Berserker Imperial Stout | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Berserker Imperial StoutBerserker Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
95.7%
Liked This Beer
4.33 w/ 1,186 ratings
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
Ranking:
#453
Reviews:
297
Ratings:
1,186
Liked:
1,135
Avg:
4.33/5
pDev:
8.55%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
810
Gots:
309
Trade:
36
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,186 |  Reviews: 297
Photo of IndyDad
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of marine1975
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of Jpepe08
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of SwG237
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.78/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

09 vintage shared with milwaukeeclassic. 12.7% with a big ass axe

Big, black, inky pour with no light penetration and a nice brown crown. Classic stuck his digit into the glass and came out like a stained coffee cup.

Smells like salted jerky, teriyaki, and baker's chocolate. There's a hint of bourbon here, but i'm pretty sure that's not the case.

Tastes very salty up front and segues into Pemicanland. beefy jerky, iced coffee, and chocolate. Tannins are light and mild.

Mouthfeel is slick and oily. Overall this is interesting. Despite having nothing to compare it to, I feel this beer has passed its prime. Would love to have tried this fresh.

 652 characters

Photo of IrishColonial
3.79/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of alexgash
3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Edition, served at 55 degrees F.

Viscous, inky black body supports a dense, concave, dark brown head. Good lacing. Sweet and tart fruits: plums, grapes, dates, figs. Smoke, leather, and light oak mix with creme brulee, cocoa, milk sugar, alcohol, and light espresso. Complex and inviting.

Singed, roasted bitterness greets the tongue. Smoky, peaty roasted malt base meets dark fruit sweetness and alcohol. Light chocolate notes follow into a bitter, hoppy finish. Warming. Alcohol sting is a little too noticeable/hot. Otherwise not bad. Body is a tad thin for the style with a little too much carbonation (i.e. not creamy enough feel). Still, a pretty good tasting and drinking RIS.

 696 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.83/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 12/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours pitch black with a dark brown head; light lacing. Aroma of dark malts and molasses. Dark and roasted malts, molasses, chocolate. A rather stark flavor profile. Finishes with hops and bitter roasted malts. Medium bodied. Not as integrated as other RIS. I'll cellar a few to see if it improves.

 359 characters

Photo of BeerCannuck
3.83/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.84/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a super black and super viscous liquid. barely any foam and what forms is almost brown. leaves a thick syrupy lacing on the sides. completely opaque. a good start to a beer of this size and style

Smell: chocolate and dried plums. booze and bourbon. some maple. coffee and char.

Taste: opens with a little bit of maple and dark fruits. quickly cut by bourbon. backend comes quickly bring notes of oak, chocolate, coffee and last but not least char. lots of flavors but I'm not so sure about the balance:

Mouthfeel: super thick and sticky. small amount of warmth. lots of alcohol and acrid bitterness.

Overall: this wasn't all that I wanted it to be. I think it would have been better off without the bourbon, being a bigger thick charred stout with syrup. but overall a good and tasty big beer.

 815 characters

Photo of kevanb
3.84/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650ml bottle, assumed to be the most recent vintage, poured into a Midnight Sun snifter.

The beer pours a super slick, jet black color, extremely opaque with a fizzy, loud, crackling head, dark bark in color with no retention or lace. The aroma is powerful, lots of rich dark grain, licorice, charred oak, bourbon with some molasses character, lightly roasted with a pop of alcohol heat. The flavors are nice, very earthy, strong licorice root, molasses, chewy wood that brings out some char and bourbon character, lightly roasty with some nice stone fruit flavors and just a touch of alcohol warming at the finish. The body is a bit thin and fizzy, higher carbonation than anticipated that coats the mouth decently well with a bit of an oily finish.

Verdict: A very nice barrel aged stout from Midnight Sun, but I didn't find myself noting any maple qualities to the beer. It's definitely on the earthy side, plenty of barrel character, but the actual bourbon flavor is moderate and balanced well, just plenty of oak and char.

 1,029 characters

Photo of hooliganlife
3.85/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Blake!

Not sure on the vintage, I believe this is the latest so 2012? Maybe 2011.

Pour was black, little head. Pretty thick looking

Dark chocolate and roasted charred malt. Some sweet bitterness.

Lots of char and roast. Light sweetness, but well blended with the bitterness. Hints of dark chocolate and coffee.

A bit lighter than it looks, mild carbonation.

Pretty decent, nothing really mind blowing.

 418 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes. 2012 bottle.

Appearance - Almost inky. Good sized mocha head. Collar of dark khaki foam as it settles.

Smell - Bourbon is nice but faint. Slight vinous characteristic. Oak and some dark fruits combining, probably, but it's a little more acidic than that. Lots of chocolate.

Taste - Nice chocolate. Bitter dark chocolate. Molasses. Bourbon is even fainter here. Bitter finish, seemingly from roasted malts.

Mouthfeel - Extremely bitter, not what I expected. Masks a lot of flavor. Well carbonated.

Overall - The barrel seems weak to me, but the other flavors are good.

 630 characters

Photo of MatthewD4
3.86/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of emmasdad
3.87/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black, nearly opaque, oily with a good amount of medium brown head. Huge boozy aroma, with roasted malt, red wine, bourbon, maple and wood. Very interesting flavor, alcoholic and somewhat sour, with the competing red wine/bourbon flavors, along with the roasted malt and some brown sugar. A big complex, somewhat disjointed, beer. Good, but not one I would seek out often.

 378 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
3.87/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bomber into a glass. 2009 vintage, 12.7%. Received in a trade from inflatablechair. Thanks, Sam!

A: Pours a pitch black body with poorly-retaining dark mocha head. The collar is series of big bubbles that climb up the sides of the glass a little bit, with faint trails of dark brown bubbles on the surface of the beer.

S: Soy! Molasses, chocolate, caramelly bourbon. Oak, some vanilla. As the beer warms, the soy fades and is replaced by a toasted marshmallow note. It's quite pungent.

T: Molasses or brown sugar, maple, chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla. Toasted marshmallow on the exhalation. Despite the list of sweet flavors, the beer doesn't feel syrupy or cloying. It has a mild bitterness of barrel and roasted grain / chocolate that even suggests [relative] dryness, at least for the style.

M: Chewy, fairly viscous. There's a mild heat to it that warms the palate and throat. Not overly sweet. Good carbonation level.

D: It's a solid barrel-aged imperial stout, but it's not one of the better ones. I feel like I get much more complexity and satisfaction out of something like BA Speedway, Black Tuesday, etc...

 1,135 characters

Photo of Coorsy
3.87/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014 Vintage (I believe) Poured into a 16oz narrow pint glass.

Poured almost black with about a 1 finger roasted brown head. The smell of oak and bourbon immediately hit the nostrils. Included are vanilla, tobacco, and a very vague maple syrup. Taste is very strong with bourbon and molasses. A little smokey and stale coffee as well. I would recommend aging this a little longer.

 381 characters

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Toronado SF

A - Black as night or oil. Blackest pour I may have ever seen from a Bal-Aged imperial stout. Beautiful head on the pour that stuck around longer than expected, great lacing.

S - Port like characteristics come out in the nose, smells sweeter than most of this style. Bourbon, sweet dark fruits, and oaky vanilla come out as well as dark chocolate. Smells like a after dinner sipper. Desert beer.

T - Follows nose. A bit sweeter than I expected and less roasty than I would have liked.

M - Good, not great. Standard for the style. Oily, and somewhat chewy.

D - 6 oz pour was just enough. I wouldn't want to consume a 22oz of this all to myself like I would a Parabola, BCS or Abyss. Would start to get too sweet 1/2 way into a bomber I'd imagine.

Good beer. But nothing memorable.

 807 characters

Photo of Ohiovania
3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

For the high ranking this one tastes a lot like a new brewery decided to start a barrel program. The description sounds amazing on paper but the execution is far from on point.

It looks phenomenal. The smell immediately warrants an investigation into something being a little off. A tannin like sharpness comes through in both the nose and taste. The beer being a hot 12.7, the astringency, and a little soy saucy from the stout make this one a little difficult to consume.

Hope this is a bad bottle or batch and can try again someday closer to what the brewer intended.

The closer it is to room temp the better. Finally getting a nice leathery chocolate flavor out of it.

 677 characters

Photo of Ryannotbryan
3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Raziel313
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ElGordito
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tasting glass. This review is for the 2010 version, with notes from the 08 below.

Appearance: Berserker does not mess around; this is black all the way though. A tiny coffee colored head fades away and leaves no lace.

Smell: The aroma is burnt brown sugar, molasses, anise, and a bit of smoke.

Taste: This stout is full of character, with tons of chocolate and roast coffee coming through. Some molasses and brown sugar give a little extra sweetness push. The cabernet barrels impart a vinous and woody flavor, also giving it a slight acidic kick toward the end.

Mouthfeel: There is a little harsh booze that scalds my throat a bit and warms my throat and stomach. Definitely full bodied, but also unfortunately a little syrupy and sticky, somewhat due to carbonation that is on the low end.

Drinkability: This enjoyable, but still a bit harsh. Some age will definitely improve upon this, as evidenced below.

----
I was fortunate enough to have the 2008 and 2010 versions side by side. The 2008 was significantly better, almost to the point of being another beer. The 2008 was incredibly drinkable, the 2010 is not quite there yet. The 08 version is much more polished and the flavors blend so well together.
08: 4/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5
10: 4/4/4/4/3.5

 1,288 characters

Photo of drone
3.91/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Benish
3.92/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed with maple syrup and molasses and aged in bourbon barrels. Clocks in at 12.7%.

Appearance: pitch black with a dark brown head. Appeared vicious and thick.

Smell: at first, picked up maple syrup. As the beer warmed up it became much like red wine - fruits, tobacco, and oak. The bourbon also came around but seemed a little hidden from the other aromas.

Taste: taste red wine, tobacco, smoke, and very faint notes of maple syrup. As the beer warmed up, I swear its almost like I was drinking dry red wine - a merlot or something. The beer was slightly sweet at the beginning but was quickly bitter and had a charred finish.

Mouthfeel: rich, smooth with some heat. The finish leaves a lingering tobacco/wine/oak as well as a little heat.

Overall: this one is quite different.. The vast majority of stouts I tried present the typical flavors of chocolate and coffee, but this one had neither. Interesting brew. Not something I call a dessert beer; more like something I would be drinking like brandy in front of the fireplace.

 1,039 characters

Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 95.7% out of 100 with 1,186 ratings
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