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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

784 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 784
Reviews: 225
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 836
Gots: 213 | FT: 22
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: 784 | Reviews: 225 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tuka
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

tuka, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of bruindre
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

bruindre, Feb 20, 2014
Photo of dkw0063
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

dkw0063, Nov 04, 2013
Photo of jackmax
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

jackmax, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of pest
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

pest, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of KevinmusPrime
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

KevinmusPrime, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of IndyDad
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

IndyDad, Jan 30, 2014
Photo of marine1975
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

marine1975, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of alexgash
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

alexgash, Aug 15, 2007
Photo of Jpepe08
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Jpepe08, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of SwG237
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

SwG237, Nov 04, 2013
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.83/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Toronado SF

A - Black as night or oil. Blackest pour I may have ever seen from a Bal-Aged imperial stout. Beautiful head on the pour that stuck around longer than expected, great lacing.

S - Port like characteristics come out in the nose, smells sweeter than most of this style. Bourbon, sweet dark fruits, and oaky vanilla come out as well as dark chocolate. Smells like a after dinner sipper. Desert beer.

T - Follows nose. A bit sweeter than I expected and less roasty than I would have liked.

M - Good, not great. Standard for the style. Oily, and somewhat chewy.

D - 6 oz pour was just enough. I wouldn't want to consume a 22oz of this all to myself like I would a Parabola, BCS or Abyss. Would start to get too sweet 1/2 way into a bomber I'd imagine.

Good beer. But nothing memorable.

RBassSFHOPit2ME, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of SportsandJorts
3.83/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

SportsandJorts, May 30, 2014
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.

hooliganlife, Dec 10, 2012
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.

Alieniloquium, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

LiquidAmber, Jul 05, 2012
Photo of emmasdad
3.85/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black, nearly opaque, oily with a good amount of medium brown head. Huge boozy aroma, with roasted malt, red wine, bourbon, maple and wood. Very interesting flavor, alcoholic and somewhat sour, with the competing red wine/bourbon flavors, along with the roasted malt and some brown sugar. A big complex, somewhat disjointed, beer. Good, but not one I would seek out often.

emmasdad, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of kevanb
3.85/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

kevanb, May 24, 2014
Photo of Arbitrator
3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bomber into a glass. 2009 vintage, 12.7%. Received in a trade from inflatablechair. Thanks, Sam!

A: Pours a pitch black body with poorly-retaining dark mocha head. The collar is series of big bubbles that climb up the sides of the glass a little bit, with faint trails of dark brown bubbles on the surface of the beer.

S: Soy! Molasses, chocolate, caramelly bourbon. Oak, some vanilla. As the beer warms, the soy fades and is replaced by a toasted marshmallow note. It's quite pungent.

T: Molasses or brown sugar, maple, chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla. Toasted marshmallow on the exhalation. Despite the list of sweet flavors, the beer doesn't feel syrupy or cloying. It has a mild bitterness of barrel and roasted grain / chocolate that even suggests [relative] dryness, at least for the style.

M: Chewy, fairly viscous. There's a mild heat to it that warms the palate and throat. Not overly sweet. Good carbonation level.

D: It's a solid barrel-aged imperial stout, but it's not one of the better ones. I feel like I get much more complexity and satisfaction out of something like BA Speedway, Black Tuesday, etc...

Arbitrator, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tasting glass. This review is for the 2010 version, with notes from the 08 below.

Appearance: Berserker does not mess around; this is black all the way though. A tiny coffee colored head fades away and leaves no lace.

Smell: The aroma is burnt brown sugar, molasses, anise, and a bit of smoke.

Taste: This stout is full of character, with tons of chocolate and roast coffee coming through. Some molasses and brown sugar give a little extra sweetness push. The cabernet barrels impart a vinous and woody flavor, also giving it a slight acidic kick toward the end.

Mouthfeel: There is a little harsh booze that scalds my throat a bit and warms my throat and stomach. Definitely full bodied, but also unfortunately a little syrupy and sticky, somewhat due to carbonation that is on the low end.

Drinkability: This enjoyable, but still a bit harsh. Some age will definitely improve upon this, as evidenced below.

----
I was fortunate enough to have the 2008 and 2010 versions side by side. The 2008 was significantly better, almost to the point of being another beer. The 2008 was incredibly drinkable, the 2010 is not quite there yet. The 08 version is much more polished and the flavors blend so well together.
08: 4/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5
10: 4/4/4/4/3.5

KickInTheChalice, Feb 25, 2011
Photo of nicole309
3.92/5  rDev -9.7%

nicole309, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of kkipple
3.93/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Khaismus for breaking this rarity out in the middle of a tasting. '08 vintage.

A. At some point, you stop being impressed by how these huge stouts present themselves... even though Berserker nails the looks cold, there ain't much to say that hasn't been said. Real dark brown, rich looking, a generous 3cm head leaves some spotty lacing. Good retention. Yep, another pretty RIS.

S. Big and rich, some hot booze still after a year, but more coffee / cocoa and more than a little earthy at that. Tons of roasted malt, dense sugars, char. Not earth shattering, but quite solid.

T. A hefty and flavorful choco-mocha, Berserker is pretty smooth right now, some vanilla and hops, hint of metal, a bit of tannic grain flavor, but ultimately sweet and lush. Great example of a beer that belies its ABV. This is supposedly 12.7% but drinks like a 10 something. A fine tasting brew in any event.

M. Real smooth. Thick, chewy. Low-ish carbonation, mildly sour and roasty finish. Dessert-like.

D. Not bad, a smooth sipper.

I hate to say it, but Berserker is just above average. Maybe I've been spoiled by all the world class stouts I've had lately. There is really nothing wrong with Berserker, except that it is brewed in Alaska and tough to get. If you cross paths with one, enjoy it, but I wouldn't put a ton of effort into tracking it down.

kkipple, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of mikeyv35
3.93/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Date: 02/06/2011
Type: 22oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2009
Glassware: Lucifer Snifter

Finally got the chance to knock this off my wants list and sample this elusive brew. My expectations are high.

Poured dark as night w/ a 1 finger dark chocolate head that left pretty heavy lacing on the glass. The look of this brew is awesome! Nose was of dark chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, and a touch of booze astringency. Taste was much the same, chocolate sweetness up front, followed by roasted nuttiness, and a finish of slight hop bite and molasses. Mouthfeel is thick and lush. The ABV is somewhat well hidden, but you definately know it is there. Drinkability is hindered by the high ABV. I drank the entire bomber myself over the course of about 2 hours and it was a struggle.

Overall, this brew was a disappointment! The flavors, aroma, and appearance were excellent, but the ABV is way too high. If MS would tone down the ABV this would be alot more drinkable like the non-BA greats like KTG or Southampton RIS. Would like to sample a bottle or two of the earlier years where the ABV was toned down.

mikeyv35, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.93/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: A thick opaque brown, medium bubbles on the body...pours like straight motor oil thick and the head...dark tan, rising tojust about a finger's length.

Smell: Heavy brown sugar maybe the molasses, very sticky...all you need to do is smell it once and it's with you forever

Taste: A straight blend of molasses and brown sugar, it is a little too sweet for my part. I for one am for bitterness with my stouts period. This brew lacks it and just reading the label I noticed it's just at 30 IBU's...nothing wrong with that but seriously where is the rest of the taste.

Mouth: Sticky sugar with medium carbonation. What it lacks in taste makes up for it in stickiness but depends how much if it you want. Best served with dessert.

Overall: This brew improves within time of the consumption of the glass, the proiblem is the sweetness might overwhelm some including myself. If you like imperial stouts which I absolutely love this is definitely something a little different and not for everyone. Try a glass just to try it...Salud!

BlurryVisi0n, Apr 18, 2013
Photo of NWer
4/5  rDev -7.8%

NWer, Jan 19, 2013
Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 784 ratings.