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

973 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 973
Reviews: 255
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.76%
Wants: 832
Gots: 262 | 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
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Ratings: 973 | Reviews: 255
Photo of weeare138
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to hopdog for sharing this beauty. 2007 version...
Appears black with caramel brown edges and a dark tan head. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of raisins, cocoa, vanilla, mocha, and oak.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a peanut flavor that is also standing out in the complex flavors.
Mouthfeel is smooth, chewy, raisiny, bourbony, and outright beautiful. This one is a winner. Seek it out.

Photo of Lare453
4.9/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage.Pours black with a two finger, brown, thick head. Retention is good, as is the lacing. The aroma is of dark chocolate, molasses, and coffee. Some oak is noticeable and the alcohol is apparent.

Flavor is very rich bitter chocolate, roasted malt, and some coffee. Also, boozy molasses and oak with mild whisky notes. The long finish is bitter chocolate, coffee, and lingering alcohol.

Berserker is full bodied with great carbonation. Mouth feel is creamy.

2005 Vintage consumed on 7/25/2009. Thanks a lot Stephen!

I'm boosting the nose and drinkability on this one by .5. The whisky is very pronounced and some time has done wonders for this beer. The vanilla and oak are also more apparent in the nose. This beer is fantastic and I'd drink the hell out of it.

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

2008 vintage

A: Poured a deep, deep brown, good carbonation and a nice brown head.

S: Nose is deep roasted malts, coffee, cocoa and alcohol.

T: Taste is alcohol and roasted malt upfront, midway through to the end is coffee, cocoa.
M: Mouthfeel is coating and pretty thick and hefty.

O: good and really glad I got to finally try this.
///

2012 vintage

A: Poured extremely deep brown near black with a big brown cap, light lacing and a little brown ring after a few sips

S: A big roastiness, milk chocolate, maple and molasses, sweetness, booze sting and some moderate bourbon

T: Initial creaminess, Dark Lord like soy sauce with a big sweetness, milk chocolate transition into a lingering maple, light bourbon and molasses, faint wood and vanilla. Finish is a burning like spepperness, sweet sugar, bourbon, chocolate and maple

M: Big body, boozey, creamy and decadent

O: Very good. More like a bbn, chocolate covered maple bar!

Photo of John_M
4.56/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to pick up a bottle at Belmont Station last time out west.

The beer pours a viscuous, blackish brown color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The head on this beer is a rich coffee color, which is typically the sign of an intensely flavored RIS. Likewise, the beer smells pretty good, with an aroma profile consisting of coffee, chocolate, molasses and prunes. Good as this beer smells, the flavor profile is flatout amazing. I get chocolate, coffee, molasses, maple syrup, dark fruits and some light licorise. Nothing is overdone in this moderately sweet RIS, and the restrained carbonation is perfect for the style. Mouthfeel is rich and plush in this lovely beer, and there's a mouthfilling consistency that is just wonderful. The beer has a long, drawn out finish, and drinkability is amazing. You can tell this is a big beer of course, but it's not at all boozy, and I was startled when I saw the 12.7% abv. on the label. Talk about a beer that carries its alcohol very well.

This is an exceptionally well made and delicious RIS. Yummy stuff!

Just recently had the 2012 vintage on tap during Bier Stein's anniversary celebration. I have upped my score accordingly, as the 2012 was a much better beer aromatically (incredible nose of milk duds, whiskey, chocolate, coffee and dark fruits), with a superior mouthfeel and a flvor profile at least as good as what I experienced back in 2009. IMHO, this beer is among the RIS elite (Kate, KBS, CBS, Aybss, Dark Lord, etc.), and is among the best made impy stouts on the planet. Just an incredibly fine beer...

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a goblet, the beer pours jet black, like oil, with a slow formation of a dark tan surface coating of head that quickly recedes into a sparse coating in the shape of a Rorschach inkblot. This one looks like a hummingbird. Anyway, there is some carbonation action throughout the body, and the tan coloring makes it very visible. Aromas of molasses, maple, char, smoke, and chocolate. This smells like an early winter camping trip. Flavors are rich and sweet forward, with chocolate and maple bursting forth like candy on the tongue. Cloyingly sweet, but a heavy coffee backbone provides the bitterness needed to balance everything out. Smoke and roast highlights round the edges throughout, and hints of cream and wood character provide some levity. The body is light, but still creamy and smooth, almost whipped. The aftertaste is more to the bitter side, with coffee, chocolate, and roast blending with some of the booze and wood characteristics. Slick, coating finish that leaves a subtle bitterness blend of coffee and chocolate. This is a great beer!

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'09 bottle that Buckeyeboy busted out recently... I also shared one with SAS too about the same time period... thanks homies.

Dark brown 2 finger head... viscous looking black brew... fantastic retention and lacing.

Nose is a long "sniffer"... takes a while to wrap my mind around the massive complex aromas.... nothing is overdone and everything including the barrels is well integrated. Deep dark malts with no char.. just dark chocolate and slight whaffs of vanilla and bourbon.. caramel/burnt sugar..

Flavor has a touch more actual "oak" than the nose and some dark cherry cordial plays well with the big stout notes.. bits of French Roast and something that I can only describe as brewers licorice .. plush body and a lite carbonation.

Very yummy... top shelf. Awesome that we've been getting these into Boise. Thanks to Jeremy, Steven, and Rick for helping me out.

4.5/5/4.5/4/4

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage poured in to tulip.

A - Poured ink black. Thick and viscous. A small layer of mocha coloured head formed and immediately reduced to a thin ring around the glass.

S - Huge cocoa aroma up front that gives way to a complex nose that includes roast, bourbon, vanilla, vinous fruit and char/ash. Sweet molasses is present as well. Big and bold nose. Can't specifically pick up the maple syrup.

T - Barrel qualities noticeable immediately up front: bourbon, oak and red wine. The base beer attributes come through mid-palate: roast, char, tobacco, dark fruit and espresso. The finish has a touch of sweetness with the molasses and maple syrup coming through. Overall, this beer is quite hot and full of big, bold flavours that come together very well. Definitely a sipper.

M - Full body. Thick and viscous. Light carbonation.

O - This was quite an interesting beer. I am very interested to see what some age does to this since it was quite hot.

Photo of beertunes
3.59/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No vintage on bottle, but purchased recently, so probably '13. 12.7 ABV. Poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a solid black color, with just the very thinnest cap of light brown head that dissipated instantly, thus leaving no lacing. No carbonation in the glass, or on subsequent pours.

The scent had a fair bit going on. Light base grains, the most faint hint of wood and bourbon, and several different sweet tones. There was also, as one might expect, a noticeable alcohol aspect. The barrel was a slight bit more noticeable on the tongue, the maple showed through on its own (unlike in the nose), and what I assume was molasses made for a fairly sweet taste. There was definitely an alcohol burn at the back, and some bourbon lingered for a minute.

The body was way too thin for what I look for in a big stout, pretty much porterish. Drinkability was good for such a big brew, but taking down a 22 by self was quite enough for one day, thank you. Overall, a pretty good take on the style, not really the thrill for me that it seems to be for a lot of people, but worth trying if you see it.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.83/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Photo of Duff27
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin deep mocha head on a dark brown body. Collar and some spotty lacing left.

Sweet booziness, can tell this has been in a barrel.

Very well integrated barrel aging, bourbon is faint and not in your face. Molasses pops out and believe it or not cherries come of after some 5 year aged cheddar. Would guess this at 11%abv.

Medium mouthfeel, smooth. Lower carbonation.

Good stout. We all thought it was similar to the Abyss. Would have liked the mouthfeel to be a little thicker but a minor complaint. Enjoyed the molasses/maple syrup aspect. Thanks 4DAloveofSTOUT!

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle opened on 9.10.12.
Thanks Wingshooter.

A - Pours a motor oil black with a one inch dark brown head with fine bubbles, good retention.

S - Sweet molasses, wood, bourbon.

T - Sweet, lots of bourbon, chocolate and oak.

D - Super thick, heavy body. Decent carbonation.

O - Sweet and boozy, thick and visious and lots of oak.

Photo of claspada
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of gueuzer, 2010 edition, shared with HimerMan, simultaneously sampled with Kate the Great 2011. Eat your heart out...

Pours a big, black, inky pour with a nice brown crown. Smallish dark brown head and actually a little red hue when held up to the light. Not as pretty as Kate, but she is the best for a reason.

Aromas are awesome. First I get the typical stouts aromas of roasted malts, sweet dark fruits and dark chocolate. Then I get nice complementary vinous aromas mixed with the molasses. The oaky aromas join the party next coupled with the nice light bourbon barrel presence in the background. Nose is a little sweet and decently oaky, but I really like it. Not getting much bourbon at all, but a reaqlly nice mix of molasses, red vinous fruit and chocolate.

The tastes directly follow the nose. First you get dark chocolate, molasses and sweet dark vinous fruits, roasted malts. Then once again the oak flavors show up with some vanilla, light sweet syrup presumably from the molasses and light wood. Very very light bourbon barrel flavor in the finish. Really really nice, more roasty and oaky than Kate but amazing none-the-less.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied, hey it's 13% what do you expect. Medium-low carbonation but plenty for the style. Finish is quite tannic and oaky and dry from the Wine and Bourbon barrel aging. Flavors linger on the palate after in each sip.

Overall on any other night, this beer would be the best in show, but is second to Kate tonight. Still an amazing flavor profile from the multi-barrel aging they used here. Recommended, heck yes. Worth seeking out, darn skippy. My new second favorite beer only to my first love Kate.

Photo of jrallen34
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this at dld. Appearance is black, not much to note. The aroma is a little light some coffee, vanilla a little wood. Tasting it its very hard to tell it was barrel aged, there is a little wood to it but I think its muted by using of red wine barrels too. This is a good stout, not great, probably not worth searching out.

Photo of dirtylou
3.4/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012 vintage

#Infectiongate

appearance: served in an oversized snifter, jet black body, creamy mocha lace

smell: bourbon, tannin notes, rich fudge

taste: charred malt, fudge, smoke, light bourbon, soy sauce. I don't know if its the "infection" or what, but at $20, this is a huge dissapointment.

mouthfeel: a bit thin, lots of soy in the finish

overall: this is a Pass in the future

Photo of xnicknj
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into large snifter - thanks to brystmar - 2012 bottle

Viscous opaque blackness in the glass with a bubbled dark brownie colored head resting on top. Thick collar of tanned retention with spotty lacing left on the glass.

Smoky and sweet in the nose, driven by a combination of maple syrup, chocolate cake and bourbon. Oak, dark fruit, coffee and vanilla bean with toffee and roasted dark malts. Warm and boozy.

Slick and sweet up front with bourbon warmth, cocoa powder and dark chocolate bark. Vanilla beans with caramel and toffee, layered on a maple syrup base. Oaky and warm with a thick, robust malt backbone. Touches of tobacco and red wine with roasted coffee beans. Multiple layers of flavor and malt continue to evolve while drinking, leading into a boozy and sweet finish.

Full bodied, medium carbonation, creamy and sticky on the tongue. I've tasted this a couple times before, but this was my first time enjoying the better part of a bottle and I couldn't be happier with this. Wonderfully deep and warm with plenty of rich bourbon and chocolate, finished off with sticky maple syrup and vanilla. I'd seek this out again in a second.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 vintage split with Chris for lunch on day 3 of our epic tasting. Many, many thanks to alaskajoe for the hookup

A: Jet black with a stellar dark brown head with great retention. This is so black that even the highlights are black!

S: Pretty incredible with an exceptional balance. Dark chocolate up front with a great hint of bourbon. Great roasty character with a mild oaky and woody aroma. Creamy and exquisitely balanced with some molasses as it warms up

T: Outstanding balance. Opens up with roasted malt, chocolate, cream and a hint of coffee before a mild bourbon oak note comes through with a pleasant vanilla sweetness. Excellent balance between the sweetness and the roasty bitterness. Finishes with dark chocolate bitterness

M: Exceptional. Great body, neither too think nor too syrupy, excellent balance between flavors, perfect carbonation that's soft. Excellent finish

D: For a 12.7% ABV beer at 3PM, this is pretty stellar

**28 March 2010. This is the 2009 vintage, thanks a bunch for sharing this, Kyle.

The nose is outstanding. Molasses, licorice, wet tobacco, leather, a little caramel. A light wine and a little bourbon., a touch of alcohol. These flavors are replicated on the palate, with the licorice not as prominent. Great roast character without any grainy bitterness or burnt malt. Dark chocolate on the finish, this beer is excellent

**07 Dec 2012**
2012 release from the Belmont Station.

The nose is a fantastic blend of dusty unsweetened cocoa, roasted malt, molasses, dark chocolate syrup, fudge, fruity yeast, moderate bourbon with vanilla being most prominent, this is decadent. The palate is a blend of vinous and bourbony chocolate fudge, with the roast , toasted dark wheat bread, and a little bit of fruit. The molasses lends a complex sweetness to the palate, and there are undertones of licorice bitterness as well. Medium-full in body and with low carbonation, this is thick on the palate and very enjoyable.
4.5/4.5/4.5

**21 Sept 2013**
2009 release, 12.7%ABV that I received from Kyle. Thanks, man.

This has aged gloriously. Rich fudge, chocolate, moderate vinous character, molasses, brown sugar. Fruitier than fresh bottles, and with less of a bready note. Delectable, this batch is at its peak IMO. 4.5/4.5/5

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 cpetrone84
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a thick motor oil looking liquid with a dark mohogany head that is creamy in appearance and offers some retention and a little bit of lace

S-the nose is a little light but still nice. Dark chocolate, lots of molasses, anise, and a touch of cherry. The booze shows in the nose and is quite present in the back

T-the taste is sweeter with hints of roasted malts and some earthy notes up front. Lots of dark chocolate with toffee behind. Molasses takes over with plums and cherries in the back. The booze is not nearly as present and really mellows in the taste

M-this has full body, it is smooth and creamy, soft on the palate and coats the mouth.

D-this is very tasty and has good flavors with a big body and huge taste.

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

A - Great looking black brew with a nice brown head. Very thick.

S - Coffee, some roasted malts, a bit of sweetness and vanilla. Someone said something about maple in here, but if it's there then I'm just barely getting it (or imagining it).

T - Interesting barrel influence. On the sweeter side of big stouts, roasted malts, bit of coffee, little chocolate, and molasses. Some interesting lighter fruits, maybe a deep cherry? This is good and interesting.

M - Thick and viscous, suits the style just fine.

D - Pretty good and easy to drink, would have this again.

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Do you like make fuck BERSERKER! Bitter chocolate, coconut, vanilla and roasted malt on the back end. Medium mouthfeel. Delicious.

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 gford217
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle courtesy of alaskajoe and NoonanDBarbarian poured into a snifter.

Pours about as beautiful as I've seen in a stout, with a pitch black body and big two-finger mocha head that hangs around as cap for ages and leaves great lacing. Gorgeous.

The aroma is a mixture of sweetness and dark roasted malts. The sweetness takes the form of chocolate, licorice, dark fruits and hints of vanilla. There is a bit of roasted coffee in the nose as well, but the sweetness is dominant.

The big dark roasted malts really come to play in the taste and underpin everything else. There is the sweetness of the dark fruits with vanilla, caramel and lots of chocolate. The finish has the roasted coffee bitterness with a very, very slight woody character.

The mouthfeel is decadent - thick and creamy like a rich chocolate dessert. Sticks all over the palate.

This is one fantastic stout and one of the best beers I've had in quite a while. For such a massive beer, it's very drinkable and the ABV was hardly noticeable. Highly recommended!

Photo of jbaker67
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Label says 12/7%, 2013. Pours a sludgy black liquid with only a small rim on the sides. Nose is huge molasses, very thick liquorish, sweet, bourbon, warming, liquorish is quite dominant, coffee & roasted oak. Taste is bitter thick molasses, lots of liquorish (interesting but less my thing), thick syrupy, barrel, warming, bitter coffee grounds, lots of molasses, roasted oak, charred, warming, touch bourbon. Thick, chewy, little carb. Interesting & solid beer.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle with speedwayjim, capra12, billyshears. Thanks to portable for the trade!!!

a-Gorgeous thick black with a thin tan head that can easily be brought back to life with a glass swirl.
s-Hoppy stout...licorice sweetness, i can smell the heat on this one.
t-Tastes thick and filling and pretty much follows the nose. Fantastic, but a bit overly rich and hot.
m/d-Really thick and Really rich. Glad that this was shared since it would be a bit much to take on alone.

Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 973 ratings.