Berserker Imperial Stout | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,180 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
Ratings:
1,180
Reviews:
296
Avg:
4.31
pDev:
8.58%
 
 
Wants:
816
Gots:
306
For Trade:
36
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,180 |  Reviews: 296
Photo of jrenihan
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of mportnoy
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of thegerm87
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Dope
3.49/5  rDev -19%
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.

 1,389 characters

Photo of MDDMD
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Keananmichael5
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of anteater
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
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

 432 characters

Photo of tbryan5
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of thagr81us
3.7/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

 923 characters

Photo of rawfish
4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Zuidman
3.75/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of popery
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Kevinpitts
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

 195 characters

Photo of AgentZero
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

 569 characters

Photo of Mikexw
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Gmann
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

 1,169 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage poured into a snifter

A- pours motor oil thick with one of the darkest brown heads that I've seen on a stout, that eventually reduces to a ring around the edge of the glass

S- dark charred malt gives notes of dark chocolate up front, immediately followed by a barrel character that gives aromas of vinous red wine, dark berries, currants, black licorice, whiskey barrel & toasted oak. Sweet aromas of maple syrup, molasses, toffee & melted caramel close it out

T- deep dark chocolate, tobacco and light smoky charred malt up front, turns to notes of red wine, currants & black cherries, quickly followed by a mellowed out bourbon presence that gives flavors of caramel, vanilla & charred oak. The sweetness of the maple kicks in near the finish, giving notes of toffee & molasses. The linger provides more chocolate and intermingling barrel flavors

M- medium-heavy body with medium-low carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that turns chewy into a velvety finish

O- this is a bottle that I forgot I had, but it has aged fantastically. The wine & bourbon barrels have blended into one and there's just enough heat left, very well done

 1,157 characters

Photo of M_chav
4.19/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12.7% ABV - not sure the vintage but probably recent (2014)
One of the most beautiful pours I have ever seen, black as the darkest night, relatively no head - just a slight red foams at the very top.
Smell is not strong, sweet whiskey notes are there but the brew is so dark and covered you know all the flavors are inside.
Taste is awesome, super viscous, just like the label says, you could pour this over pancakes
Feel is even better, similar to BCBS, the molasses is perfect
Overall this is a fantastic beer, I wish I had more than just one.

 547 characters

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Bunuelian
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of gford217
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
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!

 1,036 characters

Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of illidurit
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

 415 characters

Photo of fosters9
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tom10101
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Berserker Imperial Stout from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
4.31 out of 5 based on 1,180 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More