Berserker Imperial Stout - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Berserker Imperial StoutBerserker Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

872 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 872
Reviews: 234
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.99%
Wants: 834
Gots: 228 | FT: 26
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: 872 | Reviews: 234 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rye726
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Recent vintage, 12.7%

Pours a thick oily black with a silky espresso head. Nose has fudge, molasses, coffee, oak, caramel, vanilla, red wine, spicy booze, roasty malts and dark pitted fruits. Taste is nice, but lack depth and complexity found in nose. Full creamy body, nice finish. Drinks well.

Photo of jampics2
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of DonFrap
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of jegross2
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Zbeetleman
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of sholland119
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to travisd13 for the chance to try this one.

A-Black, impervious, opaque jet black with a thin pool of brown head. Excellent.

S-Boozy vanilla, some sweet herbiness, dark chocolate, dark fruit.

T-Lots going on here. Sweet vanilla, maple syrup, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, bourbon balls and some dark fruit. Some molasses too. Complex and delicious.

M-Medium bodied with just a bit of heft, very fine carbonation is a pleasant surprise.

O-Really terrific. Any alcohol is very well hidden, the flavors are rich and complex but not overly heavy. Worth seeking out.

HV

Photo of mychalg9
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of BAsbill
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of anteater
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle

A: Oily black with a really good looking dark brown head

S: Bourbon, bitter dark chocolate

T: Really rich flavors of bourbon and bitter dark chocolate dominate, hints of espresso and molasses more at the end. Well hidden 12.7% alcohol

M: So thick and so good

O: I think this is better than a lot of the most highly rated bourbon barrel stouts out there. Lots of really well balanced and strong flavors

Photo of djaeon
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of JRod1969
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Kopfschuss
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of aerozeppl
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

demadows went to the cellar for this one. 2008 bottling. Thanks for the share.

A: Super dark. Jet black. Very nice rich and deepcoffee colored head.

S: Oak and vanilla. A little bit of coconut. Chocolate. Roast. Little bit of oak. A touch of boooze in the back. An insanely complex nose.

T: The taste was just like the nose. That little bit of coconut I got just put this one over the top for me. This had everything you want in a Russian Imperial Stout. Very smooth.

M: Full bodied and well carbonated.

D: An amazing beer. World class. I really enjoyed this beer a ton. Highly recommended. Thanks again to dmeadows.

Photo of Resuin
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of brotherloco
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber. Bottled 2nd Week November 2010. 12.7% ABV

Pours pitch black with the darkest mocha head I've seen in a beer. Foam dissipates quickly to form a thin ring.

Smell reveals the sweet maple syrup and molasses the this beer is brewed with. I'm getting more of the maple. Vanilla notes from the oak barrel aging are also present. Kind of a red wine tinge too.

First sips are silky smooth, but with a pleasant bite to the flavor. Cherry chocolate and coffee maltiness. Very pleasant sweetness. Molasses is stronger in the flavor than the nose. I'm also getting a note of Belgian-style fruitiness. There is a touch of smokey bourbon in the finish.

Fantastic feel to this beer. Smooth, rich, low to medium carbonation. There is real heat given the high ABV, but the feel and flavor make this a very drinkable imperial stout.

Photo of CrellMoset
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, 2008 vintage, courtesy of alaskajoe, a fine trader and a standup gentlemen who threw in some great extras when he was forced to postpone his end of the trade that brought this beer to me because of an illness. This is my "2 years on BA" anniversary beer, and even though the actual anniversary was yesterday, this was the first opportunity I had, so here goes. Poured in to a 22 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a huge, thick, chewy black, oily and slick, with a mildly aggressive pour yielding a head approximately one inch high. The head is one of the darkest I've ever beheld on a beer, a deep, intensely-hued cocoa, darker than I can in good faith refer to as "tan." Burned tan? Let me pull out the color wheel. The lovechild of sienna and russet, perhaps. Regardless, though the color is intense and impressive, the retention leaves a little to be desired - the finger has faded to a few random patches of surface dusting inside two minutes, and the collar is almost nonexistent. The carbonation on this one is evident from the get go, with plenty of relatively (for the style) fast and fine carbonation racing up the sides of the snifter. The lacing is similarly lacking in the retention department

Aroma: Tons of gentle light juicy fruits, cranberries, blueberries, and prunes melding with spicier licorice, a mild hop bitterness, and a smooth, slight alcohol burn. The malts are wide ranging, from dark toffee to burnt coffee.

Taste: Complex and varied. Bittersweet cocoa and toast dominate up front, though they're blended with the most surprising aspect of this beer - the fruits. This one's full of light, fruity notes that generally end a bit of a sour, cleansing quality, but individually present some cherries, prunes, and fainter raisins, as well as a definite tannin-like quality. But let's not forget the other end of the spectrum. Beyond the cocoa and toast mentioned above, there's plenty of earthiness, anise, faint smoke, and even some char. The light and the dark compliment each other surprisingly well, and somehow manage to cover up about 95% of what I would expect would be the average amount of spicy heat you'd get out of a beer that is 12.7% abv, as the 2008 vintage of Berserker indeed is.

Mouthfeel: A surprising amount of carbonation on this one, and a relatively thin body to boot. This is not the thick, viscous, oily beer I had thought it would be up above based upon the appearance, and even after the carbonation calms down, it's still a relatively moderately-bodied brew.

Drinkability: This one was fantastic at first sip, then sort of slipped a little, and really came back in to its own as it hit room temperature. This is about as good as it gets (drinkability-wise) at 12.7%, and it doesn't show anywhere. Amazing with sharp cheddar, solid on its own, I'm thrilled to have the chance to try this one. Though it had its drawbacks - the body to a degree, the high abv%, the head retention - it really shined in others.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz, 2012 vintage (new bottle design)
Mini snifter

A: Pours out a pitch black color. Half finger dark tan head that faded pretty quickly. Leaves some lacing sheets. Even in the small snifter I can see some alcohol feet here.

S: Really beautiful nose here. Lots of vanilla and oak. Molasses. Good amount of sweetness, caramel and toffee. Those flavors are dominating the roasted malts and coffee RIS flavors.

T: Up front, bitter chocolate and molasses mesh well together. As the flavors move to the middle of the mouth, you get more barrel character. Sweet notes of caramel and vanilla and toffee. Long finish, but still fairly dry on the close. BIG beer. Felt the alcohol, even though it was well integrated.

M: Full bodied. Lots of mouth coating.

Photo of KVNBGRY
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of campfirebrew
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

- 2012 vintage / Cellared 30-Aug-12
- 22oz. bottle poured into stemless wine glass on 1-Dec-12 (aged just couple months).

Rich aromas: plums, molasses, dark roasted chocolate, and mild alcohol presence (for such a big beer).

Immediately notice the thick, chewy texture. Getting a lot of oak barrel with hints of bourbon; not as prominent as in others of style. Some wine/grape quality as well. All this under the prominent roasty chocolate and maple body. Letting this beer sit in the glass for 30+ minutes and warming to room temperature really opened this up in an incredibly complex way and really smoothed all the edges out. Great length. This is one of the more interesting BBA RIS that I've tried, if not the most.

- 2013 vintage
- 22oz. bottle poured into stemless Lost Abbey teku on 25-Dec-13 (fresh).

Same experience as the previous year, which is all good to me. Merry Christmas. Just wish I had another to cellar longer.

Photo of Phelps
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Major thanks to ejyoung, who popped this bottle at a recent Cooters tasting. Poured into a Russian River tulip.

Burnt brown, completely opaque. The head is thin and the color of cinnamon, rising and fading within seconds. A bubbly ring of lace remains.

Espresso, chocolate/raspberry syrup, molasses, honey. A rich, spicy aroma. Burnt toast in the background.

Oh, that’s good. Different, too. Maybe it’s the result of the different barrels used, but it’s hard to pick out individual barrel flavors. Begins with butter, toffee, toasted oak and red grapes. The swallow brings a bigger wine-soaked blast with vanilla. The wine-aging contributes quite a bit here. Lighter notes of molasses, dark chocolate. Fairly sweet throughout, with nary a hint of booze. A little bitterness and roast on the sides of the tongue.

Thick, a lot of residual sugar here. Creamy medium-full, light massaging carbonation. Alcohol numbs the tongue, but that’s the only hint of it. Very nice blend here. Very drinkable for its strength.

A quality stout. Interesting blend of flavors. The wine adds something, as does the molasses.

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of WeisGuy
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of JohnnieNepal
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Onenote81
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Awesome bottle received from alaskajoe awhile ago! Thanks!

12.70% version. Sampled on 5/9/10. Poured into a tall tulip glass.

The pour on this one is thick and viscous as I've ever seen. Glugs out of the bottle like used motor oil. Sits densely in the glass. A moderate-sized dark maduro/mocha head slowly rises. Retains decently enough. Left some light lace on the glass. This looks awesome. The first thing I notice in the nose is a tart vinous scent like wine or Port. There's hints of vanilla, booze, and a bit of ground coffee, just faintly. I can tell this has some Bourbon-quality to it for sure.

The mouth, as expected, is creamy, thick, and almost chewable. This just coats the entire palate with its creamy goodness. The first flavor I notice on this one is vanilla. The bourbon notes give this beer a creamy sweetness that is very pleasant. There's also a flavor that I'm going to call 'leather,' not that I have ever eaten leather before, but that's what came to mind. The roasted malts are wonderfully balanced with the sweetness from the bourbon. Mild coffee and dark chocolate noted as well.

This was an excellent beer! I can't thank Joe enough for sending this my way last fall. This one will take a little more work to track down, but it'll be worth your while. Highly recommend.

Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 872 ratings.