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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

281 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 281
Hads: 1,105
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 8.56%
Wants: 837
Gots: 288 | FT: 39
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 281 | Hads: 1,105
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of Brent
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blinfolded, I would probably have tagged this as Stone's Russian Imperial Stout, which isn't a bad thing, since I think that is an outstanding beer, as well. Nice, bold roasted malt with a substantial hops backbone to cut the malt. A little oily in the mouth. The label reminded me of my Molly Hatchet-listening days many moons ago. If only I'd had the good sense to drink beer like this back then.

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Photo of weeare138
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to hopdog for sharing this beauty. 2007 version...
Appears black with caramel brown edges and a dark tan head. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of raisins, cocoa, vanilla, mocha, and oak.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a peanut flavor that is also standing out in the complex flavors.
Mouthfeel is smooth, chewy, raisiny, bourbony, and outright beautiful. This one is a winner. Seek it out.

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into chalice

Black liquid, brown one finger foam cap

Aroma of sweet roast coffee,raisin, bourbon and a hint of maple

Taste of sweet roast coffee, maple, raisin

Thick, syrupy, oily, dense mouthfeel

Very good, not more than one glassful at a time

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2009 bottle, labeled 12.7% abv. Poured in a big wine glass at 54F.

Pours black, and thick looking. Very dark red-brown at the very edge. No head, but an intricately swirled tan film, and a ring of tan froth around the edge of the glass.

Aromas like molasses, burnt green herbs, red wine barrel, and coffee. Some caramel sweetness, but the other elements combine to make the aroma pretty dry overall. Deep and complex, I can't stop exploring this aroma, but it seems a little disjointed. I do like it, and I look forward to seeing if the parts integrate more as this ages.

The flavor is much sweeter than the aroma lets on. The big caramel and prune sweetness is well balanced by coffeelike roastiness, molasses, cola; and dry red wine barrel, but milder and better integrated in the flavor than it is in the aroma. There's some sweet bourbon barrel that I didn't detect in the aroma until I tasted it. Only a little explicit alcohol. The maple syrup that I know is in there emerges after several seconds, near the finish. Interesting to drink, and damn tasty. Long sweet maple-caramel-oak finish, reminding me of tawny port, until finally there is only a dry trace of oak left.

Full bodied and sticky, with fine cushy carbonation. Very highly drinkable.

Great beer, the aroma had me a little worried that it could be dry and disjointed but it wasn't that way at all.

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Photo of beergod1
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with maroon hues and a foamy tan head, with decent head retention. The nose is oaky bourbon, Dark fruit,molasses and roasted malts. The taste is vanilla,Oak, molasses and bourbon with a light bitter coffee finish. This is quite a complex Stout, Delicious. Creamy medium/full body. I need to start getting others from this Brewery.

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My 100th beer.....and a good choice for it. Jet black as youd expect but retained some head. Great feel too, thick and chewy. Tastes great, the maple syrup gives it a nice sweetness gollowed by tastes of vanilla,chocolate and molasses at the back. This is potent stuff, but still a great beer.

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Photo of koopa
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours jet black with a thin tan head that laces. The nose is a very potent maple sweetness with a touch of bourbon caramel. There is very little bitterness, but the nose isn't cloying. The taste is potent with a huge amount of oak, maple, bourbon, vanilla, and caramel. There is no detectable booze at all. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth and highly drinkable. It's one of the best double stouts I've had with very little to complain about it. Seek this out, it's worth it.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Slightly boozy barrel aged character to this. Molasses notes particularly early on which faded as beer warmed. A definite good beer in my book, though I remember preferring Bar Fly slightly more.

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Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes taken at Greg's tasting.

A - Pours a dark black, with a reddish mocha head that recedes at a regular pace.

S - Strong chocolate and roasted malt notes. A bit boozy on the nose, perhaps bourbon?

T - Almost perfect but for the booziness. Very roasty, with notes of creamed coffee, molasses, and dark chocolate - especially the latter. A tad too much bourbon here, but I imagine this brew will be a 5 with a little more time on it, say a year.

M - Slick and heavy, but never oily. Carbonation serves this beer well!

D - A real treat, and must give big props to speedway for bringing this delectable dessert out of the cellar! would definitely seek out again.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of _RL_
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Somewhat bizarrely, the weakest part of this beer for me is the actual taste. It pours motor oil thick and black and has a sharp but weak oak smell to it. Has a slight, slight boozy taste with a thick but not chewy mouthfeel. For my personal tastes, I wish this had some bourbon to it, but a great, great stout as is. Get this. You will be pleased.

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Photo of TheBronze
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottle. label reads "ale brewed with maple syrup and molasses and aged in oak bourbon barrels"

A - Pours like motor oil. Looks absolutely beautiful. A thin head of a color I don't think I've seen before in a beer. I'd liken it to that of a burnt sienna crayon, and it looks fascinating on top of the thick, dark stout - like some primordial ooze. We're off to a good start.

S - Rich and inviting. Somewhat hard to distinguish particulars but I would describe it as charred gooey molasses, wood, cocoa and bourbon. Very distinct.

T - A liquid representation of the nose. The bourbon is a bit more present here. Definitely enjoying this.

M - As expected. Full bodied. Perfect medium level of carbonation. Alcohol is present, but takes a back seat making this very easy to drink. Too easy by how quickly it is disappearing.

O - The description on the bottle gave me high hopes, and this did not disappoint. I am thoroughly enjoying this one.

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Photo of chumba526
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I do agree with several arguing about IPAs and hot food that IPAs and Hot wings do not pair that nicely I prefer an unfiltered yeasty wheat beer (like Upright's four).
Appears solid pure black with a very dark born head that is about an inch or two high.

It smells of coconut, vanilla, and bourbon. I get a slight alcohol "burn" smell. I also get a sweet toffee/ burnt caramel smell.

I get a nice smooth bourbon flavor. A solid vanilla and coconut flavor is present. I get a bit of a toasty burnt caramel flavor as well. There is a bit of a molasses like sweetness. The beer is pretty thick and heavy, yet smooth.

The carbonation is moderate low for this ale. The mouthfeel of this ale (stout) is very thick and syrup like. It is very smooth.

It is a thick heavy beer but it is very smooth and it goes down easy.

Overall a great easy to drink imperial stout. This is actually a good imperial stout for those not familiar to the style because it is so smooth and well balanced.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pitch black with a light brown head

S: port wine, rich dark fruits, licorice, oak, vanilla, chocolate and maple syrup.

T: chocolate, chewy caramel candies, oak, bourbon, port, some resinous hops, and just a touch of woody vanilla. Dark heavy bitter yet decadent.

M: full bodied thick viscous and nicely balanced with a leniance tothe bitter side.

D: quite epic, I expected nothing

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Photo of ffejherb
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber into tulip on 10/30/09. Huge thanks to KRAMER17801 for sharing!

A - Exited the bottle an oily black body with perhaps the darkest head I've ever encountered... an extremely burnt, dark brown mocha-colored frothy dome that reduced to a patchy veil, leaving behind some strands of lace.

S - Initial aroma combines chocolate and molasses notes with a hint of soy sauce, a slight meaty character and roasted coffee beans. A hint of earthy hops are buried beneath the complex malt profile and barely scrapes the surface.

T - Flavor is quite roasty with a prevalent coffee presence as well as dark bitter chocolate and earthy hop notes. A hint of smoke and charred wood emerges mid-way, and even some soy sauce creeps into the equasion. The alcohol remains well-concealed for such a monster beer. Finishes with a hint of earthy, herbal hop bitterness.

M - Full bodied with a thick, viscous texture and subtle carbonation, resulting in a very oily mouthfeel. Finishes with a mild earthy hop bite and moderate alcohol heat on the palate.

D - Berserker is about as complex as you can get with an Imperial Stout, and this one remains quite drinkable despite its 10% plus ABV weight. My love for you is like a truck, BERSERKER!!!

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage poured in to tulip.

A - Poured ink black. Thick and viscous. A small layer of mocha coloured head formed and immediately reduced to a thin ring around the glass.

S - Huge cocoa aroma up front that gives way to a complex nose that includes roast, bourbon, vanilla, vinous fruit and char/ash. Sweet molasses is present as well. Big and bold nose. Can't specifically pick up the maple syrup.

T - Barrel qualities noticeable immediately up front: bourbon, oak and red wine. The base beer attributes come through mid-palate: roast, char, tobacco, dark fruit and espresso. The finish has a touch of sweetness with the molasses and maple syrup coming through. Overall, this beer is quite hot and full of big, bold flavours that come together very well. Definitely a sipper.

M - Full body. Thick and viscous. Light carbonation.

O - This was quite an interesting beer. I am very interested to see what some age does to this since it was quite hot.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a thick motor oil looking liquid with a dark mohogany head that is creamy in appearance and offers some retention and a little bit of lace

S-the nose is a little light but still nice. Dark chocolate, lots of molasses, anise, and a touch of cherry. The booze shows in the nose and is quite present in the back

T-the taste is sweeter with hints of roasted malts and some earthy notes up front. Lots of dark chocolate with toffee behind. Molasses takes over with plums and cherries in the back. The booze is not nearly as present and really mellows in the taste

M-this has full body, it is smooth and creamy, soft on the palate and coats the mouth.

D-this is very tasty and has good flavors with a big body and huge taste.

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Photo of randawakes
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now is this beer really outstanding? Yes, get one.

This review is of the 12.7% release, purchased at brewery in Nov 2009.

Appearance: Pours pitch black, with a tan and red head, short as it will be.

It moves syrupy and viscous. You can see this and you can feel it when it hits your mouth.

The smell is of roasted chocolate and baked malt. It might even be baked chocolate like cookies in the oven. It's unmistakable, and will get you ready for the drink.

The taste is remarkable, syrupy, maple, sweet like sugar, and extremely full-bodied. I taste deep malt molasses. The roast probably comes from the oak aged barrels, great beer, highly recommend.

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Photo of mothman
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09 Version

Poured into large tripel karmetiet (sp) glass.

Pours about 1/4 finger of burnt orange/red tan head. Color is oil black. Very nice looking beer. Very great head retention.

Aroma: Damn, this is smelling fine. Grapes, chocolate, raspberries, cherries, roasted malts, caramel, vanilla, toffee, oak. Just awesome.

Taste: Wow, the -bal aging has done wonders here. Chocolate, roasted malts, grapes, cherries, coffee, vanilla, and oak. Everything goes together so well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and rich. Full bodied. Nice and chewy. A fine amount of carbonation. Ends with a roasted malt feel that brings out a touch of heat.

Overall, a sipper, but a fine sipper at that. This beer is simply amazing. Different with the barrels that were used, but I couldn't get enough of this. I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of pagriley
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz into snifter. 12.7ABV, no bottle date or vintage I could find.

L - Pours oily black with an inch of dark mocha head
S - Musky oak and vanilla with dark maple syrup definitely coming though. Some roast and and sweetness, but maple is dominating with a faintly sharp twang of molasses. Not getting any bourbon or booze much
T - Again not much barrel, but big bitter extra dark chocolate flavors with moderate sweetness. Sharp astringent finish. more ash and char than I would like, almost powdery
F - Very full. Creamy with quite a bit of carb that helps lighten up a rather thick and chewy beer

Overall, a very impressive beer. the black malt / char has left a powdery ash like flavor to the beer that is a bit astringent and drying and doesn't sit well with the overall smooth and creamy feel. Barrel characteristics are very subtle - just a bit of oaky vanilla that gets drowned out in the rest of the flavors.
Improves markedly as it warms, but still not quite top tier.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
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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Photo of mabermud
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark liquid. Viscous pouring into my brandy snifter. Fine, burned mocha head that appears creamy. Hasty retreat to a fine film on the surface. Lacing is minimal. This one looks inviting.
Smell: I had a BCBS last night and this smells eerily similar. Rich bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and dark malts. Fresh baked dark bread and biscuits. Aggressive aromas.
Taste: The taste is described by the smell, just throw in some relaxed dark fruit. The red wine barrels do their job. The dark fruit is up front, but it does a good job transitioning away from those flavors. This smells much better than the taste, but is still delicious, and a step up from 3/4 of the BA beers that are out there.
Feel: Thick and creamy in the box. Low level of carbonation. You can call it chewy.

Overall - I am impressed. This is a top notch beer. I will not pass this up when I see this on the shelves again.

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Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 281 ratings.