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 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 Mora2000
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this beer.

Pours black with a dark brown head. Very attractive. The aroma is toasted malt with some chocolate and coffee. You also get some vanilla. The flavor is strong on the oak aging, with oak and vanilla being prominent. You get a little bit of bitterness as well. Medium mouthfeel and no detectable alcohol.

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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

 263 characters

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.

 1,378 characters

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.

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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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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 ehammond1
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2010)

Thanks for opening this with me, Ultraman9000!

(Aged for 1+ year)

Dark black throughout with a quickly forming, moderately sized dark brown head that eventually coats the glass in messy, creamy, oily, sheets of stick. Decadent and thick looking, even menacing.

An immensely intriguing and delightful aroma. Initially, the chocolate and espresso notes lead the way, with just a hint of earth and wood. But as the beer warms, it truly elevates itself to near world-class status, with more and more barrel character presenting, then dark fruits, like cherries and figs, and then, lastly, a distinct red wine/oak combination emerges. Incredible.

The flavor too is great, but not quite as successful. The chocolate, molasses, and espresso flavors are so big and so powerful that I feel some of the other nuances found in the aroma are lost in the flavor. There's a good amount of wood/barrel character coming forward as the beer warms.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Creamy and rich and with a slight hint of alcohol heat. An incredible sipper.

Simply fantastic.

 1,091 characters

Photo of _RL_
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of TheBronze
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottle. label reads "ale brewed with maple syrup and molasses and aged in oak bourbon barrels"

A - Pours like motor oil. Looks absolutely beautiful. A thin head of a color I don't think I've seen before in a beer. I'd liken it to that of a burnt sienna crayon, and it looks fascinating on top of the thick, dark stout - like some primordial ooze. We're off to a good start.

S - Rich and inviting. Somewhat hard to distinguish particulars but I would describe it as charred gooey molasses, wood, cocoa and bourbon. Very distinct.

T - A liquid representation of the nose. The bourbon is a bit more present here. Definitely enjoying this.

M - As expected. Full bodied. Perfect medium level of carbonation. Alcohol is present, but takes a back seat making this very easy to drink. Too easy by how quickly it is disappearing.

O - The description on the bottle gave me high hopes, and this did not disappoint. I am thoroughly enjoying this one.

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Photo of chumba526
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I do agree with several arguing about IPAs and hot food that IPAs and Hot wings do not pair that nicely I prefer an unfiltered yeasty wheat beer (like Upright's four).
Appears solid pure black with a very dark born head that is about an inch or two high.

It smells of coconut, vanilla, and bourbon. I get a slight alcohol "burn" smell. I also get a sweet toffee/ burnt caramel smell.

I get a nice smooth bourbon flavor. A solid vanilla and coconut flavor is present. I get a bit of a toasty burnt caramel flavor as well. There is a bit of a molasses like sweetness. The beer is pretty thick and heavy, yet smooth.

The carbonation is moderate low for this ale. The mouthfeel of this ale (stout) is very thick and syrup like. It is very smooth.

It is a thick heavy beer but it is very smooth and it goes down easy.

Overall a great easy to drink imperial stout. This is actually a good imperial stout for those not familiar to the style because it is so smooth and well balanced.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pitch black with a light brown head

S: port wine, rich dark fruits, licorice, oak, vanilla, chocolate and maple syrup.

T: chocolate, chewy caramel candies, oak, bourbon, port, some resinous hops, and just a touch of woody vanilla. Dark heavy bitter yet decadent.

M: full bodied thick viscous and nicely balanced with a leniance tothe bitter side.

D: quite epic, I expected nothing

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Photo of ffejherb
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber into tulip on 10/30/09. Huge thanks to KRAMER17801 for sharing!

A - Exited the bottle an oily black body with perhaps the darkest head I've ever encountered... an extremely burnt, dark brown mocha-colored frothy dome that reduced to a patchy veil, leaving behind some strands of lace.

S - Initial aroma combines chocolate and molasses notes with a hint of soy sauce, a slight meaty character and roasted coffee beans. A hint of earthy hops are buried beneath the complex malt profile and barely scrapes the surface.

T - Flavor is quite roasty with a prevalent coffee presence as well as dark bitter chocolate and earthy hop notes. A hint of smoke and charred wood emerges mid-way, and even some soy sauce creeps into the equasion. The alcohol remains well-concealed for such a monster beer. Finishes with a hint of earthy, herbal hop bitterness.

M - Full bodied with a thick, viscous texture and subtle carbonation, resulting in a very oily mouthfeel. Finishes with a mild earthy hop bite and moderate alcohol heat on the palate.

D - Berserker is about as complex as you can get with an Imperial Stout, and this one remains quite drinkable despite its 10% plus ABV weight. My love for you is like a truck, BERSERKER!!!

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

2012 Vintage poured in to tulip.

A - Poured ink black. Thick and viscous. A small layer of mocha coloured head formed and immediately reduced to a thin ring around the glass.

S - Huge cocoa aroma up front that gives way to a complex nose that includes roast, bourbon, vanilla, vinous fruit and char/ash. Sweet molasses is present as well. Big and bold nose. Can't specifically pick up the maple syrup.

T - Barrel qualities noticeable immediately up front: bourbon, oak and red wine. The base beer attributes come through mid-palate: roast, char, tobacco, dark fruit and espresso. The finish has a touch of sweetness with the molasses and maple syrup coming through. Overall, this beer is quite hot and full of big, bold flavours that come together very well. Definitely a sipper.

M - Full body. Thick and viscous. Light carbonation.

O - This was quite an interesting beer. I am very interested to see what some age does to this since it was quite hot.

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

Now is this beer really outstanding? Yes, get one.

This review is of the 12.7% release, purchased at brewery in Nov 2009.

Appearance: Pours pitch black, with a tan and red head, short as it will be.

It moves syrupy and viscous. You can see this and you can feel it when it hits your mouth.

The smell is of roasted chocolate and baked malt. It might even be baked chocolate like cookies in the oven. It's unmistakable, and will get you ready for the drink.

The taste is remarkable, syrupy, maple, sweet like sugar, and extremely full-bodied. I taste deep malt molasses. The roast probably comes from the oak aged barrels, great beer, highly recommend.

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