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

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Mayhem - Belgian-Style Double IPAMayhem - Belgian-Style Double IPA
Very Good
85 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 85 |  Reviews: 58
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from City Beer Store. Medium orange colour, with big off-white head. Lots of lace. Taste is c-hop (resiney citrus), some spiciness, and funk. Decent mouthfeel. Wafts funk. Carbonation above-average. Better as it warms to room temperature. Tasty stuff, but a bottle requires a meal to accompany it.

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Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of zeff80
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, golden orange color with a bubbly, white head of foam. It left some sticky rings of lace.

S - Very good aroma with phenolic/barnyard funkiness. Quite a bit of sweet fruit smells like grapefruit, melons and orange. Slight bubblegum aroma, too.

T - It tasted spicy with that Belgian funkiness and yeastiness. Good fruity flavors with some sweet caramel in the background.

M - This beer has a sharp, crackling bite on the tongue. A medium bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This is a really tasty Belgian IPA. Love the spicy, the phenolic and the fruitiness.

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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 zestar
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a goblet. Big thanks go to Bubba83 for recently sending this my way.

Pours a hazy burnt orange, with 2 or more fingers of stiff bright-white foamy head. This retains with a nice looking near finger cap of rich froth that doesn't quit and just completely coats the sides of the glass with thick lacing. The aroma smells floral and bitter in the nose, as well as a little bit piney and herbal to. Grapefruit is sharp in the nostrils, while underlying malts at a sweet twang. The yeast adds some notes of airy fruit, a soft spiciness, and a bit of must. Just a touch of an alcohol presence is barely noticeable.

The taste is deeply bitter on the palate with grapefruit juice and sharp earthy rind. This is decently balanced by a malt backbone of tight bready character and sweet fruit that comes in off the edges and adds some extra evening to the flavors. Dry sharp spice dominates the finish, lingering with bitter rind and dusty yeast and just completely parches the entire backend of the profile. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a big creamy sharpness that blows up in the mouth and has this feeling a touch over carbonated. This does start to settle down some the longer it sits in the glass plus more smoothing oiliness from the hops starts to emerge as well. Like the aroma, the alcohol adds some light warmth but seems like just the right amount for this beer, especially when dealing with a flavor profile that is this bitter.

This is one of the better Belgian IPAs that I've had lately. I loved how the yeast character and higher alcohol content were present but not overly so and nicely complimented the full West Coast hop profile on this. This style can be really hit or miss for me sometimes but this one hit the sweet spot. Thanks again for sending this one along Kev!

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 7/9/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a pale golden color with 1 inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus fruits, apples, yeast, and some citrus hops.

t - Tastes a little bit bitter, and of citrus hops, grapefruit, spices, apples, and yeast.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good Belgian IPA. Some nice citrus and fruit in the smell and taste. Would like to try again.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly more orange than gold, with multiple streams of fine bubbles racing up to a four finger lid of aged ivory foam. There goes my theory that nothing but pale malt (100% pilsner in this case) would lead to nothing darker than amber colored beer. The rocky crown spatters the glass with small chunklets of sudsy lace.

Summit hops should be outlawed once and for all. The aroma would an American hoppy Belgian-style DIPA treat if it wasn't for the pungent, onion-like odor emanating from the glass. The rest of the lineup is outstanding and includes Simcoe, Columbus and Amarillo. Thankfully, the interloper isn't prominent enough to ruin things.

Same thing on the taste buds. If I wanted to drink fresh garlic and green onion beer, I'd stock up on Oskar Blues GUBNA. Again, though, Mayhem has enough else going for it to avoid being a total loss. In fact, I'm rather enjoying the still aggressive hoppiness in combination with the peppery esteriness of the yeast.

Other than those flavors already mentioned, we have white grapefruit, bitter orange and pine. Malt provides a modest (and somewhat balancing) sweetness, without much flavor transfer. A hint of unmasked alcohol is no worse than in most pale-malted ale of this ABV.

The mouthfeel is a study in glassy smoothness and heavily creamy lusciousness. That is all. To fill out the paragraph, this new MS seasonal has its origins in the 2007 Deadly Sin Series offering known as Wrath.

With one simple deletion (Summit hops), Midnight Sun Brewing could turn decent beer into potentially great beer. It's a tribute to my love for lupulins and for Belgian IPAs that the scores are as high as they are. Thanks to sprucetip for the bomber.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
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 womencantsail
3.36/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Bobby for this one. This is essentially a remake of Wrath, so it was interesting to try both side-by-side.

A: The pour is a standard orangish-amber color with a finger's worth of white head.

S: A very herbaceous and almost woody nose. Certainly quite pungent but seems to be lacking the typical hop aromas and a strong note of rosemary overwhelms everything else.

T: The strong herbal note that was present in the nose does not translate to the flavor (perhaps thankfully). The hops provide a very sharp and nearly harsh bitterness. Some oranges and a bit of fruity esters to try to balance things out.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation and a bitterness that really sticks around.

D: Overall, I much preferred Wrath to this, although it was a bit past its prime. The bitterness was a bit too sharp for me and the nose I did not find all that appealing.

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Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
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 Gobzilla
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured a murky golden pineapple yellow in color with pale yellow highlights that had a thin frothy head and left some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: I definitely got the piney hop aromas with caramel and sweet malt notes but did have the bubble gum belgian yeast character as well however I did detect some citrus notes after a couple whiffs.

T: the bubble gum belgian yeast character was more apparent on the palate with some citrusy piney hop accents but had caramel and a good sweet malty backing to help on the balancing act.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, malty, piney hoppy, and citrusy finish.

D: it drank better than I thought it would be and was way more tastier than anticipated. It was honestly one of the best belgian IPA's I've had faux show.

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Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden with a finely beaded pure white head that sticks around for a long while and leaves some nice lacing. Smells slightly grainy, and with some nice sharp, spicy herbal hops and a touch of Belgian yeast sweetness. Nice balance in the taste. Assertive hops with lots of bitterness and some citrus peel and herbal notes marry very nicely with some yeasty spice notes ans slight sweetness. Very smooth, but with a bitter bite. Drinks very nicely. A`pleasure.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to travita for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is piney and resiny hops with some citrus notes as well as some Belgian yeast character. The flavor is orange and resiny hops with Belgian yeast. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very hoppy and very good Belgian IPA. Another great beer from Midnight Sun.

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Photo of John_M
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
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 biegaman
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
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 Gueuzedude
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very soft pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a fat, three-finger thick, pale tan colored head that slowly rises above the rim of my glass. The foam leaves some layered lacing on the sides of my glass and slowly subsides in a cratered, billowy manner with lots of lopsided formations. The beer is an amber hue that shows some haze and a pale amber tinged, gold color when held up to the light. The aroma has a mix of light spice and fruity character; this last is a mix from both the fermentation character and the hops. Aromas of juicy fruit bubble-gum, bright tropical fruit, lychee, kumquat zest and ripe tangelo make up the bulk of the fruit notes with notes of clove, a light herbal character that reminds me of a touch of pine, some woody oak notes, perhaps a touch of basil and even some menthol like hop notes adding some complexity to the nose. Interesting woody pepper notes that become fairly musty even and at times you get a bit of warming in the nostrils from the alcohol. I really like the mix of fermentation character (especially the spiciness and mustiness) and the bright, hoppy, fruit character. The fermentation has added a nice complexity to what is more conventionally a hop focus.

Nicely dry tasting, though this does have some sweetness to it, which accentuates the herbaceous qualities of the hops. The beer is quite effervescent to start out, a bit excessively carbonated even, as it foams up quite a bit in a fizzy manner as it rolls across the tongue. The finish has a spicy white pepper note to it that is joined by touches of ginger, warming alcohol and some menthol like notes that linger just a bit on the palate. This has a firm bitterness that definitely lingers with quite a biting character in the long finish. Now that I have noticed it, there is quite a bit of clove character in this beer; it lingers on the tongue and adds an underlying spiciness that infuses itself throughout the flavor profile of this beer. The hop-fruit character is much subdued compared to the nose, but still nicely perfumes the flavor profile of this beer. The hops contribute flavors of lychee, kumquat zest, tangelo juice infused with zest, some peach essence that leans towards a very floral note and orange blossom honey notes (though without the sweetness). The texture of this is very light and drinkable, the biting hop character and spiciness does make this a more tempered drinking beer for me, but I definitely like that this has the body and texture of a good "Belgian" beer. The grain character clearly plays only a supporting role here, but it does contribute flavors of grassy grain and cracker-driven malt, both of which accentuate the hop character.

At times this can be a touch too hot in the finish; the combination of alcohol, fermentation derived spiciness and bitter / spicy hop notes can combine to contribute some harshness that luckily isn't prominent all the time. The flavor definitely picks up more balance as it warms up, and it almost seems as if this beer works in smaller, discrete samples (meaning the first sip after being away for some palate rest always seems to be the best and most integrated). Definitely a nice beer, though it seems to be a bit sharp and slightly cacophonous at times, but overall it does work (plus I really like the aroma, even if the flavor doesn't quite live up to its promise).

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours goldenrod with a full white head. Rocky, very good retention and lacing.

S: Great Belgian yeasty nose, spicy with cloves and white pepper, minty hops.

T: Dominated by coriander type spicy yeast flavours. Notes of peppermint, grapefruit rind and lemon. Flavours are very well structured and complex.

M: Medium full-bodied, bone dry, frothy, spicy aftertaste.

D: Midnight Sun has impressed me with this one. It is very good. Just wondering why it must be so expensive.

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Photo of beertunes
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
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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Mayhem - Belgian-Style Double IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 85 ratings