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Berserker Imperial Stout - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Berserker Imperial StoutBerserker Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

863 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 863
Reviews: 232
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.99%
Wants: 837
Gots: 227 | FT: 24
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: 863 | Reviews: 232 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MaxStout for sharing this one at NoSignsOfPain's birthday bottleshare hosted by mrbubbler.

Pours an opaque, thick black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, raisins/dark fruit, cocoa, wood, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some great aromas and flavors.

Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of metter98
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is absolutely jet black in color. It poured with a thin ring of reddish mocha bubbles around the edge of the glass that quickly died down, leaving only a faint collar.
S: Strong aromas of dark malts and bourbon are present in the nose, along with some hints of molasses.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but a little more complex with additional flavors of dark malts and chocolate.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and viscous on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation. A little warming from the alcohol is noticeable in the finish.
O: The flavors of this beer are well integrated and balanced, particularly the bourbon, which does not overpower the beer and overshadow the other flavors.

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of brentk56
4.9/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 bottling

Appearance: Black as midnight with a very modest mocha head that fritters away to a ringlet in short order, while leaving a streak of lacing

Smell: Rich and velvety dark chocolate, dark fruit, tobacco and molasses

Taste: Rich dark chocolate tones, up front, joined by a hint of maple and a vinous fruity character that morphs by adding a touch of bourbon at mid-palate; the alcohol also adds character and there is a tobacco-esque hoppy element, as well; the finish is lengthy and smooth

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; subtle heat in the finish

Overall: A superb beverage that is as good as any RIS I have tasted

Photo of BEERchitect
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recently making it a priority to try more Midnight Sun beers has certainly paid off with this serious Stout. If sweet, roasty, and fruity are what you're after-- search over.

Berserker begins with a silky and viscous pour, not un-like motor oil. About as dark brown as it can get without becomming black. Completely opaque. The deep tan head is short-lived, probably because of the heavy sugars and alcohols inhibit such structure. Ink-stained legging clings to the glass while forgoing any lacing. The beer falls still half-way through the glass.

The typical aromas of espresso, heavy charred grains, and deep syrups attack the olfactories. What is surprising is the complex fruitiness of red wines, plumbs, and currants. These fruity aromas give this Russian Imperial Stout a healthy dose of English Olde Ales and red wine barrels.

Flavors once again favor the roast with the bold coffee, cocoa, and acrid charred grains. Heavy sweetness of molassas, maple syrups, and malt sugars make a dramatic impact on taste but surprisingly carry away in a well-attenuated fashion in the end. Deep flavors of ripe stone fruits (grapes, plubs, berries, and currants) give an unexpected variety to the stout, but is well received- keeping the beer from suffering a one-dimentional dullness. Bourbon and rum alcohols come to mind as the sweetness and roast fall, taking the beer into a bitter and alcoholic finish.

Very rich, full, and robust up front- this is one big beer! But the low carbonation helps the beer to go from full and chewy to fleeting and drinkable in the end. Perhaps a bit astringent and vinous in the finish but the complexity and roast character is more than enough to compensate for barrel-aged tannins.

Berserker is a wonderful beer for the finale of any session. It's balance of sweet, roast, fruit, and more sweet reminds me a lot of New Holland's Night Tripper. Many thanks go out to BrewsB4Shrews for sharing this beer!

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet roasted malt notes with some light black chocolate notes. Taste is also dominated by quite a bit of residual sugars with some nice dry roasted malt notes. Notes of coffee and molasses are also very pleasant. Body is full with nice thick oily texture with good carbonation and alcohol is not overly apparent. Nice big IS which retains some good drinkability level.

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A big thanks to Frank for sending this one my way. I have waited to try this one for literally forever. Served chilled to about 55 and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/11/2009.

The pour was fantastic. Rich dark brown, nearly black with a huge tan head that rose up nearly three inches over the top and only slightly settled down as the session passed Tons of rich foam swirling around the glass coated everything in sight with a rich chocolate haze. Intense looking for sure. The aroma was equally as impressive. Tons of molasses, rich roasted malts steeped in coffee. As it warms a load of cocoa just rises up and sucks you in. This one is as intense as it gets for me. I go in for the taste and I am floored. Such a rich, smooth, full bodied explosion of flavor, I am unsure how to even describe it. Chocolate and coffe melded seemlessly together in a huge milkshake like consitency. This is one of the best tasting stouts I have had. Roasted malts just fluttering through and huge notes of molasses and woody like flavors as it fades away leaving vanilla infused coffee notes along my tongue. Soo good. I almost did not want to finish this one it was soo good. Alcohol a mere afterthought as the smoothness of this blows everything out of the water.

I have had nearly every big, bad stout out there, but this one is easily in my top 5. Just such a sweet flavor and smooth feel to it, I really did not think it was going to be this good. Needless to say I am impressed.

Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -7.8%

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!

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Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 863 ratings.