1. American Craft Beer Fest is this weekend in Boston, Mass. Join us for 640+ beers from 140+ brewers! Tickets for Friday, May 29 are still available. Cheers!

Berserker Imperial Stout - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Berserker Imperial StoutBerserker Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

959 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 959
Reviews: 250
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.76%
Wants: 839
Gots: 260 | FT: 36
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: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 959 | Reviews: 250
Photo of _RL_
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of grat
4.76/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
4.47/5  rDev +3%
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.

Photo of JakerLou
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7% ABV, don't see a date but bought around April 2015.

Photo of JoeBond
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Do you like make fuck BERSERKER! Bitter chocolate, coconut, vanilla and roasted malt on the back end. Medium mouthfeel. Delicious.

Photo of iRaven99664
3/5  rDev -30.9%
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.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.21/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of arvidkoval
4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of stratusjeans
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12.7% I'm guessing 2014 or 2015. Can't find a release date.

Photo of Matonika
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12.7% Look: blackish burgundy. Beautiful dark copper red brown head. Smell: dark grade b maple syrup mineral smell. Rich sweet bourbon smell. Light vanilla a touch spice. Also some molasses but not much. Taste: Complex. Bitter chocolate , dark stone fruit, a touch of acrid flavor like burnt coffee most likely from the molasses. Not overly sweet. But there is a perceived sweetness. Feel: small bubbles good carbonation,full bodied, Creamy. Overall: this is top 5 imperial stout I have had. Big flavor, we'll done it showcases all the aspects of it's ingredients. It grows with each degree it wa.rms up. So good I bet it will age amazing to.

Photo of Pliny_the_Self-righteous
4.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Draft @ City Beer Store on 2/3/15. Pours black as night with minimal brown head and some lacing. Aroma is bourbon, molasses, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and dark fruit. Full bodied beer, but smooth as velvet. Palate is a luscious blend of molasses, bourbon, roasted malt, with hints of vanilla, chocolate, coffee and dark fruits. This beer should be enjoyed often, but slowly and in small quantities. The alcohol content is fairly hight, but well hidden in the flavor palate.

Photo of MLaVioletteJr
4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a beautiful dark caramel colored head.

I didn't get a lot of maple, which was a bit of a disappointment, the molasses was much more prominent for me. Big bourbon presence, approaching BCBS level. The big surprise was a slight tartness on the finish, felt wine barrel aged. A touch of Adam like tobacco. Very complex.

Body is heavy. No light shines through.

Overall, one of the best I've had. Kind of like Abyss with more bourbon barrel flavor. Highly recommended.

Photo of DrunkosaurusTex
5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is the definition of an imperial stout. It's now one of my favorites.

Photo of AndrewGoria
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had the 2012. This beer with some age will not disappoint. Exactly what a beer with this description should taste like.

Photo of VashonGuy
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've had Berserker a couple of times in the past month, most recently on tap, served next to Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout, and Abraxas. I'm really impressed with this stout, but when I had it next to these other two world class Impy Stouts, it became clear to me that it's not quite in the same tier as the other two. Berserker has a wonderful collage of flavors, well described by lots of other reviewers here. But the whole is a little less than the sum of the parts. The flavors don't come together quite as harmoniously as the other two ImpyStouts, so Berserker winds up being just a bit of a muddle. It's a glorious muddle to be sure, but not quite a masterpiece. I'd never turn down a glass or a bottle, however!!!

Photo of M_chav
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12.7% ABV - not sure the vintage but probably recent (2014)
One of the most beautiful pours I have ever seen, black as the darkest night, relatively no head - just a slight red foams at the very top.
Smell is not strong, sweet whiskey notes are there but the brew is so dark and covered you know all the flavors are inside.
Taste is awesome, super viscous, just like the label says, you could pour this over pancakes
Feel is even better, similar to BCBS, the molasses is perfect
Overall this is a fantastic beer, I wish I had more than just one.

Photo of shleepy
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Black and thick. Small head. Smell is intense and boozy. Taste is actually fairly mellow. Quite a nice sipper. Bitter and intense. Roasty, bitter, barrely.

Photo of jibbyvonjibb
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Viscous, dark, licorice, cocoa, bread. Well balanced and drinkable, body smooth and silky.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.61/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by myself tonight, bought at Half Time in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Pours a dark oily black, with a very small quarter inch mocha head, and no lacing.

Smells great, a good amount of bourbon, dark fruit, red wine, tobacco, and chocolate. No maple or molasses.

This tastes amazing, really complex and different from the typical barrel-aged stout. This has a really large amount of tobacco, some bitter dark Belgian chocolate, nuts, bourbon, vinous red wine, plums, other dark fruits, and the slightest hint of earthy, not sweet, maple. It's got a sticky flavor that could very well be the molasses. There's a lot going on here, and I like all of it.

This is fairly thick bodied, very stick and full in the mouthfeel, with a lower level of carbonation. Drinkable despite the size and ABV- which appears to be almost 13%.

This is excellent. First beer from Midnight Sun, and clearly one of their best.

Photo of Chcshammonde
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Very good taste: the tobacco melting in with the bourbon and vanilla notes highlight this stout. However, i was surprised at how flat the beer was. Maybe it's just how this beer is, but I didn't like that. It gave the feeling that the beer had been sitting, unopened in my fridge for a week. Contributing to this is a very low carbonation, again something I personally don't like. I guess i'm partial to more carbonated stouts such as Speedway, narwhal, and sea monster. Still a good beer though.

Photo of Tele
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Bottle
2014 Vintage

A: 4.75 Looks like motor oil pouring from the bottle into a snifter. Pitch black and thick. The half-inch head is a beautiful reddish-brown.

S: 4.5 Roasted malt molasses are the dominant at first with vanilla, bourbon, and raisins following closely behind. As the beer warms, there’s a lot of chocolate and a bit of coffee. Figs and more dried fruit come forward, mixing well with the more savory roasted malt and dark chocolate aromas.

T: 4.25 The flavors almost match the wonderful aroma, but not quite. At first, there’s bit of a sharp, acidic flavor. Things smooth out quickly after that, transitioning to the roasted malt, dark chocolate, dried fruits, vanilla, and bourbon. The molasses is covered up here by the bitterness from the malt, but still brings a slightly sweet element. As the beer warms, the initial sharpness starts to mellow and the beer takes on more sweet flavors, complimenting, rather than competing with the roasty, bitter flavors

M: 4.5 This is one of the thickest beers I can recall having. It’s mouth-coating viscosity is exactly what I like in an imperial stout. The carbonation level is nice, but the finish is a little too dry.

O: 4.5 The flavors and especially the aromas in this beer are excellent. Aging in bourbon barrels seems to have done wonders for the aroma and added a bit to the flavor; the bourbon flavor is pretty mild compared to other barrel aged stouts. Also, the molasses adds some interesting elements without taking over subtler flavors. The mouthfeel and aromas are almost perfect, and this beer would be one of my favorites if the flavor was a tiny step up from where it is currently.

Photo of muchloveforhops3
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

2013 vintage

22oz bottle into chalice

This stout is mega! Huge aroma, followed by a big, bold flavor of choc, roast, and a sweet finish; bold alcohol heat; well-layered profile; a sipper indeed, but delicious; happy to have tried it!

Photo of zeledonia
4.74/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks to cavedave for the fantastic BIF beer. 2012 vintage, 12.7% ABV. Tasted 24 October 2014.

Pours black and thick, with a one-finger mocha brown head. Good retention and lacing. Stellar.

Smell is outstanding. Rich and sweet, but so many variations on those two themes that I keep coming back to sniff and sniff and sniff. I get molasses in one sniff, sweet bourbon in another, and deep dark malts in a third. Wow.

Taste is top-notch as well. So much going on in here. The main downside is a sharpness, a combination of the alcohol bite and the char of the dark roast. But overall, it's delicious, with incredible depth provided by the various sugars and the barrel. Tons of flavor, almost perfectly integrated - just a bit sharp on the edges, probably due mostly to the ABV.

Feel is perfect. Thick and rich, as any top-tier imperial stout should be. What sets it apart is the waves of carbonation. Starts out buzzing, tickling my tongue. Then drops down so that I can savor all the sweetness. In the finish, it fluffs up, lots of tiny bubbles helping the last bits (no, blasts) of flavor dance.

This is one of the best beers I've had in a long time. Not many barrel-aged stouts can match the depth, balance, and pure deliciousness of this.

Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%

A - Pours a wonderfully dark, rich, motor-oil black with a lacing of russet head. Really looks phenomenal.

S - Subtle, spicy, alcohol esters. Faint bourbon, moderately sweet vanilla. Mild, salty burned-ends. Caramel as it warms. I found the nose was fairly subdued; I had to work quite hard to pick out these notes.

T - I was worried I was going to find this overly sweet as I did with Barfly, however if anything I found the maple syrup and molasses influence lacking. Same with the bourbon barrel. In truth I didn't get enough of any of the elements on the label which would distinguish it from a regular imperial stout. It's also surprisingly bitter given its 30 IBUs. This would have been a great counterbalance though if we'd got more maple, or other sweet influences like vanilla or coconut. Tobacco on the finish.

M - It is decently thick, yet at the same time a little fizzy. I'd like it a little slicker and thicker.

O - I didn't pick up much in the way of chocolate although some may find coffee. Not much smoke or peat either, although there's definitely roasted-to-the-point-of-burned malt. The whole thing just tastes burned to me: the sweetness and the maltiness. I'm somewhat disappointed in this as a $20 beer from a brewery with such a good rep.

to view more.
Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 959 ratings.