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Berserker Imperial Stout - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Berserker Imperial StoutBerserker Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

835 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 835
Reviews: 230
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 835
Gots: 220 | FT: 22
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 835 | Reviews: 230 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of John_M
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to pick up a bottle at Belmont Station last time out west.

The beer pours a viscuous, blackish brown color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The head on this beer is a rich coffee color, which is typically the sign of an intensely flavored RIS. Likewise, the beer smells pretty good, with an aroma profile consisting of coffee, chocolate, molasses and prunes. Good as this beer smells, the flavor profile is flatout amazing. I get chocolate, coffee, molasses, maple syrup, dark fruits and some light licorise. Nothing is overdone in this moderately sweet RIS, and the restrained carbonation is perfect for the style. Mouthfeel is rich and plush in this lovely beer, and there's a mouthfilling consistency that is just wonderful. The beer has a long, drawn out finish, and drinkability is amazing. You can tell this is a big beer of course, but it's not at all boozy, and I was startled when I saw the 12.7% abv. on the label. Talk about a beer that carries its alcohol very well.

This is an exceptionally well made and delicious RIS. Yummy stuff!

Just recently had the 2012 vintage on tap during Bier Stein's anniversary celebration. I have upped my score accordingly, as the 2012 was a much better beer aromatically (incredible nose of milk duds, whiskey, chocolate, coffee and dark fruits), with a superior mouthfeel and a flvor profile at least as good as what I experienced back in 2009. IMHO, this beer is among the RIS elite (Kate, KBS, CBS, Aybss, Dark Lord, etc.), and is among the best made impy stouts on the planet. Just an incredibly fine beer...

John_M, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of notchucknorris
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beer #1000!

A: Pours a monstrous deep black color the consistency of motor oil. One of the darkest heads I've ever seen, the color of mud, forms and then gets sucked right back into the fluid. Looks amazing.

S: Deep and inviting notes of molasses, dark chocolate, wet earth, cola, dark chocolate covered cherry. Booze, charred oak and bourbon hang on the periphery.

T: Opens with a smooth wave of molasses, dark chocolate, fudge, charred oak and tobacco. Finish brings some wet earth, light bourbon and ash. Just a hint of booze on the finish, but otherwise incredibly smooth for the ABV. Mouthfeel is velvety, with just a hint of dryness from the alcohol. Definitely Abyss-like to me. A really incredible beer.

notchucknorris, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of Siggy125
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 Midnight Sun Berserker poured from 22oz bottle to a Bruery tulip. Pours very thick and almost jet black with a small amount of caramel colored carbonation. Settles into the glass with a thin layer of foam. Very inviting appearance.

Very powerful and satisfying to the nose. Sweet molasses and burnt sugar aromas fill the glass. I can't wait to take the first sip. I don't detect big hints of bourbon yet.

Damn, there's a lot of complex flavors going on here. I get molasses, syrupy sweet toffee and wonderful roasted malts. The bourbon is noticeable but not overpowering. Nicely blended. A bit of tart dried fruits . As the temp comes up the tartness seems to subside to an even larger smack of molasses and sweet dark chocolaty espresso flavors. Very bold.

Mouthfeel is wonderful. Sweet and creamy, edging on cloying. The brew clings to the sides of the glass in sugary droplets which is something I have not experienced much of.

I wound up drinking the whole bomber myself and felt bad not sharing this experience with a friend. It was definitely a wow and I recommend you try it. If you like big "in your face" stouts, this one is for you!

Siggy125, Sep 27, 2012
Photo of boralyl
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - This is the 2009 version. One thick beer. Looks like motor oil when pouring it into my tulip glass. Produces a small amount of dark brown head that fades quickly. Beer is completely opaque black.

S - Dark roasted malts, maple syrup, chocolate and molasses. A very malt heavy aroma.

M - Full in body, smooth and creamy in the mouth. Thick in texture with subtle carbonation.

T - Nice and roasted malts up front with a little smokiness. A little bit of wood mixed with cherries followed by some coffee and chocolate. Finishes with some earthy hops and a warming feeling from the alcohol. Speaking of which at damn near 13% it's not really noticeable at all.

A nice complex Russian imperial stout with a ton of flavors to tantalize the tongue. Be careful with this one, it's a beast!

boralyl, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of treyrab
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to my Alaskan friend for sending me this! Poured into two tulip glasses tonight and split with jac5084. Vintage 2008, 12.7ABV.

A: Very thick sludgy goodness pours out of the bottle into the bottom of my tulip. The gentle pour initially yielded a small head, but a more aggressive pour ended with a one finger dark mocha head that lasted quite a while.

S: Very nice bitter roasted malts meet sweet molasses. Those flavors are all topped off with a nice whiskey/bourbon that complements the scents completely. More of a burnt malt, burnt toffee smell than a fruit smell on this one.

T: Unimaginably good. The bourbon is in perfect conformity with the rest of the beer. The first flavors that hit you are of course the bourbon, and then the burnt roasted black patent and chocolate malts creep in and it finally finishes with a burnt caramel and molasses sweetness.

M/D: The mouthfeel is creamy smooth. I could drink this one every evening if that was possible. Seek out!

treyrab, Jun 15, 2009
Photo of billab914
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage poured into my Stone RIS glass. pours a thick pitch black with a modest dark mocha colored head. The head clung to the sides of the glass and laced nicely on the sides.

Aroma is bold with coffee, chocolate and molasses all coming through. It has some sweetness coming through as well in the form of maple and vanilla. Slight alcohol present as well. The combination of the molasses, maple syrup and oak aging really come together well making for a very nice smelling and complex aroma.

Taste hits you at first with a coffee, chocolaty, roasty and burnt malt flavor. The burntness of the malts and the coffee definitely come through more then most of the Imperial stouts I have had. It also has hints of dark fruit, wood, vanilla and a slight alcohol bite in the finish. Like the nose it's both complex and delicious.

Mouthfeel is thick and heavy with low carbonation. I can't really say anything negative about the mouthfeel, I love the thick heavy imperial stouts. Drinkability is very good. It's pretty easy drinking for nearly 13% and the fact that it's delicious doesn't hurt either.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer, it definitely set itself apart from most imperial stouts I have had so far. I wish this was easier to get, but I'm glad I got to try it.

billab914, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of timc100
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

timc100, Feb 20, 2014
Photo of hopsbreath
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
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

hopsbreath, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber shared by dyan. Thanks!

Appearance: Completely pitch black with a beautiful reverse-cascading chocolate-colored head. Remarkable.

Smell: A melange of whiskey, cacao and oak. Earthy, rich, but almost subtle in aroma. Restrained sweetness.

Taste & mouthfeel: Bittersweet chocolate icecream with whiskey drizzle. Medium-full body, I'd never guess that this is over 12% ABV. Carbonation is firm, crisp, and sweetness is fairly reigned-in for the style - a very soft beer overall. Bitterness likewise is perfectly balanced. Semi-dry in the finish, with a lingering trace of chocolate. Excellent.

largadeer, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of claspada
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of gueuzer, 2010 edition, shared with HimerMan, simultaneously sampled with Kate the Great 2011. Eat your heart out...

Pours a big, black, inky pour with a nice brown crown. Smallish dark brown head and actually a little red hue when held up to the light. Not as pretty as Kate, but she is the best for a reason.

Aromas are awesome. First I get the typical stouts aromas of roasted malts, sweet dark fruits and dark chocolate. Then I get nice complementary vinous aromas mixed with the molasses. The oaky aromas join the party next coupled with the nice light bourbon barrel presence in the background. Nose is a little sweet and decently oaky, but I really like it. Not getting much bourbon at all, but a reaqlly nice mix of molasses, red vinous fruit and chocolate.

The tastes directly follow the nose. First you get dark chocolate, molasses and sweet dark vinous fruits, roasted malts. Then once again the oak flavors show up with some vanilla, light sweet syrup presumably from the molasses and light wood. Very very light bourbon barrel flavor in the finish. Really really nice, more roasty and oaky than Kate but amazing none-the-less.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied, hey it's 13% what do you expect. Medium-low carbonation but plenty for the style. Finish is quite tannic and oaky and dry from the Wine and Bourbon barrel aging. Flavors linger on the palate after in each sip.

Overall on any other night, this beer would be the best in show, but is second to Kate tonight. Still an amazing flavor profile from the multi-barrel aging they used here. Recommended, heck yes. Worth seeking out, darn skippy. My new second favorite beer only to my first love Kate.

claspada, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of ChrisPro
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage 22 oz bottle at Brouwer's on 3/6/11

Pours a viscous black with no head to be seen. Legs linger as I consume.

The nose is a plethora or caramelized flavors: molasses, burnt sugar, caramel, maple and just a hint of licorice.

Taste is incredibly sweet. It's like a sweet chocolate covered molasses-caramel bar. Though it's so sweet, there's a solid amount of bitterness on the finish to round it out.

Full-bodied brew with little carbonation. While it feels oily at first, it actually cleans up as you swallow. Fantastic mouthfeel overall.

Sickeningly drinkable. I think this is at a perfect stage right now. Glad to have tried it.

ChrisPro, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of brotherloco
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber. Bottled 2nd Week November 2010. 12.7% ABV

Pours pitch black with the darkest mocha head I've seen in a beer. Foam dissipates quickly to form a thin ring.

Smell reveals the sweet maple syrup and molasses the this beer is brewed with. I'm getting more of the maple. Vanilla notes from the oak barrel aging are also present. Kind of a red wine tinge too.

First sips are silky smooth, but with a pleasant bite to the flavor. Cherry chocolate and coffee maltiness. Very pleasant sweetness. Molasses is stronger in the flavor than the nose. I'm also getting a note of Belgian-style fruitiness. There is a touch of smokey bourbon in the finish.

Fantastic feel to this beer. Smooth, rich, low to medium carbonation. There is real heat given the high ABV, but the feel and flavor make this a very drinkable imperial stout.

brotherloco, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

- 2012 vintage / Cellared 30-Aug-12
- 22oz. bottle poured into stemless wine glass on 1-Dec-12 (aged just couple months).

Rich aromas: plums, molasses, dark roasted chocolate, and mild alcohol presence (for such a big beer).

Immediately notice the thick, chewy texture. Getting a lot of oak barrel with hints of bourbon; not as prominent as in others of style. Some wine/grape quality as well. All this under the prominent roasty chocolate and maple body. Letting this beer sit in the glass for 30+ minutes and warming to room temperature really opened this up in an incredibly complex way and really smoothed all the edges out. Great length. This is one of the more interesting BBA RIS that I've tried, if not the most.

- 2013 vintage
- 22oz. bottle poured into stemless Lost Abbey teku on 25-Dec-13 (fresh).

Same experience as the previous year, which is all good to me. Merry Christmas. Just wish I had another to cellar longer.

Rollzroyce21, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of GJ40
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle. Started at about 60 degrees.

A - Deep, dark black with no light. A small tan head.

S - Molasses, dark chocolate, bourbon and brown sugar. Beautiful! Rich and complex.

T - A complex and smooth mix of molasses, bourbon, roastiness and dark chocolate. Light notes of maple syrup. The bourbon enhances it without dominating. A slight sweetness. The alcohol was hidden at first but increased as it warmed.

M - So think and creamy yet light and airy. A low, well balanced carbonation.

O - Big and strong yet soft and delicate. A great beer!

GJ40, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of domtronzero
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No vintage marking on bottle, but it's marked as being bottled N-2 (November, week 2). 12.7% abv, 22 oz. bottle, shared by Dankbeers619. Thanks Kyle!

A - Dark brown colored with a small, short lived tannish head. Lingering whispy bubbles and a small ring around the glass. Little lacing.

S - Sweet dark malts, ripe fruits, and a bit of roast. A little bit of caramel and vanilla. Slight alcohol is perfumy and pleasant.

F/M - Rich chocolate, caramel and vanilla. Dark fruit-like esters with a nice alcoholic bitterness. A little warm on the palate, but it isn't too detracting. Sweet bourbon notes. Medium full bodied, a little oily up front, but doesn't finish too sweet. Lingering caramelly chocolate flavors.

O - What a great beer. Nice stout body with very pleasant bourbon barrel characteristics. I wish this beer was easier to find as I'd be drinking a lot more of it.

domtronzero, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of alpinebryant
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an oil-can thickness with a massive mochachino thick head. Sticky lacing edge the glass and leave a creamy coating where the head once was.

S: Aroma of a thick roasted stout. Rich coffee, smoked malts and a long lingering molasses aroma with bourbon and oak really keying in once it has warmed to room temperature.

T: Just as thick as it looks, the body of this is thorough. There is not lingering over sweetened malt flavor as Ten Fidy has however the body is just as thick with much more complexity. I do not feel like I will be getting diabetes from this glass of imperial stout either, which is always a plus. Smoked campfire malts with a roasty edge. Slightly gritty with a bit of grassy Autumn leafy hops. The end is slightly ashy, possibly the only downside here on this beer. Hints of maple syrup and molasses, oak hints in the middle of my tastebuds.

M: Thick and a mild to moderate level of carbonation.

O: Overall, this is a solid stout with a lot of complexity. It may have taken three years for me to find one of these, but I highly recommend trying this one!

alpinebryant, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of afksports
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Holy cow the Ravens are drinking a crazy good beer! I'm beating the Chiefs in the fourth quarter with CooperEllis. Next up is a 2010 Dark Lord from Three Floyds, but this baby from Midnight Sun may stay more interesting than this NFL beatdown that's happening at the moment.

While the Chiefs lose, this beer pours a black and viscous body with a brown almost purple lacing that clings to the glass like Spiderman. Not a heady pour, but that may be due to the oak barrel aging. Otherwise this baby is sexy as hell. It's smell is a little subdued. Dark fruits, raisins, chocolate, malts and booze. The taste is ridiculous, with the smell really coming alive. It's also got the oak of the aging, and a huge warm wallop on the palate.

I'm loving how it feels in the mouth, and it's tasty like an exceptional dessert. My only complaint is the bottle's gone too soon. Thanks to my trading partner for hooking this up from Alaska. It's exceptional.

afksports, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of GeezLynn
4.51/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

2010 bottle.

A: Out the bottle like black crude. Dark brown head settles to the glass edges. High abv. shows.
S: Dense maltyness, licorice, tobacco, and a little fruitiness. A little earthy.
T: loads of black androasted malts. Shows more coffee than chocolate. Molasses is assertive. Easily discernible red-wine fruitiness melds nicely with the malt kind of like a dark chocolate-covered raisin. Light sweetness, with alcohol is barely discernible for 12+%.
M: Medium bodied, somewhat syrupy. Good mouth-coat, although carbonation is a bit prickly.

Fantastic beer, though not your typical American imperial stout with the assertive fruit and wine attributes. Very interesting, yet very drinkable for the abv. Only weakness for me was the carbonation/mouthfeel, but this is a beer I’d grab at any opportunity.

GeezLynn, Oct 19, 2013
Photo of joe1510
4.51/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber

12.7%

This is yet another Alaskan gem from the gentlemanly scholar known as AKBelgianBeast, thanks Sir Francis! Berserker? Well, there's no other word to describe this stout than pure coal black. I think light is actually afraid of the oil like black body of this beast. Two fingers worth of one of the darkest heads on planet earth formed on the pour and eventually fell to a skimming. A quick swirl brings it back easily. You know how chocolate milk looks when it's poured with the bubbly top? Well, that's Berserker's head for you. There's a good amount of stick left behind as well .

The nose on this giant beer is insanely complex. Roasty malts on the verge of being charred start things off but licorice, cocoa powder, and blackstrap molasses (in that order) follow closely behind. The bourbon is there but sweetly mild (or is that mildly sweet?). Faint vanilla here and there with sweet earthy sweet hints of cabernet wafting through in the back. Oak is poking its head out with a soft mingling vanilla character. This beer is a complexity bomb, without a doubt.

The flavor actually manages to outshine the nose, I don't know how but it does. Where to begin? Roasty malts, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, licorice, molasses, yada, yada, yada...This beer is a never ending evolution of flavor. The bourbon comes up front, the cabernet on the swallow and both add a touch of sweetness that keeps the roastiness in check. Oak manages to refine it as a whole to make it an absolute pleasure to imbibe. It's tough for me to do this brew justice. I barely ever give away 5s (especially for flavor) but this stout deserves it. Wow!

The mouthfeel is insanely good. Somehow it's so incredibly smooth and airy yet creamy and slick. Again, I can't even bring myself how to get into the descriptors. The body leans toward the heavy, obviously and the alcohol is barely noticeable. How do they do that?

For a beer of this strength the drinkability is amazing. No noticeable alcohol and this bomber is disappearing like I'm a fish. Berserker is one dangerously drinkable beer (cliché? Yes).

Well, what can I say that hasn't already been said? Not a whole lot I guess. This beer isn't even gone yet and I'm already fantasizing about the next. Thanks for this gem Beast, you da man!

Reviewed: 1/17/09

joe1510, Aug 19, 2013
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4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 835 ratings.