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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

897 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 897
Reviews: 237
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.99%
Wants: 836
Gots: 233 | FT: 29
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: 897 | Reviews: 237 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of msubulldog25
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, the 2009 release (12.7% ABV, 30 IBU), notched at 'A[ugust]'/'1' for the 'Month & Week bottled:'. Bottle came straight from the chilly fruit cellar (40-45F ?), poured to a snifter after dinner on Christmas Eve.

'Ale Brewed with Molasses and Maple Syrup and Aged in Oak Barrels'. Thanks to Seattle BA Beerzebub for adding one to a trade, then more thanks to Beaumont Market for stocking some and saving a couple for me. Cheers, Jon & Justin!

A: Pours the requisite charcoal darkness, maybe a little thinner because of the brownish tinge at the edges - let's call the color 'maple syrup'. First time in the glass, a pretty caramel-orange head of tight fizz expands to about 1-finger; it falls within seconds to a sprawling film and slender ring. Later pours lessen the effects of both. No lace to speak of.

S: Popped the top and the first essence wasn't coffee nor chocolate nor any of the sugary sweets listed as adjuncts - it's smoke, a charred woodiness that hints at pipe tobacco. Sniff after subsequent sniff, different aromas rise: there's the molasses! Fudge! Raspberries! Cafe au lait! Maple (with BACON)! Vanilla beans! Smells nice, real nice...

T: 'Chocolate over berries' is my immediate reaction, a mild tartness like blackberry/chambord and a roasty/acrid bitter cacao. Sweetness isn't as much at the forefront as expected (with syrup and molasses as ingredients); the vanilla and subtle oak flavors add more nuance. Layer upon layer, a fine Imperial Stout.

M: Body isn't quite as thick as anticipated and feel is sorta slick and viscous, like -well- maple syrup? Sure it's smooth, carbonation mellow. Not a 'hot' booziness nor blatant 'barrel' woodiness, just a subtle warm glow.

D: At 12.7%, this latest release is a good bit stiffer than the 'mere' 10.4% monster listed above...this one grows more 'berserk' every year, I guess. As such, sip with caution - it's a treat that'll catch up pretty quickly. Flavors and aromas are quite good now and I'd be willing to bet they get better given more time. 'Good' now, but glad to have a couple more for 2010 and beyond. Worth recommending!

Merry Christmas (Eve) to me!

Photo of Dope
3.49/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not sure what year this is, no sign of a date. I believe 2012? 12.7% ABV

A: Thick pitch black pour. Big dense dark brown head. Very dense. Head away in a very dense and fluffy manner (if that makes sense). Heavy walls of lacing. Great retention.

S: Interesting. Mellow bourbon with burnt sugar and caramel. Oaky. Heavy, sweet molasses. Dark chocolate. When swirled I get a strong fruity wine aroma. Maybe a bit of savory umami in there too? A lot going on.

T: Very interesting flavor. It's bourbon and wine battling it out in the beginning. Dark fruits and almost tart berries duking it out with burnt sugars, toffee and molasses. Some chocolate and char mixing in too. Chalky charred oak in the finish with hints of smoke. Light chocolate and umami...burnt meat really... lingers between sips. Red wine really layers over everything once it's warm. Pretty boozy.

M: Big, heavy, thick, etc. A bit chalky.

O: I rarely say this, but almost a little too much going on here. Roasted malt of this stout takes a backseat to lots of bourbon barrel character, wine barrel character and molasses. I prefer a strong roasted malt character in my stouts, myself. Did not get any maple syrup in this one either oddly enough. Having said that, very complex and surprisingly balanced. Just not quite my forte, especially since I'm not a huge red wine fan and this one has a surprising amount of it.

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 srandycarter
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 version.

A - Pours pretty darned black. Very dark mocha head, lots of clinging lace.

S - Light coffee and mocha.

T - Nice mix of coffee, toasted malt and cocoa powder. Not really extreme in either direction. Some molasses and soy in the finish.

M - Somewhat creamy, not a full bodied as hoped, good carb and fair balance.

D - Yep, like it. Not my favorite, but I like it.

Photo of birchstick
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours black in color with a nice brown, taupe head.

S - chocolates, bourbon, maple, vanilla are all over the nose - lots going on, which is always a good thing

T - starts off with dark chocolates on the front of the tongue. These move on to spicy bourbon and vanilla notes imparted from the barrel aging. Some molasses and a touch of cinnamon are in the mix as well. Really nice complexity on the tongue!

M - medium body and light carbonation; a little dry on the finish

D - really solid RIS by MS. Lots of nice complexity and flavors in the mix here. Highly recommended if you can get your hands on it.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of mltobin
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of harrymel
3.72/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2012, 12.7% ABV

Pours black with some mocha surface foam and rimming, this dissipates leaving an inky black surface. Smells mineralic, lots of sweet vanilla, some bits of bourbon, caramel and oak alongside hints of licorice and dark chocolate nibs. The mineral quality has some notes I really value in a -bal beer. Taste is sweet and robust. Plenty of toasted and roasted oats, some licorice, raisin, wood, coffee and nougat. Not as impressed with the taste. Full bodied with low carb and a dry finish. Nice beer, not worth the effort for me.

Photo of hollywood_15063
4.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of homebrew311
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. This beer is on the top 5 of darkest imperial stouts I've had... Pitch black with dark reddish brown head that quickly dissipates. The smell is layered with tons of notes. Huge chocolate and roast character comes first and is followed up by some mild coffee notes. Then we get some earthy tobacco like notes intertwined with dark fruit and leather. Notes of bourbon and oak come to the surface next to smooth out the edges. The finish has some maple and molasses. The taste starts with dark fruit and molasses with a bit of malty sweetness. The roast comes through huge in the middle and the bourbon and oak take center stage towards the finish. Not getting as much maple on the flavor like I did on the aroma. Body is thick and chewy with a velvety texture. This is a great imperial stout. Tons of flavor and an absolutely huge body. Worth a try for the stout lovers out there.

Photo of koopa
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a finger of frothy dark chocolate colored head. Fades fairly slowly.

S - Roasted chocolate malts, maple syrup, molasses, Bourbon, oak, vanilla, dark fruits, black licorice, tobacco, and booze.

T - Dark chocolate malts, maple syrup, molasses, coffee, oak, vanilla, Bourbon, dark fruits, black licorice, tobacco, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and a bit thick with a warming and sweet finish.

D - Great Bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. The maple syrup is a great touch.

Photo of Rutager
4.17/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 Bottle at Brouwer's cafe.

Appearance. Pours thick and black with a skim of tan head.

Smell. Molasses, wood, black licorice, rum and dark malts with a little fudge.

Taste. Chocolate fudge and molasses, toasted wood and licorice root, dark and maybe lightly smokey malts.

Mouthfeel. Full body, maybe on the lower side. Boozy warmth and low+ carbonation.

Overall. Nice big stout. Didn't get much maple, but very tasty and lots of molasses.

Photo of shelby415
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Daniellobo
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of 2dogbrew
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of greenspointexas
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of Jspriest
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of dar482
4.85/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a dark oil black with lovely huge dark mocha head.

The aroma has a sweet coconut, molasses, sweet maple syrup, vanilla, tons of that sweet barrel character along with sweet chocolate, coffee, molasses, and roasty malt. It's such a lovely smelling beer.

The flavor is giving you tons of sweet chocolate, a bit of coffee, along with sweet vanilla and bourbon character. There's maple syrup sweetness that hits on the middle and then a dark deep molasses stickiness holds on the tongue. The oak finishes it on the end slight.

The alcohol is so darn well hidden on this. The mouthfeel is really luscious and creamy thing ever. It's so smooth and big on the tongue. A highlight of this beer.

This beer really one of the best bourbon barrel aged beers around.

Photo of hilgart1
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of ncaudle
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 897 ratings.