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Midnight Sun - Williams Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Midnight SunMidnight Sun

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

70 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 70
Hads: 146
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 8.95%
Wants: 13
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: 146
Photo of StJamesGate
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (377 characters)

Photo of meatyard
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (755 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (521 characters)

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. (596 characters)

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. (403 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at 44 Stone Public House, Columbia, MO

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a two-finger, light brown head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled roasty and floral with some nice toffee notes.

T - Lots of toffee, chocolate and caramel. Just enough bitterness to balance all the sweet flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied porter with a dry finish.

O - This is a really tasty English Porter. Glad I tried this at 44 Stone Public House. (514 characters)

Photo of IPA35
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (417 characters)

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 (591 characters)

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

The brew pours a dark cola hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a creamy fast vanishing two finger head and a rim of lacing,the smell is nice and roasty with hints of chocolate,tobacco,coffee,liquorice and spicy hops,the taste is very similar with hints of chocolate,coffee,roasted toasted oats,liquorice and finishes with a spicy hop bitterness and overall a very pleasant porter and very drinkable cheers. (417 characters)

Photo of wl0307
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A brand new offer by the Williams Brothers Brewery, purchased at the Tesco supermarket. A label on the neck of the 500ml bottle says "Tesco Drink Awards Winner 2008 - Porters & Stouts", so this new brew seems to have already become a success! BB Aug. 2009, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: black in colour, a khaki foamy head with decent retention, carbonation level unknown but certainly not fizzy.
S: the smell is as exciting as deep-running... gingery, heather, and licorice-like herbal+spicy notes as well as orangey-citrusness float upon the chocolatey malty backbone, backed by extra dose of treacle-like rich, sticky sugarness, relatively light nuttiness, sweet berry fruits, and a touch of roasted malts. Overall, it shows good complexity and is quite settled, while the touch of gingery spiciness helps keep a balance in the overall "gravity".
T: rich and sweet chocolatey malts, caramel, and crushed oats upfront, without much ginger though... then turning powdery-malty with a mildly tart-sweet edge of roast maltiness akin to a potent Czech dark lager (e.g. U Fleku), on top of chewy licorice-like bitter-sweetness from both dark malts and hops. The lingering aroma on the palate has a bit more gingery tale to tell in addition to raisins and licorice, but overall everything is mixed so well together.
M&D: the texture is very soft in carbonation, med-plus bodied, very easy-drinking and quietly-delicious. I take this is the fuller version of Williams Black, with additional pleasure coming from ginger and herbal hops... At 5.6%abv., this quaffable porter certainly doesn't taste as such! (1,626 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.99/5  rDev +2%
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. (342 characters)

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. (497 characters)

Photo of Aethien
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (538 characters)

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! (1,035 characters)

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. (494 characters)

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. (613 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown, black with a big creamy tan head and streaks of lace.

S - Coffee, roasted malts, dark fruits and a light hint of ginger.

T - Coffee, cocoa powder, roasted malts, dark fruits and ginger that lingers long into the finish. The ginger builds as it warms.

M - Light side of medium with low carbonation. A little creamy.

D - Solid porter with a nice twist of ginger. (380 characters)

Photo of kmacphail
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up from the Tesco in the Inverness retail park, easily the widest variety of beers in Inverness with the possible exception of Morrisons in the city centre.

The beer poured a very dark brown colour with a thick, dark cream head.

The nose was a complex fusion of a wide variety of aromas that worked well together, complex but not too overpowering. Spices, chocolate and coffee were the main notes but these are only a small number in the overall mix.

The taste of malts, chocolate and a lingering aftertaste of coffee and a slight note of peat. However this is a bit of a weaker taste than expected. The beer is very heavy bodied, whilst I enjoyed it I do not think I could have more than a couple.

Very nice beer, but don't buy a case, try as part of a mix or simply pick up a couple off the shelf, if you can find it. (838 characters)

Photo of farrago
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin half finger of brown foam which doesn't stick around for long, leaves random islands across the surface, given this, more stickiness in the lacing than expected. Blackish-brown in color, opaque but not in a monolithic manner, light glimmer of burnt orange around the rims. Firm, well-packed nose of cocoa, dry dark chocolate, carob and a strong does of ginger, coriander spices, even a pinch of cayenne, the roast not acrid nor coffee-like, more like slowly roasted grains, has no distinct fruit nor citrus scents, long, if unobtrusive, presence in your nostrils. Medium-bodied, muscular presence, not immobile but you have to exercise those throat muscles to prod it down. The Indian cuisine like spices of ginger, cumin, anise and curry clear enough that they push most else to the side. This also hardens the contours of the cocoa, carob flavors. The carbonation moderate at best but does fit the general tone nicely. Odd that, again, virtually no fruit, citrus or other vaguely "sweet" flavors. This is a very intelligent and well-crafted beer, however, one that should be used in select circumstances, preferably with food. (1,133 characters)

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. (672 characters)

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! (410 characters)

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. (953 characters)

Photo of EatsTacos
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours like black coffee with a fizzy and thin head. No real lacing

The aroma was coffee, expresso, chocolate and some roasted barley

The flavour was spicey and peppery, coffee, chocolate, roasted grain, some nuttiness. Ginger is on the ingredient list and adds to the spice and depth of the beer. Vanilla bean and toffee make up the sweet notes and the beer is bitter and dry in the finish

The mouthfeel for me was much too carbonated, very sharp and hard carbonation, with a medium to thin body (498 characters)

Photo of imscotty
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
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 (754 characters)

Photo of Zimbo
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A darkish dense tan head. Earthy and furry with overwelmingly liquoricish bitterness followed by a strong gingerness towards the finish. Ends very very long and very earthy.
Could do with perhaps some more seemless integration of these elements but still very nice. (265 characters)

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