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Midnight Sun - Williams Brothers Brewing Company

Midnight SunMidnight Sun

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

113 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 113
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.95%


Brewed by:
Williams Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: wl0307 on 06-11-2008)
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Ratings: 113 | Reviews: 68 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of imscotty
imscotty

Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours very dark black/brown, has fair carbonation, a nice tan head, some lacing.

S: Light malt, coffee, light alcohol, some dark fruit.

M: I thought the mouthfeel was a little watery for a Porter, a little creamy, good carbonation.

T: The taste is good and reflects the aroma. Light malt, light roast, light alcohol, and some dark fruit. This beer definitely does not have as much roast malt flavor as some porters. Still, nicely balanced and pleasant. The finish is dry, modestly bitter and lasts for some time on the tongue.

This is a solid beer. The mouthfeel and taste leans more towards a Black Ale than a Porter I think. Not a World Class beer, but I got this at a great price and I think it represents a great value.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 01:54:43 | More by imscotty
Photo of fountainofyouth
fountainofyouth

District of Columbia

3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a Guinness glass.

Appearance: Decently large head with fine bubbles, tan. The body is dark brown, but not black -- good for a porter.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt and herbal hops in equal amounts. Again, browner than black. Reminds me almost of a bock. Brown sugar.

Taste: Nutty and sweet. Some toffee and chocolate. Very light roasted flavor. The back end carries the hops you get in the nose. No off-flavors. Overall it's good, but not quite bold enough for me. The flavor palate is fine, but I was hoping for a little more of it. Maybe a little hoppier than I expect from an English porter, but not overwhelmingly so.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth up front. Some dryness in the back. Lightly carbonated.

Overall: Good porter, probably fits certain tastes better than others. Closer to the brown ale end of the spectrum than the stout end.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 03:59:39 | More by fountainofyouth
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I picked this up at State Line, enjoyed chilled in a tumbler.

The color is onyx with opaque clarity and thick medium tan cap with rocky look and fine bad. The smell is like bittersweet cocoa -moderately roasted with a slight fruity yeast ester with light hint of caramel from the malt with subtle hop odor which is fragrant with a mild toffee sweet scent. The feel is great -not exceptionally high carbonation yet semi-dry with moderate sweetness level and light spicinesss with a gentle roasted finish with very light alcohol warmth.

The taste is pretty great -dark malt with a variety of roasted and semi-sweet chocolate with some mild raisin-like yeast flavor combined with a slight spicy hop in the background which adds to the complexity with a toffee like dark sugar and mild fig-like flavor. The taste has a chocolate covered raisin effect with mild spice to keep things interesting -a mild dry finish and light alcohol makes it very drinkable. Overall I was really impressed, I have kind of found this style to be less impressive lately but this is an exception to the rule as it was satisfying and drinkable with pretty decent value as a bonus. I recommend this to anyone who likes this style.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2013 23:13:37 | More by Slatetank
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

This beer is an utterly black ale. It has a lastin brownish head and a multifaceted roasty, malty, earthy aroma. There is a little fruit...some plum and berry. The taste is semi dry, with a lot of dark malt and roasted grain. Chocolate milk and mild bitterness. Malt. It is a mildly heavy Scottish ale. Dark and luxurious,

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 23:58:13 | More by Suds
Photo of Maxwell
Maxwell

Massachusetts

4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours dark black in color, like a good black coffee. The beer pours with a half a finger’s width of small bubbles the color of sand dunes, which leaves a lacing of medium bubbles that leave a sticky, thin webbing on the glass. In body, the beer is too dark to look through. On the nose, the beer smells light and bakers chocolate with nice toffee notes and hints of coffee with cream and sugar. On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet with a good drying bitter from the light roast, and a soft touch of fruity acidity in the finish. In flavor the beer begins as light dark fruit notes, dancing somewhere between plum and raisin, though never touching upon the richer raisin notes. This light fruitiness slowly blended with smooth roasted malts, smooth and a touch of metallic flavor. The finish rings with light roast and a touch of lactic sugar, while the aftertaste gives light hints to the ginger in the middle of the throat. In the mouth, the beer feels medium in body with a soft carbonation that tickles the tongue with a light scrub. The beer feels slick and leaves a little coating of saliva as it exits the tongue, leaving the mouth wet yet roasty dry. Overall, this is a damn good English (Scottish?) Porter with some nice unique notes from the ginger that help to give fruitiness to the beer. Try this beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2013 23:51:49 | More by Maxwell
Photo of TheHammer
TheHammer

Ontario (Canada)

4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Well, time to see if Williams Bros can brew more then just gruit.

Appearance: Poured with a finger and a half of head that didn't lace but did manage to retain quite well. The body is as black as night, no highlights. It's as dark as a midnight sun...go figure.

Smell: A big presence of chocolate caramel as the malt dominates the nose. Notes of coffee and tea are apparent in the background. Warming really helps the smell come out.

Taste: A nice well roasted malt is present throughout the beer, but it masterfully stops short of burnt. It really starts out the beer on a good note as I even detect a slight note of spice as the chocolate aspect slowly assert itself and then end with a bitter, slightly dry coffee note.

Mouthfeel: It's slightly drier then I'd like, but the exceptional transitioning, creamy carbonation, smooth texture and nice coffee & malt aftertaste that lingers for just the right amount, more then makes up for it.

Drinkability: Only slightly on the heavier side of medium bodied, which is what I would expect from the style. The dryness takes a bit away but the smooth texture, interesting taste and the fact the beer sits down very well makes me a happy camper.

Final Thoughts: This is a very well done Porter and walks that line of being easy and interesting very well. With this Williams Bros has earned its place as one of my favourite Scottish Breweries. I suddenly want to hunt down a bottle of one of their Scottish Ales.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2013 03:16:40 | More by TheHammer
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice and robust porter (in a slightly more English tone than American). Mild smoked and peaty thing going on. This strikes me as what an English porter should be. Smooth feel. Very easy to drink. Glad to be able to try this one out and, again, glad to see something different from this brewery than their lineup of gruit style ales.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2013 04:32:11 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of mick303
mick303

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a shaker pint it is black in colour with a creamy tan hed of foam, shows really nice retention and excellent lacing and film.

Smell has some real solid roasty bready malt, coffee bean, and chocolate, some dark fruits, some melon character, soft bitterness, good balance.

Taste is a really nice coffee bean maltiness, a strong earthiness, woodiness and leafy forest, a bit of a damp hay note, some pepper on the finish. Lots of dark malt, but an excellent overall balance. The taste is pleasant round, quite a rich malty flavour with some nice intricacies. On the finish more dry soft coffee bitterness, dry and crisp.

Mouthfeel is moderate, roasty feel to it, soft refreshing carbonation. Full malty body, really smooth. Altogether very easy to drink with a nice refreshing crispness. Sessionable porter.

Really tasty and flavourful porter. A really solid example of the style with lots of nice rounded flavour and easy to drink. Not too imposing or bitter, and it actually has a pretty respectable complexity for being quite light. I would like to try it on cask.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2013 22:35:17 | More by mick303
Photo of obywan59
obywan59

Virginia

4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with a tan head. Rather thick looking.

Aroma of sweet dried plums with a hint of spice.

The taste is dryer than I prefer in my porters, but it is excellent nonetheless. A slightly woody molassas like taste predominates, and a tart citric quality, faint dark chocolate, and the bite of ginger round it out. Just the barest hint of sweetness.

Medium to medium-thick in body. Smoothness of oats is evident, with the ginger giving a nice bite on the tongue and some warmth in the throat. Somewhat drying.

Very nice, An easy drinker. I could have whizzed through a few more of these. I wish I had bought more. A welcome twist and change of pace from my usual porters.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 06:00:33 | More by obywan59
Photo of Lemke10
Lemke10

Wisconsin

4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a dark brown/black color with a light brown head. The scent is rich and robust with roasted malts, caramel malts, and coffee tones. The taste is bold but not quite as bold as what you get with stouts. The texture is smooth and reasonably light. There is a sweetness and cocoa flavor that is very prominent. It finishes with a slightly chalky after taste. Overall a pretty decent porter.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2012 06:04:34 | More by Lemke10
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a midnight brown color with a rather impressive head that leaves a few shards behind

Smell: Black bread, chocolate, caramel and winter spices

Taste: Lightly roasted malt, black bread, chocolate and caramel, up front, with the sweetness and winter spice flavors building in the middle; the earthy hops enable it to dry out toward the finish, but there is a lingering sweetness, nonetheless

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A little sweeter than I would like, this is still a nice Porter that adds some Winter Warmer elements, as another BA noted

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 23:34:40 | More by brentk56
Photo of IPA35
IPA35

Netherlands

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark brown beer with an off white, foamy head. Good retention.

A lightly roasted beer, dark fruits, earthy hops. Smells good.

This is a pleasant beer, a nice balanced sweet flavour coming from the malts with dark fruits. Swallowing this beer results in a bit of a chocolate/roast flavour. Finish is quite dry with hops.

A creamy mouthfeel with rather a low carbonation.

Overall, this is a very nice porter.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2012 17:55:23 | More by IPA35
Photo of BedetheVenerable
BedetheVenerable

Missouri

3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 500ml brown bottle with nice label; best by September 2012. Kudos to another British brewery who actually puts dates on their beer! Split this with my wife, as she's the one that picked this out to try.

Appearance: Dark brown, nearly black, with dark walnut highlights when held up to the light. Good-sized light tan head which shows good retention.

Smell: Dark fruit, cherries, a hint of dry dusty roast, and a hint of earthy yeast. Pleasant, if a bit mellow.

Taste: This is mostly about the dark fruit, with just a bit of roast on the finish. Earthy yeast and dark malt, along with juicy dark fruit and a bit of cherry. Hint of smoke on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, almost like an on-cask feel.

Conclusion: Don't remember how much this cost, but thinking it was $4-5. A solid, if not particularly standoutish, traditional English stout.

B (84)

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 01:42:06 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of Arno
Arno


4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Black with tan head. More foam than you'd expect from a porter. Good retention.

smell: Lighly roasted malts, black currant, nutty, coffee, bit smokey.

taste: It's quite well balanced with the usual porter flavors. Roasted, caramel, coffee, nutty. But this one finishes off with more of a dark fruits (black currant) with some spices. This makes it quite a unique flavor combo for me. It has some sort of bitterness and spice to it all the way through, where it's usually at the end where it kicks in. This makes it a very easy, tasteful and enjoyable drink.

mouthfeel: Medium bodie, creamy, quite soms carbonation for a stout/porter (which i like).

overall: It was actually ordered wrong. Ordered other beers. So i wasn't planning on drinking this, nor did i know about the existence. But as it turns out, this is a very lovely porter. I like the way it integrates the dark fruit flavor without dominating, giving it just that little more freshness and originality to it. Well done!

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2012 11:39:56 | More by Arno
Photo of soju6
soju6

Missouri

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color with a good head that fades to some lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, some dark fruit, nuts and coffee. There is a bit of spice and a hint of alcohol.

T: Taste of roasted malt with some nuts, dark fruit and bit of coffee. Nice easy bitterness and a dry finish.

F: Medium body, nice smooth and creamy texture. very nice balance.

O: Very enjoyable beer that goes down easy.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2012 11:24:39 | More by soju6
Photo of WeissGary
WeissGary


3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite a lovely porter, pours quickly and easily creating small head which doesn’t dissipate completely throughout the drink. Quite a spicy, dark and thick beer with a bitter quality throughout the taste. Another fine product from the brilliant William Brothers Brewery, this is one of my favourite beers and a frequent buy when I am in the mood for a Scottish ale! If you can get a hold of it, give it a pop!

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2012 20:57:54 | More by WeissGary
Photo of Aethien
Aethien

Netherlands

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip, ink black with a nice tan head and great retention.
I get smoke, malt, caramel and some grassy notes in the smell.
Mostly the same in the flavour, fairly straight forward and the smokey, charred flavours dominate. I didn't detect anything of the root ginger the label claims is in the beer in the smell nor in the taste, disappointing as I really like ginger.
It feels a little watery and light with a good amount of carbonation. A bit too light for the beer really.

It's a good porter but it's not what I hoped for.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 16:15:19 | More by Aethien
Photo of sprucetip
sprucetip

Alaska

3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black but thin enough to let light through and add highlights. Good activity, root beer colored head that dawdles briefly and falls.

Mellow roast and some light malty sweetness. Not bad, but not much in the way of depth or complexity.

Pretty much like the nose, some modest roast and faint malty sweetness with little depth or complexity. Again, not bad, but not all that interesting either.

Fairly strong carbonation, thinnish/medium body, and very light bitterness on the end.

This a well made, decent tasting but largely unremarkable beer with little depth or complexity.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 18:53:35 | More by sprucetip
Photo of joecast
joecast

Australia

4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours quite viscous and about as dark as any porter can be. Thin lightly tanned head. Looks like a text book dessert beer. Lucky I finished all my dinner.

Very appealing aroma. The malt sweetness and spices are at the forefront. Together they make a very good combination. Spices are sort of nutmeg/cinnamon with a touch of grainy breadiness and some floral hops to round things off.

Taste does well to pull back the spices and let the beer do the talking. Just feel if the balance of the smell was copied in the flavor it would have distracted too much. As it is, the spice compliments the dark chocolate and light roast of the malt very well. Bitterness is low but the beer remains balanced as its fermented quite clean.

Only criticism, and it's a small one, is the mouthfeel could be just a tad heavier to help add some weight to the malt and spice flavors.

Overall this is a very enjoyable beer. One nice side effect of the thinner body is that it goes down so easily. One question I am left with is would this be as good a beer without the spice. Of course, I don't know. But as it is it's pretty damn nice.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2012 10:12:20 | More by joecast
Photo of BierBliss
BierBliss

New Hampshire

4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: coffee, slight spice of some sort

Appearance: pours black, 1/2 inch head that fades, light lacing

Flavor: coffee, some maltiness and spice

Mouthfeel: nice mouthfeel

Overall: not what I expected, sort of like a winter warmer meets porter. Drinkable but not something I would go out of my way for.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 23:21:37 | More by BierBliss
Photo of MoreThanWine
MoreThanWine

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a quarter inch mocha head with average fade. The body is a dark burnt umber brown color, almost coffee. The smell is very mild for a porter, even warm, but there's some roasted malt and cocoa. The taste mirrors and exceeds the smell. It has a nice oatmeal stout texture, smooth, creamy, almost milky. A good porter.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2012 09:36:33 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of gskitt
gskitt

New York

4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Rattle and Hum in NYC. Served at room temp, pours a deep brown, not quite opaque. Cask pour had no head to speak of. Had a slight smoky scent, peat maybe. Not overpowering in any way. Taste was remarkable, slightly sweetened plums or other dark fruits, smoky peat, whiskey attributes. Smooth, easy to drink, had no carbonation to speak of. A really nice offering.

Serving type: cask

12-30-2011 15:26:44 | More by gskitt
Photo of maxk
maxk

Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased in a 500mL bottle from Great Grog in Edinburgh. Poured into a pint glass, well chilled.

A: Pours a very dark brown, minimal light getting through, with a latte-esque colored head. Very nice lacings.

S: Coffee, brown sugar, toffee, a tiny bit of alcohol in the nose too. There is some, slightly spicy scent which I can't quite put my finger on in there too.

T: A very nice roasted malt flavor is the first taste I get, followed by a prominent taste of coffee. There is a hint of chocolate in the aftertaste, as well as a tiny bit of the spiciness I smelled.

M: This beer has a great mouthfeel. It has a great viscosity to it, not too watery, but not syrupy, somewhere nicely in between. Good carbonation too.

Overall, I like this beer, it's a tasty, solid porter which is more interesting than many other UK porters. It's good, but not great.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2011 20:35:54 | More by maxk
Photo of flyingpig
flyingpig

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown, caramel brown head that goes fast to leave thin soapy lace.

S - Dark roasted malts, some coffee, some toffee, roasted barely. Dark chocolate and a touch of spice at end.

T - Strong coffee taste, some rich, dark malts & a sweet toffee flavour. Hints of spice & creamy bitter finish with some ginger.

M - Medium, strong carbonation, rich & creamy smoothness, slight tang & very dry finish.

O - Quite a nice, refreshing beer that went down pretty well and had a good creamy feel to it. The root ginger worked well but the dryness in the finish was a little much for me.

1001 Beers To Try List:
http://abarwithnoname.wordpress.com/1001beers

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 14:12:32 | More by flyingpig
Photo of Zraly
Zraly

Virginia

4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at the Park Lane Pub in Hampton, Virginia.

Opaque and dark as night, this ale has a slight peat and smoke note up front. Very little head and minimal lacing.

The flavor profile is quite lovely. There is an interesting yeast note upfront and then the malt and roasted grains come out in the backside of the initial tasting. Some hints of chocolate. Silky mouthfeel with a mild spiceness -- likely due to the addition of ginger. Light to medium bodied and extremely easy drinking, especially on cask -- no over carbonation and the temperature really lets the roasted grains and spice notes shine.

Very nice porter that is great for eating some psuedo-English pub fare. I had more than one!

Serving type: cask

11-18-2011 17:46:38 | More by Zraly
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Midnight Sun from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.