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Specialty Beer XXX Black Double IPA - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Specialty Beer XXX Black Double IPASpecialty Beer XXX Black Double IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

167 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 167
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 8.79%
Wants: 29
Gots: 12 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Specialty Imports' specialty wine and beer import business, Midnight Sun Brewing Company brewed a very special beer--a black double IPA--to honor this Alaska company's long-term success.

This Specialty Beer Black Double IPA celebrates Specialty Imports' success in importing and distributing the world's best wines and beers to the appreciative folks in Alaska. This "Specialty Beer" brings together smooth, dark malts with intense aromatic hops to create a wonderfully balanced yet committed-to-flavor ale.

87 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-17-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 167 | Reviews: 81 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by devlishdamsel:
Photo of devlishdamsel
4/5  rDev +0.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of Billolick
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, w/o any freshness/brewing date info that I can find

Pours near black, under a looser dark tan head that quickly fades, but leaves nice high sheeting and more then ample fields and strands of lacing.

Milk chocolate on the nose.

More chocolate on the palate, with some cafe au lait and mellow hops in the finish.
Quite smooth and well rounded on the tongue. Pleasing and enjoyable take on the style.

Tasty and moderatly hoppy black ale.

Photo of jaminjohnson
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of daveytheformer
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce into a nonc

Pours black with a slight reddish hue when held up to the light. Tan head that fades to some lacing.

Smells like roasted malt and a little bit of hops.

Tastes are very malt forward with a noticeable hop bitterness rounding out the flavor.

Mouthfeel is thin with decent carbonation.

Overall is not something I'm really into but don't hate. From what I'm aware of this is a decent representation of the style just not the best.

Photo of Brewcycler
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of lnashsig
2.83/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to AugustGarage for the chance to taste this-however I am not a huge fan of this beer. Poured into a bourdeaux wine glass (I was at a party, they had no fitting beer glasses). Pours a silky black color, a little bit of white foam that leaves very little lacing. Smell- some citrus hops flavors, but I can smell the alcohol heat already. Taste- definite hops presence, but nothing there to counter. A real lack of malt flavor, aside from some cloying sweetness. Big alcohol heat makes this a real tough beer to drink. My biggest peeve with this beer is how badly the alcohol is masked...and its not even that big of an IPA at 8.5. Mouthfeel- this lacks carbonation to a fault. Makes this even tougher to drink. Drinkability...bad. I wasn't inspired to finish the second half of the bottle, and left it for some friends to try. I am becoming more and more skeptical of the "black IPA" style in general...is this a farce, or a true style?

Photo of InfernoBoss
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black DIPA (DIBA) brewed by Midnight Sun to commemorate Specialty Imports 30th Anniversary.

Pours a nice deep black with some ruby highlights around the glass. A nice pillowy head of tan foam retains very nicely and leaves good lacing.

Nose is mostly big west coast hops and bitter dark malts. Not alot of sweetness in the nose, mostly just standard big IPA hops.

Flavor is very nice. A good portion of west coast hop flavors in here, along with a nice malty backbone. There is a tiny bit of a roasty flavor in here, like a burnt...something. Maybe a bitterness from the malts, hard to say considering there is so much bitter hop flavor in here. The finish is nice and dry, and hop flavors linger on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very nice, carbonation is dead on, and this is nice and smooth without being too slick, and has a great dryness on the finish.

Drinkability is once again pretty good. The 8.5% in here really doesn't show up too much.

Overall a very complex and interesting IPA. or, IBA...er DIBA. yeah. Anyway, certainly one to grab in this new world of melding styles. A very cool beer.

Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big beer, very tasty and well integrated roast and citrus hops.Sweet pine,spruce. The hops rule, the roast, the chocolate, is substantive and yet not obtrusive.Though some charring, clean, not astringent. Warming alcohol. Long finish.Trade with Andrew.

Photo of augustgarage
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Seal brown, very dark but clear I think, with very faint auburn highlights. A thin cap of buff foam recedes to a lasting collar and thin slick. Average retention. Decent lacing.

Fresh hearty C-hops in the nose; earthy temperate-rain-forest-floor notes; a bit of citrus; vague smoke and black malt.

Cocoa powder, chocolate malt, light coffee, darkly toasted almonds...just a hint of char - leading into the bitterness from hops followed by a bit of citrus and a sharper pine note. The malt dominates, but the interplay between acrid and hoppy notes is unusual and interesting. Finishes dry and moderately astringent.

Medium-light bodied, low but sufficient carbonation, gently warming with a lingering smokey aftertaste that seems to cling to the palate.

Perhaps a bit too much specialty malt in here...lowering the drinkability a touch. More a hop-forward porter than anything else...

Photo of PretzelCity
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of nickd717
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, I'm ticking a lot of Black IPAs (aka CDAs) recently. This was a very good and interesting one.

Pours deep, dark reddish-brown with a substantial light tan head and some good lacing on the glass.

The aroma is roasty and smoky with chocolate, caramel, citrus, pine, and resin.

The flavor is really unique. If I had to describe it, I'd say it's like a scotch ale/porter/DIPA hybrid. A little smoky and maybe even peaty with huge caramel malt, chocolate, roast, orange/grapefruit, pine, and resinous hops.

The palate is full of hop resins, with medium-full body and average carbonation.

A success for Midnight Sun if you ask me. Really breaks the mold for this emerging style.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a Teku snifter.

Appearance - Almost black. Clings to the inside of the glass. Nice surface wisps.

Smell - Green pine hop aroma. Lots of nutty and chocolate malt. Very sweet smelling.

Taste - Very sweet. Less intense hoppiness. Much more sugar and chocolate. Overwhelms the black IPA aspects. Meh.

Mouthfeel - Very thick. Too sweet. Medium carbonation.

Overall - The sugars take over and kill most of the good flavors. Starts off well though.

Photo of atalayafr
4.21/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Very dark with a medium head that subsides quickly.
S-Strong hop smell with noticeable alcohol.
T-This is where this beer comes alive. Abundantly hoppy, high alcohol flavor.
M-Moderately carbonated. Lingers on the palate quite awhile.
O-A good IPA, not too overwhelming and very drinkable. But still with plenty of hops and good IBU presence.
S-22oz bottle.

Photo of jgrgas
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to get an imperial pint at Bailey's Taproom via a special delivery from Alaska (kudos to Saraveza for recommending Bailey's for the second 1/6th barrel). I believe this occasion marks the only time Midnight Sun has been on draught in Portland, as well as my first review on BA.

Pours a dark brown, almost black, tan head, minimal lacing.

Like others have stated, the aroma is dominated by hops, though I picked up a noticable spicy hop note woven between the citrus hop aromas.

The aroma moves into the flavor nicely, as citrus and spicy hop flavor dominates the intial reception, though without any acerbic back of the tongue bitterness. The hop flavor quickly moves into a dry roast, pleasantly acidic from the dark malts, balancing out the flash of west coast IPA notes. The malts and hops work together exceptionally well. Both characteristics have their place in this beer without butting into one another. It was an extremely gratifying experience to have both the hops and dark malts distinctive and smooth.

I've had issues with Black IPAs before, mainly finding them to be unbalanced (I'm reminded of a few where the roast/coffee notes completely destroyed any chance at labeling it an IPA). Each time I try the style I am nervous that I will either find something unfocused or a beer that would be more appropriately termed a hoppy porter/stout. This beer is an example of what I would truly call a Black/Dark IPA and I would drink it often if it was available.

Photo of Keith_R
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of GRG1313
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black carmel brown with an off-while/light khaki head.

Nose is very IPA with a fresh pineapple assertive smell that is almost strange considering the color. One expects something "roasty." Nice nose although a bit one dimensional and simple.

Mouthfeel is medium full and creamy. Rich and complex with nice balance and an "expensive, thick and rich" quality.

Flavors are big and assertive. Front palate is very much like a bitter and fruity IPA that then quickly goes to big roasted malts/grains and espresso. Layers of rich bold flavors and the big alcohol comes through with richness and without a hot character. This is a really complex and nice effort. The best of both worlds...IPA and there is a rich "roasted" quality as well.

Very long bitter espresso/grapefruit skin finish.

Photo of Boozecamel
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Docer
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: (4.0)
- Rich dark brown brew.. can't see through it... heavily poured into a glass.. rendered about a finger and a half of light mocha colored bubbly foam. Settled to some creamy spotting like a nice porter. Big bubbles left about.

Smell: (4.5)
- Lovely roasty chocolate and bitter coffee touch.. perfectly sweet and grassy bitter with hops. Nice grainy malt, and plenty of bittering hop here.

Taste: (4.5)
- Yum. Perfectly solid and balanced brew. Taste is rather light actually, but melds so well. Chocolate grainy malt, bitter husky barley flare.. light coffee skunk, and grassy earthy bitter hops.. perfectly melded. This is a really good Black IPA.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Creamy medium to heavy body.. though the flavor was certainly smooth and drinkable. Bitter dryness, and chewy. This is a light meal in a bottle. Carbonation is just right, and leaves a slight chalky finish as it should.

Overall: (4.5)
- A beer I would buy many more of if more available. On tap I am sure this beer would be bliss. It holds up to my favorite CDA's and has certainly found its spot at the top. Get it.

Photo of itracy63
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Hopmodium
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 received in trade from AkBelgianBeast.. Frank hooked me up big time.. I had never heard of this brew before... and was super stoked to find it in a great box of exclusive MS bottles.

I shared this with Buckeyeboy and SAS... My portion went into my chimay goblet.

nice 1" head... descent lace atop a very dark brown... yet somehow clear brew...

The nose is not as hoppy as expected.. PNW hops are very present.. pine and some minor grapefuit.. but the dark malt come out in full force.. coffee and some dark fruitiness..

Flavor is a little light for an expected PNW DIPA .. with very light espresso.. and minor chocolate.. not as bitter (from malts) as I was envisioning.. the hop bitterness has a resinous quality.. the dark malts lend more to a lite coffee .. some caramel sweetness helps tie everything together.. but it is a little bit of a cluster.. great flavors... but they all are just a big derby of qualities.. Great body and carbonation.. more oily dark malts as it warms.. nice overall package.

Pretty substantial brew.. Glad I enjoyed it with other BA's.. Huge thanks to Frank .. It is gonna take me a while to work through the plethora of brews.. but I am gonna try.

Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of Greywulfken
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: almost pitch black body - hint of ruby peeks through - with a thick dark tan head; scattered lacings

S: chocolate roasted malts, dark deep fruit; earthy, piney hops

T: lotsa of dark malt flavors, like espresso sweetened with cane sugar; buried dark fruit and dark caramel; bitterer on the finish than the front

M: crisp, bittering finish, smooth, slightly sticky, slightly coating

O: a delicious black ale - reminded me of other great ABAs like Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous, Uinta's Dubhe, Dark Horse's Special Black Ale, and Dark Element. If any of those strike your fancy, this is a safe bet. Lots of roasty dark malts and well-represented hops. A little on the sweet (as opposed to dry/bitter) side of an ABA.

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Specialty Beer XXX Black Double IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.