Berserker Imperial Stout
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Berserker Imperial StoutBerserker Imperial Stout
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Style:
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #153
ABV:
12.7%
Score:
97
Ranked #540
Avg:
4.36 | pDev: 8.49%
Reviews:
307
Ratings:
1,221
From:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
 
Alaska, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  804
Gots
  295
SCORE
97
World-Class
Berserker Imperial StoutBerserker Imperial Stout
Notes: Vicious and viscous, this menacing brew pours opaque black with a creamy maduro-colored head. Its aroma offers seductive whiskey, chewy red wine, dark fruit and lavish tobacco. Berserker Imperial Stout invades your taste buds with in-your-face flavor. Weighing in at almost 13% alcohol by volume, Berserker is completely out-of-control. Give it a good fight. Berserker Imperial Stout was aged in both red wine and whiskey barrels.

Original release of Berserker was at 10.4%, subsequent vintages have gone upwards of 12.7%. When reviewing, please list beer vintage and that vintage's specific ABV.

30 IBU
Reviews: 307 | Ratings: 1,221 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by wordemupg:
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg from Canada (AB)

4.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml 2016 bomber poured into tulip 30/10/17 A big brew for a big milestone #3000

A black right out of the bottle, some of the darkest liquid I've seen followed by some of the noisiest and darkest foam I've seen, fizzled out leaving no lace but to be expected when wide legs are forming, swirls stick a fair bit of color to the glass....nice looking liquid

S maple, brown sugar, molasses, bourbon barrel, lots of dark fruit, chocolate syrup and fudge, faint smoke, charred wood, red berries, port wine, and a little coffee there's lots going on

T some booze but they did a great job hiding the 12.7%, everything I could smell is still there in one form or another, molasses comes out a little heavy, has a burnt port barrel thing going on, tastes great but I preferred the nose

M shes got some weight that's for sure, sticky as can be, enough carbonation to give it some life, slick inside the mouth, some heat going down but hits your chest and head pretty hard

O fantastic stuff, so much going on its hard to keep track of, so rich, so thick, this stuffs a meal in a glass, even this fairly young bottle has mellowed nicely, a world class brew

One of the better stouts I've had in a long time and a great choice for #3000, I should've grabbed more of these to age when I had the chance as I could see it being crazy good with another couple years on it

Oct 31, 2017
More User Reviews:
Photo of _RL_
_RL_ from Maryland

4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Somewhat bizarrely, the weakest part of this beer for me is the actual taste. It pours motor oil thick and black and has a sharp but weak oak smell to it. Has a slight, slight boozy taste with a thick but not chewy mouthfeel. For my personal tastes, I wish this had some bourbon to it, but a great, great stout as is. Get this. You will be pleased.

May 20, 2015
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out pitch black. Do you like make fuck BERSERKER! Bitter chocolate, coconut, vanilla and roasted malt on the back end. Medium mouthfeel. Delicious.

Mar 27, 2015
Photo of kdahnke123
kdahnke123 from Indiana

3.38/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2015 Bottling (12.7% abv) poured into a snifter.
L - Poured a very dark brown with a small amount of dark head that quickly disappeared, leaving no lacing.
S - Lots of roast coffee/tobacco smell with peculiar hop notes and a bit on the medicinal side.
T - Similar to the smell. I don't detect the maple syrup but the wine barrel I do.
F - Medium full mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.
O - Bought it for the sweet additions which didn't end in the final product. If you want an overly roasted stout with medium mouthfeel and some medicinal qualities, pick this one. Otherwise, don't.

Nov 24, 2015
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recently making it a priority to try more Midnight Sun beers has certainly paid off with this serious Stout. If sweet, roasty, and fruity are what you're after-- search over.

Berserker begins with a silky and viscous pour, not un-like motor oil. About as dark brown as it can get without becomming black. Completely opaque. The deep tan head is short-lived, probably because of the heavy sugars and alcohols inhibit such structure. Ink-stained legging clings to the glass while forgoing any lacing. The beer falls still half-way through the glass.

The typical aromas of espresso, heavy charred grains, and deep syrups attack the olfactories. What is surprising is the complex fruitiness of red wines, plumbs, and currants. These fruity aromas give this Russian Imperial Stout a healthy dose of English Olde Ales and red wine barrels.

Flavors once again favor the roast with the bold coffee, cocoa, and acrid charred grains. Heavy sweetness of molassas, maple syrups, and malt sugars make a dramatic impact on taste but surprisingly carry away in a well-attenuated fashion in the end. Deep flavors of ripe stone fruits (grapes, plubs, berries, and currants) give an unexpected variety to the stout, but is well received- keeping the beer from suffering a one-dimentional dullness. Bourbon and rum alcohols come to mind as the sweetness and roast fall, taking the beer into a bitter and alcoholic finish.

Very rich, full, and robust up front- this is one big beer! But the low carbonation helps the beer to go from full and chewy to fleeting and drinkable in the end. Perhaps a bit astringent and vinous in the finish but the complexity and roast character is more than enough to compensate for barrel-aged tannins.

Berserker is a wonderful beer for the finale of any session. It's balance of sweet, roast, fruit, and more sweet reminds me a lot of New Holland's Night Tripper. Many thanks go out to BrewsB4Shrews for sharing this beer!

Mar 22, 2010
Photo of SitkaSteve
SitkaSteve from Idaho

4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 bottle.
This was poured into a snifter.
The appearance was a jet black color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated evenly and nicely. Light lacing wove around the glass nicely.
The smell had some chocolate, light coffee, a little bit of wine (but not overbearing), and tobacco.
The taste was sweet with the previously mentioned flavors and subtly slides into the dry part of the wine and tobacco (not bad, but I'm guessing, once I let this age a bit, it'll be less pronounced).
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a nice sipping quality about it. Carbonation seems to fill the void where the wine dryness seems to lack, (funny how I'm not a wine guy at all, but previous years I've had this, I've noticed more wine), eh, not worried, I think I like it more with less of the wine characteristics.
Overall, this year's batch is pretty good to me. Glad I didn't review last year's as I think there was a bit too much of that wine-like quality to it.

Nov 19, 2015
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.85/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A big thanks to Frank for sending this one my way. I have waited to try this one for literally forever. Served chilled to about 55 and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/11/2009.

The pour was fantastic. Rich dark brown, nearly black with a huge tan head that rose up nearly three inches over the top and only slightly settled down as the session passed Tons of rich foam swirling around the glass coated everything in sight with a rich chocolate haze. Intense looking for sure. The aroma was equally as impressive. Tons of molasses, rich roasted malts steeped in coffee. As it warms a load of cocoa just rises up and sucks you in. This one is as intense as it gets for me. I go in for the taste and I am floored. Such a rich, smooth, full bodied explosion of flavor, I am unsure how to even describe it. Chocolate and coffe melded seemlessly together in a huge milkshake like consitency. This is one of the best tasting stouts I have had. Roasted malts just fluttering through and huge notes of molasses and woody like flavors as it fades away leaving vanilla infused coffee notes along my tongue. Soo good. I almost did not want to finish this one it was soo good. Alcohol a mere afterthought as the smoothness of this blows everything out of the water.

I have had nearly every big, bad stout out there, but this one is easily in my top 5. Just such a sweet flavor and smooth feel to it, I really did not think it was going to be this good. Needless to say I am impressed.

Apr 12, 2009
Photo of Boccu
Boccu from New York

4.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks chickman. Pours dark and thick with a nice head. Molasses and light bourbon and light red wine aroma. Very light mouth feel with red wine, molasses to a bourbon, touch of smoke with a red wine finish. What was that? This stout is a roller coaster of flavors. Very smooth transitions and shuttle but damn hold on. Drink it slow and buckle in. Excellent stout. Very complex. Right in my wheel house as I'm a huge bourbon stout fan. The high Abv is well hidden not overpowering at all. I will look for more. Thanks again chickman!

May 27, 2016
Photo of DrunkosaurusTex
DrunkosaurusTex from Oregon

5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is the definition of an imperial stout. It's now one of my favorites.

Jan 23, 2015
Photo of iRaven99664
iRaven99664 from Alaska

3/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

mine was salty. Is it suppose to be salty? I googled to see if some imperial stouts are suppose to be salty, and I've seen a few thats suppose to "enhance" the flavor. I'm actually worried I drank a skunked beer because I drank the whole thing. My other concern is no one thus far has said their's was salty. Though,under the saltiness I actually still tasted what both the brewer and reviewers claimed. So confused. If it was skunked and turned salty i'm kind of pissed (?) though if that was the intended flavor, I'm actually quite pleased. Is that normal? I'm kind of confused about it. Honeslty in the last 6 yrs of drinking better beer, its the second bottle thats possibly skunked.

Mar 15, 2015
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DmanGTR from New York

5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I've had in a while. So big. Pitch black with a thin tan head. No light trickles through at all. Huuuge nose of leather, dark chocolate, robust coffee, hazelnuts, maple, vanilla, molasses cookies, and awesomeness. A silky smooth texture rounds out the whole thing into pure bliss.

Thanks Joe for breaking this out.

Jan 19, 2014
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thagr81us from South Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to marine1975 for sharing this one during the ORF '11 release. 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a sampler snifter. Poured pitch black with a minimal tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, wood, and subtle dark chocolate. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The mouthfeel on this one was a bit of a letdown for me as it felt really thin for the style. I know this is nit-picking, but it definitely didn't make it more enjoyable for me. The aroma was pretty nice on this one, but the flavor was a little muted. Not sure what was going on, but I have a feeling they missed the mark on what they were ultimately shooting for. Still a nice brew that I would be happy to try again given the opportunity though.

Aug 26, 2011
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chippo33 from Vermont

3.75/5  rDev -14%

May 27, 2013
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pjkelley82 from New York

4.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Oct 10, 2015
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Richter525 from Michigan

4.12/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Jan 12, 2018
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popery from California

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Jan 27, 2013
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Khazadum from Illinois

4/5  rDev -8.3%

Feb 05, 2012
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TheBeerTruck from Michigan

4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nov 05, 2015
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Boston_Steve from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -8.3%

Dec 08, 2014
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axf4129 from Indiana

4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

May 08, 2017
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BeerWorld from New York

4/5  rDev -8.3%

Sep 18, 2012
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Ungertaker from Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Jan 08, 2013
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Tom-Peters from California

3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Mar 05, 2014
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sblanton83 from Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Jan 15, 2014
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EdwardAbbey from Washington

4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sep 23, 2015
Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 1221 ratings