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Upon entering the mouth, there is some prickly carbonation... then it halts, changing over to a more lightweight, thin mouthfeel. I am very surprised at where this review is going... what began as something very close to a Brooklyn Black Chocolate has all but wavered after the pour, offering more "average" characteristics in the big categories. A decent offering from a great brewery in Syracuse, but certainly not their best.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.42/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Jet black beer, it is dark just like the Middle Ages. The head is a fluffy mass that seems to look like a porous fluffy tan stopper on top of the black liquid.

S- Cherry, roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, and a touch of anise. The alcohol is quite present in the smell. The more this warms I get coffee and oak scents. Lets see how these pan out in the taste.

T- Dry wood mixed with roasted/burnt malts are very present and this dry taste/feel seems to dominate. Coffee is more there in the taste then the smell. The chocolate is muted as well. The more I taste this the more this dry roasted/burnt taste seems to be taking over. I'm getting a cherry taste, but it is very faint, and it is there not all the time, but only from time to time. I was hoping for some more sweetness and less bitterness.

M- My tastebuds feel a bit beat up, and not like after a super hoppy beer either. The dry taste seems to give you a slight cottonmouth feel.

D- It is easy to drink, but you almost have to keep drinking it to keep the bitter aftertaste from killing your mouth.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wanted to try this one for a while. Pours very black and opaque, almost sludgy. 2 inch brown head settles to 1/4 inch after several minutes. Nice sticky lacing. Strong sweet caramel and dark chocolate odor. Hints of plums, roasted malts. Strong, assertive coffee bean and chocolate taste. Some bitterness in an espresso way, not a hop-way. Slightly fruity, but mostly cofee-dominant. I get a hint of anise and another hint of butterscotch. As it warms, i get more of the buttery flavor, and this does not compliment the rest of the beer. Thick and chewy, like an oatmeal stout, very full bodied. Overall, im underwhelmed. It starts out and looks good, but the diacetyl or whatever is causing that buttery flavor just throws me too much. I felt the same way about wailing wench when i had it. Overall, its an ok impy, but not the best.

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Photo of boulevard2
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber with no freshness date to be seen

First pour is a dark creamy cofee like substance

Smell of burnt chocolate and cofee with malt and alcoholic overtone.

Taste was bitter and of burnt chocolate with lots of carbonation .

I was dissapointed with this beer because I love IMP Stouts and these characteristics weren't what I was expecting from this beer .

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Photo of Atron67
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a 9 month old bottle thats been chilling in the basement since my trip to boston.

A- poured a jet black opaque body with a big brown head on top. fluffly long lasting head on top. lace was left all around sticking all around.

S- dark roasted characteristics throughout malty and very heavy. a little weak, and not bad, but just kinda standard in a style that should be pretty big and complex. im not seeing the tart cherry flavors that often come out.

T- smooth chocolatey body, and clean roasted character. malty complex, but really the smoothness is surprising. there's a lingering coffee tinge at the finish.

M - very creamy mouthfeel, long lasting ont he tongue and quite heavy all throughout.

D- its good but something leaves me lacking. maybe not chocolately enough. either way definitely not a let down, btu other than 'alot' of flavor, i found myself not really striving for the next sips.

D- a solid and delicious

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Dragonslayer from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
4.05 out of 5 based on 501 ratings.
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