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 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 OtherShoe2
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich dark oily brown, almost black, with a chocolate milk colored head. Good retention, great lace.

French roast coffee, some bitter baking chocolate in the nose.

Silky smooth, with the essence and flavor of higher alcohol but without the big boozy kick. Nice thick strong coffee deep roasted malt. A little acid to cut thru a hint of sweetness and some firm carbonized bitterness. Malt and bitterness in a great balance. Nice lingering bitter malty finish.

Full bodied, a little mouth coating.

Highly drinkable for this style. No need to lay this down. This one is ready right now. Nothing overdone or over-extremed. One of the better of the style that I've had for pure drinkability.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. Bomber into a nonic pint glass. I've also had (and preferred) it on tap, via growler, and aged/casked, but this review is for the bottle.

Look- Completely opaque rich espresso color, with a two fingers of tight toffee-colored head that leaves a nice crown of lacing and persists throughout the session.

Smell- Roast coffee and heavily toasted grains, caramel and a hint of dark stone fruits. More sweetness than I'd like, but goes well with the toasty notes. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overpowering.

Taste- Bittersweet chocolate and espresso up front, with lots of toasty malts and a hint of cherry. Alcohol is quite subdued. Nothing explosive, but darn tasty!

Mouthfeel- Smooth; almost creamy with the tiniest hint of carbonation on the first sip. Leaves a nice warm feeling on the tongue and in the gut, but no lingering bitterness or the cloying/sweet aftertaste you get from some imperials. Drinks like chocolate milk.

Overall- Extremely solid imperial stout, but lacking the complexity to make it stellar. Too easy to put down for the ABV, this one can be dangerous. The two-year cask aged version I sampled recently brought out the fruits and mellowed out the toasty flavor quite a bit, which was nice. Not one of my usuals, but I'll pick up a bottle now and again.

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

A- Creamy tight head develops and has perfect retention. Full amazing lacing. This looks and maintains a complexion throughout the entire drinking experience. Inky darkness hides the light carbonation, but you can tell it nails it there as well. The coloration of chocolate above jet black brings you tears of joy.

S- Smells of pennies, iron, acrid burnt grain, slightly roasty, some dark fruit along the lines of plums. Some tannic acidity on the back end.

T- First impression are a light roasted and burnt grain. Has some low sweetness, charred barley. Some lactose flavor as well. Finishes lightly dark chocolate. Its pretty simple. Opens burnt, middle of roast, ends lightly bittersweet.

M- Full bodied, low carbonation, sticky flavors, light bitterness on the back end due to acrid grains.

Its nice, nothing spectacular beyond the appearance. Just a good solid stout.

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Photo of aranheaney
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one cellared since last October, purchased at a Boys Trip to Beers of the World and stashed with some other beautiful babies that are brought out only for special occasions. I guess New Years Eve qualifies....

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a DFH Snifter.

A-Really beautiful black with a carmel like head that hangs on for a bit and some nice lacing...

S-might be the sinuses, but I don't get a whole lot, pretty typical coffee, some roast and nuttiness, a hint of chocolate

T-More carbonated than I might have expected, a little bit thin, warms up as you go

M-again a bit thin, kind of expected it to be somewhat more

O-good, better than the SA IS from the other night, but not on a par with the Rasputin

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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.

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Photo of doughanson78
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Received this from trxxpaxxs in the Locals Only BIF.

A: Pitch black. Two finger mocha colored head with awesome retention and beautiful lacing.

S: A good blend of chocolate and lightly roasted coffee. Very light dark cherry and smoke notes.

T: Bitter chocolate upfront. Dark very roasty coffee in the middle. A touch of dark fruits come through. Big roasted notes in the finish with the slightest hint of alcohol.

M: Medium body, pretty light for a RIS. Higher carbonation. Nice creaminess. A touch of alcohol warmness.

O: A pretty good RIS. Don't know how available it is in New York but I would buy it again.

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Photo of tdm168
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hoyt for bringing this one back from NY with him.

Pours pitch black with a mountain of cascading, dense, brown head that has phenomenal retention. The nose has notes of chocolate, a hint of anise, roasted malt, and faint coffee. The taste is roasted malt and coffee up front and then finishes with a mild note of chocolate and finally a clean, hop bitterness. This one is well carbonated and surprisingly drinkable at 9.5%, but overall the mouthfeel is way too thin.

The thinness in my opinion detracts a little from the flavor. A fuller body would really do this one justice by really creating an A+ flavor profile and overall experience. As it stands it's still really good.

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

It's not often that I review a beer under more than one serving type, but Dragonslayer was very good on cask, so I thought it warranted some thoughts. Also, the cask that I tried was aged two years.

The look is great. Completely opaque and either the darkest of browns or black. The head is a solid, brown slab that has great retention and leaves some nice lacing behind.

The aroma is very malty, with black malt, chocolate and tons of roasted malt.

The roasted malt has really taken this one over with a little bit of age on it. Powdery cocoa flavors, a hint of coffee and a ton of roasted malt. A little bit of black malt gives a slight bready flavor, and hints of molasses are in the background. Overall, roasted malt really dominates this one and gives it a very dry, bitter character. Whatever warmth or heat that Dragonslayer had fresh has completely vanished.

The mouthfeel is great. Full and creamy, this cask was treated very well.

Age definitely smoothed this one out, as the alcohol is completely hidden. It also made it much less sweet. This is a very tasty beer; I need to try a fresh Dragonslayer again (which I do at Dino BBQ every time I go) to compare.

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Photo of EnJeiBee
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep black hue with a thin tan head and decent retention

S - Chocolate and bitter espresso dominate the nose

T - Bitter dark chocolate and cherries subside into sweetness, before a bitter, roasty finish.

M - Smooth, silky, full body with the perfect amount of carbonation

O - Great brew! It carries all of the typical features you would expect an Imperial Stout to have. The subtle cherry flavors in the taste make it stand out subtly. If you can get your hands on a bottle you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Poured dark brown, almost black. Appears to be medium body with some visible carbonation and one finger of light brown head.

S - Heavy chocolate nose up front. Some licorice and dark fruit and a touch of espresso.

T - Bitter dark chocolate, espresso and a hint of licorice. Bitter and dry up front with a sweetness in the middle and the bitterness returning in the finish.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation. The carbonation was a little too heavy for me.

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Photo of hopsolutely
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An absolutely excellent imperial stout! Purchased at the brewery this summer and I wish we'd bought more.

Beautiful inky black beer with cream-like head. Feels like silk and looks stunning in a glass. Enticing aroma of roasted malts and spices. Taste is incredible! There's a lot going on, but all of it is perfectly well-balanced. Roasted and toasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, cloves - every delightful flavour I could imagine in an imperial stout is present.

Highly recommend.

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Photo of busterthecat
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into duvel tulip. No bottle date. been cellared for a few months.

A- Pours a rich brown from bottle that sits near black in glass. Slowly a nice lighter dense mocha head forms. Not much in the way of carbonation bubbles, but the head lingers well.

S- pretty light for a RIS. Sweet cocoa nibs, Roasted malt, some smoky wood.

T- Roasted and smoky malts, powdery chocolate. No astringent quality. bitterness is pretty low. Different then many other RIS.

M- Medium body. No carb felt. Dries out well. Some chewiness. Light alc warm on back of throat. Coating and lingers smoothly, The bitterness comes out in the finish.

O- A well done RIS. The mouthfeel and the ease of drinking were the highlights here. An interesting quality I can't quite describe makes it different then many of the other RIS.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-ounce bottle into a Saranac pint glass.

A: Midnight black with a rich, creamy, two-finger head of brown foam that left a good amount of clingy lace.

S: Charred wood, licorice and herbal, earthy hops. Burnt specialty black malts give nice hints of caramelized sugar too.

T: Huge complex of fruity ale esters buried beneath waves of bittersweet chocolate, weak coffee, cocoa, vanilla bean and anisette. Bitterness rushes across the palate with a damp, herbal hop sting and washes down slightly creamy with a sharp alcohol-infused hop sting at the end.

M: Rich, full-bodied, robust, sharp and biting mouthfeel with some alcohol burn and chalky malt resin in the finish.

O: Really enjoyable complex Russian Imperial Stout at nearly 9.5% ABV. A little aging could bring the harsher alcohol and biting hop resins down a bit to let some of those robust malt flavors jump forward. I'd definitely like to pick it up again.

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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 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 Vierenner
3.74/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good, solid stout, but lacking any interesting flavors. Plenty of roasted (burnt) malts, and a bit of a hop bite, but that's about it. Kind of plain. Perhaps easier said than done, but this beer could be tweaked with cacao nibs, or somehow infused with coffee notes to form something really special. Or, age in oak barrels!

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Kuhnhenn snifter.

Pours a deep midnight black with two fingers of light brown head. Excellent retention and lacing.

Nose is mostly deep roasted malts and smokiness. Chocolate and vanilla also make an appearance with a small amount of coffee flavor.

The smoke is more dominant in the taste but the roasted malts are right behind. The coffee also has a bigger presence. Chocolate and vanilla notes are subtle but very nice.

It is full bodied, smooth and creamy with medium carbonation. Overall, a very nice feeling stout. The smoke was a pleasant surprise, would probably drink again if I had access to it.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
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 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 InebriatedJoker
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into pint goblet -No best by date visible.

A: Poured as black as a dragons heart,
aggressive pour yeilded a two and a half finger head that dissipated into a thick tan frothy lacing, great retention and webbing,moderate carbonation.

S: Light cocoa hints roated barley , malt,slight coffee.

T: Deep roated barley, light roasted malt,bitter chocolate,slight coffee hints,vanilla hints,minimal smoke and char.

O: Overall this was a pleasure and a surprise, Great quality beer with good balance and well blended, would definitly have again.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Middle Ages Dragonslayer is a pitch black syrup topped with a big, fluffy brown foam. The retention and lacing are outstanding. The aroma is of dark roast coffee, char and citrus peel. There may be a hint of dark chocolate. It's pretty full bodied and very lively with a metallic feel. The finish is dry and mouth is left a wee bit chalky. It's quite roasty tasting. It tastes a bit like espresso with a lemon peel in it. It's a pretty bitter flavor and the bitterness lasts through the finish. This is a pretty drinkable imperial stout. That lemon zest bitterness seems to be what makes it unique. Me gusta.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle without a date on it. traded to me from user G311. thanks again vince! drank from my stone IRS snifter.

A- the beer pours an opaque black body with fairly large coffee colored head on top. the head has above average retention and leaves behind small rings of lacing.

S- the first thing that i notice in the nose are dark roasted malts. almost burnt smelling. chocolate moves in after that. both milk and dark chocolate are detected. a little bit of smoke. espresso/coffee on the finish.

T- the taste starts out with more of the very dark roasted malts i could smell, and once again they seem almost charred. a heavy dose of dark chocolate follows that up. a hint of milk chocolate and caramel malts adds a little sweetness to this. very light smoke. lots of strong espresso moves in last, along with a small alcoholic bite.

m- the beer is a solid medium body, which i expected and wanted to be bigger. the carbonation level is also average. there is a small warming from the alcohol.

D- i can see the extremely dark roasted aspect of this being too much to some. i enjoyed it. something i wouldnt mind seeing solid on my local shelves. thanks again for the beer, vince.

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Photo of jcartamdg
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my bruery tulip. Nice, two finger head stays with the drink with very nice lacing. Aroma of smokey coffee and sweet fruits. Taste follows the nose, a little to toasty, I'm loving the fruits, nice change in an impy stout. Mouthfeel is solid. Pretty good, under the radar stout!!!

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