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 | website

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:
288
Ratings:
1,144
Avg:
4.32
pDev:
17.13%
 
 
Wants:
826
Gots:
300
For Trade:
36
User Reviews
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Reviews: 288 | Ratings: 1,144
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 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 ThickNStout
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from BeerShip.com. No bottling date but I believe this was released in May. Served in a Three Floyds teku.

Pours oil black with a finger and a half of thick chocolate head. The dense foam lingers, leaving some nice lace.

Smells of cocoa, bourbon, oak, molasses and coffee. Very inviting.

Rich, sweet waves of flavor. Dark chocolate, creamed heavily roasted coffee, molasses, vanilla tinged bourbon, earthy oak, faint maple syrup, caramel, dark fruits and a little alcohol bite. So much good stuff going on here. Complex and delicious.

Creamy, thick, medium heavy feel with moderately light carbonation. Chocolate and sweet bourbon finish.

A well done imperial stout that hits on all levels. A pleasure to drink and it goes down incredibly easy. Berserker is definately worth seeking out.

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

12.7 abv...unsure of vintage but bought in oct of 2015 in Seattle. Motor oil! God dam motor oil!!! Smell molasses like all hell. Barrel character is reeeaallyyy tough to pick out...but there is something there. Taste....woof....whoa...booze. Mouthfeel..get that old school FILM out cuz cot dam this bitch stays with you. O..wish I sat on this longer. Cheers!

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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 woemad
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big-ass bomber that doesn't indicate which year it was bottled, only the month (November) and week (2nd). THe label DOES state that the abv is 12.7%. I think I bought this about a year ago at Enoteca in Post Falls, Idaho, which means it's probably of the 2009 vintage.

Poured a viscousy black color that gives up absolutely nothing when held up to light. 1/2 inch of dark mocha foam soom drops down to a foam collar. Spotty lace.

Big nose. I get sweet and bitter, like mollasses and prunes. Seems a little boozy as well.

The taste starts out like a spoonfull of mollasses that is immediately paired up with some dark, bitter fruit. There's also elements of pipe tobacco, coffee, and way in the back is the maple syrup - just enough to make it's presence known without sending the beer off into cloying land. As it warms, this beer gets more boozy. Slightly dry at the swallow.

Seems a little light in the body for an impy stout, but not to a disheartening degree. Slick, creamy mouthfeel nevertheless.

Outstanding dessert beer that I bought several months ago. Wish I knew for certain whether it was last year's or the year before. Regardless, it's tasty, and seems to be holding up.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Rudylaw, truly a gentleman. Also thanks to James, another gentleman.

The appearance is dark black, whats new right? It has dark cherry edges and a head that is inspiring. The head on this think was almost black, it was the darkest brown I have ever seen foam on a beer. It did not stick around for a while and just ended up leaving completely, but I was awe stuck by the color of it. Incredible.

The smell was of earthy grains and sweet wines, not very strong overall though.

The taste was very unique and entirely enjoyable. Dark roasted grain that produces a earthy flavor that reminds me of chewing on black patent malt. There are very sweet cherries in the mid palate that pair with a sweet wine that is unique. I also got more than a few tastes of maple syrup, delicious. Towards the end of the bottle more of the ABV and wine characteristics take shape and present something very sweet. I like this a lot.

The mouthfeel was perfectly carbonated and sat on the palate very well. It was not too thick, and for the flavors that were involved was perfect.

The drinkability was good, but a dessert or after dinner beer is best used to describe this one. There was a bit of an astringency that was brought up from the cherry and wine notes that was interesting, but distracted from other things going on. Very glad I got to try this one.

J

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Photo of vkv822
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz : tulip
2012 vintage.

Black, with a thick, foamy brown head.

Nose and palate are quite similar, boozy bourbon oak, fudge, cocoa, faint molasses, faint dark fruit.

Medium+ body, slightly viscous, light boozy heat. Low carbonation.

A very enjoyable Imperial Stout, the maple syrup/molasses adds just a faint touch, though the main focus is bourbon barrel and cocoa.

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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.

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

Many, many thanks to paulys55 for this bottle!

A - Poured pitch black with about 1/4 of creamy, toffee colored head and no carbonation.

S - Charred/smoked oak tannins, tobacco peat, dark fruit, molasses, dark roasted chocolate, and mild alcohol presence (for such a big beer).

T - Smoke, oak, maple, bourbon, molasses, roasted bitter chocolate, dark cherries, and alcohol effervescence.

M - Thick, viscous, sticky, slightly syrupy, sticky.

O - Letting this beer sit in the glass for 30+ minutes and warming to room temperature really opened this up in an incredibly complex way. In fact, if I ever have the opportunity to enjoy another bottle of this I will most likely pop it at room temperature instead, far better.

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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 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.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BrewsB4Shrews for the opportunity to try this beer!

A-Pours with the darkest head I have ever seen on a beer-which is a very dark brown. Body is opaque, viscous, and black allowing no light to shine through. Head fades to about 1/2 finger and leaves some lacing behind in the glass.

S- Nose is big, rich, deep, and dark. Dark chocolate, anise, licorice, dark fruit, and a good dose of alcohol astringency.

T- Flavor is awesome and much better than the smell. I'm getting a lot of toffee, an unidentified sweetness, and the typical RIS flavors of licorice, anise, dark chocolate, and dark fruit with a mild to moderate roasted malt backbone. A nice surprise for the finish is a woody component of oak is added to the already developing flavors. Great, complex.

M- High carbonation and a very thick- smooth and creamy body. No presence of alcohol in the mouthfeel.

D-This is a great imperial stout and another great brew by Midnight Sun. Solid and offers all the characteristics of a great stout. Definitely in my top 10 stouts overall.

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Photo of smanson56
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pour into my snifter glass. A dark lack color into my snifter glass. This is a real dark pour with lots of flavors in the glass. I see the molasses in the taste but am left looking for the maple they claim to have here. A gret BBA beer but lacking in the maple flavor.

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Photo of mattsander
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage

A: Impressively black. Dark brown head with legs, it taints the glass brown. Beautiful stout.

S: Toffee, toasted marshmallow, vanilla-oak, bourbon, slightly nutty, brown sugar. Lots of barrel and dark fruit. A bit boozy, but this is a very young bottle that will definitely improve with age. Fruitier and less chocolaty than I generally encounter in this style.

T: Silky smooth dark caramelized fruits, licorice and burnt sugar at first, then the barrel treatment takes over. Not the 'sweet vanilla' bourbon bomb I associate with this style, the barrels make this really unique. Finishes with lots of oak, kind of nutty. Fabulous.

M: Excellent texture with lasting creaminess. A sipper for sure, but a great one.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage

A: Poured a deep, deep brown, good carbonation and a nice brown head.

S: Nose is deep roasted malts, coffee, cocoa and alcohol.

T: Taste is alcohol and roasted malt upfront, midway through to the end is coffee, cocoa.
M: Mouthfeel is coating and pretty thick and hefty.

O: good and really glad I got to finally try this.
///

2012 vintage

A: Poured extremely deep brown near black with a big brown cap, light lacing and a little brown ring after a few sips

S: A big roastiness, milk chocolate, maple and molasses, sweetness, booze sting and some moderate bourbon

T: Initial creaminess, Dark Lord like soy sauce with a big sweetness, milk chocolate transition into a lingering maple, light bourbon and molasses, faint wood and vanilla. Finish is a burning like spepperness, sweet sugar, bourbon, chocolate and maple

M: Big body, boozey, creamy and decadent

O: Very good. More like a bbn, chocolate covered maple bar!

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to cosmicevan (Evan) for this one. Sampled at a tasting 1/5/11. 5oz. pour into a Duvel sample tulip. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a viscous .5 finger of coffee colored head that dissipates into a thick ring of the same color that hugs the side of the glass. Beer is a dark, opaque black. Lacing is spotty and with no cling.

S: Subtle. Nose is milk chocolate, sweet soy sauce, prune, raisin, sweet brown sugar, caramel, roasted malt, and cocoa powder. Alcohol is completely hidden here and flavors are pretty spot on.

T: Opens chocolate, sweet soy sauce, sweet plums, raisin, and a slight booziness in the back. Almost all chocolate and dark fruit sweetness with near no roasted malt bitterness to balance this one out... which I appreciate actually. Finish is chocolate and slight alcohol. Aftertaste is more of the same.

M: Medium bodied and with low carbonation. Oily and slick. Silky in the mouth and going down. Very smooth. Finish is rather muted and aftertaste lingers.

D: A very desert-y imperial stout this one showcases the sweet side and really suppresses the roasted malt characteristics. Like a smoother, more balanced, and less intensely sweet ST Choklat. Definitely worth seeking out. This one was a treat.

 1,238 characters

Photo of natasharai
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle that says it is 12% ABV

Appearance: Poured with a thick creamy head that dissipated quickly and is easily aroused with a little swirl of my glass. The head leaves speckles of lacing on the glass. The beer is pitch black and doesn't let any light through.

Smell: Very sweet, molasses, brown sugar, oak, raisin, some plum and cherry, and a small amount of alcohol in the end.

Taste: Really strong roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, slight smoke flavor, a little sweet cherry and plum, small alcohol burn, and ends with a roasty hoppy bitter flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very thick, a bit syrupy up front, nice carbonation, strong bitter tingle, small burn from the alcohol, then leaves mouth pretty dry.

Overall: Decent drinkability, really strong flavors and big bitterness. The smell doesn't really match the flavors very well, neither is better just different. The smell is much sweeter and the flavor is much more roasted and bitter. The alcohol is pretty well hidden but is still detectable, as is expected in a 12% beer.

Thanks AKBelgianBeast!!!!

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Photo of seaoflament
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Stephen for bringing this nice surprise at the 'You Bring the Cheese Tasting' which took place on July 25-26th 2009. I had this beer before, likely a 07 vintage, and wasn't too impressed with it. This bottle was a 2005 vintage and significantly better than the last time I had this beer

Poured dark, like any other imperial stout, with a quarter inch of foam and not much retention.

The nose was a combination of chocolate, oak, raisins, toasted oak, toasted malts, chocolate malts, dates, prunes, black cherries, "green" barrel aromas, vanilla, still a bit harsh with burnt notes and tannins. Still, the smell is pretty darn good and fresh for an almost 4 year old imperial stout.

Now, the taste is where this one shines. Smooth chocolate flavors upfront, coffee, sweet raisins covered in chocolate and booze, toast, caramel, vanilla, and soft oak. A bit tannic on the finish. Some flavors of black cherries develop later on. Carbonation is on the low side but very smooth and creamy on the palate.

Very tasty beer and I was surprised how well this one has aged but even more impressed that I feel it still has not peaked. I could tell Stephen has done a fine job at cellaring this beer.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a nonic 20 ounce glass. Seems the perfect vessel as I pour this viscous, thick liquid.

Head forms two fingers thick, a dark espresso color and compact and bulky in composition. I feel like I'm about to take a sip of a giant espresso really. 5

Smells of dark chocolate and oak are prominent, with some spice, faint smoke, and a touch of whiskey or bourbon. Sweetness is there but I had to look for it. 4

Tastes true to the nose, but probably richer and tastier. Initially the sweet chocolate, vanilla and caramel provide a dessert for the tongue, but the beer then veers into smokier territory. Touches of campfire and bacon meet oak and other woody flavors and that bourbon-y finish. There's a coffee flavor that wasn't so noticeable but grows more apparent and tasty. Amazingly, just when I thought I'd discovered every flavor available, I start tasting a maple bacon doughnut lingering with each sip. 4.25

It's a little lighter than medium-bodied and I wish it were a tad thicker and creamier, but it's got enough there to feel like a big beer. Sweet, spicy, smoky, and a tad boozy, it runs the gamut of sensations just like flavors. 4

A lot of layers to this beer. Plenty to discover if you can be patient, sip slowly, and take on a whole bomber yourself.

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Photo of CascadeBrews
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage poured to Dogfish Head tulip (thanks Don for sharing your glassware)

Will update again after second bottle ages:

A smooth finish on the mouthfeel that I didn't know could exist in an imperial stout, beer in general. Slight dark fruit sweetness. Prefer more bitterness and dryness (akin to Abyss). ABV was subtle on the tongue, perfect everywhere else.
Highly recommended.

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Photo of BltByKrmn
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber into a Snifter, 11.2% and I believe it's a 2014 bottle.

A ton of molasses, really hard to pick up anything else. A hint of bourbon but zero maple. Really smooth drinking at this point, impressed at this ABV. This was definitely a hot mess when it was fresh, glad it sat in the fridge for a long time.

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

Thanks to Unclejedi for sharing this bottle.

22oz. brown bomber poured into a taste glass.

A: Deep black that lets very little light in. Good sized dark mocha head on the pour, a bit spritzy but retains. Some lacing.

S: Nice light alcohol with plenty of rich barrel flavors. Vanilla takes a back seat to big molasses and alcoholic dark fruits. A nice smoky line going on.

T/M: The alcohol is a bit bigger in the mouth but not huge. The barrel is nice and bit but still on the lighter side on the vanilla, which is a nice change of pace. More smoke and molasses with some tobacco and plenty of dark fruits. Body is full with low carbonation.

D: Definitely a slow sipper but very inviting.

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

2010 version. 12.7% ABV.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter a thick, black liquid with a slightly bubbly chocolate milk-colored head. Did not leave much lacing down the glass. Could have been because of the amount of time it took me to finish this ultimate sipper.

Initial (and somewhat overpowering) aroma is of molasses. After I cleared my snoot, I gave it another more gentle sniff and this time picked up the molasses (of course) but also vanilla, cocoa, and maple.

The flavor, like the aroma, is dominated by the molasses. However, the flavor is more complex than even the aroma. Here I get not only the molasses but also tobacco, dried fruit, vanilla, maple (especially on the tip of the tongue) and, strangely, mint. But it's a bit more hot than I'd like. It's really boozy.

This is silky smooth with just the right amount of carbonation to hold up all these flavors. Not sure it could be better.

The molasses becomes too much after a while and gets cloying in the end. I did let this get rather warm. Maybe if I drank it a bit cooler, I'd do better. This is to be shared.

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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.

 340 characters

Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 288 ratings.
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