Arctic Rhino Coffee Porter | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

338 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Arctic Rhino Coffee PorterArctic Rhino Coffee Porter

Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Inspired by local artist & roaster Michael Allen's eccentricly-named blend of coffee beans, Midnight Sun's brewers designed a beer recipe and flavor infusion process that perfectly captures the alluring aroma, satisfying flavor and curious legend of Allen's Arctic Rhino Coffee Blend.

Arctic Rhino Coffee Porter combines two quintessential Pacific Northwest favorites: coffee and ale. The result is wonderfully romantic and robust--a duel-fueled porter that melds charismatic dark malt with freshly roasted coffee beans.

20 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-20-2005

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 180 | Ratings: 338
Photo of TheStove
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle from City Beer in SF. Poured into a 12 oz mug from a bomber for two servings.

Nice opaque black color with a coffee-ish foam head that quickly departs. Smells mostly of coffee with some slight bitter malt jumping in. First sip yield some malt sweetness counter balanced by coffee flavors and a slight bitterness. Finishes closer to a kind of "dregs" sip of french press coffee however the last flavors on the tongue are of some chocolate malt flavors making this more light a slight dessert-esque adult coffee beverage than your standard black coffee beer. Great interplay of malt sweetness and flavor to balance out the coffee flavor and bitterness.

Seems like it would hold it's own as a porter but the coffee adds substantially to the complexity throughout consumption of this one. In some ways it seems more booze or a bigger malt and hop profile would contribute substantially to this especially coming from an Alaskan brewery but this is still an enjoyable beverage. Hopefully you can grab this one for under $6.

 1,033 characters

Photo of BDTyre
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a bad porter, but it seems just like a typical coffee beer. A little bit darker - more into the stout territory, with a brown, frothy head. Definite coffee scent, a little sugar to it. Kind of like chocolate covered coffee beans. Smooth, but lightly bitter coffee and malt taste. Creamy aftertaste, very little hops. Nice, creamy body, low carbonation. There is a bitter, dark coffee aftertaste that lingers.

Again, not bad but it doesn't stand out as anything spectacular.

 478 characters

Photo of Jayli
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from TheManiacalOne so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours nice opaque, jet black with a one finger of brown sudsy head. Head recedes to a light film that seems to hang throughout. Minor spots of lacing left on the glass.

S: Nose is deep roast malts, light charred notes, bitter chocolate, coffee, and a light caramel note.

T: Taste starts with the charred notes and light bitter chocolate. A bit of a metallic flavoring comes in through the middle. Mild bready notes come in through the middle before a milk chocolate and coffee flavoring fill in and round out this beer.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, a bit thin but then has quite a bit of girth, with a creamy, sticky finish.

O: Goes down easy, tastes pretty good - the metallic flavoring fades as the beer warms, not overly filling, light kick, decent representation of style. I've not had a porter in a bit - it's summer time! But this is an easy drinking porter that doesn't blow your hair back, and yet is rather drinkable.

 1,045 characters

Photo of Cavery
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750 shared with Klym; poured into Stone Nonic.

A: Just pure opaque black; comes off looking like an eight ball. Absolutely no light gets through. This could pass for a stout any day of the week. A lightly off color brown/cream/white film lines the top of the glass. Speckles and streaks of lacing round out the look of this very black coffee looking porter.

S: Black Coffee with spices: paprika, cardamom, light nutmeg, and some clove. A sweet roasty characteristic that sticks out, this sweet note really reassures me that this is a porter. You wouldn't expect to get that note as much out of a stout, which helps contrast the visual. Excited for the sip of this stout illusion! Light chili-pepper sweet note in the end.

T: This really is a coffee porter with spices, it remains consistent with the nose in that some clove/paprika go in the start and then give into the nutmeg and coffee roasts. The spiciness really overwhelms the backbone of this beer. This is like having a stake crusted (not garnished, but crusted) in basil. There's just too many condiments on this sandwich; if it wasn't for a late appearance of great tasting black coffee, I would have dinged this category a bit more.

M: there really is a bit too thin of a body here, the flavors are already so sweet and light that to have a redundant mouth makes for a suffocating drinking experience. I find myself gasping for air after consecutive sips. A more consolidated body would have really helped this brew. light bubble dissipation is apparent, but beyond that it's underwhelming.

O: This beer is a bit of a civil war. The visual is really quite promising; but the taste really battles itself. The spices really dominate the flavor experience to the point to where the backbone of the beer is irrelevant. Unfortunately for the beer. there is a really nice flavored beer behind all the fanciness. Furthermore, the "coffiness" of this beer is really only suggested; as there is a caffeine-esque flavor sensation to this beer. Don't be fooled, this is a superficial presentation from a brewery that is capable of much more sincere offerings. Make this an imperial oatmeal, and I'll come rushing back.

 2,176 characters

Photo of Klym
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a stone nonic. Shared with Cavery.

A: Pitch black with a roasted looking frothy head that comes up gradually with the pour and ends up being about two fingers. For a porter this is a very impressive look.

S: Run of the mill coffee beans backed up by some nutmeg and a cocktail of some other less familiar spices. A nice oaky vanilla note in the tail end. Coffee beans/coffee really dominates the smell of this, and it is the most black, straight up coffee I've had come out of a beer.

T: Taste really comes through almost identical to the nose, with a little less substance to the spices, oak, and vanilla in the nose. This beer is so straight up coffee I feel it could replace my cup of black in the morning. I really like black coffee so this isn't a big negative for me, but I think it could use a little more fullness backing it up and a few sweeter notes.

M: I'm tempted to say it's watery and certainly the carbonation could use beefing as it dissipates pretty quickly in the mouth, but I'm not sure if the wateriness comment isn't because this beer keeps tricking me into thinking it's a stout. A really stout-esque look with a stout-esque nose, but the mouthfeel definitely takes me back to porter. You know, I take back my hesitation, this is watery.

O: This beer isn't bad but it's certainly not great to me. I actually think one way to redeliver this beer in a better form would be to give the recipe on an oatmeal platform, if it's possible. I won't hate on this beer but the only time I can see myself drinking this again would be at a noon-time drinking party where I had forgotten my cup of coffee in the morning. Still lots of respect for midnight sun but this is a weaker offering.

 1,716 characters

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle enjoyed at a recent beer tasting/reviewing/trading session - cheers Jeff for this!

Poured into a snifter. Dark black, like cold coffee, thin tan head, a bit of lacing. Sits in the glass like cold coffee.

Nose is a powerful blast of espresso coffee, spice, a bit of dark fruit, the usual porter notes.

I tried this alongside some pretty potent and heavy Imperial stouts, so I really had to pull back to make sure I did this lighter brew justice. Coffee flavor, spice, dark roasted malts. Surprisingly thin, however, as there wasn't a whole lot of backing to this brew. The coffee felt washed out and not nearly as robust as the nose had suggested. Still, an enjoyable coffee porter. Thin, slightly watery feel.

 719 characters

Photo of DucksFan16
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown colored body, about 95% opaque with only a little light coming through when held directly to light and tilted at an angle. Aroma of strong brewed coffee, roasted malt, peat, a touch of oak and a bit more brewed coffee. Medium-bodied; Pungent roasted coffee flavors with a lot of roasted malt, dry oak, vanilla and a little sugars with mostly a bitter coffee note. Aftertaste is deep and strong with the coffee coming out first, a little nuts, some light peat and earth finished with some brown sugar and caramel sweetness. Overall, a pungent and strong coffee flavored porter with some good complexity.

 618 characters

Photo of Lunch
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber enjoyed a little while back and poured into a Deschuttes snifter/tulip.

Looks like a Porter as it is a dark brown with a bit of lighter tan head. Not the thickest or darkest pour, but "good". Smells has some definite coffee to it, but nothing that is overwhelmingly good. A little stale perhaps. Some roast as well. Taste is similar with an off flavor that is a bit like burnt rubber. It does not take too much away from the rest of the flavor profile, but I've certainly had better coffee porters. Feel is a little thinner than expected, but not bad. I'd drink it again if someone was opening it or if ti was my best option, but I'd take many other American Porters over this one.

 694 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another bottle shipped home from my swing to the Northwest. Only a few left.

A dull finish on this brown beer and an almost milky tan head that forms. Lots of clinging lacing sticks to your glass.

Aroma is a mix of roasted malt and obviously coffee. Not much sweetness here which was confirmed in the flavor.

Two me there are two camps of Coffee Beers. Ones that taste like a wonderful glass of coffee and this can either be a dark “black” cup of espresso or otherwise.. even some taste like a creamy sweet cup of coffee of cappuccino. These are the ones that are good. Then there’s those that resemble the flavor of used coffee grinds. Sadly this one falls into that category... But it’s not nearly has coarse as some others I’ve tried. Coffee grounds rule the day here and this is begging for a bot of sweetness for balance.

Medium bodied could have benefitted from a little more of a rounded mouth feel.

I am always excited to try everything from Midnight Sun, but this wasn’t among my favorites. Live and learn.

 1,032 characters

Photo of misinformed
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottled in 11/2010. Reviewed 5/30/11, tulip glass.

A- Beer pours a dark brown, cola-like color that appears dull black in the glass. Started off with 1/2" of mocha brown head that quickly faded to a small ring.

S- Sweet roasted malt with some dark fruit notes and bitter coffee.

T- Sweet fruity, roasted malt up front, bitter black coffee with some faint cocoa notes as well. Mellow bitterness, with mild roasted coffee in the finish.

M- Lighter medium body, average carbonation.

O- Good balanced brew, but the coffee could have been stronger for my tastes. Smooth, easy drinking, but a bit unremarkable.

 615 characters

Photo of FosterJM
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

538th Review on BA
Bottle to Sinner's tulip
22oz Bottle.

Thank you GuruDel for sharing

App- A black coffee looking brew with a massive two finger head that left tons of cling in the glass.

Smell- Hello coffee, welcome to my beer. When it says its a coffee porter it needs to smell of coffee, malts and beer. This was it.

Taste- For a coffee porter, this was it. It tasted like a big cup of black coffee although a little subdued for thickness.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Left a roasty, bitter coffee taste on the end.

Drink- One of the best beers I have had. For the style it was everything it needed to be and more. It had flavor, balanced.

 664 characters

Photo of glid02
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by a generous soul at 7:30 in the morning at Brick Store.

Pours a dark brown color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of lightly roasted malts with good amounts of moderately bitter roasted coffee grounds. Also present are hints of semi-sweet chocolate.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the coffee flavors are a bit smoother. Roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by light roasted coffee flavors with hints of smoother espresso. Midway through the sip slightly bitter dark chocolate flavors come into play, fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is alright. I didn’t have a problem finishing my glass however I’m not sure about another.

Overall this was a surprisingly lackluster beer from MS. Their Brewtality coffee beer blew this one out of the water, so try to find that one first before falling back on this beer.

 1,028 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a 3 inch dark khaki head that fades to a very airy small cap. Very nice lattices of lacing all over the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark malts, roasted coffee beans, and some unsweetened cocoa powder. Taste is of cocoa dusted dark chocolate covered espresso beans. Mild coffee/dark chocolate bitterness on the palate after each sip. This is extremely carbonated for a porter and it takes away from the overall experience. It's very prickly and soda like with each drink. Overall, this is a pretty good porter that could be much better if the carbonation was dialed down.

 604 characters

Photo of NWer
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with minimal head floating around the edges.
Definite coffee notes followed by caramel and creamy smoothness.
Taste builds nicely as it warms but never overwhelms. The malt takes over and keeps any edginess under control.
A good beer that I thought at first would session well but slight cloying at the finish would make me want to shift to something else after one or two glasses.

 400 characters

Photo of JAXSON
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle, pours black with a beige meringue type head that really sticks around. Nose is some toasted malt, coffee dust, light vanilla sweetness. Coffee is fairly sharp in the mouth, more bitter on the finish, but is expressed pretty richly and nicely for such a low abv beer. Fairly thin feel but not overly so, pretty good. Finish is too messy and bitter without much direction. Other than that this is pretty nice stuff.

 428 characters

Photo of aasher
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle was sent as an extra by BrewerB (thanks Brian!) and arrived just in time for me to take it to Dark Lord. It also excited a few people to get to try Midnight Sun. It poured a medium in body dark, dark brown on the verge of black with a mocha one finger head. The aromas were of freshly roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, and dark sweet malts. The flavors essentially mimicked the aromas. The chocolatey bitterness was nice. The roasted notes were well done. It tastes pretty good. It wasn't the most complex coffee porter but I thought it was very good and easily drinkable. It was a little lighter in body but that was fine. The 5% was welcomed and easily one of the smaller beers of the day. Overall, this was a very nice brew.

 739 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured an opaque, dark, dark brown color with a small, light brown head of bubbly foam. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled strongly of coffee. There was a nice roasted malt aroma, too.

T - The coffee flavor tones down a little more than the nose. Some chocolate and toffee flavors, too. A slight bitter hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a nice coffee porter. I'm glad I got to try this one on tap.

 479 characters

Photo of Tone
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight coffee, hint of roasted malt, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of slight coffee, sweet malt, slight earthy malt, and hint of pale malt. Overall, decent appearance, aroma, and blend.

 365 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've got a 22 ounce bottle that needs to be emptied. On to the beer:

The head forms large on top of the ink black colored beer. Head retention is good, leaves some patchy works of lacing to the glass. The coffee in this beer has no problem showing itself off in the nose, and with it are chocolate syrup notes that complimet the coffee.

Dissapointment arrives in the taste; it doesn't grab my senses. I can taste a little of the delicous coffee, then it quickly fades and faint notes of wet cardboard arrive. Bittersweet throughout. The body is light-medium with a small burst of carbonation in the mouth.

An okay beer from the 49th state. For $12.99, I expected more than merely okay. At least I know where not to spend my allowance next time.

 749 characters

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.56/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The body is dark brown with translucent ruby highlights along the edges. The very center is opaque even when held up to light. Streams of carbonation bubbles are noticeable. The head is massive, rocky, and both the retention and the lacing are great.

Arctic Rhino has an aroma with tons of coffee, a big burst of dark fruit and some roasted malt.

Big coffee taste up front, but the coffee is acrid and bitter, the two killers of coffee beers. After the coffee comes a good bit of dark fruit, with black cherry and figs figuring into the mix. A hint of piney bitterness and a slightly metallic flavor come from the hops that are lurking in the background. Notes of both chocolate (which is quite large) and roasted malts (a little less powerful than the chocolate) are appreciated. The finish has a little more hops, with slight citrus and a bite of bitterness. Most coffee beers that come off acrid and bitter are utter failures, but Arctic Rhino has a lot of others going on that it does well, so a single failure doesn't completely destroy the beer.

Pretty light body, with moderate to high carbonation.

I think Arctic Rhino is close to be a very good porter, but not quite there. I appreciate the large amount of flavor with an ABV of 5% though.

 1,252 characters

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a deep brown/black with a finger of tan head, medium lace. The smell is of burnt coffee, pale malt, chocolate, earth.
The taste bummed me out a bit, a little coffee with a huge metallic background. The mouth is a little watery and there is an unpleasent metal aftertaste. Upon warming it gets a little better but still...
I may have a bad bottle because this is nothing like what reviews I have read. I gave out some tastes and the response is the same, something screwy with the batch or bottle. Might just not be as great as everyone says.

 553 characters

Photo of veinless
4.27/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured an opaque black that let not one ray of light pass through. Head was minimal and coarse, with next to no lacing. I looked away from my beer shortly after pouring and by the time I turned back every single bubble of head was gone.

Smell is a nice robust roasted rubbery coffee; I could wake up to this in the morning and I'd be happy. Hint of milk chocolate in the back, but mainly toasty malt and earth in this one.

Taste follows aroma, with lots and lots of rich coffee brew flavors to with that little bit of milk chocolate. It's a nice change of pace to get milk instead of dark for the cocoa, and it helps the coffee flavor out a great deal in this case. Biscuity middle is also making me think of toast and coffee in the mornings. Earthy dirt is intermingled adding complexity.

Mouthfeel is just phenomenal, as this one has a smoothness all its own to go with a creamy, thick texture of oil. Carbonation is not too strong, with just enough to arouse the beer. After that, it just stops, letting you have a clean, flat coffee experience that ends with a great fresh hop kick to clean the palate. Hops almost didn't show up...but they finally came around when it counted most. They make this very drinkable, and at 5% abv, this is one of the best session porters around. Great value too, at 6 bucks a bomber. Pick it up.

 1,336 characters

Photo of robwestcott
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big thanks to ArchEnemyBrew for this one.

poured cold and near black to a surly darkness 10oz goblet with a 1/2 finger, relatively short lasting mocha head leaving a bit of lace.

aroma of toasted malts, dark black coffee and hints of dark chocolate in the wayback.

as advertised, this is a serious coffee brew. dark black coffee is way up front, followed by hints of chocolate and toffee. but really, let's face it, its about the coffee.

medium bodied, smooth, creamy, medium carbonation, semi-sweet, no real bitter.

drinkable - at 5.0, very.

 548 characters

Photo of corby112
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even the slightest hint of lighter color when held to a light source and a to finger beige foam head. Good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that leaves streaks and rings of lacing behind.

Slightly smokey malt aroma with a deep roasted coffee/espresso bean character. Lots of silky chocolate malt along with hints of toffee, oatmeal, burnt toast and hazelnut in the nose. Not acrid smelling at all, like some coffee porters/stouts but rather nicely balanced between the coffee, lactic cream and smokey/chocolate notes.

Chewy medium body with slight acrid bitterness and overly roasted coffee up front that is countered mid-palate by a smooth, silky chocolate malt profile. I'm also picking up some oatmeal, burnt toast, toffee and a slight toasted/roasted nut flavor. There is also a slight lactic creaminess that adds a bit of balance but overall the deep roasted coffee bean flavor overpowers the flavor of this beer a bit too much. Very dry, slightly bitter finish.

 1,033 characters

Photo of Gmann
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown, near black, color with a short dense khaki colored head that settles into a light ring.

The aroma is of freshly ground coffee. There are some chocolate notes as well as some caramel malt. Some lemony tea like scents as well.

The flavor is a mixture of ground coffee and chocolate. The coffee flavor is very fresh. There is some standard porter flavors; caramel malt and a dry lemony tea. The coffee really stands out and is tastey. The tea flavors seemed to come out more as the beer warmed.

The feel is moderate with tingly carbonation. Feels a touch light for the style. Despite the strong coffee flavor, it doesn't finish all that bitter. A bit of a lingering coffee aftertaste.

Very good coffee porter at only 5%abv. Drinks well, though the coffee flavor lingers a bit too long.

 806 characters

Arctic Rhino Coffee Porter from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
3.72 out of 5 based on 338 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.