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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

945 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 945
Reviews: 247
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.76%
Wants: 840
Gots: 253 | FT: 35
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
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Ratings: 945 | Reviews: 247
Reviews by Mar02x:
More User Reviews:
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 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 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 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 Mora2000
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this beer.

Pours black with a dark brown head. Very attractive. The aroma is toasted malt with some chocolate and coffee. You also get some vanilla. The flavor is strong on the oak aging, with oak and vanilla being prominent. You get a little bit of bitterness as well. Medium mouthfeel and no detectable alcohol.

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 ehammond1
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2010)

Thanks for opening this with me, Ultraman9000!

(Aged for 1+ year)

Dark black throughout with a quickly forming, moderately sized dark brown head that eventually coats the glass in messy, creamy, oily, sheets of stick. Decadent and thick looking, even menacing.

An immensely intriguing and delightful aroma. Initially, the chocolate and espresso notes lead the way, with just a hint of earth and wood. But as the beer warms, it truly elevates itself to near world-class status, with more and more barrel character presenting, then dark fruits, like cherries and figs, and then, lastly, a distinct red wine/oak combination emerges. Incredible.

The flavor too is great, but not quite as successful. The chocolate, molasses, and espresso flavors are so big and so powerful that I feel some of the other nuances found in the aroma are lost in the flavor. There's a good amount of wood/barrel character coming forward as the beer warms.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Creamy and rich and with a slight hint of alcohol heat. An incredible sipper.

Simply fantastic.

Photo of rudylaw
4.85/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to alaskajoe for finally ending my long search for this! 2009 vintage, poured into my North Coast snifter. Sampled first in a 10 stout tasting and finished first.

A nearly black pour with a solid 1-2 inch tan head.

Tons of maple, molasses, vanilla and roasted malts in the nose.

All that and then some in the taste. Chocolate and coffee mingle with all of the sweet smells. This is so amazingly smooth and creamy. Reminds me of Kate in terms of mouthfeel and an overwhelming desire to drink this way too fast.

This is easily among my favorite RIS and will be saving my other bottles for special occasions.

Photo of pwoods
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Unclejedi for sharing this bottle.

22oz. brown bomber poured into a taste glass.

A: Deep black that lets very little light in. Good sized dark mocha head on the pour, a bit spritzy but retains. Some lacing.

S: Nice light alcohol with plenty of rich barrel flavors. Vanilla takes a back seat to big molasses and alcoholic dark fruits. A nice smoky line going on.

T/M: The alcohol is a bit bigger in the mouth but not huge. The barrel is nice and bit but still on the lighter side on the vanilla, which is a nice change of pace. More smoke and molasses with some tobacco and plenty of dark fruits. Body is full with low carbonation.

D: Definitely a slow sipper but very inviting.

Photo of timc100
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2013

One of the best looking imperial stouts out there - completely opaque, viscous, oily - forms a dark, burnt mocha head that dissolves into a small ring. Aroma of bourbon oak, dark bakers chocolate, espresso, dark caramel, roast, ash, vinous grape, vanilla and slight graham cracker. Taste is vibrant, full, intense. Bitter, rich, dark chocolate, heavily roasted espresso beans, oaky bourbon vanilla, booze, dark roast. Full, creamy, rich mouthfeel.

Fantastic stout - does not have an overly heavy barrel character. Well rounded, intense, and perfection in look and feel.

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 RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Toronado SF

A - Black as night or oil. Blackest pour I may have ever seen from a Bal-Aged imperial stout. Beautiful head on the pour that stuck around longer than expected, great lacing.

S - Port like characteristics come out in the nose, smells sweeter than most of this style. Bourbon, sweet dark fruits, and oaky vanilla come out as well as dark chocolate. Smells like a after dinner sipper. Desert beer.

T - Follows nose. A bit sweeter than I expected and less roasty than I would have liked.

M - Good, not great. Standard for the style. Oily, and somewhat chewy.

D - 6 oz pour was just enough. I wouldn't want to consume a 22oz of this all to myself like I would a Parabola, BCS or Abyss. Would start to get too sweet 1/2 way into a bomber I'd imagine.

Good beer. But nothing memorable.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Much thanks to Ben for this one!

A: Pours a thick black with a dark tan head on top, decent retention forming a nice cap on tip. Moderate lacing.

S: This beer has a very nice aroma, some bourbon and roasted malt with a bit of chocolate and deep molasses. There is a little bit of smoke on the aroma as well.

T: Lots going on in the flavor profile here. Some chocolate and a bit of coffee upfront with a definite maple sweetness mixed in. There is a little bit of dark fruit, mostly raisin and cherry. Also a touch of smoke.

M: Full bodied, definitely on the thick side. Rather chewy.

O: A very solid beer from Midnight Sun. A beer I was happy to have split, not sure how much of it I could drink on my own.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 release. 12.7% abv. Aged in whiskey and Cabernet barrels and blended. Released 10/3/08

Pours a deep dark thick black with a huge two layer dark tan head that lingers awhile and leaves very nice lace.

Nose is all roasted malt, slight coffee and some chocolate, alcohol, more roasted malt. A slight bit of smoke.

Taste follows. Big big sweet malt profile, with slight coffee, chocolate, molasses, alcohol. Smoke is present, but very slight, roasty sweetness dominates here. The barrel aging is done very very well here, as it often is at Midnight Sun. The Cabernet barrel taste comes through very noticeably towards the end, but whiskey is dominant throughout most of the taste. Very complex, and very interesting. Very smooth. Good but not overwhelming bitterness rides on the finish.

Mouthfeel is nice, thick, and viscous. Would like to see just a touch more viscosity actually, but quite good here. Carbonation is just right. Silky. Smooth.

Drinkability is very very good, especially for this years gigantic abv. Goes down way too easily, quite dangerous.

Overall a very enticing RIS. A great blending of flavors, and an incredible drinkability. I cant wait to see what a couple years will do to this batch. The alcohol heat is already so tame for the abv. A great job of barrel aging here, not too strong, but right where it should be. Certainly one worth seeking out, priveleged to have this one on hand.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to cosmicevan (Evan) for this one. Sampled at a tasting 1/5/11. 5oz. pour into a Duvel sample tulip. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a viscous .5 finger of coffee colored head that dissipates into a thick ring of the same color that hugs the side of the glass. Beer is a dark, opaque black. Lacing is spotty and with no cling.

S: Subtle. Nose is milk chocolate, sweet soy sauce, prune, raisin, sweet brown sugar, caramel, roasted malt, and cocoa powder. Alcohol is completely hidden here and flavors are pretty spot on.

T: Opens chocolate, sweet soy sauce, sweet plums, raisin, and a slight booziness in the back. Almost all chocolate and dark fruit sweetness with near no roasted malt bitterness to balance this one out... which I appreciate actually. Finish is chocolate and slight alcohol. Aftertaste is more of the same.

M: Medium bodied and with low carbonation. Oily and slick. Silky in the mouth and going down. Very smooth. Finish is rather muted and aftertaste lingers.

D: A very desert-y imperial stout this one showcases the sweet side and really suppresses the roasted malt characteristics. Like a smoother, more balanced, and less intensely sweet ST Choklat. Definitely worth seeking out. This one was a treat.

Photo of dirtylou
3.4/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012 vintage

#Infectiongate

appearance: served in an oversized snifter, jet black body, creamy mocha lace

smell: bourbon, tannin notes, rich fudge

taste: charred malt, fudge, smoke, light bourbon, soy sauce. I don't know if its the "infection" or what, but at $20, this is a huge dissapointment.

mouthfeel: a bit thin, lots of soy in the finish

overall: this is a Pass in the future

Photo of hooliganlife
3.85/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Blake!

Not sure on the vintage, I believe this is the latest so 2012? Maybe 2011.

Pour was black, little head. Pretty thick looking

Dark chocolate and roasted charred malt. Some sweet bitterness.

Lots of char and roast. Light sweetness, but well blended with the bitterness. Hints of dark chocolate and coffee.

A bit lighter than it looks, mild carbonation.

Pretty decent, nothing really mind blowing.

Photo of nickd717
4.07/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber from deliriumfest on BA. Shared at my 2nd annual birthday celebration beer fest.

Black with a small fading dark brown head. The head is damned dark on this one. Leaves a murky black liquid after it's gone. This one is thick and has some legs on it.

Aroma is molasses, roast, anise, and chocolate. Some oak barrel and bourbon poke through. This one lets you know from the get-go that it's not going to mess around.

Flavor is just crazy. Bourbon and oak, dark chocolate, red wine, lots of molasses, maple syrup, dark fruit, tobacco, and anise all noticeable. So much going on here. A little sweet with a very mild tart note that I'm assuming came from the wine barrels. This is intense and very complex.

Full body with low carbonation. A little boozy and syrupy.

Overall, this is great, but it's hard to drink a lot of it. This one will really kill you. Make sure you open this with enough people to share it.

Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

2010 version. 12.7% ABV.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter a thick, black liquid with a slightly bubbly chocolate milk-colored head. Did not leave much lacing down the glass. Could have been because of the amount of time it took me to finish this ultimate sipper.

Initial (and somewhat overpowering) aroma is of molasses. After I cleared my snoot, I gave it another more gentle sniff and this time picked up the molasses (of course) but also vanilla, cocoa, and maple.

The flavor, like the aroma, is dominated by the molasses. However, the flavor is more complex than even the aroma. Here I get not only the molasses but also tobacco, dried fruit, vanilla, maple (especially on the tip of the tongue) and, strangely, mint. But it's a bit more hot than I'd like. It's really boozy.

This is silky smooth with just the right amount of carbonation to hold up all these flavors. Not sure it could be better.

The molasses becomes too much after a while and gets cloying in the end. I did let this get rather warm. Maybe if I drank it a bit cooler, I'd do better. This is to be shared.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes. 2012 bottle.

Appearance - Almost inky. Good sized mocha head. Collar of dark khaki foam as it settles.

Smell - Bourbon is nice but faint. Slight vinous characteristic. Oak and some dark fruits combining, probably, but it's a little more acidic than that. Lots of chocolate.

Taste - Nice chocolate. Bitter dark chocolate. Molasses. Bourbon is even fainter here. Bitter finish, seemingly from roasted malts.

Mouthfeel - Extremely bitter, not what I expected. Masks a lot of flavor. Well carbonated.

Overall - The barrel seems weak to me, but the other flavors are good.

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

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Many thanks go to Bubba83 for surprising me with this in a recent trade of ours. You da' man Kevin!

Vintage 2010 12.7% ABV

This literally looks like motor oil going into the glass, with a black and viscous pour that yields a rigid finger of dark and burnt mocha head that is bordering on chocolate colored at times. By the time this finally settles down, you have a creamy ½ finger that stays rich and angry looking, and just drenches the glass with spotty froth and gooey brown oils that slowly ooze down the sides. Quite the fierce look here! The aroma is heavy with molasses, as well as notes of dark fruit, smoke, leafy tobacco, vanilla, cocoa powder; moderate warming bourbon, and some spicy alcohol. Light woodiness is present but is not jumping out, instead working with that dark fruit character to impart a bit of a wine like feel to the nose. Whew! There's a lot of complexity here but all of those flavors never seem to ground each other and were all easily identifiable in their own way. Just fantastic!

The taste has a thick sticky base to it of sugary molasses, vanilla, chocolate cake, and vinous dark fruit character that run the whole way through the profile. Things get taken to the next level with the addition of brown sugar and a bitter roastiness that hangs on the edges and then pulls together into a burnt back-end that lingers with leftover sugars and then finally dry notes of earthy tobacco and wood. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a tight and sharp chewiness that fills the palate up with all of those rich flavors. As this sits in the mouth and the carbonation starts to lessen, this achieves much more of a viscous feel that really accentuates all of that rich sweetness in the profile. This definitely has some beefy power to it but the alcohol is mostly confined to the flavors and this is overall VERY smooth for a near 13% beer. Man, the alcohol and wood really dry the finish out on this!

Wow, this was completely satisfying. Powerful, decadent, and complex, with such a smooth feel for size of it, this Midnight Sun offering just pushed all of the right buttons for me. Man, I need to find another one of these for the cellar. This beer rocked!

Photo of beerhan
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-black as night, completely opaque. Half-finger dark brown head that remains.

S-lots of toffee, maple, wood, bourbon,

T-dark chocolate and oak up front. more subtle bourbon tones follow with a dry finish.

M-little to no carbonation and very rich. Thick beer

O-Really nice offering here. Although they may be different styles, I prefer arctic devil to this one. The alcohol does catch up on this one and is pretty hard to have more than a small pour.

Photo of thagr81us
3.7/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to marine1975 for sharing this one during the ORF '11 release. 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a sampler snifter. Poured pitch black with a minimal tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, wood, and subtle dark chocolate. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The mouthfeel on this one was a bit of a letdown for me as it felt really thin for the style. I know this is nit-picking, but it definitely didn't make it more enjoyable for me. The aroma was pretty nice on this one, but the flavor was a little muted. Not sure what was going on, but I have a feeling they missed the mark on what they were ultimately shooting for. Still a nice brew that I would be happy to try again given the opportunity though.

Photo of Gmann
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours basically black in color with some dark brown around the edges. The brown head was short and dense and settled into a light ring.

The aroma is of a heavy roast with some burnt toast and anise. I pick up some boozy red grapes and light bourbon. Faint tart aroma from the oak. Molasses and vanilla help round out the aroma.

The taste is quite bold and has a strong RIS body. Big ole roasted flavor with charred wood, anise and perhaps a subtle hint of smoke. The beer has that boozy red grape flavor that is frequent in the style. The maple syrup and molasses provide a big shot of sweetness. I would say that molasses stands out more than the maple syrup. The bourbon flavor is subtle, could be a little lost amongst the other bold flavors.

The beer is thick with enough carbonation to breakup the body without affected the smoothness. It is sweet and roasty bitter on the palate. It is a bit too sweet and the ABV can pop through. Has a sticky finish.

Very good stout, stays true to its RIS roots. Probably one of the more roasty BA stouts that I have had. I would like to see the bourbon stand out a bit more with less sweetness. Definitely worth a purchase.

Photo of hopsbreath
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bomber shared by MADhombrewer at a tasting last night hosted by ramnuts. ChaseT, WitchsBrew, TulipSnifter, and black13. 2009 vintage/12.7%ABV. Thanks Ben!

A: Very dark brown bordering on black with a translucent plum border. Nutmeg brown head recedes to nothing. Oily with legs, but no lacing. 4/5

S: Tobacco, smoked meat, soy sauce and a touch of oxidation. This is what a slightly aged bottle of stout is supposed to smell like! Complex and interesting. 4/5

T: Very savory. More of an entrée than a dessert. The meat comes back along with some saw dust. Smoke returns with a very clean stale coffee finish. ABV is nowhere to be found. 4.5/5

M: Moderately thin with no carbonation. Very clean and palate drying. Outstanding. 5/5

O: The best savory stout I’ve had to date. This was my personal standout beer of the night amongst a lineup that showed tons of promise, and I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. We don’t have these kinds of Midnight Sun beers sitting on store shelves at the moment in Portland and I’m really wishing we did. 5/5

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Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 945 ratings.