Berserker Imperial Stout - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Berserker Imperial StoutBerserker Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

973 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 973
Reviews: 255
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.76%
Wants: 832
Gots: 262 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 973 | Reviews: 255
Photo of Crosling
2.72/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Cool name. 2007. Bomber. Pours back alley black with ample light brown creamy froth. Nose is uninspiring, fruity with hints of blackening banana peel. Very little roast, chocolate, coffee or barrel character in the nose at all. On the palate, everything falls apart even more. Very little character overall. Nothing that I desire in a whiskey barrel aged stout is here. No oak, no roast, no chocolate, no coconut, no vanilla. It’s sweet fruity, with hints of dark fruits and banana. I can see why others like this, but this beer is not for me.

Photo of MrFootstones
2.78/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2010 12.7%ABV

Appearance: Pours thick and velvety with no head. So viscous looking!

Aroma: Smells like a fresh-out-tha-oven loaf of whole wheat bread. Molasses, dark fruit, chocolate malt, fleur de sel
caramel.

Taste: Toffee, prunes and dark fruit. Espresso, caralelized brown sugar, alcohol, bready malt. Meatiness... Yeast autolysis?

Mouthfeel: Rich and velvety. Great for this beer.

Drinkability: Not loving this. Not bad, but not sad that I only have my 1/3 of a bottle. We all thought it was possible, given Midnight Sun's/this beer's reputation that this may have been an off bottle. Who knows, you can't love every big stout.

Photo of jmarsh123
2.81/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with a small dark brown head. Little retention and a little lacing. Very sludgy

Loads of molasses in the nose. Anise, baker's chocolate, espresso and soy sauce too. Smells like it's going to be sweet...

...and it is. Sweet molasses again dominates everything. Some good dark chocolate and oaked bourbon come through a bit, but sadly are hidden in the background. The same annoying soy sauce is back from the nose too. Bourbon is restrained and in this case, I wish it weren't as the base flavors are not great.

Very thick bodied beer with appropriately low carbonation style. Alcohol % is very well hidden.

Everyone who tried this was massively disappointed. Nothing seems "wrong" about this bottle, just did not like the flavors. Too much soy sauce kind of ruined everything for me, but even outside of that, not a great fan of the base flavors.

Photo of Urbancaver
2.94/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 Vintage. Thanks Matt for bringing this to our tasting.

Pours a nice dark brown. Very nice light brown head. Looks pretty solid.
Smells like soy sauce. Thick oaky soy sauce. Definitely can detect the molasses sweetness underneath but man it smells like soy sauce.
Tastes similar. I get oak, molasses, sweetness but damn... the soy sauce flavour kills it. Everyone seemed to agree....
Maybe something was wrong with our bottle? Or id didn't hold up to the aging? I had such high hopes for this beer :(

Photo of iRaven99664
3/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

mine was salty. Is it suppose to be salty? I googled to see if some imperial stouts are suppose to be salty, and I've seen a few thats suppose to "enhance" the flavor. I'm actually worried I drank a skunked beer because I drank the whole thing. My other concern is no one thus far has said their's was salty. Though,under the saltiness I actually still tasted what both the brewer and reviewers claimed. So confused. If it was skunked and turned salty i'm kind of pissed (?) though if that was the intended flavor, I'm actually quite pleased. Is that normal? I'm kind of confused about it. Honeslty in the last 6 yrs of drinking better beer, its the second bottle thats possibly skunked.

Photo of FosterJM
3.38/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1621st Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22oz

2012 Release
Purchased from El Cerrito Liquor, Corona, CA

App- This poured out pretty much the darkest beer I have seen before. They werent lying on the bottle. It actually poured like oil and had no light penetration and only a small 1/4" head with no lace or cling. Maybe a small ring of bubbles.

Smell- This was a bit all over the place. Upfront I get most of the molasses and the sweetness from the maple. I do get tinges of smoke, malts, oak and wood. This has a bit of a rough aroma with everything competeing and not working cohesively.

Taste- This thing was solid, but not great. The molasses I think is what throws me the most. It brings a certain sweetness and chewy candy like flavor. The oak has a lot of char and licorice behind. Big thick malts and a little bit of smoke layer well, but not integrated enough to make it super smooth. Its drinkable for the 12% but thats not the biggest flaw. Just not the best tasting BA Stout.

Mouth- I dipped my finger into this to give my son a taste and my wife said WTF is that? It was the same color on my finger. No dissapation of color. No losing of the body. Very full and viscous. The carbonation was a medium low and fairly creamy. The residual flavors are of the molasses and the oak.

Drink- This was an interesting stout to say the least. A lot going on and fairly balanced. The more I took a sip the more I realized that its just above average and not for me. I was excited to try this one and well guess I can skip the next release.

Photo of dirtylou
3.4/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012 vintage

#Infectiongate

appearance: served in an oversized snifter, jet black body, creamy mocha lace

smell: bourbon, tannin notes, rich fudge

taste: charred malt, fudge, smoke, light bourbon, soy sauce. I don't know if its the "infection" or what, but at $20, this is a huge dissapointment.

mouthfeel: a bit thin, lots of soy in the finish

overall: this is a Pass in the future

Photo of scottfrie
3.46/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

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 kawilliams81
3.58/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

Photo of beertunes
3.59/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No vintage on bottle, but purchased recently, so probably '13. 12.7 ABV. Poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a solid black color, with just the very thinnest cap of light brown head that dissipated instantly, thus leaving no lacing. No carbonation in the glass, or on subsequent pours.

The scent had a fair bit going on. Light base grains, the most faint hint of wood and bourbon, and several different sweet tones. There was also, as one might expect, a noticeable alcohol aspect. The barrel was a slight bit more noticeable on the tongue, the maple showed through on its own (unlike in the nose), and what I assume was molasses made for a fairly sweet taste. There was definitely an alcohol burn at the back, and some bourbon lingered for a minute.

The body was way too thin for what I look for in a big stout, pretty much porterish. Drinkability was good for such a big brew, but taking down a 22 by self was quite enough for one day, thank you. Overall, a pretty good take on the style, not really the thrill for me that it seems to be for a lot of people, but worth trying if you see it.

Photo of Sarlacc83
3.64/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, split 4 ways.

A: Color the same as the heart of its namesake. Thin lazy mocha head. Slides and oozes on the rim.

N: A blitz of bourbon and maple. Molasses is present as is chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. T: Bourbon, caramel, chocolate, and a twinge of metal. Cherry and...sourness? It’s more of a coffee like acidity or a vinous quality. Molasses might be a culprit, too. Can’t say I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

M: Thick but not perfectly so, filling, alcohol is well hidden.

O: I can see why people might think this is infected. It’s missing that the thick treacly element it should have. Well balanced but just off in a way I can’t quite put my finger on.

Photo of RustyDiamond
3.65/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

August 2009 Vintage, 12.7 ABV

Jet black pour into a Darkness snifter. Smallish espresso brown head slowly arose, then descended into the blackness leaving a nice ring.

Aroma of plums, molasses, Twix bars, vanilla

Touch of sweet on the nose, which I am guessing is the molasses, with some notes of plum & brown sugar. Dark organic chocolate comes through next. I get the oak in the middle, which dried this one out.

Medium to high carbonation...somewhat fizzy on the tongue. Roasted coffee bitterness. Thick & viscous with a bitter dry cocoa finish. Really gets in the way of the flavor spectrum.

I wish I would have liked this more...the dryness & med-high carbonation were downers for me.

Photo of thagr81us
3.7/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to marine1975 for sharing this one during the ORF '11 release. 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a sampler snifter. Poured pitch black with a minimal tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, wood, and subtle dark chocolate. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The mouthfeel on this one was a bit of a letdown for me as it felt really thin for the style. I know this is nit-picking, but it definitely didn't make it more enjoyable for me. The aroma was pretty nice on this one, but the flavor was a little muted. Not sure what was going on, but I have a feeling they missed the mark on what they were ultimately shooting for. Still a nice brew that I would be happy to try again given the opportunity though.

Photo of GSSW88
3.71/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a really dark, thick black! Smells just like that typical imperial stout boozy smell. Scent isn't anything special. None of the flavors that are present show up in the scent. Mouthfeel is pretty nice, decent carbonation and a nice thickness at the same time. First initial taste is a little off-putting with an odd funky flavor that's really bitter (yes I know it's an imperial stout but it's still a bit weird). Kind of tastes like burnt molasses or burnt sugar on a creme brûlée. A bit boozy during the initial taste (bought in June 2015, 12.7 ABV) but the typical chocolate/coffee/roasty flavors come up during the middle of the tasting, then it's finished off with a sweet maple syrup note that rounds off this beer. Not my favorite but not bad.

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 Chcshammonde
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Very good taste: the tobacco melting in with the bourbon and vanilla notes highlight this stout. However, i was surprised at how flat the beer was. Maybe it's just how this beer is, but I didn't like that. It gave the feeling that the beer had been sitting, unopened in my fridge for a week. Contributing to this is a very low carbonation, again something I personally don't like. I guess i'm partial to more carbonated stouts such as Speedway, narwhal, and sea monster. Still a good beer though.

Photo of seeswo
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle.

Pours very thick and reddish black with a touch of tan foam. The nose is huge molasses, dark fruits, vanilla, spices, brown sugar, chocolate. Pretty substantial. The taste is enormous, big molasses, vanilla, oak, dark fruit, chocolate. A slight hop bitterness. I rarely say this, but this beer is too much. So heavy and intensely flavored with molasses. Big body with light carbonation. Overall, this beer reminds me of CCB Batch 2 110K + OT or whatever it is called, but sweeter. Everyone else liked this beer better than me, so take my review FWIW. If you like to be punched in the mouth, this beer is for you (and I really like BT).

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.78/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Photo of alexgash
3.8/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Edition, served at 55 degrees F.

Viscous, inky black body supports a dense, concave, dark brown head. Good lacing. Sweet and tart fruits: plums, grapes, dates, figs. Smoke, leather, and light oak mix with creme brulee, cocoa, milk sugar, alcohol, and light espresso. Complex and inviting.

Singed, roasted bitterness greets the tongue. Smoky, peaty roasted malt base meets dark fruit sweetness and alcohol. Light chocolate notes follow into a bitter, hoppy finish. Warming. Alcohol sting is a little too noticeable/hot. Otherwise not bad. Body is a tad thin for the style with a little too much carbonation (i.e. not creamy enough feel). Still, a pretty good tasting and drinking RIS.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.83/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.84/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a super black and super viscous liquid. barely any foam and what forms is almost brown. leaves a thick syrupy lacing on the sides. completely opaque. a good start to a beer of this size and style

Smell: chocolate and dried plums. booze and bourbon. some maple. coffee and char.

Taste: opens with a little bit of maple and dark fruits. quickly cut by bourbon. backend comes quickly bring notes of oak, chocolate, coffee and last but not least char. lots of flavors but I'm not so sure about the balance:

Mouthfeel: super thick and sticky. small amount of warmth. lots of alcohol and acrid bitterness.

Overall: this wasn't all that I wanted it to be. I think it would have been better off without the bourbon, being a bigger thick charred stout with syrup. but overall a good and tasty big beer.

Photo of kevanb
3.84/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle, assumed to be the most recent vintage, poured into a Midnight Sun snifter.

The beer pours a super slick, jet black color, extremely opaque with a fizzy, loud, crackling head, dark bark in color with no retention or lace. The aroma is powerful, lots of rich dark grain, licorice, charred oak, bourbon with some molasses character, lightly roasted with a pop of alcohol heat. The flavors are nice, very earthy, strong licorice root, molasses, chewy wood that brings out some char and bourbon character, lightly roasty with some nice stone fruit flavors and just a touch of alcohol warming at the finish. The body is a bit thin and fizzy, higher carbonation than anticipated that coats the mouth decently well with a bit of an oily finish.

Verdict: A very nice barrel aged stout from Midnight Sun, but I didn't find myself noting any maple qualities to the beer. It's definitely on the earthy side, plenty of barrel character, but the actual bourbon flavor is moderate and balanced well, just plenty of oak and char.

Photo of hooliganlife
3.85/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Blake!

Not sure on the vintage, I believe this is the latest so 2012? Maybe 2011.

Pour was black, little head. Pretty thick looking

Dark chocolate and roasted charred malt. Some sweet bitterness.

Lots of char and roast. Light sweetness, but well blended with the bitterness. Hints of dark chocolate and coffee.

A bit lighter than it looks, mild carbonation.

Pretty decent, nothing really mind blowing.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes. 2012 bottle.

Appearance - Almost inky. Good sized mocha head. Collar of dark khaki foam as it settles.

Smell - Bourbon is nice but faint. Slight vinous characteristic. Oak and some dark fruits combining, probably, but it's a little more acidic than that. Lots of chocolate.

Taste - Nice chocolate. Bitter dark chocolate. Molasses. Bourbon is even fainter here. Bitter finish, seemingly from roasted malts.

Mouthfeel - Extremely bitter, not what I expected. Masks a lot of flavor. Well carbonated.

Overall - The barrel seems weak to me, but the other flavors are good.

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Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 973 ratings.