Termination Dust
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Termination DustTermination Dust
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British Barleywine
Ranked #43
Ranked #3,374
4.21 | pDev: 8.08%
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
Termination DustTermination Dust
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 82 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of sulldaddy
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sampling a cellar temp 22 oz bottle poured into my snifter.
The beer pours a clear rich mahogany color with some cherry highlights when held up to the a light source. Very minimal khaki colored head recedes to a thin edge layer almost immediately after the pour. The foam is fairly large yet densely packed bubbles.
The aroma on this is pretty boozy with a little bourbon and vanilla but also some straight heat and fusol notes too. I also get brown sugar and toffee, but no hop character anywhere to be noted.
The first sip reveals a big body with syrupy sticky texture and very fine and mild carbonation. The beer has the physical traits of a sipper for sure.
Flavor starts off sweet and malty with some toffee and brown sugar up front this allows for some dark fruit, plums, and then some light bourbon and a bit of bitey tobacco note that lingers a little on the finish.
The beer is pretty tasty and has a great malt profile and good booze. I enjoy this brew and it is a pretty solid example for the style. Glad I was able to score this bottle.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a dark-ish brown, almost black color, with a small head, and not much lacing.

This smells like brown sugar, dark fruit, toasted bread, oak, bourbon, and tobacco.

We did a blind barleywine share, with some definite heavy hitters, and this one still finished fairly near the top. There's a smooth dark fruitiness, some port, lots of caramel and toffee malt, and a smooth dusty oak flavor. There's a touch of bourbon too, and it doesn't add a ton of booziness. This is warming, but not hot, and very well integrated.

There's a decent level of drinkability to this despite the ABV, and a nice smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

This was a wonderful surprise. It was nice to try another barleywine from a brewery that clearly does it well with this and Arctic Devil.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Not sure what to think on this one. I find the beer to be damn good. I find the description of “Belgian style barleywine” to not be reflective of the taste at all. At the end of the day I think the beer is a great sipper and scored it to reflect that. Just don’t go in expecting barleywine at all.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from Rutger this past summer

From a bomber into a snifter
Bottled 16 September 2015
IBU: 70
Belgian style barley wine aged in bourbon oak barrels

APPEARANCE: Pours a three finger, medium looking, creamier light tan head with great retention. Dark maroon or bistre brown body with medium levels of carbonation for the style. Head slowly recedes to a full, frothy cap and leaves sheets of lacing on the glass.

SMELL: Lots of dark fruits on this one, with raisins, grapes, dates, some spicy brown sugar, oak and some alcohol on the nose. Grape juice, dark caramel and light hints of molasses as well with a definite bourbon quality. Nice and forthcoming.

TASTE: Dark fruits, caramel sweetness and oak up front. Raisins, dates, grapes and grape juice, as well as some bourbon and alcohol at the swallow. Flavorful start. A bold finish of dark, fruity sweetness, grapes, some molasses and brown sugar, oak, bourbon and booze lingers nicely on the palate. Sweet and boozy with milder but nice barrel components.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down rather smooth and finishes quite sticky on the palate. A bit of booze lingers.

OVERALL: This is a sweet, fruity and relatively smooth barleywine. I was actually expecting something a lot boozier and more barrel heavy, but this is the opposite of that. The look is good here and the rest of the experience lives up to it as well. Many moons ago Midnight Sun brewed a Belgian Style Barleywine what shares a lot of the same characteristics as this one. Whether or not they were trying to re-create the magic that was, we will never truly know, but there is certainly enough of the good stuff in this one that it’s worth trying out if you’re wondering what that old, ghostly beauty may, just may, have tasted like when fresh. Thanks again, Rutger. Midnight Sun never disappoints.

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Photo of maximum12
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

When a spouse goes out of town, some couples call, some Facetime, text, ignore one another, & I’m sure there are still a few letter writers out there. Mine pings me from a San Diego beer store wondering what I want. I have a great wife. 22 oz. bottle dated 9/16/15.

The pour is dark, eclipsed red, with a head that’s in need of a Bosley gift card. Smells rich with plum brandy, blackberries, barrel, & a shot of sugar. Like.

Termination Dust tastes more like port that some ports I’ve had. Following the smell, this is extremely rich – a mingling of brandy & port, long, slow, French kiss of alcohol. Huge malts lend an over-the-top sweetness, plus brown sugar, overripe plum, liquid caramel & apples. High West peeks out on the finish. Tacky; my lips are sticking together, & not in an enticing pout this time. Goes down faster & easier than a 13% beer ought to.

I wish I could have had this fresh, because with two years on it, this is magnificent. An extreme in booziness, liqueur, barrel, & sugar content – all of which I love. World-class brew.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a tulip and started off with a good slim half finger-ed white to off white foamy head that dissipated immediately. The lacing was slim and speckled lacing the sides of the glass nicely. The smell had a big boozy glazed to soft cooked caramel malt, was that light rye I just smelled, somewhat - maybe... The taste was mainly sweet through a variety of sweet caramel, light rye, light bourbon, light vanilla, and a good drying spice of ginger. The aftertaste was barely there and quickly ran to the finish which was fairly sticky. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. Overall, I would have this beer again. I say this is a good barleywine.

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Photo of VashonGuy
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This beer is too syrupy sweet and boozy for me. I'm a big fan of barleywines, especially English Barleywines. But most of those are smooth and subtle. This beer is not subtle. It reminds me of heavy molasses, with some alcohol tossed in. I couldn't finish my glass.

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Photo of TrueSoul515
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Midnight Sun Brewing Anchorage, Alaska
Bottle Date 9/1/16

A: Dark brownish black
S: Maple, bourbon, alcohol heat, brown sugar
T: Black Strap Molasses, cola, subtle dark fruit, hop bitterness
M: Very drinkable but preferably a sipping beer, medium to high carbonation, thin, goes down smooth but with a ton of flavor
O: A great late night sipping beer, a ton of flavor with good hop presence and carbonation combined with sweet, rich syrup and cola flavors. A great barleywine

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Belgian style barleywine aged in bourbon barrels. Smells good. Figs, sugared plums, vanilla, grapes, and oak. Somewhat earthy with a bitter finish. Smooth. Real real good.

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Photo of ccg
3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice, dark mahogany color. Frothy head leaves a tons of bubbles stuck to the side of the glass.
The smell is dominated by plum and brown sugar. I would also say figs and raisins with a hint of cinnamon. It smells like dark candied fruit in some kind of Christmas treat with some kind of booze poured over it.
The flavor is somewhat unusual. It has the earthy and floral flavors from hops, but with the bitterness somehow removed. Very sweet with some savory flavors in the background but very little bitterness. Lots of brown sugar, figs, and molasses. On the one hand, I'd say it tastes better than it smells. On the other hand, the syrupy sweetness in the flavor builds up and can be a bit cloying.
The carbonation seems a bit too light to balance out the heavy syrupy feel of the beer. Despite the very slightly dry finish with a hint of alcohol heat, overall, it feels like sugar bomb.
This is a tasty ale, and I like that the bourbon-barrel-aging didn't overpower the whole thing, but it's still a bit heavy on the syrup side, even several months (maybe a year) in the cellar.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. 2015 properly cellared bottle. Pous a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque in the glass, with a thin khaki head that dissipates to patches with slight lacing. Aroma of plums, raisins, figs, brown bread, a hint of cherry, whiskey. Flavor is caramel malt, fresh and dried plums, mildly tart cherry, raisins, bourbon and a little oak. Finishes with nice caramel malt and residual Belgian yeast fruit flavors with more of the slightly tart cherry. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A nicely malty Belgian style barleywine (the classification should be changed here; this has distinct fruit flavors associated with Belgian yeast and is a bit too fruit forward and mildly tart to fit the English style. The Belgian barleywine is a distinct style and it is too bad there isn't an entry for it.). The interaction between malt and yeast are good, with a cross section of fruit from dried to fresh and cherry. The bourbon is low-key, and barreling oak is light. The ABV is well covered, hard to believe this is 13% and I had to pace myself. Glad to be able to get a bottle of this barleywine that rarely makes it to the lower 48.

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Photo of Ctb6582
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a wine glass because I made the mistake of taking a bottle to my parents house, where beer is strictly drunk from a bottle or can. It was a deep brown with minimal head and lacing. The bottle said it was aged in bourbon barrels, but I sure didn't notice the bourbon. The mouthfeel had fairly little carbonation. It coated the tongue and lingered in a most pleasant way. As Barleywine goes, the bitterness seemed pretty low. Instead, the sweetness seemed much more out front. The EtOH, for being 13%, was very well hidden. Finally, this bottle was a 2015 vintage that's been in my cellar for the last 12 months.

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Photo of Rutager
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really nice burnt toffee in this one along with some subtle dark fruits. A touch of oxidization, but it didn't detract for me. Really nice barleywine, pretty much everything I like in the style. Thanks Dave!!

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours black with a one finger tan head. Definitely looks pretty dense sitting in there.

S: Bourbon barrel, especially as this warms up, cocoa nibs, marzipan and just a touch of oak. A good amount of sweetness in here, but not to an overwhelming degree.

T: This isn't the most assertive english style barleywine I've had, but it's pretty damn tasty. A nice melding of the sweeter chocolate and caramel flavors with a good amount of bourbon. Leaves a nice drying bourbon note on the finish without knocking you on your back with heat. A pretty tasty effort here.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very sweet syrupy barleywine. No hop character present. Smooth and easy to drink, but one note sugary sweetness flavor. Not bad, but nothing great either.

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Photo of Thirstygoat
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black like a stout head settles Very quickly
Smells of sugary malt trace of fruit,maybe plums or prunes
Not really tasting the Belgian yeast mainly malt with the sweet fruit
Unctuous throat coating mouthfeel
Disappointed to learn they no longer make this

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Photo of Kuaff
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In my snifter, and at cellar temperature.

Damn, that's the darkest barleywine I've ever seen. Up top there's a surprisingly large two to three cm of khaki froth that gradually dies down to a pad of sheen encircled by a ring that leaves the most intricate lacing on the walls as I tilt ma snifta. As for the color, it looks outright black save for some dark, dark crimson that only shows in high light around the shallow edges.

It smells like chocolate-covered strawberries and cherries, molasses, caramel, some leathery bourbon and oak, and some other mysterious fruit I can't quite nail down. It may be... blueberries!

Well... the flavor is above all else sweet and smooth. I mean, I would have guessed 8 or 9 % ABV, but never 13%. It boasts a dark fruit assault with a heavy spattering of the vinous and smidge of tartness (again like from berries) with moderate astringency of the apple peel variety. Caramel has a heavy hand too, and this, as well as part of the oaky astringency, is no doubt due in part to the bourbon barrel aging.

The feel is moderately heavy, with subdued carbonation. It works well here.


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Photo of cherche
3.24/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

L: midnight brown with two fingers mocha colored head. Nice retention and lacing for a barrel aged beer.
S: rye whiskey, wheat, booze, toffee
T: coffee, rye whiskey, toffee, chocolate, brown sugar, dank and skunky on the back end
M: above average carbonation for a barrel aged beer, sticky
O: solid BA barley wine but a bit too sticky and skunky for me.

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Photo of darktronica
4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep, dark brown with mahogany highlights around the rim. What little head is produced dissipates quickly, leaving a thin ring of bubbles clinging to the glass. Slight fizz aside, it looks and smells like a rich Pedro Ximenez or oloroso, with notes of brown sugar, plum, raisin, vanilla, and undertones of leather and tobacco. The high alcohol content is also evident on the nose. The taste brings in a dry nuttiness, along with added emphasis on the booze and fruit. Quite viscous, but not quite syrupy, and with enough carbonation and alcohol to provide a constant tingling on the tongue. A moderate to long finish that highlights the High West bourbon barrel flavors.

Nicely done! Worth seeking out, and one that I would definitely trade for again.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from itracy63 (sweet extra, thanks man!). No bottling date but I believe it was a late 2014 release. Served in a Barrel and Barley teku.

Pours an opaque dark chestnut with about a half finger cap of khaki froth. Despite the persistence of the collar there are only a few patches of lacing.

This smells fantastic with its aromas of bourbon, dark fruit, toffee, caramel and oak.

Flavors are bold and rich. Starts with loads of dark fruit and bourbon up front followed by oak, toffee, caramel, vanilla, fruit peel, raisins, leather, bread, brown sugar and of course a bit of alcohol precense. The rich barrel character, the sweet malts and fruity yeast come together in a beautiful balance and this goes down with an ease that belies its 13% abv.

Full body, on the thicker side of medium, with mildy tingling carbonation. Finishes smooth and sweet with notes of bourbon, dark fruit and toffee.

Termination Dust is further proof that Midnight Sun can nail a bourbon barrel aged barleywine. The heavily fruited notes from their Belgian yeast serves to differentiate this from Arctic Devil. This was a pleasure to drink and I'm quite glad I had the opportunity to try such a delicious and limited treat.

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Photo of chinchill
3.39/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

large shared bottle at RBWG-2015
Nice dark but clear red-brown body but virtually no head.
Moderate barrel aging effects. High sweetness bordering on cloying.
The combination of BBL, Belgian yeast and barleywine just didn't work for me but may really appeal to others.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%

The first time I had Termination Dust it was a 6 oz pour at the brewery, but I did not have the time to analyze it in depth. But upon reading the first full review of this beer from unclekeith, below, I tended to agree that it may be the best beer MSBC has made since Gabe left. I don't live in Anchorage anymore, so I don't get to try everything they make. A few days later I took my time and enjoyed a full bomber. My review will focus on mainly on the taste and overall impression. This was nearly 24 hours ago, and it I didn't take notes like I would usually do for a full review such as this.

Appearance has never been of great importance to me, with rare exception. This one poured a mahogany brown, had some reddish highlight and modest head that faded fast.

It definitely smells well. The caramel from the crystal came through abundantly in the nose, if not so much in the taste. It was also woody, leathery, and the alcohol was apparent and warm, but not over the top and didn't burn. At times both chocolate and vanilla notes crossed my nostrils. I really enjoyed how the aroma, but I didn't focus on it as much as I did the taste and feel.

It wasn't super cold when I started drinking it, but it did change dramatically as it warmed. Most notably, there was a fairly prominent sour cherry flavor on the back end that I didn't not recall from my fist taste the other day. This all but faded completely after it warmed up a bit. Tasting the rich sweet malty flavor of the beer, with leathery and dark fruit layers, I couldn't help but think "Adam." I realize those are strong words (or thoughts as the case may be) of praise, but so be it. That's what it reminded me of. I try to nail down what type of dark fruit it reminded me of, aside from the tart cherry mentioned above, and the closest I can come is pruney. Something about that dark fruit essence that is easily identifiable but hard to explain. Chocolate and vanilla are both present through the middle. The Belgian yeasty essence was extremely vague and hard to put a finger on, but yet not completely absent.

I was really wondering about the sour cheery thing, before it faded, since I didn't notice it at the brewery. Having been in barrels, and barrels having been known to harbor unwanted beasties sometimes, I wondered about infection. I was relieved when the sour cherry faded as it warmed, tough it wasn't awful. It did kind of bury some of the complexity.

The feel was full, rich and viscous. Early on before the dark cheery sourness dissipated there was some bitterness. That mostly went away when the sour cherry did. It had a warming essence, and once or twice I noticed a little burn when I took a bigger gulp.

Overall, this is an excellent beer. If they continue to make it and it turns out like this, it will gain a well deserved reputation and a following. I agree with unclekeith that it may be the best one since Gabe left. I hope it is a sign that things are coming together moving forward, as there has clearly been a lack of consistency, and overall diminished level of quality, since Gabe left. Though they call it a barleywine, I think I would call it a Belgian Dark Strong Ale, despite the mild Belgian character.

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Photo of unclekeith
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark brown with an abundance of tiny bubbles, the lacing clings to the glass leaving sticky curtains down to the beer

S: Sweet bourbon, burnt caramel

T: Hot, no hops, low bitterness, vanilla, creamy and sweet as expected in an English barley wine. Not getting much of belgian yeast characteristics. Great hot, this beer will age nicely.

M: Creamy, viscous, it burns my chapped lips

O: This is the best new beer that has come out of Midnight Sun since Gabe left. Hopefully this is the first in a long series of new MS beers! Congrats to Lee Ellis. Seek out and stock up.

Worth seeking out.

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Termination Dust from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 82 ratings