Giant Slayer | Tri-City Brewing Company

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Giant SlayerGiant Slayer

Brewed by:
Tri-City Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by david131 on 01-27-2009

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Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 157
Photo of NateDyk47
3.79/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bought a single 12oz bottle and drank from a snifter.

Dark brown, nearly black beer with a thin tan head & lacing. First sip was delicious! Perfect balance of chocolate, malt, caramel, hops, and bourbon. For some reason, the rest of the beer tasted incredibly boozy. Still an enjoyable beer, but not incredible like I initially thought.

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Photo of superspak
3.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toasted dark bread, molasses, fudge, raisin, prune, date, licorice, light smoke/char, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roast/bready malt and moderate fruity yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toasted dark bread, molasses, fudge, raisin, prune, date, licorice, light smoke/char, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Moderate roast/char and herbal/spicy hop bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toasted dark bread, molasses, fudge, raisin, prune, date, licorice, light smoke/char, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Good complexity, robustness, and balance of roast/bready malt and moderate fruity yeast ester flavors; with a nice roast/hop bitter/sweet balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from roast/hop bitterness as well. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth and creamy/sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a pretty good Russian imperial stout. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of roast/bready malt and moderate fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. This is a little too heavy on the English yeast presence, but still does have some nice stout complexity going on as well. An enjoyable offering.

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Photo of maltheaded
3.59/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drinking at room temperature, this beer is full flavor and boozy. For $2.19 its a real nice treat, didn't even know this brewery existed, wouldn't mind trying some of their other offerings. First post, so this is a test, lol DG

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Photo of BillHodson
3.22/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Deep red color, almost black. Good head at the start, but not long lasting. The aroma and taste are good, what I was expecting from an Imperial. The mouthfeel seems to be a bit odd, almost clinging to my tongue. (That could also be due to smoking a pipe while drinking.) Overall a good beer. Not the best Russian Imperial I've had, but if offered one, I would gladly accept it.

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Photo of clager
4.45/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark black with a generous tan head. Strong smell of chocolate, oak, and vanilla. Very flavorful with upfront bitter chocolate followed by oak and a bit of coffee and vanilla. Wouldn't say it's particularly creamy but the mouthfeel is outstanding, lightly carbonated appropriately so. More full that I would expect from this beer, likely owing to the extra IBUs. Overall a surprisingly good beer, one of my favorite stouts of all time.

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Photo of carlborch
4.14/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured densely black, producing a 3-inch, creamy, light brown head. The immediate nose suggests roasted coffee, chocolate, chicory, and vanilla. The head persists, but settles in at 1.5 inches. Medium-full body, with modest carbonation, and distinct bitter chocolate notes. A little chalky. Rich. Bitter notes carry through into the lingering. The ABV is not noticeable on the palate, but shows up overall! Cautious hints of sour, but that may be the bitter chocolate notes. Strong roasted notes. Creamy, rich, delicious stout! I taste wood and bourbon!? Did it spend time in a barrel? I like it, and while it is quenching rather than moreish, I will seek it again.

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Photo of oberon
3.48/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first try from this brewery from my neck of the woods.Pours jet black with a deep mocha thinner head atop.Dark fruit,chocolate,and sweet caramel in the nose,smells quite sweet.Slight roast on the palate upfront but the big sweetness takes over from there,dark fruit,caramel,and brown sugar,it actually gets a bit cloying in the back end.Eh it started out decent but just too sweet for my liking really.

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Photo of Brad_Ford
3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Poured from a bottle into a pint glass 8/18/2015. Pours dark espresso with a bubbly tan, creamy head that dissipates to a wispy layer on top. As it warms, the head dissipated completely.

Aroma: Cream, smoke, oak, coffee, alcohol - appealing

Taste: roasted malt, coffee dominate upfront with an astringent alcohol finish that drops off quickly. complexity is a little lacking

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin throughout, looks like it would be more viscous than it is

Overall: Above average but barely. The look and smell lull you into thinking the taste will be better than it is. It comes with an overpowering punch of roasted malt and coffee flavor that falls off quickly to a thin wateriness.

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Photo of Bottleguy
4.62/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This stout is on POINT. Definately in my top three beers. What got me was the label, reminiscent of tabletop games. This beer would fit right in to that image. Light carbonation, definate stout feel, not a session, but great to have around with a few beer geeks. Love it.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
4.95/5  rDev +47.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Tri-City Giant Slayer.

Randomly grabbed this bottle at a convenience store I had never previously been to. Hell, never even heard of the brewer and they are apparently from a few dozen miles North of me. Let us see what we get.

Look - Well it is certainly black. As black as your ex girlfriends heart as a matter of fact. One finger of the darkest head I've ever seen on any beer in the history of ever. Retains okay, eventually breaking down into cloud formations meaning this one will be all straight flavor and no fairy tale gobbledegook. No lacing remains after a slain giant. 4.5.

Smell - These are the things true RIS are made. The alcoholic heat is immediately detectable in the nose, almost like this guy sat in bourbon barrels for a decade. This pretty much smells like a dark coffee on a cold Michigan late December-early January morning with a shot of your favorite whiskey tossed into it to ensure all those thoughts of your ex girlfriend I mentioned earlier fades away into the black abyss you may be about to enter. 5

Taste - Upon touching the tongue the booze delivers swift and immediate justice. Dark, DARK coffees and a touch of creamy espresso are the main flavorful factors in this guy. There is some sure roasted, almost burnt meats going on as well as the beer warms. This is truly a winter beer that I'm drinking on a cool July night, buttfukkithailsatan. 5

Feel - Oil. Oil. Oil more. Light carbonation tickles the tongue and it goes number and number as it sits due to the alcohol. 4.75

Overall - Well, it may not score a PERFECT 5..But this is one hell of a stout and I cannot believe there is only one review for it on here..Things like that make me want to just ship every member of BA a bottle. Too bad I'm not rich. BUT..if it ever gains the popularity the big names have, it will be a whale. You heard it here folks, grab 'em while they are still cheap and readily available!. This is officially the RIS that all other RIS' shall be judged by to me. And at 10 and some change percentage wise, and $2.19 a bottle, you'd be a fucking fool not to pick this up. 5.

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Photo of JustLikeMyDad
2.7/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Drank from the bottle, so I can't comment on looks, but I assume it pours dark. It tastes dark.
It smelled chocolaty, and even thick. And it felt even thicker to drink.
Tasted heavily of chocolate, like drinking melted chocolate, but not quite as thick.
If you like bitter, and bold chocolate tastes, this is for you.

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Photo of breakingbland
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served from a bottle.

The beer pours a deep opaque brown. The head is a persistent whipped cream medium brown. There is an aroma of malt, as well as some fresh fruit and alcohol. The taste is typical of a stout along with some alcoholic heat but nice. The beer has a rich body and good carbonation with a luscious feel upon warming.

Overall, this is a good beer and I would get it again. It was pleasant but not harsh.

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Photo of Chaz
3.21/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a pitch black in color, topped with a dark tan head. An aggressive pour allows for a nice-sized, dark tan head, and just a little in the way of lacing. Head falls at an average rate.

Nose is very good, roasted malts. Smells sweet, with notes of chocolate and espresso. Slightly acidic and tangy.

Rather sweet on the first sip, but with all of the aspects from the nose being otherwise present. Rich, a bit tangier than usual (and in a good way), reminding me a bit of Le Coq -- a benchmark of the style at some level.

Lighter in body than many examples out there today, but not by too much.

Seems to have been well-filtered, or at least there is not much in the way of sediment at the end of the pour.

The bar on this style of beer has been set fairly high for years, now, and Giant Slayer just squeaks-by as being slightly above average. Worth a try.

Poured from a bottle: No production codes / best-by dates that I can see.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

$ 1.89/12 oz bottle at Lager Mill
Bottle at 40 degrees into imperial pint
Aroma of malt and chocolate
Head – basically none – a small head forms but disappears almost immediately after the pour, leaving a 2 mm ring which is light brown
Lacing none
Body very dark brown to black, opaque
Flavor of dark malt and chocolate, moderately sweet; no alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl. There is some bitterness at the end.
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation.

Overall, a decent RIS with a good price point. The flavor could have more depth and longevity, but overall this is an acceptable gateway RIS.

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Photo of msquared36
4.24/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Solid black - opaque. Little head retention or lacing.

Aroma is chocolate and smoke.

Taste of leather and tobacco with a finishing ripe dark fruit sweetness.

Very smooth with a fine carbonation.

Well balanced beer. The roasted, tobacco taste is strong, but not overpowering due to the sweetness. Hides the alcohol well. This is my first beer from Tri City and am impressed.

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Photo of Gryphon69
3.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle
no visable date, purchased 12/13

A- Wow, insane amount of head, with only about half the bottle in the glass before I had to stop head was about 2inchs high lol. Dark mocha colored head, after 2-3 minutes the head fell to less than a finger high, but left crazy amounts of lacing all the way to the top and stays stuck. Beer is near black in color.

S- Was hoping for more after the crazy head. You can smell the roasted malts, some cocoas, small amounts of dark fruits, slight amount of coffee, some vanillas in the finish. Its all there I suppose, but nothing stands out and goes BAM.

T- Real close to the nose, with nothing jumping out to make you want to run out and grab more.

M- Medium body that is more watery than slick. Was expecting more creamy with the head, but no. Carbonations is light and fizzels over your tongue as it coats it.

O- The head is the most impressive part of this one and everything else is rather average, nothing bad, but nothing that makes me want to stock it. It was a good price at under $2 for the bottle, and worth trying just because its affordable. Average beer probably worth trying if you see it on the shelves.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.37/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A surprisingly cheap $2 single. Poured it into a shaker pint. Had their Giant Vanilla Slayer at last year's World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth and thought it was a fantastic beer. How's this one?

Appearance: A half-aggressive pour had to be stopped after three ounces due to an insane amount of foaming. What? I haven't seen that for an Imperial Stout in my LIFE. Huge cinnamon colored head that eventually went down to about half a finger and stayed. A lot of lacing. Pitch black hued brew.

Smell: B-L-A-H. Worst Imperial Stout I've whiffed, that I can remember. I've never smelled one quite so bland. Mild roast, but I actually get a lot of hop character in there. So much so that it almost smells like a black IPA, but not quite. Well, I don't think it's so much that the hops are potent as the other characteristics are just subdued. A shame.

Taste/feel: A medium sort of feel with a moderate carbonation. Not quite what I'd expect for the style, but not bad. That hop character comes through on the start with a weird, surprising wave of... saltiness? This is an incredibly salty tasting beer. On the back there's a very pleasant roasty character with some chocolate and alcohol warmth, but it's not there enough through the sip, or even on the finish.

A decent beer. Considering a single bottle was $2, this is about what I expected. The biggest drawback for this beer, aside from the fact that it doesn't have a huge roasty boldness I affiliate with an Imperial Stout, and the feel is a bit off, is definitely that unusual amount of, for the lack of a better description, SALTINESS that I get on this one. Not a soy sauce sort of flavor or anything, just... salt. So much in fact that for a moment after each sip I take, I swear I feel a slight bit of acid reflux -- and I very, very rarely get acid reflux. In case you're wondering, no, I didn't eat anything recently that'd cause it.

It's a fair value for $2 for the ABV alone... and hey, it tastes alright as well. just don't drink too much of this, because you may end up dehydrated. Not from the alcohol, but from the salt.

(I swear to God, there must be a tablespoon per bottle. Why doesn't it ruin the beer for me?)

Give Giant Salter -- I mean Slayer -- a run for yourself.

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Photo of metter98
3.67/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short mocha colored head that died down a bit but never completely faded away.
S: Moderate aromas of licorice, dark malts and molasses are present in the nose.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and has additional hints of roasted malts in the flavors, most particularly towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation along with hints of dryness towards the finish.
O: This beer feels a little lighter in body compared to other Russian Imperial Stouts, but isn't too difficult to drink.

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Photo of biegaman
3.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

'Giant Slayer' is a cool name for a beer that looks so big and strong; its deep, inky-black tone is sure to be intimidating to most people. It's a natural to play 'David' considering none of the 'Goliath' breweries offer anything remotely so dark or opaque. The most colourful part of the beer is its hazelnut-coloured head... while it lasted.

To be entirely honest, I was expecting the worst after reading the reviews for this beer on the two big rating sites. It's my first offering from this tiny, unknown Michigan brewery. But much to my relief, the aroma shows no noticeable signs of infection and, along with the appearance, is promising. Fudge-y malts, dark fruits, and black licorice are a very decent start.

The flavour has enough chocolate, vanilla, and coffee to keep me happy. It's not the symphony that some Russian Imperial Stouts offer up but it's serviceable. The finish is lightly ashy with an appreciable smokiness and a leafy bitterness that's been entwined with black licorice notes. It's well composed for its strength (though 8.5% is conservative for the style).

The mouthfeel reveals an underlying sweetness reminiscent of brown sugar or molasses. This covers for the faint soy sauce-like impression (and compliments the chocolate brownie and black coffee flavours). It has a hint of oak too, even though it's not barrel-aged (this likely owing to the presence of vanilla bean on the finish). Drink it now. I doubt it'll cellar well.

It looks I was in the lucky minority to get a non-infected bottle of Giant Slayer - take my word, it's not a bad little.. err, big recipe. It doesn't rival Michigan's best Imperial Stouts (Founders' or any of the many Bells) but the people of Bay City can't consider themselves hard-done by; if this were on-tap near me I'd have to hire someone to carry me home.

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Photo of HarrySTruman
2.85/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured a dark brown with a small head into a tulip.

Smells like chocolate and malts. A bit of toffee or coffee rings through.

Tastes of chocolate and roasted malts. A hint of something sweet, but really just a hint.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin and almost carbonated. Really lacks the smooth and robust profile I prefer in an RIS.

Worth a taste, but a bit below average for the style. Lacks any real complexity and isn't much of a warmer. I think the thin mouthfeel is where it really falls short. I think the lower ABV for an RIS at 8.5% may be a reason why it is so underwhelming. Not a big flavor or a nice, thick RIS.

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Photo of gmfessen
3.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, Giant Slayer is black as night and pours like motor oil. The head is one-finger, fluffy and mocha colored. The nose is all malt as you might expect, dark fruits like dates and currants along with roasty malt notes like burnt coffee and dark chocolate. The taste follows suit with the fruity notes coming to the forefront; acrid, bitter notes on the finish. Mouthfeel is light for a RIS, with the carbonation being very inactive and thin. Overall, not an overly impressive RIS... Drinkable but not something to seek out.

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Photo of liamt07
3.91/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by solidfunk (RB), 12oz into a tulip.

Dark brown, medium brown/crimson head that leaves a ring of retention. Nose is chocolatey, earthy, mild vanilla and tobacco. Tastes of chocolate, banana, roasted malts, sweet dark malts anf roast carries into the finish. Medium full feel, low smooth carbonation. Relatively drinkable, and altogether not that bad from a brewery I've never heard about.

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Photo of Sammy
3.64/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Great head, thick and very bubbly. Black body. Aroma is chocolate and roasty. Taste is coffee and sweet. Rather sweet for a RIS. Rather fair for a RIS, but quaff able. Thanks Josh for sharing. Middling mouthfeel, though a spot acidic.Mouthfeel is tingling.

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Photo of ThickNStout
2.58/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

12oz bottle from Beer Barron (Detroit, MI). 2.69. No bottling info but I brought it back from MI last June so it's at least 7 months old. Served in a Red Brick snifter.

Pours deep brown, near-black with a quarter finger mocha head that laces a decent amount.

Smells are muted but include cocoa, cream and a little caramel.

Taste follows the nose, including the 'muted' aspect. Cocoa, mocha latte, caramel, toffee and bitter/sour dark fruit skins.

Medium feel with an over sharp carbonation. Long bitter, almost sour cocoa/cherry pit finish.

Not really bad but far from great. As another reviewer suggested, I'm not sure if I'm dealing with an infected batch or just something that just plain isn't brewed to my preferences. At any rate I plan to pass on this in the future.

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Photo of n2185
3.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours black with an explosive three fingers of brown head that fades into a thin ring with a little lacing.

S: Roasted malts with creamy chocolate and coffee aromas. The finish is smokey and a bit charred.

T: Roasted malts here as well with bitter cocoa and some slight coffee notes. The finish is slightly bitter and charred with an odd sour cherry character.

M: Thick body with mid-high carbonation, this beer has higher carbonation than most imperial stouts, but it works out well.

O: An alright imperial stout overall. It's a bit lacking in depth and I think it might be a bit infected based on the slightly sour flavor and high carbonation.

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Giant Slayer from Tri-City Brewing Company
3.36 out of 5 based on 157 ratings.
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