Specialty Beer XXX Black Double IPA | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Specialty Beer XXX Black Double IPASpecialty Beer XXX Black Double IPA
BA SCORE
85.3%
Liked This Beer
3.97 w/ 177 ratings
Specialty Beer XXX Black Double IPASpecialty Beer XXX Black Double IPA
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Specialty Imports' specialty wine and beer import business, Midnight Sun Brewing Company brewed a very special beer--a black double IPA--to honor this Alaska company's long-term success.

This Specialty Beer Black Double IPA celebrates Specialty Imports' success in importing and distributing the world's best wines and beers to the appreciative folks in Alaska. This "Specialty Beer" brings together smooth, dark malts with intense aromatic hops to create a wonderfully balanced yet committed-to-flavor ale.

87 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-17-2009

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#5,553
Reviews:
81
Ratings:
177
Liked:
151
Avg:
3.97/5
pDev:
8.82%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
30
Gots:
10
Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 177 |  Reviews: 81
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - black as stated on the bottle, there's a nice sized beige head that did settle down but left some nice trails of lacing.

S - a good shot of citrus hops with a roasty background.

T - starts out sweet and roasty at the same time with a citrus rind bitterness on the finish, a pleasant experience.

F - medium bodied, it feels silky smooth.

O - I like it.

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Photo of dcguitar
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of baybassboy
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Kuaff
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

The appearance is really quite fantastic. It's not the blackest of blacks, as it becomes a dark transparent brown when there's only a little left in the glass, but it's pretty darn black. The head is a good three or four fingers of light brown, billowy, fine foam with an aggressive pour.

It smells like a perfect blend of an imperial stout and a double IPA. The sweet, malty, slight chocolate aroma of a stout is there, but there's also that familiar strong hoppy smell. The stout characteristics remind me a quite a lot of the aroma of Old Raputin, which is a very good thing.

The taste does the same thing the smell does! This is my first black ale (or black DIPA, if you prefer), and it really is an amalgamation of a stout and an IPA. It's got that roasty, choclate after-taste, but also the juicy hop tanginess of a really good double IPA. I didn't know such a wicked fusion as this was possible...

I think it wouldn't have hurt for this to be a tad bit more carbonated, but this is just knit-picking. It's kind of thin, and very drinkable for being 8.5% ABV.

Overall, this is outstanding. A marvelous combination of two of my favorite styles which I think really has to be tried to be believed.

 1,247 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a Teku snifter.

Appearance - Almost black. Clings to the inside of the glass. Nice surface wisps.

Smell - Green pine hop aroma. Lots of nutty and chocolate malt. Very sweet smelling.

Taste - Very sweet. Less intense hoppiness. Much more sugar and chocolate. Overwhelms the black IPA aspects. Meh.

Mouthfeel - Very thick. Too sweet. Medium carbonation.

Overall - The sugars take over and kill most of the good flavors. Starts off well though.

 472 characters

Photo of Laklimell
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of Kendo
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bomber into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is black with a 1-finger, tight-bubbled light-brown head. Leaves behind good lacing.

S: Some roasty notes, a touch of hops - but not terribly strong in the nose all around.

T: Roasted barley malt, some charcoal or char and a lingering touch of chocolate malt at the finish. Hops are piney, and first impression is that they're not as strong or as juicy (citrusy) as I'd like. However, as it warms up a bit (or as my palate adjusts to the roasty flavors), I get more grapefuit and juicy hops. Alcohol is noted at the finish, both in heat and as a drying element. Heat felt in belly. Finishes with lingering roastiness that borders on burnt at times.

M: Good feel to this beer - quite smooth, with modest carbonation. Medium-to-full in heft, but drinks lighter.

O: Good. I was hoping for better, but this is solid.

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Photo of xnicknj
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of woemad
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased at Enoteca in Post Falls, Idaho, for $9.99. No freshness date. Different label than the one picture above, and it appears Specialty Beer is no longer a part of this beer's name.

Poured a nearly black-looking dark brown that took on rubyish highlights on it’s edges when held up to direct light. Big, sudsy-looking tan head that left lots of lace on the sides of my glass.

Citrusy hops stand out the most in the scent department, with some slightly bitter coffee notes in the background. Definitely a hop forward beer, which is just fine for anything labeled an IPA, Black or otherwise.

Much more malty than the nose led on, with citrusy and piney hops wrapped in a cloak of milk chocolate and coffee. It’s almost like a stout, except that the hops are a little more sharp than is generally the case.

Resiny and coating mouthfeel. Don’t pare this up with any food that can be described as delicate tasting!

A very tasty beer. This beer goes down remarkably easy considering it's abv percentage. Once again Midnight Sun has not let me down. I’d definitely drink this again.

 1,106 characters

Photo of chase2634
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of sneaks2210
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip.

Appearance: Opaque black, not as "black" as some stouts with a superior dark brown tint and a very light tan head rising to about 1/3".

Smell: This brew is light, smells good but still of light hops and malts.

Taste: For what this beer lacks in scent it beyond makes up for in taste, rich malts and smooth but heavy hops. Malty and hoppy not exactly super floral as some DIPAs but still good.

Mouth: Medium carbonation and oh so sticky, with an after finish that feels a slight sour but

Overall: Pretty good brew, not the best Black IPA I have had but does satisfy the taste buds. Would I buy it again, maybe. It's a little pricey I will add that so If you have a go to black IPA (which I already do) it might be a safer bet. If not you can always split the 12 bucks with a friend. Salud!

 816 characters

Photo of devlishdamsel
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Greywulfken
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: almost pitch black body - hint of ruby peeks through - with a thick dark tan head; scattered lacings

S: chocolate roasted malts, dark deep fruit; earthy, piney hops

T: lotsa of dark malt flavors, like espresso sweetened with cane sugar; buried dark fruit and dark caramel; bitterer on the finish than the front

M: crisp, bittering finish, smooth, slightly sticky, slightly coating

O: a delicious black ale - reminded me of other great ABAs like Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous, Uinta's Dubhe, Dark Horse's Special Black Ale, and Dark Element. If any of those strike your fancy, this is a safe bet. Lots of roasty dark malts and well-represented hops. A little on the sweet (as opposed to dry/bitter) side of an ABA.

 723 characters

Photo of ayarbs
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of RedneckBeerz
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of kscaldef
2.5/5  rDev -37%

Photo of RichH55
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of litheum94
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3/5  rDev -24.4%

Photo of Hopmodium
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black in the glass. Two finger tan head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, aromatic grassy, somewhat piney hops and a hint of citrus and chocolate. Flavor is dark toasted malt, aromatic piney hops and coffee, finishing with a light, almost floral herbal hops. Medium bodied. The taste progression is great with interesting herbal and light fruit flavors in the aftertaste. I really enjoyed this black IPA.

 510 characters

Photo of atalayafr
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Very dark with a medium head that subsides quickly.
S-Strong hop smell with noticeable alcohol.
T-This is where this beer comes alive. Abundantly hoppy, high alcohol flavor.
M-Moderately carbonated. Lingers on the palate quite awhile.
O-A good IPA, not too overwhelming and very drinkable. But still with plenty of hops and good IBU presence.
S-22oz bottle.

 359 characters

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of kojevergas
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

8.5% ABV confirmed. 22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at a local SoCal beer store for $12.00 USD and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude, Los Feliz, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; this brewery has been very hit and miss for me.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger dark khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and above average retention (~2 minutes) for the high ABV. Body colour is a solid nontransparent opaque dark brown-black. A bit cola-esque. Not jet black by any means. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Standard fare for a black IPA. Nothing unique or special here, but no overt flaws.

Sm: Caramel, floral hop character, a touch of vanilla, milky malty sweetness, spruce, chocolate, light subtle espresso, and timid roast. Intriguing and spot on for a black IPA. The dark elements are well integrated with the hoppy notes here. I'm curious to see how this one goes down. A mild strength aroma.

T: Bold milk chocolate with a hint of crisp bitterness, timid roast, a bit of spruce, wonderful light espresso, delightfully well integrated espresso, floral hops, a bit of piney hop character, and some bitter grains. The marriage of dark notes like roast, espresso, and chocolate with lighter IPA notes like the floral character works well here, but then the hops are rather tame. It could use more bold pine notes and hop character to really satisfy the needs of the style. That said, it's quite well balanced and impressively well executed. I definitely like it. Complex and even a bit subtle - especially the espresso. I'm fairly impressed. Chocolate is dominant.

Mf: Nicely smooth and wet, aiding its refreshing yet filling feel. Good body. Good palate presence. A touch oily from the hops. Heavy on the palate but welcome. Nicely thick. Good if slightly overdone carbonation.

Dr: One of the better beers in the style I've had to date. Midnight Sun's IPAs have often disappointed me, but this black IPA hits the mark. Well executed and worth trying. A great beer to ease you into the style. It's not the best I've had, but it's solid. I'd have this on-draught, though it is rather pricey. $7-8 would be a much more acceptable price for this brew. Hides its ABV well. Very drinkable.

Low B

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Specialty Beer XXX Black Double IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85.3% out of 100 with 177 ratings
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