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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: 324
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 podunkparte
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of waltersrj
4.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Original bottling (2008 I believe).

Thanks to Dan's tasting and a great BA for sharing at our 2011 Impy stout tasting.

Nose: Fig, raisin, Belgian yeast, dark roasted malts, charred ash, oak, slight whiskey vanilla and oak and a good amount of chocolate and possibly cherry cordial.

Taste: Fantastic roasted malts and Belgian yeast/spice, chocolate, cherry cordial, vanilla, oak and whiskey.

Mouthfeel: Amazingly velvety smooth, this is one of the best creamy and velvety mouthfeels I've ever had.

Overall: Amazing and they better make this again as I've heard it's currently barrel aging.

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of BigE90
4/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of Ryan1423
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of gueuzer
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of doughanson78
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of ArchEnemyBrew
5/5  rDev +12.6%

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

Poured black color with an average creamy light brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Heavy toasted chocolate, wood with a small alcohol aroma. Median to full body with a creamy texture and flat carbonation. Medium to heavy toasted sweet chocolate malt flavor with a heavy bittersweet finish of long duration. This is a standout beer.

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.

Photo of JAXSON
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 rate.

Pours a fairly viscous black with a thick, dark mocha head. Nose of pretty big roasted malt, fine coffee dust, and some charred, ashy oak. More light and creamy in the mouth than I expected, really bringing out the charred, ashy qualities. Some dark bitter chocolate, fudge, and coffee, segueing into an endless finish with a constantly changing character. This was pretty fascinating and is just a wonderful imperial stout.

Photo of sprucetip
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I dug into my notes from summertime when I am too busy to enter reviews and chose one of my favorites for review number 400 (with #420 just around the corner, but that's off topic)! Another 50 or so and I'd have something close to 10% of Buckeynation. Good thing this isn't a race or a competition. Not just quantity, but quality, because Buckeye's reviews are phenomenal and inspiring. Mine are pretty bland in comparison.

Sloth was my favorite of the 2007 Seven Deadly Sins Series, and I went as Sloth to a Midnight Sun New Year's Eve party that year, and came in runner up for the first prize of the 7 brews of the 7DS collection. So close! But not quite. But the guy who won gave me the Sloth bottle. Gluttony, I think he was. But I bought a bunch too, and I just gave one to Buckeye, and there is one more in the cellar doing time, possibly past it's prime? I'm told I could get a lot of beer for it, but I will consume it with friends at some point.

The pour produced a densely black fluid with thick head that was darker than mocha, and it hung around for a while. It was very active, and left scraps of patchy lacing.

The smell was chocolaty, mildly roasty, star anise/licorice, modestly boozy, and malty sweet. It all blends together very nicely, with just a wee bit of musky funky Belgian yeasty character.

Taste followed the nose with rich malty sweetness, medium roast, star anise, noticeable alcohol, and mild roasty and/or hoppy bitterness.

Low to medium carbonation, very rich and full body, chewy thick viscosity, and somehow a clean finish.

Very flavorful, pleasantly textured, balanced and complex sipper. I lobbied the folks at Midnight Sun to make it again, but I didn't get the impression that it was in the plans. They reminded me of the Berzerker that is released each fall.... But who knows, maybe now that they've got 4x the capacity, they'll crank out another batch someday.

Photo of AdamCook
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Acquired this beer at the 2010 Dark Lord Day in a trade for a Brooklyn Black Ops and a Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold. Let me start out by saying, best trade we ever made.

When the cap is taken off, the smell is not overwhelming. It's just right. Pours smooth and pure into a glass, leaving a small amount of caramel colored bubbles.

The smell is now hauntingly appetizing.

Taste is exceptional. Very smooth, smokey with some light saltiness. Chocolate, fig, black cherry, light molasses, angel tears, a hint of pure sinful madness, dark fruits and caramel. Finishes with a lasting, chewable single note.

A rare contender to the auspiciously created Dark Lord.

And to think I was trying to hold out for something better...I stand corrected and shamed by my lack of knowledge.

Photo of Sean9689
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tick #350!

22oz bomber.

A - Pours black, no head, thing ring around the glass.

S - Chocolate, coffee beams, cream, slightly bitter, nice roasty notes. Very solid, but coming from MS, it doesn't surprise me.

T - Bitter dark chocolate, creamy rich chocolate, roasty notes, vanilla sweetness, and some oak. So rich and decadent, so f'n good.

M - Full, slick, rich, smooth, bitter finish.

D - Awesome. So good. MS comes through yet again with another winner. Not a whole lot of Belgian characteristics, but who gives a crap, it's good.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A million thank you's to Adam for sending me a hand bottled growler of this rarity. About 4 days old. Poured into a Blue Point Snifter.

A: Growler opens with a muted hiss... a good sign! Pours a single layer of bubbles on top of a black-as-night beer. Lacing is non-existant.

S: Nose is of pure ethanol, sweet soy sauce, and the slightest hint of sun dried prunes in the background.

T: Grapes, prunes, chocolate, fudge, sweet soy sauce, all engulfed by a noticeable, yet mellow alcoholic cover. Not hot in the least. Subtly sweet and oily towards the end with the dark fruit fading out and a slightly roasty, milk chocolate flavor fading in. Finish is chewy brownie. Aftertaste is a brownie sweetness that coats the palate.

M: Medium to full bodied, ever-so-slightly carbonated, and probably the smoothest and easiest drinking beer that I have ever tasted or will ever taste. Slides down the gullet while caressing my throat. Silky smooth doesn't even begin to describe this one. Finish is messy and aftertaste lingers.

D: Not the most complex RIS in the world but by God, probably the tastiest. I'd give this one a 6 on taste and feel if I could. So easy to drink despite the high ABV since its so friggin smooth! Despite the hype, this beer is far far underrated in my opinion. Well worth acquiring.

Photo of alcstradamus
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours what at first appears to be a lifeless black, but after stopping pouring a late rising half finger of head forms.

The aroma is an incredibly decadent mix of chocolate, toffee, raisins, vanilla, grapes, citrus hoppiness....man, this is just begging me to take a sip.

The flavor is not quite as complex as the nose would suggest but it is still quite good. It starts out with some dry oakiness followed by dusty cocoa. Vanilla and plums in there as well. The flavor profile is very nice for sure, one that keeps me taking sip after sip looking for more.

The body doesn't quite support the flavor. It is medium with low carbonation. Not watery by any means, but either a bit more thickness or a bit more carbonation is needed to match the flavor.

Overall, this is a seriously good beer but probably not worth the effort to acquire. Not sure how it may differ from when it was fresh, but at this point in its life it is damn near a mirror image of the flat bottles of Lost Abbey Angel's Share from last year.

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.

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.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.75/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What is another sin between friends....

A: Black. Zero light got through this beer even when held up to the sun. Minimal brown head.

S: Bourbon. Oak. Lots of chocolate. Little bit of vanilla. What made this amazing to me was I got coconut in the nose. Awesome.

T: Really nice. Chocolate. Coconut. Extremely well balanced. A touch of roast.

M: Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

D: Wow. MS makes some of the most drinkable huge beers. I know the ones we had all had some time on them but damn. This was a champ of a drinker.

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).

Photo of Gyle41386
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to khiasmus for pulling this one out at a recent tasting.

Pours a deep, inky black with a thin brown ring of foam sitting atop. Some nice rings of lacing on the glass. Really nice looking beer.

Nice, big aroma of roasted barley, dark chocolate, dark fruits, and a little bit of soy.

This beer is exactly what I'd want from a "Belgian-Style Imperial Stout." Imagine your favorite Russian Imperial Stout and Belgian Quad blended perfectly. Reminds me of James Franco's quote from Pineapple Express about different kinds of weed meeting and fucking, then their babies fuck, and the result is Pineapple Express. Sloth is kind of like that. Just an unbelievable beer. With just the RIS characteristics, the big roast/coffee/chocolate, this is a damn fine beer. Throw in the dark fruits/Belgian yeast/brown sugar, and you've got a winner.

Medium-full body. Low carbonation. Sloth isn't still, but it's close. Liquid velvet. Doesn't taste like 10.2%. Obviously age has helped a bit in that regard. Hard to keep this beer out of your mouth. The only thing that made it remotely difficult to drink was knowing there wouldn't be any left once we finished. This was the highlight of a tasting that included Pliny the Younger and Westvleteren 12, among many other world-class beers. Really an unbelievable drinking experience.

Photo of khiasmus
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to Edgelow, years ago. Been hanging on to this one tightly for over 3 years.

He had spent all night clutching the scroll. The footsteps had passed within a few feet, but it was so pitch black that nothing could be seen, all he had to do was hold his breath. Pitch black. Nothing on top. Like used oil. "I wonder how much longer I can hold my breath? My lungs are screaming for air..." And just when he knew he could do it no longer, he heard a cracking, popping sound, a tree falling nearby, "Time it just right..." and along with the huge crash came his exhale and a deep inhale.
And the aromas were unbelievable.
The familiar soy sauce that always accompanies a very old stout, but this one blends so well... Some pitch, huge roasted grain notes, vanilla and a hint of chocolate, burnt sugar, dark fruits, coffee.
The leaves rustle, tiny twigs snap softly, and the Searcher ambles quietly away. "I know, as soon as it's light, they'll be waiting for me..."
And he has a moment to pull out his wineskin, take a much-needed quaff of the beauty therein...
Initially a sweetness, that of brown sugar, comes across his tongue, then soy sauce and molasses give way to harsh roasted grain and coffee. Another sip and other elements leap out: chocolate, raisin and plum.
They cannot find the scroll, the results would be disastrous. The secret cannot be divulged, the ancient script read... He must succeed in his mission, carry on...
There is little carbonation, as liquids in wineskins are generally not accompanied by much. However, it is thick and chewy, velvety, with a lightly dry finish from the coffee-bitterness. This could be the greatest of all time. It's as if... though obviously not... but as if... It must have been. It had to be. The monks. The monks of Westvleteren. They convened with Three Floyds in 2007. They met in Anchorage and combined Dark Lord 2006 with Westvleteren 12, and added coffee. Of course. It's the most logical explanation. "My mind really is going. Consider the sad reality."
One time. One time only. Once in a lifetime. The footsteps are far off. Time to move.

Photo of nickd717
4.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, huge thanks to ipa247 for sharing this extreme rarity that I thought I'd never get a chance to try. Jeff somehow pulls some insanely ridiculous beers. This one really blew me away and exceeded even the high expectations I had set for it.

Excellent appearance, jet black in color with a fluffy brown head and great lacing. Some legs on this beer as well.

Absolutely incredible aroma. Roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, coconut, oak, anise, and whiskey.

Flavor is also really complex and amazing. You can definitely tell that this has some Belgian notes in it, and they meld with the rest of the flavor seamlessly. Gentle roast and rich chocolate flavors, as well as toffee and maybe even some candi sugar, vanilla, coconut, molasses, licorice, oak, and yeast. Extremely complex and well-balanced, never overpowering.

Smooth and creamy on the palate with excellent soft carbonation. Really lingers in your mouth.

The drinkability is insanely high. Overall, just a phenomenal beer, and instantly one of my favorite examples of my favorite style. Wish they would brew this one again.

Photo of hrking
3.9/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from Grumpy. Nice well made Belgian stout that has a great drink ability and well hidden alcohol content. Sweet but not overly syrupy if you've ever had a Darkness this is like a Darkness turned down to about a 7. Malty chocolate with a easy aftertaste that leaves a nice pleasantness on the palate. Pours a dark black with a quickly diminishing head. One of my first brews from Midnight Sun and this is a well crafted beer. Very nice and was glad I had the opportunity to have had this beer.

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