1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
very good

163 Ratings
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 163 | Reviews: 80 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lovindahops

New York

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

07-28-2013 02:46:31 | More by lovindahops
Photo of spw109

New York

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

07-26-2013 16:51:02 | More by spw109
Photo of banger7

New York

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

07-23-2013 23:05:06 | More by banger7
Photo of 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 Kirk

United Kingdom (England)

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

07-21-2013 10:12:18 | More by Kirk
Photo of Texasfan549


3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

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


4/5  rDev +0.5%

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


4/5  rDev +0.5%

07-07-2013 07:48:43 | More by InfernoBoss
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -0.8%

Poured from a bomber into a true pint, the beer is jet black, with a thin, filmy, low profile, off-white head that clings to everything. Aromas of heavily roasted malt sweetness, with a piney, resiny, rich hops presence. Very subtle citrus scents, with hints of smoke as well. Flavors are roasty and malty on the forward tongue, with chocolatey notes and a creamy sweet backbone. Floral and citrus hops highlights, bringing a peppery spice and lightness to the beer. Very balanced, and leaves a great cling along the glass. Aftertaste of roast coffee, alpha acid, grapefruit, and pine. Tons of bitterness in the finish, leaving a drying, resiny lingering invitation to keep on drinking. Very tasty.

07-01-2013 01:13:35 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of BAsbill


4/5  rDev +0.5%

06-29-2013 07:45:20 | More by BAsbill
Photo of petermethot

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

06-26-2013 02:09:36 | More by petermethot
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - black as stated on the bottle, there's a nice sized beige head that did settle down but left some nice trails of lacing.

S - a good shot of citrus hops with a roasty background.

T - starts out sweet and roasty at the same time with a citrus rind bitterness on the finish, a pleasant experience.

F - medium bodied, it feels silky smooth.

O - I like it.

06-23-2013 23:42:32 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of dcguitar


4/5  rDev +0.5%

06-11-2013 19:21:18 | More by dcguitar
Photo of baybassboy


4/5  rDev +0.5%

05-14-2013 05:12:01 | More by baybassboy
Photo of Kuaff


4.34/5  rDev +9%

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

The appearance is really quite fantastic. It's not the blackest of blacks, as it becomes a dark transparent brown when there's only a little left in the glass, but it's pretty darn black. The head is a good three or four fingers of light brown, billowy, fine foam with an aggressive pour.

It smells like a perfect blend of an imperial stout and a double IPA. The sweet, malty, slight chocolate aroma of a stout is there, but there's also that familiar strong hoppy smell. The stout characteristics remind me a quite a lot of the aroma of Old Raputin, which is a very good thing.

The taste does the same thing the smell does! This is my first black ale (or black DIPA, if you prefer), and it really is an amalgamation of a stout and an IPA. It's got that roasty, choclate after-taste, but also the juicy hop tanginess of a really good double IPA. I didn't know such a wicked fusion as this was possible...

I think it wouldn't have hurt for this to be a tad bit more carbonated, but this is just knit-picking. It's kind of thin, and very drinkable for being 8.5% ABV.

Overall, this is outstanding. A marvelous combination of two of my favorite styles which I think really has to be tried to be believed.

05-12-2013 03:46:01 | More by Kuaff
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

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.

05-07-2013 01:20:58 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of Laklimell


4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

05-07-2013 00:54:01 | More by Laklimell
Photo of Kendo

New York

3.99/5  rDev +0.3%

A: Poured from the bomber into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is black with a 1-finger, tight-bubbled light-brown head. Leaves behind good lacing.

S: Some roasty notes, a touch of hops - but not terribly strong in the nose all around.

T: Roasted barley malt, some charcoal or char and a lingering touch of chocolate malt at the finish. Hops are piney, and first impression is that they're not as strong or as juicy (citrusy) as I'd like. However, as it warms up a bit (or as my palate adjusts to the roasty flavors), I get more grapefuit and juicy hops. Alcohol is noted at the finish, both in heat and as a drying element. Heat felt in belly. Finishes with lingering roastiness that borders on burnt at times.

M: Good feel to this beer - quite smooth, with modest carbonation. Medium-to-full in heft, but drinks lighter.

O: Good. I was hoping for better, but this is solid.

05-05-2013 01:33:51 | More by Kendo
Photo of xnicknj


4/5  rDev +0.5%

05-02-2013 22:58:36 | More by xnicknj
Photo of woemad


4.08/5  rDev +2.5%

22oz bottle purchased at Enoteca in Post Falls, Idaho, for $9.99. No freshness date. Different label than the one picture above, and it appears Specialty Beer is no longer a part of this beer's name.

Poured a nearly black-looking dark brown that took on rubyish highlights on it’s edges when held up to direct light. Big, sudsy-looking tan head that left lots of lace on the sides of my glass.

Citrusy hops stand out the most in the scent department, with some slightly bitter coffee notes in the background. Definitely a hop forward beer, which is just fine for anything labeled an IPA, Black or otherwise.

Much more malty than the nose led on, with citrusy and piney hops wrapped in a cloak of milk chocolate and coffee. It’s almost like a stout, except that the hops are a little more sharp than is generally the case.

Resiny and coating mouthfeel. Don’t pare this up with any food that can be described as delicate tasting!

A very tasty beer. This beer goes down remarkably easy considering it's abv percentage. Once again Midnight Sun has not let me down. I’d definitely drink this again.

04-28-2013 23:43:29 | More by woemad
Photo of chase2634


3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

04-26-2013 15:23:12 | More by chase2634
Photo of sneaks2210

New York

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

04-12-2013 00:21:37 | More by sneaks2210
Photo of BlurryVisi0n

New York

4.09/5  rDev +2.8%

Served in a tulip.

Appearance: Opaque black, not as "black" as some stouts with a superior dark brown tint and a very light tan head rising to about 1/3".

Smell: This brew is light, smells good but still of light hops and malts.

Taste: For what this beer lacks in scent it beyond makes up for in taste, rich malts and smooth but heavy hops. Malty and hoppy not exactly super floral as some DIPAs but still good.

Mouth: Medium carbonation and oh so sticky, with an after finish that feels a slight sour but

Overall: Pretty good brew, not the best Black IPA I have had but does satisfy the taste buds. Would I buy it again, maybe. It's a little pricey I will add that so If you have a go to black IPA (which I already do) it might be a safer bet. If not you can always split the 12 bucks with a friend. Salud!

04-01-2013 06:37:38 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of devlishdamsel


4/5  rDev +0.5%

03-30-2013 05:48:28 | More by devlishdamsel
Photo of Greywulfken

New York

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%

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.

03-28-2013 23:48:00 | More by Greywulfken
Specialty Beer XXX Black Double IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.