Mayhem - Belgian-Style Double IPA | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

very good
58 Reviews
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Mayhem - Belgian-Style Double IPAMayhem - Belgian-Style Double IPA

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

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Chaotic yet hypnotic, Mayhem is a deliberate Double IPA, brewed and conditioned with a special Belgian yeast that contributes complexity and spice. Abundant American hops offer grapefruit, pine, must and mint, which play off the fullness and sweetness of pale malts then provide a biting yet enticing finish.

100 IBU

Added by Reswald on 02-19-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 85
Photo of John_M
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The GF picked up a bottle of this for me some months ago, and I figured it was high time I cracked it open.

The beer pours a fairly dark, solid gold color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is just flat out exotic, as I pick up light honey, light pine, dry citrus, a hint of sandlewood, banana and vanilla. This smells pretty terrific, actually... The flavor profile replicates the nose, and reminds me very much of the Chouffe houblon. If anything, it's a bit sweeter, is a bit hoppier and bitter, and has even more spice. Although moderately sweet, the hoppy bitterness really comes on strong on the finish, and completely dries it out. This is a Belgian style DIPA on steroids. Mouthfeel is actually a bit lean, but I think that enhances this beer's drinkability. This beer delivers just a huge mouthfull of flavor, and I'm not sure I could handle it if the beer was full and viscuous. Otherwise, the finish is long, rich and intensely bitter. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile I guess, though given the amount of flavor and hoppy bitterness, it would be pretty hard to pick up any heat from alcohol.

Quite impressive... I'd be hard put to think of a better Belgian style DIPA I've had recently (if at all).

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from 5/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Nice translucent orange pour with a thick, white head. Hop and light fruit aroma. Piney hops and light fruit start with hoppy middle and end. Medium creamy body. Lightly sweet and the fruits are more balanced and less citric than other IPAs. Nicely done and enjoyable.

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Photo of JayQue
3.46/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pretty average Belgian IPA. Looks good. Pours a hazy orange color with a big delicately bubbling white head. Lacing is minimal. Head retention is pretty good.

Smell is minimal. A little fruit Apples and pears, some yeasty type aroma. Very mild.

Taste is somewhat better. Fruit, mild belgian yeast, some grapefruit hoppiness. THe flavors blend fairly well together.

Mouthfeel is rich, hoppy bite and a light alcohol bite as well.

Overall, a fairly good drink but not a top of the line Belgian IPA.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a light yellowish orange color with good carbonation and a nice white head.

S: Bubblegum, light clove, banana, grapefruit and pineapple

T: Taste is very nice, very light spiciness, sweet, lots of mild citrus, tropical and booze.

M: Medium body

O: Good

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3.36/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Tall extravagant head, puffing lingering, lots of effervescence and a gilded golden gold color.

Smells of fragrant wet hops, a touch of red wine cork, a little clean metal fume.

Taste is very metallic, and jaggedly puckeringly burningly bitter. On the inhale that metallic vibe is becoming more and more of a nuisance. This needs some sweetness to balance, and that gol darn metal needs to go.

Mouthfeel is pretty lively for the weight of this, and feels just right.

Overall, the metallic side of this beer killed it for me. I was ready to fall in love with it when I saw it on the shelf, and thought it seemed imminent when i saw it poured and sniffed the bottle. But on the other hand, I can't rule out the possibility that this is just an off bottle. I think it could be worth a second look, as i like MOST of this beer quite a bit.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was bottled in the fourth week of March, 2011, so I'm not expecting the freshest, hoppiest beer. I'll take that into account. Bomber split two ways.

Mayhem pours a dark golden-amber into my pint glass. The head is very white and is a strong finger and a half tall. The body is a little cloudy.

First smell reveals a very well-struck balance between pale and caramel malt, slightly faded grapefruit, pine, and minty hops, and the Belgian yeast used in the beer. The mint really shines through with a deeper inhale. It's not a very potent aroma, but it's very clean and good. After the beer has warmed a bit and I swirl my glass vigorously, the spiciness of the yeast and the mint aroma pops even more.

Sweet, hoppy citrus and malty caramel flavors kick off the taste, with a little spiciness from the Belgian yeast tossed in for good measure. A heavy hint of mint comes through near the end, then is washed away by a piney, resiny bitter hop finish. It's a very well-composed taste and is really influenced by the hops, even 8ish months after bottling.

The mouthfeel has a nice combination of smoothness, spicyness, and bitterness. It's a medium-bodied feel that is lightly syrupy at first, finished off by a very dry bitter bite.

This is another really good offering from Midnight Sun. I really like how all of the component flavors merge and I am pretty impressed how prominent the hops are so long after bottling. Solid, tasty brew.

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Photo of hardy008
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy gold with a large foamy white head with very good retention and a sticky lace. Appears to have plenty of carbonation. Smells like grapefruit, Belgian yeast, pine, and some pale malts.

Tastes just like it smells with grapefruit, Belgian yeast, pine, and pale malts in the background. The taste is mostly bitter, but there is some sweetness for balance to keep the bitterness in check somewhat.

Medium bodied, somewhat creamy, which finishes dry. The carbonation is above average. A nice take on a Belgian IPA.

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Photo of Soonami
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for popery for sending this in a trade.

Solid belgian IPA. It is a hazy orange with an thick head sticky head. There is a good bit of sweet tangerine, banana and clove in the nose. The bitterness comes on late, but doesn't mend very well with the spice. I think it's my personal prejudice, but I just don't think that piney, citrusy hops combine well with belgian yeast. However, this beer is probably one of the better examples of the style I've had.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up about two weeks ago at Monument Wines and Spirits.

Appearance- golden amber color, thick foamy head

Smell- floral and fruity hops, yeast

Taste- floral hops, bitterness

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was really good. I would definitely buy it again.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Belmont Station in Portland Oregon.

A: 1/2" creamy head over amber liquid with excellent clarity.

S: Floral hops and yeast.

T: Malt and bitter floral hops.

M: Medium level of fine carbonation throughout.

O: A nice bitter Belgian style IPA.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazy orange color on the pour with a small, minimal head that did not produce much at all in the way of lacing. nice carbonation could be seen throughout the session.

aroma is loaded with light citrus and fruity tones that are layered on a lightly spice belgian yeast. really quite nice and very light and clean. crisp and clean taste here as each sip seemed to play off the one before it, again very well done and i was more then pleased with this. light orange, pineapple and tangerine all came together quite well and the light feel and smooth, medium dry finish sealed the deal.

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Photo of biegaman
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Belgian ales, American IPAs and fusions of the two are all generally lighter in colour (certainly brighter in complexion) than this here offering. It is a slightly more orange-y tone of a bruised Bosc pear and it's not exactly a treat for the eyes. Evidence of the Belgian yeast, however, is plainly visible as this has enough moussy foam to give you a beer mustache.

The aroma is not particularly appetizing, even despite floral and spicy contributions from an identifiably Belgian yeast strain. It has an onion-y pungency that I'm told stems from their choice of hops. A shame that it prevents me from keeping my nose in there too long because notes of pink grapefruit, grassy herbals and peppery spice are otherwise nice.

The taste contains a combination of flavours, some of which you'd normally find in a beer much lighter in colour (pale malt, bubblegum, clove-like spices) as well as some you'd expect from a beer slightly darker (bruised fruits, tobacco leaf and licorice root). While it all sounds impressive the truth is none of it is. And it would be nothing without the Belgian yeast.

It's all well and good that the brewery writes on the label that this contains an abundance of American hops but actions speak louder than words and unless they include enough that I can sense the citrus, pine, must and mint it doesn't mean much. As it stands, I do note a spritz of grapefruit, some herbal mintiness and perhaps a bit of attic-like mustiness (although that's probably from the yeast) but it's all quite menial. And none too grabbing.

Mayhem tastes like you could use it as a dry rub for grilling meat. I say that because it has enough spicy heat (think dried chilli flakes, dried herbs, lime juice) to remind me of one. Most of that comes from the yeast again, mind you, and this strikes me as a beer that wasn't nurtured properly; something this high in alcohol needs more malts, anything made to be this bitter (100 IBU) should have more definitive hop character. Yeast can't do everything.

I'd understand if this bottle were past its point of freshness, but an 8% beer hopped to the nines and fermented with Belgian yeast should be able to hold up after 3 months. Midnight Sun has the right idea but, in the end, Mayhem just doesn't come together. My suggestion to the brewer: change the recipe. My suggestion to the consumer: spend your money elsewhere.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, chucks 85th market, paired with some unpacking

appearance: served in my great lakes chalice (how wonderful it is to reunite with my glassware), glowing golden-orange body, full white foam with strong retention

smell: aggressively hopped belgian, bubblegum, woody, herbal - rosemary, thyme

taste: alcohol plays strong, aggressive hopping somewhat faded over time but not in an offensive manner - big belgian yeast, candied sugars, pineapple, wood, white grapefruit. strong flavors but the alcohol bite should take a backseat

mouthfeel: oily, smooth

overall: good, but not exceptional

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Photo of Seanibus
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a delicious beer, but it's not clear what qualifies this ad a "Belgian style double IPA" and not a good Belgian strong or golden ale (other than the gravity-defying power of marketing, of course).

Pours a sunny yellow with a sprightly thick white head. The aroma leaps from the bottle - summer fruit, apricot and peach. As it settles, the beer gives off more sedate aromas, wheat and hay. The flavor is aspriny bitter, with considerable wheat character and a preserved fruit edge, like dried apricots and apples. The Belgian phenolic tang is there, but not as pronounced as it could be. The mouthfeel is very dry and tannic, with an aspirin astringency on the finish.

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Photo of dbossman
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Apricot colored and hazy with a huge frothy head (great retention); lacing is quite good

S: Wonderful grapefruit, floral, pine, and herbal aromas with a citrus/apple yeasty fruitiness all on top of a pleasant--and even grassy--grainy malt presence

T: Wonderful hop presence (and this is six months old!): citrus and pine on top of a bready malt base; a touch of fruity yeastiness; so balanced and tasty

F: Great medium body with a pleasant oily stickiness

O: Such a great hoppy Belgian DIPA; my first beer from Midnight Sun and I will be back for sure

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up on my Northwest visit..

Fairly aggressive head shows nice retention. Slightly cloudy pale straw/amber color. Sticky lacing.

Gum, yeast, citrus, light fruit and pepper in the aroma.

Lot’s of pepper, a touch of candied sugar and green apple and pear. Bubble gum again here.

The pepper adds an interesting element to the mouthfeel. Medium light bodied.

Pretty decent little beer.

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Gourmet Haus Staudt. Golden-amber with slight haze and a dense white head. Phenolic, spicy nose backed by citrusy west coast hops. Little bit of bubblegum, pear, grapefruit - pretty damn nice. Good balance of Belgian yeast and American hop flavors; peppery phenols, grapefruit and bitter orange peel. Touch of alcohol in the finish with a huge bitter kick. Pretty damn good - intensely bitter as usual with Midnight Sun, but balanced by some great flavors.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad

A: Pours a dark orange color with a one finger cream colored head that shows good retention.

S: Huge grapefruit aromas. There are smells of juicy grapefruit as well as candied grapefruit. Beautiful. Some floral hops as well as a mild spiciness and a bit of barnyard funk.

T: Smooth beginning with a bit of hop sourness and then a slam of citrus hops and white pepper. Malts and a bit of belgian yeast in the background keep the hops somewhat in check. This is by far the best Belgian style IPA I've ever had.

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Photo of bamadog
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Special thanks to my buddy Ross for picking this one up for me on a recent trip out west. Review is from notes taken on 3/20/2011 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a light coppery/orange color and it starts with a big 3 finger fluffy white head that fades slowly to a full and thick cap,and leaves a ton of sticky lacing behind in rings and patches; body is a little cloudy, but still shows plenty of carbonation.

Smell: Quite a bit going on here -- lots of flowery hops right up front and they're followed by a bit of a sweet, candi-like maltiness; bit of a Belgian yeastiness in there; nose is pretty strong

Taste: Interesting as well -- there is a definite bitter and grassy hoppiness, but there is a blend with the same floral notes that were detected in the nose; there is also a sweet, candi-like malty backbone that mellows out the bitterness from all the hops; slight presence alcohol in the back; I'm reminded a little bit of Stone's BELGO, but this beer is definitely superior because it's not nearly so cloyingly or sickeningly sweet -- much better balance.

Mouthfeel: Body is of medium weight, and the carbonation is quite strong and prickly at first but then it really fizzes to a minimum in the mouth; a moderately thick and semi-dry sticky coating is left on the roof of the mouth and then it becomes cottony dry; belly is left warm from the slightly higher ABV.

Overall: Pretty solid, but this would probably be something better served in a 12 oz. bottle or you may want to make sure that you're splitting it with a friend as the sweetness, while not cloying, does catch up after a glass, and the ABV is a tad high to boot. Great offering though, and I'm glad to say I've had it -- I want more beer from these guys.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Hazy with huge fluffy white head, good retention, and thick lacing when the foam finally falls.

Lots of delicate scents blending effectively. Sweetness, spicy, and funky yeasty notes, some boozy heat, and fruity hops. Really nice.

Tart and malty sweet flavors lead into yeasty spice. Hop flavors batter for attention as the sharp piny bitterness emerges early, stays prominent, and lingers.

Some mild tingles, rich full body, thick viscosity, and modest warming. Finishes with mild drying and some bitterness.

Belgian yeast strain adds depth and character, but doesn't dominate. A tasty, fairly balanced, and complex beer that is what it says it is. Another signature Midnight Sun DIPA.

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Photo of veinless
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly dark gold, with plenty of white, foamy, lacy head that retained just fine.

Smell was a coriander bomb to start, followed by grapefruit and orange citrus, that belgian yeast in the background, and then an intoxicating scent of raw mint leaves for a brief moment.

Taste followed suit, with tons of the citrus/coriander before a hoppy rind bitterness came out. Pine and mint finished the beer out. Malt in this one is not too strong - it's mainly the hops/yeast that come out - offering only a short period of sweetness, and it works very, very well.

The mouthfeel was fantastic, as the carbonation was stronger than average, and really brought out the flavor of coriander. Drinkability is really high due to the dry mint finish, and the 8.2% abv is nowhere to be felt. Reminded me a lot of La Fin Du Monde by Unibroue, and gave it a run for its money in my eyes (I know they are listed as different styles, but they were very similar, regardless of classification).

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Photo of Donnie2112
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass

Nice fluffy head, amber in color, sporadic lacing.

Aromas of sugar, clove and lemon peel, the nose says "tripel" more then it says "IPA."

Sweet sugary malts, mild hints of cloviness from the predominant yeast flavors that rolls into a lemon peel finish

Hop oils coat the mouth, medium to mild carbonation, finishes very clean.

This is a great Belgian IPA, I like how well selected and integrated the hops are in this tripel. It's just very well done, another homerun from Midnight Sun...

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Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


On tap at Stone.

A: The color of slightly watered down apple juice with a fizzy white head. Light lacing.

S: Ripe Granny Smith apples, with notes of orange, grapefruit, and coriander. It's quite phenolic,  though I can't pinpoint a specific spice beyond coriander (maybe clove?) and there's a dash of bubblegum. Malt is bready with a sugary sweetness. The nose is interesting and very aromatic.

T: Moderately bitter with a blast of orange flesh and grapefruit. Apple and grass are noticeable. The yeast is decidedly Belgian. Malt provides a bready sweetness. Finish is moderately bitter and very fruity. 

M: Upper light - lower medium body with moderate draft carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth and sticky with some astringency.

Overall: An enjoyable Belgian style Double IPA, and quite unique.

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Photo of beertunes
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Right upfront I'll admit that I find this style to be something of a bastard and haven't found one that I love. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a semi-cloudy golden yellow with a very active, tall, fluffy, white head that had great retention and medium lacing.

The aroma was very yeasty and spicy, with the hops being in the background. Not much, if any grain or malt. On the tongue there is a bit of a grain base, then the yeast takes over. The spicyness lingered at the back of the tongue. I didn't get any of the hop flavors listed on the label, but did get some hop burn on the tongue.

The body was fairly typical, the style seems to run a bit thin to me in general. Drinkability was OK, but palate fatigue set in well before the end of the bottle.

Overall, a decent, but not special beer. Worth a shot if you see it.

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

Bottle purchased at City Beer in San Francisco. Pours a hazy orange colour with huge white head. Great head retention with lacing over most of the glass. Smells boozy, with citrus hops and spicy Belgian yeast. Flavour has the hot alcohol with lots of bitterness and sweetness. Really smooth carbonation level. A very nice beer. It was pretty expensive, so I likely won't get this again unless I see it on tap.

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Mayhem - Belgian-Style Double IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
3.99 out of 5 based on 85 ratings.
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