Arctic Rhino Coffee Porter | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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180 Reviews
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Arctic Rhino Coffee PorterArctic Rhino Coffee Porter
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
180
Ratings:
338
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
10.48%
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
43
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
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Reviews: 180 | Ratings: 338
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.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. Bomber

Pours a clean dark brown color, some carbonation, tiny fizzy tannish head, not much sticky lacing at all. The nose is malty, and lots of coffee/chocolate. The taste is malty, nice touch of coffee/chocolate. Also agree on the watery part, as mentioned below. The finish is slightly dry/bitter. Medium body. Drinkable, a tasty brew.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It'd be more apt if this dusky Midnight Sun offering were just named 'Midnight'. But Arctic Rhino does have carbonation that charges like an angry safari animal; eventually the brown foam calms down, settling into what we'd consider an average size head, but the bubbles themselves persist in ramming into the surface and butting themselves against the glass.

This porter doesn't smell nearly as deep and dark as it looks. In fact, the aroma is a real disappointment. There's very little coffee and/or chocolate presence, instead there's a distracting vinous and fruity yeast character in their place. It's most uninviting and, I'm guessing, unintentional (the way the foam continues to build up in the bottle I'm almost certainly right).

Fortunately that issue with the yeast hasn't completely ruined the taste to the extent it has the bouquet. There's still a good deal of velvety milk chocolate flavour (as well as some more crude, less refined dark cocoa notes) and no shortage of roasty black coffee. Even a few earthy hops can be made out, lending a pleasantly crunchy bitterness to the finish.

As a general rule I opt not to review infected or otherwise flawed beers unless the brewery is a repeat offender and the issue was something avoidable they consciously neglected to address. I think Midnight Sun is a pretty good brewery but it's not the first time I've purchased a less than stellar bottle. In fairness, the beer travels very far before it lands in front of my computer...

So I've got mixed feelings writing this review of Arctic Rhino. On the one hand, it's far from the lush, charismatic coffee porter I was hoping for; on the other, it's in line with the slightly underwhelming, 'good-but-not-great' standard I've come to expect from Midnight Sun. It's worth grabbing a bottle... so long as you don't have to freeze your buns off to get it.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This seems an appropriate beer after roasting some coffee. A solid pour produces a three-finger thick, nicely browned, creamed chocolate colored head. The beer is quite black in appearance and when held up to the light only passes a hint of light (really, I mean this as it almost seems a trick of the light). This beer smells strongly of bitter black coffee, even as I was pouring the beer it was clear that this was a coffee infused beer. It is hard to get anything but coffee from the nose, perhaps a hint of sweet, dark malt and a bit of cocoa are noticeable towards the end if you really dig for it. The coffee notes can be a little harsh, though there is a bit of coffee complexity here.

A bit on the fizzy side, some vigorous swirling of my glass helps to mitigate this problem. This beer seems somewhat light bodied, I was expecting some richness to balance the coffee, but that might be a bit too much to expect from a 5% abv beer. In truth though the coffee notes in the flavor are not quite so dominant as in the nose, but they are still the dominant note in the flavor. The beer has some roast-derived bitterness to it and it finishes with a burnt acidity as well. This can really reminds me of drinking cold black coffee at times. There is a touch of malt sweetness here though that manage to accentuate a chocolate like flavor. The taste reminds me of thin, deeply roasted, cold black coffee and I can't say that this is really all that exciting.

Not a bad beer, but it is a bit too coffee dominated (bitter, a touch acrid and acidic). A more rounded malt character, or less coffee would go a long way towards making this a balanced beer. That said if you are a die hard coffee person, then you might enjoy this a bit more than I did.

Purchased: Liquid Solutions

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Photo of flagmantho
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
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 JohnGalt1
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up at Bier Thirty a week or so ago... I was going to send it out in trade, but realized it didn't really jive with my targets wants and it is probably a bit old. Poured into my little CC goblet.. short lasting dark tan head... the brew is black as far as I can tell... only spots of tan lacing.

Nose is pretty traditional porter territory with dark malts and decent whaffs of coffee ... seems pretty mild and dry .. hints of dark fruits.

Flavor is about on par with the nose... but it seems a tad metallic on the finish.. still though, a decent porter... almost "sessionable" porter spiked with coffee flavors.

Body is a tad higher than I would expect for such a low ABV brew... nice drinkability for sure.

3.5/4/3.5/4/3.5

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Photo of John_M
4.21/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery the other day.

The beer pours a brownish black color with fair head retention and lacing. The beer doesn't look all that impressive, but the nose quickly changes that impression. This beer has a huge aroma of fresh coffee grounds, that pretty much dominates everything else. Maybe there is a hint of chocolage and licorice as well, but coffee dominates everything. Flavors on the palate are not nearly so intense, and one is quickly reminded that the abv. in this beer is a modest 5.4%. Still, more coffee, chocolate and a hint of licorice is what I get on the palate as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth, and the alcohol is no more then an afterthought.

Nothing earth shattering, but this is still a pretty nice beer.

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Photo of weeare138
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hopdog for this...
Appears a dark black with red brown edges and a small tan cap(poured about 90 minutes after it erupted all over hopdog's bar) that fades into a collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of coffee, cocoa, and cream.
Taste is of the same aromas with roasty mild lactose notes.
Mouthfeel is lingering coffee, roasted creamy cocoa and fizzy carbonation bubbles.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
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 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 barleywinefiend
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a deep, deep brown with black hue, good carbonation and a tannish head

S: Coffee, roasted malt, chocolate

T: Roasted malt and big coffee, like Folgers coffee beans, smooth at first but then it turns to a black coffee taste

M: Creamy, roasty, booze is nice and moderate

D: Very good and a must try

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Photo of akorsak
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From Liquid Solutions, this one had a thicker, slush consistency on arrival and so it is one of the first few on deck.

A: The bottle opened without a hiss but the pour conjured up a thick head that bubbled over the sides of the glass. The porter is dark, a moonless night. The three fingers of head from pour have left scant lacing.

S: The nose is primarily coffee, roasted and sweet with a bitter undertone. The coffee is met by porter malts, dark and roasted with chocolate and burnt toast.

T: The beer is a delicious mouthful of coffee. The flavor has a cold infusion taste, fuller and more luxurious than the addition of beans to the kettle. As the porter warms, the coffee becomes denser, fuller with an acrid finish. A Starbucks-like bite leaves a strong finish.

M: The mouthfeel is primarily coffee, porter is an afterthought. The ale could use a little more balance between the two elements.

D: I am enjoying the bomber and would gladly dig into another one (or two).

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.28/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

bomber into a FW teku glass.

Pours an opaque black with an inch and a half thick beige head with amazing lacing. Smell is huge on malty coffee goodness. taste is of coffee at first followed by some good malty notes. Some smoke. Very good porter honestly. Extremely flavorful for just 5% ABV. really digging this one. Super smooth and creamy. Mild body, mild carbonation.

overall a superb coffee porter. glad i have another bottle!

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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.

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

Thanks to TATURBO for sharing this bottle!

poured into snifter glass.

Vintage- Fall of 2011.

Appearance: black bodied beer with a thin white cap. Cap drops down to nothing.

Smell: mild roasty coffee and black licorice with a hint of sweetness from malts.

Taste: coffee grounds jump right out. Didnt think the coffee was going to still be this strong based on the nose of this beer. Its moderately bitter. Almost tastes like a cold cup of coffee. A touch of cardboard oxidation notes. Midpalate starting to find tobacco and molasses. A little bit ashey in the finish.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low carbonation.

Overall: Not a bad coffee porter by Midnight Sun. I will need to revisit this beer when its a fresh bottle.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served on-tap in a shaker glass.

appears black with thin tannish colored head. as expected, aroma is heavy on coffee, with some dark chocolate. taste is very roasty, but nice balance between sweetness and bitter.
body is medium, fairly smooth mouthfeel.

overall, a nice porter. however, because of the strong coffee flavors, I'd recommend drinking it alone or with dessert.

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Photo of Viggo
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle picked up at Biercafe in Portland. Bottled the third week of July, fresh!

Pours an opaque dark brown, almost black, fluffy brown head forms, settles to a big bubbled and very chunky thick layer and ring around the glass, nice lace chunks stick. Smell is nice, tons of coffee/espresso roast, chocolate, raisin, caramel, iron, bready and biscuity malt, more coffee, very sharp bite in it. Taste is nice too, super roasty, tons of espresso, bit of chocolate, toast and biscuit, wafers, oats, more coffee and espresso, dry in the finish, pretty nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation, only detractor from this beer I found. Almost tastes exactly like an espresso, maybe a touch of coffee liqueur, but pretty tasty stuff.

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

22 oz. Near black pour, average sized light cream head. Really sweet malty aroma with hints of coffee and caramel. I really did not get the coffee in the smell of this one. Peaty with malty toffee/caramel sweetness. Chocolate and coffee bitter balances the sweetness out nicely. Finishes pretty abrupt with not much lingering. A bit thin, but all around good drinkable porter. I think I would have enjoyed this a bit more had I not had a Victory at Sea Vanilla Bean Porter previous to it. That had some really strong flavors that drown this out a bit. If this was available locally, I could see myself drinking this often as a session brew.

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

Appearance. Pours a deep dark brown with a half finger of tan head.

Smell. Dark fruits and sweet dark chocolate with a little coffee, smoke and anise.

Taste. Really roasty malts, bitter coffee, some cocoa powder and a hint of molasses. A little acidic. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel. Below medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall. Nice roasty coffee porter. I'd buy it again.

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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.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St Bernardus goblet.

A: Thick, tight head erupts several fingers high. Dark and opaque. Pretty.

S: Slightly metallic. Milky with a hint of dry bitterness.

T/M: Remarkably balanced and tasty. Milk chocolate sweetness, cold-brew coffee bitterness, hint of fruitiness from the malts. An odd, oxidized/nitro sharpness mars an otherwise excellent taste. Smooth and flavorful.

O: Great porter! Highly recommended. Will have again.

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Photo of ccrida
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle I picked up in Seward, into a Midnight Sun goblet, the Artic Rhino coffee porter is a dark, inky black, with a small but thick, creamy tan head, leaving thick foamy lace.

The aroma is roasty, chalky and bitter coffee. It sweetens ever so slightly as it warms.

The taste is metallic and very astringent coffee, more akin to coffee grounds then the brewed drink, as well as black malt. There is also a bit of sour milk, and a touch of hops. Not really my cup of tea, and I also had a few of the excellent porter's from Homer Brewing Company on draft with dinner a few hours earlier, so I can't help but compare.

The body is heavy for a porter, and a bit oily.

This was not to drinkable to me, way to much coffee and not enough porter. I wish I'd had another couple fresh Homer Brewing Co. drafts instead, since I won't be in town much longer and can get these Midnight Sun brews back home.

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Photo of n2185
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours black with two fingers of light tan head that fades into a frothy ring with a little lacing.

S: Roasted malts, semi-sweet chocolate, and a bit of creamy coffee here without much else.

T: Roasted malts here as well with bitter chocolate, char, and a bit of roasted coffee. The finish is lightly bitter.

M: Not for sure if this is a bad bottle, but this beer is way overcarbonated. Every sip seems to explode into a mouthful of froth, making it more like drinking a glass of foam than a beer.

O: This would be a solid, drinkable porter, but the extreme carbonation makes it very difficult to drink.

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

This poured an opaque black with tons of tan head. It smelled like strong dry roasted coffee with some very bitter chocolate and a bit of licorice. It tasted like tons of roasted coffee with some very bitter chocolate and a bit of waxy hops. It was slightly thick with some carbonation, and had a strong bitter aftertaste. Overall this was one of the strongest coffee tastes I've ever had in a beer, on par with Peche Mortel. Good coffee taste, but very bitter. It had good body and no noticeable alcohol, but this beer still needs to be sipped due to the extreme coffee bitterness. Nice brew but not quite for me. (I would have preferred a more complex and balanced taste, with a bit more body and a bit less head.)

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