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Moscow - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
MoscowMoscow

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

258 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 258
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 8.54%
Wants: 63
Gots: 54 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 258 | Reviews: 62
Reviews by Khazadum:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of Kevin73
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This is a gorgeously thick, syrupy, chewy beer! One of the thickest beers I've ever come across. Pours a beautifully opaque and deliciously sludgy brownish black with a caramel head, but unfortunately with almost no lacing. Looks great while you're pouring it as the head sinks swirling artfully into the abyss. Feels wonderful in the mouth, not too oily, coating disappears quickly and leaves very little aftertaste. The flavor was not as complex as I'd like, dominated by the roasted malts, with very subtle chocolate, fruit, vanilla and a bit of tartness on the finish. I did not find it to be a particularly well balanced flavor, a problem I find with a lot of imperials. That being said, there are worse flavors to dominate than dark malts. This is not a bad tasting beer by any stretch and is one of the better imperial stouts I've tried. The rich thickness of it is amazing.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.29/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky black. Pours with no head, but then it wells up a nice mocha head. Thick mocha collar. Rebuilds with every swirl.

Smell - Chocolate. I think I smell the rye. Alcoholic and a little ashy.

Taste - A significant improvement. Fruity. Chocolatey. Some smokiness. A little bitter and sweet in the finish. Tastes like a Baltic porter in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Odd body. Kinda thin. Again like a lager in the finish.

Overall - Not sold on this. All over the place. Some is good, some is bad.

Photo of atalayafr
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep french press dark but with obvious texture. Really dark! No head.
S-Mild rye, gentle alcohol. Pleasant.
T-Quite a bit more rye in the taste than was present in the smell. A bit more alcohol on the tongue and moderate alcohol effervescence as well. A subtle hint of cherry.
M-Buttery but not slippery. Starts slick but becomes drier once the rye and alcohol land.
O-A pretty pour. So dark there's some trepidation to it. But it's not overwhelming in rye or alcohol and mouthfeel keeps it drinkable. A good Russian Imperial Rye!
S-22oz Bottle

Photo of Gmann
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.14/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: pitch black and dense; milky chocolate head dissipates quickly, leaving just a trace behind

S: lots of dark roasted malt aromas, suggesting ice cold, black, bitter coffee; sweeter hints of molasses

T: rich, roasty, drenched in wet dark bittersweet malt, drier wood and oak flavors, perhaps something like anise; what I presume to be the rye creates a deeper level with some chewy grain and earthy/herbal seasonings/spices; sugars wash in up front and then fade out, dry and mellow

M: dense, heavy creamy, full-bodied, no palpable carbonation, smooth and slightly coating, dark bittersweet aftertaste

O: warmed impressively - nice, mellow and smooth; bitters are dark and shadowy; the rye and perhaps whatever hops are used create a savory/medicinal component (and perhaps the abv shows a bit, too) - almost like a dark malt tonic - a very nice interpretation of the style.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours pitch black with very slight signs of carbonation, leaving patches of brown foam and a ring around the glass leaving patchy lacing. Light aroma of toasted malt and chocolate, hints of coffee and vanilla. Flavor starts with toasted and charred malt, cooked coffee, chocolate with an interesting lighter spicy fruit component that must be contributed by the rye. Finishes with toasted and charred malt with light hop bitterness. Although the pour appeared viscous, the mouth feel is medium to heavy with little detectable carbonation. An interesting RIS, that seems a bit light on flavor, but that could be a result of the rye toning down the toasted malt elements. I would have liked a bit more robust malt, but the lighter rye spiciness keeps this interesting. The lack of carbonation was a distraction, but the pleasant heavy body became more pronounced as I drank over time, so the mouthfeel and appearance components would have a higher rating with a better carbonated bottle.

Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high mocha colored head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark malts and licorice are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of chocolate, dark malts and licorice along with hints of roasted malts and spicy rye. No sweetness is perceptible. The spices linger though the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O:I liked how this Russian Imperial Stout used rye as it helped mask some of the sweetness that is typically associated with beers in this style and made it easier to drink.

Photo of spicelab
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to mulder1010 for sharing with MrKennedy and myself. Reviewed from notes.

Absolute jet-black with a brooding deep-brown head that falls silently to a slightly raised ring. Serious legs upon swirling.

Dark fruits, burnt tires and vegetal yeast with slight medicinal notes creeping in. Bugger all chocolate or 'conventional' stouty character.

Whoa. Burnt toast, charcoal, pumpernickel bread. Rough and dirty, and uncompromisingly full-on. Dig it more and more with each sip.

Rich, luscious, but not exceptionally thick for its 11%. Counters the unrelenting dryness of the flavours nicely.

Crazy brute of a stout which has no interest in being sweet. The rye works so well in this - I'm amazed it's use in stouts is not more widespread.

Photo of ThickNStout
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%

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.

Photo of cbutova
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of kdahnke123
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

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.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.26/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of GT2. Served in a Midnight Sun goblet. Pours near black with a short mocha head. Nose has quite a bit of roast along with some ash. Strong roast and a bit of chocolate. Flavor has quite a bit of ash. Medium body. Slightly viscous. Ashy and dry. A bit bitter. Not a huge fan.

Photo of Rifugium
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

First had: bottle share at Beermongers, Portland, OR

Thanks to whoever shared this bottle (don't know your username). This is a RIS/rye beer.

The beer poured a thick black, like spent engine oil, a small, creamy, dark chocolaty head forming quickly and retaining quite well. Lots and lots of roast in the aroma. Taste of big, dark, roasty malts, with a heavy rye profile and licorice spice that combined very well; obvious alcohol taste comes in after the taste buds adjust to the roastiness. Full-bodied and chewy, lingers in the mouth with a roasty bitterness. Very good overall.

Photo of vkv822
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz : Teku

Opaque black, with a thin, bubbly brown head.

Big, cocoa and roast malt notes, faint dark fruit and a rye spice backing.

Taste follows the nose, with a slight alcohol warmth in the finish.

Creamy, lightly viscous body, mild foamy carbonation.

A very well done RIS. The rye adds an extra, subtle touch towards the finish of an already tasty base beer.

Photo of Tony49er
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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

Photo of mulder1010
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a tulip
Thanks to Nicks6217 for the bottle

A-- Poured black. Ink black, motor oil black, whatever, it was black as heck. Under a half inch of dark chocolate head. Great retention for what was there as a layer of film stuck around through drinking. Lots of lacing and a thick oily substance left through drinking. Great looking and evil looking at the same time.

S-- A bit nondescript at first. Soft roast, burnt tires, dry chcolate and molasses. Once it warmed up a lot got some spiciness from the rye. Very dry nose.

T-- Lots of roast, chocolate, molasses, big dark fruits, burnt tires, char and ash. Just not as oppressive as European RIS can be. Far more restrained in that aspect.

M-- Thick, rich, and dry. Quite dry. Just enough carbonation to carry this and do it well. Full on body but just enough touches of sweetness to make this work. Like a big, massive wine in a lot of ways. Alcohol is well hidden and I guess the best comparison is some of the DeMolen stouts out there.

O-- Dry as heck RIS. If you like sweet RIS then do not try to get this. Full on and big but it works as the dryness really helps this. More like a European RIS but not the massive char and ash that Mikkeller or DeMolen have. Big sipper and excellent beer. Very different US style stout

Photo of John_M
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Talk about a pleasant surprise... on tap at the Apex yesterday.

The beer pours a blackish brown color, with a creamy, coffee colored head. Retention is very good in tihs beer, and it has a viscuous look about it. The nose is equally impressive in this beer, as I pick up considerable milk chocolate, light coffee and vanilla, and maybe a hint of caramel, along with an interesting rye component as well. I wasn't really sure how well the rye would work in an RIS, but it's not bad at all (probably helps that this is a terrific RIS), and adds an interesting aroma (and flavor component) to this beer. The flavor profile replicates the nose very closely, though there's an interesting hint of licorise and hoppy bitterness as well in the finish that I like. Mouthfeel is fairly full, and the beer has a long, soft creamy finish. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, and there's really no hint of the 11% abv.

An altogether excellent beer from Midnight Sun. Glad I got to try this one.

Photo of MonkeyBread
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a couple bottles while I was in Anchorage. Opened this on 6.14.12.

A - Pours a super thick, viscous black with a two inch dark brown head that very slowly fades.

S - Rye, chocolate, coffee, and some booze.

T - Lots going on here. Coffee, lots of malty-rye and chocolate-booze.

D - Good carbonation and super heavy and thick body.

O - I love MS stouts, and this one is up there. Lots of rye, chocolate, coffee and booze.

Photo of cvm4
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Belmont Station.

Pouring an impressive black with a dense, dark brown head that's thick, creamy and long-lasting, this is a gorgeous RIS. The lacing is decent too. The nose has in incredible amount of rye up front, but it pairs very well with the heavily roasted grain character. Roast, mild char, unsweetened cocoa, a little bit of smoke, along with a little bit of spicy anise and a touch of fennel. Pretty excellent.

The palate opens with a big, bready rye flavor along with an excellent stout base. This is not a plain-vanilla RIS, this is a well-done RIS. Unsweetened dark chocolate, smoke, a mild but perfectly balanced ashy/grainy acidity. The mid-palate does have some sweetness, but it's more along the lines of a blend of buckwheat honey and pumpernickel bread. Mildly spicy as well, with a little bit of fennel and some anise and even some licorice. Full in body (does the rye add to the silkiness I feel?), soft and creamily carbonated, this beer finishes with a blend of grainy bitterness, a little bit of burnt grain (but no acrid notes) and a nice rye flavor. Alcohol is very well-hidden too. As it breathes, it gains a mild vinous character. Very good, this is highly recommended.

Photo of draheim
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Moscow from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 258 ratings.