1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Midnight Sun - Williams Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Midnight SunMidnight Sun

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

141 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 141
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.71%
Wants: 10
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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 141 | Reviews: 69
Photo of obywan59
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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 killcore
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of thierrynantes
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of TheHammer
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of soulgrowl
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of BeerShirts
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of Slatetank
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of Maxwell
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
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 thepeter
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of Stephen63
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of Lion088
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of mick303
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of Zraly
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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!

Photo of BierBliss
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.

Photo of joecast
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.

Photo of jdhilt
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
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 Lemke10
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.

Photo of 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!

Photo of Errto
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of StJamesGate
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours purple-black with taupe fuzzy head that fades to trailers of lace. Nose is clay, fudge and maybe the odd blueberry. Cocoa and coffee grounds in the malt, roasted bitterness in the middle and slight medicinal herbal hops to end. Hint of ginger. Tight end with some brown sugar sweetness. Medium feel, oily and round.

Big porter that almost drinks Baltic. Would go again.

Photo of meatyard
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Has a "best before date Jul 2011" on the back label.

Pours a clear (held up to a light), dark reddish/brown with a large, fluffy, 3-finger, light tan head that leaves ample lacing.
The smell is cocoa followed by an earthy malt.
The taste starts with a burnt, bitter coffee, then chocolate and dark malt flavor and more bitterness in the finish. As it warms there's a bit of sour taste and the bitterness subsides.
Mouthfeel is medium and smooth.
Drinkability: This is a very nice, easy to drink porter though it is not a beer of which I would necessarily choose to have 2 in a row. I would be happy to have another in a few days or a week though. Maybe it's the burnt flavor that makes me feel that way but this is a bit different, yet very good, porter.

Photo of AgentMunky
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500cL bottle into a pint glass.

A: Midnight-dark brown. Heavy head that has no staying power. Reddish edges, impenetrable body.

S: Spicy (yum), but metallic (ugh).

T: Not bad at all! (By which I mean, this is really good). The label speaks true when it promises a "rich, dark, and spicy porter." Although the body is light, the flavour is very dense. A spicy, gingerly endtaste.

M: Tingling, substantial, and tasty. I like it!

D: A really quality beer. Very interesting and fun. Definitely recommended.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +2%
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 Satyr179
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +2%

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Midnight Sun from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 141 ratings.