The Viking | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

very good
33 Ratings
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The VikingThe Viking

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

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
To commemorate the life of a huge-hearted and long-time friend from the homebrewing community, Midnight Sun Brewing Company brewed a very special beer in honor of David Yanoshek, who was fondly known as “Yano”.

This big strong beer celebrates the abundant life of an incredible man with an enormous yet ever engaging laugh. Yano pursued life with a Viking spirit, endless love and boundless energy for family, friends, scouts…and beer.

A big strong beer for a big strong guy, The Viking Belgian-style Dark Strong Ale boasts a beautiful balance of character and complexity. Dark roasted malts, Belgian yeast, star anise and sweet-ripened raisins come together in an amazing ale that can be enjoyed now and cellared for later celebrations.

As you lock horns with this commemorative ale, toast to Yano. With his incredibly stoic spirit and his irrepressible laugh, Yano was the gentle giant who will forever touch our lives. Pröst!

23 IBU

Added by AKBelgianBeast on 09-12-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 33 |  Reviews: 19
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -29.4%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to cap off the night with one I had been holding onto for quite a while. A cellar selection was due here and I had been eyeing this one for a year now. Served at a healthy 55 degrees and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 12/23/2009.
The pour was wonderful, rich dark brown with a towering head of tan on top. Rich lacing that just would not quit, this thing looked like a monster. Even 5 minutes after the pour it was still huge, dark and foreboding, it was almost fearful going into this. Aroma was light at first but came around as it warmed up. Rich chocolate malts, lots of prune and fig like notes especially as it warms up. I could tell the direction this one was going to go now as I reach in for the first sip. Rich, velvet like feel coats the tongue on the initial pass through. Fine bubbles of carbonation carrying a plum like flavor hit me first, and this dissolves seamlessly into a thick roasted, almost chocolate like flavor that now dominates the taste. Even warming leaves this rich, dessert like taste on the palate. So mellow, it was killing me as it was just drinkable beyond words. The final sips seemed to invoke a touch of leather as well as it faded away, leading a dry, hoppy and well defined flavor that lasted long after it was finished.
A fantastic example here of the style. Just rich, decadent and extremely well done. I would love to have this again and it seemed to go over very well with everyone in attendance.

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

So happy to try this. Thanks for sharing it, Todd!

A: The beer pours a dark brown with a large brown head and excellent retention.

S: Surprisingly roasty, but it works well. Lots of dark chocolate and some coffee notes, as well as a hint of licorice. Sweet malts, dark fruits (raisins, currants, black cherries), and toffee.

T: Really a rich flavor. Tons of the dark fruit character you expect for the style but a bit more aggressive on the roasted malt. Lots of caramel and toffee with a hint of vanilla and coffee. Some booze, but it works well enough.

M: Definitely full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: One of the best Midnight Sun beers out there. Too bad this one is so hard to come by as I'd be happy to have it again.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Joe1510 for sharing this rarity. Served in a Unibroue tulip on New Beer Sunday.

A - Damn this is a good lucking beer. Huge dark tan foam that leaves sheets of lacing as it slowly recedes. Pitch black body with not hints of color or light. Not sure how this could be better.

S - Belgian Dark Pale Ale doesn't accurately describe this - it's more of a stout brewing with Belgian yeast. Roasted malts, dark fruits and raisins, nuttiness, dark chocolate, anise, and rye or pumpernickel bread. There's a slight aged quality to this, even though it's just over a year old.

T - I actually like the taste a bit better, as it's much smoother. Lots of chocolate, bread, dark fruits, and nuts, and a late-appearing bitterness that persists long into the aftertaste. The high ABV is better hidden in the taste than in the smell.

M - The carbonation is moderate, with a medium body that might be a little undersized for the 12%. I can feel myself getting a little buzzed from this one and there's some nice warming going on. Still it's quite smooth and goes down easily. Finish is sticky, but not overly dry.

D - This is an excellent beer, without a doubt, but it's not something I'd reach for on a regular basis (if I could!). It's very intense and a slow sipper for sure. Sharing the bomber with Joe was a sufficient serving size and it took a while to work my way through it. Still, this is highly recommended!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 received in my most recent trade with AkBelgianBeast... shared at a small tasting a few weeks ago.... Huge thanks Frank.. this one was a hit for sure.

Poured into my small La Trappe glass... lite tan head stuck around for quite a while with good lace... very dark brown brew... good clarity... but you have to hold it to a light to really get the picture.

Nose is very rich and very malty... toasted malts and some figgy esters... brown sugar comes to mind and some caramel... some notes of pepper.

Flavor has more pronounced esters.. with dried cherries and brown figs... malts come in waves and are just beautiful... more small bubble carbonation than expected with a fairly full body makes the brew pretty creamy on the palate.

I feel pretty honored to be able to try this special brew that was for, what I read, a pretty special man... Out of all the badass brews Frank has shipped to me over the last coupla years... This is the one that I was most excited to see and most excited to share with a few of my Boise peeps.

Edit: I wish I would have taken better notes.... this brew is much better than my feeble review notates.

 1,137 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with an enormous light brown head. The retention is excellent. The nose is of raisins, plums, and dark chocolate, with a touch of coffee. The malt is bready and slightly toasted. The flavor is also of the same dark fruits that I perceived in the nose, with that same touch of coffee. There's a moderate level of bitterness with no real hop flavor, as the rich malt drowns it out. Sweetness is at a low level. A nice Belgian Dark Strong.

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Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of AgentMunky
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a footed glass. From notes. Reviewed 2 November 2013.

Red-dark with little black tint. Sweet-strong booze on the nose. This beer is amazingly sweet and fruity. I like what's going on here. The after taste is lingering and excellent. I was lucky to get to try this beer, and I'd recommend trying some if you have the chance.

 359 characters

Photo of rawfish
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of gford217
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Tim and Brian for sharing this.

Pours dark, dark brown out of the bottle but is black in the glass with no light getting through anywhere. The head is a huge and billowy tan layer that takes forever to settle down and leaves huge clumps of lacing.

Plenty of dark fruit sweetness in the nose as well as some molasses and a bit of chocolate malts. The licorice is subtle, but definitely present. As it warms I get a hint of spices as well.

The flavor is absolutely massive and I was not prepared for all the flavor that hit my palate. There is an initial blast of licorice, though less prevalent than the aroma, and a hint of hops up front, but a huge molasses and chocolate malt sweetness takes over. All kinds of dark fruits from start to finish and plenty of spiciness that lingers in the finish. The alcohol makes its presence know pretty aggressively with a strong boozy burn in the throat.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with tons of carbonation and spot-on for the style.

Another fantastic Belgian-style beer from Midnight Sun and a massive one at that. It's got so much flavor yet seems to go down extremely easily considering the ABV. The hits keep on coming for the guys from MSBC. Pröst!

 1,224 characters

Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of FosterJM
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

771st Review on BA
Bottle to snifter
22 oz

@Woodshop Classix
I am not sure your name but THANK YOU for sharing!!

App- A very traditional dark brown BSDA appearance with a great 1-1/2” to 2” head. When it fell left a muddled pond top head to it. Good cling as a BSDA would.

Smell- This was a smaller BSDA and had the same notes just tame and inviting. A dark fruit note comes in 1st and then the aromatics moves to the soft yeast and the bubbly spice last.

Taste- This was very good. I liked it with some age to and not so over the top on the dark fruits and the yeast. Showed a real tameness and restraint to craft a balance between fickle flavors. The dark fruits were balanced against a bit of bubble activity to be really inviting.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Left that nice bubbly feel with some yeast behind. A playful drinking beer.

Drink- I was very excited to see this one sitting on the table. I had to ask for a sip as BSDA are a favorite of mine. I never knew Dave but I think he would be mighty proud of this one.

 1,051 characters

Photo of tpd975
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Gillard.

A: Pours a nice shade of dark brown with a tall tan head. Excellent retention and lace.

S: Lots of sweet candy malts. Chocolate, caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. The is a nice booze blast as well.

T: Malty sweetness in the flavor as well. Lots of booze soaked dark fruit, earth, and light hops in the finish.

M: On the fuller side of medium, rich, sweet, and smooth.

D: Good I heart midnight sun.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, dunt!

A - Pours black, tan-colored head, spotty lace, thin collar.

S - Dark fruit, wood, caramel, toasted sugary spice, smooth booze. This is how a Belgian Strong should smell...really hard to find anything wrong with this beer. Perfectly balanced with the sweetness, light yeast, and alcohol.

T - More of the same amount of awesomeness on the palate. Plums, raisins, dates, candied sugar, light yeast, smooth booze, caramel, and wood. The 12% alcohol is dangerously hidden. The finish is dark fruity sweetness with a smooth booze kick.

M - Full body, rich and smooth, sweet creamy finish.

O - MS continues to kill it and this beer is one of those that when you have this style again, it will be hard to beat. Not sure if I'll ever have this one again, but I really hope so. Thanks again to dunt for sharing this! Recommend.

 838 characters

Photo of unclekeith
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

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

22oz bottle at 55 degrees.

Pours mostly opaque black with dark mahogany tinging around the edges. A massive four-plus inch head of dense, spongy tan foam reluctantly retreats to a rocky, thick coating on the surface. Ripped sheets of smeared lacework aplenty. A real beaut.

Aromatics are ripe with raisins, plums, black licorice, and candied schezuan peppercorns.
The anise becomes more apparent as the beer breaths and warms, as well as hints of nutmeg, cardamon, molasses, and ginger.

On the full side of medium bodied. Mildly chewy and plenty tacky, with a somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

Roasted malt, burnt sugars, dark rum, raisins, and spice lead off the palate. Peppery and bold with plenty of lush malt and warmth.
Peppercorns, anise, and cardamon step forward along with hints of roasted coffee beans, grape jam, and spiced rum.

Finishes with a building spicy warmth, burnt sugars, and an afterthought of bitter chocolate.

This one is big, brash and bold right now. A year or two in the cellar will help the spices layer together and some of the heat to tone down. Some light acridity in the finish should fade also.

Mad mega-props to Tim in AK for another badass wildale!

 1,184 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
3.83/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oh you did not know. dmeadows.

A: Dark in color with a touch of red around the edges. Finger and a half of cola colored head. Spot on for the style.

S: Nice sweetness. Dark candi sugar. Little bit of dark fruit.

T: Tons of dark malt and fruit. They really work together quite well. A really solid Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Quite a bit of sweetness.

M: Very well carbonated. On the heavy side of medium bodied. Prickly carbonation.

D: Easy drinking. The carbonation did cut it down a little bit. This beer was good the problem was everything else we had that day was excellent. I would love to have this again.

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Photo of blisscent
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of Treebs
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle served in a Portsmouth tulip. Huge thanks to Tnudish for the rare Midnight Sun tick.

A: Pours a dark brown color with some darker plum like hues around the edges. A light tan head forms on the pour and recedes a thin ring that leaves some splotchy lace behind.

S: The slightest cardboard smell rises up from the glass, but it's quikly overshadowed by roasted chocolate malts, prunes, pit fruit and a malt sweetness.

T: The taste is more of the same. The slightest wet paper taste is present, but it more dark prunes and figs with some cherry pit, sweet cherry flesh, and some chocolate malts.

M: Medium to heavy bodied. Smooth and oily in the mouth. The carbonation is at a minimum, but it's well received in a beer like this.

O: This beer has held up very well and I was fortunate enough to try it. If you are still hanging on to one I would suggest drinking it now as the oxidation is still in its infant stage and I can't see this getting any better.

 972 characters

Photo of sprucetip
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes. In memory of Yano. I did not know ye for a long time, but I sure enoyed your company on the Kenai brewery bus tour, and at the brew club meetings.

Enourmous tan head, bubbly underneath with fluffy, pillowy top. 1/3 of the goblet with a gentle pour. Long lasting hed. Very dark with ruby highlights when backlit. Very active, thick lacing. SMELL is of dark fruit, nutty, spicy and a hint of booze up front. Not especially strong. Later some sweet maltyness and Belgian yeast character emerge. Very pleasant, even if it takes some work to find. ...gets stronger throughout the sample...TASTE licorice (star anise?), molasses, dark fruit, chocolate briefly, modest booze, with some rising bitterness emerging late and becoming prominent in the finish. FEEL rich, full body, sharp alcoholic bite and warming before drying finish. OVERALL intended to be a sipper, indeed it is. Very complex and interesting. Like Yano, big and bold, but warm and gentle. Would probably have aged well, but I was lucky to have one bottle hand delivered from Los Anchorage to my remote little drinkin' village (thanks keri).

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The Viking from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
4.25 out of 5 based on 33 ratings.
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