Moscow - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
MoscowMoscow

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

261 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 261
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 8.54%
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: 261 | Reviews: 62
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -2.4%
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 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 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 Knapp85
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured out as a thick oily black color color with a deep brown colored head, the retention is very thin, some scattered lacing as well. The smell is lightly roasted with some sweet molasses on the nose. The taste is sweet and roasted with a nice bitterness in the finish. Some decent spicy notes in there as well from the rye. The mouthfeel is thick, oily and lightly carbonated. Overall it's a big thick beast of a beer. Very good stuff.

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 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 MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tnudish for the share. Served in a Kuhnhenn goblet.

A - Dark mocha foam settles to wisps, a collar, and a glass-coating brown film. Very dark, opaque and solid, black body.

S - The rye is front and center, and it's supported by charred malts, bitter dark chocolate, smoke, yeasty bread, and a hint of booze.

T - The taste is quite similar, with a heavy doses of char, rye, roast, dark chocolate, and so forth - very little residual sugar. There's a mildly fruity yeast character that combined with the intense roast is evocative of Scandinavian stouts. Wrong side of the Baltic Sea, I know, but much closer to European stouts than American ones.

M - Smooth body, melted chocolate, texture, viscous and chewy finish, and lower carbonation. Some moderate warming alcohol, so this is definitely a sipper.

D - A very nice RIS, and completely different from Midnight Sun's other offerings. It's like they made a very nice Mikkeller beer, but without the oppressive burnt flavors in the finish. This should age quite gracefully.

Photo of mdfb79
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
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 drabmuh
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by someone at a recent tasting, thanks. Served in a snifter. Beer is black, insanely dark ink black and thick. syrupy, dark brown head, small bubbles, low retention.

Aroma is roasty a little spicy, interesting.

Rye is in there but mostly this stout is huge and heavy. Thick, strong, nice. It is pretty bitter on the backend. I enjoyed it a lot. I would have it again. Very nice stout.

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.77/5  rDev -8%
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 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 barleywinefiend
3.42/5  rDev -16.6%
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 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 Axnjxn
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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 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 vfgccp
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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 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 ccrida
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark with a super dark tan head, thick and creamy.

Smell is super dank and deep dark malts, nice roast, chocolate. Really grows in appeal as it warms, without getting too sweet, extracty. Maybe a flutter of lactose, but if so, it's executed with a deft hand.

Taste is also super rich and chocolatey, this is a really nice RIS. The rye provides a really nice touch of spice. The roast is not overly strong, but lingers very pleasantly.

Mouthfeel is super thick, creamy and soft, like an RIS milkshake. The extreme viscosity is well served here.

Drinkability is very god. It's an excellent RIS, with the rye providing a nice little punch of extra. Do I want another? Hell yes. Today? No way. And that's alright.

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 maximum12
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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.

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.

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Moscow from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 261 ratings.