1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Moscow - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

214 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 214
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 58
Gots: 49 | FT: 7
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:
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 added by: Rifugium on 12-31-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 214 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of itracy63
4/5  rDev -2.9%

itracy63, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of ChumleyX
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

ChumleyX, May 30, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev -2.9%

mdaschaf, May 29, 2013
Photo of reverbking
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

reverbking, May 29, 2013
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.33/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

Alieniloquium, May 28, 2013
Photo of KiMiRaiK
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

KiMiRaiK, May 27, 2013
Photo of lsummers
4.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours like motor oil. Black and thick as can be with a dark chocolate frothy dark head. One of the best looking beers I've ever seen.

Smells of cocoa beans, raisins, burnt dark chocolate and a touch of coffee. There's a slight nutty toffee note. You can almost smell the creaminess.

Taste hits with the burnt roasted cocoa beans and transitions into a more raisin and burnt caramelized brown sugar sweetness. Ends with some great dark chocolate aftertastes. Roasted caramel malts mix in throughout.

Mouthfeel is fairly viscus yet moderately carbonated. This is perfectly balanced on the tongue and maybe a bit too drinkable for the abv. Not a bad thing though.

Overall, This is a top Russian Imperial Stout. A definite try and retry. Can't wait to find this again.

lsummers, May 26, 2013
Photo of PerHops
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

PerHops, May 22, 2013
Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -9%

drewone, May 20, 2013
Photo of jaminjohnson
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

jaminjohnson, May 08, 2013
Photo of LordChesterfield
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Typical Russian imperial in every aspect accept for the taste and smell. It has a wonderful mix of oaky and floral smells and the taste is smooth and inviting. Notes of coffee, hints of molasses with a well integrated hop flavor, also a vague fruitiness. It has a very light aftertaste that only adds to the drinkability. It has a perfect level of bitterness. The alcohol level is dangerous as hell though, and isn't convenient for quaffing. Youz'll get drunk fast.

LordChesterfield, May 06, 2013
Photo of xnicknj
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

xnicknj, May 02, 2013
Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

zestar, Apr 30, 2013
Photo of Adamostella
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Adamostella, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of harrymel
3.83/5  rDev -7%
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.

harrymel, Apr 24, 2013
Photo of vande
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

vande, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of DefenCorps
4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

DefenCorps, Apr 19, 2013
Photo of Hopmodium
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Hopmodium, Apr 18, 2013
Photo of Kevin73
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Kevin73, Apr 17, 2013
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

LiquidAmber, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of Kuaff
4.74/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured at cellar temperature from a bomber into my snifter.

When I poured this beer, even the thin stream flowing out of the bottle appeared almost completely black. This is definitely the blackest beer I've seen. As it pools in the glass, delicate sheets of fine brown foam swirl mysteriously across the surface, accumulating into a small, dense head which fades pretty fast. Just beautiful.

The smell has qualities of sweet milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and rich coffee. Smells like the most awesome chocolate dessert ever.

It tastes much like it smells, with the chocolate and coffee coming through, and a roasty, charred aftertaste. There is also some smokiness that reminds me of my family's Alaskan smoked king salmon (just the smoky taste, not the salmon taste). The rye this beer was brewed with is pretty subtle at first, but really comes through a lot more as it warms.

This stuff is thick! Like, NOTICEABLY thick. Very viscous indeed. But this is welcome, as it makes the beer feel substantial and enhances the richness. The carbonation is right where I want it.

Moscow Russian Imperial Stout is out of this world! There are so many dimensions to it... And 11% ABV? I was much too busy being seducted by this black, bodacious brew to notice that at all.

Kuaff, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of bifrost17
4/5  rDev -2.9%

bifrost17, Apr 03, 2013
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.4/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

barleywinefiend, Mar 29, 2013
Photo of ArchEnemyBrew
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

ArchEnemyBrew, Mar 28, 2013
Photo of phingdong
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

phingdong, Mar 20, 2013
Moscow from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 214 ratings.