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Berserker Imperial Stout | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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Berserker Imperial StoutBerserker Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-13-2005

BEER STATS
Reviews:
291
Ratings:
1,158
Avg:
4.32
pDev:
17.13%
 
 
Wants:
823
Gots:
310
For Trade:
37
User Reviews
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Reviews: 291 | Ratings: 1,158
Photo of zonker17
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark black with hints if a brown head. Molasses is on the nose along with the bourbon. Maple is more present on the tongue and not boozy at all. Really well balanced. Heavier mouthfeel and light carbonation.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet roasted malt notes with some light black chocolate notes. Taste is also dominated by quite a bit of residual sugars with some nice dry roasted malt notes. Notes of coffee and molasses are also very pleasant. Body is full with nice thick oily texture with good carbonation and alcohol is not overly apparent. Nice big IS which retains some good drinkability level.

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Photo of Brent
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blinfolded, I would probably have tagged this as Stone's Russian Imperial Stout, which isn't a bad thing, since I think that is an outstanding beer, as well. Nice, bold roasted malt with a substantial hops backbone to cut the malt. A little oily in the mouth. The label reminded me of my Molly Hatchet-listening days many moons ago. If only I'd had the good sense to drink beer like this back then.

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Photo of weeare138
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to hopdog for sharing this beauty. 2007 version...
Appears black with caramel brown edges and a dark tan head. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of raisins, cocoa, vanilla, mocha, and oak.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a peanut flavor that is also standing out in the complex flavors.
Mouthfeel is smooth, chewy, raisiny, bourbony, and outright beautiful. This one is a winner. Seek it out.

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into chalice

Black liquid, brown one finger foam cap

Aroma of sweet roast coffee,raisin, bourbon and a hint of maple

Taste of sweet roast coffee, maple, raisin

Thick, syrupy, oily, dense mouthfeel

Very good, not more than one glassful at a time

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2009 bottle, labeled 12.7% abv. Poured in a big wine glass at 54F.

Pours black, and thick looking. Very dark red-brown at the very edge. No head, but an intricately swirled tan film, and a ring of tan froth around the edge of the glass.

Aromas like molasses, burnt green herbs, red wine barrel, and coffee. Some caramel sweetness, but the other elements combine to make the aroma pretty dry overall. Deep and complex, I can't stop exploring this aroma, but it seems a little disjointed. I do like it, and I look forward to seeing if the parts integrate more as this ages.

The flavor is much sweeter than the aroma lets on. The big caramel and prune sweetness is well balanced by coffeelike roastiness, molasses, cola; and dry red wine barrel, but milder and better integrated in the flavor than it is in the aroma. There's some sweet bourbon barrel that I didn't detect in the aroma until I tasted it. Only a little explicit alcohol. The maple syrup that I know is in there emerges after several seconds, near the finish. Interesting to drink, and damn tasty. Long sweet maple-caramel-oak finish, reminding me of tawny port, until finally there is only a dry trace of oak left.

Full bodied and sticky, with fine cushy carbonation. Very highly drinkable.

Great beer, the aroma had me a little worried that it could be dry and disjointed but it wasn't that way at all.

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Photo of beergod1
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with maroon hues and a foamy tan head, with decent head retention. The nose is oaky bourbon, Dark fruit,molasses and roasted malts. The taste is vanilla,Oak, molasses and bourbon with a light bitter coffee finish. This is quite a complex Stout, Delicious. Creamy medium/full body. I need to start getting others from this Brewery.

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My 100th beer.....and a good choice for it. Jet black as youd expect but retained some head. Great feel too, thick and chewy. Tastes great, the maple syrup gives it a nice sweetness gollowed by tastes of vanilla,chocolate and molasses at the back. This is potent stuff, but still a great beer.

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Photo of koopa
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle(12.7% abv) received in a trade with a very generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Pours pretty much the darkest I've ever seen with a dark brown crown that shows moderate retention and lace.

Smell: Really amazing deep roast malt with a slight wood barrel note, molasses, and maple syrup.

Taste: Same as nose but the bitterness from the roast almost takes on coffee like proportions. The interplay of the barrel and maple is really nice. Some fruity red wine notes make an appearance as well.

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied with moderate carbonation. A bit lackluster but not offensive by any measure.

Drinkability: The abv and mouthfeel keep it held back slightly in this department, but the bomber goes down easily none the less.

Glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours jet black with a thin tan head that laces. The nose is a very potent maple sweetness with a touch of bourbon caramel. There is very little bitterness, but the nose isn't cloying. The taste is potent with a huge amount of oak, maple, bourbon, vanilla, and caramel. There is no detectable booze at all. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth and highly drinkable. It's one of the best double stouts I've had with very little to complain about it. Seek this out, it's worth it.

 482 characters

Photo of Kevinpitts
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Slightly boozy barrel aged character to this. Molasses notes particularly early on which faded as beer warmed. A definite good beer in my book, though I remember preferring Bar Fly slightly more.

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Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes taken at Greg's tasting.

A - Pours a dark black, with a reddish mocha head that recedes at a regular pace.

S - Strong chocolate and roasted malt notes. A bit boozy on the nose, perhaps bourbon?

T - Almost perfect but for the booziness. Very roasty, with notes of creamed coffee, molasses, and dark chocolate - especially the latter. A tad too much bourbon here, but I imagine this brew will be a 5 with a little more time on it, say a year.

M - Slick and heavy, but never oily. Carbonation serves this beer well!

D - A real treat, and must give big props to speedway for bringing this delectable dessert out of the cellar! would definitely seek out again.

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Photo of Bugs318
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: black with a thin reddish tinged mocha head. It recedes quickly, but a ring remains throughout, despite no lacing.
S: big bourbon vanilla nose, coupled with a coffee-fudge quality. There is some molasses, and a mild marshmallow quality, alongside a hint of dried tobacco, all with no real hint of the alcohol.
T: sweet malt base up from coupled with some maple and molasses, and vanilla coffee notes from the bourbon. It finishes a bit drier with some leathery/tobacco qualities but still remains quite sweet and a fair taste of ethanol.
M: A bit prickly for a fairly low carbonated beer. Body is decently full, and fairly chewy, though a touch sticky and more than mildly hot. This beer actually gets thicker towards the bottom half of the bottle, as if the molasses had settled there. Crazy!
O: a very fine beer, a bit reminiscent of BCBS, if oddly a bit hotter and not quite as solid.

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Photo of metter98
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is absolutely jet black in color. It poured with a thin ring of reddish mocha bubbles around the edge of the glass that quickly died down, leaving only a faint collar.
S: Strong aromas of dark malts and bourbon are present in the nose, along with some hints of molasses.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but a little more complex with additional flavors of dark malts and chocolate.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and viscous on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation. A little warming from the alcohol is noticeable in the finish.
O: The flavors of this beer are well integrated and balanced, particularly the bourbon, which does not overpower the beer and overshadow the other flavors.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'13 poured into a CS snifter along side with Abyss '12 for comparison.

A- This beer is jet black with coffee colored head. The head stays around. Good retention.

S- Coffee, molasses, dark fruit. I am not getting much maple syrup that is stated on the bottle.

T- Dark fruit and molasses big time. This is a chewy RIS. I am getting the faintest hint of maple syrup. Maybe I am just fooling myself into that. I am getting some tobacco at the end as well.

M- This is where the beer shines for me. This is a thick chewy RIS, which I love compared to the thin BA RIS.

O- I am happy to have tried this beer, and I have two more that I will age to see how this beer matures. Little to no maple syrup, so nothing really to lose there.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage. Tulip glass. Cheers to Jeremy's first day home.

A: Pours viscous black with a ring of reddish-brown-rust colored head. A few dots of lacing and decent enough retention.

S: Chocolate, cocoa-forward which is well supported by ample bourbon, also with vanilla bean, black licorice, a touch of roasted malt, and some cola. Barrel presence is spot on and enhances the base beer.

T: Dark chocolate. The roasted malt is a little more forward here, seemingly showcasing more of an RIS style. A little dark fruit, dark molasses, vanilla extract, and oak. Moderate sweetness, which I could see being a bit fatiguing after a full pour of this.

M: Medium-full body and medium-light carbonation, which impart a superb drinkability. A little alcohol is noticeable, esp. at warmer temperature.

O: Just a very well put together beer. Complex, delicious, and highly drinkable. Scores high on the quality to price ratio.

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Photo of Reswald
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, purchased in Anchorage on 9/5/2009. 12.7% ABV version.

This year, we've got a new label, sporting what I assume is supposed to be a viking axe. The beer pours black and slow, with a small tan head. Talk about mouthfeel! This brew is very heavy on the tongue, almost chewy. "Vicious and viscous" is the ad copy, and Berserker certainly lives up to it! You quickly pick up hints of the molasses and maple syrup that are added to it, along with notes from its aging in oak. This is a massive beer, fully capable of going toe-to-toe with Deshutes The Abyss, North Coast's Old Rasputin, or any of the other great Imperial Stouts out there. At 30 IBUs and 12.7% ABV, this is definitely one to share and sip slowly.

Bottom line: Midnight Sun has done it again. Run, don't walk, to pick up a few bottles of Berserker for your cellar.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 Edition

A: Pours an opaque and thick jet black in color with very light notes of visible carbonation and some dark reddish brown highlights. The beer has an eighth of a finger tall dark reddish mocha head which quickly reduces to a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: The beer has a moderate to strong aroma of chocolate and bourbon with some lighter hints of oak and vanilla. There are moderate notes of molasses and maple syrup sweetness. Light notes of roasted malts.

T: Upfront there are some light notes of roasted malts with some molasses and maple syrup sweetness. On top of the malts, there are some moderate to strong flavors of rich dark chocolate and bourbon with some lighter notes oak and vanilla. Light hints of cocoa with some hints of alcohol towards the finish. Light lingering bitterness.

M: Full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate amounts of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: This is a great beer to finish the evening and matches very well with dessert - in our case some brownies made with Sea Legs Baltic Porter. This is really rich and you can detect the alcohol but I'm going to enjoy sipping on it a while longer. The bourbon is well integrated into the beer and the flavors in the beer match really well.

 1,301 characters

Photo of sprucetip
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Bomber into Midnight Sun goblet. 08 version (12.7abv) with about a year on it.

Pours black, active, thin dark head fades fast to film and ring. No significant lacing. SMELL fruity boozy esters are strong and dominate up front. Bit of coffee, lots of chocolate, moslasses, some sweet maltyness. More roasty and smoky at the end of the sample. Mostly smooth and complex. Grows stronger as it warms and breathes. Can smell it at a distance upon fresh pour. Alc is all that is out of balance. TASTE fruity (apple) alc flavors, molasses, bitter chocolate, sweet maltyness, some roasty character and coffee. Some bitterness in the finish. Fairly smooth and balanced, very complex. FEEL strong warming, rich full body, and clean-ish finish that is slightly bitter but doesn't go dry like soe many others. very pleasant. OVERALL Stone IRS, Yeti, Speedway, Bourbon County, make room for Berzerker in the club of great Imperial Stouts. At 12.7%, it is a sipper, but booziness isn't commensurate to 12.7%. Each sip begs another. Very bold and strong, but balanced and smooth as well. Glad I've still got an 08, and some 09 mellowing for hte future.

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Photo of sholland119
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to travisd13 for the chance to try this one.

A-Black, impervious, opaque jet black with a thin pool of brown head. Excellent.

S-Boozy vanilla, some sweet herbiness, dark chocolate, dark fruit.

T-Lots going on here. Sweet vanilla, maple syrup, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, bourbon balls and some dark fruit. Some molasses too. Complex and delicious.

M-Medium bodied with just a bit of heft, very fine carbonation is a pleasant surprise.

O-Really terrific. Any alcohol is very well hidden, the flavors are rich and complex but not overly heavy. Worth seeking out.

HV

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle. 2009 vintage-- 12.7% abv.

Appearance: Its completely opaque and pours viscous like syrup. The head is amazing-- dark, dark brown and with pretty good retention for the ABV. Each sip leaves a curtain of lace that gets pulled back into the beer by boozy legs.

Smell: Big sweet roasty malt. Not sharp and bitter burnt roastiness. Sweet and chocolatey, some oak, overripe fruit, a little leathery, some pipe tobacco, and slightly vinous. Interesting and different.

Taste: I'm not sure what kind of oak barrel this is aged in, but I don't taste any bourbon. Some greenish oak is tasted though. Again roasty without being overly burnt. Lots of residual sweetness and alcohol, but not anything resembling 12.7%. Less chocolate than many RISs. Finish is slightly bitter roasted malt and somewhat hot booze, followed again by sweetness.

Mouthfeel: This is quite full bodied. Viscous and silky smooth in the mouth. The carbonation provides a slight foaminess. Great.

Drinkability: I'm loving this. A little different twist on a RIS. Very nice. I'd share this, but, nah.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this bottle was shared with me by wedge9. Thanks Andy!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark dark black bodied beer with a dark mocha head that starts out about 1 finger tall and drops down into a ring around the top of this beastly looking stout. Nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: you can really smell the red wine barrel. I also smell dark chocolates, and roasty malts. Really pleasant smelling beer, never really smelled a beer like this before!

Taste: Its like a red wine crossed with dark chocolates; bitter and semidry like a red wine. Oaky, smokey, and roasty characteristics. Huge malt profile, its big beer thats nice and complex.

Mouthfeel: This beer is full bodied. Moderate carbonation. Slightly over carbonated, but this beer tastes so good it does not take away from the beer at all.

Overall: My first midnight sun brewing co beer. These guys can brew a big stout! Its tastey and complex and I have never had a stout like this before. Don't pass this one up!

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, the 2009 release (12.7% ABV, 30 IBU), notched at 'A[ugust]'/'1' for the 'Month & Week bottled:'. Bottle came straight from the chilly fruit cellar (40-45F ?), poured to a snifter after dinner on Christmas Eve.

'Ale Brewed with Molasses and Maple Syrup and Aged in Oak Barrels'. Thanks to Seattle BA Beerzebub for adding one to a trade, then more thanks to Beaumont Market for stocking some and saving a couple for me. Cheers, Jon & Justin!

A: Pours the requisite charcoal darkness, maybe a little thinner because of the brownish tinge at the edges - let's call the color 'maple syrup'. First time in the glass, a pretty caramel-orange head of tight fizz expands to about 1-finger; it falls within seconds to a sprawling film and slender ring. Later pours lessen the effects of both. No lace to speak of.

S: Popped the top and the first essence wasn't coffee nor chocolate nor any of the sugary sweets listed as adjuncts - it's smoke, a charred woodiness that hints at pipe tobacco. Sniff after subsequent sniff, different aromas rise: there's the molasses! Fudge! Raspberries! Cafe au lait! Maple (with BACON)! Vanilla beans! Smells nice, real nice...

T: 'Chocolate over berries' is my immediate reaction, a mild tartness like blackberry/chambord and a roasty/acrid bitter cacao. Sweetness isn't as much at the forefront as expected (with syrup and molasses as ingredients); the vanilla and subtle oak flavors add more nuance. Layer upon layer, a fine Imperial Stout.

M: Body isn't quite as thick as anticipated and feel is sorta slick and viscous, like -well- maple syrup? Sure it's smooth, carbonation mellow. Not a 'hot' booziness nor blatant 'barrel' woodiness, just a subtle warm glow.

D: At 12.7%, this latest release is a good bit stiffer than the 'mere' 10.4% monster listed above...this one grows more 'berserk' every year, I guess. As such, sip with caution - it's a treat that'll catch up pretty quickly. Flavors and aromas are quite good now and I'd be willing to bet they get better given more time. 'Good' now, but glad to have a couple more for 2010 and beyond. Worth recommending!

Merry Christmas (Eve) to me!

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with two fingers of head that is as dark of a brown as you will ever see on a beer. Awesome.

Smell is floral hops, lightly roasted malt, light raisin and prune, pumpkin?, cocoa, and caramel. Nice and complex once you really get your nose in there.

The taste is similar to the nose, with citrus and floral hops being predominant flavors. They rest on top of a nice malt base that isn't overly roasty yet still has some char. Cocoa is deep in the background, and some dark fruit sweetness is also present. Not a gigantic in your face flavor....but rather a nicely balanced, full flavored stout.

Mouthfeel is thick with quite a bit of carbonation. A tad less carbonation and it would be perfect.

This is a pretty damn easy drinking stout for 10.4% ABV. I didn't realize it until I started catching a bit of a buzz from drinking it too fast. As it warms the dark fruits start to come out and make it get better and better. I definitely recommend this stout to veterans and novices both, it is very well crafted.

 1,023 characters

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

'13 vintage @ 12.70%

Taste of molasses and slight syrup, licorice, charred oak. Earthy. Hard to discern the bourbon presence, subtle at best. The body was too thin for what I look for in a big stout like this. Would have wanted a boozier taste up front but that did not happen. A solid barrel aged stout overall.

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Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
4.32 out of 5 based on 1,158 ratings.
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