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BREWtality - Espresso Black Bier - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
BREWtality - Espresso Black BierBREWtality - Espresso Black Bier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

156 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 156
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.83%
Wants: 77
Gots: 26 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  9.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Combining jet black color with incredibly smooth texture and decadent coffee flavor, BREWTALITY breaks the expectations of both rich espresso and dark beer to create a whole 'nuther beast. While brutal in alcoholic strength, this biggie beautifully showcases its roasted malt and coffee flavors without bringing on bitterness and bite. This is the first of two lagers in the series.

17 IBU

(Beer added by: AKBelgianBeast on 03-01-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 156 | Reviews: 51 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Ego:
Photo of Ego
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

eyes...
low sizzle, cocoa themed foam that only rises about 1 finger and settles in rather quickly, lacing is quite good with a nice sheet of uniform microbubbles, absolutely pitch black, light doesn't bother trying to pass through lest it meet with the same fate as the woeful denver broncos... nice looking brew

nose...
jet black coffee -yeah! one of the better coffee aromas I have sniffed on a beer in some time, really deep espresso tone, the malts are detectable but man the coffee just kicks you in the face, and I love it

taste etc...
a decent coffee taste, I was expecting more based on the nose, this drinks almost like a mild milk stout with not as sweet a finish, some mild bitterness actually trails through the whole swig and then at the tail end you get some coffee flavor but mostly near sweet chocolate malt,
a nice beer but nothing so great

verdict?
a bit underwhelming for me. not bad but there is no brutality to brewtality (yeah... I thought of that all by myself). This is worth checking out but is no means the best coffee brew around, but to be fair I like bitter ass burnt as shit coffee, like only starbucks dark roast or brooklyn gorilla stuff... so keep that in mind when I talk about coffee, I drink it with maybe some milk, usually skim and no sugar, that doesn't make me bad ass, it is just the way I like coffee

Ego, Feb 07, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of jlelouer
5/5  rDev +19.9%

jlelouer, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

SmellsofMahagony, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of ElSid
4.11/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Freshness Date: None

A: Black with a moderate thickness topped off with a light brown head of microbubble foam. The head has a decent resiliency and an overachieving glass cling.

S: Strong espresso and cocoa notes with a solid foundation of wood and earth. There are also notes of caramel and brown sugar.

T: Again comes the espresso and cocoa up front. There are also a good amount of smokey wood and earthiness essentially following the nose. Then comes raisins and notes of dark fruit. The finish is syrupy sweet with moderate rum-esque alcohol and minimal bitterness.

M: Velvety smooth with a medium feel and long syrupy linger. Minimal carbonation.

O: An interesting beer which marries espresso and malt while leaving out the hop bitterness. In a hop dominate craft brew world this beer is interesting and refreshing.

ElSid, Aug 26, 2013
Photo of BigE90
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

BigE90, Oct 23, 2012
Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4/5  rDev -4.1%

MicroBeerMan1980, Sep 15, 2014
Photo of sourdog
4/5  rDev -4.1%

sourdog, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of glid02
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Grant - thanks!

Pours black with a one-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of robust espresso with dark malts serving as a backbone. Also present are hints of roasted malts.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by even smoother coffee flavors. The roastiness subsides midway through the sip, allowing the coffee flavors to shine even more and allowing room for hints of dark chocolate. The chocolate fades out quickly allowing dark malts and coffee to carry through to a moderately bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could easily have a few more.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer, it's one of the better coffee showcase beers out there as the other flavors augment rather than overpower. Well worth a shot.

glid02, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of nkersten
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes, thanks to Alex for bringing this. Poured into a tulip, color is opaque brown with a small tan head, good retention and some lacing. Smell is chocolate, espresso, raw grains and molasses. Bitter coffee dominates the flavor followed by some hops, roasted malts, some sweetness, and finishes with more coffee. Medium bodied with a light carbonation. This is a decently drinkable beer, maybe a bit high on the ABV for the style, although the alcohol was not present in the flavor or smell. Probably a bit more coffee bitterness then I would have liked for the style. A good beer but probably not the best schwarz I have had (although it definitley falls in my top 5 coffee lagers, thanks again Alex!).

nkersten, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A large Espresso Black Bier brewed by that one new guy...hahaha. Cheers Jeremiah. Had to choose a style category, so forgive me. Really not a schwarz, at least not in the traditional sense.

Pours an almost impenetrable black with some very slight ruby highlights around the edges of the glass. A light tan head rises well, but doesn't hold its retention very well and leaves minimal lacing. I poured a bit vigorously on the second pour, and got a little better retention, but Still little to no lacing.

The nose at first quaff is balls out coffee/espresso. Promising start for the style. Hard to get anything out of the nose through the espresso really.

Taste follows. Very intense espresso flavor. I tasted this one prior to the coffee addition and man, what a difference. (duh). Espresso flavors fast out of the gate. Smooth espresso flavor with a touch of noticeable sweetness through the taste. Fairly one dimensional before the finish, as this one is just a straight up espresso bomb. Doused. The finish has a slight touch of coffee bean bitterness. Defenitely not hops. The finish is fairly slick. Almost Oatmeal slick. There is more of a sweetness in this brew than most coffee doused brews, making it a bit smoother than your typical burnt coffeesque brews out there. The aftertaste is really just lingering espresso, but there is a slight dark fruit lick as the flavor fades.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, defenitely a slick beer. Glad its not too dry. Carbonation is about right, maybe ever so slightly undercarbonated, but for all intensive purposes it is where it should be, despite the retention issues. Viscosity of the brew is where it should be.

Drinkability is very solid for the abv. I wouldn't have thought this was nearly 10%, 8 maybe. The espresso slap in the face makes this one a little bit tougher to drink, but you gotta expect that if you read the damn label.

Overall defenitely a good first "signature" brew for Jeremiah. Although slightly one dimensional, that dimension is the one you want in a coffee/espresso brew...coffee. If you are a coffee beer fan, do NOT miss out on this one. A respectable kickoff to the 2009 Crew Brews, looks like yet another classic series from the crew at Midnight Sun. Excited to see what Gabe and Yukon Cornelius come up with. Anyway, a good espresso beer, and good start to the series. Get some and Chug-0-lug-0-yo coffee mug.

AKBelgianBeast, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Sammy, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Ciocanelu, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of nickd717
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber thanks to akbeerfiend on BA, shared at a tasting of many, many accomplished tickers.

Pours pretty black in color with a one-finger light tan head and good lacing.

The aroma has lots of awesome espresso, roast, and dark chocolate.

The flavor is really dominated by coffee. A nice sweetness to it with dark chocolate.

Slick mouthfeel with fairly light body.

Awesome for the style. Would like to have tried this fresh, but am impressed with this even with a year or more on it.

nickd717, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of Nage37
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Nage37, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of Gmann
2.75/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep brown color with a minimal beige head that settled into a light ring.

The aroma is sweet with some caramel notes with a very light hint of coffee. I dunno I am just not picking up much from this one.

The taste is of a brown bread malt with a faint kiss of coffee. I pick up a strong presence of dark fruit; raisin and plum. Perhaps some fig as well. There is some caramel sweetness and some milk sugars. There is a subtle tart cherry flavor. Me thinks this brew did not hold up well on its trip from Alaska. There is a little bit of a roast flavor but it is quickly over-taken by the dark fruit flavor.

Moderate feel with spritzy carbonation; good for the style. Sweet for the style but does have some roasty bitterness.

Man, what happened to this brew. Very much not like an "espresso black beer". It doesn't taste funky except for the dark fruit flavors. I am hoping this is a bad bottle.

April 5, 2014 update

I stand by my review. Not much if any coffee flavor. The beer itself is good but I don't get much coffee at all, thus my grade.

Gmann, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of DownInToMyBelly
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

DownInToMyBelly, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of KYGunner
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured awfully thick for a lager this holds a deep ebony color under a cap of nice even foam.

The nose is malty, smoky and chocolatey but do I smell peanut butter? If I did it was fleeting. This has a dry roast coffee at the end.

The flavor is a dry malt ,coffee bean, chocolate and then a slight espresso sweetness.

The feel is thick and smooth for a lager and is more akin to a dry coffee stout.

Very enjoyable beer for a new and unusual style.

KYGunner, Jun 12, 2014
Photo of sfr26
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%

sfr26, Jan 04, 2014
Photo of itracy63
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

itracy63, Apr 04, 2014
Photo of EgadBananas
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black, looks thick. There was a small near finger of dark tan head. No lace. Roasted nose, espresso and coffee, and some slight dark fruits. The taste is sweet. Some bitter, roasted coffee notes, dark fruits. Bit of noticeable alcohol. The feel is medium, somewhat thin. I guess it's pretty substantial for the style.
Unique, interesting, tasty, but not mind-blowing.

EgadBananas, Nov 18, 2012
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 received from the great trader from the north... AkBelgianBeast... Super cool Frank!! Poured into my shaped SA glass... some sort of snifter would have probably been a better idea.... I didn't look at the ABV before pouring, and just assumed a Schwarzbier with Coffee additions.

Fairly aggressive pour produced only about 1/2" of deep dark brown head... no cap... no lacing... no retention.. The EtOH and oils in the beans are probably keeping it down... The brew is pretty much all black... only hints of deep red/dark walnut show when the bottom of the glass is held to a bright light.

The nose is almost certainly the most "coffee forward" beer that I can remember... It's been a long time since I've had a straight espresso shot... but this smells like a super fresh cup with some dark DME thrown in to sweeten it up.

Flavor is not exactly what I was expecting ... a slightly less amount of coffee is present on the palate.. replaced by a little bit of dark maltiness that shows some minor fruitiness... Plenty of malty sweetness helps push the waves of flavor and makes it meld more than I was expecting. Very light carbonation and the residual sugars are making this a fairly thick yet smooth brew... I like it.... quite a bit... I'm glad I got to try it fairly fresh, because I would expect the coffee to die back a fair amount relatively quickly... No perceived alcohol at all.

I have no real complaints at all... Carbonation could probably be dialed up a notch... but all and all.. they knock the "coffee" beer genre out of the park.

Thanks again Frank... I am very much looking forward to trying the other brews in the cellar.

4/4.5/4/4/4

JohnGalt1, May 01, 2009
Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +19.9%

CEDAMA, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: black body with barely translucent brown edges; finger or two of dark tan foam that slipped away into a slim collar

S: espresso-like scents, some roasted dark malt

T: a different flavor than American black ales - the malts aren't as dominant, and bitter flavors are lighter and sharper; espresso flavors are the most obvious, background chocolate and mild roastiness; vanilla and maple (?) accents

M: thinner, slimmer, and lighter than most beers this dark would be; slick, bitterness has a tartness that lingers; mild carbonation; heavier abv than you'd think, because it is well-masked - only a little alcohol astringency slips out; has a wine-like quality

O: the only German black beer (bier) I've had - som my flavor comparisons are mostly from American black ales, as well as ales from the porter and stout family... I thought it a nice beer - a lager, based on the label, thinner than the American versions (which are ales), but just as formidable. I drank it slightly colder than I would an ale, supposing it appropriate. It nicely melded that light, lager fell with darker, more complex and rich flavors.

Greywulfken, Oct 20, 2012
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a very dark mahogany brown that is opaque in the glass, with a half finger brown head that dissipates slowly to a thick ring around the glass. Aroma of quality coffee, toasted malt, dark chocolate and a hint of alchohol. Flavor is wow, rich latte coffee, toasted malt, chocolate and coffee liqueur, wonderfully integrated. Finishes with sweet coffee, light lactose, licorice and sweet dark malt. Creamy medium to heavy bodied. This is a beautifully made coffee ale, with great balance of flavors. The alcohol in the aroma is well covered in the taste, but this is warming and warm. If a great bartender made a mixed drink out of a well made light stout and a quality coffee liqueur, this is how I imagine it would turn out. This could be my favorite coffee beer I've ever had. Well done and recommended. Not available in Seattle, but bought this in southern California. (Most Midnight Sun is available here). Hope some fall off the truck on the way down next year. Beer distribution is so utterly weird.

LiquidAmber, Jan 16, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks a ton for the great gifts frank, we had a fun night with all of these for sure!

a wonderful dark pour yields a nice two inch head of tan that is reluctant to move anywhere as it sits on top and clings to the sides for its life. big look, almost stoutish.

aroma is huge coffee and roasted malts. you could smell this one a mile away. nice rich roasted coffee beans and a wonderfully well rounded, dark profile. flavor carried through just as well with enormous notes of coffee and peat, campfire like flavors fill in the finish and leave you looking for more.

overall a wonderful beer that straddles the lines of many styles. would not mind having another at all!

mikesgroove, May 05, 2011
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BREWtality - Espresso Black Bier from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.