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Dragonslayer | Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.

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504 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 504 |  Reviews: 350
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a frothy, dense, three finger thick, rich chocolate brown color. The beer itself is fairly viscous and is an opaque black color. The aroma is a rich mix of sweet burnt fruit notes (burnt raisins, burnt figs, and a bit of burnt prunes), and almost smokey chocolate note, a lightly roasted coffee note and just a touch of alcohol.

The taste is sweet and rich, with a nice heft to it, the combination of which is not cloying. Notes of burnt espresso beans, soft vanilla notes, and a creamy encompassing mouthfeel combine to make this beer almost like a rich, lightly sweet flavored coffee. A bit of roast grain astringency is in the finish and is joined This is quite the enjoyable tipple, while perhaps not the most complex of Imperial stouts, the flavors in this beer just meld together quite well. Certainly a beer that is much more enjoyable than the sum of its parts might suggest.

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

22 oz. bomber with a cool-looking dragon silhouetted against the moon on the label, not at all like the label pictured. No date info that I can see, but I grabbed it fresh and new from the case late last year at release.

Appearance is outstanding. Thick black body, impenetrable to light. Poured aggressively into a St. Bernardus goblet, produces a monster dark brown head.

Nose is a great blend of fresh ground coffee with smooth chocolatiness.

Flavor is excellent! A great blend of all the things I love to find in Imperial Stouts. Plenty of coffee and chocolate highlights, but firmly bolstered with a rich dark fruitiness. Definitely not a one trick pony. This stuff delivers all the complexity that roasted malt can provide. I am even getting a little of that soy sauce thing, but not in a bad way, it's just one of those brews that deserves a slow pensive sip.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich, but stops short of being what I would call chewy.

Drinkability is pretty damn good for a high ABV RIS. The bitterness is fairly low, and the dark fruitiness is fairly high, the combination makes a very drinkable brew.

Middle Ages has produced a winner here!

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

22 oz. bottle.

Pours dense and black, dark brown frothy puff of head atop. Nose is quite vinous (did I spell that right? I never know) and is not unlike red wine...only it's beer, and it's enhanced by the chocolate covered plum undertones. Flavor is quite burnt, especially in the aftertaste, but does possess a lingering hop bitterness that certainly does not overpower the palate. Not a hop monster like many of its American brethren, which is a nice chance. Alcohol is subtle. Big notes of licorice and dark espresso throughout. Lots of black licorice. Not insanely thick either, but certainly full bodied and rich, though not approaching motor oil just yet. Nice consistency, smooth, mellow carbonation. A real nice sipper. Made for a perfect nightcap as I watched my 1986 Mets World Series tape. Ahhh...good times all around.

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

Pours a nice and opaqye black, medium brown head, lots of lace, good retention. Smell is sweet, vanilla, roast coffee and chocolate, some cherry. Taste is very roasty, lots of chocolate and coffee, some floral and vanilla in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation and a roasty smooth finish. Very nice stout, thanks DrJay!

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Photo of tonytuffnuts
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this bomber a few days after my 21st birthday at Marcy Beverage, and it's been on a high shelf for a few weeks since then. I drank it out of a oversized wine glass, served slightly under room temperature (prolly 60F).

Thick, frothy head almost two fingers. When the light hits it right, I notice a hint of purple or red (like the color of a dark red wine) highlighting the tan head. Dark, black body screams "coffee and chocolate." After the pour, I just want to dive in. Head subsides, leaving an outer ring on the walls of the glass, scattered lacing, and an island of thin foam in the middle of my glass.

I can smell vanilla and some form of coffee (prolly espresso) along with a bit of hops.

The espresso taste shines through, and the beer finishes with the taste of burnt malt and toasted grains. There's an enjoyable hoppy note on the front of my tongue that I notice more with each swig. The alcohol isn't biting, but lingering, as it's the last taste left in my mouth.

Very smooth, versatile beer. Even though it's got a high alcohol content, I can see myself drinking a bomber for dinner, with desert or spreading it out over a night. I've spoiled myself with premier imperials lately--and this challenges their company--but it lacked the rich, chocolatey offering I crave in these beers. Further, it could've used this extra flavor to mute an overpowering hoppiness that shouldn't be so out of balance in an imperial of such quality. Still, it's an amazing beer!

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

appearance: The pour produces a very nice 1" dark brown/mocha head that partially recedes, leaving a thick ring around the edge and a nice island spotted layer on the surface. Moderate lacing is left behind as I drain the glass. The beer itself is one of the blackest I've seen.

smell: The majority of the smell consists of a mix of milk and bittersweet chocolates and a sweet, gently roasted malt aroma. Overall, the aroma has a moderate, or just a little higher, sweetness. The aromas meld together very well, and the balance is well done. Some hints of caramel and highly sweet fruits. Green, PNW style hops peek out from behind the malt. Just a hint of ethanol spikiness is evident.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the border between low and medium, and it is very smooth. The body is just around the middle of the heavy range, and considerably creamy.

taste: An equal blend of medium roast and bittersweet chocolate upfront. Moderate in sweetness. Not as complex or pleasing as the aroma but still good. A moderate to low-high bitterness comes in after the swallow, with moderate hop flavors throughout.

drinkability: A great beer, and good drinkability considering the style and ABV.

Acquired in a trade with JahNoth back in early January, and cellared since then.

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Photo of bultrey
3.29/5  rDev -18.6%
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 WesWes
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick brown head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich and intense black and roasted malt scent. It's warm with an earthy aroma. The taste is good. It has a smooth and satisfying black malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes warm and earthy. It's mildly bitter with a roasted feel. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good beer. It's warm and full flavored with just the right amount of black malts and hops; a good drinker.

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

Bomber purchased at Julio's in Westboro 3/3/06 poured into a St. Bernardus glass.

This beer is absurdly smooth and drinkable for a 9% abv RIS. Ii think I consumed the entire bomber in about half an hour, and I wasn't rushing or anything like that. It is actually pretty mellow for the style, but very tasty. It has the classic taste of burnt coffee and chocolate. Overall, it is very nice, and at $4-$5 a bottle, it is one of the best deals there is.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Middle Ages Dragonslayer
22 oz brown bottle
9.5% ABV
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours an amazing looking dark black. Creamy brown colored head floats on the top of the beer. Great head sustain with incredible trails and patterns of lace,

Complex nose with whiffs of dairy, sugars, chocolate chips and hops.

Rich chocolate flavors and juicy raisins with sharp esspresso bean profile. Biting hops and dark fruit with a chocolate syrup blast. The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and enjoyable.

Without question, this beer is the real deal. A great Russian Imperial Stout. Deceptively drinkable at 9.5%ABV.

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Photo of boulevard2
3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
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 edmonds
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a twenty-two ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Midnight black with a chocolate/dark tan head that maintains throughout the serving. Good lacing left on the glass.

Smell - The presence of malt and chocolate and some citrus/fruity smells

Taste - Toasted malt at first, followed by coffee/chocolate flavors and ending with a hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Slight carbonation at first that dissapated quickly, leaving a smooth finish.

Drinkability - Very easy to drink. This brew goes down smooth and leaves you anxious to take another swig. If I could handle the ABV, I could easily drink a bunch of these in one sitting. Excellent brew.

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Photo of jaxon53
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass from a twenty two ounce bottle. Poured a deep black with a thick, frothy tan head. Smelled of coffee ,and roasted malt. Tasted of again coffee, and definatley some nutty chocolate. Was rather enjoyable in my opinion. Couldn't even catch a hint of the 9.5 percent alcohol in this one. the mouth feel was a little thin but was very drinkable. Will probably purchase this again. Over all not a bad stout.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dragonslayer stout pours as dark as a dragons lair at midnight. A big frothy coffee colored head forms on top. The foam slowly dissolves to a thick ring around the surface leaving behind clumps of lace on the side of the glass. An aroma of roasted malt, chocolate and nuts floats above the beer.

This soft medium bodied beer is velvety and dry on the palate. The flavor is a wonderful balance of roasted malt, chocolate, and nuts with some hints of raisin mixed in. It finishes with a mild hop bitterness with grassy notes leaving behind some rich malty flavors.

For a beer that is nearly 10% alcohol you wouldn't know it. I couldn't detect any alcohol flavor in this beer. The rich flavor and wonderful mouth feel makes this an excellent imperial stout.

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

Pours black with a chocolatey head.

Smells- Chocolate/roasted malts. Some near fruity esters as well.

Taste- fruity up front, followed by chocolate, then coffee. A certain acidicness moves in, followed by hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel isn't as creamy as I like in the style.

Drinkability- decent drinkability, but I prefer my RIS to be a little more on the sweet side.

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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 taez555
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a thick, oil like, black body with a small tan head.

Nose has a sweet, smokey alcohol sort of smell. Very reminiscent of tequila or mescal actually. There's a sweet milk chocolate and woody tobacco smell as well. Again, smells that are throwing me off, it's like those cheap "backwoods" cigars. Very unique, but extremely inviting.

Full bodied. There's really a strong smokey flavor in this beer. Dark dark roasted malts. Dark chocolate, espresso beans, just really loads of bunt malt flavors. Actually a rather milder bitterness considering the malt base. Although it's well balanced and huge, it's not an over the top bitterness. Hops are definitely there as well. A grassy, earthy and stronger citrus peel hop come through towards the end and as it warms.

A nice sweet chocolate tilted imperial stout with this nice classic burnt smoke flavor. Probably the smokiest, woodiest Imperial stout I've ever had. It really lives up to the "middle ages" sort of theme. A great beer and another winner from a fantastic brewery.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
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 weeare138
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears black with a small tan head and lots of scattered lacing left around the glass.
Smell is of butter, caramel, dark fruit, a touch of bitter chocolate, and a touch of alcohol present in the aromas.
Taste is of the same aromas.
Mouthfeel is slightly thin with bitter chocolate standing out on the palate.

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

Pitch black with a fair amount of tan lacing.

Aroma is a bit mild, sweet malt and chocolate milkshake comes through.

Taste: Definitely a sweet stout. Soft, pillowy, almost milk-like mouthfeel leads the way, brown sugar and dark malt follows with a little molasses. Creamy, milk chocolate flavors mingle as a very lightly tangy finish gives way to lip-licking stickyness. Very minimal roasty or coffee notes, and the listed 9.2 ABV doesn't even suggest it's true size with a hint of warmth.

Smooth, sweet, and very more-ish. I'd expect a "Dragonslayer" to be full of brimstone, hellfire, and charred malt, but that's not the case....however this is a highly quaffable and dangerous brew.

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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 Ego
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber $3.99 from Deccio Market, Pelham NY

wow. one of the darker heads I have seen on a brew (chocolate colored), it poured almost like syrup, lacing is impressive, color? hell.. this could cause an eclipse if you held it up to a noon sun, impressive looking brew

like sticking your nose inside the grinder at the grocery store that has ground 40,000 lbs of coffee that week, roasted malts, chocolate... absolutely delicious, this one is dangerously close to being as good as Old Rasputin, which is one of my personal favorites.. this comes off a touch to sweet for my personal tastes though.. of course I might be nit picking, but this is my review, not yours cocheese...

taste etc...
the carbonation was way more active than I thought it would be, this almost has an ash aftertaste, it dries right up after a nice full swig, some nice bitterness slides in there before the aftertaste, it is a pretty quick performance so you have to pay attention to grab all that this one is offering, the ABV is barely detectable, which could be deadly... if I weren't a certified BA expert that is... There is a damn nice roasted coffee flavor to this one for sure.. but it has a nice malt element to keep things in order as well. I am really enjoying this one.

Solid, recommended. If you like Old Rasputin you should like this. It is different enough from Raspy but yet very much in the same vein... not an every day thing but something great to break out on a cold winter night with friends by the fireplace... a great digestif.

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Photo of smcolw
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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Photo of numenor1
4.61/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours inky black with a thick dark tan head that lasts for an age. Incredible lacing. Amazing. Smells sweet, deeply roasted and earthy. Flavor is stunning. Immediate roastiness across the palate, smoky, espresso notes, dark chocolate, raisins and currants, molasses. It's a spinning kaleidoscope of flavors, becomes supremely earthy and roasty to an unbelievable extreme through the finish, drying. Beautiful. One of the absolute best. Mouthfeel could be thicker but this is fine for my tastes. It drinks well.

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Dragonslayer from Middle Ages Brewing Co., Ltd.
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 504 ratings
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