Venus - Belgian-Style Quadrupel
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Venus - Belgian-Style QuadrupelVenus - Belgian-Style Quadrupel
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Style:
Quadrupel (Quad)
ABV:
14.3%
Score:
91
Avg:
4.31 | pDev: 7.66%
Reviews:
36
Ratings:
47
From:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
 
Alaska, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  60
Gots
  4
SCORE
91
Outstanding
Venus - Belgian-Style QuadrupelVenus - Belgian-Style Quadrupel
Notes: Venus—goddess of love and beauty—exudes grace and voluptuousness. Indulgent with lush dark malts and sensuous star anise, VENUS is decadent and divine in body and spirit. Leisure lounging in French oak Cabernet Sauvignon wine casks results in a lovely liquid feast of fabulously luxurious flavors.

30 IBU
Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 47 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by womencantsail:
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womencantsail from California

4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Jeff for sending this one down for the Planets tasting! The best beer of the set.

Pours amber in color with a big off-white head. There’s a little bit of wine and booze on the aroma. A really nice dak fruit and sweet caramel malt aroma. Might even be some chocolate. The flavor is quite nice. Lots of chocolate and dark fruit notes. A really nice Cabernet flavor. Solid stuff. Medium and medium.

Jan 13, 2012
More User Reviews:
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brewandbbq from New Hampshire

4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle at 55 degrees.

Pours with a full three inch-plus head of dense tan froth, and a dark, clear ruby body when held to the light. The whipped foam settled slowly to a solid quarter inch on the surface, with ripped rings of thick lacework.
A hump in the middle of the surface is evident from the etching in the bottom of the Duvel tulip.

Aromatics lead off with lush malts, ripe fruit, spicey phenols, and rich Cabernet tannins.
Grape jam, raisins, nougat, black licorice, and red wine. Some mild, boozy fusels follow through.

The mouthfeel is rich and creamy with the body being on the thick side of medium. Slightly chewy and quite velvety.

Sweet, fresh malt, rum-soaked raisins, red grapes, and anise lead off the palate. Caramel, peppered figs, earthy tannins, and a building boozy component step forward. Hints of Schezuan peppercorns, vanilla, toffee, and cocoa follow through.

Finishes with a lingering warmth, shades of brown sugar, and a bit of tart, oaky red wine.

Wowza. This one should be called Bonanza. Think of an Imperialized Pannepot aged in Cabernet barrels. The Anise is a bit heavy now, and the brew could a bit of drying up in the cellar. Give this one a few years and I'm thinking straight fives.

Redonkulous gratitude going out to Tim in Alaska for such a tasty one.

Dec 16, 2008
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warmstorage from California

3.81/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber, was approximately $14 at Brown Jug Warehouse, Anchorage, AK.

Appearance: using a beer-clean wide-bowl red wine glass, pours a deep brown, with a solid, dense, medium brown head. Huge lacing -- nearly complete. Head sticks around, very impressive for a 14.3% beer.

Aroma: candied cherries, brown sugar, hints of licorice. Kind of muted for such a big beer.

Taste: strong brown sugar, licorice / star anise, stonefruit, candy sugar. Huge malt backbone, minimal hop presence. None of the oak barrel flavors some through, even when I'm looking for them.

Mouth: Bright and slightly sharp carbonation.

Overall: A very tasty beer. Immensely similar to The Viking. (Ms. Warmstorage thought that was what I'd opened.) While I'm enjoying it and will happily drink it, dollar for dollar, I'm probably as disappointed in this beer as any beer I've ever purchased. I mean, c'mon, $14? Bah. Humbug.

Dec 25, 2008
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John_M from Oregon

4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared with Dyan the other evening.

The beer pours a rich dark brown color with very good head retention and lacing. There are also hints of red hilights in this beer. However, one whiff of this beer and I was immediately transported to barrel aging heaven. Wow this smells great. I get a huge sweet aroma of milk chocolate, milk duds, vanilla, anise and cherry, with just a hint of bitterness. Flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, and I get just waves of chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, prunes and plum. This beer is so decadently rich and sweet, it's literally too much of a good thing. Ultimately, although the flavors are excellent, the sweetness is just too much for me. That will likely change with additional aging, but at least right now, the high alcohol and intense sweetness are just a bit much. Mouthfeel is still very smooth and remarkably light, with a long smooth finish. Drinkability is not too bad for the abv., but a little bit goes a long way with this one. Regardless, this is still an altogether excellent beer, and one that will likely only improve over time.

Aug 24, 2009
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Murky chestnut brown with blurry scarlet and orange edges (brighter sunshine might have turned opacity into lucency). The sandstone colored head is surprisingly large, which most likely means generous carbonation. It's whipped creamy, is in no rush to depart, and is doing a decent job with respect to lace.

The aroma is tremendous, despite three fingers of foam. The beer smells like a no-holds-barred BSDA with a generous helping of black licorice, which is courtesy of star anise. This Midnight Sun ale has the potential to be something truly special.

Venus is a wonderful quadrupel that is more true to the style than most. First: the release was 16 months ago and the beer has aged beautifully. While alcohol still packs a punch, it isn't a hot or harsh punch. Second: this big bruiser tastes like a combination of The Beast Grand Cru and Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery. That's good company to be in.

Specifics include dark chocolate-covered caramels, raisin paste, overripe figs, blackstrap molasses, anise and loads of black pepper and clove. It's amazing how bold the various flavors are. They're well-defined, yet work together in seamless fashion to produce a crashing symphony of a Belgian quadrupel that is music to the taste buds.

Truthfully, the whole 'aged in French oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels' thing is difficult to appreciate given what else is going on. A port wine flavor might be in there somewhere, but I would never have gotten there on my own. It obviously worked, so it looks like that part of the process was as vital as all the rest.

Despite the massive head, which was just recreated on the second pour, the beer is not overcarbonated. It's a little smaller than is optimal, but still has a light chewiness that is impressing more and more with each passing ounce.

Do Alaskans know how lucky they are to have Midnight Sun in their midst? This brewery thinks big, brews big and usually succeeds big. Thanks to sprucetip for one of the most enjoyable quads that I've had in many a moon.

Mar 28, 2010
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Sammy from Canada

3.83/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quad with brett. Looked and smelled like an imperial stout with added yeast. Very lacey on dark brown body with two inch head. Drinkable but strong, sour, and cloying sweet all concommitment qualities. The sauvignon barreling had worked its way in, and likely where the tannin sourness originates from.Red grapes, but little yeasty taste remains. Above medium mouthfeel.Bottle 3 years past due, received about 1.5 years ago from Mr. Squires.

Feb 01, 2011
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clearish, dark amber body with a small, though creamy-looking, beige-colored head.

Smell: Toasty, biscuity malts with rich, expressive notes of spicy hops, anise oil, a distant red wine barrel, and dried fruits from a trail mix served up with a shot of clean liquor.

Taste: Pale malts along with a maltiness delivering a taste of toasted biscuit tops sweetened with a sprinkling of brown sugar and, why not, some simple table sugar. Touch of dried fruit. Spicy hops display a light, brief bitterness. Add in a full tablespoon of Ouzo. Drying, leathery tannins leech in, as does a lesser hint of red wine. Pinch of chocolate shavings. The strong alcohol presence is definitely evident, but the heavy, dense layers of flavor and complexities help to turn your attention away from it. Return of the anise liqueur for the sweetish, very warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Moderate carbonation, which thoughtfully helps to prevent any cloying syrupiness.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable considering the ABV percentage. Though Venus is an inhospitable, downright hellish place, it's namesake beer is one to soak in and savor.

Apr 03, 2009
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BColton1 from Rhode Island

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

Mar 23, 2015
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JohnGalt1 from Idaho

4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 pulled out of the basement over the weekend for a cellar clearing tasting. I got this a while back from the one and only AkBelgianBeast. Reviewed from good notes.

Big/huge head ... 3 finger lite tan foam over a clear deep brown brew... the head lasts forever and leaves great lace behind.

Nose is fantastic, but not exactly what I think of as a proper "Quad" ... waves of chocolate... with rich dark fruits and hints of the barrel... decadent.

Wow! not sure my palate is ready.. again very chocolaty... brownie batter ... with Belgian phenols and esters... spicy dark cherries and even some prune... the Cab barrels show as tannins with hints of dry leather.. a bit boozy, but overall it adds to the amazing complexities.. really big body and big carbonation.

No real complaints... but I will say, I never would have picked this as a Quad blindly.. but I respect and see the brewers' intentions and absolutely loved this beer, especially on later pours.

Franks is the true "Trader's Trader"... a great guy and somebody that I someday hope can share a beer with in person. Thanks.

4/4.5/4.5/4/4

Feb 17, 2010
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ygtbsm94 from Utah

3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Jan 11, 2012
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miketd from Ohio

4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a good tan head. Aroma is sweet fruit, wood, wine, booze, raisin and roast malt. Flavor is raisin and dark fruit. Big body and smooth beer. Alcohol isn't really apparent. This has all the things a good beer should have and will age nicely.

Aug 19, 2009
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ccrida from Oregon

4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber fresh from the new brewery, poured into their tall pils glass. Venus is a murky, very dark brown with a big, frothy light tan head leaving scattered lace.

Smell is very strong, a huge punch of anise and alcohol, a bit phenolic.

Taste is robust, but luckily not as strong on the anise, which frankly, on the nose, scared me. But actually it's pretty smooth, big caramel and figs, certainly some anise, no coriander though that I can tell. Also, I was really hoping to get more from the cab barrels, but it's really just a generic vanilla oakiness.

Mouthfeel is typical MSBC creamy, only medium bodied. For a stupid strong beer, it's super digestible.

Drinkability is surprisingly high. I had Mercury first, and this actually went down easier. And it was just because I was already buzzed, Venus was just that much tastier! I can't believe its so damn strong, you'd never guess it from the taste. But the fact is, it's a strong ass, intensely flavored, not cheap bomber.

Jul 15, 2009
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khiasmus from South Carolina

5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A mountainous, mushroom-cloud plume atop dark turbidity, a constant race, an inverted shower, fights its' way upwards and adds to the tan snow which is ever deepening, but deepening from below. It's a warm, comfortable night, the voices of classic England tripping over the boards which lie in stacks against the wall. "Bring him to my study."
An idle few moments drift by, a smile forms on my face as I gaze at this beauty. Still, the bubbles form the snow, and the mushroom-cloud has barely receded. Tenacity, friends, is much of what distinguishes a great man from any other. Tenacity. Throw your heart into it, beat your head against the wall, and eventually you may notice a slight change in the wall, not simply the bloody distortion. Tenacity. I take a whiff and shiver. What incredible beauty lies within that aroma. What grace. What depth. It smells warm and sticky, of raisins and dark syrup, sugar and molasses, dates and figs, and I clench both fists in ecstasy. "Why do you protect me?"
Such a strange feeling, this beauteous rapture in another room, as an ancient love drama plays itself out in my ears with an English accent. Of whom do you think I speak?
"You transfix me quite." Precisely. It is delicate, deep, dangerous, and entrancing. What a beauty.
This deserves the beautful classical strains that now teem to my ears, an exquisite creation. A note of toasted almonds, toasted grain, the dark sherry notes of old age, and the beautiful sheet of virginal lace coats the glass completely.
Cocoa and butter-rum with oak barrel dryness and raging dark sugars... "You are not to be trusted atall." The alcohol must make it what it is, with the otherworldly depth of character and layer upon layer of ecstasy, but I cannot taste it.
Fabulously luxurious. I find no flaw, none at all, save cursing their name for bringing me rapture upon rapture, and once only every time. Why ever must it be so long ago. Why ever must I never again taste this delectable nectar of the goddess. One thing, dear reader, that makes experiences so sweet upon the remembering, so poignant, is knowing in the moment that it will never, ever return. Life is lived in nostalgia.

Aug 28, 2011
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largadeer from California

3.9/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Burgundy in color with an enormous tan head that lasts and lasts. A bit overcarbonated. Bold chocolate aroma with an undercurrent of red wine; odd but it works rather well. The high ABV is fairly noticeable in the nose, it's a bit solventy. Fruity on the palate, tannic, spicy. Very chocolatey, a bit out of character for a quad but it's not unpleasant. The cabernet barrel shows up most in the tannic, fruity, dry finish. An interesting beer, but not as good as I had hoped.

May 19, 2009
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aerozeppl from New York

4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another dmeadows treat.

A: Burnt orange color with a touch of a cola color to it. Really nice looking beer.

S: Oak. Sweetness. I did pick up some anise but I always pick that out. Kind of a tight nose.

T: Super sweet. The oak comes through nicely. Little bit of dark fruit in there as well. The ABV is noticable but not too hot.

M: Very syrupy body. Very low carbonation.

D: Again no hint of the 14.3%. They make some of the best big beers you have no idea are big. Just a really great drinker.

Jun 04, 2010
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ffejherb from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber into tulip on 10/30/09. Thanks to KRAMER17081 for sharing!

A - Poured a dark cola brown body with an almost purple tint and a frothy light tan/beige-colored head that reduced to a patchy retention and sparse lacing.

S - Initial aroma is strong and boozy with a prevalent dark fruit suggesting raisins, prunes and currants. Hints of star anise/licorice and chocolate also emerge.

T - Like the aroma, the flavor boasts a ton of dark fruit character, especially heavy on prunes and raisins, but also black cherry. A hint of sourness develops in the middle, accompanied by some drier woody notes and tannins. Finishes with a mild earthy hop bite.

M - Venus is uber-full-bodied with a thick, syrupy texture and chewy mouthfeel. Finishes slightly dry with rich, sugary sweetness on the palate.

D - This is a freakin' huge Quad to say the least, and half a bomber was certainly more than enough for me. Still, not too shabby for a 14.3% heavyweight.

Nov 03, 2009
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mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lots of carbonation apparent with the big white pillow like head. Good retention left behind lots of side glass lace.

highly spiced with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of yeast. Some pears or apples sneaking in there as well.Lots of apple and pear flavors mixed in with a good amount of spice. A slightly dry finish and something bitter that wanted to come through but never actually made it.

Very smooth, medium bodied and well carbonated. Never slick and had a very nice finish.Not bad, a little bit more then a sippe

Oct 02, 2011
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MasterSki from Canada

4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to akbeerfiend for this one. Served in my Westvleteren goblet.

A - This one was a slight gusher. Pours with a finger of slow-dissipating ecru foam that settles to a thick cap and leaves solid glass-coating lacing. Body is a very dark brown that is consistent throughout the glass - no light peaking through.

S - Plenty of oak, dark bread, yeast, anise, maple, roasted malts and grain, slight lactic notes. Not much in the way of alcohol at all.

T - Taste is sweet dark fruits, with notes of brown sugar, vanilla and oak. Finish is light roasty bitterness and anise and maybe a touch of spicy phenols.

M - There's a tiny bit of warmth in the finish, but this is probably the smoothest 14.3% beer I've ever had. Smooth, creamy, lower carbonation, medium-full body. Light stickiness in the residual feel.

D - If this is 14.3% then this is the most masterful Houdini job I've ever seen. I can tell from my buzz that this is pretty potent, and that if I didn't share this with ktrillionaire I'd probably be under a table somewhere. Highly recommended!

Jul 07, 2010
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t0rin0 from California

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Oct 29, 2012
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DefenCorps from Oregon

4.02/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

John was only too generous this past weekend. Thanks, friend!

A: Dark brown with reddish highlights. A thin, tan head recedes to a ring rather quick

S: This is an anise and vanilla bomb. These two aromas dominated the nose. Behind the strong anise aroma, there is plenty of big sweetness with brown sugar, molasses and burnt caramel. Not very yeasty. The wine character is reserved, but opens up as it warms up. Pretty good

T: Opens up big and sweet with a big anise character. There's also a lot of molasses, brown sugar and toffee up front that melds into a vinous sweetness from the wine barrels. I am left wishing for something to cut through the sweetness - a little tannic character or some bitterness - but it's not there. The strong anise character persists through the finish, along with vinous and sweet flavors and a touch of alcohol

M: A bit sweeter than a like my quads but creamy with an good, spicy finish

D: A bit of a chore because of the sweetness but otherwise enjoyable. But I have to ask - would it have hurt to make this closer to 10-11%?

Aug 24, 2009
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gford217 from Georgia

4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber courtesy of a very generous Alaska trader poured into a snifter.

This one pours a deep mahogany out of the bottle and settles in almost black in the glass with a rocky tan head that lingers as a small cap for the duration.

The aroma is huge on this one with tons of sweet dark malts, oak tannins, and candied dark fruit, like raisins soaked in booze and covered in brown sugar. There is a dry red wine character that balances the huge sweetness and leaves a bit of alcohol burn in the nose.

The taste is very sweet as well up front with lots of candi sugar and caramel malts. The dark fruits are present as well, but the alcohol really makes its presence felt in the finish with a massive burn in the throat going down. The red wine dryness is barely detectable in the finish with a bit of the barrel presence trying to peak out behind the alcohol burn.

The mouthfeel is crazy smooth and velvety with lots of carbonation which, for me, helps ease the boozy presence a little bit.

This is one helluva big beer from MSBC and despite being fantastic, it's a little on the hot side. I have a feeling that after a year or two, this one will be world class. That said, it's already a seriously great beer and another original brew from the boys in Anchorage.

Mar 25, 2009
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mothman from Minnesota

4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours ¼ finger of beige head. Color is a caramel with copper brown hue to it.

Aroma: Rye, oak, gardettos, plums, caramel, toffee, grapes, wine flavors, dark fruits, and raisins. Good.

Taste: Dry oak, caramel, malts, toasted malts, raisins, molasses, dried fruits, plums, very barleywine like and also wine-like. The barrels were a great choice.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and warming. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very clean.

Overall, a great quad and top notch for the style. Great barrels. Very drinkable. I am a big fan.

Jan 04, 2011
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randawakes from Alaska

4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

These 22 bombers are killing me... this is a must pour into a glass, don't waste this guy from inside the bottle.

Appearance: pours mostly dark and chocolatey, stoutish, with slightly red lights through thinner parts of the glass.

Smells of carmelized fruit, brown sugar.

Tastes like a spicy, butterscotch fruit glazed with brown sugar or some sort of carmelization with strong tones of a sweet sweet wine.

Most remarkable thing about this quad is it's ability to hold taste. The taste stays with you & stays strong for up to a minute after the sip. There are also signs of nuts or sugary/spicy malt that is good with a taste that holds.

Mouthfeel is mild carbonation and the wine surely come out here as the buds feel this for a good long minute after the drink hits your stomach.

Drinkability I rate a bit low just because the guy is strong at 14+ percent and its a brown sugary sweet feeling as well. I don't know about you, but I can drink cases of mild beer all day, but I can't drink 50 oz+ of lemon vodka or jungle juice from the sorority girls, just too much sugar for my liking.

Jul 07, 2009
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jdense from Oregon

4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at HOTD Dock Sale 11/14. Thanks, Jeff for bringing this down from the Great White North.

Dark Brown nearly opaque body. Creamy brownish tan head, decent lacing. Cornucopia of dried fruits (prunes, figs, raisins) in the nose with a bit of chocolate. Taste bomb, big dried fruit flavors a bit of dark brown sugar. Very smooth mouth feel with a lingering dry finish. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. Not the most drinkable of beers, but certainly worth sharing with the Front of the Line Club. Highlight of the Day. Another world class offering from Midnight Sun.

Nov 15, 2009
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared at my Birthday whale tasting. Thanks to Rudzud for sharing.

Has a light creamy head covering, nice lacing, dark but clearish mahogany ruby color.

Nose dark malts, nutty caramel molasses like, faint hint of cocoa and aged malts, touch of figs and raisins, light alcohol.

Taste dark syrupy malts, molasses, thick fluffy carbonation, rich tasting, fig date and raisin fruits, a bit of solventy alcohol and burn, syrupy but sweet aged soft malt flavors, chewy malts, candy sugar, etc.

Mouth is smooth thick and rich, some booze, but not that bad, plenty of fluffy carb.

Overall very nice, tasty beer, great malts, some booze, nice aged feel too.

Mar 04, 2013
Venus - Belgian-Style Quadrupel from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 47 ratings