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:
292
Ratings:
1,170
Avg:
4.32
pDev:
8.56%
 
 
Wants:
819
Gots:
310
For Trade:
36
User Reviews
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Reviews: 292 | Ratings: 1,170
Photo of DefenCorps
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 vintage split with Chris for lunch on day 3 of our epic tasting. Many, many thanks to alaskajoe for the hookup

A: Jet black with a stellar dark brown head with great retention. This is so black that even the highlights are black!

S: Pretty incredible with an exceptional balance. Dark chocolate up front with a great hint of bourbon. Great roasty character with a mild oaky and woody aroma. Creamy and exquisitely balanced with some molasses as it warms up

T: Outstanding balance. Opens up with roasted malt, chocolate, cream and a hint of coffee before a mild bourbon oak note comes through with a pleasant vanilla sweetness. Excellent balance between the sweetness and the roasty bitterness. Finishes with dark chocolate bitterness

M: Exceptional. Great body, neither too think nor too syrupy, excellent balance between flavors, perfect carbonation that's soft. Excellent finish

D: For a 12.7% ABV beer at 3PM, this is pretty stellar

**28 March 2010. This is the 2009 vintage, thanks a bunch for sharing this, Kyle.

The nose is outstanding. Molasses, licorice, wet tobacco, leather, a little caramel. A light wine and a little bourbon., a touch of alcohol. These flavors are replicated on the palate, with the licorice not as prominent. Great roast character without any grainy bitterness or burnt malt. Dark chocolate on the finish, this beer is excellent

**07 Dec 2012**
2012 release from the Belmont Station.

The nose is a fantastic blend of dusty unsweetened cocoa, roasted malt, molasses, dark chocolate syrup, fudge, fruity yeast, moderate bourbon with vanilla being most prominent, this is decadent. The palate is a blend of vinous and bourbony chocolate fudge, with the roast , toasted dark wheat bread, and a little bit of fruit. The molasses lends a complex sweetness to the palate, and there are undertones of licorice bitterness as well. Medium-full in body and with low carbonation, this is thick on the palate and very enjoyable.
4.5/4.5/4.5

**21 Sept 2013**
2009 release, 12.7%ABV that I received from Kyle. Thanks, man.

This has aged gloriously. Rich fudge, chocolate, moderate vinous character, molasses, brown sugar. Fruitier than fresh bottles, and with less of a bready note. Delectable, this batch is at its peak IMO. 4.5/4.5/5

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Photo of Erik-P
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 vinatage. pours a thick oily black with a dark brown head that fades quickly. Aromas of bourbon and oak. Tastes of cocoa, fruit and smokey wood with a very sweet, almost candylike finish. Alcohol is hidden fairly well and it doesnt taste like a 12.7%. Very smooth mouthfeel, Overall a good beer but just a tad too sweet on the ending

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle opened on 9.10.12.
Thanks Wingshooter.

A - Pours a motor oil black with a one inch dark brown head with fine bubbles, good retention.

S - Sweet molasses, wood, bourbon.

T - Sweet, lots of bourbon, chocolate and oak.

D - Super thick, heavy body. Decent carbonation.

O - Sweet and boozy, thick and visious and lots of oak.

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Photo of maximum12
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BrewsB4Shrews for this 22 oz. bottle that arrived, oh, probably eighteen months ago. Seeing the insane trade value, I've been reluctant to crack it open - I've been seriously underwhelmed by Midnight Sun to date & thought multiple times about just sending it on. But hey, bourbon & maple syrup are two of my favorite things & I'll likely not get another crack at this one, so...yeah. Here we go. No vintage indicated, bottled 1st week of August of some year.

Pours straight black; being an old D&D geek, I appreciate the cool battle-axe artwork. Smell is sweet earth dropped into a bourbon snifter. I like where this madness is headed.

Berserker is a heavy-handed brew; one sip is like a bite of elvin lembas (help, I need my Monster Manual!), filling the stomach like a three-course meal. Pushing past that, there's a slow-building bourbon fire. It doesn't leap out of a chair with a +4 Short Sword, but creeps slowly out of its earthy malt shell. Lots of earthiness here. The molasses shows as an honest sweetness. Builds to a finale of bourbon, again, that suffuses the entire palate, all the way down to the digestive tract. Use of the barrel is exquisite.

Interesting beer. I'm not keen on the 'dirty' feel I get off all the Midnight Sun beers, but it works much better with this dark, heavy, menacing brute of a brew. Excellent.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this at dld. Appearance is black, not much to note. The aroma is a little light some coffee, vanilla a little wood. Tasting it its very hard to tell it was barrel aged, there is a little wood to it but I think its muted by using of red wine barrels too. This is a good stout, not great, probably not worth searching out.

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Photo of claspada
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of gueuzer, 2010 edition, shared with HimerMan, simultaneously sampled with Kate the Great 2011. Eat your heart out...

Pours a big, black, inky pour with a nice brown crown. Smallish dark brown head and actually a little red hue when held up to the light. Not as pretty as Kate, but she is the best for a reason.

Aromas are awesome. First I get the typical stouts aromas of roasted malts, sweet dark fruits and dark chocolate. Then I get nice complementary vinous aromas mixed with the molasses. The oaky aromas join the party next coupled with the nice light bourbon barrel presence in the background. Nose is a little sweet and decently oaky, but I really like it. Not getting much bourbon at all, but a reaqlly nice mix of molasses, red vinous fruit and chocolate.

The tastes directly follow the nose. First you get dark chocolate, molasses and sweet dark vinous fruits, roasted malts. Then once again the oak flavors show up with some vanilla, light sweet syrup presumably from the molasses and light wood. Very very light bourbon barrel flavor in the finish. Really really nice, more roasty and oaky than Kate but amazing none-the-less.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied, hey it's 13% what do you expect. Medium-low carbonation but plenty for the style. Finish is quite tannic and oaky and dry from the Wine and Bourbon barrel aging. Flavors linger on the palate after in each sip.

Overall on any other night, this beer would be the best in show, but is second to Kate tonight. Still an amazing flavor profile from the multi-barrel aging they used here. Recommended, heck yes. Worth seeking out, darn skippy. My new second favorite beer only to my first love Kate.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, two finger deep brown head.

S-Slight bourbon, oak, roasted malt, some chocolate and maple.

T-Slight oak, bourbon, maple, roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, nice balance.

M-Semi heavy, tad creamy not much carbonation.

O-A really good beer but the beer just can't seem to compare to the many other BA stouts out there.

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Photo of Rutager
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 Bottle at Brouwer's cafe.

Appearance. Pours thick and black with a skim of tan head.

Smell. Molasses, wood, black licorice, rum and dark malts with a little fudge.

Taste. Chocolate fudge and molasses, toasted wood and licorice root, dark and maybe lightly smokey malts.

Mouthfeel. Full body, maybe on the lower side. Boozy warmth and low+ carbonation.

Overall. Nice big stout. Didn't get much maple, but very tasty and lots of molasses.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Ale Arsenal. From notes. Reviewed 27 June 2015.
4.5/4.25/4.75/4/4.5

Dark, thick, and light-absorbing.
It smells boozy and portentous. Dark malt and licorice.
It's amazing. Dark roasty dry. Very dry. Hops maybe? Molasses. Incredibly complex and rich and interesting. What a great beer.
Spicy and fun.
Reminiscent of another MS favorite, Barfly, but I think I prefer this from the keg. Highly recommended.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle with speedwayjim, capra12, billyshears. Thanks to portable for the trade!!!

a-Gorgeous thick black with a thin tan head that can easily be brought back to life with a glass swirl.
s-Hoppy stout...licorice sweetness, i can smell the heat on this one.
t-Tastes thick and filling and pretty much follows the nose. Fantastic, but a bit overly rich and hot.
m/d-Really thick and Really rich. Glad that this was shared since it would be a bit much to take on alone.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.4/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012 vintage

#Infectiongate

appearance: served in an oversized snifter, jet black body, creamy mocha lace

smell: bourbon, tannin notes, rich fudge

taste: charred malt, fudge, smoke, light bourbon, soy sauce. I don't know if its the "infection" or what, but at $20, this is a huge dissapointment.

mouthfeel: a bit thin, lots of soy in the finish

overall: this is a Pass in the future

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Photo of xnicknj
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into large snifter - thanks to brystmar - 2012 bottle

Viscous opaque blackness in the glass with a bubbled dark brownie colored head resting on top. Thick collar of tanned retention with spotty lacing left on the glass.

Smoky and sweet in the nose, driven by a combination of maple syrup, chocolate cake and bourbon. Oak, dark fruit, coffee and vanilla bean with toffee and roasted dark malts. Warm and boozy.

Slick and sweet up front with bourbon warmth, cocoa powder and dark chocolate bark. Vanilla beans with caramel and toffee, layered on a maple syrup base. Oaky and warm with a thick, robust malt backbone. Touches of tobacco and red wine with roasted coffee beans. Multiple layers of flavor and malt continue to evolve while drinking, leading into a boozy and sweet finish.

Full bodied, medium carbonation, creamy and sticky on the tongue. I've tasted this a couple times before, but this was my first time enjoying the better part of a bottle and I couldn't be happier with this. Wonderfully deep and warm with plenty of rich bourbon and chocolate, finished off with sticky maple syrup and vanilla. I'd seek this out again in a second.

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Photo of Pencible
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured an opaque pitch black with a little bit of very dark tan head. It smelled like molasses and brown sugar, with some sweet bourbon and milk chocolate and cream and raisins. It tasted like caramel and molasses and brown sugar, with some roasted coffee and cream and maple, and a bit of milk chocolate and alcohol. It was slightly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste with slight alcohol warming. Overall this had a great scent and taste with good body. However, the alcohol was a bit noticeable, which combined with the bold taste to make this a sipping beer. I didn't notice much oak taste, and it was much sweeter than most stouts. But this was still a fantastic brew that will probably improve with further age. (I forgot to check if this was the 10.4% or 12.7% version.)

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Photo of FLima
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not sure how old it this, I have been guarding this for around a year.
It poured like petro oil in color and texture with a thin very dark caramel head with short retention, but with an eternal ring of the same color. One of the most opaque black beers I have seen. By moving the glass to sip it, it produces a brown mantle to cover its walls.
Delicious aroma with tons of coconut, coffee, dark chocolate, anise, molasses, chewing tobacco, oak and some bourbon.
Roasted flavor with notes of coffee, burnt coconut, charred wood, dark fruits juice, molasses, charcoal, some bourbon, maple syrup, earth, cocoa powder, vanilla, tobacco, Port wine, cinnamon, anise and soy sauce. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness and residual roasted notes.
Quite viscous and dense body with mild carbonation of tiny bubbles giving a velvet sensation. Alcohol of 12.7% abv feels much lower and it has a delayed warming sensation.
Wonderful imperial stout, incredibly complex with a nudity of flavors. You can certainly feel the notes I mentioned above. At some point I had to stop digging flavors. The balance here is between the sweet and roasted notes, not so much the hops. The bourbon or barrel related notes are definitely not over whelming.
I guess this would be even better on Alaska’s weather.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a thick motor oil looking liquid with a dark mohogany head that is creamy in appearance and offers some retention and a little bit of lace

S-the nose is a little light but still nice. Dark chocolate, lots of molasses, anise, and a touch of cherry. The booze shows in the nose and is quite present in the back

T-the taste is sweeter with hints of roasted malts and some earthy notes up front. Lots of dark chocolate with toffee behind. Molasses takes over with plums and cherries in the back. The booze is not nearly as present and really mellows in the taste

M-this has full body, it is smooth and creamy, soft on the palate and coats the mouth.

D-this is very tasty and has good flavors with a big body and huge taste.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.46/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle split with SneezyAchew and AutumnBeerLove. Thanks for sending me this one, shawnm213. Ax label.

A: Pours near black with a thin dark brown head that faded into a faint collar. This beer is very thick looking.
S: I get rich notes of black licorice, molasses, dark chocolate and a hint of soy sauce.
T: Molasses and chocolate come through strongly with wood, char, soy sauce, and licorice bringing up the rear. I’m not really getting much of a barrel quality in this one. The soy sauce was thankfully light but it was disappointing.
M: Thick body, medium-low carbonation, with a thick and chewy mouthfeel. The alcohol is masked extremely well.
O: Good but underwhelming. I wish more of the barrel aging came through. Flavors were good though regardless, except for the soy. I bet this would be great fresh. Thanks again, Shawn.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.7/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Great looking black brew with a nice brown head. Very thick.

S - Coffee, some roasted malts, a bit of sweetness and vanilla. Someone said something about maple in here, but if it's there then I'm just barely getting it (or imagining it).

T - Interesting barrel influence. On the sweeter side of big stouts, roasted malts, bit of coffee, little chocolate, and molasses. Some interesting lighter fruits, maybe a deep cherry? This is good and interesting.

M - Thick and viscous, suits the style just fine.

D - Pretty good and easy to drink, would have this again.

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Photo of Dope
3.49/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not sure what year this is, no sign of a date. I believe 2012? 12.7% ABV

A: Thick pitch black pour. Big dense dark brown head. Very dense. Head away in a very dense and fluffy manner (if that makes sense). Heavy walls of lacing. Great retention.

S: Interesting. Mellow bourbon with burnt sugar and caramel. Oaky. Heavy, sweet molasses. Dark chocolate. When swirled I get a strong fruity wine aroma. Maybe a bit of savory umami in there too? A lot going on.

T: Very interesting flavor. It's bourbon and wine battling it out in the beginning. Dark fruits and almost tart berries duking it out with burnt sugars, toffee and molasses. Some chocolate and char mixing in too. Chalky charred oak in the finish with hints of smoke. Light chocolate and umami...burnt meat really... lingers between sips. Red wine really layers over everything once it's warm. Pretty boozy.

M: Big, heavy, thick, etc. A bit chalky.

O: I rarely say this, but almost a little too much going on here. Roasted malt of this stout takes a backseat to lots of bourbon barrel character, wine barrel character and molasses. I prefer a strong roasted malt character in my stouts, myself. Did not get any maple syrup in this one either oddly enough. Having said that, very complex and surprisingly balanced. Just not quite my forte, especially since I'm not a huge red wine fan and this one has a surprising amount of it.

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Photo of anteater
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle

A: Oily black with a really good looking dark brown head

S: Bourbon, bitter dark chocolate

T: Really rich flavors of bourbon and bitter dark chocolate dominate, hints of espresso and molasses more at the end. Well hidden 12.7% alcohol

M: So thick and so good

O: I think this is better than a lot of the most highly rated bourbon barrel stouts out there. Lots of really well balanced and strong flavors

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Photo of Gmann
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours basically black in color with some dark brown around the edges. The brown head was short and dense and settled into a light ring.

The aroma is of a heavy roast with some burnt toast and anise. I pick up some boozy red grapes and light bourbon. Faint tart aroma from the oak. Molasses and vanilla help round out the aroma.

The taste is quite bold and has a strong RIS body. Big ole roasted flavor with charred wood, anise and perhaps a subtle hint of smoke. The beer has that boozy red grape flavor that is frequent in the style. The maple syrup and molasses provide a big shot of sweetness. I would say that molasses stands out more than the maple syrup. The bourbon flavor is subtle, could be a little lost amongst the other bold flavors.

The beer is thick with enough carbonation to breakup the body without affected the smoothness. It is sweet and roasty bitter on the palate. It is a bit too sweet and the ABV can pop through. Has a sticky finish.

Very good stout, stays true to its RIS roots. Probably one of the more roasty BA stouts that I have had. I would like to see the bourbon stand out a bit more with less sweetness. Definitely worth a purchase.

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Photo of gford217
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle courtesy of alaskajoe and NoonanDBarbarian poured into a snifter.

Pours about as beautiful as I've seen in a stout, with a pitch black body and big two-finger mocha head that hangs around as cap for ages and leaves great lacing. Gorgeous.

The aroma is a mixture of sweetness and dark roasted malts. The sweetness takes the form of chocolate, licorice, dark fruits and hints of vanilla. There is a bit of roasted coffee in the nose as well, but the sweetness is dominant.

The big dark roasted malts really come to play in the taste and underpin everything else. There is the sweetness of the dark fruits with vanilla, caramel and lots of chocolate. The finish has the roasted coffee bitterness with a very, very slight woody character.

The mouthfeel is decadent - thick and creamy like a rich chocolate dessert. Sticks all over the palate.

This is one fantastic stout and one of the best beers I've had in quite a while. For such a massive beer, it's very drinkable and the ABV was hardly noticeable. Highly recommended!

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Photo of illidurit
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy bret27 at Woodshop 5.0. Pours black with minor dark brown corners and leaves scotch-colored legs on the glass. Aroma is big on chocolate graham crackers and charred malts with wood and vanilla from the barrel aging. Flavor is deep and roasty with super-dark chocolate, iced coffee, ash, smoke, deep dark fruits, and a smooth bourbon character. Huge body and really flavorful. An asswhipper for sure.

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Photo of pkalix
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

nothing special on the look, but a super nice aroma. taste is difficult at first but becomes so very nice and delicious after it drains down the backside.... 2015 edition....

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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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Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
4.32 out of 5 based on 1,170 ratings.
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