Berserker Imperial Stout | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
96
world-class
1,179 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
Ratings:
1,179
Reviews:
295
Avg:
4.32
pDev:
8.56%
 
 
Wants:
817
Gots:
308
For Trade:
36
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,179 |  Reviews: 295
Photo of mothman
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09 Version

Poured into large tripel karmetiet (sp) glass.

Pours about 1/4 finger of burnt orange/red tan head. Color is oil black. Very nice looking beer. Very great head retention.

Aroma: Damn, this is smelling fine. Grapes, chocolate, raspberries, cherries, roasted malts, caramel, vanilla, toffee, oak. Just awesome.

Taste: Wow, the -bal aging has done wonders here. Chocolate, roasted malts, grapes, cherries, coffee, vanilla, and oak. Everything goes together so well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and rich. Full bodied. Nice and chewy. A fine amount of carbonation. Ends with a roasted malt feel that brings out a touch of heat.

Overall, a sipper, but a fine sipper at that. This beer is simply amazing. Different with the barrels that were used, but I couldn't get enough of this. I highly recommend this one.

 821 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rudzud for sharing. 2011
Midnight black creamy head hits almost a finger fades slowly, super dark pitch black nice legs.

Nose is great, super dark malt, roasty, little char, super dark chocolate cocoa, fudgey, little fluffy nougat, caramel, nice candy bar, mild vanilla oak and toasty, light bourbon, hint of.

Taste more super dark malts, thick fudgey cocoa and caramel, dark char like notes but not acrid, black roast little coffee, roasty, fluffy nougat, no real maple, well the tiny but in the background gets overpowered, tons of vanilla oak and bourbon barrel, some booze, earthy bitterness. Finish is sticky mildly sweet, little booze, little earthy char, mild bitterness, dark fudgey char etc.

Mouth is thick chewy fudgey, little creamy, decent carb hint if booze.

Overall very nice,

 808 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large shared bottle.
Fine looking beer that looks, and is, quite thick. Essentially black and opaque body with a decent head.
Strong, rich flavor.
Very full body, but not as viscous (or complex) as the CC Hunaphu I had just minutes before.

 239 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

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 Kegatron
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Many thanks go to Bubba83 for surprising me with this in a recent trade of ours. You da' man Kevin!

Vintage 2010 12.7% ABV

This literally looks like motor oil going into the glass, with a black and viscous pour that yields a rigid finger of dark and burnt mocha head that is bordering on chocolate colored at times. By the time this finally settles down, you have a creamy ½ finger that stays rich and angry looking, and just drenches the glass with spotty froth and gooey brown oils that slowly ooze down the sides. Quite the fierce look here! The aroma is heavy with molasses, as well as notes of dark fruit, smoke, leafy tobacco, vanilla, cocoa powder; moderate warming bourbon, and some spicy alcohol. Light woodiness is present but is not jumping out, instead working with that dark fruit character to impart a bit of a wine like feel to the nose. Whew! There's a lot of complexity here but all of those flavors never seem to ground each other and were all easily identifiable in their own way. Just fantastic!

The taste has a thick sticky base to it of sugary molasses, vanilla, chocolate cake, and vinous dark fruit character that run the whole way through the profile. Things get taken to the next level with the addition of brown sugar and a bitter roastiness that hangs on the edges and then pulls together into a burnt back-end that lingers with leftover sugars and then finally dry notes of earthy tobacco and wood. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a tight and sharp chewiness that fills the palate up with all of those rich flavors. As this sits in the mouth and the carbonation starts to lessen, this achieves much more of a viscous feel that really accentuates all of that rich sweetness in the profile. This definitely has some beefy power to it but the alcohol is mostly confined to the flavors and this is overall VERY smooth for a near 13% beer. Man, the alcohol and wood really dry the finish out on this!

Wow, this was completely satisfying. Powerful, decadent, and complex, with such a smooth feel for size of it, this Midnight Sun offering just pushed all of the right buttons for me. Man, I need to find another one of these for the cellar. This beer rocked!

 2,225 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of mactrail
4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

We're having a sip of this on New Years Eve while enjoying the lights over the harbor and Tony Bennett belting out something toffee-coated. A nice beer to have when you're glad to be alive.

Well, I think this is perfectly delicious. Big and plenty sweet, but somehow restrained and sophisticated. Molasses aroma and powerful in the taste. Viscous and coating the glass. Burnt sugar and a bitter finish that gradually creeps in. Custard with the dark caramel coating. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottlecraft in San Diego.

 528 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of billab914
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage poured into my Stone RIS glass. pours a thick pitch black with a modest dark mocha colored head. The head clung to the sides of the glass and laced nicely on the sides.

Aroma is bold with coffee, chocolate and molasses all coming through. It has some sweetness coming through as well in the form of maple and vanilla. Slight alcohol present as well. The combination of the molasses, maple syrup and oak aging really come together well making for a very nice smelling and complex aroma.

Taste hits you at first with a coffee, chocolaty, roasty and burnt malt flavor. The burntness of the malts and the coffee definitely come through more then most of the Imperial stouts I have had. It also has hints of dark fruit, wood, vanilla and a slight alcohol bite in the finish. Like the nose it's both complex and delicious.

Mouthfeel is thick and heavy with low carbonation. I can't really say anything negative about the mouthfeel, I love the thick heavy imperial stouts. Drinkability is very good. It's pretty easy drinking for nearly 13% and the fact that it's delicious doesn't hurt either.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer, it definitely set itself apart from most imperial stouts I have had so far. I wish this was easier to get, but I'm glad I got to try it.

 1,279 characters

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Much thanks to Ben for this one!

A: Pours a thick black with a dark tan head on top, decent retention forming a nice cap on tip. Moderate lacing.

S: This beer has a very nice aroma, some bourbon and roasted malt with a bit of chocolate and deep molasses. There is a little bit of smoke on the aroma as well.

T: Lots going on in the flavor profile here. Some chocolate and a bit of coffee upfront with a definite maple sweetness mixed in. There is a little bit of dark fruit, mostly raisin and cherry. Also a touch of smoke.

M: Full bodied, definitely on the thick side. Rather chewy.

O: A very solid beer from Midnight Sun. A beer I was happy to have split, not sure how much of it I could drink on my own.

 715 characters

Photo of duceswild
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

 1,494 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of atrocity
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From 11/27/11 notes. HUGE thanks to the Chicago group for sending this one in the Group BIF; this has been a huge Want of mine for a couple years. 2009 vintage, unsure of the ABV. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a pitch black color with light carbonation evident and one finger of dark tan head. Leaves some spotty lacing on the glass and head lasts for a few minutes.

s - Smells of molasses, roasted malts, sweet dark fruits, chocolate, raisins, wood, and very light cofee. Nose is a little sweet, but I really like it. Not getting much bourbon at all, but a reaqlly nice mix of molasses, fruit, and chocolate.

t - Tastes of chocolate, molasses and sweet dark fruits, roasted malts, some vanilla, light sweet syrup, light smokey malts, and light wood. A little sweet again but a bit of a step done from the nose.

m - Pretty light body and low carbonation. Pretty smooth and easy to drink, but would have liked a thicker body for a big stout and a tiny bit more carbonation. Someone at the tasting mentioned they found the 2011 version thicker, but it was pretty thin in the 09 vintage.

o - Overall I thought this was a very good stout. It looked great and I loved the nose. I would have liked more bourbon in the nose and taste, and would have liked a thicker body and more carbonation, but it was still a great beer. Would like to have this one again.

 1,378 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Roland for this bottle. The bottle leaked a little bit during shipping so to be safe rather than sorry, I decided to put this one on ice and drink it right away.

A: The pour is a fairly viscous and black one with a mild tan head forming.

S: The nose is fairly complex with plenty of dark chocolate and molasses coming out right away. The oak and vanilla notes are a bit more subtle and the roast and coffee are not quite as in your face as in many stouts.

T: A pronounced licorice character comes through on the palate that I did not expect from the nose. Again, plenty of molasses and chocolate going on with a fair amount of oakiness. A moderate bitterness is present as well.

M: The body is medium, not quite to the full range, with a smooth carbonation that eventually ended up dying out as I went back for my subsequent pours from the bottle.

D: For a 10% imperial stout, this is quite drinkable, I will say. Not necessarily amazing, but still enjoyable and definitely different.

 999 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Roughly 12 months old bottle.

A - Pours a liquid bowling ball black. Solid black body with essentially no highlights to speak of. Dark milk chocolate head pours a finger high with nice retention and ok lace.

S - Fantastic nose. Bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, dark vanilla, raisins, prunes, edge of hazel nut, allspice, and a touch of dark maple syrup.

T - Absolutely loaded with molasses. Hazelnut, milk chocolate, gingerbread, warm scotch, and prunes round out the flavor profile.

M - Smooth, medium body.

O - A delicious, thick, molasses-heavy imperial stout.

 578 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #350 for me! I brought this one to our Stout Day event. 2009 bottle shared with a whole bunch of people.

A - Pours midnight black with a nice pillow of one and a half finger tall tan head leaving small streaks of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of coffee, licorice, tobacco, chocolate, and even some dark fruits. This one pretty much runs the gamut of dark aroma's with no one crowding out the others.

T - Starts off with quite a bit of dark roast quickly giving way to a mix of coffee, dark fruits, licorice, tobacco, and some very faint booze. The flavors work very well together with nearly perfect balance. The finish is mostly dark roast but it doesn't linger on the pallet for very long.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Smooth, rich, feel that rally compliments this ones flavors very well. Very nice feel throughout.

O - I have been wanting to try this one and when I got this bottle in the Easter Bunny BIF I couldn't have been happier. It has a ton of flavor and it really works well. Good stuff for sure.

 1,047 characters

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of millerbuffoon
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
4.32 out of 5 based on 1,179 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.

    Subscribe