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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
96
world-class

719 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 719
Reviews: 222
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.99%
Wants: 809
Gots: 194 | FT: 23
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: 719 | Reviews: 222 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sholland119
sholland119

Pennsylvania

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

Thanks to travisd13 for the chance to try this one.

A-Black, impervious, opaque jet black with a thin pool of brown head. Excellent.

S-Boozy vanilla, some sweet herbiness, dark chocolate, dark fruit.

T-Lots going on here. Sweet vanilla, maple syrup, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, bourbon balls and some dark fruit. Some molasses too. Complex and delicious.

M-Medium bodied with just a bit of heft, very fine carbonation is a pleasant surprise.

O-Really terrific. Any alcohol is very well hidden, the flavors are rich and complex but not overly heavy. Worth seeking out.

HV

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 00:53:02 | More by sholland119
Photo of Adamostella
Adamostella

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

09-02-2012 05:45:53 | More by Adamostella
Photo of atone315
atone315

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

10-20-2012 07:51:08 | More by atone315
Photo of JRod1969
JRod1969

New York

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

05-09-2013 03:33:45 | More by JRod1969
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

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

A big thanks to Ryan (RIP Dunt) for sharing this a while back. Taken from notes.

Appearance – Pours an extremely dark black into a snifter. Zero light comes through, and about a finger and a half of dark mocha colored head can be seen that dissipates slowly.

Smell – Lots of oak, cocoa, molasses, earthy tobacco, licorice, dark fruits like prunes, and slight red wine.

Taste – Very similar to the aroma. A definite red wine flavor mixed with dark and bittersweet cocoa/chocolate. A nice roasted dry malt flavor midway which gets a bit sweeter from the dark fruits.

Overall – A very good beer that balances the red wine, bitterness, and sweetness perfectly. Not overly sweet, just enough dryness/char/roast, and the nice wine flavors imparted from the barrel aging. A stout right up my alley and one I was thankful to try and would trade for in the future.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2012 23:45:44 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Major thanks to ejyoung, who popped this bottle at a recent Cooters tasting. Poured into a Russian River tulip.

Burnt brown, completely opaque. The head is thin and the color of cinnamon, rising and fading within seconds. A bubbly ring of lace remains.

Espresso, chocolate/raspberry syrup, molasses, honey. A rich, spicy aroma. Burnt toast in the background.

Oh, that’s good. Different, too. Maybe it’s the result of the different barrels used, but it’s hard to pick out individual barrel flavors. Begins with butter, toffee, toasted oak and red grapes. The swallow brings a bigger wine-soaked blast with vanilla. The wine-aging contributes quite a bit here. Lighter notes of molasses, dark chocolate. Fairly sweet throughout, with nary a hint of booze. A little bitterness and roast on the sides of the tongue.

Thick, a lot of residual sugar here. Creamy medium-full, light massaging carbonation. Alcohol numbs the tongue, but that’s the only hint of it. Very nice blend here. Very drinkable for its strength.

A quality stout. Interesting blend of flavors. The wine adds something, as does the molasses.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 22:42:09 | More by Phelps
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A mini vertical tasting of 2005 and 2008 Berserkers...Nice.

Vintage 2005 at 10.4% abv, 22oz bottle at 55 degrees.

Pours opaque black with a half inch head of light brown. Zero translucency in any part of the body when held to direct light. The dense froth fell a partial skim coat, with a solid ring around the edges, and plenty of broken ropes of lacework.

Aromatics lead off with dark fudge, charred oak, red fruit, espresso syrup and mocha-laced booze. A strong vinous component steps forward, along with shades of port, sherry, and bourbon.
As the beer breaths hints of red wine and grape jam arise.

Full bodied with an extremely creamy mouthfeel. Sticky and chewy with plenty of gription. Slick and velvety.

Charred malts, oaky booze, dark chocolate, and espresso dusted fruit start the palate. A balance of wine-like vinousity and oaky bourbon come forward and linger till the end.

Finishes with a generous amount of residual chocolate, char, fudge, port, and warming bourbon.

While I try not to reference other beers in a review, I can't help but mention how much the Port-like character reminds me of Kate the Great, and the red wine vinousity reminds me of a barrel-aged Posioden. The beer as a whole tops a bottled Black Albert, although it would be unfair to compare to the Batch 0 Black Albert fresh from the tap. They are totally different beasts.
I was really surprised how the Bourbon is somewhat subdued in relation to the other qualities of the brew. There is a layered complexity in the nose and palate which is quite remarkable, and I'm sure it's from three years in the cellar.

Vintage 2008 at 12.7% abv, 22oz bottle at 55 degrees.

Pours pure black, void of any color, with a one inch head of dark brown. Super dense and thick. A partial skim coat remained on the surface for the duration, as well as webbed lacework.

Aromatics lead off with black forest batter, nougat, charred cocoa, vanilla, and bourbon.
Hints of Kahlau, blackened oak, and Hershey's syrup follow through.

Full, chewy mouthfeel. Thick, viscous, and massive bodied.

Dark chocolate, espresso-steeped embers, and light bourbon start the palate. Fudge nuggets, brownie bits, and warming booze follow through.

Finishes with lingering lush chocolate, espresso reduction, nougat, and bourbon.

Certainly a bigger version of Berserker than the 2005 in many ways. Oddly though the alcohol does not seem to be any more apparent even at 2.3% abv greater.
Thicker, fuller, and more concentrated than the 2005, but the 2005 has a complexity which the 2008 is lacking.

We'll see how the 2008 fares in a few years.

The score reflects the 2005 version, and I would put the 2008 just a couple of points below that.

Megaprops out to my bro Tim in AK for another set of off the hook brews. Thanks man!

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 21:35:24 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of beergorrilla
beergorrilla

Michigan

3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

01-22-2013 07:37:52 | More by beergorrilla
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

4.84/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2013 01:54:01 | More by dar482
Photo of Satchboogie
Satchboogie

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

11-16-2011 19:13:20 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -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.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 14:28:10 | More by Onenote81
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at a tasting... Finally getting around to typing up my notes from my iphone.

Had an 08 and a 10 side-by-side... Review is for the 08.

Immediately upon pouring, my reaction was,
It's so black! Good for you.
(editor's note: I had JUST watched the movie Hot Tub Time Machine)

It's very very dark. It's dark, it's scary, it's ominous, it's a little sexy in a "I'm not sure I'm ready for this" kind of way. It's like Elvira, mistress of the dark. This is brooding and looming. It is beyond gothic. It makes goth kids look like sparkly vampires.

Dark tan head-- like confectioner's cocoa color. Retention is ok. Lacing is minimal... But fuck is the body dark.

The smell has little hints of cinnamon hiding amongst the standard impy stout smells. Some boozy and oaky and vanilla and chocolatey notes. This thing is all about being in your face. It's impressive. The 10 is much more chocolatey, but as far as it goes, they are both delicious.

The beer is fantastic. I have nothing bad to say about it. The body is strong, if anything I could argue it is slightly undercarbed, but it doesn't hurt the overall drinkability. It sips very very nicely and I'm enjoying it.
I would love to have abottle of this to open every 6 to 8 months and see how it develops.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2011 05:23:50 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many, many thanks to paulys55 for this bottle!

A - Poured pitch black with about 1/4 of creamy, toffee colored head and no carbonation.

S - Charred/smoked oak tannins, tobacco peat, dark fruit, molasses, dark roasted chocolate, and mild alcohol presence (for such a big beer).

T - Smoke, oak, maple, bourbon, molasses, roasted bitter chocolate, dark cherries, and alcohol effervescence.

M - Thick, viscous, sticky, slightly syrupy, sticky.

O - Letting this beer sit in the glass for 30+ minutes and warming to room temperature really opened this up in an incredibly complex way. In fact, if I ever have the opportunity to enjoy another bottle of this I will most likely pop it at room temperature instead, far better.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 00:28:45 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of mltobin
mltobin

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -7.8%

12-21-2013 01:11:08 | More by mltobin
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

05-28-2014 13:33:05 | More by jaasen64
Photo of CoolEthan
CoolEthan

California

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

11-10-2013 00:00:00 | More by CoolEthan
Photo of Photekut
Photekut

Tennessee

5/5  rDev +15.2%

11-15-2011 01:35:38 | More by Photekut
Photo of bum732
bum732

Lesotho

4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Very rich chocolate, perceived sweetness, some maple, bready, touch of roasty coffee, bourbon medium low. Just a touch of smokiness. More maple as it warms.

L: Syrupy thick, dark black, dark tan head that dissipates to a dusting and ring of foam.

T: Rich chocolate sweetness up front with a prominent backbone. Low bitterness with some soft coffee notes and molasses. Hint of maple and medium bourbon oak into the finish. Slight ash and some tobacco left on the palate. Semi-sweet finish.

M: Medium full body, medium low carbonation. Some heat.

Fantastic, reminding me a lot of Abyss with lots of components working together without being overly sweet like many RIS's nowadays. Maple was fairly low throughout, but not a major complaint. Would definitely drink again.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2013 01:42:04 | More by bum732
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 17:15:06 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of CelticAleMan
CelticAleMan

California

4/5  rDev -7.8%

04-15-2013 22:13:54 | More by CelticAleMan
Photo of djaeon
djaeon

California

4/5  rDev -7.8%

04-07-2013 19:17:44 | More by djaeon
Photo of brotherloco
brotherloco

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 04:41:08 | More by brotherloco
Photo of WeisGuy
WeisGuy

New York

4/5  rDev -7.8%

04-20-2013 15:16:10 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of ajzy
ajzy

Wisconsin

4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

05-11-2013 04:32:11 | More by ajzy
Photo of Rollzroyce21
Rollzroyce21

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 07:14:19 | More by Rollzroyce21
Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 719 ratings.