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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 Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +3%

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.

05-06-2012 04:04:25 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

10-29-2012 01:11:45 | More by t0rin0
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

08-04-2014 22:49:33 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.55/5  rDev -10.8%

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.

07-14-2011 22:57:58 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.98/5  rDev 0%

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a half finger high dark tan colored head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark, roasted malts are present in the nose. No hops are perceptible, but there seems to be enough to subdue some of the roasted aromas.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of dark roasted malts along with hints of pine resin hops and a light to moderate amount of associated bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This Black IPA has a very good balance between the malts and hops as it's neither too roasty nor too bitter.

07-23-2013 02:16:26 | More by metter98
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

"Sometimes XXX just means 30."

--label

Pumpernickel brown with slim cherry and orange accents along the edges. It isn't a black hole, nor should it be, but the beer is definitely opaque. The cappuccino colored whipped creamy crown looks great, lasts, and lays down lovely looking lace. We have ourselves a looker.

This is exactly how a black DIPA should smell. The bottom end is anchored by roasted-chocolate malt and the top end features the fantastic citrus fruitiness of Amarillo and Columbus hops. Excellent choices all around.

XXX Black Double IPA is very well-crafted ale that is a perfect combination of two of my favorite styles, DIPA and American double stout. Kudos to Midnight Sun for getting the proportions of malt and hops just right. Seven months in the bottle have undoubtedly tamed the lupulins to some extent, but this is still impressively hop-soaked beer.

Specifics include bittersweet chocolate, a small splash of cold coffee, black tea leaves, loads of orange and grapefruit zest, and a handful of spruce tips. Any more or less of <anything> and XXX wouldn't be as good. If big hops scare you (hey, that's crazy talk!) then wait until the winter snows fly before cracking the crown.

Body/mouthfeel is the only place where there's even a slight chink in the armor. Even then, warming firms things up and smooths them out in wonderful fashion. In the end, this score just does manage to keep pace with all the others.

Midnight Sun delivers the big beer goods much, much more often than not. If there are any American craft brewers looking to venture into Black DIPA territory, they need look no further than XXX Black Double IPA for the blueprint. Thanks to sprucetip for yet another fantastic beer from one of this country's finest breweries.

09-13-2010 12:18:18 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of zestar
zestar

California

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

06-03-2014 08:56:14 | More by zestar
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

black as night with a light colored head that rose up about an inch and a half before settling down into a nice broken crown that stayed throughout the session. The aroma was very bright, lots of citrus here, orange and tangerine mostly and a wonderfully bright lemon like aroma that rose up, not at all what you would have expected from something that looked so fark. Nice medium body with a smooth and mellow carbonation and a lightness to it that again was outside what I was expecting. Smooth flavor, clean, crisp, loaded with bitter citrus hops. Lots of grapefruit and pineapple here.

07-15-2011 01:37:44 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.43/5  rDev -13.8%

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.

09-28-2010 16:59:29 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

07-11-2013 01:56:00 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4/5  rDev +0.5%

07-11-2013 01:54:41 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

01-11-2012 07:19:16 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4/5  rDev +0.5%

12-14-2011 00:00:35 | More by spycow
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%

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.

03-05-2011 22:52:11 | More by GRG1313
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4/5  rDev +0.5%

Appearance: Pours out a befitting black body with a small, sudsy, light beige head.

Smell: Dark chocolate paired with toast and robust roast, though what I'll call a laid back roast character. Hop accents of citrus peel and temperate wood resins.

Taste: A bite of chocolate of bitter variety followed by a sip of espresso delivering a full roastiness without breeding any astringency. Soothed by some sweet, helpful caramel. Hoppiness bringing about some florals, citrus, and light resins. Medium-light bitterness. Just the right amount of alcohol warmth. Fairly dry finish with a lingering bitterness, still quite light.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: An agreeable black ale.

02-07-2012 15:49:48 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

4/5  rDev +0.5%

11-15-2011 01:16:58 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.18/5  rDev +5%

A - Poured a dark, dark brown color. Opaque with a small, off-white head of bubbly foam. It left some sticky patches of lace.

S - It smelled of citrus fruits with a good roasted malt nose. It was a really great blend of strong aromas.

T - It taste of bitter piney hops with a citrus-like tartness. Good roasted maltiness is reminiscent of a big porter.

M - It was crisp, sharp and very smooth. A medium bodied ale with snappy, dry finish.

O - This is a really tasty black ale. I would love to find more of this.

04-20-2011 01:03:32 | More by zeff80
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4/5  rDev +0.5%

22 oz bomber from AKBelgianBeast (thanks), shared with the king's watch as we slayed giant derelict rats.

Nearly black pour, mocha brown in the glass with a tan head. The nose is a mix of grapefruit, dark roasted grain and coffee. The citrus hop aroma is surprisingly harmonious with the chocolatey malt base. The combined bitterness of the roasted malt and hops makes for an intense beer on the palate, but it manages enough restraint to remain quite drinkable. Grapefruit and charred toast flavors are prevalent with an undertone of smoke. Bitter, resiny finish with a lingering hop bite.

05-03-2009 08:31:30 | More by largadeer
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -3.8%

Thanks to ChrisPro for sharing. I'm guessing this is from January 2011? Served in a wine glass while consuming Thai BYOB.

A - A finger of white foam settles to a thin cap, leaving behind spotty lace. Dark brown body with some reddish tints.

S - Not much hops left here. Nice chocolate and caramel malt flavors, minimal alcohol. For an aged Black DIPA this has turned into a nice porter-esque beer.

T - Taste is again mostly chocolate and nutty malts. There's a bit of herbal hop flavor in the finish as well as a low level of bitterness. Again, it's somewhat bland at this stage.

M - Medium body, low carbonation, extremely silky-smooth texture, no alcohol, and a very clean finish. Best thing about this beer.

D - This was probably much better nine months ago, but it was still pretty enjoyable. Easier to drink than the oak-aged version although lacking in complexity. Will revisit when a fresh batch is released. I appreciated that there was actually a beer underneath the hops instead of bitter and astringent black malt, like in so many Black IPAs.

11-19-2011 18:13:47 | More by MasterSki
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.83/5  rDev -3.8%

I think this was mdfb79's bottle, maybe. Thanks Dan! Consumed out of a snifter. At the time of this review this beer is #28 on the best of American Black Ale list.

Beer is black with a thin brown head that leaves a little lacing behind.

Beer has a piny aroma to it, mild citrus. There is perhaps a little bit of roast.

Beer is medium in body and mildly sweet on the front end. Overall the beer is fine but not as hoppy or as bitter as I assumed it would be. There is more roast at the back end but there are some nice pine notes in the midpalate. Overall this comes off as a hoppy porter more than a IPA that has some roasted barley in it. I think I'd skip it the next time around.

07-11-2011 19:52:29 | More by drabmuh
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.78/5  rDev -5%

not as hoppy as I wanted it to be, but mine has a little age on it, so maybe they have faded some from the intended. jet black pour, almost shiny black, with an inch or so of fast fading tan lace head. it smells bitter more from roasted barley than from hops, but there is a nice west coast sort of sticky hop element to it that's complimentary. near burnt dark malt aroma gives way to a partially charred taste, which is an interesting way to start off what people now call Cascadian dark ale. the hops don't come in until the finish, and by then the palate is a little tired of bitter. still, a very flavorful brew, and it works on a chilly fall night, but it lacks the depth and pungency I was hoping for with it. a well made beer no doubt, with a velvety feel uncommon in the style. good enough carbonation to keep it moving, and a well concealed alcohol strength. overall a neat example of the style, but I like them a little more aggressively hopped than this one was. again, could be my error not theirs for holding on to the bottle for almost a year.

10-12-2013 16:21:13 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4/5  rDev +0.5%

05-16-2014 01:22:14 | More by oline73
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.68/5  rDev -7.5%

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.

07-11-2011 19:57:22 | More by mdfb79
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

4/5  rDev +0.5%

04-22-2014 14:31:23 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.22/5  rDev +6%

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, moving it to its appropriate locale, 3/24/11 review,

A: Pours black with a medium white head, good retention and lace.

S: Notes of roast and charcoal, noticable hops.

T: Heavy dark chocolate and light espresso initially, but the hops come in and carry the beer to the end. Well balanced with an attractive piney juicy hop flavour.

M: Medium to full-bodied, smooth, soft frothy carbonation.

D: At this point a DBIPA is looking like a hoppy imperial stout, and this is what is it in my book. If you're a fan of Yeti or Storm King you'll like this, just don't know why these MS beers have to be so expensive.

03-30-2011 03:06:40 | More by Halcyondays
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Specialty Beer XXX Black Double IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.