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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

782 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 782
Reviews: 225
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 832
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: 782 | Reviews: 225 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FranzBC
4.8/5  rDev +10.6%

FranzBC, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of PopnLoads
4.8/5  rDev +10.6%

PopnLoads, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.8/5  rDev +10.6%

Black body with a half inch of thick beige head. Wonderful aroma with bourbon, maple syrup, dark fruits, oak, wine tannins, vanilla. Delicious and every bit as complex as the aroma promised. A joy to sip and savor. What a fabulous beer. World class.

Huhzubendah, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of kaseydad
4.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A lucky find for me a little less than a year ago....the time is now.

Pours a beautiful thick black pour with a massive amount of brown....brown...foamy head. Not much lacing to speak of.

The aroma consists of [name your brand] syrup, fudge, nuts, Hershey chocolate, wood, caramel, marshmallows and light booze. Fantastic aromas.

The taste is nice maple syrup hints, char, wood, oak, chocolate, booze, and a touch of hops. The taste is incredible. The age may have tamed the booze cuz there is just a touch of heat on the back end of the swallow while keeping all the massive flavor up front. Very nicely done.

Mouthfeel is on the thicker side which is perfect for this monster.

Overall, my experience was above and beyond what I expected. I knew of the hype on this bad boy and it did not disappoint. Sadly it's my one and only bottle, had it at a barrel age fest (shout out to Vic and Cynthia), but I will be forever on the lookout for this mad man...er...Berserker. And you should too.

kaseydad, Apr 26, 2014
Photo of AwYeh
4.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage, 12.7% ABV. 22oz bomber poured into snifter; huge thanks to madvermin for picking this up to share with me, as it has been one of my biggest wants... and it did not disappoint.

A: Pours an opaque dark brown/black, with a finger of extremely thick, frothy brown head. Great retention and spotty lacing, a good looking beer for certain.

S: Huge molasses aroma kicks things off, with a good deal of brown sugar on the side. I'm also picking up great quantities of bittersweet chocolate and hints of coffee; all around, this is a very well balanced smell.

T: Roasted, toasted malts all over the place, along with a ton of sweet chocolate flavors- I don't want to say this quite has a milk chocolate flavor (there is a good deal of bitterness in there), but it's quite sweet for sure. Long, lingering, bittersweet, malty, nutty, chocolate finish is simply outstanding; one of the best finishes I've ever encountered, which is both hugely enjoyable in itself and begs me to take another sip. After a while, the finish devolves into a straight up roasted flavor- wholly enjoyable, and a rarity, even among imperial stouts. Light coffee and moderately strong vanilla flavors also show up in the flavor... wow, this is good.

M: Medium-bodied, especially so for an RIS. Moderate carbonation leads to a very creamy, very smooth texture, that leaves a dry, but just barely sticky finish behind.

O: Amazing. Outstanding. I'm running short on descriptors for this beer; I am having a hard time rationing this glass for myself. Can't wait until I get a chance to try it again; very, VERY highly recommended if you ever get a chance to pick it up, or trade for it. Definitely worth a trade for some of the more highly touted beers (Dark Lord, Darkness, etc.).

After finishing my glass, I can honestly say this is one of the finest beers I've ever had (at the time of this review, second only to Mikkeler Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, which will definitely need a re-review after this). I highly, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend this; trade for it, or buy it, if at all possible. Outstanding beer all around.

AwYeh, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of dar482
4.84/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a dark oil black with lovely huge dark mocha head.

The aroma has a sweet coconut, molasses, sweet maple syrup, vanilla, tons of that sweet barrel character along with sweet chocolate, coffee, molasses, and roasty malt. It's such a lovely smelling beer.

The flavor is giving you tons of sweet chocolate, a bit of coffee, along with sweet vanilla and bourbon character. There's maple syrup sweetness that hits on the middle and then a dark deep molasses stickiness holds on the tongue. The oak finishes it on the end slight.

The alcohol is so darn well hidden on this. The mouthfeel is really luscious and creamy thing ever. It's so smooth and big on the tongue. A highlight of this beer.

This beer really one of the best bourbon barrel aged beers around.

dar482, Oct 29, 2013
Photo of Kuaff
4.84/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Berserker at cellar temperature in a snifter.

Blackness. Total, opaque darkness. That's what Berserker looks like. It has a fleeting, but beautiful, one-finger brown head of a darker color than most stouts have. It's kind of like the shade of brown sugar, and dissipates to a thick, deliciously creamy-looking ring of froth that is kept alive indefinitely by rising bubbles of carbonation.

It smells of molasses, maple, earthy, leathery bourbon, raisins, milk chocolate, and a little bit of a darker chocolate or coffee. Sooo good.

When I sip, first the maple syrup and molasses do a sugary little dance on my palate. The flavor then moves to raisins, more maple, vanilla, varieties of chocolate, and a bit of the earthy AFTERtaste of molasses (what, hasn't anyone else tried plain molasses?). Then comes the glorious finish. It is a gradual explosion of woody, bourbon-infused earthiness that sustains for a GOOD long while, allowing a single sip to be savored for a few minutes. The gargantuan 12.7% ABV is remarkably masked. The smell and taste of bourbon are definite, but but the boozy burn is almost totally absent.

It's as thick and sticky as the molasses it was brewed with, and it slips across my tongue more like a stealthy ninja than a brash berserker. This qualifies as dangerously drinkable.

A rich and rambunctious imperial stout which runs rampant with molasses and bourbon.

Kuaff, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of rudylaw
4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to alaskajoe for finally ending my long search for this! 2009 vintage, poured into my North Coast snifter. Sampled first in a 10 stout tasting and finished first.

A nearly black pour with a solid 1-2 inch tan head.

Tons of maple, molasses, vanilla and roasted malts in the nose.

All that and then some in the taste. Chocolate and coffee mingle with all of the sweet smells. This is so amazingly smooth and creamy. Reminds me of Kate in terms of mouthfeel and an overwhelming desire to drink this way too fast.

This is easily among my favorite RIS and will be saving my other bottles for special occasions.

rudylaw, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A big thanks to Frank for sending this one my way. I have waited to try this one for literally forever. Served chilled to about 55 and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/11/2009.

The pour was fantastic. Rich dark brown, nearly black with a huge tan head that rose up nearly three inches over the top and only slightly settled down as the session passed Tons of rich foam swirling around the glass coated everything in sight with a rich chocolate haze. Intense looking for sure. The aroma was equally as impressive. Tons of molasses, rich roasted malts steeped in coffee. As it warms a load of cocoa just rises up and sucks you in. This one is as intense as it gets for me. I go in for the taste and I am floored. Such a rich, smooth, full bodied explosion of flavor, I am unsure how to even describe it. Chocolate and coffe melded seemlessly together in a huge milkshake like consitency. This is one of the best tasting stouts I have had. Roasted malts just fluttering through and huge notes of molasses and woody like flavors as it fades away leaving vanilla infused coffee notes along my tongue. Soo good. I almost did not want to finish this one it was soo good. Alcohol a mere afterthought as the smoothness of this blows everything out of the water.

I have had nearly every big, bad stout out there, but this one is easily in my top 5. Just such a sweet flavor and smooth feel to it, I really did not think it was going to be this good. Needless to say I am impressed.

mikesgroove, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An unexpected late addition to the epic tasting, this arrived in Kyle's "Farewell Alaska" package that arrived on my doorstep right before the tasting started, with just enough time to get the beers to cellar temp. Thanks, Kyle!

Bottle from 2009 with 12.7% ABV

The pour is dark, viscous, and creamy. There is a dense dark foam that caps the opaque liquid in my glass. After pouring it into my snifter to get a nice swirl, lacing comes in spots and a delicate pattern.

Aromas pour forth from the mouth of the snifter, imparting red wine barrel aromas, nicely balanced with molasses, tobacco, oakey vanilla, and some slight booziness. Surprisingly, the bourbon aromas are nearly imperceptible. The molasses and tobacco really take a big roll in the flavor profile against a roasted malt foundation. Woody vanilla brings with it some of the bourbon notes that are understated and beautifully subtle. Toffee and vinous grape notes round out the flavor. Alcohol is nearly imperceptible.

Sticky and resinous and yet somewhat smooth. The feeling left on the palate is really incredible. Deep and complex, this is one of the best imperial stouts and barrel-aged beers that I have ever had the pleasure of consuming.

NittanyBeerFan, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of Jjski
4.89/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Obtained in trade Vintage 2012, properly cellared

A- black with tiny cappuccino colored lacing

S-leathery dark fruits, plums, molasses bourbony.

T- a very well balanced sledgehammer of flavor. Smooth roasty malts, raisins, dark cocoa with heavy vanilla oaky bourbon. Still hot, but pleasantly so in harmony with the stated mission. Berserker = Enter Sandman & Creeping Death. Getting thrown to the floor in a front row mosh pit filled with assertive females working on lucrative post- graduate degrees while looking for companionship.

M- smooth lively carbonation with nary a single evident bubble. Black Magic, I suspect.

0- a heavy fist wrapped in dark velvet. Smell the Glove. The words " best ever.... " come to mind. The overlord of all. Lesser stouts seek the shelter of their bunkers only to be hit with this daisy cutter.

Jjski, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of martyl1000
4.9/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at City Beer Store, SF. Beautiful pour into a narrow goblet. Brownish-black, with a chocolate meringue head. Massively complex aroma. Oak, bourbon, and a tangy fruit that would've been indecipherBle had I not known about the red wine barrels.

Oh man. In the mouth add milk chocolate, sweet alcohol, and a bell-ringing blood-iron metallic brightness that might be hop bitterness transformed by all the other immensities.

The only drawback is the oak seems a bit overwrought in the aroma--makes for an odd savoeiness bringing to mind fried pencil eraser.

martyl1000, Oct 30, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.9/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 bottling

Appearance: Black as midnight with a very modest mocha head that fritters away to a ringlet in short order, while leaving a streak of lacing

Smell: Rich and velvety dark chocolate, dark fruit, tobacco and molasses

Taste: Rich dark chocolate tones, up front, joined by a hint of maple and a vinous fruity character that morphs by adding a touch of bourbon at mid-palate; the alcohol also adds character and there is a tobacco-esque hoppy element, as well; the finish is lengthy and smooth

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; subtle heat in the finish

Overall: A superb beverage that is as good as any RIS I have tasted

brentk56, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of Lare453
4.91/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A black as night, khaki head, nice lacing, beautiful!

S vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, maple, light hop, caramel, white chocolate, sweet vermouth,

T vanilla, white chocolate, sweet vermouth, salted caramel, big bourbon and whiskey flavors, omg Is it good!

My hick, viscous, delicious!

O holy shot. This is amazing! One of the best liquids ever.

Lare453, May 17, 2013
Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not very many days are like this day was. Not very many beers are this good. Not very many beers are this hard to come by. Not very meant people get to try a 2010 next to a 2005 vintage of the Beserker.

It was a good day anyways as I had just received an insane box of goodies from johnbjaeger. A couple of hours after opening Jeffo shows up bringing not one but two Beserkers. A 2010 and a 2005. How great can a day be? Great beer night Jeff!

After my heartrate slowed down to an acceptable level I poured this into a snifter.

Man, that is some thick stuff. In a beer heaven the roads are paved with this ultra dark and thick stuff. It leaves a decent size mocha head that has the appearance of tan whipped cream.

So I put my nose over it. BAM! Bourbon, vanilla, mollasses dark cherry like fruits, anise and a wee bit of booze are all crying out for attention.

The next logical thing seemed drinking it. Oh yes, drinking... Bourbon with a burn would be a summary but you'd not hear of the sweetness to biterness and back. You would miss out on the fruitlike flavors I can't identify but I do note sweet mollasses, roasted malts, chocolates and coffe flavors. It's insane.

The mouthfeel isn't as thick as I expected so I put the fork and knife back in the drawer. It's a bit airy, light even but still solid. Great neutral finish with a little alcohol burn.

The 05 version held up pretty well. The barrel seemed to be a whiskey one and there was more bitterness and no alcohol burn that I did find in the 2010.

This is one of the most memorable beers I have ever had. I'm going toleave Beserker on my wants list forever because one can never have enough of this stuff.
Jeffo, you are the man!!! Thanks again!!! This was epic!!!

doopiedoopiedoo, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of madvermin
4.97/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage: Fall 2010, 12.7% abv

Pours a ridiculously dark black with a deeply shaded oak-brown one-finger head that lingers for a bit before becoming a cool looking coffee gum swirl. The beer is just so thick and viscous that the head is just icing on the cake.

The smell is saturated with vanilla and molasses with a touch of sugary sweet character. Roasted malt and slight bitter chocolate adds to the already intoxicating aroma, and perfectly balanced booze adds spice and warmth. A touch of licorice and a little bit of nuttiness just adds to the phenomenal smell. Flawless aroma.

The taste - wow. The words following are not enough to adequately put the scope of this beer together. A blend of the most delicious and delectable roasted malts offer a charred, toasted flavor that is unmatched in any beer I've had. Bitter chocolate and slight booze spice offers a tiny bit of cinnamon. Vanilla and molasses give it a sweetness that is not too strong, but just the right strength. Nuttiness and tobacco is very prevalent and rich - added to the already ridiculous malts, this beer has no match in terms of flavor. Coffee adds even more at the finish with a slightly bitter taste that is just what was needed at that point. The sweetness in this beer is so well done, perhaps due to the maple syrup the label says it was brewed with. I can't say enough about this beer - it's everything one could want in an RIS. Unreal.

Mouthfeel is a velvety smooth, thick viscous syrup that fits the style as perfectly as possible. Booze is hidden outside of a faint warmth it provides which happens to be balanced so that the alcohol never negatively affects anything. Creamy rich flavor just doesn't stop, and the slightly bitter coffee finish keeps it on an otherworldly level in this category. Drinkability = flawless. This is a 12.7% abv beer and I can't stop drinking it at all. I've been "working" on a full glass of this and it's going too fast for my liking.

Midnight Sun you are probably my favorite brewery. Alaskans I am envious of your proximity to them (although I feel bad for you guys being outside the continental 48). GETTHIS BEER AT ALL COSTS.

madvermin, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of jose_alehouseSD
5/5  rDev +15.2%

jose_alehouseSD, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of Pooles26
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Pooles26, Aug 20, 2014
Photo of BigE90
5/5  rDev +15.2%

BigE90, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +15.2%

jh1982, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photekut, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of MattMew
5/5  rDev +15.2%

MattMew, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +15.2%

CEDAMA, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of Drucifer
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Drucifer, Nov 05, 2013
Photo of alalvarez75
5/5  rDev +15.2%

alalvarez75, Nov 15, 2011
Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 782 ratings.