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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
97
world-class

838 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 838
Reviews: 232
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 835
Gots: 221 | 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: 838 | Reviews: 232 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tomholland
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

tomholland, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of spry
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

spry, Oct 25, 2012
Photo of 2dogbrew
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

2dogbrew, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

BarrytheBear, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of HopsintheSack
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

HopsintheSack, Feb 24, 2013
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
Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 838 ratings.