Dragonmead Russian Imperial Stout | Dragonmead Microbrewery

very good
46 Ratings
no score
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Brewed by:
Dragonmead Microbrewery
Michigan, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by putnam on 10-18-2002

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 46 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of barleysangel
2/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer was dark, but you could still see through. It had a greenish tinge to it, which was a little scary. I felt that it was too chocolately (yes that's what I said) and too smoky. It had a very heavy aftertaste. I would not have another one of these.

 255 characters

Photo of goast8127
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 6/19/2010. On tap at the brewery. Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma of chocolate, chocolate syrup, sweet malt, and roasted malt. Flavor was somewhat of a let down -- very sweet and sugary, not as robust as the aroma would suggest. A touch of roasted malt, but mostly just sweetness.

 301 characters

Photo of strohme2
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of walleye
3.39/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had is a while ago. sampler from the brewery. poured black with a tan head. aroma burnt molasses, dark chocolate. coffee and hints of alcohol. flavor, smokey and that made it hard to get anything else out of it but did get some malts a nice dryness. not to bad

 260 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery. Dark colour with a good head. Light mouthfeel. Chocalety malt sweetness with a finish of sour astringency to it. Ovaltine beer. A tad of coffee and roast. Drinkable but below the high standards available elsewhere for this style.

 252 characters

Photo of nomad
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a sudsy mocha head and no retention. Smell is light chocolate and coffee covered in smoky black patent phenols and nutty accents. Low in impression and not the most captivating aromas. Flavor procedes with minimal complexity, just low-to-medium roasted coffee, nuts, and chalkiness. Little caramel or yeast presence. Mouthfeel is medium at best with a plain texture. The malt at the core drank quite flat, like industrial two-row.

Quite a plain jane imperial stout, really expected more and never received much, even with time and warmth little complexity showed up. Drinks like a run-of-the-mill session stout despite being relatively fresh on draught if indeed it is a weekly rotating tap as advertised.

 725 characters

Photo of letsgopens
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewpub, this brew pours black with tiny lighter brown highlights. A relatively thin tan head leaves little lace.

Not particularly aromatic but there is some coffee and a decent amount of roasted malt. I would have liked to get a more robust aroma from a RIS.

The flavor is moderately acidic which often is not conducive to the type of stout I prefer (i.e. bitter/sweet/chocolate/coffee/roasted malt). This selection's flavor focuses more on dark fruit with just a hint of espresso to mellow the brew. A small amount of earthy cocoa is present as well.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel that becomes a bit dry in the finish. Some warmth but not as robust and full bodied as I would have liked.

I can not, however, criticize this beer for its rendition of the style. After having several beers from Dragonmead, I have noticed a trend in their brewing style that focuses on well balanced, tidy, and often mellow brews. None of their beers are too malty, hoppy, heavy, light, etc. Everything is very consistent and deliberate. This can be a very good thing but somewhat boring at the same time. A very high quality beer none-the-less.

 1,154 characters

Photo of beergorrilla
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of SerialTicker
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from growler into Sam Adams Perfect Pint

Appearance: Pour down the middle gave a creamy dark brown head two fingers in height that went to one. (4/5)

Smell: Decent. A lot of roast and some dark chocolate and coffee, but not super pungent. A bit of a char, too. Smells more bitter than sweet, and seems to be lacking any kind of dark fruits. (3.5/5)

Taste/feel: Even being from the tap, this is a pretty thin Imperial Stout. It has a bit of creaminess to it, but it's still thin -- like skim milk or something. The taste is kind of ordinary. It doesn't have "oomph." There's a decent black coffee roast and a little dark chocolate with a trace of alcohol and maybe a tiny bit of warmth, but there's not really any depth here. (3.5/5, 3.5/5)

Pretty good beer, nothing special. The ABV is low-ish for the style, and so everything else seems low-ish: weak nose, one-note flavor, skim milk body. I'm not sure what this beer costs, but I wouldn't pay much for it. The BBA version of this beer when I had it (as far as I can remember) tasted completely different and seemed to have quite a bit more depth. Worth a try if you don't have to pay more than $7ish for a pint or $5ish for a tulip.


 1,202 characters

Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from growler into tulip because the pint glass pissed me off. Two fingers dark brown, fizzy head that's gone, gone, gone with no lacing. Brew is a black hole: no light escapes. Except for the disappearing head, so far, so good. Smell is bitter cocoa, roast coffee and cream, sometimes a sharp tang of booze. Overall, okay, not really strong. The smell is more suggested than anything. Taste follows through. Not surprised to find this is kinda weak ABV for an Imperial, booze is well masked on tasting. Thin mouthfeel, surprisingly thin.

 544 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BigDaddyWil
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Received a growler of this from BA member nisjer05, as a Christmas gift! Thanks, Jeremy!!!

Poured into a snifter glass, at almost room temp.

Black as night in color, no light could pass. About a half inch creamy tan head, that dissapated quickly, leaving a super thin tan ring around the snifter glass. A slight oily texture.

Heavy aroma of roasted malt, followed by a good amount of chocolate, and just a hint of coffee.

Lots of roasted malt flavor, along with hints of nuts, mocha and ends with a smoky bitterness flavor.

This stout is a bit too thin for me, maybe it needs some aging. Not a full bodied stout.

Good drinkablity, I could drink this stout all night long, not filling at all.

A decent brew from Dragonmead, my first from there, many return visits are planned to sample more of the 30 some odd brews, that they have on tap.

 859 characters

Photo of zonker17
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of CRJMellor
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, viscous black with a deep tan head that leaves spotty lace.
Aromas of chocolate, some raisins and dark citrus fruits. Very light coffee hit in the background.
Flavors of sweet chocolate, roasted barley and some resined residual bitterness.
Mouthfeel is hyper sweet cut by some roasted nuttiness and charcoal with some gritty bitterness.
Drinkability is smooth and easy to drink. Not a super memorable taste but very pleasing aroma and mouthfeel.

 463 characters

Photo of detroitpat
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BlueAndBrew
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of jlmathis
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of hopdog
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Dragonmead Brew Pub. On Cask.

Poured a deeper black color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of chocolate, roast, and some dark fruits. Tastes of chocolate, roast, dark fruits, and lighter coffee. Chocolate in the forefront of both the aromas and tastes. Lacing left on the glass.

 305 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed on tap at Dragonmead's brewery. Black-hole black with literally no head, most likely (or at least partially) due to the pour. Just a slightly tan-ish ring that outlines the circumference of the glass.

Aroma is pretty "safe" and generic for a Russian Imperial Stout, although even benchmark RIS's smell pretty darn good. Roasted malts, burnt coffee beans, some slightly residual sweetness, maybe mild licorice, some bittersweet chocolates. As I said, pretty "standard" but still pretty good. No detectable heat (yet), but at 7.5% ABV, it's at the low end of the spectrum for alcohol content given the style.

The taste matches the nose almost perfectly, which is always good to see. Malt bomb; roast, coffee grounds, light anise and black licorice, dense dark chocolate. Certainly a bit more roasty than sweet which is typically the style I enjoy. Hop character is surprisingly low, maybe a slight touch of ash and leaf on the very back end, giving a mild bitter feel, however I believe most of the bitterness in this brew comes from the heavy roast.

Body is fairly robust, medium-thick, but I typically like my RIS's a bit thicker than this. It's erring on the side of slick and oily rather than thick and chewy, but it doesn't distract too much from the beer itself. Mild carbonation. Overall, this one might be "just okay" compared to those big-boy RIS's out there, but it's still pretty damn enjoyable. Definitely one of the best Dragonmead brews I've enjoyed, though that's not saying much.

 1,505 characters

Photo of bozebus17
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured pure black with a modest white head that struggled to last the entire glass.

It smelled like all malt with hints of toffee. The scent also seemed a bit woody.

This beer is like an explosion of flavor in your mouth. I was at with coffee, malt, and sweetness all at once. It finished with a smoky flavor that lasts after the beer is swallowed. The alcohol flavor also kicks in at the end, but tastes kind of sweet and is masked.

This beer is extremely full bodied with a creamy milky feel. The only thing I don't like about it is drinkability. Although it is a great beer I couldn't imagine having more than one pint in a sitting. Not for the faint of heart (or palate).

 687 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears an inky black with a dark tan head that is unmistakable of the style.
Smell is of chocolate cake, dark roasted malt, rich oak barrel aging.
Taste is of chocolate richness, dark roasted malt, and a deep roasted taste that is in need of aging to be world class.
Mouthfeel is roasty, bitter, and hitting the middle of the tongue before quickly dying out.
Drinkability...dry and in need of age.

 403 characters

Photo of nickadams2
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Dragonmead.

A_Deep black with a thin mocha head. Little lacing.

S_Roast,chocolate,and smoke.

T_Very roasty. Has a smokey/charred flavor. Chocolate and a little burnt coffee as well.

M_Thick and full bodied.

D_Very drinkable especially for a impy.

 261 characters

Photo of Rostie
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of chrisbokmuller
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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Dragonmead Russian Imperial Stout from Dragonmead Microbrewery
3.91 out of 5 based on 46 ratings.
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