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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
93
outstanding

165 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 165
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 81
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: 165 | Reviews: 51 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dbrauneis
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a clear very dark brown in color (approaching but not quite black) with minimal amounts of visible carbonation and some cola brown highlights. The beer has a minimal amount of light tan head that quickly reduces to a very thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of freshly brewed coffee with some lighter amounts of roasted malts.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of roasted malts with some moderate to strong amounts of freshly brewed coffee. Just a touch of malty sweetness. Moderate amounts of bitterness in the finish that lingers for a short amount of time.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: The alcohol is well hidden and this beer is easy to drink - definitely the best schwarzbier that I have ever had. Wonderful flavors and aromas of coffee.

dbrauneis, May 18, 2013
Photo of superspak
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big roasted espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, toast, molasses, light char, licorice, raisin, light alcohol, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of big roasted espresso, dark/roasted malt, and light yeast ester notes; with great strength. Taste of big roasted espresso, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, molasses, light char, raisin, light smoke, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark roasted espresso, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, molasses, light char, raisin, light smoke, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of roasted espresso, dark/roasted malts, and light fruitiness; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth and moderately creamy/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome coffee infused Baltic porter. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of espresso, dark/roasted malt, and light fruitiness; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

superspak, Jun 10, 2014
Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

rab53, Sep 11, 2014
Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -3.8%

billab914, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
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 HuskyinPDX
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 2.1.13
Bottle picked up at the Brewpub in Anchorage

A - Pours a dark brown with a thin dark tan head that quickly moves to the edges.

S - Strong coffee and some roasted malts.

T - Sweet chocolate and lots of coffee. Good!

D - Mild carbonation with a surprisingly heavy body for a lager.

O - Coffee lager, yes please! Very smooth and tasty.

HuskyinPDX, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of glid02
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
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 LiquidAmber
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
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 ccrida
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber strait from Jerermiah's private stash, for which I owe him a huge thanks! Poured into their tall pils glass, Brewtality is a dark brown tinged black with an off-white head that leaves scattered lace.

Smell is huge espresso and toffee, a touch of alcohol vapors. Robust and very enjoyable.

Taste is fantastic, wow. Loads of chocolate and caramel, with plenty espresso as well. Super rich, but smooth, with the alcohol fairly well hidden in the taste.

Mouthfeel is MSBC's typical super creaminess. A bit on the sticky, viscous side, but on the lighter side for the size.

Drinkability is very good, a great coffee beer. Split with my dad, we savored ever drop. My first strong dark larger, a true hybrid, with both great vision and execution. Really happy I got to try this, thanks again Jeremiah!

ccrida, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of jrallen34
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared by Alex into a tulip...A dark brown beer with a light tan head that rises about a finger. Thin head and lacing...The aroma is SUPER strong coffee which is nice however there is a super strong undertone in there that almost makes me gag. I can't quite place if its nuts or super sweet chocolate but its unpleasant to me. The robust aroma is complex showing off coffee, molasses, cocoa nibs on steroids...The taste is like eating a coffee cake injected with esperro, chocolate and cocoa nibs. The coffee notes are nice but the rest is a strong mess, a nice bitter finish.

This has the makings of a good beer but there's something that I can't put my finger on that I don't like.

jrallen34, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

nickd717 (RIP) shared this. Thanks, Tick!

Pouring black with a dense brown head with good retention and lacing, this is one good looking beer. The nose is wonderful - chocolate, roast and coffee, all excellently balanced. The coffee has a lot of depth to it with a nice richness. This translates to the palate as well, with the blend of chocolate, coffee and roast being quite harmonious. Quite unlike any other schwarzbier I've had, but still very good.Again, I can't stress enough how much depth there was to the coffee flavor. Rich, creamy with moderate bitterness and a nice dark chocolate finish, this beer is quite excellent. Medium in body with moderate carbonation, this is far out of the norm for the style, but an enjoyable beer, one that I drank multiple pours of.

DefenCorps, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another MS beer shared by MasterSki.

A - Dark brown beer with a finger of brown head. Faded to a partial cap with some decent lacing on the sides.

S - Huge, almost knock-you-over, coffee aroma, which is really good. Nice roasty notes and chocolate. Really pretty interesting for a schwarzbier. Has a bit of that acid tone you would expect, doesn't really work with the coffee though.

T - Roasted coffee flavor with a little bit of molasses and some acidity. Has a lot of roast in there, finishes off with a bit of bitterness/acidity that isn't the greatest finish on the beer.

M - Soft carbonation, medium bodied, slightly astringent finish.

O - Solid beer, although it was kind of a srange combination. Not bad, I liked it, but didn't love it.

AgentZero, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of Gobzilla
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark brown with brown highlights that had a half finger of tan head and left some frothy lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma was filled with espresso notes chocolate malts, roastiness, vanilla beans, and slight caramel notes. Like the nose the espresso character dominated the taste long with chocolate malts, caramel, and roasty accents. It also had grinded down coffee bean and vanilla bean notes mid palate. The brew was medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, chocolatey, slight astringent, roasty, creamy, and mild dry finish, it drank really good and was really tasty. It was one of my favorite from the brew crew series.

Gobzilla, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of gford217
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Ira for this bomber, poured into a tulip.

This one comes out of the bottles dark brown but looks pretty close to black in the glass. The head is big and tan, receding fairly quickly and leaving decent lacing.

The aroma is massive with the roasted espresso dominating from start to finish. There are hints of sweet malts in the background, but honestly it's all about the espresso.

The taste dials back the espresso just a bit. It's still there but there is a lot more sweetness than the aroma would suggest. Plenty of sweet malts forming a backbone with some chocolate sweetness and even a bit of molasses in the finish balancing the espresso bitterness.

The mouthfeel is on the fuller side of things for the style and thick on the palate with soft carbonation just coating the mouth completely.

Honestly, this one really blew me away, though my love of coffee in beer probably contributed a good bit. It's certainly the most original and probably the best schwarzbier I've had. Just another great beer from Midnight Sun and I'm really excited about the new series.

gford217, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of rudzud
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received in a trade. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice deep dark brown with a one finger mocha head that faded to leave thin clouding and a nice thick halo. Pretty nice.

S - Wow, this is pretty nice. Smells like an iced coffee almost. Lots of good rich espresso notes, light chocolate, and some light roasted malts.

T - Taste is delicious. Strong coffee notes, very good quality coffee. My only thing is that this is WAY too sweet for me. A super sweetened iced coffee. That said, its delicious, just not the way I like my coffee. Also, no alcohol whatsoever. Crazy.

M - Mouthfeel is good, very, very light carbonation. Really drinks like a sweet ice coffee. The booze will creep up on you though.

O - Overall this was a delicious beer. Excellent coffee notes just too sweet for my tastes. Still, well executed.

rudzud, Oct 26, 2012
Photo of AngusOg
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

AngusOg, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of BMart
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

BMart, Oct 27, 2014
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4/5  rDev -3.8%

TheBeerAlmanac, Jun 12, 2014
Photo of Gmann
2.75/5  rDev -33.9%
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 EgadBananas
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
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 tpd975
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to timmcd64. You are the man!

A: Pours a rich deep flat black hue with a nice creamy tan head.

S: Wonderful rich espresso nose. Notes of bold roast, and bakers chocolate.

T: Wow coffee, er espresso to the max. Wonderful earthy espresso. No real acid though which makes this one ultra enjoyable. Lots of smooth chocolate, and a touch of creamy caramel. Light waves of vanilla and a perfect roastiness. Beneath all there espresso is a nice sweetness that really pulls this one together.

M: On the thinner side of full, wonderful carbonation, with a smooth slick mouth feel.

D: Great, this is a wonderful coffee beer. One that the coffee beer lovers MUST seek out!!!

tpd975, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

CheapBeerBuzz, Aug 26, 2013
Photo of st9647v3
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

st9647v3, May 14, 2013
Photo of smithj4
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

smithj4, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of muskiesman
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

muskiesman, Jul 09, 2014
BREWtality - Espresso Black Bier from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.