Bar Fly (2011) - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bar Fly (2011)Bar Fly (2011)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

247 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 247
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 610
Gots: 51 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: largadeer on 03-18-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Smoked imperial stout aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 247 | Reviews: 79
Reviews by ktrillionaire:
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Alex for the share

A - Pours black and oily, with a little bit of legs, it is capped with a modicum of froth; it looks like an Imperial Stout, no doubt.

S - The nose is fairly complex, offering notes of smoked dark-dried fruit, roasted and naked grain, molasses, berry-ish vinousness, tannic oak, and also a hint of vanilla, coconut and baker's chocolate, to round it out.

T - The flavor is again very nice and sublimely complex, as it offers much of the same as the nose, but with differing apportionment. For one, the barrel is more pronounced in the flavor, and suggests more of a subtly sweet whiskey character, whereas the nose suggests more tannic oak and wine. The smoke is a bit stronger in the taste, as well; in this regard, I think the beer will age phenomenally as some of the smoke subsides. Dark and dried fruit is suggested, and where I perceived molasses in the nose, I am getting more of a toffee note in flavor. Good stuff; MS does it again...

M - The feel is silky and rich.

O - Awesomeness.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to AmericanBrew for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a deep black color with a tan head. The aroma is full of dark fruit and anise, with a lot of chocolate and roasted malt mixed in. The aroma is fairly sweet and is very enjoyable.

The flavor is also very complex and interesting. I get a ton of roasted and smoked malt, as well as some sweet milk chocolate notes. The smoke is complimented by a little bit of dark fruit. The alcohol is very well hidden and the beer is very easy to drink.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very glad I got to try this one.

Photo of BigE90
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had several poured directly from the source and I was impressed.

Appearance was a good deep black with no visible light. Half finger head that was dense upon arrival but then faded after a few minutes

Smell was smooth and full of flavor. No over powering of oak or chocolate or coffee. Just a great sense of a blending of flavors to come

Taste was smooth with only an initial hint of bitterness. As it warmed to room temperature the bite mellowed and it left a sweet finish in the mouth that lingered a little.

Overall I was surprised by flavor and finish of such a young stout with this much body. I did not want to leave!

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.97/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dan for this one. I've been looking for this for a while now. 22oz bottle into a Cantillon balloon. Reviewed from notes.

Pours pitch black with a thin mocha head with little retention. Spotty lace with thin legs. Solid.

Nose is cocoa, smoke, roast, molasses, sweet grape, fudge, anise and a mellow booziness. Real aromatic and complex.

Opens anise, plum, roasted and smoked malt, chocolate and cocoa. Chocolate in the morning with an addition of plum and grape in the end. Finishes smoky with hints of cocoa powder. Aftertaste is dark fruit. Pretty nice.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Mellow and smooth in the mouth and goes down silky. Messy finish with a filmy, sticky aftertaste. Complements the flavor well.

Overall a pretty good beer and I'm glad I got the chance to try this one. The fruit and barrel aging has mostly fallen off but the smoke, roast and mellow fruit presence keep this an interesting brew.

Photo of mikey711
4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep black with a thin mocha colored head. some lacing, but it was minimal.

S: lots of smokiness as well as molasses. At times it even reminded me a little bit of fresh beef jerky. A bit more vanilla character would have been nice, but the smokiness was quite enjoyable

T: Much of the same as the nose, heavy smoke and molasses, but alos a nice level of chewy chocolate as well. some hints of leather as well as darnk fruit.

M: The alcohol was extremely well hidden and this was pretty easy to drink

D: Overall, while I am extremely pleased to have tried this beer, and would like to try it again, it wasnt life changing or awe inspiring. I greatly enjoyed the smokiness, but felt like something was missing in the end

Photo of hooliganlife
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to Sean9689 for this. never expected to try this!

pour was deep black, thick, light creamy head.

sweet fruit, deep charred oak, light roasted malt. very vibrant and lively.

simply amazing. a mild sweetness that mixed with a complex combination of dark fruit, light oak, and light smooth smokey and roasted malt. bit of chocolate and coffee. very deep and complex. booze was barely noticeable. this was everything a stout should strive to be.

thick, chewy, mild to moderate carbonation. lined your glass and your mouth.

this blew me away, i loved it. no hype here, just one amazing stout.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Ink-staining black. Medium khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Smokey. Oxidized. Red wine acidity. A bit of raisin and dark roasted malt.

Taste - Smoke flavor is still strong. Dark coffee roasted malts. A little sweet. Oak is strong. Red wine flavor is more prevalent in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Still pretty chewy. Not boozy at all.

Overall - The final beer of the night. Excellent in its own right. I really like the red wine component.

Photo of thagr81us
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to beeruser and funkydelic for sharing this one at a past Random Sunday Tasting! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured pitch black with a minimal brown head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, dark fruit, sweet alcohol, wood, spices, and smoke. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, roasted malt, dark fruit, dark chocolate, wood, smoke, spices, and molasses. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew. How had I never tried this before this??? Wow! This beer was definitely on a whole new level as it was quite enjoyable while being very complex and challenging. All of the right flavors were there for the style and were all there in a nice intense but not overpowering amount. This made it quite easy to drink and very enjoyable. Really glad I got the opportunity to try this one and I suggest you dig in your cellar to do the same. You won’t regret it.

Photo of Gmann
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%

Pours a motor oil sludge black color. Huge brown fluffy head that slowly settles into a puffy cap. Small wall of lacing on the glass. 4.25

The aroma has some chocolate note, sweet bourbon and vanilla, and a sour berry twang. The smoke comes through every now and again but you need to pull to get it. Standard issue bourbon barrel aged stout. 4

The taste is of a big malty stout. The roast is moderate, not overly aggressive, and has more of a milk chocolate flavor. The smoke pops out more in the flavor but its not dominate. The bourbon brings a caramel ribbon with some vanilla. A sharp sour berry and/or oak note. A bit acidic. 4

The feel is full bodied. Sweet, sour, and bitter on the palate. Some stickiness in the finish. 4

A flavorful BBA stout. It needs more smoke to make it stand out more from the rest. Its well made but it doesn't stand out from the others. 4

Photo of SpdKilz
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to Jason (jrallen34) for sharing this at AgentZero’s birthday tasting. This is a beer I never thought I’d try. Taken from notes and review 700.

Appearance – Pours into my trusty tulip with a dark black color and some great looking mocha colored head. The finger of head dissipates quickly leaving very little lacing.

Smell – Huge chocolate, heavy roasted malts, nice smoke characteristics (though not overbearing), vanilla, oak, and some cocoa.

Taste – I will be the first to admit smoked stouts are not often my thing. I also will state that when a beer is given to me by someone and I did not have to put my blood, sweat, and tears into obtaining it, I could care less whether it was rare or not (not that I rate things higher if I traded heavily for them, but we all know there is most likely some subconscious bumping of scores). That said, wow. A very balanced beer with so many distinct flavors. Begins with heavy roast and bittersweet chocolate. It then moves to the hint of smokiness (again, not overbearing thankfully) and melds with vanilla and tannic oak. Dates, prunes, and raisins mixed with molasses. Ends with more roast/smoke.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, lower carbonation, finishes nice and dry.

Overall – Not your “normal” smoked beer in my opinion, meaning it is not overly in your face that no other flavors can be ascertained. A freaking great beer and very happy to have been able to try it.

4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Literally pours like 3000 mile used motor oil from the bottle. Sits in the glass pure pitch ink black. Not a spot of light is getting through this one. Head may be the most robust deep chocolate brown that I have seen in my many beers. Leaves a total wall of lace as it slowly fades.

Nose is rich with molasses, campfire wood and hints of chocolate fudge. Really robust and gels incredibly well for so much going on. A hint of alcohol is there on the back side as well.

With first sip you are greeted by beautifully rich bourbon soaked dark chocolate cake. Almost like chocolate lava cake with dark chocolate bourbon sauce. There is some black cherry that develops on the back end of the palate. Kind of like black cherry sweet bread. Smoke really just plays as a balancer here to provide nice body to this brew. In many ways this brew reminds me of a fine port.

This one is a real treat to enjoy. It is gorgeously drinkable for a big beer. I will definitely seek out more of these. A true gem.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 edition...

A: oily black beer produced a quick finger of dark brown foam, which slimmed into a filmy mocha collar; oily sheen down glass with an occasional mote of brown lace

S: rich sugars and dark malts accompanied by bourbon's whiskey airs - chocolate, vanilla, molasses, oak, and smoke

T: molasses sweetness for sure, bourbon enriches the sweetness with warm booze notes; roasted chocolaty malts aplenty, slightly charred with hints of smoky alcohol

M: full-bodied without being too heavy, silky and slick; bourbon wafts hit the roof ; some tingle on the tongue; linger of smoke and wood o'er moderately sticky finish

O: bourbon barrel aging a stout is a fairly surefire win so long as the base stout is of reasonable quality - all that applies here - the brown sugar and molasses ensure this is a sweet-drinking stout, and if you like molasses, you can rest assured that it is asserted here. The use of smoked malts is probably where this beer becomes hit-or-miss for some. The smoke is apparent on the nose and palate.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.73/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i deserve it, MAC in full effect!

the color was a very deep dark chocolate brown, Some very light, and I mean very light side glass lace formed as I made my way down the glass,

The first thing I noticed was a tremendous amount of port in the smell. smell of roasted coffee then followed, mixed in with what almost seemed to be to be like some kind rich burnt tobacco smell, bit of sweetness in there, albeit small; however, it was there and gave off a caramelized sugar note of some sort, bitter dark chocolate mingling in now and really staring to battle it out with the vineious like port. Notes of oak now hitting the stage, really giving it that earthy tone

Rich dark chocolate notes were swirling around in here, mingling with everything that came there way, including a touch of sweet lactose, which tried to drag some light in here, smoked tobacco that I picked up in the smell, Some hints of vanilla starting to poke around, and then come some black licorice, oak like earthy notes dominate and bring together the chocolate and the vanilla. The finish in a class of its own.

Photo of stx00lax
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- pours a real dark brown with mocha colored head. Standard big stout.

S-Fudge brownies and tootsie rolls. Bits of vanilla, molasses and dark fruits creep through.

T- Similar to the smell with more of the tawny port/wine flavors taking over. A bit of oaky booze and smoke round out the finish. This beer is incredibly balanced with all of the bold flavors happening, its definitely one of the more impressive tasting stouts that ive tried to date.

M- Medium bodied liquid velvet. A lower than usual, but appropriate I think, level of carbonation considering the vinous nature of this beer. The oakiness helps to hide the alcohol well and dries out the sweetness a bit ultimately helping to balance things out.

O- Quite exceptional. I think the overall complexity and balance of this one really shine. The blend of stout, wine, smoke and barrel of this one world class.

Photo of largadeer
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber shared by westcoastbeerlvr. Thanks, Craig.

Viscous opaque black. The beige head quickly recedes to a thin but lasting film.

Oak, smoke and bittersweet chocolate are heavy on the nose. The smoked malt is very well integrated. There's a good bit of vanilla from the barrel, and a slight vinous fruitiness. I have no idea what kind of barrel was used for this, but I'm guessing primarily whiskey or possibly a blend of whiskey and wine.

There's more whiskey flavor than the nose implies, caramel and vanilla forward with a nice woody smoke flavor that avoids coming off as meaty. Apparently no bourbon -bals were used with this beer, but I'll be damned if it doesn't have a whiskey-like sweetness to it. Roasted malt appears mid-palate. Alcohol is noticeable, but not 12.6% ABV noticeable. Tannic, smoky, woody finish. Pretty awesome beer, another winner from Midnight Sun.

Photo of bolojm
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A thick, black beer with minimal head and carbonation. Aromas of molasses, dark fruit, licorice, a hint of oak. This is a complex beer on the palate. I was originally afraid of the oak/smoke combination, but smoke flavor is very low, and oak flavor is low, but present. A heavy molasses, chocolate, coffee, roasted (without being burnt) and dark fruit flavors are all there, and balance well together. This is a full bodied beer with medium-low carbonation. Awesome to sip on for an hour or two on a quiet evening at home.

Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jeffo brought this one to my house. Nice!

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter.

What do I see? A motor oil thick fluid. No head at all. It looks like something that would be very bad to your health. Awesome.

A nose that presents oak, vanilla and malt sweetness and some booze. I expected smoke but can't detect that.

Flavors of dark chocolate on a bed of oak is probably what a French waiter would say. I'd say this stuff tastes great.

A medium to full body. Nice carbonation flavors linger with a touch of booze.

Great beer. It's worth the hype. Make sure you keep this fom the hazardous materials in your garage because it looks like some automotive waste product...

Great call on this one Jeff!

Photo of oline73
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my Hunahpu's snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours black with a layer of tan head that fades to a ring around the pour.

Smell: Sweet and quite smokey. Lots of dark fruit, I am picking up some wine like qualities. I'm also getting some alcohol heat.

Taste: This is a very smokey beer, especially right off the bat. The first sip reminded me of barbecue sauce. I'm pretty sure it's the combination of the smoked malt and the wine. Things blend together and mellow after a few sips. The finish is a tad bitter with a nice smoke level. There was also a hint of dark chocolate from the malt.

Mouthfeel: The body is just on the thick side of medium with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This was a very good and extremely interesting beer. The wine barrels and smoke worked well together. I wouldn't want all of my stouts to taste like this, but I'm glad this one did.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.26/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by a generous soul at Woodshop

Look: Black as hell with a small maybe 1/8 inch tan head (small pour) with ok retention and some spotty lacing left on the glass

Smell: The nose was rather faint. The label says smoked imperial stout so I was expecting quite a bit of smoke and it is there but very faint. Following the smoke is some chocolate and oak

Taste: Again damn it where is the smoke??? Very faint smoke and just quite malty. There is a some roasted malt mid palate and has a fair amount of oak on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body with medium to low carbonation.

Overall: This is one of those beers that I am glad I did not trade for as I am quite let down. Based on the other reviews it almost seems like I had a totally different beer from everyone else or this beer was improperly stored and time has been harsh to it. Either way the beer was very lack luster at best and most definitely not worth the headache. I would love to try it again in the future to see if maybe I just had a bad bottle

Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I finally got to try this elusive beast of a stout.

Black pour with a very small chocolate colored head.

Smells like a big American stout. Dark chocolate, molasses, and vinious nose. Not as smokey as I had thought it would be. It's somewhat tame.

Bold dark chocolate fudge flavor. Some smokieness to cut the sweetness. Licorice. Thick coating on the tongue. Cab barrel adds a nice dryness to the beer but the chocolate flavor lingers on. I feel like this beer is somewhat similar to Zukhov.

It was similar to what I imagined it to be. Wished there was more smoke to it though.

Photo of KevSal
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to lakersfan16 for this guy!

22oz bottle into a snifter

A- Look spot on! completely dark with a deep brown, maybe half inch head. disolves to a a dark ring around the glass

s- YES! this guy fills the room! Smokey, sweet chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate. a strong particular smell reminiscent to hunahpu and apple brandy zhukov actually. full body aroma fills your nose.

t- bitter chocolates. smoke flavors are present but not over-bearing. all the flavors are balanced very well together. bitter chocolate after taste. delicious

m- mouth feel definitely helps the flavors come out. thick and chewy. perfect carbonation.

o- very well crafted beer. every works together really well. the nose is just amazing. was surprised to see this guy sit at 12.6! only .4 less than bcs, but nowhere near the heat. thank goodness i got another!

EDIT: this guys a creeper. it goes down so smooth it'll f*ck you up rightquick

Photo of aasher
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bottle was shared by muskabeatz at Darkness Day, thanks Evan! Reviewed from notes on my phone.

This one poured a very viscous and oily black in color with a nice and thick dark, stained brown head that eventually laced my mini snifter. This one coats your glass. You get a lot of oak, red wine notes, toffee, cherries, plums, and black cherries in the nose. It's pretty complex and still features the traditional roast. The flavors aren't quite as complex. You get a lot of toffee, dark chocolate, and molasses with a light smokiness. It's solid, but it just didn't live up to the nose. It drinks very thick and coats your palate. The aftertaste is pretty nice as well. Overall this is a very solid beer, I'm glad I could try it.

Photo of alcstradamus
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by an unknown guy at Darkness Day, reviewing on a semi-fresh palate.

I don't really care about appearance, but this has great legs and a motor oil appearance.

Complex nose with sweet molasses, smoke, dark fruits, and roast.

Flavor is a phenomenal and complex and balanced blend of molasses, raisin, coffee bean bitterness, and a bit of boozy heat.

Mouthfeel is medium full and creamy and just right.

Overall this is a fantastic beer. Drink it now, don't wait. Everything is well integrated. World class offering.

Photo of levifunk
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle. shared with the usual suspects.

a - pour is black as expected, and a dark brown head. pretty sexy.

s - smoke, baking chocolate, caramel

t - wow. with all the hype around this beer, I was a little leery to fall in love with this, but there is no doubt this is a world-class beer. chocolate, vanilla, smoke, and a bit of bitter hops on the end. amazingly well balanced. the smoke flavor is like no other found in other stouts. it is continually present, but subtle.

m - big body. thick and creamy.

overall - so good. I hope to come across this beer again, but I doubt i'll be so fortunate.

Photo of Luk13
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Kyle for opening this one. One of the most intense and balanced imperial stout I’ve had. Molasses, chocolate cake, vanilla and oak. Alcohol join the sweetness and intensity from the malts and brings this beer to a whole new level. Some dark fruits in the taste. Very rich and lovely palate.

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Bar Fly (2011) from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 247 ratings.