Dragonslayer | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
504 Ratings
DragonslayerDragonslayer
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
504
Reviews:
350
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
11.6%
 
 
Wants:
74
Gots:
47
For Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 504 |  Reviews: 350
Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a word, smooth. Very dark, and courtesy of the sample room of the brewery, with Marcus my host. Coffee, roasted malts, some acidity,creamy chocolately mouthfeel, and significant hops. Good after dinner stout.Marcus spoke of a bottled version that will be filtered more finely.

A year later, shared a bomber. Very thick with beautiful yeasty soap bubble foam head. Prickly carbonation. Coffee. Pronounced coffee. More mellow than on-tap.

In bottle, 2 years later this one lost some taste as we went. Sourness and edge off thick taste.

two years later had a bomber just myself and enjoyed smooth stout, with blanced bitter finish.

 640 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mjtiernan for sending me this one!

Pours a thick opaque black with a huge 3 inch dark khaki head that fades to a small cap. The head on this beer is thick and pillowy. Very nice rings of lace are marked on the glass on the drink down. Smells of roasted malts, dark bread, cocoa powder, and slight cinnamon. Taste is of dark chocolate covered coffee beans, roasted malt, slight dark fruits, and mild alcohol. Pronounced coffee/cocoa bitterness on the palate after each sip. Very thick and creamy in the mouth. Overall, this is a very nice RIS. I am glad I got to try this one.

 586 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Knapp85
3.52/5  rDev -13.1%

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a quarter-finger high tan head that gradually died down and left a patch of bubbles on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of dark fruits in the nose along with some notes of coffee.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of dark fruits along with notes of dark chocolate and coffee.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. A bit of warming from the alcohol and dryness is present in the finish.
O: Considering its strength, this beer isn’t that difficult to drink because the alcohol is well masked.

 665 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a "Dark Ages" black with a brown ring; the modest tan head starts out creamy and then fades rather quickly, while leaving a bunch of foamy dots here and there

Smell: More char and peat than the typical RIS, although there are some roasty aromatics as well; lacks the depth of aroma, however

Taste: Opens with a peaty chocolate flavor that turns in a roasty, somewhat bitter direction by mid-palate, when the char takes over; I almost imagine there is some bacon in there, too; after the swallow, the flavors settle down and some coffee joins the fray; still, it lacks the depth of flavor of the great examples of the style

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Sure tastes different than the typical RIS and, while it presents a nice contrast, there is just too much missing in the smell, the taste and the mouthfeel for me to score this higher

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Photo of oline73
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours almost black with a half finger of thick, light tan head that fades a a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet and very smooth. Roasted malt with some chocolate and dark fruit. Some warm alcohol at the end.

Taste: A lot like the smell. Very smooth with some mild alcohol. Bitter roast and dark chocolate. Some smoke as well. Just enough sweetness to balance things out.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side with tingly carbonation and a really dry finish.

Overall: Very smooth. I had never heard of this one before, but I'm really happy that I got to try it and would have it again.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a medium dark brown foamy head with good retention. Aroma of bitter hops and roasted malt is quite dominating and some faint chocolate notes may be hiding being this. Taste is dominating by bitter citrus hops and leaves little place to the roasted chocolate malt. Body is slightly above average with some good carbonation and no alcohol was discernable.

 422 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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

A: Black. Dark tan head - almost brown. Excellent head retention and lacing.

S: Fruity and roasty with some soft, sweetish malt underneath. Some hops as well. Some alcohol.

T: Rich. Solid. Bitter. Acidic. There's a nudge of candyish sweetness going on upfront, and then it becomes gently burnt, but always washed over by yeasty fruitiness and alcohol. Bittersweet chocolate and espresso. Kind of one-sided... hmmm... maybe not. There are a couple of sides to it. Still, it's intense, but mostly just intense... some notes of coffee grounds and burnt toast are clearly present, but it's the yeasty fruitiness (apricot, apple, dull cherry) that makes it work. It still centers on the almost-harsh, sharp pin-point of bitter black coffee and alcohol while all of the other flavors meander around that. Lingers seemingly forever in the mouth with a long-lasting burnt character.

M: Dextrinous medium body with a very-fine bubbled moderate carbonation.

D: Certainly a beer worthy of merit, simply based on it's alcohol content and roastiness, but there's something else there in the yeastiness that makes it unique. Worth trying.

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Photo of oberon
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

 543 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a very dark brown color, with a thick brown head that fades slowly and leaves a heavy lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is rich and intense with dark chocolate and sweet berries along with some roasted malt.

T: The taste is dominated by the dark chocolate flavor. Berries and dark fruit compliment the chocolate and there are some coffee and caramelized malt flavors intertwined. There’s no hint of the 9.50% ABV. The after-taste is very bitter from the dark chocolate, but in tones down some as the beer warms (I think I may have had it a little too cold in the fridge).

M: Very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light carbonation, finish is slick but clean.

D: Quite tasty and it goes does very easily, to the point that the 9.50% ABV will catch up to quickly. It was a little bit filling however, which will slow you down a bit and makes this beer a perfect sipper.

I first tried this beer at a tasting and liked it a lot, but now that I’m drinking a whole bomber, it has fallen a bit short of what I anticipated. It’s still a very good beer though. I haven’t had a bad beer yet from Middle Ages.

 1,180 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of billab914
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Surly nonic pint glass. It poured black in color with a thick and frothy tan head to it. The head settled to a thin dusting, but left some nice lacing as I drank it.

The aroma shows a lot of chocolate to it. It's more of a milk chocolaty like flavor, but with a moderate roast coming through as well. I get some of the caramel, malty flavors to it as well.

The taste has a lot of bold flavors going on. Dark chocolate, roasted malts, sweet malt, caramel, coffee and a hint of a burnt smokiness. It starts off more on the roasty and bitter side, but turns to more of the sweeter malty, caramel flavors as you get to the finish. Everything really comes together pretty nicely in the flavor. All the flavors get to shine at one time or another through drinking it.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Drinkability was good, it was a very nice RIS overall. It had a nice range of flavors and none of them overpowered the beer. Very enjoyable beer overall, and a nice version of the style.

 1,053 characters

Photo of smithj4
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of russpowell
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to JasonA for this one!

Pours jet black with 2+ fingers of mocha/brown head. Good lacing with minimal head retention

S: Coffee & dark chocolate in modest amounts, plus dark fruits as this warms

T: Powdery & oaky dryness, a touch of vanilla & a bit of dark fruits up front. Oaky vanilla & dryness dominate as this warms, plus some ghost booze& a touch of dark chocolate & burnt grains. Finishes dry, dryness is felt on the throat & tounge& a touch of coffee & plums

MF: Oily, with medium carbonation & medium body & some wetness

Drinks a bit slow to me mostly due the dryness, the ABV is well hidden. More depth is needed, alright, not great as Imp Stouts go IMO

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Photo of smcolw
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black in color (no light passes through). Solid four-finger beige head with lots of lace.

Strong chocolate and black patent malt aromas. Somewhat like chocolate milk. Some bitterness to the smell, but it comes from the burnt grains. Inviting and interesting.

Very dark (read: burnt malt) tasting. The high alcohol essence is balanced by this bitter flavor. Full bodied with an above average carbonation. The hop is subdued and not really necessary to provide balance since the beer is so dry and naturally bitter. The aftertaste is nearly all black patent malt.

Do you like burnt toast or blackened food? A yes answer will likely mean you'll love this brew. While I enjoy its unique flavors, I find them to be a bit too much. This does not have the smoothness of most Imperial Stouts (or Dry Stouts). Think black coffee or better yet, espresso, and you'll get the general feel for this brew.

 900 characters

Photo of millerbuffoon
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dragon's blood black that had generous crimson highlights as it entered the glass, but not a glimmer of accent once in the glass. The head is a big, burly hunk of mocha-colored cream that easily does justice to the ominous looking beer on which it sits. I don't believe that this is an overly hoppy stout, but the impressive lace display would suggest otherwise.

The nose keeps the pedal to the metal. All of the usual RIS characteristics are present with dark chocolate fudge as the clear ringleader. Its accomplices include heavily roasted barley, black coffee and black licorice. The sweeter scents of molasses and dark caramel fail to show up, but the nose is plenty complex without them.

Upon tasting... this is very good beer and is a classic example of the style. Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure that I can identify the Middle Ages 'house flavor' of slightly sour butter. It's much less apparent in this beer of course, due to the intensity of the other flavors, and is more than welcome to join the mouth party. In fact, it gives the beer a little added personality.

Obviously well-torched malt is the heart and soul of Dragonslayer. Each mouthful is positively bursting with it as coffee bean-flecked, chocolate-covered... uh... chocolate fills every nook and cranny of my mouth. I can't decide if the bitterness (easily the equal of the sweetness) is due to the charring of the barley or is due to hops. Probably a little of both. There's an underlying citric fruitness that is a welcome complement to all the testosterone-soaked rompin' and stompin'.

Nuance and earth-shaking power... gotta love it. Speaking of power, the very nearly double-digit ABV is masked pretty capably. Enough remains to let the drinker know that he's drinking a bad ass stout and that gulping will bring trouble in a big hurry. As the beer warms from barely chilled to room temperature, I'm enjoying the interplay among sweet, bitter and sour. Damn this stuff is good!

I've had bigger RISs. I've had creamier RISs. I've had more viscous RISs. I've had more chewy RISs. Just because the body/mouthfeel on this beer isn't at the head of a very distinguished class is no reason to think that it's anything less than exceptional. It's big enough to get the job done and the job is keeping this bewitching elixir on my taste buds look enough for them to get fat and happy on malt, hops and alcohol.

I don't believe that there's any style in the world of beer that has more amazing versions than Russian Imperial Stout. Hell, let's throw American Double Stouts in there for good measure. Dragonslayer definitely has a place at the head table and is easily the cream of the Middle Ages crop. Thanks to MuddyFeet for yet another outstanding beer.

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Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

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Dragonslayer from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
4.05 out of 5 based on 504 ratings.
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