Midnight Sun | Williams Brothers Brewing Company

very good
73 Reviews
Midnight SunMidnight Sun

Brewed by:
Williams Brothers Brewing Company
Scotland, United Kingdom

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by wl0307 on 06-11-2008

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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 159
Photo of JordanEllwanger
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to my fellow guitar pedalhead DasBeef for hooking me up with this fine Scottish Ale! Cheers Mate!

Pours like a thick coca-cola and floats a dense caramel white head. Smells clean, perfectly roasted, and slightly creamy. And the taste is quite that is smooth. That little ginger root gives it the spice. Not to harsh and just enough kick to make it unique. You Scotts know how to brew a great dark beer. Cheers!

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Photo of meatyard
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Has a "best before date Jul 2011" on the back label.

Pours a clear (held up to a light), dark reddish/brown with a large, fluffy, 3-finger, light tan head that leaves ample lacing.
The smell is cocoa followed by an earthy malt.
The taste starts with a burnt, bitter coffee, then chocolate and dark malt flavor and more bitterness in the finish. As it warms there's a bit of sour taste and the bitterness subsides.
Mouthfeel is medium and smooth.
Drinkability: This is a very nice, easy to drink porter though it is not a beer of which I would necessarily choose to have 2 in a row. I would be happy to have another in a few days or a week though. Maybe it's the burnt flavor that makes me feel that way but this is a bit different, yet very good, porter.

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Photo of thierrynantes
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (50 cl.), tasted in 2010.

Appearance : dark brown color, with tan foamy head (some lacing).
Smell : notes of roasted malt aroma.
Taste and mouthfeel : roasted malt flavors, coffee and ginger notes.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style English Porter.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into my point glass

A - Dark black with an off white head that sticks around.

S - Salt, smoke and roast.

T - Once again a bit of salt mixed with smoke and roasted malts. A bit saltier than I would like. Not as chocolaty as I like. Kinda watered down. This is a decent beer but doesn't stand up to the other great porters.

M - creamy medium bodied with not too much carbonation

D - Decent beer but not great. I would drink this again but wouldn't seek it out or buy if I had other options.

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Photo of farrago
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin half finger of brown foam which doesn't stick around for long, leaves random islands across the surface, given this, more stickiness in the lacing than expected. Blackish-brown in color, opaque but not in a monolithic manner, light glimmer of burnt orange around the rims. Firm, well-packed nose of cocoa, dry dark chocolate, carob and a strong does of ginger, coriander spices, even a pinch of cayenne, the roast not acrid nor coffee-like, more like slowly roasted grains, has no distinct fruit nor citrus scents, long, if unobtrusive, presence in your nostrils. Medium-bodied, muscular presence, not immobile but you have to exercise those throat muscles to prod it down. The Indian cuisine like spices of ginger, cumin, anise and curry clear enough that they push most else to the side. This also hardens the contours of the cocoa, carob flavors. The carbonation moderate at best but does fit the general tone nicely. Odd that, again, virtually no fruit, citrus or other vaguely "sweet" flavors. This is a very intelligent and well-crafted beer, however, one that should be used in select circumstances, preferably with food.

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Photo of Tone
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, roasted malt, oatmeal, and slight dark citrus. Fits the style of an English Porter. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. There is also a slight dryness associated with this brew. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, hops, slight dark citrus, hint of wood, hint of smoke, and slight spice. Overall, good blend, complexity, body, and appearance.

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Photo of BeerShirts
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Black. There was only a very little bit of light that could be seen through the edges of the glass, the head comes on thick and lingers,

S- roasted Malt, light coco, and spices

T- The roasted malt hits you head on and just keeps on coming. Starts out more so the coco and malt with it just being that nice roasted malt lingering after

M- With how the head came up it was not as bubbly/carbonated as it seems it was going to be, creamy body with a medium to high in thickness.

D- Enjoyed it very much, would drink my other one if it was not already part of a trade deal.

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Photo of Bung
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint bottle. Very dark brown pour not quite black. Off white head about a finger that decreases fairly quickly to a thin layer.

Aroma is roast malt and cocoa, fairly straight forward.

Taste is light roast malt and some chocolates. Not quite as dry as I would have thought. Finishes with some roast malt, peat, cocoa and light coffee.

A tad thin, but not watery. Carbonation causes a not quite creamy body but pleasant. Very drinkable. Not a whole lot to it, but a good drinkable Enlgish Porter.

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Photo of jgasparine
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a FRESH cask at Max's on Broadway, Baltimore, Maryland on 3/30/2010.

A- Poured from the beer engine with a thin brown head, which quickly evaporated... no substantial lacing. The body was a seemingly uncarbonated opaque jet-black color.

S- A very interesting nose that combines aromas of roasted and black malts, oats, earth, perceived juniper (presumably a reaction between the ginger and the malts used in the brew), and just a very mild touch of smokiness. A very artisanal nose, which I enjoyed quite a bit.

T- The nose is replicated nicely on the palate- roasted-malt-dominant with nuances of oats, earth and peceived juniper throughout. The touch of smokiness emerges in the finish, and lingers in the aftertaste.

M- A very nice medium body, particularly given the low ABV; Textured with unattenuated sugar and suspended yeast, and complimented by a soft and delicate carbonation from the cask.

D- Drinks quite well. I would have had multiple glasses of this if there weren't so many other beers to try tonight!

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4.58/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

500ml Brown bottle, best before May 2010, drank and reviewed 11 March 2010. Poured into a vase shaped 'Old Speckled Hen' pint glass.

looked impressive, deep, dark and rich black with a good solid tanned foaming head sat on top. The head left some good thick lacing on the glass.

A burnt, roasted malts smell hides a smoother dark chocolate aroma which in turn allows some liquorice esters to show themselves.

The rear label mentions 'root ginger' and there is a hint of 'hotness' in the taste, but I'd never have gone for ginger as being the reason. The taste follows the smells almost to the letter, toasted malts, dark chocolate and liquorice all appear along with the aforementioned hotness trace.

Smooth, rich and very 'moreish', I liked this a great deal.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours purple-black with taupe fuzzy head that fades to trailers of lace. Nose is clay, fudge and maybe the odd blueberry. Cocoa and coffee grounds in the malt, roasted bitterness in the middle and slight medicinal herbal hops to end. Hint of ginger. Tight end with some brown sugar sweetness. Medium feel, oily and round.

Big porter that almost drinks Baltic. Would go again.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pleasing porter on cask.

Presentation: 16 Oz draft serving. Menu offers a brief and fairly accurate description. Chalk ,board notes Alc. by Vol. (5.6%) Served in a pint shaker glass.

A - Black pour with some lighter deep brown edges. Nice 1"+ foamy head, short retention, and some lacing as it goes down.

S - Faint roast aroma with small notes of chocolate and caramel...

T - Good roasted malt flavor... Coffee, and touches of chocolate. Rather subdued. There is a very distant, almost unnoticeable spice, tangy note. It is not ginger but something in that neighborhood.

M - It´s a medium body and the faintest of cask carbonation is present. Smooth and even a bit creamy.

D - Goes well as a porter on cask without being too notable.

Notes: Worth the cask try but nothing particularly memorable. Good brew in any case... I wonder if part of the subdued taste is in part due to being an imported cask being on its last legs. Typically 3 weeks + to cross the Atlantic and get through customs for something like this, right?

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Photo of Travlr
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance was one shade shy of midnight black, giant bubbles that settle quickly. Medium lacing.
Smell had caramel and milk chocolate.
Taste was smooth cocoa and dilute coffee, but sort of unbalanced; slight smoke finish.
Interesting; memorable; unique.

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Photo of EatsTacos
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours like black coffee with a fizzy and thin head. No real lacing

The aroma was coffee, expresso, chocolate and some roasted barley

The flavour was spicey and peppery, coffee, chocolate, roasted grain, some nuttiness. Ginger is on the ingredient list and adds to the spice and depth of the beer. Vanilla bean and toffee make up the sweet notes and the beer is bitter and dry in the finish

The mouthfeel for me was much too carbonated, very sharp and hard carbonation, with a medium to thin body

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Cherry black with a head that might make other porters jealous: tall, smooth, camel-colored, firm, and resilient. Wonderfully upfront with aromas of chocolate, coffee, malted milk, and a mellow ginger vibe, plus a nice mango/peach fruitiness, a wink of vanilla and just a hint of herbal hops. Tastes very reminiscent of root beer, no doubt from the combination of caramelized dark sugars, vanilla, herbal hops, and the light spice of ginger. The flavor segues from cherry cola into coffee, closing with a bitter finish of mocha and citric hops. Quite dry, although I fear the dryness comes at the expense of a fuller mouthfeel and richer malt character - but of course, this is a porter, not a stout, so the lighter body is not really inappropriate. Overall, this is delicious and interesting; the ginger is a welcome innovation, subtle yet noticeable enough to make this stand out among standard porters.

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Photo of tatoodkelt
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured very well. Pitch black with a thin creamy brown head.

S - Complex. Couldnt really pick out one particular smell. Hints of chocolate, coffee and some spices. Everything mixed together very well.

T - Again the chocolate and coffee as well as a roasted/burnt flavor. A little bitter and a spicy/fizzy feeling along the tongue.

M - More watery than I expected from the look but very smooth.

D - Very easy to drink but I think after a couple in a row I would move on to something else.

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Photo of mapofthedead
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, almost black in color with a dark off-white/pale brown head which lasted well down the glass.

S: I got hints of chocolate and coffee, quite sweet smelling with some very feint hints of spice.

T: Chocolate and coffee again but a more bitter taste than the sweetness of the smell. There was a hint of the alcohol in the background taste.

M: Seemed quite light, almost watery, but pleasant and smooth.

D: Nice, easy and smooth to drink.

Notes: 500 ml bottle poured into an Imperial Pint glass. Best Before Date on bottle was MAY 2010.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black as the night itself - with a small bubbly head.

S - Coffee, toffee, heather and lavender. Not exactly heather and lavender, but these were the closest aromas that I could conjure. Weird.

T - Initially a mild coffee flavor which is quickly joined by heather, lavender and rosemary. Aftertaste is a light charcoal flavor with a bit of toffee.

M - Smooth, watery, no carbonation (as one would expect from a cask), refreshing.

D - Pretty good. In spite of the intense, bizarre, herbal flavors - it is still pretty good.

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Photo of kmacphail
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up from the Tesco in the Inverness retail park, easily the widest variety of beers in Inverness with the possible exception of Morrisons in the city centre.

The beer poured a very dark brown colour with a thick, dark cream head.

The nose was a complex fusion of a wide variety of aromas that worked well together, complex but not too overpowering. Spices, chocolate and coffee were the main notes but these are only a small number in the overall mix.

The taste of malts, chocolate and a lingering aftertaste of coffee and a slight note of peat. However this is a bit of a weaker taste than expected. The beer is very heavy bodied, whilst I enjoyed it I do not think I could have more than a couple.

Very nice beer, but don't buy a case, try as part of a mix or simply pick up a couple off the shelf, if you can find it.

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Photo of thepeter
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I admit it, this is my "Now" beer! I find myself picking up a pint with every trip to the supermarket.

Pours beautiful, black with a nice tan fluffy head that thins out significantly by the time I am halfway through.

smells spicy and sweet with a bit of coffee. Lot's more going on, pretty complex but not overpowering at all.

Tastes great, sweet malt, spicy ginger, bit of coffee bitterness at the end. Then a slight comeback of the ginger heat in the back of your throat a few seconds after swallowing (as well as in the belch that may or may not follow)

soft mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. To me, feels similar to a good black lager.

Sure there's lot's of flavor but a nice dry finish and mild and pleasant aftertaste could have me going back for another one, however most day's one is enough.

Overall it is a great example of style I love and feel that I do not see enough of in the US or UK. Goes great with food, especially curry, and spicy stir fry! It is unique, delicious and very well crafted.

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Photo of GreenCard
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark mahogany to black, opaque, thick layer of dark tan spongey foam that slowly compacts to a thin cap, good head retention

Aroma: lush roasted grains and coffee, ginger, herbal hops, soy sauce

Flavor: medium malt sweetness rounded out by a full roasty profile of coffee, dark cocoa, and rooty chicoree; hints of burnt sugar, molasses, and dried prunes; finishes semisweet with a scrumptious smooth aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium full body, gentle carbonation, soft texture, silky smooth

Other comments: This is an astounding porter! Even though it was a bit too cold when I sampled it, the complexity was fantastic. Really well balanced and scrumptious as hell! Need to get some more of this!

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Photo of Stephen63
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark, slightly creamy head though did not last too long.

S - Quite complex there is certainly some spiciness though I was struck by a smell of sweet roasted coffee.

T - Initial toffee-like sweetness is followed by a burnt finish. Hops very prominent and highlight the bitter burnt almost charcoal finish. Really complex and how I would imagine a porter should taste.

M - Nice carbonation that did not distract the palate.

D - One was very drinkable but the heavy burnt finish would have me looking to refresh the tastebuds with something else.

On the whole a really nice beer and a success for this Scottish microbrewery.

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Photo of wl0307
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A brand new offer by the Williams Brothers Brewery, purchased at the Tesco supermarket. A label on the neck of the 500ml bottle says "Tesco Drink Awards Winner 2008 - Porters & Stouts", so this new brew seems to have already become a success! BB Aug. 2009, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: black in colour, a khaki foamy head with decent retention, carbonation level unknown but certainly not fizzy.
S: the smell is as exciting as deep-running... gingery, heather, and licorice-like herbal+spicy notes as well as orangey-citrusness float upon the chocolatey malty backbone, backed by extra dose of treacle-like rich, sticky sugarness, relatively light nuttiness, sweet berry fruits, and a touch of roasted malts. Overall, it shows good complexity and is quite settled, while the touch of gingery spiciness helps keep a balance in the overall "gravity".
T: rich and sweet chocolatey malts, caramel, and crushed oats upfront, without much ginger though... then turning powdery-malty with a mildly tart-sweet edge of roast maltiness akin to a potent Czech dark lager (e.g. U Fleku), on top of chewy licorice-like bitter-sweetness from both dark malts and hops. The lingering aroma on the palate has a bit more gingery tale to tell in addition to raisins and licorice, but overall everything is mixed so well together.
M&D: the texture is very soft in carbonation, med-plus bodied, very easy-drinking and quietly-delicious. I take this is the fuller version of Williams Black, with additional pleasure coming from ginger and herbal hops... At 5.6%abv., this quaffable porter certainly doesn't taste as such!

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Midnight Sun from Williams Brothers Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 159 ratings.
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