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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

929 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 929
Reviews: 245
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.99%
Wants: 839
Gots: 233 | FT: 28
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: 929 | Reviews: 245
Photo of Kegatron
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Many thanks go to Bubba83 for surprising me with this in a recent trade of ours. You da' man Kevin!

Vintage 2010 12.7% ABV

This literally looks like motor oil going into the glass, with a black and viscous pour that yields a rigid finger of dark and burnt mocha head that is bordering on chocolate colored at times. By the time this finally settles down, you have a creamy ½ finger that stays rich and angry looking, and just drenches the glass with spotty froth and gooey brown oils that slowly ooze down the sides. Quite the fierce look here! The aroma is heavy with molasses, as well as notes of dark fruit, smoke, leafy tobacco, vanilla, cocoa powder; moderate warming bourbon, and some spicy alcohol. Light woodiness is present but is not jumping out, instead working with that dark fruit character to impart a bit of a wine like feel to the nose. Whew! There's a lot of complexity here but all of those flavors never seem to ground each other and were all easily identifiable in their own way. Just fantastic!

The taste has a thick sticky base to it of sugary molasses, vanilla, chocolate cake, and vinous dark fruit character that run the whole way through the profile. Things get taken to the next level with the addition of brown sugar and a bitter roastiness that hangs on the edges and then pulls together into a burnt back-end that lingers with leftover sugars and then finally dry notes of earthy tobacco and wood. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a tight and sharp chewiness that fills the palate up with all of those rich flavors. As this sits in the mouth and the carbonation starts to lessen, this achieves much more of a viscous feel that really accentuates all of that rich sweetness in the profile. This definitely has some beefy power to it but the alcohol is mostly confined to the flavors and this is overall VERY smooth for a near 13% beer. Man, the alcohol and wood really dry the finish out on this!

Wow, this was completely satisfying. Powerful, decadent, and complex, with such a smooth feel for size of it, this Midnight Sun offering just pushed all of the right buttons for me. Man, I need to find another one of these for the cellar. This beer rocked!

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Slatetank
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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

Got to try the '08 and '09 vintages back-to-back. Thanks to rudylaw and eyebrews for these two I think. This was the last thing I could coherently review at the December 5th Bad Apple tasting event (seems my limit is four beers in an evening). Served in the same mini-pint taster glass thing.

A - Two fingers of dark mocha foam that eventually dissipates to a ring and leaves some decent lacing, especially for such a high gravity brew. My notes say BLACK - I guess it was black?

S - Maple syrup, dark fruits, chocolate, light booze and vanilla, a touch of tobacco and leather. The barrel-aged element is a little understated, which I suppose isn't surprising considering this is a blend of bourbon barrel and wine barrel-aged elements, as opposed to 100% bourbon barrel-aged. Reminds me a little of what Dark Lord used to be like back when it was awesome.

T - Roasted caramel malts, maple, vanilla, bourbon, dark fruits. Not much subtlety here, although the roasty and tannic elements keep this from turning into a sugar bomb. I suppose I shouldn't expect subtlety from a beer called Berserker. There's the slightest sour and earthy element - perhaps from the wine barrel? Nice bitter and oaky finish.

M- Chewy, viscous full-body, light carbonation. Alcohol is present, but not indicative of the full 12.7% listed. Again, a little reminiscent of Dark Lord, but not quite as sludgy.

D - The thick texture and high ABV slow things down a bit, but it still more drinkable than your average 13% brew.

For all you Dark Lord lovers who have been underwhelmed by the most recent releases, seek this one out instead. It has a lot of similar elements, but also the nice twists of the light barrel aging (in both bourbon and wine barrels no less).

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer shared by someone at a recent tasting. Poured into a snifter. Beer is black but brown at the edges and forms moderate and broken head of small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Overall the carbonation appears low.

The aroma is mostly sweet with only a hint of alcohol.

Beer is medium bodied and has a combination of chocolate and sweetness in the front half, a slight tinge of alcohol and overall a mild bitterness from chocolate and roast. Beer finishes slightly dry that accents the bitterness of the beer overall. It is very drinkable though, the bitterness does not overpower the more delicate flavors in the front, there is no real aftertaste, if it were drier I believe there would be a problem with this much bitter, but it seems well composed.

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 beernads
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of InspectorBob
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Mora2000
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this beer.

Pours black with a dark brown head. Very attractive. The aroma is toasted malt with some chocolate and coffee. You also get some vanilla. The flavor is strong on the oak aging, with oak and vanilla being prominent. You get a little bit of bitterness as well. Medium mouthfeel and no detectable alcohol.

Photo of imperialking
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of duceswild
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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 GClarkage
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 Edition

A: Pours an opaque and thick jet black in color with very light notes of visible carbonation and some dark reddish brown highlights. The beer has an eighth of a finger tall dark reddish mocha head which quickly reduces to a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: The beer has a moderate to strong aroma of chocolate and bourbon with some lighter hints of oak and vanilla. There are moderate notes of molasses and maple syrup sweetness. Light notes of roasted malts.

T: Upfront there are some light notes of roasted malts with some molasses and maple syrup sweetness. On top of the malts, there are some moderate to strong flavors of rich dark chocolate and bourbon with some lighter notes oak and vanilla. Light hints of cocoa with some hints of alcohol towards the finish. Light lingering bitterness.

M: Full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate amounts of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: This is a great beer to finish the evening and matches very well with dessert - in our case some brownies made with Sea Legs Baltic Porter. This is really rich and you can detect the alcohol but I'm going to enjoy sipping on it a while longer. The bourbon is well integrated into the beer and the flavors in the beer match really well.

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

09 Version

Poured into large tripel karmetiet (sp) glass.

Pours about 1/4 finger of burnt orange/red tan head. Color is oil black. Very nice looking beer. Very great head retention.

Aroma: Damn, this is smelling fine. Grapes, chocolate, raspberries, cherries, roasted malts, caramel, vanilla, toffee, oak. Just awesome.

Taste: Wow, the -bal aging has done wonders here. Chocolate, roasted malts, grapes, cherries, coffee, vanilla, and oak. Everything goes together so well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and rich. Full bodied. Nice and chewy. A fine amount of carbonation. Ends with a roasted malt feel that brings out a touch of heat.

Overall, a sipper, but a fine sipper at that. This beer is simply amazing. Different with the barrels that were used, but I couldn't get enough of this. I highly recommend this one.

Photo of yourefragile
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 929 ratings.