Termination Dust
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Termination DustTermination Dust
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British Barleywine
Ranked #42
Ranked #3,358
4.21 | pDev: 8.08%
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
Termination DustTermination Dust
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 81
Reviews by sprucetip:
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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More User Reviews:
Photo of GClarkage
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rab53
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bespin15
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bokonon
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Reswald
3.9/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of twelveinches
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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 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.

 303 characters

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 billab914
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Soneast
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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 beerpainting
5/5  rDev +18.8%

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

Photo of jaydoc
3.67/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MickeyHops
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of DucksFan16
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

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 trxxpaxxs
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of impending
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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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Termination Dust from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 81 ratings