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Sloth - Belgian-Style Imperial Stout - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sloth - Belgian-Style Imperial StoutSloth - Belgian-Style Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

74 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.11%
Wants: 325
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

SLOTH Belgian-style Imperial Stout is deliberately dark as hell. The pour is slow and sluggish. Its head is menacing, becoming torn and tattered Belgian lace on the sides of the glass as you cautiously consume this brew—sip by insidious sip.

The aroma is sweet from heavy malt and big alcohol with notes of vanilla, coconut and whiskey from the oak. The depth & breadth of roasted malt flavors loiters on the palate while the robust finish lingers, well, forever.

20 IBU

(Beer added by: beersabound on 11-03-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 74 | Reviews: 48 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

t0rin0, Oct 29, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
3.35/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to AgentZero for making this happen. Served in a Midnight Sun goblet. Pours near-black with a short off-white head and not much in the way of lacing. The nose has a pretty heavy amount of roast with some light barrel character. Some chocolate and just a bit of vanilla in the background. Not getting much from the Belgian yeast at this point. Flavor is similar and fairly muted. Seems a bit oxidized. Heavy malt character with roast and chocolate. A bit undercarbonated. Nice, but just seems to fall flat like it’s well past its prime, unfortunately. Still, very fun to try.

Thorpe429, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

spycow, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"We excuse our sloth under the pretext of difficulty."

--Marcus Fabius Quintilian

Obsidian with no highlights whatsever... not even with bright winter sunlight attempting to penetrate the glass. A tidy crown of double fudge milkshake colored cream looks like it will hang around for quite some time (and does). Wow, what a looker!

This burly black beast smells like a cross between an RIS and a Belgian stout, which makes perfect sense. It probably favors the former so far, since Belgian yeast esters are on the low end. Or maybe they're just overpowered by all that roasted/charred malt.

Any fears that Sloth Belgian-Style Imperial Stout has not held up since the release need to be put to rest right here and now. This is one of the best (3 years plus) aged ales of any style that I've ever had. The mouthfeel doesn't even appear to have taken a hit.

Each eagerly awaited mouthful is a barely controlled explosion of what makes beer of this style my second favorite, behind only hellaciously hoppy IPAs and DIPAs. The explosive specifics include raisins and figs soaked in Sambuca, dark brown sugar syrup, blackstrap molasses, bittersweet chocolate brownies and hints of ground clove.

What a devilishly delicious dark symphony of flavor... that is becoming even more bold and deep with warming. Despite a mere 20 IBUs when fresh, this is not sticky sweet ale. Oh, it's sweet alright, but it isn't dessert beer sweet. Great for sipping (hard to do) and equally great for gulping (which is where I'm at right now).

The mouthfeel is easily one of the five best ever(!) after more than three years in the bottle. Maybe one of the three best. It's incredibly lush and creamy-dreamy with plenty of semi-stickiness born of mucho malt sugars. The carbonation snuggles right into the sweet-spot as well.

It's only late February, but it's hard to imagine that Sloth Belgian-Style Imperial Stout will be bested for the remainder of 2011. A well-deserved thanks to sprucetip, an unfailingly generous BA, for digging into his cellar and going through hell and high water to provide me with this outstanding ale from the land of the Midnight Sun.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So here we are on night number six of the seven deadly sins series. Again big ups to Frank for getting me this. After sitting in the cellar for a better part of year, I brought this gem out last night and served it in an oversized wine glass. Consumed on 07/20/2008.

Poured this one vigoursly into the glass. A rich, deep, and dark looking liquid then unfolded here. A copious amount of tan colored foam then rose up from the bottom, reaching around three fingers in height before setting down to a nice crown that clung to the sides and left copious amounts of lace up and down the glass.

Rich decadent smell here. The first notes of chocolate and molasses were coming through very nicely. Hints of some dark fruit, figs perhaps bouncing around along with a nice touch of spice and a good hint of what seemed to be bourbon or something along those lines. Awesome smell, and really just got me going for this one. The flavor was just about right. Rich chocolate notes layered on top of a solid base of coffee and roasted malts. Nice solid, smooth feel, with great carbonation and a silk like profile. Deep resonant toasted feeling on this one. Really a quality stout here. Hints of dark fruit as it warms now, with touches of raisins starting to come through. This was a definite sipper, as it was strong, and you know it, but it was delightful for a nightcap and I had no issue with trying to put this one down.

Overall a very solid stout here, and a damn fine addition to this lineup. I would have no issue at all with getting a few of these to put down, as they are just that good. Another solid offering from Midnight sun!

mikesgroove, Jul 21, 2008
Photo of womencantsail
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this previously, but sampled again at Saturday's MS Sins tasting. A clear memory of the beer makes for a much better review...

A: The pour is nearly flat, thick, and black as night. Essentially no head with a few scattered bubbles.

S: Tons of sweet milk chocolate, whiskey, vanilla, and just a hint of coffee. As it warms up, a touch of figs, raisins, and miscellaneous dark fruits.

T: The flavor of this beer is just so smooth and rich. The whiskey and vanilla come through strongly and give way to sweet chocolate, and a hint of coffee. The oak makes itself known at times, and there are some dark stone fruit flavors on the back end.

M: Really exceptional in terms of the feel. Nice and smooth, creamy, and full bodied.

D: An absolutely fantastic beer all around. I wish I had a bottle of this because I've thoroughly enjoyed my few samples of this.

womencantsail, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of ygtbsm94
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

ygtbsm94, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an onyx black body topped by a tall, dark tan head.

Smell: Aroma heavy on the roast, and boozey, too. Notes of burnt wood, dark caramel, chocolate, a puff of smoke and, once allowed to warm a bit, a medley of dried fruits.

Taste: There's an intense charred, smokey roastiness upfront followed by a sweet dark chocolate taste to make it bearable. Tastes of caramel syrup, fire-scorced marshmallows, and a bit of fruit. Mild oak character. Medium earthy bitterness that recedes as you approach the finish. A touch of oak and yeast (and booze) for the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: This stout is top notch, Midnight Sun!

ChainGangGuy, Mar 04, 2008
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

largadeer, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 5/2/08. Shared the entire 7 beer series with fellow BAs Deuane & SierraGS. It was quite a night! Special thanks to AKBelgianBeast for trading me the complete set of these to try.

22 oz bomber into a snifter.

Pours a pitch black with a 1/2 finger of dark brown mocha colored head that shrinks down into a great looking creamy retention around the edges with some thin wisps across the center. Very nice looking lacing is left behind. The aroma is mostly deep chocolate notes and coffee but I'm also picking up some slight yeasty notes and a prickly heat in the backend.

The taste starts off with a roasty bitterness up front that is quickly followed by rich chocolate and caramel notes and some zippy espresso. There is also an underlying current of dark fruit tang and an oakiness to it. The mouthfeel has a medium full feel with a nice amount of alcohol beef to the proceedings but not quite enough to make it stinging. The overall body feels like it all just go a tad deeper however.

Very nice and probably my favorite of the Deadly Sins series. This is just packed with flavor and I liked how the Belgian characteristics stayed on the more subdued side, just lying underneath those other explosive RIS traits. Although a bit beefy, this still drank like a champ for a 10% Stout. I just wish that I had another bottle.

Kegatron, Jun 03, 2008
Photo of MasterSki
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Joe for providing this one at the pre-NotLA/"Alex is done his dissertation" party. Served in a Word Class Beverages taster glass.

A - Pours a pitch black without a hint of color - although when held up to the light it teases with some reddish transparency. Pours with two fingers of dark mocha foam that settles to a thin cap and thicker collar, minimal lace.

S - Smokey, roasty, Belgian yeast, dark fruits, molasses, and a bit of woodiness. I thought this wasn't barrel-aged, but it confused me, with the notes of vanilla and coconut peaking through. After consulting Midnight Sun's website, I learned it is indeed aged in whiskey oak of some sort.

T - Intense roast and dark chocolate, dark fruits, chocolate, and anise. Alcohol is very well-hidden. Finish is very tannic and smokey, with tons of residual roasty bitterness. Not as complex as the nose.

M - Slick, oily, thick body - it's not Dark Lord, but it's still pretty viscous. Quite low carbonation, The finish is dry and woody. Perfect for the style.

D - It'd be hard to kill 22oz on my own, but I could split this two ways with someone. It reminds me of the good batches of Black Albert, but with some light barrel-aging notes (and none of the funk of Cuvee Delphine).

MasterSki, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe at a recent tasting, thank you very much Thorpe, this is a top want for me. At the time of this review, this is #13 on the "Top Beers - Russian Imperial Stout" list on beeradvocate.com. Served in a snifter.

Beer is black and oily, thick with a nice thin head of small bubbles, minimal retention, lacing, and all of that.

Aroma is sweet, liquor, mild anise almost, interesting, a smells awesome.

This was the winner of the night for me. It is incredible. Thick and fudgy with a nice liquor and alcohol notes. I really enjoyed it and would have it again for sure.

drabmuh, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of yourefragile
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

yourefragile, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Thoroe429. Thanks Mike!

The beer is near black and appears viscous and oily. Minimal beige head. The aroma brings roast, oak, lightly sweet. Mild smoke in the aroma with a delicate warming alcohol finish. Relatively full bodied and palate coating. An outstanding example of the style.

Huhzubendah, Jul 07, 2012
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 that I received a looong time ago from AkBelgianBeast... I shared the final sin with inflatablechair... Sam and I both very much appreciated the opportunity... Poured into my New Belgium snifter... Thanks again Frank.

1/4" head sticks around.... good lace.. brew is deep dark brown .. not quite black... good red highlites.

Nose is deep chocolate with spicy yeastiness... cocoa and dark cherry... everything meshes very well.

Flavor is the same with more cherry.. fig.. and a spiciness that reminds me of cinnamon.. thick coating body.. smooth carbonation... very rich.. as much Belgian as American.

Very complex.. probably my favorite of the night... incredibly long finish.

Thanks Frank.. I took descent notes.. but I wish I had been more complete..

JohnGalt1, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Midnight Sun right now! Are you kidding me! I am so glad to try this one.

A - Servered in a 12 oz goblet. A very dark brown, but not as black as some other stouts. A nice dark tan head forms and slowly fades to a few bubbles around the edges.

S - Chocolate really is strong here. I don't really get much else. Maybe I am rushing here.

T - A sweet dark chocolate with hints of oak and coffee. Sweeter than I was expecting.

D - Good carbonation and body for the style.

O - A real treat to have this on tap. A sweet Belgian style stout. I really savored and enjoyed this one.

HuskyinPDX, May 02, 2012
Photo of ccrida
3.88/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle of this about 14 months ago, and happy to find this on tap that the MSBC loft. Sloth is a very dark brownish black with a small tan head leaving scattered lace.

Smell is pretty weak for such a big beer. Served on the colder side, but even as it opened up, it stayed on the muted side. Caramel mostly, some char.

Taste is pretty good, a big chocolaty stout, but a bit heavy-handed with the crystal for my taste, which gives it a sharp, malty finish. Less roast then Earth (their milk stout), I'm guessing there's a heavy does of black patent malt, given it that acrid finish (which they struggled to counterbalance with the crystal).

Mouthfeel is extremely creamy, viscous but only medium-heavy bodied, with a smooth, but very long lasting finish.

Drinkability is pretty good. The first few sips blew me away, but the intensity wore out my palate in a hurry. Still, a very good beer.

ccrida, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of AgentZero
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

AgentZero, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of bsuedekum
4.75/5  rDev +7%

bsuedekum, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of DefenCorps
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to Deuane for bringing this out at The Graduation Tasting.

A: Jet black with a dark brown head with OK retention

S: Complex blend of bourbon, licorice, vanilla, chocolate. Oxidation is fantastic, with a mild port and raisin-like character. Exceptional. Very rich and dark. Warmth brings out the roasted malt character along with a coconut note

T: Holy complex and rich beer, batman! Ridiculously rich, deep, chocolate, coffee and port character. Toffee and licorice are also noticeable and enjoyable. Bourbon appears mid palate with coconut. This is what Black Albert wants to be. Oak on the finish.

M: Medium body with a super slick, soft and smooth feel. Excellent carbonation, excellent finish with mild bitterness

D: Ridiculously smooth and drinkable

DefenCorps, May 21, 2009
Photo of gford217
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to NoonanDBarbarian to providing me with the 7 Deadly Sins brews and this is #5 for me. Poured into a snifter.

Sloth pours a viscous black with no light penetrating at all. The head is mocha and lingers for just a little while before settling in as a small cap leaving bits of lacing.

The aroma is dominated by big dark chocolate malts with hints of roasted coffee. There's a definite vanilla sweetness with some booze just slightly tingling the nose.

The taste opens with a roasted coffee bitterness that blends into the sweet milk chocolate, roasted malts and vanilla. There is also some dark fruit and a slight candied sugar character with yeast, though the Belgian characteristics are extremely subtle.

The mouthfeel is slick with little carbonation and coats the mouth thoroughly.

This is a great example of an impy stout and keeps the Belgian characteristics to a minimum. It's probably my favorite of the Deadly Sins brews. Thanks again to Brian for sharing this beauty.

gford217, Oct 15, 2008
Photo of whartontallboy
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

whartontallboy, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of cpetrone84
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had again end of 2011. A few quick notes, lots of rich cake like flavors, notes of fruit in back with some ashy malt in middle. Bright flavors, balanced and complex. Rating based off of most recent tasting.
***
Big thanks to Jeremy for the tasting on this one!

A-pours a viscous jet black liquid with a dark tan, bubbly head that lingers for a moment leaving no lace.

S-the nose is quite nice, notes of chocolate and lots of savory fudge, light touch of oak with a solid dark fruit presence in the back.

T-lots of milk chocolate and vanilla, good roasted presence with dry oak accompanied. ripened dark fruits add sweetness and vinous characteristics with a touch of belgian yeast and a light smoked peat moss behind.

M-very soft, smooth and silky on the palate with a full body that avoids being heavy yet not thin as many barrel aged beers can become.

D-huge flavors that blend perfectly together and brings such complexity. the barrel aging stands up just right leaving a full body with the soft belgian feel. awesome beer!

cpetrone84, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of tpd975
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to timmcd for sending me this one.

A: Pours a nice dark black with a small tan head. No real retention or lace.

S: Aromas of deeply roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, coconut, and vanilla. Mild woody notes with an alcoholic kick.

T: Very much like the aroma. Wonderful bold flavors. Nice roast with a coconut macaroon like sweetness. Chocolate and coffee are there in a big way with some vanilla and barrel notes. Hints of raisin and a bit of booze round things out.

M: Medium in body, smooth and tasty.

D: Very good, really liked this beer.

tpd975, Jun 20, 2010
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Sloth - Belgian-Style Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.