Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Dragonmead Russian Imperial Stout | Dragonmead Microbrewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Very Good
46 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Ratings: 46 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of hopdog
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
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 BMoney575
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 10-24-08
Bottled on 10-18-08

Pours an absolute pitch black, with a wispy tan head that settles to a micro-thin layer.

Smell is tons of coffee and anise, lots of smoky roasted malt, and a little bit of chocolate if you look for it. Outstanding.

Taste is surprisingly meaty, dominated by a smoky, malty quality. The finish is quite bitter, which adds to the intense coffee aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is great, maybe a tiny bit too thin, but with nice carbonation.

Drinkability is very good, the reasonable abv means you can session a great beer.

Overall, I've been disappointed with Dragonmead in the past, but this totally redeems them. Too bad they don't bottle more of their beers.

 694 characters

Photo of gordavidson
4.51/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Black as they come with a small and patchy brown head. This looks menacing and mean. As appealing as they come.

S- A massive amount of chocolate, some anise, somkiness, coffee, and earthiness to boot. Pretty roasty with some sweetness in there too. A little restrained.

T- This is damn tasty. Its got a lot of excellent flavors such as coffee, chocolate, smokiness, anise, and some roastiness. Nothing is overpowering and everything seems to be mellow and smooth. It's got the flavors of an Imperial Stout, but it is not a monster. Very refreshing for once.

M- Very smooth. The carbonation level is perfect. Leaves a nice, slightly dry feel to the mouth.

D- A very easy drinking beer. I am really impressed. I wish they would bottle this.

 745 characters

Photo of barleysangel
2/5  rDev -49%
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 letsgopens
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
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 TheBierBand
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first bier I tried at Dragonmead. It arrived to our table with a 1/4" froathy tan head peeking out over the top of the edge of the pint glass. The bier itself was a black as black can be.

The aroma was understated.... but you could still pick up dark chocolate and a roasty malt smell.

Taste... WOW!... FANTASTIC RIS! The deep dark chocolate comes through right up front with some hoppy bitterness to balance off the sweetness. Very complex roasted coffee flavors and some fruity taste as well.

Mouthfeel was great... carbonation was just right... not too fizzy. Very thick and chewy like a RIS should be.... the bier that drinks like a meal!

Drinkability was also GREAT! I wish I would have taken a growler of this fine bier home with me.

 755 characters

Photo of mcallister
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black like midnight. Head is immaculate! Mocha colored, thick and creamy with great retention. Just a great looking stout.

Big roasted burnt chocolate aromas. Fresh ground coffee with a touch of french vanilla. A thimble of mollasses and a hint of floral hop as well.

This is a great RIS and absolutely perfect for cask conditioning. Mouth is big, rich, creamy, and silky smooth. Chock full of roasted smokey chocolate flavors leaning toward the tannic side of things (pure cocoa). Coffee, black currant, plum and a bit of raising fill out the mid palat. Nice bittering hop on the finish. Thick mollasses deliciousness. If they didn't have over 30 taps I would drink this on cask all night long.

 701 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
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 meathookjones
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a dark tan head that leaves streams of lace around the glass. Roasty malt with a lightly bitter dark chocolate. Notes of dark fruits as well. Some light scents of sweetness and coffee as well. The flavor starts with some bitter sweet chocolate and deep roastiness. Some alcohol peaks through before being covered by sweetness. Bitter dry roasted malt finish. A bit on the thin side but smooth and easy going down. A tasty version on the smaller end of the RIS spectrum.

 486 characters

Photo of walleye
3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
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 BigDaddyWil
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
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 weeare138
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
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 nomad
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
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 bozebus17
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
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 francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, opaque black that no light is gonna get through (in this brewpub at least). Big tan/mocha head of foam that lasts until the drink is done leaving excellent lacing patterns all over the place. Aromas are big and bolshy with dark patent malts, coffee, caramel, chocolate, and just a bit of hot alcohol. Taste is great with a nice blend of nearly medicinal funky hops and chocolate, coffee and caramel as well as milky lactic notes. Middle is maltier still, roasty, and a bit smoky eve, finish is drier and hoppier. Mouthfeel is thick and gratifying, drinkability is excellent. A great imperial stout sampled at a great brewpub on a great day...

 648 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Inky black colour topped by a thin, dark brown head. Good retention and moderate lacing. Complex aroma, rich and malty, chocolate, roasted that's just short of coffee, and slightly vinous. Big, malty flavour, with plenty of roasted and chocolate on top of a toffee backbone. Medium bitterness that justs balances the sweetness. A light dryness appears at the mid-point from the dark grains, and this carries on through the finish. There's a little dark fruitiness that becomes more vinous at the finish. Full bodied with medium/low carbonation and a slick, creamy texture. This is a great beer, one of the best that I've sampled from Dragonmead. Well done!

 656 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
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 jayb
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First brew sampled at Dragonmead. Appearence was black, no question. No light can get through this beast. Lacing was rich, a color that resembled chocolate milk. Lacing was cakey. Aroma and taste where a match made in heaven. both were of rich, roasted coffee, dark bitter chocolates, and caramel. This one, however, had a bit of an estery aroma as well. Nice. Alot smoother than other imperial stouts ive had, it had all the flavor expected from such but none of the "knock-yer-socks-off" harshness. super smooth and delightful. glory in a glass.

 547 characters

Photo of marburg
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aaaah...Appearance: Black. And, um, black.

Chocolate, coffee, carmelizing sugar, prunes, vanilla, oak... What isn't going on in the aroma, I wonder?Sticky, burnt sienna head. Lays on the tongue and just kind of ruminates, thinking about itself. Fairly viscous just-past-medium body. Develops a snappy burnt bitterness at the end as though someone went ahead and grilled this with the chicken and beef. Moves towards more coffee beans. More or less what an imperial stout should be.

 484 characters

Photo of Mitchster
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly opaque ink-black, forming a thin dark brown head atop medium-sized bubbles, fading quickly into a scum. Retention and lacing are poor. Aroma is of cocoa powder, vanilla, tobacco, black licorice, soap, black patent and chocolate malts. Carbonation is mild. Mouthfeel is surprisingly mild, with a moderately dense body. Flavor is dominated by french roast coffee, strong herbal flavor hops, bittersweet chocolate, subtle grainy tartness, black patent, and a note of mild fusels towards the highly bittersweet, and sometimes abrasive finish, though the level of hops is rather well-balanced. The sweeter, as opposed to darkly roasted, malts are somewhat restrained compared to other examples of the style A decent, enjoyable Imperial, but not something to get excited about.

 778 characters

Photo of putnam
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chocolate, coffee nose. Awkward, sour roasted graininess in the attack but it recovers nicely with more creamy, velvety texture (like all of these brilliant beers). Nice burned grain on the finish. If your like me, and you like your grilled franks blackened, try this.

 268 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Dragonmead Russian Imperial Stout from Dragonmead Microbrewery
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 46 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.