“The bells were ringing in the dale,
And men looked up with faces pale.
The dragon’s ire, more fierce than fire,
Laid low their towers and houses frail.
The mountain smoked beneath the moon.
The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom.
They fled the hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.”
Excerpt from “Over the Misty Mountains Cold” by J.R.R. Tolkien
Only it didn’t exactly happen that way at the brewery unfortunately.
I spotted this beer almost a year ago, and given my past as a D&D geek, I knew I had to review it (if for no other reason than to give me an excuse to break out the old manuals and dice for the photo). I didn’t grab it that time, and I haven’t seen it since. It must be a once a year brew because nearly a year hence it finally showed up again. Let’s see if it was worth the wait.
It pours a dark black color with a thick coffee head. It doesn’t have the most assertive nose (this, it turns out, was a bellwether of things to come.) What I was a ble to pick out were hints of raisins, smoke, coffee, and cocoa.
Dragonslayer is a very smooth, medium bodied stout, but I wish it had a bit more substance to it. Smokiness, dark roasted coffee, a hint dark bitter chocolate, some dark fruits and caramel malts are the dominant flavors I got. The finish is slightly chalky withe more ash and smoke.
I think in future I’d pair this with some meats, maybe BBQ, but to be honest, if I wanted to go the smoke route, I’d go the smoke route. Not a bad beer, but IMO, it’d be better off dialing up the body, the smoke, and maybe the chocolate to really establish a clearer point of view. Verdict: good, not great. Still, I had fun rummaging through all my old AD&D stuff to take the pictures.
*Bonus points for any of you that can identify the module map behind the beer in the first photo.
Taste: B- Just fine, but I think they fell a bit short of the mark on this one.
Drinkability: C- Did that say 9.5%? Yes it did.
Packaging: B Pretty good, but no story behind the beer which always disappoints me when I see it. If I were to guess what they would have written, it would’ve been something along the lines of wanting to make a big beer with a smokey profile, hence the dragon thing.
Vitals: 9.5% ABV. Served at about 45F from a 22 oz bottle.