Pluto - Belgian Style Golden Strong Ale | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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Pluto - Belgian Style Golden Strong AlePluto - Belgian Style Golden Strong Ale
37 Ratings
Pluto - Belgian Style Golden Strong AlePluto - Belgian Style Golden Strong Ale

Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Named after the ruler of the underworld, PLUTO was re-classified as a non-planet in AUG 2006. Here we celebrate our “Fallen Planet” by creating a Belgian-style Golden Strong Ale, aged in French oak Chardonnay barrels with Brettanomyces. Appropriately, the devil’s in the details.

35 IBU

Added by AKBelgianBeast on 08-30-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by Hotrod88:
Photo of Hotrod88
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to AmericanBrew for sharing this bottle. Always excited to try a new beer from Midnight Sun. This is one I didn't think I would get to try.

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the wheat and grassy hops, with some pepper mixed in. I also surprisingly get some licorice in the aroma which goes very well with the other aromas.

The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of wheat and sugar, with some grass, oranges and lemons. The alcohol is very well hidden. I also get a little bit of brett character, but it is fairly faint.

Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. A very nice Belgian Strong Ale.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The fourth release of the new planet series. Released today 8/29/08. Belgian Style Golden Strong Ale Aged in French Oak Chardonnay Barrels with Brettanomyces.

Pours a nice bright Golden color with a nice fluffy white head that leaves very nice lacing. Nose is of brett, but not balls out brett with some ripe apple and belgian yeast. The brett is not as apparent in the taste as it is in the smell, but is clearly there. The very slight tartness (very) compliments the abounding flavor of ripe apples, slight pear, some black pepper, Oak, and white grape. Belgian yeast (aside from the brett) character is there. A very nice dry finish. Mouthfeel is on the thinner side, but i kind of like it that way in this particular flavor profile. Drinkability is very good, actually quite refreshing and dangerous. Overall I really like the subtle brett profile here, as well as the work the oak has done with this beer. They have turned a good beer into a great one here. A very interesting and complex brew that is sure to please any belgian beer lover. Great brew.

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Photo of mikey711
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle provided by fbm115 recently. Thanks Steve

A: Huge fluffy white head that looks like soap bubbles. The beer itself is golden but very cloudy. Lacing is decent and the head retention is very good.

S: I am surprised that this is listed as a Strong Pale because I was under the impression that it was a wild and i felt the brett was a pretty present note. Some rubber, some hay, some dirt, very barnyard. Also some mild cherry notes with some sweet belgian candied sugar

T: Very vinous. SOme nice white grape notes. Very dry with some sweet champagne notes and some wood oakiness. It reminded me of a blend of chardonnay and champagne.

M: Very very dry and acidic. There was no booze but it was very dry.

D: A glass or two is very nice but more than that I think would be too much

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Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 received in another epic trade with AKBelgianBeast.. Frank is a "beer trader's" trader... I doubt I have the ammo, yet the beast hits me with the goods.

Shared this bottle with the Boise crew... and it was pretty well received.. Poured into my small La Trappe glass.

Slightly hazed lite golden brew.. good head and lace .... even hours after the bottle was first cracked.

Nose is pale malts with a little grainy essence.. lightly funky and pretty damn oakey.. green apples and lite vinous notes... a dusty brett note becomes alot more apparent at room temperature..

Flavor is more oakey than expected.. the barrel aging is pronounced and very pleasing.. surprisingly lite body and a creamy carbonation.. lite pale malt and some background biscuity maltiness.. I am getting a fair amount of white wine... I don't know enough about wine to pick out chardonnay, but I guess this is about right... fairly dry and a bit dusty on the finish..

I liked this one significantly more than I thought I would... Pretty drinkable and surprisingly complex.... Thanks again Frank.. Truly appreciated.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Frank for getting this one over to me, this one of the next in line in the planet series for me. I decided to open this one up after dinner last night to see how it was. Served cold and allowed to warm up to near room temperature during the session. This one was consumed on 06/24/2009.
The pour was by far the best part of this one. Very light golden in color. A huge head of white rises up from the depths here, really just pushing the envelope of what can fit into the glass. Silently retreating it leaves a web of lace along the sides. The aroma was tainted with Brett at first. Nice subtle tart and sour notes that seemed to lighten as the beer warmed. Some light grain and a touch of apple or pear in here as well. The first taste was crisp, clean, but lacking that really big dose of funk I was hoping for. Still though very session able. Light fruit notes abound along with nice touches of light grain, hints of almost honey like touches and a really nice little sour note on the finish. Smooth, light carbonation and the ABV so well hidden I thought this thing was session able!
Overall a very well thought-out and very well put together light Belgian, but I think it needed a little bit more to really win me over. Still I cannot complain really as it tasted fantastic and was very drinkable. I think I just expect everything from Midnight Sun to be mind-blowing, which is not a bad thing at all!

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Photo of largadeer
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear pale gold with a pure white head. Very active carbonation makes for great head retention and a bit of sticky lace.

Smell: Big horsey brett aroma with buttery chardonnay beneath it. Spicy oak, a hint of vanilla and green apple. Faint lemony tartness.

Taste & mouthfeel: Dry and funky, for a beer of nearly 9% this is very well attenuated. Sourness is light, this is more of a funk-forward brett beer. The chardonnay barrel lends a big buttery, oaky character that perfectly compliments the funk. Crisp on the palate with champagne-like carbonation. Dry, spicy, slightly tannic finish.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of hopdog
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle shared courtesy of TomDecapolis.

Poured a medium and cloudy yellow color with an averaged sized white head. Aromas of yeastiness, woody, fruity, bready, and funky. Tastes of yeast, a little vinous, funky, vanilla, and fruity. Lighter tart finish.

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Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks again, Bobby.

Pours a pale yellow color with a white head. A hint of lemon and citrus peel. Maybe some melon and other tart fruits. A nice fruity flavor and some excellent tartness. There’s a little grassy funkiness to it. Good melon and apple and lemon notes. Really nice. Light bodied with high carbonation.

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Photo of John_M
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was thoughtfully brought by one of the folks attending the BA (Byron?) gathering at Bailey's in Portland last night. My jaw about hit the floor when I saw it.

The beer pours a hazy golden tan color with persistent head retention and lacing. On the nose this beer was just wild, and initially I got an aroma of sweet golden raisans and hazelnuts, with honey and sour funk. Talk about an intriguing aroma. The beer is not quite so complex on the palate, though I thought the brewer did an excellent job balancing the sour brett with the sweet belgian ale flavors. They contrast very nicely, though over time the sour seemed to overwlem the other flavors in this fine beer. The beer was fairly light in the mouth and the abv. was well disguised. So this beer was really pretty drinkable, especially given the sour component.

A very good beer from Midnight Sun. Alas, in all likelihood this will be the one and only time I get to try it.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fucking annoying day at work and I need something tasty to make me feel a little better and nothing screamed out to me as much as this one did. Thanks are in order to a new and good first time trader, alaskajoe. Into my Duvel tulip

A: A careful pour results in a crystal clear golden yellow beer with a massive white head. Head retention is excellent and there's plenty of lacework as it slowly recedes. Carbonation is nether worldly with a champagne-like level. Outstanding

S: Awesome. The Chardonnay and Brett aromas are what dominate the nose up front. There's some sweetness present, similar to what I found in Brewer's Art Le Canard and the DeProef-Allagash collaborative brew, with a slightly floral, slightly bubblegum-like, slightly spicy (black cumin?) and a hint of orange rind. The Chardonnay character is wonderful and doesn't overpower the base beer (that I haven't had yet) and lends to the sweetness of the beer. Brett character is also restrained with just a hint of a light band-aid aroma that's refreshing. Excellent

T: On the palate, the beer begins mildly sweet with some yeasty complexity with the floral, bubblegum and citrus notes. The wine-barrel character is well integrated, lending a grape-like sweetness. I'm not sure I pick up any oak, though. The Brett begins to appear mid-palate, wearing off the sweetness and bringing a delicate band-aid character that lingers on in a long, dry and mildly spicy (anise) finish. Again, I'm not sure I'm imagining things, but I do feel a mildly tannic character on the finish. Excellent.

M: This beer is fairly light in body with some sweetness (yeast-derived, not malt-derived), great carbonation and a wonderful sweetness make for a pretty magnificent beer

D: This is a remarkable beer that I will savor over the next hour and watch as it evolves in my glass.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale gold, light straw color. The head is two fingers and the retention is good. As the head recedes a thick coating of lacing covers the glass.

Aroma is yeasty lemon with some brett character, chardonnay, and spices. Flavor is spicy, with some similarity to a bavarian hefweizen, coriander and clove. Some tart citrus flavor with a low level of brett sourness. The finish is dry and not unlike that of chardonnay. The carbonation is good.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Golden, big loitering white head, active, yeast chunks, thick lacing. SMELL sweet tart candy leads, some mild bretty funk, fruity (bitter apple, strawberries, cherries), vaguely malty, bit of booze. Gets better throughout. TASTE Dryly tart, and bit of bret funk up front. Some sweet tart candy. Belgian yeast character increases during the sample. Malty backbone emerges in the middle but stays in the shadows, and the oak and wine from the barrel just barely discernable, adding some delicate complexity. Faint bitterness in the finish dovetails nicely with the ohter influences. The initial bite is incongruent with the smoothness of the rest of the experience. FEEL medium fiz and body, quite dry, modest warming, clean finish. Doesn't feel as big as it is. OVERALL Goes down easily. Very impressive appearance. Not innately attracted to the tartness, but learning to appreciate. The balancing of the many diverse inputs is impressive.

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Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of gford217
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Third of the planets series for me - bottle courtesy of NoonanDBarbarian poured into a tulip.

Pours a crystal clear golden with tons and tons of bubbles rising to the top. The head is big and fluffy and lingers as a cap for the duration leaving only small bits of lacing.

The aroma has an initial sour brett kick that melds into some lighter, sweet fruits, mainly apricot and peaches. The biscuity malts are also present as is a hint of honey and spices. The wood also makes it presence felt in this very complex nose.

The taste has less brett than the aroma suggests with the Belgian yeast playing a bigger role with the aforementioned apricot coming on as well. The oak comes later in the finish as well as the hint of brett that lingers between sips.

The mouthfeel is crisp and the chardonnay aging does its job with a dry vinous finish. It's a tad on the thin side but still medium-bodied.

This is another winner from Midnight Sun though the taste probably just slightly underdelivers the promise of the aroma. That's nitpicking though as I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Compliments of AKBelgianBeast, thanks!

S- I had to skip the Appearance first because the smell was right there up front when I was pouring the beer. That smell was definitely a strong potent sour acidic smell from a distance. Upon closer inspection this has a lot of complexity. There is the sour acidic smell from the brett. This reminds me of a good Champagne, this due to the chardonnay aging, the dryness from the wine combined with the fruits from the beers combine to make a good Champagne smell. There is a nice sweet fruit smells, with a touch of clove mixed in. Wow very nicely done.

A- Alright back to it the head was super white and fluffy, loose bubbles that looked of the consistency of foam used in fine food restaurants. The beer itself is a slightly hazy straw color. The beer is busy inside with carbination.

T- This is an interesting beer to taste. There is a nice sweetness up front then a sour kick to your taste buds. The wine brings a great flavor to the beer, it isn't dry like the smell would presume. I'm also getting something hearty and bready taste that is a nice compliment to the beers taste.

M- The sourness leaves your tongue with a sour aftertaste. The sour taste is unique to this beer style so it is something that makes things different.

D- Easy to drink, very tasty and very worthy.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle at 55 degrees.

Pours pale gold with a slight haze. An inch-plus head of porous white fell quickly to a placid surface and a few dots of lacework.

Aromatics are lush with fruit and Chardonnay.
Pineapple, tangerine, melons, and oaky white wine. Hints of wet horseblanket, fresh-cut hay, and cheeserinds follow through.
Quite floral, vineous and a bit funky.

Light bodied and crispish, with a slick finish.

Apricots, pineapple skins, orange blossom honey, and melons lead off the palate. A mild tartness builds and an oaky wine-like character steps forward.
A warming spiciness follows through, along with more tropical fruit and an earthy dryness.

Finishes quite dry with lingering tropical fruit, hints of menthol, oaky Chardonnay, and a rounded honey note.

Pluto reminds me alot of the original version of Temptation, but way fruiter and complex.
It will be interesting to see how this one cellars. I would imagine a lot of the fruit will be lost and the Brett will dry the beer up even more and add quite a funk.

Another kickass brew from Tim in AK. Wowza.

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Photo of unclekeith
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rye726
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light golden straw with a silky white head. Excellent lacing and retention.

Nose has tart citrusy fruits, Brett, chardonnay, oak, candy malts and a touch of funk.

Taste is some what dull compared to the nose. Mostly caramel malt and tropical fruits, subtle white wine grapes, a mellow farmyard funk and some peppery yeast. The wild yeast and wine barrels just don't have the same potency they did in the aroma.

Medium body is crisp and refreshing. Drinks very nice for a beer of this size. Comes off a bit thick through the finish.

Perhaps some more age would add complexity and depth.

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Photo of tpd975
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Gillard for sharing this rare gem that I have been wanting to try for quite sometime.

A: Pours a slightly cloudy very pale yellow hue with a small fizzy head. Very little retention and some spotty lace.

S: Nice winey aromas with hints of sourness. Light sweet peach and apricot dance in the background, but the aroma is all about tart and sour.

T: Wow, I really like this beer. It has a wonderful sweet, almost cantelope flavor. Light tartness comes in, sort of liked crushed sweet tarts. What I like best about this one is the unique flavor profile. It is a one of a kind when it comes to taste.

M: Sort of thin, fizzy.

D: Very, I had more than my share of this one at the local tasting.

Thanks Ryan for sharing this one, it's one of my favorites of the style.

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Photo of joe1510
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

The ever generous AKBelgianBeast sent me this outstanding looking brew a couple months back, thanks Frank! This beer has been in the cellar awhile and I get a crystal clear golden pour thanks to that. Tiny carbonation rushes to the surface in tight streams. The head grows to two fingers on a soft pour and shows a lot of fizz up front before slowly falling to a one finger crown of meringue-like foam. Sticky sheet lacing clings to the glass after each drink.

The aroma brings with it a sugar cookie malt base that stays back to let the barrel and brett do their thing. Dusty yeast and overripe green apples play the major roles in the nose. The brett character is super unique and I find myself enjoying it immensely. The first whiff shows horsey brett that's well integrated and somewhat mild. A deeper pull and that horsey character take on an almost cinnamon quality that works surprisingly well. At times I get wildflower fields and at others I get damp horseblanket. As this one warms the barnyard steps to the forefront. The barrel is mild but the grapes add an underlying current of vinous sweetness.

I can't say the flavor lives up to the nose but it's not far off. Sugar cookie sweetness lays down the malt base while the semi-tart green apple bursts through. The brett shows off some horsey notes and a light tartness that sticks to the cheeks. The vinous sweetness tries to balance out the brett notes but falls just short. A couple new fruits show up on the rear, peach and lemon, which add some balance. This is a well put together brew with layer upon layer of flavor.

The mouthfeel is spot on for this brew. The lightly moderate body shows signs of sweetness upfront but dries out as it works over the tongue until the back of the tongue is bone dry. The carbonation is a bit prickly but also soft while a mild tartness runs along the cheeks.

This barrel aged, brett dosed beer is a sheer joy to drink. The play of sweet and tart work perfectly together to quench and make me thirst. The alcohol is nowhere to be found.

I'm of the understanding that Pluto is Fallen Angel aged in chardonnay barrels and dosed with brett. The barrel aging and brett has turned an already good beer into a masterpiece. I wish I had a few more of these in the cellar for later dates. Thanks for the beer Beast, it's a gem!

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Pluto - Belgian Style Golden Strong Ale from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.25 out of 5 with 37 ratings