Bar Fly (2011) | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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Bar Fly (2011)Bar Fly (2011)

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Smoked imperial stout aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels.

Added by largadeer on 03-18-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 250
Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I finally got to try this elusive beast of a stout.

Black pour with a very small chocolate colored head.

Smells like a big American stout. Dark chocolate, molasses, and vinious nose. Not as smokey as I had thought it would be. It's somewhat tame.

Bold dark chocolate fudge flavor. Some smokieness to cut the sweetness. Licorice. Thick coating on the tongue. Cab barrel adds a nice dryness to the beer but the chocolate flavor lingers on. I feel like this beer is somewhat similar to Zukhov.

It was similar to what I imagined it to be. Wished there was more smoke to it though.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From 04/14/12 notes. Poured into my Cigar City snifter.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of roasted malts, dark fruits, dark chocolate, smokey malts, lightly toasted and burnt malts, some wine, oak, and sweet fruit. Very nice nose; very roasty and chocolatey, and the smoke is light and nice.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, sweet dark fruits, oak, sweet chocolate, alcohol, smokey malts, molasses, burnt malts, and toasted malts. Still quite nice but the alcohol comes out in the taste.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Super smooth and creamy body. Perfect mouthfeel for a stout for me.

o - Overall I thought this was a very good stout. The nose was great and the mouthfeel was perfect. A little more alcohol then I would like in the taste but world class and would love to have it again.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a midnight sun glass. Beer is black and dark with a thin tan head of small wispy bubbles. Some lacing. Low carbonation.

Aroma is boozy, sweet, anise, nice. A little boozer than I thought.

Medium to big in body. Fudge, sweet, smoke, licorice, nice. Good finish. Mildly bitter. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of Onslow
4.21/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle .. Team Tubes #46 .. Shared at the first get together at Matt's .. I was excited about trying this one!! .. a smoked imperial stout! very intrigued! .. . Pours a deep brown black, medium foam, good lacing of light brown smudges .. . aroma of roast, light bbq pit, and burnt wood- quite balanced .. . similar tastes, just less smoke and more tar .. . wow, i really enjoyed this, a well made brew, but next time guys, add more smoke .. . Oh, so they have Internet on computers now!

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes.

Bar Fly pours completely black with a small tan head. The cap stays around for a minute before fading to a few wisps.

The aroma is fairly sweet; sweet milk chocolate, vanilla, and molasses.

The flavor is very smooth, blending all of the flavors together in harmony, and follows the nose while being a little bit less sweet. There are some red wine notes and slight tannic nature in the middle of the sip. Lactose, chocolate, roasted malt base, red wine, a bit of coffee, vanilla, and oak.

Silky smooth, thick, creamy, chewy, and viscous. The carbonation is creamy.

Overall this is a pretty fantastic beer.

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Photo of billab914
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into my Portsmouth tulip. It poured thick looking and pitch black in color. A thin, frothy, dark colored head barely covers the top of the beer and is already sticking to the edges of the glass.

The aroma is showing a really nice chocolatey flavor with some red wine and dark fruits to it. I get some woody oak and vanilla mixing in along with just a hint of smoke. A little bit of alcohol is present, but not bad for the abv. Great aroma overall, it had some really good, bold flavors to it but they really come together well.

The taste blends the roasty, chocolaty, slightly smoky flavors of the Imperial stout with the Cabernet barrel characteristics perfectly. The base imperial stout really comes together well, it's extremely smooth and flavorful. I get some oak and vanilla coming from the barrel aging, but the slight wine like, dark fruit character that comes out in it is what really impresses me. It gives it a little bit of a chocolatey wine character that I'm really liking. Some darker, bitter-sweet chocolate seems to balance out the finish. The flavors really compliment each other in it, with so much going on I'm extremely impressed how well it came together.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side and somewhat slick. Carbonation is on the lower side. Overall it was a fantastic beer. Everything came together pretty much perfectly in it. I loved how well the wine barrel complimented the imperial stout flavors. It was so smooth and so flavorful. I'm buying the hype on this one, I thought it was really something special.

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Photo of hardy008
4.92/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark black with a two finger mocha head, with good retention and lacing. The aroma is amazing. Chocolate, cocoa, black licorice, smoked malt, and molasses. If this tastes as good as it smells, this should be phenomenal.

The taste is sublime. Chocolate, cocoa, black licorice, smoked malt, molasses, vanilla, and oak combine beautifully to make one of the best Imperial Stouts I have had. There is also a light amount of roasted malt for some balance. Given the flavors, one might expect this beer to be cloyingly sweet, but it is not. This is just a very well made beer.

Full bodied, rich, and creamy with moderate carbonation. Very smooth, and a pleasure to drink. the alcohol is well disguised. I can't believe this beer has 12.60 % abv from the taste. It is a shame this beer was only brewed once. In my opinion, this beer should be an annual release.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to Jason (jrallen34) for sharing this at AgentZero’s birthday tasting. This is a beer I never thought I’d try. Taken from notes and review 700.

Appearance – Pours into my trusty tulip with a dark black color and some great looking mocha colored head. The finger of head dissipates quickly leaving very little lacing.

Smell – Huge chocolate, heavy roasted malts, nice smoke characteristics (though not overbearing), vanilla, oak, and some cocoa.

Taste – I will be the first to admit smoked stouts are not often my thing. I also will state that when a beer is given to me by someone and I did not have to put my blood, sweat, and tears into obtaining it, I could care less whether it was rare or not (not that I rate things higher if I traded heavily for them, but we all know there is most likely some subconscious bumping of scores). That said, wow. A very balanced beer with so many distinct flavors. Begins with heavy roast and bittersweet chocolate. It then moves to the hint of smokiness (again, not overbearing thankfully) and melds with vanilla and tannic oak. Dates, prunes, and raisins mixed with molasses. Ends with more roast/smoke.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, lower carbonation, finishes nice and dry.

Overall – Not your “normal” smoked beer in my opinion, meaning it is not overly in your face that no other flavors can be ascertained. A freaking great beer and very happy to have been able to try it.

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Photo of randawakes
4.95/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a snifter-style wine glass, shared with 5 friends.

This is the second best brew that MSB has conjured, IMO. I would rate the top 5 brews from the madhouse as this:
1. M
2. Bar Fly
3. Good Mojo
4. Pride
5. Sloth

Pour is dark, dark brown-black with a brown cream rim, filmy residue on edges of glass, fine enough to think it is crystallized foam.

Smell is oaky, chocolatey, cane sugary, dark creme brulee with pecan nut seed.

Taste is phenomenal, thin in feel and heavy in flavor. The oakyness is present without a doubt, but slightly subdued by the richness in sugar and patent-like malts. The chocolate tastes more milky than dark, but the wood bbls tone this delicacy so that one flavor is never too dominant over another. Noticeables: smoke, vanilla, oak finish, thin feel, thick taste, chocolate, purified sugars, milk, coconut, faint caramel.

Best imperial stout from MSB, better than Abyss IMO, better than Berserker.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: ? somewhere in Portland, OR

I have this beer in my notes, but damn if I can remember where exactly I had it. It's on the same page as my Apex notes, but I'm sure I didn't have it there. I'm going to assume it was part of the bottle share we had at Beermongers with writerLJberg. And if so, thanks to whoever provided the bottle.

Poured a dark black with a moderate tan head. Lots of roast in the nose, cocoa, coffee, dark malts, the usual suspects, with hints of vanilla'd oak and smoke. Complex taste that follows and augments the aroma, dark malts, roastiness, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, oak, molasses, a non-offensive dose of smoky charcoal and grape skins, imparting a slightly bitter and dry quality. Heavy-medium body, smooth and flavorful, very drinkable.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours is a viscous opaque black with a thick dark tan head and solid retention. The nose has light hints of smoke and ash, roasted malts, light chocolate notes with some sweet anise and strong wood behind. The taste is well balanced with roasted malts and a rich chocolate brownie component. Dark fruits and faint smoke notes accompany a woody finish. The feel is full bodied, smooth and creamy, semi dry finish and gentle carbonation. Very complex, very integrated, and very balanced. Well done.

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Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jeffo brought this one to my house. Nice!

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter.

What do I see? A motor oil thick fluid. No head at all. It looks like something that would be very bad to your health. Awesome.

A nose that presents oak, vanilla and malt sweetness and some booze. I expected smoke but can't detect that.

Flavors of dark chocolate on a bed of oak is probably what a French waiter would say. I'd say this stuff tastes great.

A medium to full body. Nice carbonation flavors linger with a touch of booze.

Great beer. It's worth the hype. Make sure you keep this fom the hazardous materials in your garage because it looks like some automotive waste product...

Great call on this one Jeff!

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to Sean9689 for this. never expected to try this!

pour was deep black, thick, light creamy head.

sweet fruit, deep charred oak, light roasted malt. very vibrant and lively.

simply amazing. a mild sweetness that mixed with a complex combination of dark fruit, light oak, and light smooth smokey and roasted malt. bit of chocolate and coffee. very deep and complex. booze was barely noticeable. this was everything a stout should strive to be.

thick, chewy, mild to moderate carbonation. lined your glass and your mouth.

this blew me away, i loved it. no hype here, just one amazing stout.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to AmericanBrew for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a deep black color with a tan head. The aroma is full of dark fruit and anise, with a lot of chocolate and roasted malt mixed in. The aroma is fairly sweet and is very enjoyable.

The flavor is also very complex and interesting. I get a ton of roasted and smoked malt, as well as some sweet milk chocolate notes. The smoke is complimented by a little bit of dark fruit. The alcohol is very well hidden and the beer is very easy to drink.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottles of this courtesy of akbeerfiend and Masterski. Midnight Sun is one of my favorite stout brewers, so thanks again for the trades gents.

Smoked Imperial Stout aged in Oak Barrels

From a bomber into a snifter
2010 Pop Ten Series

APPEARANCE: A syrupy, thick black pour is evil looking. Love that sludgy stuff. Pour yields a small, medium-thick looking, mocha colored head that quickly fades to a slight wisp and ring. Thick, opaque, sludgy black body with only a touch of carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end but leaves no real lacing down the glass. Head could be more persistent, but Midnight Sun comes through with another nasty looking black liquid.

SMELL: Roasted malts, dark, pure chocolate, molasses and oak barrel. Complex and enticing. Vanilla, oak, ad milk chocolate show through, but not much smoke really. Bold and interesting aroma with a touch of booze for good measure, though a hint more smoke would be needed for a perfect score here.

TASTE: Roasted malts and sweet molasses up front. Oak barrel is there for sure, with vanilla, milk chocolate and some boozy notes through the middle into the swallow. Bold flavors and a big, persistent aftertaste of roasted and oak notes, as well as some bitter chocolate, sweet molasses and some smoky malt notes at the finish. A faint but solid booze base supports the entire trip, but never gets in the way of the stout flavor. This is decadence for the ages, but for a smoked stout, just a touch more smoky notes would help get this one the perfect score it otherwise deserves.

PALATE: Medium-full body and medium carbonation. Heavy enough on the palate, very creamy and smooth as well, goes down smooth with a bit of a bite at the swallow and finishes relatively sticky on the palate. Some heat from the alcohol at the finish as well. Slightly thicker than the Berserker that we compared it to.

OVERALL: I love Midnight Sun stout beer. I often lay awake at night and ponder whether Midnight Sun or Cigar City is the no.1 stout brewer in the United States. I can’t decide. This was absolutely wonderful and lived up to all the expectations we had going into it. A menacing look, a big, bold and enticing nose, and flavor to write home about, Midnight Sun really delivered with this one. The only critique I could wager is that for a smoked stout, the smoke was relatively restrained and not a major factor in the beer. That said, however, who the fuck cares? This was delicious and, who knows, perhaps more smoke would have masked the otherwise deliciously complex taste profile. Another huge thanks for this one guys. Don’t be scared to send more.

NOTE: Drank a 2011 and a batch 1 bourbon barrel aged variant side-by-side. They are both quite similar, though the bourbon variant is slightly heavier and thicker in the mouth. The FG is probably a touch higher. The 2011 is also slightly boozier as well, which was interesting. Both are phenomenal brews for sure.

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Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Chris -

A: Black as midnight with minimal tan lacing , good carbonation.

S: Slight bourbon , roasted malts and barley , some smoke, black strap molasses.

T: The taste pretty much follows the nose , Bourbon with roasted malts and barley, slight char , slightly sweet with blackstrap molasses .

O: very solid brew that I'm glad I finally had a chance to try, thanks again.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.15/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Chris :) tried this twice in the last 2 weeks. Really pleased
Pours a thick dark brown. Nice tan head. Smells bourbony and lightly smokey. A bit sweeter than i would like. Harsh booziness but nice flavour profile. Nice thick mouthfeel. Overall nice and enjoyable :)

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Photo of aasher
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bottle was shared by muskabeatz at Darkness Day, thanks Evan! Reviewed from notes on my phone.

This one poured a very viscous and oily black in color with a nice and thick dark, stained brown head that eventually laced my mini snifter. This one coats your glass. You get a lot of oak, red wine notes, toffee, cherries, plums, and black cherries in the nose. It's pretty complex and still features the traditional roast. The flavors aren't quite as complex. You get a lot of toffee, dark chocolate, and molasses with a light smokiness. It's solid, but it just didn't live up to the nose. It drinks very thick and coats your palate. The aftertaste is pretty nice as well. Overall this is a very solid beer, I'm glad I could try it.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by an unknown guy at Darkness Day, reviewing on a semi-fresh palate.

I don't really care about appearance, but this has great legs and a motor oil appearance.

Complex nose with sweet molasses, smoke, dark fruits, and roast.

Flavor is a phenomenal and complex and balanced blend of molasses, raisin, coffee bean bitterness, and a bit of boozy heat.

Mouthfeel is medium full and creamy and just right.

Overall this is a fantastic beer. Drink it now, don't wait. Everything is well integrated. World class offering.

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Photo of amphion1065
4.92/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip. Thanks so much for this Todd.

The pour is very thick - other than Black Tuesday, this is the thickest, most viscous stout I've ever seen. The body is an inky black. A one-finger, very dark brown head with wonderful retention leaves great lacing around the glass. As I drank more and more of this, that head left a very clear ring of lace.

Huge barrel presence in the nose, and a very unique one at that. There's absolutely an element evocative of cognac and port, with a fairly strong aroma of liquor. There is a clear, wine-like note at play. That said, there is no real alcoholic ester smell here. Vanilla, toffee, chocolate, figs and fudge come through beautifully. A curious tobacco element as well, with just a hint of roast.

The taste is sort of a revelation. Sweet with just a hint of bitterness in the finish, the balance is perfect. There's a dark, fruity aspect in this beer that works perfectly alongside the oak and vanilla from the barrel. Licorice and chocolate are in the mix. I'm not sure I'd guess this was a smoked beer, as that particular flavor really only comes through in the finish. The alcohol is incredibly subdued.

The mouthfeel is syrupy and borderline perfect, with an ideal level of viscosity and low carbonation. Thick and chewy, this never stops being a joy to drink.

An absolutely fabulous stout, one I could quite honestly drink all night long. I really had to pace myself while enjoying this bottle, and I really didn't want it to end. There are so many fantastic -bal aged stouts on the market today, but the singular effects of the pinot noir barrels on this beer really set it apart. I can only hope that Midnight Sun makes more of this and that I can drink it again soon enough.

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Photo of craytonic
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was happy to open and try this one!

Appearance: Near jet-black pour

Smell: Dark chocolate, light roasted malt, coffee, toffee, blackstrap molasses and a faint smokiness (in just the right amount)

Taste: Very nice, dark chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, toffee, and molasses with a hint of smoke. Well done

Mouthfeel: medium/full body, medium/light carbonation.

Overall: Very solid beer, I hope they make this one again. Not my favorite for the style, but it isn't a style I like and it is rare that I find one I enjoy.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by craytonic. Thanks Matt.

The beer is on the verge of black, with a wispy, thin beige cap. The aroma is of heavy roast, booze, oak, chocolate, and hints of vanilla. The flavor is toasty, with booze and chocolates. Vanilla and oak flavors are there as well. Soft smokey, campfire notes. The feel is thick, with fairly low carbonation. Booze lingers on the palate, offering a delicate warmth. Well done. While alcohol is present, it's well integrated into the taste profile and completely unobtrusive. This beer is not the usual imperial stout. Unique and refined. Recommended.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Arbitrator for this.

Appearance- Black with an espresso crema colored head that dissipates to a ring around the edges. 4/5

Smell- Dark chocolate and smoke. Touch of vanilla. 4.5/5

Taste- Dark chocolate with a smoke background. The touch of vanilla is there in the taste as it was in the smell. The smoke is very subtle and in the background of this beer. I am very surprised this is 12%. It does not come off that way. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel- Very good. Thick and full. Sweet on the lips after each sip. 4.5/5

Overall- Very good beer. I was expecting the smoke to be overpowering, but that is not the case here. Nicely done Midnight Sun. 4.5/5

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Photo of stx00lax
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- pours a real dark brown with mocha colored head. Standard big stout.

S-Fudge brownies and tootsie rolls. Bits of vanilla, molasses and dark fruits creep through.

T- Similar to the smell with more of the tawny port/wine flavors taking over. A bit of oaky booze and smoke round out the finish. This beer is incredibly balanced with all of the bold flavors happening, its definitely one of the more impressive tasting stouts that ive tried to date.

M- Medium bodied liquid velvet. A lower than usual, but appropriate I think, level of carbonation considering the vinous nature of this beer. The oakiness helps to hide the alcohol well and dries out the sweetness a bit ultimately helping to balance things out.

O- Quite exceptional. I think the overall complexity and balance of this one really shine. The blend of stout, wine, smoke and barrel of this one world class.

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Photo of billshmeinke
2.77/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Review from notes.

Bar Fly
Pitch black with a finger of beige head. Decent lacing. 4.5
The nose is honey and charcoal. Booze and dark fruits. Licorice. Too smokey. 2.5
Taste is honey, chocolate, a bit boozy. Licorice. Not enough barrel. Yucky dark fruit. 3
Mouthfeel could be heavier. Low carbonation which is good, but on the whole shitty. 2
Lame. 2.5

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Bar Fly (2011) from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
4.42 out of 5 based on 250 ratings.
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