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BREWtality - Espresso Black Bier - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

54 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 54
Hads: 185
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 86
Gots: 29 | 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:
Beer added by: AKBelgianBeast on 03-01-2009

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 54 | Hads: 185
Photo of sevenarts
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark, dark black. Smallish head even with an aggressive pour, and it quickly fades to almost nothing with no lacing left behind.

S: Smells really rich: sweet chocolate, intense coffee, boozy alcohol, roasted malts.

T/M: Even richer and more flavorful than the smell would suggest. Loads of rich dark chocolate, milk, bold and bitter espresso. The sweetness does a good job of balancing the bitterness of the coffee as well as the underlying alcohol, which is fairly well hidden but still shows through. This is a beer that will quickly get you drunk if you're not careful, because it's so sweet and delicious but so heavily alcoholic. The finish has a bit of a dry bite to it as well as a velvety rush of throat-coating chocolate.

O: An amazing, intense, incredibly flavorful beer, a really interesting take on the coffee beer. It would perhaps be even better if it toned down the sweetness just a touch, but it's already wonderful as is. (944 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (374 characters)

Photo of brotherloco
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. 2012 Edition. Served in a tulip.

Pours a very dark opaque brown. A small head settles quickly to a thin dark beige ring. Some bits of lacing.

Aroma is rich with chocolate and coffee notes. Sweet, roasty, and slightly bitter. Mild hop presence. A touch of alcohol at the end of the draw.

Flavor is a lot sweeter than I was expecting. Like a delicious melted coffee ice cream, or sweetened coffee drink. Tons of chocolate notes as well. Finish dries up a little, but some long lingering sweet coffee remains. Alcohol is very nicely buried.

Medium full bodied with a mild amount of carbonation. Drinks really well and maybe gets a touch thick on the finish.

The sweetness of this beer may be too much for some, but I love the way it offsets the stronger coffee notes. Another great brew from Midnight Sun. (820 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.37/5  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. (829 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

was pleasantly surprised to hear the news that this recently retired beer was not only back in circulation, but on shelves locally!!! nabbed a bottle earlier today and had to give it a shot. enjoyed from my midnight sun glass.

a - brew poured a deep black with soft subtle even carbonation that swam to the surface continually creating an off tan almost building like a guiness tint to the beer near the surface. the brew boasted a cream colored head that hung out for a while looking like a dessert coffee. chunky lacing coats the glass.

s - i can smell this deliciousness from across the room. roasty coffee with a hint of cocoa powder and chocolate sweetness. the coffee smell is fantastic, really gourmet and fresh.

t - oh my god. this is amazing. big bold flavors. uber fresh gourmet coffee with the perfect amount of roast and creaminess and chocolate. really just fantastic.

m - although the flavor is INSANELY good, the mouth jumps out at me first. it is phenomenally creamy. rich and full bodied.

o - overall, i'm pretty blown away by this beer. i had no expectations coming into this just that it was newly out of retirement and appeared locally from one of the better breweries to recently hit new york. this is quite a surprise and really an out of this world beer. i WILL be picking up additional bottles of this. (1,331 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (1,119 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber courtesy of akbeerfiend. I'd never even heard of this beer, so thanks for suggesting it.

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2009 Crew Brews
Creator: Jeremiah
Type: Espresso Black Bier
IBUS: 17

APPEARANCE: A black pour yields a 1+ finger, medium, fluffy head with very good retention. Black body with medium carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a good, frothy wisp. Only a ring remains until the end and leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Big nose for sure. Jumps out of the glass. Dark malts and lots of roasted and burnt espresso. Pure, dark chocolate jumps out of the glass as well. The espresso and dark chocolate work really well together in the nose, blending into one. Nice licorice and molasses in there as well. Very stout like on the nose; very bold and enticing.

TASTE: Well holly shit. Lots of burnt and roasted espresso. Dark malts are still there, but the espresso and dark chocolate, meshing so well together, are just wonderful. Sweet caramel, molasses and black licorice through the middle and into the finish. Bolder and very persistent aftertaste, overloaded with sweet molasses, bitter, pure chocolate and wonderful roasted espresso, just lingers forever. This is what craft beer tastes like.

PALATE: Full body with lower levels of carbonation. Very creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth with a touch of heat after the swallow and finishes relatively sticky, not quite cloying. Great full, creamy feel and a great finish for the style.

OVERALL: I would like to shake this Jeremiah’s hand. When beerfiend sent me this a while back, I had never even heard of it. It sat in my parents’ basement for a year before I was finally able to open it, and holly Christmas was this ever good. I don’t know if the extra year of age improved the beer or not, but this is drinking superbly right now. Lots of big, bold, stout-like flavors that I love, with a full, creamy palate to support it. A wonderful finish on this one as well, making it surprisingly easy to drink. I polished off this bomber in record time and was checking my basement for more. Disappointed, I moved on to something much worse. Thanks again akbeerfiend. This was outstanding! (2,198 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.65/5  rDev -12%
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. (749 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev 0%
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! (672 characters)

Photo of mattdev
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, almost black beer with a light brown head that dissipates quickly. Aroma- roasty, maybe black patent(?) and chocolate malt. Light sweetness on the nose. Taste- heavy chocolate, roast, and espresso (kaladi brothers!). It's almost as if you had a mocha in beer form. Heavy raw malted barley flavor. Palate- Full bodied, tons of residual sugars with a crisp, lager finish. (383 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bobby for sharing this.

A: The pour is a very dark brown color without much of a head.

S: Smells sort of like what you would expect. Very roasty with a fair amount of coffee and chocolate. There's a bit of acidity which I tend to find in a lot of schwarzbiers.

T: Nice and roasty with a decent amount of coffee flavor. There's a mild to moderate bitterness as well as some bittersweet chocolate flavors. A touch of molasses seems to be present as well.

M: The body is light to medium with a low to medium carbonation.

D: Not bad at all. A bit higher in alcohol than I was expecting, but at least it wasn't boozy. (627 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  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. (673 characters)

Photo of nkersten
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
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!). (718 characters)

Photo of GeezLynn
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pitch black and tranquil, lacking much in the way of head.

S: Sweet roasted malt, slight coffee, vanilla, and easily distinguishable lager yeast.

T: Flavor matches closely with smell, with lots of honey sweet dark malt and light molasses. Malt is less roasted than in the smell and this seems more like a dopplebock to me. Coffee is pretty restrained without much bitterness. Finishes with light lager bite.

M: Medium body and a slightly sticky texture. Carbonation is on the light side, which works for me.

I like sweet, but this might have been a bit too sweet for me. Would really have liked to have tried this right after it came out as it sounds like it had a much better coffee presence. But as always, a very good beer from MS and one of the better black lagers I've tasted in awhile. (798 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Alex!

A - Pours black, expresso-colored frothy head, leaves some spotty lacing behind.

S - Coffee...lots and lots of coffee. Black. Some roasty notes, coffee beans, burnt sugars, malts. Very nice...enjoyed sniffing this one over and over.

T - Again, coffee. More malty notes then compared to the nose but the coffee is the overwhelming winner here. Bitter finish.

M - Light, smooth (like drinking coffee), slight carbonation.

D - Yum! Got my coffee fix along with a nice malty beer. If you're into malts and coffee, this is your beer. Recommend. (558 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
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. (691 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another Brew Crew offering provided by akbeerfiend. Served in a Lost Abbey rastal teku.

A - Pours with a thin half-finger of tan foam that settles to a thin ring. Dark brown body that displays some transparency at the fringes.

S - Espresso, semi-sweet chocolate, molasses, raisins and dark fruits. Huge nose, and mostly intense espresso with the other flavors rounding things out. No obvious alcohol.

T - Espresso, semi-sweet chocolate, molasses, raisins and dark fruits. Tastes like it smells - not sure what else I can say here. Finishes quite bitter.

M - Medium, sticky body, with a faint hint of the 9.7% peeking through. Moderate carbonation and a slightly dry finish with some residual stickiness as well.

D - Probably not something of which I could drink a ton, but definitely quite enjoyable. Best coffee lager I've ever had, and highly flavorful albeit a touch monochromatic. (889 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
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. (983 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (486 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (776 characters)

Photo of sprucetip
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes. As advertised, it is black. 1 finger mocha head, some retention, spotty lacing, active.

SMELL is of coffee, a bit boozy, malty sweetness, faint caramel, something sour, a spice that eludes me. Floral hops add depth and complexity. Bold and with legs.

TASTE coffee and a distinctive sour spice (similar to one in Anchor's Our Holiday Ale) lead and dominate. But not way out of balance. Backing caramel malty sweetness is strong, and there is a brief, sharp, bitterness in the early middle. Booze is obvious but it is pretty smooth and fairly complex.

FEEL a bit of a bite contrasts with the otherwise rich, full body and creamy texture. Strong alcohol warming detracts from otherwise luscious texture. Clean finish.

OVERALL Very unique and interesting. THe sour spice is a nice touch, whatever it is. Probably oughta be sipped, but the flavors keep the sips coming at short intervals. A good beer, worth trying if you get the chance (and you probably won't). (977 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
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!!! (681 characters)

Photo of brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from the fridge.

Pours opaque black with a two inch head of tan. A reluctant settling revealed a placid, oily surface and a few dots of lacing.

Aromatics lead of with pungent espresso, rich dark chocolate, and roasted malt. A hint of vanilla and plenty of crushed oreos follow through.

Full bodied with an oily, slick mouthfeel.

Rich espresso, cocoa bits, and a boozy char start the palate. Brownie batter laced with black coffee beans and vanilla step forward.

Finishes with lingering espresso roast, warming alcohol, and a smooth char-bite.

Exceptionally rounded for still being a bit young (considering the cellarability of this type of beer and the massive coffee component).
No acridity is found and the alcohol is just big enough to keep the beer a bit boozy.

Tasty stuff. (797 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.42/5  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! (807 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black and completely opaque with a thin cap of dark tan. Espresso on the nose - that's about it. No real malt to speak of, just intensely overpowering espresso. It's nicely expressed, however, and doesn't smell like a stale cup of coffee. The flavor is equally coffee-forward, but the base beer thankfully shines through a bit more. Chocolatey malt, light bittering hops and a touch of molasses shine past the punchy espresso flavor, though just barely. Bitter, semi-dry finish. (478 characters)

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BREWtality - Espresso Black Bier from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.