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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
95
world-class

794 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 794
Reviews: 227
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.99%
Wants: 839
Gots: 216 | FT: 21
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: 794 | Reviews: 227 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SpdKilz
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Ryan (RIP Dunt) for sharing this a while back. Taken from notes.

Appearance – Pours an extremely dark black into a snifter. Zero light comes through, and about a finger and a half of dark mocha colored head can be seen that dissipates slowly.

Smell – Lots of oak, cocoa, molasses, earthy tobacco, licorice, dark fruits like prunes, and slight red wine.

Taste – Very similar to the aroma. A definite red wine flavor mixed with dark and bittersweet cocoa/chocolate. A nice roasted dry malt flavor midway which gets a bit sweeter from the dark fruits.

Overall – A very good beer that balances the red wine, bitterness, and sweetness perfectly. Not overly sweet, just enough dryness/char/roast, and the nice wine flavors imparted from the barrel aging. A stout right up my alley and one I was thankful to try and would trade for in the future.

SpdKilz, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of Stevedore
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Stevedore, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of brewandbbq
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A mini vertical tasting of 2005 and 2008 Berserkers...Nice.

Vintage 2005 at 10.4% abv, 22oz bottle at 55 degrees.

Pours opaque black with a half inch head of light brown. Zero translucency in any part of the body when held to direct light. The dense froth fell a partial skim coat, with a solid ring around the edges, and plenty of broken ropes of lacework.

Aromatics lead off with dark fudge, charred oak, red fruit, espresso syrup and mocha-laced booze. A strong vinous component steps forward, along with shades of port, sherry, and bourbon.
As the beer breaths hints of red wine and grape jam arise.

Full bodied with an extremely creamy mouthfeel. Sticky and chewy with plenty of gription. Slick and velvety.

Charred malts, oaky booze, dark chocolate, and espresso dusted fruit start the palate. A balance of wine-like vinousity and oaky bourbon come forward and linger till the end.

Finishes with a generous amount of residual chocolate, char, fudge, port, and warming bourbon.

While I try not to reference other beers in a review, I can't help but mention how much the Port-like character reminds me of Kate the Great, and the red wine vinousity reminds me of a barrel-aged Posioden. The beer as a whole tops a bottled Black Albert, although it would be unfair to compare to the Batch 0 Black Albert fresh from the tap. They are totally different beasts.
I was really surprised how the Bourbon is somewhat subdued in relation to the other qualities of the brew. There is a layered complexity in the nose and palate which is quite remarkable, and I'm sure it's from three years in the cellar.

Vintage 2008 at 12.7% abv, 22oz bottle at 55 degrees.

Pours pure black, void of any color, with a one inch head of dark brown. Super dense and thick. A partial skim coat remained on the surface for the duration, as well as webbed lacework.

Aromatics lead off with black forest batter, nougat, charred cocoa, vanilla, and bourbon.
Hints of Kahlau, blackened oak, and Hershey's syrup follow through.

Full, chewy mouthfeel. Thick, viscous, and massive bodied.

Dark chocolate, espresso-steeped embers, and light bourbon start the palate. Fudge nuggets, brownie bits, and warming booze follow through.

Finishes with lingering lush chocolate, espresso reduction, nougat, and bourbon.

Certainly a bigger version of Berserker than the 2005 in many ways. Oddly though the alcohol does not seem to be any more apparent even at 2.3% abv greater.
Thicker, fuller, and more concentrated than the 2005, but the 2005 has a complexity which the 2008 is lacking.

We'll see how the 2008 fares in a few years.

The score reflects the 2005 version, and I would put the 2008 just a couple of points below that.

Megaprops out to my bro Tim in AK for another set of off the hook brews. Thanks man!

brewandbbq, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of KVNBGRY
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

KVNBGRY, Feb 08, 2014
Photo of djaeon
4/5  rDev -7.8%

djaeon, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of jaasen64
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

jaasen64, May 28, 2014
Photo of WeisGuy
4/5  rDev -7.8%

WeisGuy, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of JohnnieNepal
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

JohnnieNepal, Jan 15, 2014
Photo of AleWatcher
4.08/5  rDev -6%
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.

AleWatcher, Aug 19, 2011
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.

Rollzroyce21, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to cosmicevan (Evan) for this one. Sampled at a tasting 1/5/11. 5oz. pour into a Duvel sample tulip. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a viscous .5 finger of coffee colored head that dissipates into a thick ring of the same color that hugs the side of the glass. Beer is a dark, opaque black. Lacing is spotty and with no cling.

S: Subtle. Nose is milk chocolate, sweet soy sauce, prune, raisin, sweet brown sugar, caramel, roasted malt, and cocoa powder. Alcohol is completely hidden here and flavors are pretty spot on.

T: Opens chocolate, sweet soy sauce, sweet plums, raisin, and a slight booziness in the back. Almost all chocolate and dark fruit sweetness with near no roasted malt bitterness to balance this one out... which I appreciate actually. Finish is chocolate and slight alcohol. Aftertaste is more of the same.

M: Medium bodied and with low carbonation. Oily and slick. Silky in the mouth and going down. Very smooth. Finish is rather muted and aftertaste lingers.

D: A very desert-y imperial stout this one showcases the sweet side and really suppresses the roasted malt characteristics. Like a smoother, more balanced, and less intensely sweet ST Choklat. Definitely worth seeking out. This one was a treat.

SpeedwayJim, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of ajzy
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

ajzy, May 11, 2013
Photo of bum732
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Very rich chocolate, perceived sweetness, some maple, bready, touch of roasty coffee, bourbon medium low. Just a touch of smokiness. More maple as it warms.

L: Syrupy thick, dark black, dark tan head that dissipates to a dusting and ring of foam.

T: Rich chocolate sweetness up front with a prominent backbone. Low bitterness with some soft coffee notes and molasses. Hint of maple and medium bourbon oak into the finish. Slight ash and some tobacco left on the palate. Semi-sweet finish.

M: Medium full body, medium low carbonation. Some heat.

Fantastic, reminding me a lot of Abyss with lots of components working together without being overly sweet like many RIS's nowadays. Maple was fairly low throughout, but not a major complaint. Would definitely drink again.

bum732, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of josephwa
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

josephwa, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of CoolEthan
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

CoolEthan, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photekut, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of BAsbill
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

BAsbill, May 22, 2013
Photo of campfirebrew
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

campfirebrew, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of DRBiser
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

DRBiser, Dec 18, 2012
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

anteater, Aug 04, 2013
Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

HaveUSeenMyCellar, Aug 05, 2013
Photo of CelticAleMan
4/5  rDev -7.8%

CelticAleMan, Apr 15, 2013
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 thebigredone
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

thebigredone, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of joe1510
4.51/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber

12.7%

This is yet another Alaskan gem from the gentlemanly scholar known as AKBelgianBeast, thanks Sir Francis! Berserker? Well, there's no other word to describe this stout than pure coal black. I think light is actually afraid of the oil like black body of this beast. Two fingers worth of one of the darkest heads on planet earth formed on the pour and eventually fell to a skimming. A quick swirl brings it back easily. You know how chocolate milk looks when it's poured with the bubbly top? Well, that's Berserker's head for you. There's a good amount of stick left behind as well .

The nose on this giant beer is insanely complex. Roasty malts on the verge of being charred start things off but licorice, cocoa powder, and blackstrap molasses (in that order) follow closely behind. The bourbon is there but sweetly mild (or is that mildly sweet?). Faint vanilla here and there with sweet earthy sweet hints of cabernet wafting through in the back. Oak is poking its head out with a soft mingling vanilla character. This beer is a complexity bomb, without a doubt.

The flavor actually manages to outshine the nose, I don't know how but it does. Where to begin? Roasty malts, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, licorice, molasses, yada, yada, yada...This beer is a never ending evolution of flavor. The bourbon comes up front, the cabernet on the swallow and both add a touch of sweetness that keeps the roastiness in check. Oak manages to refine it as a whole to make it an absolute pleasure to imbibe. It's tough for me to do this brew justice. I barely ever give away 5s (especially for flavor) but this stout deserves it. Wow!

The mouthfeel is insanely good. Somehow it's so incredibly smooth and airy yet creamy and slick. Again, I can't even bring myself how to get into the descriptors. The body leans toward the heavy, obviously and the alcohol is barely noticeable. How do they do that?

For a beer of this strength the drinkability is amazing. No noticeable alcohol and this bomber is disappearing like I'm a fish. Berserker is one dangerously drinkable beer (cliché? Yes).

Well, what can I say that hasn't already been said? Not a whole lot I guess. This beer isn't even gone yet and I'm already fantasizing about the next. Thanks for this gem Beast, you da man!

Reviewed: 1/17/09

joe1510, Aug 19, 2013
Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 794 ratings.