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

976 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 976
Reviews: 255
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.76%
Wants: 832
Gots: 263 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 976 | Reviews: 255
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 beerandcycling88
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From tasting notes

A Pours a black color topped off with a decent brown head.

S Lots going on with molasses, some wood, and chocolate. Pretty sweet smelling.

T Follows the nose with molasses and chocolate,followed by some wine like fruit and some tobacco.

M Very smooth.

Overall this is an amazing stout that is one of my all time favorites.

Photo of cbros
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a snifter. Has 12.7% ABV, so I'm assuming this is a 2010(year it was bought) vintage.

Pours an oppressive deep black with a 1 finger dirty tan head. The notes I am picking up in the nose are of tobacco, whiskey, and a sweet oaky presence. The taste of this beerbrings forth the aforementioned tobacco and warmth of the whiskey. A very smooth drinking high gravity beer.

I've been sitting on this beer for over a year and I believe it was definitely worth the wait.

Photo of woemad
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big-ass bomber that doesn't indicate which year it was bottled, only the month (November) and week (2nd). THe label DOES state that the abv is 12.7%. I think I bought this about a year ago at Enoteca in Post Falls, Idaho, which means it's probably of the 2009 vintage.

Poured a viscousy black color that gives up absolutely nothing when held up to light. 1/2 inch of dark mocha foam soom drops down to a foam collar. Spotty lace.

Big nose. I get sweet and bitter, like mollasses and prunes. Seems a little boozy as well.

The taste starts out like a spoonfull of mollasses that is immediately paired up with some dark, bitter fruit. There's also elements of pipe tobacco, coffee, and way in the back is the maple syrup - just enough to make it's presence known without sending the beer off into cloying land. As it warms, this beer gets more boozy. Slightly dry at the swallow.

Seems a little light in the body for an impy stout, but not to a disheartening degree. Slick, creamy mouthfeel nevertheless.

Outstanding dessert beer that I bought several months ago. Wish I knew for certain whether it was last year's or the year before. Regardless, it's tasty, and seems to be holding up.

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.

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 mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From 11/27/11 notes. HUGE thanks to the Chicago group for sending this one in the Group BIF; this has been a huge Want of mine for a couple years. 2009 vintage, unsure of the ABV. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a pitch black color with light carbonation evident and one finger of dark tan head. Leaves some spotty lacing on the glass and head lasts for a few minutes.

s - Smells of molasses, roasted malts, sweet dark fruits, chocolate, raisins, wood, and very light cofee. Nose is a little sweet, but I really like it. Not getting much bourbon at all, but a reaqlly nice mix of molasses, fruit, and chocolate.

t - Tastes of chocolate, molasses and sweet dark fruits, roasted malts, some vanilla, light sweet syrup, light smokey malts, and light wood. A little sweet again but a bit of a step done from the nose.

m - Pretty light body and low carbonation. Pretty smooth and easy to drink, but would have liked a thicker body for a big stout and a tiny bit more carbonation. Someone at the tasting mentioned they found the 2011 version thicker, but it was pretty thin in the 09 vintage.

o - Overall I thought this was a very good stout. It looked great and I loved the nose. I would have liked more bourbon in the nose and taste, and would have liked a thicker body and more carbonation, but it was still a great beer. Would like to have this one again.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another great BIF beer with the DC group, 2009 vintage. This is my review #400.

Pours a super thick looking jet black, with a great brown head that dies down to a dark ring, looks very nice. Leaves some lacing.

S: Smells great with lots of sweet and malty notes in the nose, plenty of chocolate, caramel, and more. It's not super roasty but it has some great complex sweet notes without having any heat. I get some nice nutty like sweet almond or maybe coconut notes too. Very nice complex aroma.

T: Nice taste, has quite a bit of roast compared to the smell, and not as much complexity in the sweet notes I got in the nose but there is some chocolate. Myself and others agreed that the malt is kind of not there as we thought it would be, a molasses-ness isn't there and i dont get a ton of barrel. Still has some nice flavors, even maybe a little acidity in the front too, and overall a nice coffee roast and some cherry too.

M: Nice feel, it's smooth but the roast is a little astringent and makes it thinner than desired..

O: This beer is great, but didn't wow me like I thought it might.

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 orangesol
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #350 for me! I brought this one to our Stout Day event. 2009 bottle shared with a whole bunch of people.

A - Pours midnight black with a nice pillow of one and a half finger tall tan head leaving small streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of coffee, licorice, tobacco, chocolate, and even some dark fruits. This one pretty much runs the gamut of dark aroma's with no one crowding out the others.

T - Starts off with quite a bit of dark roast quickly giving way to a mix of coffee, dark fruits, licorice, tobacco, and some very faint booze. The flavors work very well together with nearly perfect balance. The finish is mostly dark roast but it doesn't linger on the pallet for very long.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Smooth, rich, feel that rally compliments this ones flavors very well. Very nice feel throughout.

O - I have been wanting to try this one and when I got this bottle in the Easter Bunny BIF I couldn't have been happier. It has a ton of flavor and it really works well. Good stuff for sure.

Photo of stakem
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been wanting to try this one for quite some time. Thanks to Orangesol for busting it out at a recent tasting. Poured into a sampler glass, this brew appears black in color with a dark tan head across the top. As it fades, spots of lace stick to the glass and a light swirl revives a finger of strength back to the surface.

The smell of this brew is all over the dark brew spectrum. Notes of dark fruity quality like raisins or plums bring out the focus on alcohol while some deeper earthy noted are also evident. Licorice and tobacco come out more as the brew warms up.

The taste is dark and fruity with more indications of raisins and plums or prunes focusing on the alcohol side of things. More sips reveal more flavoring that is dark and roast grain. A bit of licorice and earthy tobacco follow through into the aftertaste.

This is a medium to full bodies brew with a light level of carbonation that really exaggerates the feel. It is well balanced and enjoyable for it's strength and something I wouldn't mind having again. While I'm not the biggest fan of dark fruity character in RIS brews, this one packed enough depth another character to not let it get distracting. Thanks again Nate for sharing.

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 kayalla
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the 2009 vintage. Opened this with some friends next to some other great MS bottles. This was a thick black with a coffee head in the snifter. Aroma was really heavy with dark fudge, really sweet, vanilla, maple. Flavor was more of the same with that heavy fudge, roasted malts, cherry, raspberry, quite sweet, and a bit of a hop finish. Maybe too much going on here, with the roasted coffee kind of flavors and all the heavy malts and fudge, and the fruit also. Kind of enjoyed this less than all the other big MS stouts. Not really close to Bar Fly and Sloth right now. Still have like 4 bottles of this, hopefully time will mellow it out a bit?

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 AleWatcher
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at a tasting... Finally getting around to typing up my notes from my iphone.

Had an 08 and a 10 side-by-side... Review is for the 08.

Immediately upon pouring, my reaction was,
It's so black! Good for you.
(editor's note: I had JUST watched the movie Hot Tub Time Machine)

It's very very dark. It's dark, it's scary, it's ominous, it's a little sexy in a "I'm not sure I'm ready for this" kind of way. It's like Elvira, mistress of the dark. This is brooding and looming. It is beyond gothic. It makes goth kids look like sparkly vampires.

Dark tan head-- like confectioner's cocoa color. Retention is ok. Lacing is minimal... But fuck is the body dark.

The smell has little hints of cinnamon hiding amongst the standard impy stout smells. Some boozy and oaky and vanilla and chocolatey notes. This thing is all about being in your face. It's impressive. The 10 is much more chocolatey, but as far as it goes, they are both delicious.

The beer is fantastic. I have nothing bad to say about it. The body is strong, if anything I could argue it is slightly undercarbed, but it doesn't hurt the overall drinkability. It sips very very nicely and I'm enjoying it.
I would love to have abottle of this to open every 6 to 8 months and see how it develops.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this bottle was shared with me by wedge9. Thanks Andy!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark dark black bodied beer with a dark mocha head that starts out about 1 finger tall and drops down into a ring around the top of this beastly looking stout. Nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: you can really smell the red wine barrel. I also smell dark chocolates, and roasty malts. Really pleasant smelling beer, never really smelled a beer like this before!

Taste: Its like a red wine crossed with dark chocolates; bitter and semidry like a red wine. Oaky, smokey, and roasty characteristics. Huge malt profile, its big beer thats nice and complex.

Mouthfeel: This beer is full bodied. Moderate carbonation. Slightly over carbonated, but this beer tastes so good it does not take away from the beer at all.

Overall: My first midnight sun brewing co beer. These guys can brew a big stout! Its tastey and complex and I have never had a stout like this before. Don't pass this one up!

Photo of brentk56
4.89/5  rDev +12.7%
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

Photo of domtronzero
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No vintage marking on bottle, but it's marked as being bottled N-2 (November, week 2). 12.7% abv, 22 oz. bottle, shared by Dankbeers619. Thanks Kyle!

A - Dark brown colored with a small, short lived tannish head. Lingering whispy bubbles and a small ring around the glass. Little lacing.

S - Sweet dark malts, ripe fruits, and a bit of roast. A little bit of caramel and vanilla. Slight alcohol is perfumy and pleasant.

F/M - Rich chocolate, caramel and vanilla. Dark fruit-like esters with a nice alcoholic bitterness. A little warm on the palate, but it isn't too detracting. Sweet bourbon notes. Medium full bodied, a little oily up front, but doesn't finish too sweet. Lingering caramelly chocolate flavors.

O - What a great beer. Nice stout body with very pleasant bourbon barrel characteristics. I wish this beer was easier to find as I'd be drinking a lot more of it.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2008 Berserker. I think this came from Beerzebub. He is the man, regardless.

A - It pours black as a crow with ruby edges and is capped with a persistent film of dark khaki froth.

S - The nose is just so luxurious and decadent. Cinnamon ice cream, streusel topping, dark fruit, dates and figs, vanilla, cardamom, caramelized sugar, fudge, pipe tobacco and oatmeal are all noted. Delicious.

T - This beer tastes fantastic. Maple, molasses and barrel notes are heavily integrated, also something like chocolate-covered prunes. Some oxidation is noted; it is well-integrated though. Oak is present in appreciable quantities, however, it is subtly applied. There is a lot of dark-fruity character. As it airs out, some herbal hops come out and there is an increased sweetness on the finish. Hugely complex and very delicious.

M - The feel is a bit lighter than I expected, but it makes up for it with a silky texture and soft micro-bubbles.

O - Great stuff. Breaking news: Midnight Sun makes great beer.

Photo of maximum12
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BrewsB4Shrews for this 22 oz. bottle that arrived, oh, probably eighteen months ago. Seeing the insane trade value, I've been reluctant to crack it open - I've been seriously underwhelmed by Midnight Sun to date & thought multiple times about just sending it on. But hey, bourbon & maple syrup are two of my favorite things & I'll likely not get another crack at this one, so...yeah. Here we go. No vintage indicated, bottled 1st week of August of some year.

Pours straight black; being an old D&D geek, I appreciate the cool battle-axe artwork. Smell is sweet earth dropped into a bourbon snifter. I like where this madness is headed.

Berserker is a heavy-handed brew; one sip is like a bite of elvin lembas (help, I need my Monster Manual!), filling the stomach like a three-course meal. Pushing past that, there's a slow-building bourbon fire. It doesn't leap out of a chair with a +4 Short Sword, but creeps slowly out of its earthy malt shell. Lots of earthiness here. The molasses shows as an honest sweetness. Builds to a finale of bourbon, again, that suffuses the entire palate, all the way down to the digestive tract. Use of the barrel is exquisite.

Interesting beer. I'm not keen on the 'dirty' feel I get off all the Midnight Sun beers, but it works much better with this dark, heavy, menacing brute of a brew. Excellent.

Photo of DucksFan16
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle.

Pours extremely dense and viscous, absolutely no light coming through this one, with a dark brown head. The taste is extremely complex, very chewy, malty, and syrupy. Hints of vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, cocoa. Midnight sun usually produces great imperial stouts, and this one is one of the best that I've tried anywhere. I eagerly await it's release every year!

Photo of jdense
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber 2001 (!) vintage supplied by the awesome Shawn Kelso at inaugural DONG (Dudes of Northwest Grog) tasting in The Big, 5.21.11, multiple samples-didn't want to hog this, but what a treat!

Brown head small bubbles, slow dissipation with above average lacing over dark brown/almost jet black body, no visible carbonation, one big dark brew. A truly phenomenal and complex smelling brew, vanilla, some chocolate and coffee, dark stone fruit (figs and prunes), alcohol smell has certainly mellowed as have the hops. The taste is complex and sublime, as it warmed the beer changed character like a chameleon, a bit of cocoa nibs upfront, vanilla goodness in the middle, leading to a finish that kept changing as it warmed, truly a beer to contemplate the meaning of life and beer over. Slick and coating mouthfeel, not a lot of effervescence, no oxidation to speak of. I had a a younger vintage at my first HOTD dock sale several years ago (thanks, Akfaust), but this beer was a true tour de force, one of the best beers I've ever had. If you have the patience to cellar for this long, you will be rewarded. An amazing experience.

Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.92/5  rDev +13.4%
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!!!

Photo of RodneyX
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is an imposing looking black beer that had a brown head that left nothing behind. Head rose up about 1/4 inch and looked good while it was there. Smell was some awesome roasted malts with great barrel flavors like bourbon, oak, and vanilla. There's even some great sweet fruit taste at the end. It's thick and viscous and there isn't really any alcohol detectable here. Really like this one and got through the bottle pretty easily.

Photo of joshuaseresse
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this nice bottle from black13 a month or two ago, thanks Michael! Been wanting to try this one for quite sometime. 2009 vintage. Split with some La Crosse BAs yesterday:

A - Pitch black with light mocha head. Solid foam ring around the edges. Bit of lacing with some thick legs. The liquid eventually stains the glass.

S - Really smooth bourbon and nice smell of oak barrels. Sweet caramel, chocolate, roast and molasses. Tiny bit of maple syrup.

T - Just a tiny bit smokey but mostly oak, roast, sweet bourbon, cream and boozy maple syrup. You can tell by the taste that it does have some age on it since I was expecting the heat to be quite sharp.

M - Way smooth and creamy. Creamy carbonation and slight sting from the ABV which leaves the mouth slightly tingly.

O - Really solid beer. Lives up to the hype. All the people that I shared this with had never had it and we all loved it. I'd really like another bottle to age for something like 5-6 more years to get it just completely mellowed out but the age this one did have on it worked really well, too. Thanks again Michael for this delicious brew!

Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 976 ratings.