Moscow - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
MoscowMoscow

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

263 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 263
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 8.52%
Wants: 65
Gots: 58 | 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: 263 | Reviews: 62
Photo of Thorpe429
3.26/5  rDev -20.7%
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 Alieniloquium
3.29/5  rDev -20%
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 MonkeyBread
3.4/5  rDev -17.3%
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 barleywinefiend
3.42/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a sluggish jet black which presents a nice mocha colored cap. Some good head retention leaves a good trail of bubbles around the glass and some lacing after a few moments.

S: Rather lackluster. Some soot, chocolate, booze and rye pretty much sums it up.

T: Initial taste has some soot or ash like notes as Thorpe called it with a buried dark chocolate, dark fruit, a rye presence pops but mellows out and a little booze sting which lingers on throughout the taste. Their is a big underlying roastiness throughout.

M: Full body, agressive on the palate, well carbonated. Just not much going on for me but this beer coats the palate well but i wish it were coated with better tasting notes and flavor

O: Not a bad beer, but a letdown at the pricepoint.

Photo of kdahnke123
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

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 Kendo
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Photo of Sean9689
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks dunt!

A - Pours black, very thin tan-colored head, thin collar.

S - Bitter dark chocolate, ash, roast, light char. This is very bitter and roasty/ashy, light rye.

T - Similar to the nose with perhaps even more ash/char, which is a bit off-putting. There's a distinct dark chocolate bitterness to go with the previously mentioned ash/char and some light roast. Alcohol is pretty boozy. Finish is bitter char and roast.

M - Full body, light carbonation, creamy dry finish.

O - One of the least impressive stouts from MS, which is mixed in with the likes of Bar Fly and Berserker. Those are tough stouts to go up against, and this one falls short of those. That said, it's still a decent stout but could use some more time in the bottle to mellow out a bit.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is black with a thin beige collar. The aroma is roasty, ashy, smoky, with a bit of charred malt. The rye character is lost, for the most part. The flavor is bold and aggressive. Full bodied with some alcoholic heat in the finish. Heavy roast and char flavors. A touch of chocolate. Overall, this was a robust stout that was dominated by char and roast, and while these flavors are enjoyable, they overrun the rye component and other more subtle attributes of the beer.

Photo of harrymel
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

2013 release.

This is black with a broken sheet of toasted graham foam. When I first cracked this beer and took a whiff off the bottle, it smelled great. Now that I've poured the beer and let it breath for a few minutes, we have chocolate banana oatmeal. There's some molasses and booze there too, a touch of spiced grains and warm milk. Flavor is sweet, roasted, some metal, some oats, plenty of cocoa and burnt toast, maybe a touch of coconut as it warms. Medium on full bodied with really low carbonation - this all comes together beautifully; honestly a really, really fine body and feel with a wet finish. I'm kinda torn on this beer, on one hand I really dig it, on the other, I think it's an absolute strikeout for the style. Fuck it, grading to taste.

Photo of LaneMeyer
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a Teku.

A - A beautiful beer, matte black, with half a finger of tannish/ruby red-brown head.

S - Coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, plum, raisins, caramel, buttered toffee, alcohol.

T - Coffee, bitter dark chocolate, bitter caramel, alcohol, rye.

M - Nice thick stout, fair amount of carbonation.

O - Looks and smells wonderful. A bit hot, could use a year in the cellar. Taste is not as complex as the smell. Not disappointing, but not mind-blowing either.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared thanks to starrdogg, thanks Matt! This is a 2011 bottling.

The pour is very viscous and thick looking, jet black with very little tan head.

The smell is very roasty, some nice fudge sweetness and molasses as well. Anise like notes as well. Pillowy almond and alcohol.

The taste is ok, has nice roast to it and a decent amount of malt to back it up. But overall seems like the flavor is a little thinner than I had hoped, it seems to have very little going on mid palate. Rye is fine but maybe a littl much. Definite coffee bitters at the finish. Some cream flavor to sweeten it up.

The feel is decent, thinner than most imperial stouts, but semi coating overall.

A good but not great imperial stout.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
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 ThickNStout
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%

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 Gushue3
3.87/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

Photo of cvm4
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
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 spicelab
3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
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 metter98
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
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 mdfb79
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Photo of cbutova
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
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 artoolemomo
3.96/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of farrago
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour courtesy of DarthKostrizer 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 wisps on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, rye, cocoa, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with a medium amount of roasty and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some solid aromas and flavors that make it easy to drink.

Photo of Rifugium
4.01/5  rDev -2.4%
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 kawilliams81
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 12 oz glass.

A- Pours pitch black with a 1 finger brown head. Minimal lacing around the edge of the glass.

S- Chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits.

T- Heavy roasted malts, dark fruits, chocolate and some coffee.

M- Full body and medium carbonation. Slightly dry feel but drinks well for 11%.

O- Very solid RIS. Nice heavy roast stout with some dark fruit notes.

Photo of vkv822
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Moscow from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.