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Berserker Imperial Stout | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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Berserker Imperial StoutBerserker Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.33/5
Outstanding
1,192 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:
#449
Reviews:
299
Ratings:
1,192
pDev:
8.55%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
808
Gots:
306
Trade:
35
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,192 |  Reviews: 299
Photo of CHickman
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12.7% ABV listed on bottle: Pours a sinister black color with a creamy 1-2 finger brown head that was full of tiny bubbles and faded with the spotty foamy lacing sliding down the glass. After a few minutes it looks like a glass full of motor oil.

The initial wave of sweetness includes molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee, caramel, red wine, cocoa powder, dark fruit like raisins, then the booze which is a cross between rum and bourbon. Earthy notes and some hints of hops want to come through but get smacked out of the way by the bourbon and molasses. I let the bottle warm up for at least 30 minutes so the nose allowed for a wonderfully complex mix of all the flavors above that didn't cross over into cloyingly sweet.

Taste is very close to the aroma with the strong sweetness up front that includes molasses, maple syrup, toffee, brown sugar, caramel, red wine and or oak barrels, charred wood, s'mores, cocoa powder, dark fruit like raisins, plums and chocolate covered raisins, vanilla, coffee grinds and very rich dark chocolate. After the sweetness fades a bit the booze slides in, which like the nose is a cross between rum and bourbon with some very rich red wine mixed in. Initially I thought the molasses and syrup aspects made this too sweet, but as it continued to warm up the complexities brought out more malty sweetness, candied sugar, light peppery and leafy spices and fresh pumpernickel bread. The booze is present but the ABV is not a factor and blends in quite well with the fine mix of flavors.

Mouthfeel is creamy, slick and smooth with a velvety feel that slides across the tongue with mild carbonation, a medium to chewy body, a slight bitterness that resembles a bold coffee, and then the trailing sweetness that doesn't cross over into sugary sweet and cloyingly nasty and keeps it aggressive with a lot of char, booze, oaky notes, bourbon, molasses and syrup which whip around in a tornado of complex flavors. The fruit and hops managed to sneak in a little balance to level out this hard hitting stout, which is very tasty and incorporates the alcohol very well. A really enjoyable slow sipper, will seek this out again.

 2,163 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
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 Bugs318
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: black with a thin reddish tinged mocha head. It recedes quickly, but a ring remains throughout, despite no lacing.
S: big bourbon vanilla nose, coupled with a coffee-fudge quality. There is some molasses, and a mild marshmallow quality, alongside a hint of dried tobacco, all with no real hint of the alcohol.
T: sweet malt base up from coupled with some maple and molasses, and vanilla coffee notes from the bourbon. It finishes a bit drier with some leathery/tobacco qualities but still remains quite sweet and a fair taste of ethanol.
M: A bit prickly for a fairly low carbonated beer. Body is decently full, and fairly chewy, though a touch sticky and more than mildly hot. This beer actually gets thicker towards the bottom half of the bottle, as if the molasses had settled there. Crazy!
O: a very fine beer, a bit reminiscent of BCBS, if oddly a bit hotter and not quite as solid.

 903 characters

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

Shared with JLindros. 2011 vintage.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a oily black hue with a super dark chocolate colored head that fades to leave a thin halo and light wisps.

S - Aromas of fudgy chocolate, sweeter molasses. Very nice bourbon notes, warm barrels, light oak and coconut. No discernable alcohol.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Loads of fudgy chocolate, great darker malts, sweet caramel and molasses. The bourbon notes are nice, super mellow and smooth. Nicely chewy and fudgy, with just a light bit of alcohol.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely chewy, light carbonation. Heavy, creamy, light alcohol.

O - Overall this beer was rather tasty. I'd had a bad bottle of this from the same year and was nervous to crack this one but I'm glad I did. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

 802 characters

Photo of Gaddabble
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.48/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2014 Vintage 12.7%
Pours black, viscous, tar like coming out the bottle. So thick it just creeps out of the glass. Aroma of tobacco, dark fruits, and oak. Flavor is overpowering with sweetness, almost to the point of cloying. Caramelized sugar, touch of bourbon, currants. Body is nearly flawless. Little to no heat, and just the way I like my stouts: thick as hell.
Overall, this was disappointing for me due to it tasting like sugar in a glass. I get it, there is molasses and syrup, but I have to have more balance than this.

 529 characters

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

Photo of NJB145
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of pjkelley82
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mabermud
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark liquid. Viscous pouring into my brandy snifter. Fine, burned mocha head that appears creamy. Hasty retreat to a fine film on the surface. Lacing is minimal. This one looks inviting.
Smell: I had a BCBS last night and this smells eerily similar. Rich bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and dark malts. Fresh baked dark bread and biscuits. Aggressive aromas.
Taste: The taste is described by the smell, just throw in some relaxed dark fruit. The red wine barrels do their job. The dark fruit is up front, but it does a good job transitioning away from those flavors. This smells much better than the taste, but is still delicious, and a step up from 3/4 of the BA beers that are out there.
Feel: Thick and creamy in the box. Low level of carbonation. You can call it chewy.

Overall - I am impressed. This is a top notch beer. I will not pass this up when I see this on the shelves again.

 923 characters

Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 293 characters

Photo of killcore
4.14/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mmcurran
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of FLima
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

 1,289 characters

Photo of Farnswurth
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of chewpendous
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of NickThePyro
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Thirstygoat
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened a bomber of this years 12.7%

Thick chocolate color hear , bit remains as lacing

Smells great , bourbon, coffee, wood bit of fruit maybe plums?

Taste , again the coffee, hint of wood and alcohol but not excessive

Chewy mouthfeel,

A friend brought this back from Alaska, glad he did !

 296 characters

Photo of Ancalagon
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of EdwardAbbey
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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 MDDMD
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of grover37
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mgr78704
4.02/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Zekenyce
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 1,192 ratings
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