Berserker Imperial Stout - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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Berserker Imperial StoutBerserker Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

252 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 252
Hads: 996
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 4.39%
Wants: 834
Gots: 267 | FT: 38
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: 252 | Hads: 996
Photo of Bobloblawlawblog11
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (341 characters)

Photo of Kevinpitts
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (195 characters)

Photo of Damian
4.92/5  rDev +13.6%
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. (1,574 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
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.
4.5/4.25/4.75/4/4.5

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. (418 characters)

Photo of ihazabucket7
4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
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. (222 characters)

Photo of Moose90
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
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. (635 characters)

Photo of GSSW88
3.71/5  rDev -14.3%
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. (759 characters)

Photo of Odysseyalien
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (716 characters)

Photo of _RL_
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (348 characters)

Photo of grat
4.76/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (527 characters)

Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (239 characters)

Photo of JoeBond
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
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. (162 characters)

Photo of iRaven99664
3/5  rDev -30.7%
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. (688 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (1,274 characters)

Photo of arvidkoval
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (407 characters)

Photo of Matonika
4.63/5  rDev +6.9%
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. (645 characters)

Photo of Pliny_the_Self-righteous
4.81/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (495 characters)

Photo of MLaVioletteJr
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (481 characters)

Photo of VashonGuy
4.46/5  rDev +3%
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!!! (731 characters)

Photo of M_chav
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (547 characters)

Photo of shleepy
4/5  rDev -7.6%

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. (155 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.61/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (908 characters)

Photo of Chcshammonde
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

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. (507 characters)

Photo of Tele
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (1,684 characters)

Photo of muchloveforhops3
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

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! (235 characters)

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Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 252 ratings.