Midnight Sun - Williams Brothers Brewing Company

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Midnight SunMidnight Sun

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BA SCORE
87
very good

70 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

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Reviews: 70
Hads: 145
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 6.39%
Wants: 11
Gots: 16 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 70 | Hads: 145
Photo of JamesS
4.68/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a fantastic dark black with some wonderful head and decent lacing. Great deep scent, some nice roasted grains with a slight coffee undertone. Great flavor, a deep dark roasted malt taste with coffee tones and a slightly chocolate undertone. Goes down very smooth, if a bit dry. Wonderful porter. (301 characters)

Photo of gskitt
4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
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. (374 characters)

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. (764 characters)

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! (708 characters)

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. (667 characters)

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. (491 characters)

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. (495 characters)

Photo of JordanEllwanger
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to my fellow guitar pedalhead DasBeef for hooking me up with this fine Scottish Ale! Cheers Mate!

Pours like a thick coca-cola and floats a dense caramel white head. Smells clean, perfectly roasted, and slightly creamy. And the taste is quite that is smooth. That little ginger root gives it the spice. Not to harsh and just enough kick to make it unique. You Scotts know how to brew a great dark beer. Cheers! (422 characters)

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. (682 characters)

Photo of thierrynantes
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (50 cl.), tasted in 2010.

Appearance : dark brown color, with tan foamy head (some lacing).
Smell : notes of roasted malt aroma.
Taste and mouthfeel : roasted malt flavors, coffee and ginger notes.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style English Porter. (266 characters)

Photo of TheHammer
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
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. (1,460 characters)

Photo of soulgrowl
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Cherry black with a head that might make other porters jealous: tall, smooth, camel-colored, firm, and resilient. Wonderfully upfront with aromas of chocolate, coffee, malted milk, and a mellow ginger vibe, plus a nice mango/peach fruitiness, a wink of vanilla and just a hint of herbal hops. Tastes very reminiscent of root beer, no doubt from the combination of caramelized dark sugars, vanilla, herbal hops, and the light spice of ginger. The flavor segues from cherry cola into coffee, closing with a bitter finish of mocha and citric hops. Quite dry, although I fear the dryness comes at the expense of a fuller mouthfeel and richer malt character - but of course, this is a porter, not a stout, so the lighter body is not really inappropriate. Overall, this is delicious and interesting; the ginger is a welcome innovation, subtle yet noticeable enough to make this stand out among standard porters. (905 characters)

Photo of BeerShirts
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Black. There was only a very little bit of light that could be seen through the edges of the glass, the head comes on thick and lingers,

S- roasted Malt, light coco, and spices

T- The roasted malt hits you head on and just keeps on coming. Starts out more so the coco and malt with it just being that nice roasted malt lingering after

M- With how the head came up it was not as bubbly/carbonated as it seems it was going to be, creamy body with a medium to high in thickness.

D- Enjoyed it very much, would drink my other one if it was not already part of a trade deal. (577 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (1,207 characters)

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. (1,326 characters)

Photo of thepeter
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I admit it, this is my "Now" beer! I find myself picking up a pint with every trip to the supermarket.

Pours beautiful, black with a nice tan fluffy head that thins out significantly by the time I am halfway through.

smells spicy and sweet with a bit of coffee. Lot's more going on, pretty complex but not overpowering at all.

Tastes great, sweet malt, spicy ginger, bit of coffee bitterness at the end. Then a slight comeback of the ginger heat in the back of your throat a few seconds after swallowing (as well as in the belch that may or may not follow)

soft mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. To me, feels similar to a good black lager.

Sure there's lot's of flavor but a nice dry finish and mild and pleasant aftertaste could have me going back for another one, however most day's one is enough.

Overall it is a great example of style I love and feel that I do not see enough of in the US or UK. Goes great with food, especially curry, and spicy stir fry! It is unique, delicious and very well crafted. (1,016 characters)

Photo of Stephen63
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark, slightly creamy head though did not last too long.

S - Quite complex there is certainly some spiciness though I was struck by a smell of sweet roasted coffee.

T - Initial toffee-like sweetness is followed by a burnt finish. Hops very prominent and highlight the bitter burnt almost charcoal finish. Really complex and how I would imagine a porter should taste.

M - Nice carbonation that did not distract the palate.

D - One was very drinkable but the heavy burnt finish would have me looking to refresh the tastebuds with something else.

On the whole a really nice beer and a success for this Scottish microbrewery. (636 characters)

Photo of mick303
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (1,082 characters)

Photo of Zraly
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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! (700 characters)

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. (306 characters)

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. (1,117 characters)

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. (300 characters)

Photo of Lemke10
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (397 characters)

Photo of Arno
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
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! (1,000 characters)

Photo of Errto
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at Best Yet Market, Harlem, New York, NY.

Pours a deep black with barely a hint of color. Light tan head, quite bubbly, not much retention.

Smells of chocolate, a bit of some kind of spice (nutmeg maybe?). No sweetness, alcohol or hops to speak of in the nose.

The taste matches the smell, although a malt body is more present here. Again, that spice I can't quite place comes through and is a pleasant change from most of the Porters I'm used to. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light.

Overall, this is a fairly modest and unassuming beer, but it has just enough richness in the flavor to keep it interesting. At 5.6% and a bit on the dark/roasty side, it's surprisingly refreshing as well. (706 characters)

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Midnight Sun from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.