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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 cosmicevan
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle with speedwayjim, capra12, billyshears. Thanks to portable for the trade!!!

a-Gorgeous thick black with a thin tan head that can easily be brought back to life with a glass swirl.
s-Hoppy stout...licorice sweetness, i can smell the heat on this one.
t-Tastes thick and filling and pretty much follows the nose. Fantastic, but a bit overly rich and hot.
m/d-Really thick and Really rich. Glad that this was shared since it would be a bit much to take on alone.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pitch black with a light brown head

S: port wine, rich dark fruits, licorice, oak, vanilla, chocolate and maple syrup.

T: chocolate, chewy caramel candies, oak, bourbon, port, some resinous hops, and just a touch of woody vanilla. Dark heavy bitter yet decadent.

M: full bodied thick viscous and nicely balanced with a leniance tothe bitter side.

D: quite epic, I expected nothing

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Photo of JAXSON
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Early 2010 rate.

Bottle from Todd. Pours thick, inky black with a rich, frothy espresso head. Head and lacing are thick and heavy, and behave oddly. Fascinating to look at. Of course the nose is rich, heavy on dark fruits, dust of coffee, molasses. I don't know if I've ever had a beer that is so creamy in the mouth, almost like a like dark chocolate milkshake. Heavy dark malts, a bitter coffee-like element, vanilla. more discreet slightly woody tones, molasses. F this is good.

After comparing this later in the year directly with some other, more nuanced imperial stouts, I'm docking the score a bit.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz poured into tulip. from notes

I have been waiting to get this for a long time and was finally able to land one. Thought this would be suiting for my 100th.

This pitch black beer pours with a medium, tan to straight brown head, lacing was minimal. The nose is mostly molasses with some dark fruits. Taste is incredible, molasses, maple, vanilla, oak. If taste could represent inanimate objects, this would be a log cabin. Mouthfeel is very heavy, creamy and balanced. This is a sipper but a sipper I would love to drink everyday. Amazing beer from an amazing brewery.

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Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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

A-Pours viscous black with almost no head. Leaves milky coffee colored lacing.

S-Molasses, caramel, toffee, fresh ground black pepper, dulche de leche.

T/M- WOW. Smooth, gorgeous, complex. Dulche de leche, molasses, cold coffee, vanilla bean, oak. Luxurious and impressive.Full bodied with low carbonation and a rich, lush mouthfeel.

D-An exceptional imperial stout. Highly reccomended.

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Photo of dragonWhale
4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 on tap at Big Wood.

Waiting and waiting and waiting. Finally, after many a brusque "no, it's not on yet" from a harassed bartender, it appeared, black, cavernous, a hole to the center of the earth. Very low carbonation, swirled thickly, begrudgingly. I have been wanting to try this forever and failed in Alaska this summer (of course) but here it was, before me, spewing strong and volatile alcohols like spittle from my grandfathers mouth. The molasses and maple make themselves known, though I got a great deal more of the maple myself. Some roast and some chocolate. I didn't really get much of the wine barrel influence, but perhaps that just added to the well-roundedness of the beer. Exceptional with a very long tender finish when warm, warming the soul with a war story from the good old days.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kan for sharing with us!

A - Pours black, mocha head, some nice lacing and retention left behind after it all settled down. A very nice-looking RIS we have here.

S - Chocolate, both dark and milk, slight dark fruit, oak, burnt sugars, some alcohol booze in there too and at 10.4%, it's going to be quite hard to completely hide.

T - Very similar to the nose. Chocolate, oak, caramel, burnt sugars, some booze. A good amount of complexity between the oak, sweetness, and alcohol notes. Very solid.

M - Full bodied, rich, smooth, light carbonation, creamy yet dry finish.

D - One glass was enough for me. A very big RIS monster. I have been looking forward to trying this and wasn't disappointed after all was said and done. I continue to be very impressed with most MS offerings, this included.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Roland for this bottle. The bottle leaked a little bit during shipping so to be safe rather than sorry, I decided to put this one on ice and drink it right away.

A: The pour is a fairly viscous and black one with a mild tan head forming.

S: The nose is fairly complex with plenty of dark chocolate and molasses coming out right away. The oak and vanilla notes are a bit more subtle and the roast and coffee are not quite as in your face as in many stouts.

T: A pronounced licorice character comes through on the palate that I did not expect from the nose. Again, plenty of molasses and chocolate going on with a fair amount of oakiness. A moderate bitterness is present as well.

M: The body is medium, not quite to the full range, with a smooth carbonation that eventually ended up dying out as I went back for my subsequent pours from the bottle.

D: For a 10% imperial stout, this is quite drinkable, I will say. Not necessarily amazing, but still enjoyable and definitely different.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'09 bottle that Buckeyeboy busted out recently... I also shared one with SAS too about the same time period... thanks homies.

Dark brown 2 finger head... viscous looking black brew... fantastic retention and lacing.

Nose is a long "sniffer"... takes a while to wrap my mind around the massive complex aromas.... nothing is overdone and everything including the barrels is well integrated. Deep dark malts with no char.. just dark chocolate and slight whaffs of vanilla and bourbon.. caramel/burnt sugar..

Flavor has a touch more actual "oak" than the nose and some dark cherry cordial plays well with the big stout notes.. bits of French Roast and something that I can only describe as brewers licorice .. plush body and a lite carbonation.

Very yummy... top shelf. Awesome that we've been getting these into Boise. Thanks to Jeremy, Steven, and Rick for helping me out.


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Photo of airohead2001
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage, 12.7% ABV. HUGE thanks to glazeman for this one - I always love an opportunity to taste a true rarity that I may never see again.

A - Great looking stout. Black, black, black with a coffee brown 2 finger head that quickly fades to a ring that lines my snifter. Looks thick and syrupy, just as it should.

S - Almost perfect - chocolate, booze, coffee, vanilla nuttiness, and bourbon. Wow.

T - A big sweet stout without the overly harsh bitter finish. Different - I like it. The taste is very similar to the nose - chocolate up front with some dark fruits as well. Next comes just a tad of bourbon. This is followed by a slightly bitter finish that brings out some nice coffee undertones. Complex and delicious.

M - Good. Appropriate thickness, but for nearly 13%, I could always use it just a little bit thicker.

D - Outstanding. Not too bitter and not too boozy. No EtOH burn. I wish I had more of this. I really good drink it over and over. It is just awesome. So smooth.

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Photo of glazeman
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to BrewsB4Shrews hooking me up with this beer. Poured from a bomber into a snifter and split with airohead2001. It's not too often I get to open up a beer with wants to gots ratio of 10+...really excited for this one! This is the 2009 bottle coming in at 12.7% ABV.

A: The first thing that struck me about this beer was how dark the head was. The beer is pitch black with a 1 finger dark brown head. The only beer with anywhere close to as dark of a head is Hunahpu's.

S: The nose on this one is not overly intense, but is very pleasant. I get nice notes of chocolate, cinnamon, molasses, and raisins. This beer is on the sweeter side as far as smell goes but is very complex and deep.

T: This is how barrel aging should be done. I feel that the bourbon is subtle and beautiful, not up front and aggressive like a BCS or Angel's Share. The barrel aging for Berserker enhances the beer, instead of defining the beer. The flavors of this beer come in many layers. The dark fruits in this beer (figs, raisins, plums) come out on the top layer, then in the middle there is some maple syrup and bourbon. Deeper down I get a little bit of alcohol hit and tobacco.

M: I feel that this had an excellent viscosity, but a tad bit too much carbonation. The aftertaste was great and it sits on the tongue very well.

D: For about 13% this beer is super smooth and the alcohol is barely noticeable. This is an example of truly superb drinkability. The only thing that hinders it slightly is the amount of sweetness. Not that it's over sweet, but after more than a glass or two, I feel the residual sugars may catch up with me.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.87/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bomber into a glass. 2009 vintage, 12.7%. Received in a trade from inflatablechair. Thanks, Sam!

A: Pours a pitch black body with poorly-retaining dark mocha head. The collar is series of big bubbles that climb up the sides of the glass a little bit, with faint trails of dark brown bubbles on the surface of the beer.

S: Soy! Molasses, chocolate, caramelly bourbon. Oak, some vanilla. As the beer warms, the soy fades and is replaced by a toasted marshmallow note. It's quite pungent.

T: Molasses or brown sugar, maple, chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla. Toasted marshmallow on the exhalation. Despite the list of sweet flavors, the beer doesn't feel syrupy or cloying. It has a mild bitterness of barrel and roasted grain / chocolate that even suggests [relative] dryness, at least for the style.

M: Chewy, fairly viscous. There's a mild heat to it that warms the palate and throat. Not overly sweet. Good carbonation level.

D: It's a solid barrel-aged imperial stout, but it's not one of the better ones. I feel like I get much more complexity and satisfaction out of something like BA Speedway, Black Tuesday, etc...

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Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer shared by someone at a recent tasting. Poured into a snifter. Beer is black but brown at the edges and forms moderate and broken head of small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Overall the carbonation appears low.

The aroma is mostly sweet with only a hint of alcohol.

Beer is medium bodied and has a combination of chocolate and sweetness in the front half, a slight tinge of alcohol and overall a mild bitterness from chocolate and roast. Beer finishes slightly dry that accents the bitterness of the beer overall. It is very drinkable though, the bitterness does not overpower the more delicate flavors in the front, there is no real aftertaste, if it were drier I believe there would be a problem with this much bitter, but it seems well composed.

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Photo of jminsc76
4.72/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of alexd3191.

Pours a brownish head atop a black impenetrable body. Not much head, considering its level of ABV; looks a lot like oil.

Dude, smells like a smore. Seriously, smells like I am roasting a smore by the fireplace. And that is good. Aromas are intense; love them.

Flavors range with so much good stuff. Plenty of chocolate, tobacco, MOLASSES, graham cracker, marshmallows, and some good smooth coffee notes. As I breath it in, exhibits a little booze, but quite minuscule. Pretty much flawless.

Mouthfeel is soft and viscous, with a marshmallow consistency caressing the palate so lovely. It's hearty, and yet so silky smooth. Wow.

Overall, this is a masterpiece of an RIS. Everything checks out, with a bit of innovation on the flavor profile. Yep, I would drink this repeatedly. With smores if I had them. :-)

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

22oz Bottle(12.7% abv) received in a trade with a very generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours pretty much the darkest I've ever seen with a dark brown crown that shows moderate retention and lace.

Smell: Really amazing deep roast malt with a slight wood barrel note, molasses, and maple syrup.

Taste: Same as nose but the bitterness from the roast almost takes on coffee like proportions. The interplay of the barrel and maple is really nice. Some fruity red wine notes make an appearance as well.

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied with moderate carbonation. A bit lackluster but not offensive by any measure.

Drinkability: The abv and mouthfeel keep it held back slightly in this department, but the bomber goes down easily none the less.

Glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Great looking black brew with a nice brown head. Very thick.

S - Coffee, some roasted malts, a bit of sweetness and vanilla. Someone said something about maple in here, but if it's there then I'm just barely getting it (or imagining it).

T - Interesting barrel influence. On the sweeter side of big stouts, roasted malts, bit of coffee, little chocolate, and molasses. Some interesting lighter fruits, maybe a deep cherry? This is good and interesting.

M - Thick and viscous, suits the style just fine.

D - Pretty good and easy to drink, would have this again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at a recent tasting, alongside continuous streaming of the Berserker scene from Clerks. Thanks, Ben!

A: Poured near black with a very dark head. Appeared nice and viscous.

S: Very rich all around. Not getting too much of the maple and probably wouldn't know it was there if I wasn't told, but the there is definitely some molasses and a bit of dark fruit alongside roasted malt and chocolate.

T: Similar to the nose but with the addition of some black licorice and a bit of oak, adding in a touch of vanilla. Very nice taste and quite complex.

M: Nice and full without too much of an alcohol kick to it.

D: Very good. Midnight Sun always impresses, and this is no exception. Especially drinkable alongside the aforementioned Clerks scene, which will forever give me very fond memories of drinking this one.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Awesome bottle received from alaskajoe awhile ago! Thanks!

12.70% version. Sampled on 5/9/10. Poured into a tall tulip glass.

The pour on this one is thick and viscous as I've ever seen. Glugs out of the bottle like used motor oil. Sits densely in the glass. A moderate-sized dark maduro/mocha head slowly rises. Retains decently enough. Left some light lace on the glass. This looks awesome. The first thing I notice in the nose is a tart vinous scent like wine or Port. There's hints of vanilla, booze, and a bit of ground coffee, just faintly. I can tell this has some Bourbon-quality to it for sure.

The mouth, as expected, is creamy, thick, and almost chewable. This just coats the entire palate with its creamy goodness. The first flavor I notice on this one is vanilla. The bourbon notes give this beer a creamy sweetness that is very pleasant. There's also a flavor that I'm going to call 'leather,' not that I have ever eaten leather before, but that's what came to mind. The roasted malts are wonderfully balanced with the sweetness from the bourbon. Mild coffee and dark chocolate noted as well.

This was an excellent beer! I can't thank Joe enough for sending this my way last fall. This one will take a little more work to track down, but it'll be worth your while. Highly recommend.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this at dld. Appearance is black, not much to note. The aroma is a little light some coffee, vanilla a little wood. Tasting it its very hard to tell it was barrel aged, there is a little wood to it but I think its muted by using of red wine barrels too. This is a good stout, not great, probably not worth searching out.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a thick motor oil looking liquid with a dark mohogany head that is creamy in appearance and offers some retention and a little bit of lace

S-the nose is a little light but still nice. Dark chocolate, lots of molasses, anise, and a touch of cherry. The booze shows in the nose and is quite present in the back

T-the taste is sweeter with hints of roasted malts and some earthy notes up front. Lots of dark chocolate with toffee behind. Molasses takes over with plums and cherries in the back. The booze is not nearly as present and really mellows in the taste

M-this has full body, it is smooth and creamy, soft on the palate and coats the mouth.

D-this is very tasty and has good flavors with a big body and huge taste.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle is notched that it was made in August "1". Which I think is 2009. The ABV is noted on the label as 12.7%. Thanks to the folks at 99 Bottles in Federal Way, WA. Great store and a must visit for me on all trips to the Northwest.

Wow, pours thick and luscious. A creamy tan head forms and shows some decent retention. No light getting through this black oil like colored beer. Actually more deep brown.

Aroma is heavy and of molasses, dates and dried figs.

What a great flavor. Dark chocolate with a lot of complexity just below the surface. Molasses again, vanilla with a hint of licorice. Not sure I'd call out Maple if I didn't know it was added here.
As it warms, there is a greater sense of the Oak Barrel aging. Aftertaste is like a chocolate milk shake. You would never guess this is at 12.7% abv

Nice and thick mouth feel with a very thick body. Velvet like. Almost milk shake like.

A wonderful beer to sit and enjoy. I'll have to source another bottle this fall. Excellent beer!!

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BrewsB4Shrews for the opportunity to try this beer!

A-Pours with the darkest head I have ever seen on a beer-which is a very dark brown. Body is opaque, viscous, and black allowing no light to shine through. Head fades to about 1/2 finger and leaves some lacing behind in the glass.

S- Nose is big, rich, deep, and dark. Dark chocolate, anise, licorice, dark fruit, and a good dose of alcohol astringency.

T- Flavor is awesome and much better than the smell. I'm getting a lot of toffee, an unidentified sweetness, and the typical RIS flavors of licorice, anise, dark chocolate, and dark fruit with a mild to moderate roasted malt backbone. A nice surprise for the finish is a woody component of oak is added to the already developing flavors. Great, complex.

M- High carbonation and a very thick- smooth and creamy body. No presence of alcohol in the mouthfeel.

D-This is a great imperial stout and another great brew by Midnight Sun. Solid and offers all the characteristics of a great stout. Definitely in my top 10 stouts overall.

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Photo of Chelsea1905
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12.7% 22oz bottle poured into a snifter

Pours very black, near molasses, the head is ruby-brown, but disipates quickly and leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells a little like barndy, dark fruit, and black olives.

This had aged a little so the taste initially wasn't that overwhelming. Nice dark roast, bit of wooden barrel and booze in there too.

Very good mouthfeel and drinks well. Very nice offering overall

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