Moscow - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
MoscowMoscow

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

62 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 62
Hads: 265
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 4.13%
Wants: 65
Gots: 59 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Rifugium on 12-31-2011

First brewed as part of our 2011 World Tour series, MOSCOW Rye Russian Imperial Stout is a hefty, opaque black liquid that pours slowly and soulfully into your snifter. A high percentage of spicy rye and roasted dark malts create a dense, chewy yet elegant winter wonderland of flavors. And from AK we say: Let it Snow…in Moscow.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 62 | Hads: 265
Photo of beerthulhu
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Viscose syrupy exit sits an inky jet black in the chalice with a caramel-chocolate topping, one inch with a thick, milky cream texture. Thick sheet lace coating dresses the glass.

S: Slight charred pine cone notes, rich, dark milky chocolate, more sweet then bitter with a light to medium awareness per style. No alcohol detection thus far.

T: Big roasted barley and roasted chocolate malts up front. Bite of peppery spice rye follows. Smooth flavor, charred toast, earthy mineral bitterness with smoky pine hints. Smooth charred finish, some spicy rye barrel notes and an soothing complimentary mention of alcohol.

M: Chewy oats and malt, thick, sticky, earthy bittering. You can litteraly chew this like bubblegum. Whats not to love here.

O: Exceptionally smooth drinkability and bitterness with little alcohol contention. Big chewy mouthful, 11.3% abv, a long, slow sipper on the bomber. Great close of winter and start of spring beer. (949 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

No bottled-on date, but purchased at least a year ago.

A - Bowling ball black body with a 1/2 finger of dark chocolate colored head. Nice retention and ok lace.

S - Sweet seeded pumpernickel rye bread, raisins, molasses, chocolate graham cracker, gingerbread batter, and prunes.

T - Really interesting. A roast-forward take on an RIS. Dark roasted coffee and burnt rye toast blanket over sweet molasses, caramel, gingerbread, milk chocolate, and burnt toffee. Nice, bitter woody hop character on the backend.

M - Full, smooth body. Creamy finish.

O - An outstanding flavor profile. Great balance, but a little bit better integration and this beer would move from outstanding to world-class. (703 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours pitch black with a dark caramel colored head, sticky and a lot of legs.

S - Burnt chocolate, light char, dark roasted chocolate malt, molasses, light coffee bean aroma.

T - Light char, dark roasted chocolate malt, some coffee bean buried deep down, light spice, and very well hidden alcohol.

M - Thick and heavy body, robust.

O - Really enjoyed this one. (368 characters)

Photo of Beersnake1
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Poured into snifter from fridge temp. Pours black as night, with almost no carbonation.

Smell is very nice - thick and deep RIS. Molasses, roasted malts, licorice

Taste - intense and more than expected based on the aroma. A lost of roasted malts and licorice, and the rye comes through nicely. Nice aftertaste.

Thick and creamy - very nice mouthfeel. (358 characters)

Photo of MonkeyBread
3.4/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

First beer from Midnight Sun. Heard great things about them. This particular beer combines two of my favorites: rye and Russian imp stouts. Big expectations for me.

Look: dark as night. Head is tan and fairly mild. Bit of bubbles.

Smell: not much on the nose. Standard roastiness, dark chocolate, little spicy rye.

Taste: bitter baker's chocolate, astringent roasted coffee, black bread, general spices. Finish is very bitter.

Mouthfeel: this is where the beer is weak. The body is airy and not thick enough. There is no enjoyable thickness that you expect with a big stout. There is an unpleasant carbonation and effervescence here as well.

Overall: disappointment. The rye didn't shine through much. The mouthfeel really overshadowed the positive qualities. (769 characters)

Photo of kdahnke123
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Poured at room temperature into a wine glass.
A - Poured a very dark brown with 2 fingers of chocolate brown head. The head was long lasting and left a nice lacing.
S - Lots of dark roasted malt smell with coffee notes. A moderate amount of hoppy notes.
T - Coffee and bitter chocolate with hints of the added rye.
M - Has a moderately heavy mouthfeel and a moderate amount of carbonation.
O - A little overbalanced on the roast with insufficient unroasted malt to balance it out. There are a lot of RIS out there. I would choose a Narwhal or Fouders Imperial stout over this given a choice. (597 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%

22oz bottle from BeerShip.com. No bottling date but this was an early 2014 release. Served in a goblet.

Pours midnight black with a three and a half finger cap of deep mocha foam. Maintains about an slight layer of head which ocassionally deposits flecks of dark lacing.

Huge dose of rye on the nose. Followed by cocoa, dark fruit and burnt sugar.

The sharply spicy rye remains at the forefront in the flavor. It's near-dominant but there are plenty of rich, traditional Russian imperial stout flavors as well- bitter bakers cocoa, black coffee, smoked bark, dark fruit skins, earthy herbal roots, dark roasted malt, burnt caramel, dirt and a healthy kick of booze. Spicy, sweet, bitter, boozey and rich all at once.

Creamy, full body with moderate carbonation. Finishes rather bitter and spicy with notes of rye, dark chocolate, burnt coffee and biting alcohol.

Moscow is a solid tale on the Russian imperial stout. The copious rye adds a new dimension of spice and bitterness to balance all the sweet malts. (1,019 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 1/31/2013. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense dark brown head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toast, dark bread, spicy rye, smoke, raisin, plum, light char, and roast/smokey earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, rye, and light-moderate dark fruit notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toast, dark bread, spicy rye, smoke, raisin, plum, light char, and roast/smokey earthiness. Fair amount of roast/smokey bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, dark bread, spicy rye, toast, smoke, light char, and roast/smokey earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and robustness of big dark/roasted malt, rye, and light-moderate dark fruit flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent rye imperial stout. All around great complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, rye, and light-moderate dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering. (1,552 characters)

Photo of Gushue3
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours flat black into the glass and forms a medium sized mocha head. Dark streaks slowly descend after a quick swish around the glass, lively body.

S - Big charred roast and chocolate malts along with smoke and spicy rye.

T - Smoke and roast bring out some big char characteristics. Rye comes out toward the middle and rides to the charred finish. Not acrid or overly bitter but dominated by the char. Nice flavors but somewhat one dimensional.

M - Big thick, chewy feel with medium carbonation for the style. Feels nice

O - Good RIS from Midnight Sun, would be a great winter time sipper. Kind of one dimensional, some sweetness wouldn't hurt it at all. (663 characters)

Photo of artdob
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A rich black pour donning a deep dar brown head which quickly fades to a light scattered froth.

Nose has spicy notes with caraway and hints of pumpernickel bread. A bit of sweet yeast underneath it all.

Palate is on the chewy side, though not as dense as Stone's Woot 2.0. Similar notes as found on the nose ooze through on the taste profile. Light shades of a licorice come through as the finish begins to take shop. Roasted notes develop upon further sips and help to keep the hoppiness balanced.

The bottle indicates 45 IBUs. Perhaps because of the long distance to being this bottle to Southern California, it is on the pricier side at $14.99 for a 22 ounce bottle.

Mildly carbonated. Enjoyable brew though in the category, North Coast's Old Rasputin continues to serve as my benchmark. This brew seems to me to veer closer to Rasputin than some other Imperial Stouts. Moscow brings somewhat more sweetness, very mildly on one side, and very distinctive rye notes on the other side. A nice alternative, though pricier. (1,028 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken over Memorial Day weekend. Last unique bottle from my November 2013 CA trip.

A- Deep midnight black, thick bodied pour from the bomber to a snifter. Creamy dark mocha tan head rises to a finger with good retention. Frothy ring remains to leave spotty lace

S- Deep dark roast grains and plummy fruits with dark cocoa powder. Toasted nutty feel.

T- Rich melted chocolate and deeply roasted burnt grains. Cherry plummy fruits give the beer a fudge truffle aspect. Toasted grain and rye spice opens up here.

Mf- Thick, creamy body with a chewy, silky texture which is also somewhat oily. Carbonation is medium low and smooth. Roast bitter lingers with no warming from the alcohol. ABV is very well hidden.

Fudgey RIS with a fruit feel that doesn't distract from the main stout elements while also having a bit of a rye flavor. (853 characters)

Photo of cvm4
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours really thick, motor oil, with a really brown espresso head and tight bubbles.

S - The rye is the star of the show as well as dark chocolate and light roasted malts.

T - The taste follows the nose to me with may'be a little bit of sweetness to it.

M - Medium to full bodied, not one of the heavier stouts I've had. The carbonation is a little too high and prickly for me.

O - It's a solid rye stout and it shines through. But, a bit messy in execution. (467 characters)

Photo of farrago
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

At first pour the head is thin but then it just slowly escalates close to three fingers in the glass so watch out when you pour, dense, looks like a dark brown murky pond, the lacing is thin and long yet sticks very well. The liquid is the predictable blackest of black, no discernible color and no visible bubbles. The nose is heavy and sluggish, big emphasis on that rye as well as dark chocolate, coffee, milk and toffee crisp, semi-muted plum, fig, date, raisin fruit scents, its relative lack of roastiness allows a floral dimension to bloom, orange zest too, not that complex. Full-bodied, super-creamy texture, however, the booziness adds bite and unsettles overall smoothness. Rum raisin ice cream, chocolate, coffee, the alcohol brings out butterscotch, caramel tones. More roast here, perhaps the rye factors in although on the taste scale it is not dominant. Tar, earth, asphalt as well as dampened campfire smokiness. Light ginger spice and orange citrus, as in the nose it’s all about the rich maltiness. The carbonation has minimal prickle, just helps build that creamy texture. Lingers very nicely, turning pleasingly bitter at the end rather than reaching for maximal sweetness. Drinkable, powerful, just too monochrome to be a benchmark beer. (1,261 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

bomber into a shaker

extremely pitch black pour, massively dark with a nice dark brown head. smell is chocolately and the rye notes come through. taste is extremely chocolatey at first with DARK bittersweet chocolate and then the rye comes through and is very apparent and the beer ends with a big, big bitterness. grows on you and is very good if youre a fan of rye. the body on this beer is huge and thick and awesome, love it. carbonation is on point.

overall terrific..great job guys. (491 characters)

Photo of Tony49er
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

*As a side note I did not have this exact beer I had the Rye Barrel Aged version of this*

Serving type- On tap poured into a snifter glass

Appearance- Dark black almost sucks you into it its so dark, some brown head but not much

Smell- Epic, Rye bourbon notes, chocolate, coffee/ espresso, taffy notes as well just a sweet smelling beer

Taste- Rye, bourbon, dark chocolate, coffee/espresso, taffy notes, a little hint of oak in the back of the tongue

Moutfeel- Thick solid stout mouth feel very smooth taste in the mouth

Overall- I have been looking forward to trying this beer for a long time and I was able to try the Rye Barrel aged version and it is awesome (667 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up a slender amount of head which looks to have okay retention. The head is a very dark beige with dark umber and hints of purple, almost gritty looking. The body is a opaque and dark chocolate black.

Nose- A bit muted for an Imperial stout but still quite nice. Not much difference from the bottle to the glass. There was a slight bit of formic acid, deep bittersweet chocolate with a slight vinosity on the initial sniff from the bottle but now it's pretty much the same as the glass: milk chocolate, cocoa, cream, and malted milk balls. If I didn't know better, I would think this was a milk stout.

Taste- Starts off with a hint of the nose (some chocolate, cream, cocoa) but the rye and coffee with roasted malts start to take over. Definite spice from the rye with some woodiness on the backend. Slight sweetness starts to peak out, think raisins. Lots of bittersweet chocolate. More cream starts to rise while the woodiness begins to fade. This is pretty much all about the bittersweet chocolate and coffee of the middle with some rye on the end. The rye gives this some breadiness with a slight sour quality. I wish there were more and while this is a pretty solid beer, it's average for an Imperial stout in my opinion. Covers the basics but doesn't branch out to show different flavors and nuances. The raisin aspect is a little cloying and sours on the linger a bit. While the complexity might be lacking, this does mellow out to be a quite enjoyable and balanced beer. It still reminds me of a milk stout in ways. Also, I get not hint of the alcohol at all. In between good and really good at this point.

Mouthfeel- Between medium and heavy bodied. Some smoothness but it's somewhat canceled out by some over-carbonation. It's not too bad but it does become noticeable at points.

Drinkability- Pretty easygoing- no hint of heat anywhere. It would be dangerous if it were a little more complex but it's still a pretty good beer. Around 11 bucks is pretty solid but I'd probably look around for something else at that price. Ten Fidy maybe? The rye isn't enough of a distinguishing characteristic in this beer.

Overall- Good to pretty good beer, closer to pretty good. Solid and enjoyable Imperial that needs to express more rye. It would be interesting to try this beer aged in rye barrels. Definitely worth a try and just needs a few tweaks to get close to great. Probably wouldn't purchase again though. But you never know. (2,463 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From 02/11/14 notes. Thanks to Adam for sharing this one. 22 oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Think this was a 2012 vintage bottle.

a - Pours a deep brown, almost black color, with one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks great.

s - Smells of chocolate, rye, roasted malts, toasted malts, caramel malts, cocoa, and burnt malts. Nice nose; rye comes through a little bit, but I like it.

t - Tastes of milk and dark chocolate, rye, caramel malts, roasted malts, vanilla, cocoa nobs, toasted malts, burnt malts. Taste has more rye and caramel than the nose had. Think I like the nose a little better but this is good.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Body is very thin for a big stout and seems a bit oxidized.

o - Overall a pretty good stout. I'd be interested to try it fresh as it seemed a bit old and oxidized. Worth checking out. (867 characters)

Photo of Kendo
3.6/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The bottle is not dated in any way. I believe I purchased this about 4-6 months ago, so I'm guessing it's the 2012 edition. Paid $12.49 for the 22 oz bottle.

A: Poured from the bomber into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass, slightly aggressively. A slow-forming but thick, chocolate milkshake-type head settles on top - and then stays there. Eventually it settles, leaving a curtain of brown lacing on the glass. It's a nice looking beer at this point. . . .

S: Some chocolate, some spice, some alcohol - and a sense of "old" beer, suggesting oxidation has begun.

T: Interesting mix of sweet and burnt. Some molasses, roasted barley malt and charcoal. Heat from alcohol is felt in the belly. Lingering taste of ash in the aftertaste is not entirely pleasant. A bit of a metallic taste shows up in the aftertaste at times as well.

M: Slick, but not thick enough to be syrupy. Carbonation is nearly non-existent.

O: Not impressed with this one. Too sweet, too ashy, the feel is too slick. (994 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as oil slick with a creamy deep beige head that holds together without ever really subsiding.Vanilla and chocolate at first whiff along with mild smokiness,obviously some big black roast is present as well.A full creamy feel it just gldes down with ease,just creaminess and big and chewey at the same time.Flavors of dark fruit and vanilla that meld into a big smokiness that really hits hard, with just a tinge of the sharp rye in the finish along with sticky sweet alcohol.Now this is a different and unique beer just the type of stuff I like to drink this time of year. (584 characters)

Photo of draheim
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a tulip. Pours a deep, dark, oily pitch black w/ a 1-finger reddish brown head that sticks around, settling to a nice cap of foam.

Aroma is chocolate/cocoa, deep bitter roasted malt, dark fruit, molasses.

Taste is likewise a complex blend of dry cocoa, roasty malt, and bitter chocolate. Alcohol well hidden.

Mouthfeel is thick and coating, viscous, but still somehow manages a semi-dry finish.

Overall a really outstanding RIS, one of the best I've had. (475 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to HuskyinPDX for this bottle. When I saw it was coming out again I was like "Dawg, big stout, rye, wassup? In like Flynn." 22 oz. bottle with an amusing AK saying on it split with my wife.

The pour is just the color of the devil's soul, with a strangely persistent head that refuses to lie down & die. Even the nose is thick, roast, sweet malt that borders on maple syrup, & a whiff akin to black licorice. Smells like a beast.

Moscow: a beer I can't review, because I only have use of one hand while repeatedly slugging it out of the glass. A sweet, mild smokiness greets the palate with a high-five, then sweetness sweeps me off my feet. The rye comes as a mild spiciness that lends depth & brightness in the middle of the darkness, really goosing the stout. Dash of hop bitterness & licorice closes things out. Big, thick, oily, & creamy as hell. Yet I could drink it until Beelzebub rang the dinner bell...though I supose I wouldn't be allowed to enjoy anything this fine.

Wow. All I can think is, Victory! Adding the rye to what is obviously a fine base beer was a stroke of dark genius. This is an excellent beer that could hold its head high among the elite stouts in the world. I miss you already. (1,219 characters)

Photo of oceanman907
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the Brewery, 12oz

This beer looks epic in the glass with a slight brown head, but the kicker is the way the liquid sticks to the side of the glass when you are drinking it. the smell is inviting with baking coco, some dark fruit, and a rye spice. The taste is quite bitter for an IRS to me, but not hop bitter, bitter coco flavors dominate with a bit of rye in the finish. the mouthfeel is very viscous like an IRS should be, not as much as the other MS Berserker... but close. Overall a very gorgeous beer that delivers on all the IRS flavors, with an interesting twist. (579 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured in to snifter.

A - Thick, sludgy ink black colour with a very thin film of cocoa coloured head.

S - Very sweet nose. Hints of molasses, dark caramel, semi-sweet chocolate and a hint of anise accompany a big roast profile.

T - A massive roast profile with lighter notes of smoke, baker's chocolate and molasses. The finish is bitter and roasty.

M - Thick and sludgy. Viscous. Light carbonation. (405 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

bottle picked up locally, enjoyed from a midnight sun snifter.

a - brew poured a majestic rich black from the bottle...settled as deep shiny black in the glass with a reasonable foamy dark tan chocolate head. head was gone relatively quickly and left streaky lacing. looks fairly thick. coats the glass with beer when i tilt it for a swig.

s - dark black malts and a glazing of rye. dark chocolate. thickness.

t - thick and lush black malts with rye to give it an almost RIS with straw kind of vibe. dark fruit and chocolate with a nice serving of grain. the rye kind of makes it feel like an oxidized hop.

m - a meal in a glass. fairly thick and might be a bit of a chore to tackle this on my own, but i'm down with this item on the honey do list.

o - overall, a very solid beer from midnight sun. the rye is an interesting twist. i do dig rye beers quite a bit, but in a RIS...is interesting. really good RIS and worth checking out. (939 characters)

Photo of Gmann
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pitch black color with a dense reddish brown head that settles into a light cap.

The aroma is quite meaty with plenty of soy notes. Molasses provides a deep sweet aroma. A subtle hint of smoke and charred wood. A dark berry sweet sour note as well. Very nice deep aroma.

Big roast flavor with notes of burnt coffee. Scorched caramel and molasses and perhaps a touch of vanilla. Plum and carob provide a sweet and sour note. Not much smoke in the flavor but still quite woody. Light anise. Big RIS flavors.

The feel is thick with soft carbonation so it has a smooth feel. Sweet and bitter on the palate. Sticky and chewy in the finish.

Very good stout. Big and bold and what an imperial stout should be. (718 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Moscow from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.