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Hub City Midnight Express | Hub City Brewing Company

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16 Ratings

Brewed by:
Hub City Brewing Company
Iowa, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by FreshHawk on 09-20-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 16 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by exonthebottle:
Photo of exonthebottle
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this is a decent stout I would rate it above most of hub city's beers below the porter but not bad beer.
pours black with head nice dark tan.
smell is good nice slight burn flavor from the malts kind of coffee smelling
the taste is dry and sweet maybe too sweet RIS but it still bitter afterward on the tongue so it nice to sip
low carbonation thick but not nearly as thick as other RIS
1 Beer is enough of these it hard too get pass sweetness then normalcy of the stout though I think this is good introductory stout it is not nearly as good the other RIS I have recently tried

 581 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of nickd717
2.62/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

FIRST IOWA TICK HELL YES!!! 12oz bottle thanks to KeefD.

Pours just about black in color, with a small fading tan head.

The aroma is chocolate, coffee, anise, and roastiness along with slight bacony smoke and some soy. A little soy even maybe.

The flavor starts out fine, with rich dark chocolate, roast, anise, and coffee, but then it ends with big-time soy and booze.

Full-bodied, very slick and a little syrupy, with low carbonation.

Has some good notes about it, but just isn't very good for this style in total. A couple of ounces was more than enough for me.

 569 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to nickd717 for this valuable Iowa tick.

The bottle cap reads twist off. It's not a twist off and my hand is now permanently mangled. WTF?

Midnight Express glugs out of the bottle a decidedly residential speed flat black. There's almost no carbonation, giving it the appearance of a glass of molasses.

It smells like a glass of molasses. There's also milk chocolate sweetness and licorice, perhaps a bit of butter toffee. Actually, this smells just like an oatmeal raisin cookie. Not too bad, really.

Taste is pretty good. Lots of molasses and toffee, with a backbone of rich milk chocolate, or maybe just chocolate milk. The mouthfeel, likewise, reminds me of chocolate milk; extremely viscous, syrupy, frankly under-attenuated and a bit flat. Roasted malt lends a bit of coffee-like acidity. It finishes with flavors of oatmeal, smoked meat and licorice.

The snobs in my tasting group were slamming this beer, but I think it's pretty decent stuff. It could use more carbonation, maybe a bit more finesse, but the flavors are nice and it displays a decent level of depth. On the downside, it's hard to drink more than 4 or 5 ounces because it's so damn rich and syrupy.

 1,182 characters

Photo of bismarksays
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of FreshHawk
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pitch black color with a small, tight, creamy, dark cafe color head. Decent retention but only a thin ring of lace left.

S - Dark, roasted chocolate and coffee are very strong along with a touch of fudge. Roasted barley also pretty strong. A good amount of anise with a hint of soy I believe. A slight tartness also.

T - Starts out with the dark chocolate, some roasted barley and malt along with hints of dark coffee and fudge. Some sweetness in the background of this. Mid sip toward the finish, more anise, touches of dark fruit, a little soy, and tart flavors come out more. Some plumy and jamy flavors as well.

M - Fuller side of medium body with a little below average carbonation. Very smooth and silky feel with a slick, oily aspect as well.

D - The tart and soy flavors are a little out of balance and make it a little less drinkable than ideal.

Notes: Decent RIS. Has a pretty strong tart, jamy/plumy, anise flavor. Not a big coffee, roasted bitter type of stout, and the chocolate gives way to those tart flavors a little too early. It doesn't seem really out of balance though and has a great mouthfeel. Hub City has had some problems in the past, and while not an amazing brewery, they seem to be improving. Fairly cheap for a high ABV RIS so worth a try, although for around the same price you could get something better.

 1,344 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes

Pours a near black color with a finger of head and no lacing. The aroma is extremely sweet with lots of roasted malt and dark fruit. The flavor is big and deep. A light roasted malt profile on top of a large amount of dark fruit sweetness and chocolate. Very sweet. The body on this is nearly full and the carbonation is low and creamy. Mouthfeel is definitely a high point. Overall I liked this beer, but it definitely was entirely too sweet for its own good.

 481 characters

Photo of laymansbeerfan
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of BretSikkink
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at the delightful Lava Lounge in Waterloo. Pours an oily black from the tap, with some large bubbles that don't stick much but do enhance the imposing presence of Midnight Express. The nose is strong, with dark fruit, molassess, anise, and some cacao. Pretty potent stuff.

The thickness might reduce drinkability just a hair, but damn if this isn't a pretty able stab at the style. Big notes of molasses and chocolate, with buttery caramel, dark fruit, and licorice. Good heat from the booze.

Stops are pulled. Not an easy sipper or particularly well-rounded, but I enjoyed it all the same.

 608 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by nickd717. From notes.

A: Pours a black body with ruby highlights. Almost no head. It looks very flat and still.

S: Smoke, soy, meatiness -- specifically, it's bacony. Chocolate and roast.

T: Too smoky for my taste, with the soy making it taste vaguely like a salty bacon. But it's not a total turnoff. Hell, if you love bacon then you'll probably get wood over this. Chocolate, roasted malt (coffee-like), and a touch of anise are secondary flavors. I also pick up molasses during later sips.

M: Rich, syrupy, thick; it's very sweet, underattenuated, and undercarbonated. An element of booze that is not particularly pleasant.

D: It's not awful, but it's not great, either. overgradeer loved it. Go figure.

 755 characters

Photo of thunver
2.46/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bought a 4 pack of this from Hy-Vee in Marshalltown, IA. The beer pours black - dark black - with almost no carbonation. I found the flavor to be cloyingly sweet with hardly any bitterness detected. The body was decent, but overall this beer was not very enjoyable, in my opinion. The sweetness was too much for me to drink more than one of these at a time.

I also got some large and very unpleasant sediment clumps in the bottom of my glass in all 4 bottles. They were flavorless, but I didn't enjoy having to spit them out after my last swig. I didn't notice anyone else commenting about this, so hopefully this is a one batch only occurrence.

 646 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark as night black with a thin brown bubbly head and left very little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of vanilla upfront on the nose with raspberry dark chocolate, mild booze, caramel, toffee, oat grains, roasty, and slight smokey notes.

T: the chocolatey flavor were more apparent on the palate with vanilla, roasty, caramel, coffee accents and a touch of booze.

M: the brew was full in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, rich, and chewy finish.

D: actually drank pretty good and was a decent RIS. Good lookin out torino for the tick.

 588 characters

Photo of theHoff77
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of siradmiralnelson
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Tulip.

A. 1 finger of very dark colored head. Decent retention. Not much lacing. Color is jet black.

S. Smell is roasted malt. Has a pronounced bitterness in a coffee smell. A little bit of chocolate smell comes through.

T. Taste is also pretty bitter. Coffee, roasted malt. A little chocolate flavor lying underneath. A little bit of sugary sweetness lies beneath the bitterness.

M. Medium bodied. Expect a little fuller mouthfeel from an Imperial Stout. Lingering sweetness. Medium/low carbonation.

D. Drinkable. Much better than the last Hub City beer I had. I would say that this is a decent RIS.

 637 characters

Photo of katan
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours very thick, dark, black - motor oil. Light head formation, mocha in color. This thing is solid.

S - Roasted barley, some yeast, bready notes. Lightly sweet chocolate, toffee, certainly very malty.

T - Starts off lightly malty, immediately strong alcohol warmth. Mid-stream shows chocolate, some hopping. Perhaps a note of plum here and there. Finishes with a light amount of roasted malts, lightly burnt. A malty smooth aftertaste.

M - Moderate to thick body - lots of creamy textures. Carbonation is lightly present, compliments it nicely but doesn't overcome the somewhat watery base. A sticky sweet finish.

D - Moderate drinkability for a RIS. ABV is on the high side. Not overly filling, probably due to its lighter carbonation.

I've been disappointed with Hub City thus far - this one challenges my opinion. A very good RIS. An improved body would make this beer world class.

 917 characters

Photo of veinless
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received as an extra from KeefD, thanks again Keith!

An aggressive pour yielded little to no head, and the beer was very viscous and thick looking. Very opaque, with some lace generated from the foam lining the edges. Good looking beer for the style.

Thick milk chocolate and some coffee on the nose, with plenty of spices and sweets interspersed. I got vanilla and some cinnamon, maybe some other baking spices. Ice cream sundaeish nose is nice.

Taste follows the nose, but the chocolate is a bit darker, and the coffee waits its turn til the end, where it comes out in a sudden raw bean form. Its actually really tasty in that regard. However, the middle of the beer has just about nothing going on; it's like the beer focused on making the start and finish good and hoped the drinker wouldn't notice the rest. It's a vaguely roasty malt middle with nothing striking me at all - no spices, no vanilla, nothing. Weirdly incomplete.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, with just a tinge of carbonation to bring things together. I think even more viscous would have helped this beer get over its nondescript middle though. Drinkability is fine thanks to the decent start and finish, but I want to enjoy my beer the whole way through. I wish I could give an incomplete grade to this, but that should never happen after a beer gets bottled I guess. Still, this is a solid beer.

 1,373 characters

Hub City Midnight Express from Hub City Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.41 out of 5 with 16 ratings
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