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Bar Fly (Bourbon Barrel Aged) - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bar Fly (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Bar Fly (Bourbon Barrel Aged)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

25 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 25
Hads: 120
Avg: 4.31
pDev: 7.19%
Wants: 27
Gots: 28 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout | 11.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Alieniloquium on 07-19-2014

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 25 | Hads: 120
Photo of Beerzebub
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark, opaque, viscous-looking in the glass, with basically no head but that's not a problem. Cohesive and attractive aroma, smells really good - nice soft smoke, plenty of molasses, medium dose of bourbon barrel. On the palate it's more intense, while not quite as balanced/harmonious; but quite tasty. Molasses is fairly dominant, but it works well with the supporting smoke, malt, and bourbon flavors. Noticeable sweetness, but well balanced by bitterness and some acidity. Some alcohol, but not excessive. Thick, creamy, almost oily texture, with fairly low carbonation which works well. Nice beer, good for cold weather.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At least 2 years old. Opened Aug 2015.

A - A beautiful looking stout. Solid, deep midnight black body with just the faintest of brown highlights around the rim. Deep milk chocolate brown head pours a finger high with nice retention and low lace. Get legs.

S - Sweet milk chocolate, caramel, molasses, licorice, and prune.

T - Silky milk chocolate, molasses, caramel, vanilla, coffee milkshake, and chocolate covered plums. Not very smokey though.

M - Thick, full, smooth body.

O - A solid AIS, just wish there was more smoke.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter glass from a 22oz. Bomber.

Appearance: Thick motor oil color with medium bubbles on the body, heavy thick head which is a dark tan color rising to just about a finger's length. Sticky lacing, settles to nada after a sip of two. Seriously looks beautiful.

Smell: Smells like cooked caramel and ridiculously potent. Strong scent which light overshadow almost anything else that goes with it.

Taste: Sweet molasses, you taste a bit smoked feel with a hits of brown sugar that seriously smash your palates. Lightly bitter with a touch of espresso. Incredible. Wish and seriously wish I bought a another bottle.

Mouth: Medium bodied carbonation. Very sticky body, honestly best compared to brown sugar syrup...yes no bs.

Overall: A brew that years in the end will be a classic. Balanced and more treated like a dessert versus a compliment to your day. For some it might come in a bit too sweet but in all seriousness you get past it and just want to inhale the whole thing. Drink with love my friends....Salud!

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Photo of StrongRepublican
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours inky black and heavy with motor oil viscosity and pitch. Virtually without any head, maybe 1/8" dark brown and gone before you can even really notice it. Thin khaki color and layered lacing remain.
S: Heavy sweet chocolate and molasses, charred wood/smoke, roasted barley, and hints of Bourbon.
T: Lots of coffee and milk chocolate up front, definitely wood char/smoked malt element but not overpowering, caramel/vanilla/Bourbon in the middle and a big burnt sugar/whiskey finish.
M: Low carbonation paired with a full body give this beer a very creamy, dense mouth feel. It's thick and syrupy but not in a cloying way, it coats the entire palate and lingers there long after each sip.
O: Very impressed, I went in expecting a smoke bomb but this is incredibly well balanced and well crafted!

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Photo of brianmandell
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thick dark brown/black pour with no head.

Smells of deep roasted malt, molasses, coffee and smoked wood.

The flavor balances sweet, tangy dark fruits, deep roasted malts, smoke & ash. The beer is quite sweet with brown sugar and molasses flavors. The smoke flavor is an interesting part of the mix rather than being overbearing.

Mouthfeel is viscous and low on carbonation but very drinkable. Nice.

Overall I'm pretty impressed with this fine stout. If you like stouts with dark fruit flavors and a touch of smoke, you will like this.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smoked meat on the nose. Roasted malt. The meatiness continues heavily on the taste, while expanding into greater complexity with licorice, dark chocolate, burnt brown sugar, hint of vanilla. Wow. Pretty damn good.

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Photo of Matonika
4.82/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Look:is oil can black with a beautiful dark reddish brown head. Smell: is bourbon ,port, plum. Taste is sweet syrupy, complex, bright dark fruit like that of a ruby port, bourbon notes, a hint of soy. Plenty of vanilla chocolate. Not a lot of smoke even though it is a smoked stout. Feel: this is rich, creamy, sticky, warming, very good carbonation. Overall: TOP 3 IMPERIAL STOUT in my opinion. This guy is complex and amazing dessert in a bottle DON'T LET SMOKE Label scare you. Paired it with some Stilton Blue Cheese amazing.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.19/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Great appearance, in line with typical stouts from this brewery. Thick and oily, like used engine oil, pitch black, with a small tan head that held as a ringlet. Aroma of dark fruits and smoke. Taste of black and red licorice, Play-Doh, caramel, minor notes of ash; the smoke in the nose was almost absent in the taste. Lacking in a good robust stout flavor, and definitely in the body, which was kind of thinned out. Sort of disappointing, but not bad.

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Photo of draheim
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz into a tulip. Pours a thick oily black w/ a 1/2-finger reddish brown head, leaves behind oily legs on the glass.

Aroma is rich, earthy and pungnt. Dark roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, black licorice, charred oak.

Taste follows nose. Thick, chocolatey, oily, bitter, roasty, smoky.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich, finishes semi-dry.

Overall a really nice big bold imperial stout.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out super black. Looks awesome. Smoke balances out the sweet brown sugar and bitter chocolate malts. Has a bit of a fruity quality on the back end. Finishes dry.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an extremely viscous pitch black with mocha lacing. no bubbles really anywhere but at the very edges of the glass.

S: Aroma of burnt charred malt and oak . sweet malt scents also pair up with molasses and burnt raisins . Smoke overwhelming

T: Taste is a filled with concoction of overly burnt malt and sweet maple burnt barrel mixing with brown sugar and dark fruits. Overwhelmingly burnt, this is probably the most 'burnt' beer I have had that tasted this sweet. It is complex and the burnt ember flavors come in waves of ash and molasses with chocolate and caramel when the ash is at its weakest taste points. The sweetness of this beer is clearly brought out from molasses and brings the char flavors to a standstill fight. Sweetness wins, but not without a good effort of the charred grain peeking its head through frequently throughout drinking this beer.

M: Thick , slightly 'oily' with consistency and with small amounts of carbonation.

O: This is a very solid Imperial stout that has many dimensions to it. At first the smoke is somewhat overwhelming but once your tastebuds warm up to it, it is actually quite delicious.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black and viscous, really just about the the closest thing I've ever seen to the used oil from my old VW van just before I had to have the engine rebuilt. I had to smell it to make sure it wasn't oil. Fine one finger brown head with great retention and lacing. Aroma is rich dark toasted malt with char and smoke, molasses, hints of chocolate. No engine oil here. Flavor is also rich; dark toasted malt and chocolate, close to malted milk balls, raisins, light tart cherry and plum, molasses. Hints of bourbon and smoke. Really amazing heavy, creamy body, again reminding me of 40 weight, but creamier. This is one excellent heavy weight stout. The bourbon barrel influence is subtle and the smoke is not that strong, but it really doesn't matter, there is a lot going on here. The thick mouth feel combines with the rich flavors to make every sip a pleasure. The light tartness adds a bit of interest, but makes it just a bit unbalanced. Still, really delicious. This is the way I remember my first bottle of the Abyss blowing me away, although this is a bit more complex and not as smooth and malty (because of the light tart fruit flavors). This was in short supply and I only got one bottle, but glad I made the effort. Excellent.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from ScottO in a recent box. One of my favorite stout brewers in the world, and one of my favorite beers in the world. Excited to drink some of the new incarnation of this gem. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter
IBU: 45
Bourbon barrel aged variant

APPEARANCE: A syrupy, thick black pour is evil looking. Black and menacing looking, just like the older batch. Pour yields a one finger, medium-thick looking, mocha colored head with excellent retention, eventually fading to a slight wisp and ring with lacing clinging on to the glass. Thick, opaque, sludgy black body with no real carbonation evident. A ring and dots of wisp remain leaving some falling dots of lacing down the glass. Doesn’t get any better than this really. Wonderful looking monster of an imperial stout.

SMELL: Roasted malts, dark, pure chocolate, molasses and bourbon on the nose. Complex and enticing. Vanilla, oak, and milk chocolate from the barrels, and a touch of smoked malts linger in the back ground. Bold and interesting aroma with a touch of booze for good measure. Really lovely, though just a touch more smoke would be nice for a perfect score.

TASTE: Much like the first batch, but more bourbon instead of just oak, and there’s a bit more smoke in the flavor than the nose had lead on. Roasted malts and sweet molasses with a touch of smoked malt up front, then some oak, bourbon and sweet toffee and molasses flavors at the swallow. Very sweet for sure, with lots of sweet malt and sweet barrel flavors on this one. More so than the first batch. Big and lingering finish with lots of sweet complexity, including bourbon, oak, vanilla and sweet cream, milk chocolate, toffee, some molasses and a touch of bitter pure chocolate as balance. A bit of smoked malt and some booze provide a solid foundation for this mammoth construction of a brew. Decadent with layers of complexity, though where the first batch needed just a touch more smoke for top scores, this one is just a hint too overly sweet. A bit more bitterness, or perhaps a bit more attenuation from the yeast, would push this into God level. Lovely.

PALATE: Fuller body and medium levels of carbonation. Lots of weight, very creamy, slick and smooth, goes down smooth with a bit of a bite at the swallow and finishes very slick and sticky on the palate. Definitely sticker than the first batch. Higher FG probably on this one, which would explain the drop in ABV as well.

OVERALL: This is outstanding. Compared to the first batch, there are more sweet flavors in this one, assumingly from the bourbon barrels, and the feel is thicker and syrupy, most likely due to a higher finishing gravity on this batch. Both batches of this beer are excellent, though there are enough differences to warrant tracking them down individually if you’re into comparing beers. For myself, I enjoyed the bourbon qualities and the slightly thicker and more syrupy feel on this batch a touch more than the older one, but it’s really pulling hairs, as both batches are fantastic. Another wonderful stout beer from Midnight Sun and I’m very glad to have had the opportunity. If you have the chance to check this one out, don’t hesitate. Thanks again ScottO! Much appreciated.

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Photo of cbutova
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle generously shared by Chico1985 on Christmas at night. Full review taken during consumption.

A- Truly an oily pour from the 22oz bottle with nothing but black hues all around the glass. A light brown head ends up right around a finger. Creamy cap dies out to a smaller ring after several moments. Spotty lacing around the glass as a slick oily beer recedes back down after each sip.

S- Raw molasses and dark sugars are quite large here with a barrage of charred, roasted grains rounding it out. Smokiness seems to weave in and out the previously mentioned characteristics of the aroma but it truly feels necessary. Dark cocoa and raisin or cherry-like fruits add some richness and complexity. Quiet barrels here.

T- Deep and decadent flavors of mostly malts in all forms. One thing I am not too sure of besides a slight vanilla sweetness and toasted feel is the oak whiskey barrels, they are certainly secondary to the rich grains. Balanced, flavorful notes of black-strap minerally molasses, roasted barley, brownies, cocoa powder, caramel, brown sugar, earthy honey sweetness, raisins and burnt wood salty smokiness. Sweet but certainly not cloying.

MF- Big old rich and thick body as an oily slickness coats the taste buds during each sip. Carbonation is low-medium but perfect for the rich flavors extracted from the grains. Some sips finish rather warm while others end with a semi-sour (not tart, like whiskey) maltiness.

Malt richness done right in a big, high ABV stout without having to rely on a cocoa, coffee and one dimensional roastiness. Pretty much busts out all the brown to black malt flavors in a winning combination.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.16/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bomber shared at a Christmas Day tasting. Thanks to JackNip for sending me this in a trade recently.

A - Super inky black pour. A thin brown head forms and retains as an even thinner patchy cap for the duration.

S - Great mix of super ashy smoky roast, baker's chocolate, molasses, some tobacco and dark fruit.

T - Sweetness more present here with a pretty awesome dark chocolate, molasses, and brown sugar. Still a good dose of roasty char to balance it out and some dark fruit hiding in there. Not getting any bourbon barrel.

M - Smooth and viscous, lowish but good carbonation, feels big but not hefty, really not much here for booze, very nice.

O - Really excellent chocolate/roast/molasses punch with some raisiny cigar-like complexities, and very drinkable for the ABV. However I would never guess this was in bourbon barrels, that is definitely missing here.

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Photo of dar482
4.69/5  rDev +8.8%

The beer pours out black like motor oil.

The aroma is sweet chocolate, cocoa, thick and chunky chocolate, hints of umami.

The flavor follows with that sweet milk chocolate throughout. Hints of smoked flavor, but it is very hidden. Molasses on the back end. No alcohol detected. A rounding flavor and a few spikes of bourbon, but it is not an bourbon forward beer.

A full chewy mouthfeel.

An incredible brew that reminds me of a more bourbon forward Abyss.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.55/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky viscous black. Nice mocha head. Mediumcollar. Stains the glass.

Smell - Lightly smokey. Black patent malt and some licorice. Kinda boozy.

Taste - Lots of black patent malt. Fudge. Molasses. Licorice. Oak. I get almost no bourbon. Smokiness is present in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Heavy and boozy. Medium carbonation.

Overall - This is a long way from the original Bar Fly. It has a weird finish. Otherwise, it would be a nice RIS, but I still don't get the barrel.

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Photo of jlindros
4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to familynight (Reddit) for this one, 2014 vintage, shared with rudzud and threelions.

Pours like crude oil, thick sludge, light fizzy dark color head fades quickly, legs just coat the glass.

Nose is as expected, tons of dark malts, thick sludgey chewy black malts, little roasty blackness, fudgey cocoa and nougat, some dark fruits in the middle, like candied fruit jellies, faint bourbon in the background, little molasses sweetness too, very light smoke.

Taste is very nice, dark malts plenty, fudgey, chewy cocoa with a nice smoke in there, fluffy nougat with the dark choc and mild creamy thick chewy fudgey thing. Mild toasty and bourbon barrel, little vanilla, bourbon, etc, little ssh fruit jelly thing, light molasses too. Finish, is nice, good bitterness, nice bourbon note, light molasses again and smoke, little thick syrupy fudgey choc, etc.

Mouth is thick mild syrupy, chewy, booze is hidden fairly well, nice carb.

Overall very nice, great beer, smoke is a bit too light on the nose but nice on the flavor, good barrel notes, toasty and enjoyable.

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Photo of rudzud
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to JLindros for sharing this with me and Threelions at my little birthday celebration. Poured into a Kate the Great tulip.

A - Poured a super dark motoroil black hue with no real head but left really really great legs.

S - Aromas of smokey char, dark fruits and chocolate, fudge, nougat, super faint bourbon.

T - Taste is smokey, dark fruits and darker chocolate, fudge, light bourbon notes. Faint barrel, sweeter malts. The alcohol is hidden quite well.

M - Mouthfeel is creamy, lightly carbed. Definitely drinks like its over 8, but not nearly this high.

O - Overall this beer was a tasty treat. Nice to have a decent nonvintage midnight sun beer.

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of orangesol
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Awet for sharing this one with all of us at Ffej of November. Pours jet black with a half finger tall tan head, quickly dissipating to a light ring, leaving small streaks of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smells of smokey dark roasted malt, warm bourbon, chocolate nibs, molasses, dark fruit, oak and some caramel sweetness. Taste starts off much like the nose does with a big dose of smokey malt quickly being joined by the mild sweetness, woody oak and light bourbon heat. Big, smokey feel goes down way to smooth for as big as it actually is.

Overall one of the highlights of the night on the stout side. It has a ton of flavors that I really enjoy and I had no trouble finishing my pour and going back for more. Definitely worth seeking out, excellent beer.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4/5  rDev -7.2%

A - deep and black. thick, it is visually thick, the beer stickes to the glass. the head is rosey, almost pinkish, it is more than tan. lacing? a little.
S - vinuous, raisin-y, some bourbon, some barrel, a lot of cacao.
T - vinuous, raisin-y, not so much smoke or any really. cacao is present, cocoa powder actually is a dominant flavour. as this beer finshes there is a clear hop punch, but only at the finish.
M - thick and fudgy, what more can I say?
O - ther are some really up front qualities to this beer and some really large let downs. i thought the barrel would eb more present. i thought more smoke would pop. if this was billed as a straight up russian imperail i'd go bonkers. but this was billed as an american imperail barrel aged stout. still, a great ale.

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Murderously dark. Motor oil comparison is certainly apt. Minimal very-dark-brown head.

S - Nice. Bourbon is much more noticeable than the smoke. Vanilla, toffee.

T - Sweet and sticky. Bourbon character was good and definitely came through. The problem, however, was that - following the nose - there was very little smokiness. A little oak arrives on the finish.

M - Sticky with nice carbonation but I found it a little thin.

O - This beer threatened greatness, having as it did a really strong sweet, bourbon presence. Yet without the savoury, smokey aspect that was advertised it lacked balance. As a result it was just too sweet and a bit too one-dimensional. Close, but not quite.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Holy crap. Pours an ridiculously thick jet black color with a muddy brown head that sluggishly rises to about 1/2 a finger and then slowly recedes back down. A pretty rich curtain of milk chocolate colored lace with each sip.

S: Really deep aroma here with a touch of smoke and ash upfront, light raisin and prune, molasses, charred barrel, chocolate covered malt balls, dark chocolate covered cherries and milk chocolate. This smells seriously good.

T: Not quite as good as the smell, but still pretty exceptional. Opens with some milk chocolate and a lot of plum and dark cherry. Molasses, burnt raisin skin and some mocha. Finishes on a bit of a sour dark cherry skin note with just a little smokiness and some bittersweet chocolate. Definitely worth a try. I prefer Moscow to this, but I really enjoyed both of them. The smokiness is very, very mild as is the bourbon character. I didn't really pick the bourbon up at all in here, actually. Mouthfeel is velvety and chewy, becoming more and more viscous as it warms.

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Photo of MarcWP
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Toppling Goliath chalice.

Pours like syrup. Thick as a beast! Black as black can be, small to no -existent burnt toffee colored head. Does leave a nice thin ring at the edge which is nice.

Aroma is molasses heavy, bourbon, vanilla, oak, light smokiness, some rich melted chocolate, and some chewy dark dried fruit along the range of raisins and prunes.

The taste comes with almost identical nuances as the nose. Molasses, caramel, vanilla, smoke, bourbon, oak, scorched prune, older raisins, and a little grade b maple syrup.

Mouthfeel is thick like bourbon county. Syrupy, sticky, low carbonation. I mean as thick as this is you wouldn't expect there to be any carbonation. It's really slick.

This is a nice, hearty barrel aged stout that is meant for full blown winter. Right now it's the heart of summer and hot as hell outside but I had to change it up from so many saisons and sours. Has a good balance of flavors and drinks thick like a liquer. I like molasses so enjoyed that aspect if it thoroughly along with the light smokiness. If you are not a fan of smokey beers don't fret, this is not overwhelmingly smokey in any way.

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Photo of trippytbta
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into snifter

A: Pours like oil (don't take that lightly because everyone says beers pour like motor oil...this one is very, very dark and thick and silky). very small brown head that dissipates quick but leaves a brown film on top.

S: smells of sweet brown sugar and molasses...like the bottle states, a little oak aroma

T: first taste is SMOKEY and sweet. the smoke and molasses/brown sugar really play the role in this brew. The finish is contrary to the sweet start, with bitter coffee lingering. I do not get that much oak barrel bourbon taste at all, that is the only bummer part for me, but when it is room temperature it comes out a little.

M: Full bodied, nice light carbonation and silky feel, very thick.

Overall: lives up to its name pretty well. The description on the bottle tells it all (and I really like when a brew lives up to its bottle description). If you want your stout smokey, try it, you will love it.

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Bar Fly (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.