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

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Sloth - Belgian-Style Imperial StoutSloth - Belgian-Style Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

48 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 48
Hads: 75
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 5.86%
Wants: 321
Gots: 5 | 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:
Beer added by: beersabound on 11-03-2007

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 48 | Hads: 75
Photo of ccrida
3.85/5  rDev -13.3%
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. (902 characters)

Photo of CoolJosh
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Generously shared by Deuane and Carolyn (SierraGS). Really glad that both of you could attend the tasting. Thank you again for your company, and the great beer that came with it!

Pours a nice film of white head. Black body that proves to be a little bit thinner then the ABV would lead one to believe. Brown around the edges. Good looking RIS.

Wow! This one smells incredible. A very pleasing belgian yeast scent emerges well from the glass to flourish into smooth and very well rounded scents. Dreamy, silky chocolate dances in my nostrils, in addition to soft and silky sweet caramel. Indulging, to say the least. Some slight bourbon notes and vanilla also manage to find their way out of the glass and into the air.

I couldn't wait to taste this one after the tantalizing scent. Belgian smooth, ya' know what I mean... Heavy bourbon flavors, and oaky. The vanilla in this beer is subtle and not over done, just the right amount to serve as the perfect compliment. Nice coffee notes as well, wasn't expecting this. Semi dry towards the end of each sip. Light licorice appears as the beer warms. Great chocolate and burnt toffee flavors. This is an excellent beer, and is so well done. (1,190 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
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 (771 characters)

Photo of treyrab
4.87/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Deuane and Carolyn for bringing this to the Graduation tasting! Out of all the stouts we had that day, including BA Speedway and KtG, this one was the winner for me!

A: Pours a thick black with only the slightest brown hues when held to lighyt. A nice dark mocha head sits atop the beer and is nice and creamy.

S: Wow. Just wow. Great bourbon notes (but not overdone), very nice sweet and burnt toffee, dark caramel, dark roasted barley and nice, slight Belgian spices. Just immaculate.

T: One of the best stouts I have ever had, hands down. Great bitter toffee and burnt caramel, dark roasted barley mixed with a sweet bourbon. The bourbon is just incredible. A deeply complex and in your face with flavor beer but also very smooth.

Overall, thanks again. This was one of the best beers I have ever had! (823 characters)

Photo of Floydster
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle received a while ago from AKBelgianBeast, thanks to Frank for sending me this great beer, currently drinking this while catching up on my backlog of reviews, poured into my Dogfish Head snifter

A-Completely black pour, big one inch nice creamy tan head that stuck around for over five minutes, nice lacing at first too
S-Chocolate, bourbon, Belgian yeast, roasted malts, booze, great vanilla nose, coconut, raisins, maple syrupy, peated malt, and cream
T-Starts off very chocolately, vanilla and roasted malts in the middle, finish is both sweet and a little smokey, great finish with a hint of warming booze, lots of Belgian character, sweet tones from this are great and not overpowering, the heavy amounts of malt are great, nicely balanced overall
M-Great thick and rich mouthfeel, sweet, roasted, hot, dry, and smokey, full bodied, taste lingered forever and I still wanted more
D-Drank this whole bomber, booze are there but hidden nicely, they just add something to the aftertaste more than make it difficult to drink, great drinkability for a beer over ten percent

Certainly one of my favorite Midnight Sun beers period, it is an outstanding imperial stout that has a big Belgian influence, this one should continue to age with the best of them, better than the first time I tried it somehow, would love to drink again, definitely recommended (1,368 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
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.. (759 characters)

Photo of beerceller99
4.52/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Diesel oil black with a fleeting brown head. Heavenly aromas of roasty malts with oak vanilla, licorice. Rich, hearty flavor is a perfect mix of dry roasty malts with sweet molasses, rich chocolate and vanilla. The barrel aging effect is damn near perfect here. Nice oak wood notes. One of the best barrel aged stouts I've had. Awesome, and a big shout out to the guys for the opportunity. (389 characters)

Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again Frank!

Poured black with a small mocha head into a snifter.

Smell: Chocolate, Coffee, Alcohol, Roasted Barley, and some Fruits.

Taste: Amazing! Rich Chocolate, it reminds me of cake batter with hints of coffee underneath. Silky, thick, and smooth. (265 characters)

Photo of hopdog
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to TomDecapolis for sharing this 22oz bottle.

Poured a dark black (it just doesn't get darker than this) with an averaged sized brown head. Aromas of dark fruits, oak, wood, vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, smoke, and chocolate. Tastes of dark fruits, oak, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and roasty. Full and creamy body. Damn this was good.

Notes from and tasted on 2/1/08 (383 characters)

Photo of joe1510
4.37/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

My neighbor Dave brought me back this bottle from a summer trip through Alaska, thanks Dave! Sloth is a black as night beast that gurgles from the bottle into this snifter. This beer swallows up the light in the room. It took a hard pour to conjure up a fingers worth of head but what's there is so dark it borders on purple. The head dissipates to a thin skimming and small ring after a few minutes. A quick swirl brings the head back to life.

This is a deep, dark, rich smelling stout. The nose alone is intoxicating. There's a huge roastiness off the bat that's intertwined with high cocoa dark chocolate, dark slightly underripe berries and molasses in that order of intensity. The complexity in the nose goes on and on growing deeper and deeper as it warms. The alcohol adds some spice to the overall aroma and there's even some nuttiness in here. The nose of this beer is excellent!

The flavor follows the aroma stride for stride. The big roastiness jumps out right away and is quickly surpassed by deep, dark chocolate with a touch of heavy cream. All the other qualities from the aroma come through in the back and add their own unique touch to this massively rich beer. Clean alcohol fumes heat up the throat and nose without ever getting in the way. I'm having a tough time deciding between a 4 and 4.5 but the more I drink the more I lean toward the latter.

The mouthfeel on this big stout falls right where it needs to. The body is thick and rich without the sticky sweetness. It's completely mouth coating with barely any noticeable carbonation which really helps all the flavors jump.

This beer goes down easy but it will never be an easy drinker. The abv and complexity makes it a 100% sipper. I wouldn't mind sipping it all night though.

Sloth is high quality. I didn't pick up any Belgian characteristics but I did pick up plenty of huge complex RIS. I wish I had a few more bottles of this beer, as it gets near room temp it becomes outstanding. Thanks again Dave! (2,000 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (989 characters)

Photo of boralyl
4.05/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark black with no light coming through. It doesn't have much head, but what's there is a dark brown that settles as a ring.

S - The aroma is full of roasted malts. I used to work at an ice cream shop, and it reminds me of our coffee flavored variety. There is also some alcohol present as well, reminds me of brandy.

M - A full bodied beer. It feels quite thick and smooth. It's carbonated well for the style.

T - Chocolate and roasted malts make up the beginning and middle. A small amount of warming alcohol flavor shows up along with some hops bitterness at the end. The alcohol flavor is surprisingly well hidden. It leaves a roasted coffee taste in your mouth after it goes down.

A nice big stout. Has a nice complex aroma and flavor and makes a great beer to sip. (786 characters)

Photo of Crosling
4.82/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Red tinged black colored beer with a full tan head. Really nice aromas, with deep dark fruits, brandy and roasted malt and chocolate notes. Delightfully crafted malt character, with notes of peanut butter, chocolate, espresso roast and dark fruits. Incredible 30-second + finish lasts and lasts. Amazing ale. (308 characters)

Photo of mentor
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thin layer of very dark browwn head over a pitch liquid. Clingy head hangs. Smells clean alcohol, vegetal, chocolate, mild aromas overall. Decent williamette hop aroma.

Tastes chocolate sweet with balancing alcohol clean. Currant, brown sugar, and a bit of zip. Some roast underneath, but not a potent coffee (tamed and nice). Fuggle-type hop rises up retronasal. Thick liquid and modest carbonation. Highly drinkable. (427 characters)

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! (1,629 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (1,335 characters)

Photo of Deuane
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Gorgeous inky black with a lovely thick chocolate colored head. Globs of lacing in the glass.

S-Although only slightly diminished this brew smells very similar to Kate the Great. Chocolate, licorice and smoke in the back. Alcohol warming with a bit of coffee in the background. Amazing how close they are to each other.

T-Leather, chocolate, dark friut, coffee...WOW! This is KTG, jr. Nice dark roasty finish.

M-This is the only thing lacking from this beer. I would say medium body leaning towards medium-heavy...but it just seemed off. I would have expected a more chewy mouth from a beer in this realm.

D-Top notch stuff, really nice. The only fault is the mouth which is a bit disappointing. Otherwise hard to beat. I really was sad to empty the bottle! (763 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
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! (680 characters)

Photo of SargeC
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Intense black brew with a deep brown head that may be the darkest I have ever seen. The head clings to the glass like a magnet.

Smell: Chocolate with hints of caramel and toffee. Touch of alcohol.

Taste: This brew moves slow and steady and has a pleasant sweetness to it. Subdued malt flavors dominate with some yeast flavors poking through. Very bold flavor, but none of them overpower.

Mouthfeel: Full body. Creamy, with a waxy quality. Alcohol warms it up well.

Drinkablity: Very easy drinking and interesting brew. Not as dense or over the top as many imperial stouts, but still has plenty of character. (627 characters)

Photo of brewandbbq
4.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The bottle opens with a rather enthusiastic vent.
Presentation is opaque jet black, with only a half-inch head of brown foam with a stretch-pour.
Absolutely no translucency in the edges when held to a spotlight.
Aromatics are loaded with chocolate cake batter spiked with coffee dust. Heavily roasted, with char and nougat following through.
The mouthfeel is massive. Very thick and chewy, but beyond that there seems to be an elevated carbonation level that allows the brew to somewhat expand on the pallet. Slighty coarse with gummy particulates.
The pallet is full-on, over-the-top Imperial Stout. Rich and lucious dark chocolate, espresso beans, brownie batter, and Hershey's syrup.
Bitterness and hopping in general are restrained, with the bitterness that's present being of the acrid type.
Finishes with a very slow warm up and a hint of dark fruit under the asphault of chocolate and espresso.

A friend and I were lucky enough to do a side by side with Kate the Great.
While the Kate had more finesse, complexity, and drinkabilty, the Sloth was definately a much bigger interpretation of the style. (1,108 characters)

Photo of irishevans
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours blacker than snipes, shannon sharp, eddie murphy, or even space ghost's mask. the head sparkles almost like there were little diamonds in it, otherwise a toffee coffee color. smells of chocolate, and caramel but more inviting than just a run of the mill stout. the taste is a bit bitter, caramelish with a faint hint of cherry on the finish (though i don't think there is any in the mix). mouth-feel is fantastic, grainy for a stout, perfect level of carbonation, an all around joy to drink. if you want an answer for drinkability see the mouth-feel. damn good beer, period end of story. (593 characters)

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.99/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is blacker than wesley snipes. There is absolutely no light through it, It is crude oil black. The head is dark tan with good lace and kind of glitters. Good lace. The nose is semi-weak for an imperial stout, it lacks smoke flavors in the smell and alcohol is present. At first taste it tastes more of espresso than coffee and has some chocolate flavor. Molassesy tones in the middle with some sugar. Thick and chewy, yet smooth going down, but the aftertaste has some excessive alcohol notes, by no means abrasive though. A slight (very) hop flavor in the finish as well. The mouthfeel is quite good. Thick and creamy with chewy texture. sugary residue remains on lips and in the corners of the mouth. Drinkability is high for an imperial stout, but i would rather have more smoke and malt flavor in sacrifice. Great brew from the boys at m sun once again. This one will do very well in the cellar. Get it. Get it now! now! (934 characters)

Photo of beersabound
3.73/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

20 IBUs. Sloth is impenetrable to light. The dark brown head with tan tones lazily rests; seemingly not wanting to go anywhere. Wafts of candi sugar, alcohol, roasted malt and dark cherries slowly rise from the glass. The long lasting flavors of alcohol, dark fruit, molasses and chocolate coat my tongue and seem quite comfortable there. Like fleece PJs on a leather couch, the low carbonation and full body relax and sink into my tongue for a good spell. As it unhurriedly rolls in my mouth's confines neither it nor I seem motivated for it to leave. The aftertaste is eternal. This is a sipper for a cold night without much to do.

A noble effort and big beer with some unique flavors. It's a little sweet and rough around the edges right now but I am interested to see how it ages. Wasn't sure what to style to put it in. But I like RIS was more fitting than American Double stout. (886 characters)

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Sloth - Belgian-Style Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.