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Berserker Imperial Stout - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Berserker Imperial StoutBerserker Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

262 Reviews
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Reviews: 262
Hads: 1,039
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 8.8%
Wants: 835
Gots: 281 | FT: 39
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2005

Vicious and viscous, this menacing brew pours opaque black with a creamy maduro-colored head. Its aroma offers seductive whiskey, chewy red wine, dark fruit and lavish tobacco. Berserker Imperial Stout invades your taste buds with in-your-face flavor. Weighing in at almost 13% alcohol by volume, Berserker is completely out-of-control. Give it a good fight. Berserker Imperial Stout was aged in both red wine and whiskey barrels.

Original release of Berserker was at 10.4%, subsequent vintages have gone upwards of 12.7%. When reviewing, please list beer vintage and that vintage's specific ABV.

30 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 262 | Hads: 1,039
Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.48/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2014 Vintage 12.7%
Pours black, viscous, tar like coming out the bottle. So thick it just creeps out of the glass. Aroma of tobacco, dark fruits, and oak. Flavor is overpowering with sweetness, almost to the point of cloying. Caramelized sugar, touch of bourbon, currants. Body is nearly flawless. Little to no heat, and just the way I like my stouts: thick as hell.
Overall, this was disappointing for me due to it tasting like sugar in a glass. I get it, there is molasses and syrup, but I have to have more balance than this.

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Photo of mabermud
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark liquid. Viscous pouring into my brandy snifter. Fine, burned mocha head that appears creamy. Hasty retreat to a fine film on the surface. Lacing is minimal. This one looks inviting.
Smell: I had a BCBS last night and this smells eerily similar. Rich bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and dark malts. Fresh baked dark bread and biscuits. Aggressive aromas.
Taste: The taste is described by the smell, just throw in some relaxed dark fruit. The red wine barrels do their job. The dark fruit is up front, but it does a good job transitioning away from those flavors. This smells much better than the taste, but is still delicious, and a step up from 3/4 of the BA beers that are out there.
Feel: Thick and creamy in the box. Low level of carbonation. You can call it chewy.

Overall - I am impressed. This is a top notch beer. I will not pass this up when I see this on the shelves again.

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 100th beer.....and a good choice for it. Jet black as youd expect but retained some head. Great feel too, thick and chewy. Tastes great, the maple syrup gives it a nice sweetness gollowed by tastes of vanilla,chocolate and molasses at the back. This is potent stuff, but still a great beer.

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Photo of FLima
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not sure how old it this, I have been guarding this for around a year.
It poured like petro oil in color and texture with a thin very dark caramel head with short retention, but with an eternal ring of the same color. One of the most opaque black beers I have seen. By moving the glass to sip it, it produces a brown mantle to cover its walls.
Delicious aroma with tons of coconut, coffee, dark chocolate, anise, molasses, chewing tobacco, oak and some bourbon.
Roasted flavor with notes of coffee, burnt coconut, charred wood, dark fruits juice, molasses, charcoal, some bourbon, maple syrup, earth, cocoa powder, vanilla, tobacco, Port wine, cinnamon, anise and soy sauce. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness and residual roasted notes.
Quite viscous and dense body with mild carbonation of tiny bubbles giving a velvet sensation. Alcohol of 12.7% abv feels much lower and it has a delayed warming sensation.
Wonderful imperial stout, incredibly complex with a nudity of flavors. You can certainly feel the notes I mentioned above. At some point I had to stop digging flavors. The balance here is between the sweet and roasted notes, not so much the hops. The bourbon or barrel related notes are definitely not over whelming.
I guess this would be even better on Alaska’s weather.

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Photo of Thirstygoat
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened a bomber of this years 12.7%

Thick chocolate color hear , bit remains as lacing

Smells great , bourbon, coffee, wood bit of fruit maybe plums?

Taste , again the coffee, hint of wood and alcohol but not excessive

Chewy mouthfeel,

A friend brought this back from Alaska, glad he did !

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Photo of Ohiovania
3.88/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

For the high ranking this one tastes a lot like a new brewery decided to start a barrel program. The description sounds amazing on paper but the execution is far from on point.

It looks phenomenal. The smell immediately warrants an investigation into something being a little off. A tannin like sharpness comes through in both the nose and taste. The beer being a hot 12.7, the astringency, and a little soy saucy from the stout make this one a little difficult to consume.

Hope this is a bad bottle or batch and can try again someday closer to what the brewer intended.

The closer it is to room temp the better. Finally getting a nice leathery chocolate flavor out of it.

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Photo of pagriley
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz into snifter. 12.7ABV, no bottle date or vintage I could find.

L - Pours oily black with an inch of dark mocha head
S - Musky oak and vanilla with dark maple syrup definitely coming though. Some roast and and sweetness, but maple is dominating with a faintly sharp twang of molasses. Not getting any bourbon or booze much
T - Again not much barrel, but big bitter extra dark chocolate flavors with moderate sweetness. Sharp astringent finish. more ash and char than I would like, almost powdery
F - Very full. Creamy with quite a bit of carb that helps lighten up a rather thick and chewy beer

Overall, a very impressive beer. the black malt / char has left a powdery ash like flavor to the beer that is a bit astringent and drying and doesn't sit well with the overall smooth and creamy feel. Barrel characteristics are very subtle - just a bit of oaky vanilla that gets drowned out in the rest of the flavors.
Improves markedly as it warms, but still not quite top tier.

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into chalice

Black liquid, brown one finger foam cap

Aroma of sweet roast coffee,raisin, bourbon and a hint of maple

Taste of sweet roast coffee, maple, raisin

Thick, syrupy, oily, dense mouthfeel

Very good, not more than one glassful at a time

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Photo of Suds_With_Buds
4.07/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was an interesting experience that's for sure, the nose made me think this was going to be an elogant mix of molasses, tobacco and chocolaty caramel flavors, but the taste was just a bombardment of flavor that is just plain overwhelming.

I love me some diabetes causing stouts like Black Tuesday, but this just doesn't hold its own, it is a very good attempt at a heavy hitting stout with tons of flavor, but it's just not for me.

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Photo of xICooRsYIx
3.87/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014 Vintage (I believe) Poured into a 16oz narrow pint glass.

Poured almost black with about a 1 finger roasted brown head. The smell of oak and bourbon immediately hit the nostrils. Included are vanilla, tobacco, and a very vague maple syrup. Taste is very strong with bourbon and molasses. A little smokey and stale coffee as well. I would recommend aging this a little longer.

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Photo of Bobloblawlawblog11
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage. Pours pitch black with small tan head. Smells like molasses, rich sweet smell. Taste was very rich, dark chocolate and coffee notes. Molasses comes through in after taste. Maple notes as it warms. Mouthfeel is great, no hints of the high abv. Sticky thick mouthfeel coats your whole mouth. Overall great beer really enjoyed it.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Slightly boozy barrel aged character to this. Molasses notes particularly early on which faded as beer warmed. A definite good beer in my book, though I remember preferring Bar Fly slightly more.

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Photo of Damian
4.92/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Drank on tap at Spuyten Duyvil, Brooklyn, NY
Served in a pint glass
Thanks to my friend Matt for treating me to this.

Foreboding, pitch black appearance. The super thick and oily liquid was topped by a dense, creamy, one finger tall, mocha colored cap. Decent head retention given the high ABV. The crown dropped to a lasting film surrounded by a thick ring. Spotty lacing tricked along the glass.

The aroma was amazing. Super intense yet nuanced and balanced. Fairly sweet. Loads of powdered cocoa and freshly brewed coffee. Hint of dark chocolate as well. Very mocha-like. Dark fruits also came through strong. Raisins and plums were noticeable. Slightly boozy. Port wine came to mind.

The taste was very similar to the nose and just as fantastic. Intensely rich and robust with boatloads of roasted malts. Not bitter or astringent in the least bit. The roasted malts were matched by a nice mix of dark chocolate, French roast coffee and dark fruits. Again, super mocha-like. Notes of port came through here as well. Boozy on the back end and in the finish but not overly so. Immensely flavorful yet also remarkably well balanced.

The mouthfeel was spectacular. Massively thick, rich and vicious. Oily. Uber creamy on the palate. The liquid contained a fine, subtle, tongue blanketing effervescence.

I stumbled upon this beer being poured on draft at Spuyten Duyvil and I am super glad I did. Berserker Imperial Stout is one of the most well rounded, flavorful and surprisingly drinkable stouts I have ever tried. I would love to revisit this in bottle form one day.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Ale Arsenal. From notes. Reviewed 27 June 2015.

Dark, thick, and light-absorbing.
It smells boozy and portentous. Dark malt and licorice.
It's amazing. Dark roasty dry. Very dry. Hops maybe? Molasses. Incredibly complex and rich and interesting. What a great beer.
Spicy and fun.
Reminiscent of another MS favorite, Barfly, but I think I prefer this from the keg. Highly recommended.

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Photo of ihazabucket7
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. oured super dark with a nice finger of head. You get that bourbon fire with that first sniff, rich chocolate as well. Taste is outta this world. Bourbon, wine, raisin, chocolate, tons of flavor.

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Photo of Moose90
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served On-Tap

A — Pours as black as night, thick and viscous, extremely dark and rich. There is a nearly black, very dark dark brown colored head that forms and leaves behind some thick, sticky, consistent lacing, just remarkable, have not seen many beers appear this thick.

S — Smells of roasted, charred, dark malts, very deep, roasted and complex. Little bit of licorice and cinnamon almost.

T — Deep coffee, chocolate, cinnamon, anise, licorice, caramel, butterscotch, toffee, char, dark and roasted.

M — Full bodied, ridiculously long finish.

O — Great overall, a truly epic BA Stout, this was a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of GSSW88
3.71/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a really dark, thick black! Smells just like that typical imperial stout boozy smell. Scent isn't anything special. None of the flavors that are present show up in the scent. Mouthfeel is pretty nice, decent carbonation and a nice thickness at the same time. First initial taste is a little off-putting with an odd funky flavor that's really bitter (yes I know it's an imperial stout but it's still a bit weird). Kind of tastes like burnt molasses or burnt sugar on a creme brûlée. A bit boozy during the initial taste (bought in June 2015, 12.7 ABV) but the typical chocolate/coffee/roasty flavors come up during the middle of the tasting, then it's finished off with a sweet maple syrup note that rounds off this beer. Not my favorite but not bad.

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Photo of Odysseyalien
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The initial smell with this brew was kinda' strange...metallic-like, if you will. Maybe that's the molasses used in brewing.

Oh yes...the molasses...and maple syrup. You can taste those notes as you sip away. I can clearly distinguish the two. As this delicious beverage warms, the flavors become even more amazing.

The head on this beauty was small to medium. It lays a nice thin head even roughly 10+ minutes in my tulip.

The mouthfeel reminds me of Ten Fidy. I love Ten Fidy! This brew has it's own personality and struts it with true charm and delight. That metallic smell I mentioned at the beginning is nothing. Truly a work of art I wish I could share with others. I wish I had more of these to age.

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Photo of _RL_
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Somewhat bizarrely, the weakest part of this beer for me is the actual taste. It pours motor oil thick and black and has a sharp but weak oak smell to it. Has a slight, slight boozy taste with a thick but not chewy mouthfeel. For my personal tastes, I wish this had some bourbon to it, but a great, great stout as is. Get this. You will be pleased.

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Photo of grat
4.76/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a inky dark chocolate with slight lacing, little head carbonation

First taste I was confused. It did not taste like a beer to me. There was way too much going on. Not harsh, very smooth and full bodied and silky. given the abv was very smooth. Virtually no hop presence, some present in the tail end.

It was an all evening beer in that it took me the better part of an hour to drink it. As it warmed it just got better with the slightly sweet, raisin barley wine kind of mouth-feel/finish.

overall : truly excellent.

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Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The molasses and maple syrup help to give this beer a little distinction among its barrel-aged stout peers. While I didn't find it quite as complex or smooth as the very best of them, this is delicious, and truly outstanding all the same.

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Photo of JoeBond
4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours Dark as night, wonderful aroma, just the right balance of bourbon. So sweet it sticks to your lips and to the glass. A majestic stout, absolutely beautiful.

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Photo of iRaven99664
3/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

mine was salty. Is it suppose to be salty? I googled to see if some imperial stouts are suppose to be salty, and I've seen a few thats suppose to "enhance" the flavor. I'm actually worried I drank a skunked beer because I drank the whole thing. My other concern is no one thus far has said their's was salty. Though,under the saltiness I actually still tasted what both the brewer and reviewers claimed. So confused. If it was skunked and turned salty i'm kind of pissed (?) though if that was the intended flavor, I'm actually quite pleased. Is that normal? I'm kind of confused about it. Honeslty in the last 6 yrs of drinking better beer, its the second bottle thats possibly skunked.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a nonic 20 ounce glass. Seems the perfect vessel as I pour this viscous, thick liquid.

Head forms two fingers thick, a dark espresso color and compact and bulky in composition. I feel like I'm about to take a sip of a giant espresso really. 5

Smells of dark chocolate and oak are prominent, with some spice, faint smoke, and a touch of whiskey or bourbon. Sweetness is there but I had to look for it. 4

Tastes true to the nose, but probably richer and tastier. Initially the sweet chocolate, vanilla and caramel provide a dessert for the tongue, but the beer then veers into smokier territory. Touches of campfire and bacon meet oak and other woody flavors and that bourbon-y finish. There's a coffee flavor that wasn't so noticeable but grows more apparent and tasty. Amazingly, just when I thought I'd discovered every flavor available, I start tasting a maple bacon doughnut lingering with each sip. 4.25

It's a little lighter than medium-bodied and I wish it were a tad thicker and creamier, but it's got enough there to feel like a big beer. Sweet, spicy, smoky, and a tad boozy, it runs the gamut of sensations just like flavors. 4

A lot of layers to this beer. Plenty to discover if you can be patient, sip slowly, and take on a whole bomber yourself.

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Photo of arvidkoval
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 release

L- An all consuming black hole. Dark tan head.

S- Roasty, boozey, bourbon, tobacco. Woody oak.

T- Roasted malts, slight oakiness, some bourbon, boozey, dark fruit. Has a sweetness to it. Some dark chocolate notes. Very tasty and balanced.

F- Very thick, velvety body.

O- Wicked stout! Much love to everyone at MSBC!

2014 release is a bit more chocolatey! Still freaking awesome.

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Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 262 ratings.