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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

163 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 163
Reviews: 80
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: 163 | Reviews: 80 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of andy1701
2.5/5  rDev -37.2%

andy1701, Aug 17, 2013
Photo of kscaldef
2.5/5  rDev -37.2%

kscaldef, Mar 20, 2013
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?

lnashsig, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3/5  rDev -24.6%

SmellsofMahagony, Mar 11, 2013
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.

Alieniloquium, May 07, 2013
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.

daveytheformer, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Bobby for providing this tick.

A: The pour is a dark brown color featuring a substantial amount of reddish hue, with a thin layer of tan foam.

S: The nose is not all that much like other Black (D)IPAs I've come across. Fairly roasty with a bit of coffee, dark chocolate, and smoke. The hops are rather woody, and not the usual resinous piney sort.

T: Again, this beer leans more towards the "black" part of the name rather than the IPA. Soft roast notes along with some coffee and hints of smoke. The hops are subtle, providing a bit of bitterness and citrus flavor.

M: The body is slightly watery with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: This was a total miss for me. I usually enjoy this style and Midnight Sun has made some pretty nice beers, but I can't say this is one of them.

womencantsail, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of ChrisPro
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

ChrisPro, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

ygtbsm94, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of Rick778
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Rick778, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of TasteTester
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

TasteTester, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of phooky
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

phooky, Jun 04, 2014
Photo of malfunxion
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

malfunxion, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of chase2634
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

chase2634, Apr 26, 2013
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

t0rin0, Oct 29, 2012
Photo of northstar23
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

northstar23, Sep 07, 2013
Photo of cvm4
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep black, not viscous, with a one finger light tan head.

S - Roasted malts, subtle sweetness (cocoa nibs?) and piney hops.

T - Again with the roasted malts, mildly burnt chocolate that brings some sweetness and a mild piney hop finish. It pretty much follows the nose to me. I'm not sure how old this bottle is, but to me it seems like the IPA part of the beer takes a backseat to the black ale portion.

M - A thicker body for the style with medium carbonation. Can seem cloying with the sweetness.

O - Tamp down the sugar/sweet portion and ramp up the IPA hoppy portion of the beer and I think this could be a winner.

cvm4, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Dan. Served in a Captain Lawrence tulip. Currently the #24 American Black Ale. Reviewed from my tasting sheet.

Pours nearly black with a small tan head, not much lacing, and a thin collar throughout. The nose carries some good resinous pine and roast plus some earthiness in the background. The flavor drops off with the roast coming through too much and not bringing enough hops. Mouthfeel is very dry, though it tastes like it's coming from the roast rather than hops and bitterness, which isn't ideal. A bit of a disappointment from a brewery that's normally dead on with its beers.

Thorpe429, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

8.5% ABV confirmed. 22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at a local SoCal beer store for $12.00 USD and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude, Los Feliz, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; this brewery has been very hit and miss for me.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger dark khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and above average retention (~2 minutes) for the high ABV. Body colour is a solid nontransparent opaque dark brown-black. A bit cola-esque. Not jet black by any means. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Standard fare for a black IPA. Nothing unique or special here, but no overt flaws.

Sm: Caramel, floral hop character, a touch of vanilla, milky malty sweetness, spruce, chocolate, light subtle espresso, and timid roast. Intriguing and spot on for a black IPA. The dark elements are well integrated with the hoppy notes here. I'm curious to see how this one goes down. A mild strength aroma.

T: Bold milk chocolate with a hint of crisp bitterness, timid roast, a bit of spruce, wonderful light espresso, delightfully well integrated espresso, floral hops, a bit of piney hop character, and some bitter grains. The marriage of dark notes like roast, espresso, and chocolate with lighter IPA notes like the floral character works well here, but then the hops are rather tame. It could use more bold pine notes and hop character to really satisfy the needs of the style. That said, it's quite well balanced and impressively well executed. I definitely like it. Complex and even a bit subtle - especially the espresso. I'm fairly impressed. Chocolate is dominant.

Mf: Nicely smooth and wet, aiding its refreshing yet filling feel. Good body. Good palate presence. A touch oily from the hops. Heavy on the palate but welcome. Nicely thick. Good if slightly overdone carbonation.

Dr: One of the better beers in the style I've had to date. Midnight Sun's IPAs have often disappointed me, but this black IPA hits the mark. Well executed and worth trying. A great beer to ease you into the style. It's not the best I've had, but it's solid. I'd have this on-draught, though it is rather pricey. $7-8 would be a much more acceptable price for this brew. Hides its ABV well. Very drinkable.

Low B

kojevergas, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of sholland119
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Brouwers' Hopfest, 9/10/10.

A-Pours black as night, deeply opaque with a frothy mocha head and some good lacing.

S-Caramel malt, good roast and a hint of sweetness.

T-Mild roastiness in the front with sweet caramel and chocolate malts. Also a bit metallic in the finish with some earthy hop bite.

M-Medium bodied, a nit slick.

D-Nice at first but the metallic flavors become more prominent as the beer warms.

HV

sholland119, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of ArrogantB
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at City a Beer Store San Francisco. Dark black color, looks like a stout. Aroma is mildly hoppy but mostly just dark malts. Flavor is more if the same. In fact this really felt like strong porter more than a black IPA which was fine with me as J didn't feel like the hops conflicted with the malts. Decent beer.

ArrogantB, May 04, 2014
Photo of HopHead84
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

4/8/2011

On tap at the Olive Tree tasting room.

A: Appears deep brown, nearly black, with a frothy light brown head. Faint ruby tinge near the edges when held to light.

S: Nice moderate roast with aromatic pine notes and a dash of chocolate. Grapefruit and orange waft from the glass with each swirl. Light earthiness.

T: Smooth moderate bitterness with a nice balance between grapefruit, pine, chocolate, and roast. Nice flavor, with some noticeable booze in the roasted bitter finish. Booze lingers.

M: Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is creamy and sticky.

Overall: An enjoyable black IPA, though a bit boozy.

HopHead84, May 05, 2011
Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 07/07/11 notes. Brought this one to a small get together. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Fantome tulip.

a - Pours an almost black brown color with one inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Some light lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells of citrus hops, roasted malts, pine hops, and chocolate. Some definite hops in the nose, pretty good.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, and pine hops. Hops are not as strong as the nose, but still present.

m - Medium body and light carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a good Black IPA, but like most, heavy on the roasted characteristics. Better than the other Black IPA we tried that night, North Peak's Furry. Would give it another shot.

mdfb79, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of portia99
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle (vintage 2009) received in trade with Alaskajoe. Thanks! Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A - Pours a pitch black color, on the thin side in appearance (almost schwarztbier-like) with a light finger of tan foam on top. Some nice thick lacing as the beer descends in the glass.

S - Some light burnt malt aromas mixed in with some milk chocolate. Some citrusy and grassy hops round out the aromas found in this one. Not sure, but I think I'm gettin a whiff of vanilla as this beer warms up. Aroma overall is on the light side - not as up front as a normal double IPA.

T - Starts with a fruity, citrusy flavor - oranges mainly. Then a nice burnt, roasty malt component kicks in along with some chocolate. A bit of minty and grassy hops come in at the end along with a sugary sweetness...with a character almost of a sugar in an espresso shot smoothing out the burnt bitterness on the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Burnt flavors, sugary sweetness and citrusy hops fill every inch of the mouth. A slight syrupy feel is left behind due to the strong sugary sweet component. Hangs on the tongue for a brief moment before sliding down on the swallow.

D - An enjoyable beer, but not really hitting the spot for me. Sweetness is just a touch too high. Makes me think about the bottom of a cup of coffee with too much sugar in it...that sorta feeling where you wanna scrape the sweetness off your tongue (for those of you that drink coffee with little or no sugar, of course). A little less sweet and a little more hops would do wonders for this beer. Seems I'm in the minority with this opinion, but this is what I'm getting out of it tonight.

portia99, May 16, 2010
Photo of Hopmodium
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Hopmodium, Feb 26, 2013
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Specialty Beer XXX Black Double IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.