Blaecorn Unidragon | Clown Shoes

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Blaecorn UnidragonBlaecorn Unidragon

Brewed by:
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by JamnesCameron on 09-25-2011

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Reviews: 374 | Ratings: 1,599
Photo of ThomasMetal75
2/5  rDev -50.7%

*Had at the end of the day on Thanksgiving 2014 at cellar temperature, so I am writing what I remember a day latter.*

A- Looked like an imperial stout with the black as night body and thick khaki head. Good lacing. Looks impressive.

S- Sweet and smokey. My cousin that had a glass said it smelled like coffee without cream. I did find faint chocolate and biscuit/bready notes. The smokiness was the big smell I got.

T- Harsh in a bad way. I had a Bourbon County Barleywine (bottled 2013) earlier this month that was harsh, but that was enjoyable to drink. I don't think the flavors in this beer work very well. You get smokiness and a weird amount of bitterness. It's almost like a floral/earthy kind of bitterness. I purposely picked up this beer over a Clown Shoes American Imperial Stout so I could stay away from a hoppy kind of bitter imperial stout, but this Russian Imperial Stout is more American than traditional. It was smokey, almost in a bacon or sausage type manner. Malts had to take a backseat to the off-putting bitter flavors. A bready, yeasty quality was faintly noticeable. And the typical dark fruitiness is there. It was like dark fruits soaked in alcohol that had the slightest woody texture to it. That was the only redeeming quality of the beer.

M- Thick, rich, and full bodied. The body had a syrupy slickness to it. This is an awesome sipping beer.

If there was such a thing as an imperial black ipa, this would be it. At room temperature it was unpleasant to drink. The bitter plus smokiness was a real turnoff. I know imperial stouts are better towards room temperature, but maybe this could have been better cool. And I also think this beer would be best with a little age to it. I can't say don't ever try this. But if you do, please age this one.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.63/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Chilled bottle into a glass -- thanks KevSal!

A: Pours -- get this -- black. With (shock) a tan head. Just like the other two in the series (Vampire Slayer and Angry Beast). Poor retention.

S: The bottle is room temperature, so I'm surprised by how muted the aromas are here; they open up a bit with swirling, but not a heck of a lot. Anise, dark fruit, roasted malt -- and that's about it.

T: Anise and dark fruit carry most of the beer, but they are not very pronounced. The flavor is pretty weak, especially in comparison to Vampire Slayer next to it on the table. I'm surprised that this is a bigger beer with less presence.

M: Full-bodied with creamy carbonation.

O: I liked this last in the 'horizontal.' Vampire Slayer is a superior beer, and it carries the blend of these two (Angry Beast). Maybe this bottle was poorly handled along the way, but it was unremarkable and devoid of much aroma or flavor.

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Photo of haazer
2.7/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

A - Hard pour produces a bubbly, thick tan head. The brew itself is an opaque, very very dark brown. Despite how dark this is, you can tell this is highly carbed. The head settles to a one finger thick cap that remains for some time.

S - Sweet molasses intertwines itself with bitter roasted malts. Some cocoal and dark chocolate mixed in. There are some phenols, and a small sense of booze.

T - Harshly roasted malts, I mean charred. The strongest flavor would be black licorice, which I am not so much a fan of. There are some strains of dark chocolate. A bit of subdued heat but the alcohol is not so much tasted.

M - Thick bodied stout. Fairly smooth despite the harsh taste, and a highly carbed brew. Best part of the beer for me.

O - I've heard stories about the "harshness" of this beer and I feel it's correct. I let this sit for a year or more, and I can tell how harsh it must be fresh. Not my favorite flavor in a stout thats for sure. If you like black licorice, this is your thin. Just be sure to sit on it for about a year or so.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.89/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks for sharing, Rich.

Black in color with an khaki colored head. Intensely roasty with a metallic tinge to it. There's an ashy quality to it as well as some smoke and burnt toast. The flavor is really no better. I get lots of smoke, ash, and char. The metallic character is still there as is a mild acidity. Maybe some molasses, licorice, and dark chocolate, but sort of a moot point.

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Photo of GbVDave
2.98/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeeatherAnn for the assist!

Bottled 9/11

A: Pours a perfectly acceptable, inky black with a small yet creamy, mocha colored head. Retention was good withb a thin collar and whispy skim remaining after about 10 minutes.

S: Fudge, dark fruit, and a healthy amount of char. Quite a bit of nostril tickling solvent alcohol.

T: See above with waaaay more hot booziness. After a sip or two, that's all you can taste...after the stale & burnt firepit ashes, of course.

M: Starts off smooth and creamy enough...then the door swings the other way towards complete palate fatiguing booziness.

O: I had high hopes for this but I felt a little let down by the Clown this time. Yes, I do realize that it's 12.5% and a certain amount of booziness is to be expected, but this was off the charts to us. Felt raw and unfinished. Definitely needs more time in the bottle.

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Photo of teromous
2.98/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Oily black with a dark brown creamy fluffy head. It's actually a neat color for a's really dark.

Aroma: It has an odd horse blanket and old house aroma...not what I would expect from a is interesting but again it's not what I would want in this beer.

Taste: Burnt acrid charcoal, some raw coffee grounds. This probably tastes like what a fire breathing dragon mare's mouth would taste like after a night of rampaging and partying. Again there is this funky horse blanket taste. Maybe that's the point? I don't know. The initial roasted burnt flavors are there, and they're ruined at the end by the out-of-place flavors of attic mildew.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel on this beer is awesome. It's thick, it's present, it's right in your face. Perfect.

Overall: It's not something I'd buy again, despite the awesome label art. It just doesn't work for me. It's like some cross between a brett beer and a RIS.

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Photo of ThirstyHerf
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from Blind BIF 6
poured into my Bruery snifter, as instructed.

A - Pours black as night, no light can get through this darkness. an inch of dark tan/khaki head-nice retention as a top layer of foam stays on this beer. as i swirl this beer, carbonation is released perfectly and the head reappears instantly. Very nice lacing, im in for a high abv beer... 4.5

S - this has got to be a bourbon bbl stout. the smell is phenomenol! Bourbon, vanilla, cherries, plums, chocolate, a bit of roasty coffee. 4.5

T - the taste is a little more astringent and the flavors of the nose do not come through at all. Lots of black patent roasty malt to this beer. Very high IBU's, something i do not typically enjoy in my stouts. this beer is so astringent I feel i need to hydrate. this beer tastes like it needs a couple years of age to get out of puberty. 2

M- the mouth feel is good, slightly thin for this style. could be a little thicker and a little creamier. 2.5

O - this beer is about to be a drain pour for me. the hoppy astringency are just not inviting to my palate at all. If I had to choose a style, Im going with Russian Imperial Stout.

The reveal: Blaecorn Unidragon. Thanks Alewatcher! This beer was a definite want but not at all what i was expecting from the reviews I have read. I am really glad I had the opportunity to try this beer!!! I hope I can get my hands on another to age!

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.01/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

$11.00 bomber from Abe's.

Solid black body, ruby highlights, and a softball size, very dense head of tan foam that darkens as it approaches the liquid. Limited lacing.

Aroma is straight up deep roast coffee.

Taste is also predominately coffee, there is a little undercurrent of chocolate lurking around the edges. Nice snap of hops at the swallow, with a bit of linger.

Mouthfeel is okay, but not quite rich enough, and a bit too prickly, for a Russian Imperial Stout.

A middle of the road RIS, and too pricey for the results.

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Photo of OVBC
3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 ounce bomber poured into pint glasses with a friend. Basically black with little edges of ruby. Head dissapated pretty quickly. Little to no lacing

Very roasty and coffee-like. A bit of unsweetened chocolate. Dark fruit. Boozy. Flavors dont taste like they're on the same page with each other

Roased malt and booze dominate the palate. Tastes like it smells. Out of balance but not so much you wont finish

Thinner than I hoped. Smooth carbonation though. A little oat or flaked barley could've added some needed mouthfeel. Strong alcohol for such a thin body. Not bad just a bit much at times.

This is a pretty big beer. I feel like it gets better with time. Plenty of alcohol to keep and age well. Maybe put this one in the cellar for a few months (or a year or two) and see if it mellows

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Photo of DaveAnderson
3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Strong pour from a bomber into a Duvel glass. Opened at about 40°, and re-sampled until it reached about 60°.

A: Milky, dark beer that develops a moderate tan head, which recedes quickly, and leaves very little lacing.

S: Not the greatest RIS I have ever smelled. There are some chocolate notes, but also some off aromas, like cardboard and glue. Slight hoppiness discernable after it warms.

T: Slightly astringent, sight chocolate finish. A little bitterness, and a tiny amount of sweetness. The alcohol is well-masked. I can't say I'm hating this, but I wouldn't call it a favorite.

M: It's very rich and creamy. This is easily its best attribute.

O: I just don't understand why Clown Shoes released this beer. I have had plenty of Imperial Stouts, and generally like the style. But this one is one of my biggest RIS disappointments. There just isn't the complexity or harmony that I expect from a RIS. Too bad.

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Photo of hardy008
3.11/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark black with a two finger mocha colored head with good retention and lacing. the aroma has dark roasted malt, cocoa, smoke, earth, and alcohol. The earth smell is much like the inside of a cave smells.

Tastes somewhat sweet with cocoa, dark roasted malt, earth, and noticeable alcohol. I don't detect any hops, and there isn't any real bitterness for balance. I'm not sure bitterness for balance is needed, since the sweetness isn't overpowering, but it would be nice if the alcohol wasn't as noticeable.

Medium bodied with light carbonation. There is a cocoa and dark roasted malt aftertaste. Not bad overall, nothing special either.It would be nice if the alcohol was better disguised. I should have aged this one a while before drinking it. I may need to try this again sometime.

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Photo of HBomb81
3.17/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Although a Imperial Russian, this could pass for a first cousin of Dogfish Head Palo Santo.

It pours well with a decent head for such a high ABV 12.5%. It is dark brown almost black in appearance.

It has a chocolaty-coffee taste that borders on syrupy in a nice way. The feel is good and the beer finishes well. This is a good occasion beer.

Overall, for the right occasion or portion of your day/night, this should be considered.

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Photo of Pahn
3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch frothy tan head that dissipates steadily leaving a tight ring of lacing. Pours black with brown highlights and leaves arches and walls of lacing.

Smell: Coffee beans, lots of hops (sort of a greenhouse, "general hop" smell, as opposed to pine or citrus or spice), mild toffee. Roasted malt. Suggests a balance not achieved by the flavor.

Taste: Powerful and ashy roasted malt up front, some black coffee bitterness through the finish and a hint of coffee ice cream aftertaste. Double punch of roasted malt bitterness and hop bitterness with little to no balancing sweetness. Exceptionally well-hidden 12.5% ABV.

There's occasionally a slight coffee liqueur note up front, along with lots of charred and ashy flavor (too much). The beer is named after a combination of two mythical animals, but it tastes like half of a Russian Imperial Stout (has all the bold roasted notes and bitterness, but nothing more).

I often think big stouts are too sweet and under-attenuated, but this one is over-attenuated... the dryness is nice (I like dry beers), but this beer is dying for sweetness to tame these bold, abrasive flavors. The slight BBQ smoked malt flavor in the aftertaste is nice, but no relief from the assault.

The good flavors could exist quite comfortably in a 4.0 ~ 4.5 for taste beer, but the balance is that of a 2.0 for taste beer. So, 3.0.

Mouthfeel: Full side of medium bodied. Slightly overcarbonated for my tastes. Pretty dry finish.

Overall: Some good flavor, but monumentally imbalanced. Also, while the 12.5% ABV is expertly hidden, there's a real question of "why does this beer have that much alcohol?" What it does well could easily be done at 5% ABV (some ash and roasted flavors, with high IBUs).

Furthermore, Blaecorn Unidragon tastes pretty similar to Victory Storm King Stout. I can't think of any reason to drink this over that, and I don't really like Storm King to begin with.

I feel a tinge of regret for sending this beer to a trading partner as an extra. It seemed like people across the country were interested in Clown Shoes, so I bought this and sent it off. This is the first time I've given this brewery a chance, and there probably won't be a second time unless the beer is free.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.21/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Rattle n Hum, this one was served in a tall thin glass.

Blaecorn Unidragon pours a solid black, with a finger's worth of mocha foam sitting atop the beer. The head displays both good retention and lacing. The malty side of the nose is disappointing in that it's basically roasty and ashy, without much of a chocolate or coffee presence at all. There is a nice citrus undercurrent though, which manages to keep things at least a little interesting. I have a pretty similar reaction to the flavor profile. The malty flavors are still a little too roasty/ashy centric, although there is a little bit more coffee here than in the aroma. Again, there's a nice orange-y hoppy flavor that's present on the back end. It's all also a little bit mild, not nearly as potent as I might have anticipated. The body is nice and rich, full without becoming overbearing. The carbonation is a bit too much though, definitely takes away from what should be a malt centric beer. That's just the thing, Blaecorn Unidragon is supposed to be a big malty monster as an imperial stout, but the only compliments I find myself paying it are for its hops.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.21/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a straight black with a big puffy mocha head. The foam settles slowly overtime leaving some nice lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is roasted malt, salt, caramel, earth, and a touch of raisin. It smells ok, but something seems a bit off.

T: It starts out with sweet malt, booze, slight raisin, and more booze. I get a slight saltiness, followed by some booze. Did I mention there is some booze in the flavor of this beer?

M: Full bodied beer. It starts out with a quick burst of sweet, but transitions to stinging alcohol.

O: I'm really disappointed with this beer. It's burnt, and boozy, and not very good. There are a bunch of off flavors that just don't work well. I'm not a fan.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.26/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: pours very viscous and black, dark brown head upon pour, reduces to thin layer, some lacing

S: nose hits big with molassases and cocoa followed by strong boozieness , some hints of tobacco and leather

T: starts off sweet and chocolately, becomes boozy and bItter in the middle, a bit hot on the finish, the balance isnt very good

Mf: the body doesn't feel as big as it looks, medium carbonation

O: lots of flavor, a bit hot, probably could use some time

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Photo of ordybill
3.27/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. Aroma- definite malts and alcohol maybe some molasses. Appearance - with a foamy, thick 2 inch head. Taste - A very strong brew, Imperial Stouts are not my favorite style of beer. Heavy dose of malt and a strong alcohol bite. The second glass full went down better (my guess the alcohol kicking in) Palate- A bitter malt and coffee affair with the dryness of the high alcohol content added to it

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clown Shoes Blaecorn, bomber bought at Whole Foods Columbus Circle for $11.99 plus tax.

Appearance: Served in my Lost Abbey snifter, this comes looking the customary pitch-black of every other big stout, along with the classic coffee-colored head. Not much retention (head dies soon) but decent lacing. Carbonation is a bit low for the style.

Smell: Underwhelming. Feels almost like a homebrew, extract and all. You know that smell/feeling? Traces of vanilla and coffee… a bit of molasses… some hops and funks at the end. Cat pee.

Taste: Classic big stout, the coffee, the chocolate, the roastiness. Some dairy and swamp notes. Nice hoppy finish and bunch of malt all around.

Mouthfeel: Not really up to par. Pretty thin for such a huge beer! Medium body and flavor, medium-to-low carbonation.

Overall: An alright beer, but certainly cannot stand against the big classic Russian Imperial Stouts of our times (Stone, North Coast, you name it). One good thing about this brew is how outrageously easy it drinks. 12.5%? You’d never bet! Lacking a bit in flavor, but damn chuggable.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours pitch black with two fingers of dense tan foam that recedes slowly to a film atop the beer. Retention is quite good.

S: Strong roasted malts and dark chocolate meet citrus hops.

T: Similar to aroma, but the malts are extremely burnt in flavor leaving a long bitter aftertaste. Bitter hops are also very present. I get very little sweetness in this beer. There is quite a bit of smoke here as well. As the beer opens up, I get a bit of caramel sweetness, but not nearly enough.

M: Medium thickness with carbonation a bit on the strong side for me.

O: This is an intensely burnt and bitter stout. Lots of flavor, but little sweetness to balance. Not bad, but I much prefer their Vampire Slayer.

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Photo of DRyan
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark inky black with tan head that recedes rather quickly for a stout and leaves little lacing
S: roasty stout, dark smells with some underlying vanilla
T: roasty again, with some hop bite at the end and a little alcohol pungency
M: average stout, nothing special
D: pretty drinkable for a 12.5% ABV, but again nothing special

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Photo of corby112
3.41/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with a 1.5 finger beige head that very slowly fades into a thick lasting ring. Streaks and sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Roasted malt aroma that is surprisingly hop forward. Lots of resin and earthy pine needle overpowering the dark malts. Underneath, there are hints of dark chocolate, coffee bean and oatmeal.

Chewy full body with a strong bitter hop presence that lingers over the dark malts into a dry finish. Again, surprisingly hop forward for the style with dry, sticky, resinous pine needle flavor. The hop compliment the malt but really bring out their roasted bitterness. This makes the beer a bit one dimensional with very little sweetness balances things out. Hints of dark chocolate, coffee bean, toast and oatmeal as well as some slight booze. Surprisingly very little heat at 12.5%. Pretty easy to drink but a bit one dimensional and too bitter for my preference.

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Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
3.44/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Recently bottled poured into a snifter. Allowed to get to room temp throughout the tasting.

A: Pours a thick black/VERY dark brown viscous with a 2 finger dark mocha brown head. Great head retention with nice lacing on the glass. Carbonation is evident.

S: Surprisingly some slight piney notes, along with slightly burnt coffee, roasted beans, chocolate. Really sweet aroma, and most are muted. Not overly aromatic.

T: Sweet sweet piney notes, man really sweet esp as it warms up. Getting a slight coffee bitterness, with some raosted malt and slight coffee taste.

M: Thinner than I would like but does have a nice smooth creamy feel. My sips tend to change as I drink depending on the volume/temp of the beer. Goes from a VERY sweet mouthfeel to a quite harsh bitter finish.

O: Pretty meh, not terrible but below avg for a ten dollar bottle RIS. Stone's IRS blows this out of the water for example and is only ~$6 a bottle here. Slightly disjointed, thin body and the flavors are muted except in the sweet/overly bitter areas. also off put by the piney aromas for an Imperial stout. Wouldn't buy again, nor would i recommend it. However not the worst RIS out there, and if you're a Clown Shoes fan boy I would imagine you would check it out.

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Photo of jefferz5000
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Why not review a beer after all this time?

I had some expectations for this beer, based on what I'd heard/read and the fact that I've been craving imperial stouts all the time lately.

Pours a (as expected) rich black, although not as thick as some big stouts, with a somewhat dark, somewhat sizable tan head. Looks promising?

Aroma is nice. I'm getting a combination of roasted malts, some smoke and anise.

The taste is similar, but it just seems lacking to me, especially for such a big beer. The alcohol isn't as well hidden as I'd hoped, especially after reading some of the other reviews. The taste just seems as if it's lacking complexity. Don't care for the hop presence, as it's a bit on the bitter side and just isn't what I was expecting. Really, it's not just that though, the taste just seems very lacking, IMO.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thin. I'd expect a 12.5% beer to be a bit fuller, but the carbonation is about where it should be, and aids in smoothness.

Decent, glad I've tried it. Glad I only picked up one.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Very dark. Looks like RIS. Certainly good looking but little above average for an RIS.
smell: Again, true to the the style. An charred, bitter edge. Some sweetness, some chocolate.
taste: As the nose, so goes the taste.
overall: A decent enough RIS though not a great one IMO.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Binny's. Bottled 9/11/2011. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - Quick-dissolving light mocha foam settles to a thin ring, some faint wisps, and no lace. Very, very dark brown body.

S - Intensely roasted grains, light smoke and char, licorice, dark chocolate, and some moderate alcohol presence. Very intense, and very roasty and dry, with minimal sweetness present.

T - Taste is again intensely roasted and charry, with anise, dark chocolate, and perhaps a hint of vanilla sweetness that valiantly tries (and fails) to offset the burnt malts and smoke. Alcohol is bit better hidden here.

M - Medium body that seems surprisingly light for 12.5%. Otherwise it's smooth on the palate, with lower carbonation and a surprisingly clean finish that only retains a little of the smokiness. Some alcohol presence, but nothing excessive.

D - If you dig intensely charry European stouts this will be right up your alley - I could imagine Mikkeller or Amager making something like this with the intense roast and char flavors. Not my cup of tea unfortunately.

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Blaecorn Unidragon from Clown Shoes
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,599 ratings.
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