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

252 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 252
Hads: 994
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.78%
Wants: 835
Gots: 266 | FT: 37
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: 994
Photo of alpinebryant
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an oil-can thickness with a massive mochachino thick head. Sticky lacing edge the glass and leave a creamy coating where the head once was.

S: Aroma of a thick roasted stout. Rich coffee, smoked malts and a long lingering molasses aroma with bourbon and oak really keying in once it has warmed to room temperature.

T: Just as thick as it looks, the body of this is thorough. There is not lingering over sweetened malt flavor as Ten Fidy has however the body is just as thick with much more complexity. I do not feel like I will be getting diabetes from this glass of imperial stout either, which is always a plus. Smoked campfire malts with a roasty edge. Slightly gritty with a bit of grassy Autumn leafy hops. The end is slightly ashy, possibly the only downside here on this beer. Hints of maple syrup and molasses, oak hints in the middle of my tastebuds.

M: Thick and a mild to moderate level of carbonation.

O: Overall, this is a solid stout with a lot of complexity. It may have taken three years for me to find one of these, but I highly recommend trying this one! (1,086 characters)

Photo of Siggy125
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 Midnight Sun Berserker poured from 22oz bottle to a Bruery tulip. Pours very thick and almost jet black with a small amount of caramel colored carbonation. Settles into the glass with a thin layer of foam. Very inviting appearance.

Very powerful and satisfying to the nose. Sweet molasses and burnt sugar aromas fill the glass. I can't wait to take the first sip. I don't detect big hints of bourbon yet.

Damn, there's a lot of complex flavors going on here. I get molasses, syrupy sweet toffee and wonderful roasted malts. The bourbon is noticeable but not overpowering. Nicely blended. A bit of tart dried fruits . As the temp comes up the tartness seems to subside to an even larger smack of molasses and sweet dark chocolaty espresso flavors. Very bold.

Mouthfeel is wonderful. Sweet and creamy, edging on cloying. The brew clings to the sides of the glass in sugary droplets which is something I have not experienced much of.

I wound up drinking the whole bomber myself and felt bad not sharing this experience with a friend. It was definitely a wow and I recommend you try it. If you like big "in your face" stouts, this one is for you! (1,151 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle opened on 9.10.12.
Thanks Wingshooter.

A - Pours a motor oil black with a one inch dark brown head with fine bubbles, good retention.

S - Sweet molasses, wood, bourbon.

T - Sweet, lots of bourbon, chocolate and oak.

D - Super thick, heavy body. Decent carbonation.

O - Sweet and boozy, thick and visious and lots of oak. (332 characters)

Photo of vkv822
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz : tulip
2012 vintage.

Black, with a thick, foamy brown head.

Nose and palate are quite similar, boozy bourbon oak, fudge, cocoa, faint molasses, faint dark fruit.

Medium+ body, slightly viscous, light boozy heat. Low carbonation.

A very enjoyable Imperial Stout, the maple syrup/molasses adds just a faint touch, though the main focus is bourbon barrel and cocoa. (372 characters)

Photo of mfavoino
4.11/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage. 12.7% abv poured into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Pours a thick black with a surprisingly big brown head. Recedes to a nice rim around the glass. Great looking stout.

Smell: Big whiskey, bourbon aroma and lots of dark roasted malts. Some light chocolate and booze.

Taste: Roasted malts combine with the whiskey flavor of the barrel. Some soy, then light chocolate and maple sweetness followed by a lingering roasted malt finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy with a smoothness that is nice for a high abv beer.

Overall: Love the big barrel flavor and roastiness. I still like Parabola and BCBS better. (626 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: this beer came out of the bottle like liquid black - I mean, it was so dark and heavy-looking - like a Goose Island BCBS; and the head was a deep brown finger-thick cream; left doplets of lace all down the sides

S: espresso and cocoa; some vanilla and bourbon

T: a well-made stout, emphasizing the chocolatey-ness and creaminess; hints of vanilla, bourbon, and oak creep throughout; this starts with a solid roasted chocolate malt base and finishes with a bittersweet chocolate espresso flavor... there is some merlot-ish wininess to it...

M: chewy, yet slick, dense, creamy; smooth and mellow bitter; a fairly clean-finishing stout - very nice; tobacco after the fact

O: impulse buy, love stouts; can't say the molasses or maple syrup stood out too much for me, but maybe that's a good thing - maybe they were responsible for the smooth complexity of the beer overall; I would rebuy this beer... great pour and it delivered. (932 characters)

Photo of Scotchboy
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage bomber shared by my brother, poured into a New Belgium Globe...

A: Viscous pour, dark dense and opaque body with a very dark mocha colored head and quite a bit of lacing.

S: Molasses and bourbon qualities right off the bat, oak is pretty prominent as well, dark chocolate and rich milk chocolate, some sweet boozy alcohol but hardly any for a young 2012 bottle thats this big. Roast character is buried, sweetness is upfront.

T: You're hit with nice rich bourbon qualities and molasses sweetness right away, with notes of light vanilla and oak, and the darkest caramel you can imagine, rich chocolate notes, and the maple sweetness mixes well with the sweet boozy notes and caramel and molasses. Faint hint of licorice, and again there are really only light roasted coffee notes.

MF: Creamy and viscous mouthfeel, not quite as full bodied as I'd hoped it would be, there is a dryness on the back end that may be the alcohol.

O: Pretty awesome. Not sure how it ages (I'm sure it would mellow out just fine) but right now its drinking exactly the way I think a BA stout should. (1,093 characters)

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter, 2012 vintage

A: Pours pitch black with a finger of light brown foam on top. The beer appears quite viscous. The head recedes to a film.

S: Strong bourbon upfront with lots of molasses, dark chocolate, and licorice. I also get some roast, but it's behind a lot of sweetness.

T: Roast and dark chocolate are now upfront with quite a bit of bourbon. Dark chocolate is particularly strong. I get some sweet toffee and maple syrup in the background to balance. With a good amount of sweet flavors, the beer stays oddly on the dry side.

M: Quite thick with creamy carbonation.

O: This beer is delicious. Very complex and balanced. Intense, but drinkable. (688 characters)

Photo of claaark13
4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks for the hookup, Kyle! Poured at cellar temp into a CBS glass/snifter. 2012 vintage.

A - Pours a pitch black, nearly looking like oil as it exits the bottle. Thick, creamy, dark-tan head eventually turns into some thin lacing. Sticks very well. About as good as an AIS/RIS can look.

S - Lots of sweet oak, notes of chocolate and molasses, tobacco, roast. The oak with the combined with a brown sugar aroma are really dominating.

T - Oak, roast, sugary molasses, mild milk chocolate, tobacco, slight booze and oak re-emerge, then heavy roast...almost smoke...on the finish. I don't find as much sweetness to offset the oak as I'd expected by the description. The maple seems to act as a sweetener more than anything.

M - Thick, so very thick.

O - Good, but not great. I will need to seek out more for further investigation. (835 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage

A: Poured a deep, deep brown, good carbonation and a nice brown head.

S: Nose is deep roasted malts, coffee, cocoa and alcohol.

T: Taste is alcohol and roasted malt upfront, midway through to the end is coffee, cocoa.
M: Mouthfeel is coating and pretty thick and hefty.

O: good and really glad I got to finally try this.
///

2012 vintage

A: Poured extremely deep brown near black with a big brown cap, light lacing and a little brown ring after a few sips

S: A big roastiness, milk chocolate, maple and molasses, sweetness, booze sting and some moderate bourbon

T: Initial creaminess, Dark Lord like soy sauce with a big sweetness, milk chocolate transition into a lingering maple, light bourbon and molasses, faint wood and vanilla. Finish is a burning like spepperness, sweet sugar, bourbon, chocolate and maple

M: Big body, boozey, creamy and decadent

O: Very good. More like a bbn, chocolate covered maple bar! (941 characters)

Photo of youradhere
4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

9/08/2012 '12 vintage
Pours thick motor oil, dank brown head that is demure and falls to leave a lingering cap. Smell is cocoa, berries, espresso, merlot. Taste is similar- sweet and dark chocolate, merlot red wine grapes, espresso in the back. Carbonation is medium and the mouthfeel is silky smooth, medium-heavy. A total improvemt from last year and the year before. Bravo MS, bravo.

3/20/2011. '11 vintage
Pours black, tan whisp of a head. Smells of chocolate and coffee. Taste is charred malt, coffee and chocolate, kind of like ST Choklat or a deviant Abyss with charcoal. I pick up licorice and dates, dark breads. Mouthfeel is thick, carbonation is heavy to high. Drink ability suffers from the thickness and char combo, but it is satisfying! (751 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
3.58/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2012 vintage. Poured from 22 oz bottle into 12 oz glass.

A- Pours thick, black with a 1 finger dark brown head. Minimal lacing on the glass.

S- Huge molasses aroma with some roast. Not much else on the nose.

T- Roasted malts, chocolate, heavy molasses bitterness (faint soy sauce-like)

M- Medium body and carbonation. Thinner feel than expected.

O- Just ok for me. Had high expectations for this beer and it didn't do much for me. To molasses forward. (456 characters)

Photo of birchstick
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
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. (612 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.83/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 12/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours pitch black with a dark brown head; light lacing. Aroma of dark malts and molasses. Dark and roasted malts, molasses, chocolate. A rather stark flavor profile. Finishes with hops and bitter roasted malts. Medium bodied. Not as integrated as other RIS. I'll cellar a few to see if it improves. (359 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  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. (617 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Thanks to whartontallboy for bringing this last night!

Pitch black pour, mild tan head forms a ring around the surface. There's a significant fault in the aroma that my BJCP-certified gf quickly named, though all I can remember is it smelled like drywall from a construction site. Bleh...

Fortunately, the taste was unaffected: very dark and murky, plenty of chocolate. This is a straight-up RIS along the same lines as Darkness and Zhukov, and (aroma aside) it's just as well-crafted as those.

It's unfortunate that this was opened immediately after an incredible bottle of Cognac DL. I suspect my ratings for Berserker would be higher if that weren't the case. Still enjoyed this one quite a bit though.

UPDATE: The drywall aroma apparently came from my glass, not from the beer. Others who shared the same bottle said it smelled great. My bad! (864 characters)

Photo of Phelps
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (1,119 characters)

Photo of SpdKilz
4.42/5  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. (868 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (1,091 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.46/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle split with SneezyAchew and AutumnBeerLove. Thanks for sending me this one, shawnm213. Ax label.

A: Pours near black with a thin dark brown head that faded into a faint collar. This beer is very thick looking.
S: I get rich notes of black licorice, molasses, dark chocolate and a hint of soy sauce.
T: Molasses and chocolate come through strongly with wood, char, soy sauce, and licorice bringing up the rear. I’m not really getting much of a barrel quality in this one. The soy sauce was thankfully light but it was disappointing.
M: Thick body, medium-low carbonation, with a thick and chewy mouthfeel. The alcohol is masked extremely well.
O: Good but underwhelming. I wish more of the barrel aging came through. Flavors were good though regardless, except for the soy. I bet this would be great fresh. Thanks again, Shawn. (845 characters)

Photo of claspada
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of gueuzer, 2010 edition, shared with HimerMan, simultaneously sampled with Kate the Great 2011. Eat your heart out...

Pours a big, black, inky pour with a nice brown crown. Smallish dark brown head and actually a little red hue when held up to the light. Not as pretty as Kate, but she is the best for a reason.

Aromas are awesome. First I get the typical stouts aromas of roasted malts, sweet dark fruits and dark chocolate. Then I get nice complementary vinous aromas mixed with the molasses. The oaky aromas join the party next coupled with the nice light bourbon barrel presence in the background. Nose is a little sweet and decently oaky, but I really like it. Not getting much bourbon at all, but a reaqlly nice mix of molasses, red vinous fruit and chocolate.

The tastes directly follow the nose. First you get dark chocolate, molasses and sweet dark vinous fruits, roasted malts. Then once again the oak flavors show up with some vanilla, light sweet syrup presumably from the molasses and light wood. Very very light bourbon barrel flavor in the finish. Really really nice, more roasty and oaky than Kate but amazing none-the-less.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied, hey it's 13% what do you expect. Medium-low carbonation but plenty for the style. Finish is quite tannic and oaky and dry from the Wine and Bourbon barrel aging. Flavors linger on the palate after in each sip.

Overall on any other night, this beer would be the best in show, but is second to Kate tonight. Still an amazing flavor profile from the multi-barrel aging they used here. Recommended, heck yes. Worth seeking out, darn skippy. My new second favorite beer only to my first love Kate. (1,693 characters)

Photo of grittybrews
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From South Sound tasting notes:

Poured black with a finger of dark khaki head. Big aroma with sweet milk chocolate, molasses, licorice, and oak.

Moderate carbonation and a thick, full, creamy mouthfeel. Really tasty with more dark chocolate, molasses, and licorice. Just a little dark fruit and leather on the tail end.

Solid stout -- a bit boozy but nicely balanced. (370 characters)

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.78/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

09 vintage shared with milwaukeeclassic. 12.7% with a big ass axe

Big, black, inky pour with no light penetration and a nice brown crown. Classic stuck his digit into the glass and came out like a stained coffee cup.

Smells like salted jerky, teriyaki, and baker's chocolate. There's a hint of bourbon here, but i'm pretty sure that's not the case.

Tastes very salty up front and segues into Pemicanland. beefy jerky, iced coffee, and chocolate. Tannins are light and mild.

Mouthfeel is slick and oily. Overall this is interesting. Despite having nothing to compare it to, I feel this beer has passed its prime. Would love to have tried this fresh. (652 characters)

Photo of beerandcycling88
4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From tasting notes

A Pours a black color topped off with a decent brown head.

S Lots going on with molasses, some wood, and chocolate. Pretty sweet smelling.

T Follows the nose with molasses and chocolate,followed by some wine like fruit and some tobacco.

M Very smooth.

Overall this is an amazing stout that is one of my all time favorites. (350 characters)

Photo of cbros
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a snifter. Has 12.7% ABV, so I'm assuming this is a 2010(year it was bought) vintage.

Pours an oppressive deep black with a 1 finger dirty tan head. The notes I am picking up in the nose are of tobacco, whiskey, and a sweet oaky presence. The taste of this beerbrings forth the aforementioned tobacco and warmth of the whiskey. A very smooth drinking high gravity beer.

I've been sitting on this beer for over a year and I believe it was definitely worth the wait. (485 characters)

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