Bar Fly (2011) - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

78 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 78
Hads: 248
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 4.5%
Wants: 609
Gots: 50 | FT: 7
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 78 | Hads: 248
Photo of billshmeinke
2.77/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Review from notes.

Bar Fly
Pitch black with a finger of beige head. Decent lacing. 4.5
The nose is honey and charcoal. Booze and dark fruits. Licorice. Too smokey. 2.5
Taste is honey, chocolate, a bit boozy. Licorice. Not enough barrel. Yucky dark fruit. 3
Mouthfeel could be heavier. Low carbonation which is good, but on the whole shitty. 2
Lame. 2.5 (353 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.26/5  rDev -26.6%
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 (1,032 characters)

Photo of tarheels86
3.64/5  rDev -18%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

651mL thanks to CaptainCougar. Pours an ink color- used motoroil. Opaque with a large, dense, deep brown head. Yessss. Nose...apples and similar to CCB Hunahpu nose. Cocoa, dark chocolate, red apple. Taste is rich, mild smokiness and bacon, big sweetness, small lemon, big strawberry and brown sugar. Sort of a disappointment with not much smoked character. 7/5/7/4/14=3.7 (372 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at Woodshop 7 held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and some slight soy sauce aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some solid aromas and flavors that make it pretty easy to drink (579 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.97/5  rDev -10.6%
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. (942 characters)

Photo of mikey711
4.05/5  rDev -8.8%
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 (725 characters)

Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
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! (710 characters)

Photo of Gmann
4.1/5  rDev -7.7%

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 (893 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: ? somewhere in Portland, OR

I have this beer in my notes, but damn if I can remember where exactly I had it. It's on the same page as my Apex notes, but I'm sure I didn't have it there. I'm going to assume it was part of the bottle share we had at Beermongers with writerLJberg. And if so, thanks to whoever provided the bottle.

Poured a dark black with a moderate tan head. Lots of roast in the nose, cocoa, coffee, dark malts, the usual suspects, with hints of vanilla'd oak and smoke. Complex taste that follows and augments the aroma, dark malts, roastiness, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, oak, molasses, a non-offensive dose of smoky charcoal and grape skins, imparting a slightly bitter and dry quality. Heavy-medium body, smooth and flavorful, very drinkable. (776 characters)

Photo of callmemickey
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep black body. Medium brown head forms and slowly receded. Just a few traces of lacing.

S: Strong notes of milk chocolate and smokey malts. Hints of red wine, port, dark fruits and oak.

T: Similar to the nose but a bit more muddled and muted. A bit of chocolate, the smoke moves a bit toward the background, and the port/red wine like notes mellow out.

M: Medium bodied. Smooth texture on the tongue and a pleasant, but soft fading finish.

O: While pleasant and enjoyable, I was underwhelmed as I found the flavor profile a bit sloppy and unfinished. Perhaps too much was going on here to get an integrated presentation. (630 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours is a viscous opaque black with a thick dark tan head and solid retention. The nose has light hints of smoke and ash, roasted malts, light chocolate notes with some sweet anise and strong wood behind. The taste is well balanced with roasted malts and a rich chocolate brownie component. Dark fruits and faint smoke notes accompany a woody finish. The feel is full bodied, smooth and creamy, semi dry finish and gentle carbonation. Very complex, very integrated, and very balanced. Well done. (496 characters)

Photo of Urbancaver
4.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Chris :) tried this twice in the last 2 weeks. Really pleased
Pours a thick dark brown. Nice tan head. Smells bourbony and lightly smokey. A bit sweeter than i would like. Harsh booziness but nice flavour profile. Nice thick mouthfeel. Overall nice and enjoyable :) (272 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a midnight sun glass. Beer is black and dark with a thin tan head of small wispy bubbles. Some lacing. Low carbonation.

Aroma is boozy, sweet, anise, nice. A little boozer than I thought.

Medium to big in body. Fudge, sweet, smoke, licorice, nice. Good finish. Mildly bitter. I enjoyed it. (303 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (735 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.21/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (504 characters)

Photo of Onslow
4.21/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle .. Team Tubes #46 .. Shared at the first get together at Matt's .. I was excited about trying this one!! .. a smoked imperial stout! very intrigued! .. . Pours a deep brown black, medium foam, good lacing of light brown smudges .. . aroma of roast, light bbq pit, and burnt wood- quite balanced .. . similar tastes, just less smoke and more tar .. . wow, i really enjoyed this, a well made brew, but next time guys, add more smoke .. . Oh, so they have Internet on computers now! (491 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this one, Shane!

A: The beer pours a nearly impenetrable black color with a finger of tan head.

S: There definitely is some smoke to the nose, but it's not overpowering. Lots of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee as you would expect. The lightest hints of oak in the background and vanilla and molasses give a touch more sweetness.

T: I liked the nose, but the flavor is simply better. Sweeter than anticipated with vanilla, chocolate, burnt sugar, caramel, and molasses all playing a role. The roast qualities are there and there's a bit of coffee with just a hint of smoke.

M: Medium to full in body with a smooth, medium carbonation.

O: After a lot of let downs from Midnight Sun, it was nice to have a really solid beer from them. (764 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

The beer pours the expected blackish brown color, with very good head retention andlots of sticky dark foam lacing all around. The nose is every bit as good in this beer, as I pick up light bourbon, vanilla, light milk duds (always a good sign), dark chocolate and light coffee. This beer just smells like it will be yummy. On the palate, the flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, but the molasses just seemed a bit excessive. There's a lot going on in this beer (I get a hint of smoke, but was expecting more, given the description on the label), but I felt like the molasses flavor really dominated. The beer is fairly sweet, but not overly so, as the light smoke and molasses keep that in check. Mouthfeel is great, as the beer displays a long, soft creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile. You can tell it's up there, but it's not the least bit obtrusive.

This beer is excellent, no doubt, but I preferred the earlier version, which I was fortunate enough to have at a bottle share several years ago. It was the cab barrel version, and it seemed like the wine flavor played well and better with the smoke and molasses. The current version is still quite excellent, but it's hard to forget the earlier version I was able to try some years back. Also, I wonder if some short term cellaring might improve this beer a bit, and perhaps smooth out some of the rough edges.

Regardless. This is a very nice effort from the folks at MS. (1,495 characters)

Photo of tewaris
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Insanely dark, among the darkest beers I have had and equally thick --- thick enough to stain the glass at the sides. Vanilla, sweet booze and spice, subtle smoke, dark fruit in volumes, roast at the end. Pretty darn good. Silky feel and medium carbonation.

Thanks Dan. (270 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
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. (906 characters)

Photo of JAXSON
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours a thick black with a small mocha head. Nose is rich, earthy malt, lightly ashy, with some smoke and wood. Very thick and rich in the mouth, fairly sharp carbonation. Fairly sweet flavor with fudge brownie, light wood, and a long roasted, smoky finish. Very nice, I enjoy the smoke and wood elements of this a lot. A lot of residual sugars...a bit more attenuation would have made this just killer. (411 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Alex for opening this bottle at DLD 2011. Served in a snifter.

Pour yields a near-black brew with a good mocha-ish-colored head and a nice cap as it falls down. The nose is really quite nice with an underlying smokey character throughout. On top of that comes some light chocolate as well as a dusting of coffee and some roasted malt. Everything is layered with the smoke quite well. Very nice touch. The flavor is really nice, hiding the alcohol quite well. Impressively well, in fact. Smoke mingles with chocolate, roast, and espresso. What's not to love? Good full body and appropriate carbonation. Very nice. Thanks again, Alex. (647 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

MI Mega Tasting III. 22oz bomber, poured into RBSG 2010 snifter.

A - Pours black as night with nothing else much going on. Just black stout in my glass and that's about it. There's a yellow hue left after swirling the glass around a bit...motor oil-esk.

S - Bitter dark chocolate, slight smoke, roast, nice oak character. A little bit of this and that, blended together, equals awesomeness.

T - Not quite as much dark chocolate on the palate as the nose, but it's still there. The slight sweetness comes out from the cabernet barrel. Smooth booze, slight roast, very complex. 12.6% alcohol, you say? No way...barley noticeable/very impressive.

M - Full body, smooth, rich, with light carbonation.

O - Hard to find any flaws at all with this one. The alcohol is seriously well-hidden, which impresses me most of all. The chocolate and oak are not overdone and contribute instead of mask mistakes, which I find with other stouts. Another excellent brew from MS...recommend! (979 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From 04/14/12 notes. Poured into my Cigar City snifter.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of roasted malts, dark fruits, dark chocolate, smokey malts, lightly toasted and burnt malts, some wine, oak, and sweet fruit. Very nice nose; very roasty and chocolatey, and the smoke is light and nice.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, sweet dark fruits, oak, sweet chocolate, alcohol, smokey malts, molasses, burnt malts, and toasted malts. Still quite nice but the alcohol comes out in the taste.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Super smooth and creamy body. Perfect mouthfeel for a stout for me.

o - Overall I thought this was a very good stout. The nose was great and the mouthfeel was perfect. A little more alcohol then I would like in the taste but world class and would love to have it again. (902 characters)

Photo of craytonic
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was happy to open and try this one!

Appearance: Near jet-black pour

Smell: Dark chocolate, light roasted malt, coffee, toffee, blackstrap molasses and a faint smokiness (in just the right amount)

Taste: Very nice, dark chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, toffee, and molasses with a hint of smoke. Well done

Mouthfeel: medium/full body, medium/light carbonation.

Overall: Very solid beer, I hope they make this one again. Not my favorite for the style, but it isn't a style I like and it is rare that I find one I enjoy. (522 characters)

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Bar Fly (2011) from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.