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Arctic Rhino Coffee Porter | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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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

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Reviews: 179 | Ratings: 336
Photo of laituegonflable
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, very dark with mahogany tinge up to the light. Head is spectacular, huge and ochre, but sinks maybe too quickly, with uneven craters and some lovely sticky trails of lace behind. Maybe too clear, would like a bit murkier, but pretty damn good.

Smells like coffee, in a word. Yeah, that's fuckin' coffee to the max, with that burnt, roasty espresso aroma just emanating like radio waves from that. There's a spiciness, and a bitterness, but really it's all just roasty espresso and I could get the same aroma from a fresh brewed long black. Hint of bread as well maybe? No, it's coffee.

Taste is very bitter throughout palate. Heaps of roasty characters with charcoaly notes on the assault followed by more intense espresso flavours that are really quite spicy, giving pepper and oak and some dark sour cherry notes as well. Almost a soapy finish to it as it's quite ascerbic. Could use more chocolatey notes or some lactose or possibly some wood, but just a touch. It's quite nice, just very intense coffee flavours.

A touch on the thin side at first, but lots of nice lively texture and leaves nicely smooth. Not bad.

Yeah, as drinkable as a good long black. I like it for one, but couldn't go for two in a row. It might make me jumpy and anxious.

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Photo of jampics2
4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from the West Coast, not really sure how I came across this but it was supposedly fresh! Into a snifter, split with Nichols over Thanksgiving break.

The beer is a dark brown, almost black color with a touch of mahogany around the edges when held to the light. A thin cap of cappuchino colored foam crowns this good looking porter and leaves good lace. Not the best ever, but nice!

The smell is interesting in that the coffee and traditional porter elements seem to have shared the stage well. There's no dominating coffee, more of an enhancement, but it's there with a dark roasty presence. Some chocolate and caramel and a touch of hops give some traditional porter notes. The beer is expressive and isn't a one-trick pony - I appreciate that depth.

The beer has a nice coffee edge in the taste, but this is a great porter even before that. Some light coffee and sweet malt give this beer depth and balance, while chocolate and hops give it unique flavor aspects. The taste is something I would strive for as a brewer because good flavors were added to a good base beer, instead of injected to cover or dominate.

The mouthfeel is really thin and I just can't get over that, unfortunately. A bit of lactose sugar would make this improve vastly. The carbonation makes it feel a bit heavier than it is, but what it looses in creaminess it gains in drinkability. A fine beer, not exactly world-class, but really quite enjoyable.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep and very dark brown colour, with a very large and frothy head of light brown bubbles. Lacing is clumpy, but stays in quite consistent patterns on the inside of the glass. Some clarity to it as well, despite the dark colour - something which definitely makes me consider it a porter rather than a stout, even if that brewery had not labelled it so. Looks good.

Nose is roasted and dark, with a huge coffee hit, but but burgeoning sweetness and a touch of dank acridity. Around the edges is a character like frozen mint peas. Really, it's a very full and robust nose, which covers a swathe of the spectrum, moreso than the initial whiff of coffee would have you believe.

Taste is disappointingly thin, and to be honest, a little unpleasant. Where I expected coffee to be dominant, it's only a slight roasty bitterness, while more organic characters (possibly the frozen peas I noticed on the palate) come through in force, giving a rankness to the back. Body stays rather thin throughout, which I find very disappointing, particularly for this style, although the ABV probably suggests such a thing.

Disappointing, in the end. It has some promise, but there's not a lot of merit on the palate, and it feels thin and reedy by the end. Not one of my favourites of the style, or one of my favourites from Midnight Sun.

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Photo of IllNate
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an impassable black with a good amount of brown head. Decent retention. Docking marks for missing the color profile for a porter (too dark, more in the stout territory). Only the very faintest of brown highlights around the edges.

S - Heavy chocolate aroma. A bit of burnt malt in there, must be using something very dark indeed. Not picking up much for a coffee aroma, mostly chocolate. Still quite pleasant.

T - Coffee comes through quite clearly in the palate though. Backed up by a chocolate flavor. Tastes like a porter even if it doesn't look like one, so I guess that's what counts most. Very nice.

M - Smooth and not too heavy. Nice backing bitterness.

D - Good.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.17/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

In the great Alaskan hookup with akbeerfiend. Thanks again for the great trade!

From a bomber into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A black pour produces a one finger, medium looking, beige head with good retention. Black body with medium-high levels of carbonation. Head slowly fades to a decent wisp and clings to the sides. Splotchy wisp and a ring remain leaving some dots of lacing down the sides. Good looking, but too much carbonation for the style.

SMELL: A strong coffee nose for sure. Roasted coffee beans with some roasted malt and caramel there as well. Some dark chocolate comes out as it sits for a while. Bold and enticing for sure.

TASTE: Roasted malt, lots of roasted coffee beans, and some caramel sweetness up front. Finishes with some sweet dark malt, and swings into a mild yet lingering bitter coffee and roasted aftertaste. Okay, but nothing overly special, and not as bold as the nose.

PALATE: Medium body with slightly higher levels of carbonation for the style. Slightly thin and watery on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly dry. Not really creamy or full enough for the style.

OVERALL: Was certainly promising until it hit my mouth, then it got average fast. Looked and smelt pretty nice, but that was as far as it went. An average coffee porter that I'm glad to have tried, but I don't need to seek it out again. Thanks again akbeerfiend.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. I can smell the coffee after just opening this thing!

A - Black body with a tan head resting on top. If the label didn't say porter I'd swear this was a stout!

S - Wow. Big espresso coffee aroma on this one. A bit of a roastyness comes through as well. but mostly just espresso. Maybe a little vanilla as well

T - Picking up the espresso at first before giving way to a lightly roasty porter. Finishes more on the sweet side but a pretty clean finish. Really doesn't come close to the aroma.

M - medium bodied, a fair amount of carbonation

D - Pretty drinkable. A solid beer for sure but the aroma had me ready for an amazing one and this one just kinda fell short. I wish the base beer was a bit more robust before the coffee flavors got a hold of it. I'm glad to have tried this and would drink it again but won't really seek it out.

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Photo of Ghenna
4.26/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a room temp pint glass. This is a beautiful beer, an opaque black save the slightest tinge of red along the sides of the glass. Tightly packed bubbles of cola colored head.

Smells of medium roasted coffee beans with a touch of malt sweetness. Super smooth coffee flavor- no hint of bitter roast at all. Very mild in terms of sweetness as well, but very well balanced. Not at all a sticky beer, it is really drinkable if you are a fan of coddee

Had to pull out a Kona Pipeline porter to compare this to, and I really think that this pulls off the coffee porter noticabley better. It is a little more dry than the Kona, but I think that it really suits the style. My favorite coffee beer, I just wish their distribution was a little better in Northern California.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Poured into a pint glass a dark brown color with a large tan head. Seems pretty carbonated. Medium roast coffee notes in the nose. Medium mouthfeel. Nice coffee notes in the flavor, not too roasted and bitter but rather a nice medium roast flavor. Little bit of leather taste. Easy drinking. No real alcohol notes.

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Photo of GabrielM
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

A - pitch brown, almost black, with a decent tan head.

S - coffee, brown sugar, some hazelnut, roasted malts.

T - a lot of coffee up front, some slight bitterness in the middle, ending with some sweetness on the back.

M - pretty carbonated, but lacks some body. Not as thick as I would've liked.

D - definitely easy to drink, but the coffee might become a little much after two or so.

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Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Very dark color body with a tan head.

S- smell of robust coffee and dark roast and chocolate malts.

T-Taste of coffee and chocolate from the malts. Bitterness of the coffee and robust malts.

M- Creamy and smooth with the bitterness and coffee flavors linger through out sip.

D- Very good beer from Alaska this porter is right up there other coffee porters. Must have for everyone to try.


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Photo of Mora2000
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my dad for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a black color with a large tan head. The aroma is chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and a little bit of cayenne pepper.

The flavor is coffee and chocolate. I also get a little bit of roasted malt, but the black coffee and milk chocolate notes are what really stands out. Low bitterness.

Creamy, medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 403 characters

Photo of LumberhillBeer
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Solid black, little head with the pour but very small/none after a few sips.

S: Smells of coffee, roasted coffee beans, roasted malts.

T: Nice coffee taste similar to Kahlua but more thin. Almost tasting a hint of vanilla but it's pushed behind with the coffee aromas.

M: Quite a bit of carbonation. Watery on the palette and thin going down.

D: Would like to try another bottle to or hopefully one day on draft to see if it thickens up a bit. A little too thin for what I was expecting but I would definitely pick another bottle up to try again.

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Photo of kbeals
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up on my recent road trip out west. Shared with my buddy Jake.

A- Pours a dark black with a finger of mocha colored head. Head fizzles down to a thin crown leaving minimal lacing. The glass might not have been cleaned properly, leading to the lack of lacing.

S- Tremendous aromas of coffee and vanilla. Hints of chocolate and other roasted malts. Very complex and very enticing. Too often coffee based brews just smell bitter, not this one. It's like dipping your head into a freshly opened coffee can.

T- Not quite as complex as the smell, with coffee really dominating. Slight nuances of chocolate and vanilla come through, maybe some caramel sweetness. Very pleasing.

M- A tad thin for the style, very smooth with mild amounts of carbonation.

D- Good. As a coffee porter, this one is really good. The coffee doesn't seem cheap or over-roasted. A definite must try for any lover of coffee beers.

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Photo of pastradul
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a wide tulip. somewhat rough pour only produced a thin finger of head. semi dark brown mocha color.

the aroma is a mild to medium roast coffee and malt. no alcohol in the nose. very smooth.

The mouth feel is a bit thin. But for only a 5% brew i am actually pretty impressed that it has as much as it does. The carb is a bit high at the beginning.

THe taste is very well rounded. A good amount of fresh coffee and roasted malt all over the palate. This beer is well blended, you get coffee and malt all across the taste... front, mid and back of the palate.

pretty good IMO, nothing super unique or extra special but if I saw this on draft or at a shop again I could go for another one.

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Photo of djmichaelk
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a perfect pint. Purchased from K&L in Redwood City in Sep 2010.

A - Not surprisingly, pours a coffee-black, with ruby highlights around the edges. Big, fluffy, three-finger head with great retention, settles into a thin cap with patchy lacing.

S - Obviously, dark roasted coffee dominates the nose, along with a sweetish malt and hints of chocolate and cocoa.

T - The coffee in the flavor is more on the light side, and almost a stale flavor. Plenty of cocoa powder and dark chocolate. An earthiness that comes up in the finish. Only somewhat dry.

M - Typical for the style; a bit thin for me but that's probably me just being used to imperials. Pretty light and carbonation is just right.

D - Low abv and good flavor, so I had no problem finishing this bomber. I could go for another.

O - Price is right, flavors are pretty good. This is an outstanding morning beer with the coffee flavors. Similar to Founders BS, recommended for those hungover mornings.

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Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to a friend at my homebrew club.

Light fizzy head over essentially black but thinner beer.

The nose brings lots of coffee, somewhat fresh roasted coffee but light roast. A little roasted malt and sweet caramel and molasses.

Taste is sweet and a little syrupy, like a coffee syrup, some light coffee and some fresh roasted coffee in the background. Sticky, and some caramel and molasses. Little chewy dark malts and hints of earthy bitterness. Finishes with sticky mouth feel and syrupy flavors. Still a little sweet and slight bitter with more lingering coffee syrup.

Mouth is medium bodied with decent carbonation and sticky mouth feel.

Drinkability is ok but a little lower with all the sticky syrups.

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Photo of Kaiser81
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bit thanks to BigJK for this beer. He went to Alaska, and brought it back, and it was my reward for getting the most stouts correct in the blind stout tasting he held this past weekend. Cheers, Jon.

22 oz bomber poured into my Bruery snifter glass.

A - Pours about as black as you can get with a thin mocha head. The head disipates quickly leaving a little bit of lacing on the glass, but not much. There may be just a touch of ruby highlights, but they're faint.

S - Smells of coffee mixed with vanilla and some rich chocolates. It's good, but Victory @ Sea is still the standard for this style of beer. Everything is good here, just not overwhelming.

T - The coffee and vanilla mix together quite nicely. There is a coffee bean aftertaste as well. It's a good mix.

M - Medium body with maybe just a touch too much carbonation.

D - it's a good beer, and would pair nicely with some desserts. The bomber was easy to finish on my own.

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Photo of CascadeConan
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with substantial sandy head that lingers and laces as you sip.

The nose is of course full of coffee but some roasted and chocolate malt characteristics play a strong second chair.

Initial taste is full on bitter coffee and I honestly couldn't detect much complexity in the roast just a straight Folgers bitter. After the coffee the taste mellows into a short, sweet malt and the bitterness from the coffee.

Kind of thin body but a fair amount of carbonation to let the flavors work.

The verdict? I've had better beers of this style that layer a more complex or enticing coffee roast over the typical porter malts you expect and overall they keep me coming back. This is however a solid beer from a great brewery and represents the style adequately.

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Photo of BDJake
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pitch black with dark mahogany edges yet short lasting head

S- smells just like that boozy venti espresso that i've always wanted

T- dominated by coffee beans, than the dark malts and boozy warmth that compliment it quite well, with a touch of dark cocoa

M- light to medium body and fairly crisp, with a smooth aftertaste

D- no problems finishing this off, especially with a fairly recent fondness for coffee as i've developed

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 08/26/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting, thanks GT.

a - Pours a dark brown color with no head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of coffee, roasted malts, and chocolate.

t - Tastes of faint, water downed coffe, roasted malts, chocolate, and vanilla.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent coffee porter, but felt like the taste was a little bit faded. Would like to try again.

 403 characters

Photo of Vengeance526
3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a very light tan head that fades away quickly and leaves little lacing.

Roasted coffee beans are evident in the aroma, along with lighter hints of chocolate and smoke.

Taste is pretty starightforward, again showcasing the coffee and chocolate flavors. The smokiness seems to be the most prominent aspect here and is present throughout.

Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. As a whole, this was good, coffee wasn't overdone. The main flaw is there really wasn't much depth to it...after the initial aroma, I expected more in the way of taste, but the roasted coffee part seemed somewhat generic. If I didn't know better, I might have thought this was intended to be a smoked porter, rather than coffee.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled the second week of April (2010?). Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Opaque bistre liquid with a thin fizzy light khaki head. Sticky sandy lacing coats the sides.

Very potent coffee aromatics - fresh medium roast beans, along with faint roast malt notes. Earthy, sweet, with sandalwood overtones.

Pleasing vaguely tart palate entry full of rich toasted malt and roasted coffee. Once again the coffee is paramount, overwhelming the beer base to some degree, making it difficult to evaluate. Faint lactic tartnes and alcohol warmth round out the finish and suggest a cream foil to the coffee bean flavor. Hints of cocoa and citrus/cherry in the finish.

Silky, medium-light bodied, moderately carbonated, and lightly astringent.

Serve as part of a "balanced breakfast."

 814 characters

Photo of Docer
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Snagged a bottle to try w/ a bud at Whole Foods..

- Mild thin mocha fizz... slightly larger ring of lace making goodness... Pitch black color.. hardly anything from the edges either...

- Grain, bright bitter hop.. light hop... chocolate nose, coffee... black coffee.. light

- Tanic flavors... slightly seaweed-like.. something off in this one... but i still taste the nice cocoa notes, coffee... very bitter coffee flavors... maybe it's not off... but just real coffee going on here...

- light bodied w/ a slight creamy texture... drying.. but tasty..

- Easy to drink, but far different from most porters.... but drinkable. Would probably be better on tap, in Alaska... on nitro.

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

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: body is entirely black and lets no light through at all. Edges are a deep brown ruby. Head is two fingers of dense, dark tan foam. I like it, though head retention could be better.

Smell: aroma is an unsophisticated onslaught of coffee grounds and vegetabley hops. Actually, it's not bad, per se, but it could be a lot smoother and better-integrated. It reminds me a lot of homebrew.

Taste: flavor is almost identical to the aroma, although the vegetabley hop character is toned down a bit. Bitterness and coffee grounds are the watchword here. If you like cold coffee drinks, this might be for you. As for me, I think it's a bit overdone and ill-balanced. Still relatively tasty, though.

Mouthfeel: medium to medium-light body with beaucoup carbonation yielding a solid creaminess. With a little bit more body, the feel could easily start reaching into "excellent" territory.

Drinkability: not bad, but its one-note song does get a little tiring after awhile.

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Photo of Aenema
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Dark black, offwhite beige, no lacing.
Smell - Rich, roasted coffee notes.
Taste - Roasted bitter malts, coffee.
Mouthfeel - On the thin side - light-medium bodied with relatively high carbonation for a porter. Fine bubbles.
Drinkability - Very light with a great coffee aspect and strong flavors for such a low-impact beer.

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Arctic Rhino Coffee Porter from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
3.73 out of 5 based on 336 ratings.
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