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Midnight Sun - Williams Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Midnight SunMidnight Sun

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

143 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 143
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 11
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Williams Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: wl0307 on 06-11-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (40) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 143 | Reviews: 70
Reviews by brentk56:
Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial nonic a near jet black except for a few ruby highlights when held to the light,a 1/2 finger beige colored head that held well.Carred aromas with some black licorice really standing out as well,a bit of dark fruit and bitter chocolate as well.Heavy roast and charred dark fruit flavors,I was surprised at the dryness and the roast it was alot like an American style porter in my mind.A little sharp and thin in the feel but its a nice roasty porter,one I would buy again.

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #45 (Oct 2010):

A Porter with a twist. Dense and rich-colored froth adorns the top of the dark-brown-leather-colored ale. Smells of muddled raisins, brown sugar and vague spicing from the hops and alcohol. Medium body. Dry toasted malt with hints of brown bread, touch of molasses and an even more faint charcoal and crystallized ginger flavor. Woody hops, kiss of ginger, nutty oats and a drying cocoa powder all in the dry finish. The small addition of ginger root works extremely well here. A versatile beer: sessionable, or an easy beer to pair with.

Photo of chinchill
2.89/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

500 ml bottle with a BB date of July 2016.

Looks great, with a generous tan head over an essentially black body.
Full body with medium+ but soft carbonation.
but ...
the aroma is overall unappealing. My initial impression was that the ale was infected, but with further consideration I've concluded it is just an unfortunate mix of the roasted grains and the fresh ginger root. The flavor largely follows but is more appealing, especially after further warming.

O: disappointing.

Photo of WeissGary
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
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!

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

A: Dark brown, almost black in color with a dark off-white/pale brown head which lasted well down the glass.

S: I got hints of chocolate and coffee, quite sweet smelling with some very feint hints of spice.

T: Chocolate and coffee again but a more bitter taste than the sweetness of the smell. There was a hint of the alcohol in the background taste.

M: Seemed quite light, almost watery, but pleasant and smooth.

D: Nice, easy and smooth to drink.

Notes: 500 ml bottle poured into an Imperial Pint glass. Best Before Date on bottle was MAY 2010.

Photo of Bung
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint bottle. Very dark brown pour not quite black. Off white head about a finger that decreases fairly quickly to a thin layer.

Aroma is roast malt and cocoa, fairly straight forward.

Taste is light roast malt and some chocolates. Not quite as dry as I would have thought. Finishes with some roast malt, peat, cocoa and light coffee.

A tad thin, but not watery. Carbonation causes a not quite creamy body but pleasant. Very drinkable. Not a whole lot to it, but a good drinkable Enlgish Porter.

Photo of puboflyons
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 500 ml. bottle stamped L0808-1011. Sampled on April 23, 2014.

The pour is a very dark opaque brown to black with a modest, short-lived cream colored head.

Porters are pretty straightforward dark beers and this aroma is no exception. Everything fits including the dark barley malts, chocolate, sweetness, and muted hop notes.

Thin to closer to medium body with a slight dry and bitter finale.

The taste has the Porter qualities I tend to look for minus the smoke. It features the more traditional chocolate and barley malt flavors, a decent sweetness, and a dry finish that lingers briefly at the end.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, best before July 2011. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with an inch and a half frothy tan head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is roasted malt, chocolate, oats and a bit of coffee. The aroma is nice overall, and mostly sweet. The brew tastes like roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and some ginger, along with a slight mineral taste. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and has moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and goes down easy. I think this is a good porter, there was just something about the taste of this brew that I liked a lot. I'd buy this again in the future.

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color; traces of amber are visible near the edges of the glass when it is held up to the light. It poured with a thin tan head that died down but never completely faded away.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of roasted malts and toffee in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has flavors of chocolate and roasted malts along with some hints of coffee beans and nuts.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, a bit watery and very smooth on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is easy to drink but I’m not sure if I could have more than one of these in a single sitting.

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.58/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

500ml Brown bottle, best before May 2010, drank and reviewed 11 March 2010. Poured into a vase shaped 'Old Speckled Hen' pint glass.

looked impressive, deep, dark and rich black with a good solid tanned foaming head sat on top. The head left some good thick lacing on the glass.

A burnt, roasted malts smell hides a smoother dark chocolate aroma which in turn allows some liquorice esters to show themselves.

The rear label mentions 'root ginger' and there is a hint of 'hotness' in the taste, but I'd never have gone for ginger as being the reason. The taste follows the smells almost to the letter, toasted malts, dark chocolate and liquorice all appear along with the aforementioned hotness trace.

Smooth, rich and very 'moreish', I liked this a great deal.

Photo of obywan59
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of joecast
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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

Poured from the bottle into my point glass

A - Dark black with an off white head that sticks around.

S - Salt, smoke and roast.

T - Once again a bit of salt mixed with smoke and roasted malts. A bit saltier than I would like. Not as chocolaty as I like. Kinda watered down. This is a decent beer but doesn't stand up to the other great porters.

M - creamy medium bodied with not too much carbonation

D - Decent beer but not great. I would drink this again but wouldn't seek it out or buy if I had other options.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-cask 1/26/2011 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large dense beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains coffee, roasted malts, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out creamy with flavors of coffee and a little bit of chocolate and fruit. There's also a touch of spices in the background. The roasted malt character is hearty and the hops presence is mild but complementary creating a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while especially if you like casked porters.

Photo of BierBliss
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of jlindros
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a smaller fizzy fluffy head that fades semi slowly with a touch of lacing over dark black beer with no light.

Nose has a nice creamy porter, light roast, some milk chocolate, light cocoa, touch of oats, some vanilla and light caramel.

Taste is more porter light milk stout, pretty creamy, lactose sugar I think, milk chocolate, light cocoa, light roast, some vanilla and caramel, oats, some malty flavors, and light bitterness more from a bit from the roasted malts and hints of earthy hops. The mild sweetness dries just a touch and the creamyness lingers as it finishes, with a bit more bitterness, malts, chocolate, and more lactose.

Mouth is med to slightly lighter bodied, creamy and milky, with lower but decent for the beer carbonation.

Overall not bad, very creamy and lactose, nice malt flavors, not too bitter, nice chocolate and vanilla flavors, but could have had a bit more carbonation and bigger body, and maybe a hint more hops.

Photo of GreenCard
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark mahogany to black, opaque, thick layer of dark tan spongey foam that slowly compacts to a thin cap, good head retention

Aroma: lush roasted grains and coffee, ginger, herbal hops, soy sauce

Flavor: medium malt sweetness rounded out by a full roasty profile of coffee, dark cocoa, and rooty chicoree; hints of burnt sugar, molasses, and dried prunes; finishes semisweet with a scrumptious smooth aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium full body, gentle carbonation, soft texture, silky smooth

Other comments: This is an astounding porter! Even though it was a bit too cold when I sampled it, the complexity was fantastic. Really well balanced and scrumptious as hell! Need to get some more of this!

Photo of jdhilt
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger, light tan head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights. Nose is baked chocolate. Medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Flavor is baked chocolate, some malty sweetness. Nice porter. $4.00 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, ME.

Photo of soju6
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of Tone
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, roasted malt, oatmeal, and slight dark citrus. Fits the style of an English Porter. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. There is also a slight dryness associated with this brew. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, hops, slight dark citrus, hint of wood, hint of smoke, and slight spice. Overall, good blend, complexity, body, and appearance.

Photo of jgasparine
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a FRESH cask at Max's on Broadway, Baltimore, Maryland on 3/30/2010.

A- Poured from the beer engine with a thin brown head, which quickly evaporated... no substantial lacing. The body was a seemingly uncarbonated opaque jet-black color.

S- A very interesting nose that combines aromas of roasted and black malts, oats, earth, perceived juniper (presumably a reaction between the ginger and the malts used in the brew), and just a very mild touch of smokiness. A very artisanal nose, which I enjoyed quite a bit.

T- The nose is replicated nicely on the palate- roasted-malt-dominant with nuances of oats, earth and peceived juniper throughout. The touch of smokiness emerges in the finish, and lingers in the aftertaste.

M- A very nice medium body, particularly given the low ABV; Textured with unattenuated sugar and suspended yeast, and complimented by a soft and delicate carbonation from the cask.

D- Drinks quite well. I would have had multiple glasses of this if there weren't so many other beers to try tonight!

Photo of Maxwell
4.13/5  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.

Photo of tatoodkelt
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured very well. Pitch black with a thin creamy brown head.

S - Complex. Couldnt really pick out one particular smell. Hints of chocolate, coffee and some spices. Everything mixed together very well.

T - Again the chocolate and coffee as well as a roasted/burnt flavor. A little bitter and a spicy/fizzy feeling along the tongue.

M - More watery than I expected from the look but very smooth.

D - Very easy to drink but I think after a couple in a row I would move on to something else.

Photo of Suds
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
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,

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Midnight Sun from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 143 ratings.