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 kayalla
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed with Patrick and Nate at our "epic" Midnight Sun tasting, ha. Black body, coffee colored head. Aroma is rich dark fudge, smoke, some earthy spices, sweet and enticing. Flavor is even better, just super rich dark fudge, a sensible smoked malt, vanilla. Theres an earthy spice like cloves, maybe star anise that is wonderful. Mouth feel is rich, creamy, and thick, almost milkshake like. I enjoyed this more than Berserker and yes, more than M. Thanks Patrick.

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Photo of OrangeAmps
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle sent by BigE90. Thank you SO MUCH. Shared with some friends. Poured into Cigar City snifter.

Appearance: motor oil, pitch black, complete darkness. Very minimal head, though sufficiently carbonated. Light does not pass through this beer in any capacity.

Smell: Amazing. The nose is greeted with a ton of booze, chocolate, and some smoke. I drank this when it was semi-chilled, so perhaps that's why the booze was so prominent. I also picked up a light oak character, which was well hidden.

Taste: very complex. Lots of cocoa and roasted malts, and lots of booze. My god, the booze. Also, some notes of what can best be described as breakfast- maple syrup and bacon abound (im guessing the bacon character im picking up is just the smoke). There was a pronounced sweetness, but it was complemented by the bittering cocoa flavors, etc. Well balanced and extremely enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is plentiful, but not overpowering. The flavors are extremely well balanced, and the oak character is subdued. To me, the booze was a bit overpowering, but not in a bad way. The viscosity was just right, not very thick but not quite thin either.

Amazing. Glad i was lucky enough to get a crack at this one.

It is worth noting that the people i shared this with represent a diverse group of beer drinkers. None of them are BMC only, but many are fairly new to craft. The rest, like myself, are still relatively new but have been around for long enough to develop a slightly educated palette. But, everyone in the group, from the #9 drinkers to the bourbon barrel stout drinkers, absolutely loved this beer.

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

22oz bottle. shared with the usual suspects.

a - pour is black as expected, and a dark brown head. pretty sexy.

s - smoke, baking chocolate, caramel

t - wow. with all the hype around this beer, I was a little leery to fall in love with this, but there is no doubt this is a world-class beer. chocolate, vanilla, smoke, and a bit of bitter hops on the end. amazingly well balanced. the smoke flavor is like no other found in other stouts. it is continually present, but subtle.

m - big body. thick and creamy.

overall - so good. I hope to come across this beer again, but I doubt i'll be so fortunate.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep black body. Medium brown head forms and slowly receded. Just a few traces of lacing.

S: Strong notes of milk chocolate and smokey malts. Hints of red wine, port, dark fruits and oak.

T: Similar to the nose but a bit more muddled and muted. A bit of chocolate, the smoke moves a bit toward the background, and the port/red wine like notes mellow out.

M: Medium bodied. Smooth texture on the tongue and a pleasant, but soft fading finish.

O: While pleasant and enjoyable, I was underwhelmed as I found the flavor profile a bit sloppy and unfinished. Perhaps too much was going on here to get an integrated presentation.

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Photo of mikey711
4.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep black with a thin mocha colored head. some lacing, but it was minimal.

S: lots of smokiness as well as molasses. At times it even reminded me a little bit of fresh beef jerky. A bit more vanilla character would have been nice, but the smokiness was quite enjoyable

T: Much of the same as the nose, heavy smoke and molasses, but alos a nice level of chewy chocolate as well. some hints of leather as well as darnk fruit.

M: The alcohol was extremely well hidden and this was pretty easy to drink

D: Overall, while I am extremely pleased to have tried this beer, and would like to try it again, it wasnt life changing or awe inspiring. I greatly enjoyed the smokiness, but felt like something was missing in the end

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

Bottle purchased at the brewery. Served in a taster pint glass.

A - A half-finger of dark mocha foam settles to a thin ring, leaving behind no lace. Black body, with the faintest red glint at the bottom of the glass.

S - Big dark chocolate malts, light smoke character, mild vinous notes, dark fruits, light vanilla and oak, heavily roasted grains, and a faint hint of alcohol as it warms up. Not a mind-blowing aroma, but one with fantastic depth, balance and complexity.

T - Taste is, again, a great blend of roasted malts, cocoa, black cherry and plum notes, light oak and vinous character, molasses and a dark chocolate finish. Sweetness increases as the beer reaches room temperature, and alcohol is remarkably well-hidden.

M - Low but present carbonation, medium-full body, well-hidden alcohol with only a hint of warming. Roasty, dry, and tannic finish that helps blunt some of the sweetness and keeps things from getting unbalanced. Not sure what else I'd want from a barrel-aged Imperial Stout.

D - A wonderful reminder that barrel-aged Imperial Stouts don't have to be brash and in-your-face, nor do they have to be obliterated by the barrel-aging process. The cabernet sauvignon barrel is an inspired choice, as it was presumably used multiple times in the vineyard and therefore reduced the amount of oak character. The dark fruit wine character also integrates well with the base stout. An extremely well-crafted beer and surprisingly drinkable considering the formidable 12.6% ABV. Believe the hype on this one.

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Photo of seeswo
4.84/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle generously shared by Casey, poured into a Bruery tulip. Very dark brownish black pour with a small head. The nose is incredible and a definite 5 (my other 5 imperial stout nose is BCBS Rare, which is much richer). I smelled and smelled this beer. Very sweet malts perfectly integrated with smoke, with notes of earthy tobacco, oak, port. The taste follows so nicely with the nose. Perfect balance of the earthy smoke, tobacco, oak flavors with the sweet malts. You can tell they are separate, but they completely meld together around in the arms of the barrel. So smooth, decadent, balanced, drinkable. Good mouthfeel. This is one of the best beers I've had and definitely the best beer with the word smoke in the description. Wow. Exceeds the hype.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle generously shared by ipa247. Poured into Jackie O’s snifter.

A: Pours black with a good long lasting collar.
S: Very roasted and sweet notes with a bit of smoke as an afterthought, similar to barbque. I get some raisins as well.
T: Big notes of raisins and other dark fruits including plums and prunes, with a great dose of well-integrated smoke in the aftertaste. Caramel is low.
M: Super smooth, bubbly carbonation, and a soft mouthfeel. This beer is thick, but not crazy. Alcohol is just noticeable in the finish, but for almost 13% ABV, it’s hidden very well.
O: Overall a great balance between the sweet and roasted/smoky flavors. Alcohol is well done, and the smoke is not overpowering or off-putting in flavor. Thanks again for sharing, Jeff, I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.73/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i deserve it, MAC in full effect!

the color was a very deep dark chocolate brown, Some very light, and I mean very light side glass lace formed as I made my way down the glass,

The first thing I noticed was a tremendous amount of port in the smell. smell of roasted coffee then followed, mixed in with what almost seemed to be to be like some kind rich burnt tobacco smell, bit of sweetness in there, albeit small; however, it was there and gave off a caramelized sugar note of some sort, bitter dark chocolate mingling in now and really staring to battle it out with the vineious like port. Notes of oak now hitting the stage, really giving it that earthy tone

Rich dark chocolate notes were swirling around in here, mingling with everything that came there way, including a touch of sweet lactose, which tried to drag some light in here, smoked tobacco that I picked up in the smell, Some hints of vanilla starting to poke around, and then come some black licorice, oak like earthy notes dominate and bring together the chocolate and the vanilla. The finish in a class of its own.

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

Huge thanks to Hophead84 for breaking this out at a sour festival. Kudos, little buddy.

Pours a heavy, oil puddle black with a small bit of light tan head. The head quickly vanishes leaving some bubbles. Some carbonation, but no real head.

Smell is excellent. Some wood/oak, but heavy on the milk chocolate, roasted malt, a bit, just a bit of raisins, and a really nice vanilla aroma that I almost never comes across. Whiff of unidentifiable booze.

Incredibly balanced flavor. The malt has just a touch of roast/smoke, so much so that calling this a "smoked" beer on the label is just false advertising. Black tar molasses mixed with milk chocolate mixed with a ton, A TON of vanilla, and the raisins/dates round out a slightly boozy aftertaste. It's a predominantly sweet beer, but the balancing agents of the touch of acrid roast, along with the dark fruits really make this heavenly.

Mouthfeel is thick, smooth, viscous, could use a tad more carbonation.

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Photo of RodneyX
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black beer with some foamy, lighter than expected head and decent legs. I like the smell of this one quite a bit as it has good roast and vinous notes to go with it. It has nice -bal notes in general with oak and vanilla. The taste is a really great blend of smoke, char, sweetness and some dark fruits as well as bourbon and chocolate. It has a very smooth and full body beer. Overall I find this to be an great example of the style and also unique.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this one, Shane!

A: The beer pours a nearly impenetrable black color with a finger of tan head.

S: There definitely is some smoke to the nose, but it's not overpowering. Lots of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee as you would expect. The lightest hints of oak in the background and vanilla and molasses give a touch more sweetness.

T: I liked the nose, but the flavor is simply better. Sweeter than anticipated with vanilla, chocolate, burnt sugar, caramel, and molasses all playing a role. The roast qualities are there and there's a bit of coffee with just a hint of smoke.

M: Medium to full in body with a smooth, medium carbonation.

O: After a lot of let downs from Midnight Sun, it was nice to have a really solid beer from them.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Alan at TJs during the latest Philly BA intervention.

Pour yields a near-black brew with a good mocha-ish-colored head and a nice cap as it falls down. Aroma is rich and sweet blend of fruit/port with strong roast malt and milk chocolate. Flavor is more of the same, extremely balanced yet a little sweeter than your typical stout from the barrels used I assume. Not as much coffee presence as other reviews have mentioned; seems like the barrel is becoming more prominent. Still a strong roast malt and chocolate presence however. Medium thick body with moderate carbonation and a silky presence on the palate. Trying this side by side with Czar Jack it's hard to nitpick either and pick a favorite. However this one made me slow down a little more, where Czar Jack seemed like the perfect example of the style, this was a pleasant, subtle tweak on it.

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

Big thanks to BigE90 for this hard to find brew.

A - Pours big and black, with a one finger tan head. Pretty thick, and coats the glass. Nice looking stout.

S - The two main players here are chocolate and smoke. Also some well integrated roasted malts, as well as a slight barrel character. Quite a bit going on, but nothing stands out too far on its own.

T - This is one of the most balanced big stouts I've had in quite some time. The flavors all work very well together. Dark chocolate, roasty sweetness, just enough meaty smokiness, and finishes with almost a port-like sweetness. Very, very good.

M - Thick, viscous, as a nice big stout should be. The carbonation is just about right as well.

O - One of the better stouts I've had recently. A very well balanced beer which is hard to find in this style. I'd put it on par with the quality of a stout like Abyss. Maybe slightly better with the level of smoke and dark chocolate. I'm very glad to have another bottle left of this one, great stuff. Highly recommend.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Looks like motor oil as it glugs out of the bottle. Two fingers of creamy froth linger for a minute, giving way to some lacing.

S: Rich, luscious milk and dark chocolate with just the right amount of oak. Smoke is light and adds depth to the chocolate profile. I detect marshmallows. Faint grape and plum notes linger in the background. Lightly roasted, with a subtle molasses presence. Alcohol is faint. I know this was in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, but I get a light bourbon note, as well as some caramel and vanilla. There's something Belgian about this, perhaps it's the yeast.

T: Caramel, milk and dark chocolate, and oak, with a little molasses. Vinous notes are of plum and grape, with a little raisin. Lightly smoky, it's very, very faint. I get fudge and chocolate brownie with light marshmallow notes. Lightly roasted. Upper moderate sweetness.

M: Full in body with upper low carbonation. Mouthfeel is thick, chewy, sticky, and smooth. Fantastic.

Overall: An awesome beer from Midnight Sun. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Updated 09/23/11: Either there's some bottle variation, or it's starting to oxidize and increase the perceived sweetness. Scores lowered a bit. Still a great beer.

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of the late, great chswimmer (RIP). Thanks. From notes.

A: Pours a slick, pitch black body with minor legs upon swirling. It generates a very light head with agitation, but nothing that retains.

S: As soon as I sniffed this, I fell in love. It boasts aromas of wine, oak, vanilla, smoke, coconut, chocolate, roasted grain, figs. It's so well-integrated that it takes several minutes to pick out everything and write it down, and I'm convinced I missed some of it. Nothing is dominant; it's all in balance.

T: It begins with roasted grain, lending a mild bitterness that segues into chocolate, molasses, toffee, licorice, and figs. A touch of smoke is noted, then it finishes with clean barrel character: a blend of wine, whiskey (not bourbon -- I'd actually guess rye whiskey), oak, and vanilla. Again, nothing is dominant. All the elements are in balance and each one is well represented. The finish brings out a touch of smoke, spice, and chocolate once more.

M: A velvety, full body that leaves nothing to be desired. The flavor lingers without being unpleasant. Great, long-lasting finish that makes each sip an experience.

O: This beer is underrated. And that's coming from a guy who almost always says the opposite.

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

Big thanks to Alex for the share

A - Pours black and oily, with a little bit of legs, it is capped with a modicum of froth; it looks like an Imperial Stout, no doubt.

S - The nose is fairly complex, offering notes of smoked dark-dried fruit, roasted and naked grain, molasses, berry-ish vinousness, tannic oak, and also a hint of vanilla, coconut and baker's chocolate, to round it out.

T - The flavor is again very nice and sublimely complex, as it offers much of the same as the nose, but with differing apportionment. For one, the barrel is more pronounced in the flavor, and suggests more of a subtly sweet whiskey character, whereas the nose suggests more tannic oak and wine. The smoke is a bit stronger in the taste, as well; in this regard, I think the beer will age phenomenally as some of the smoke subsides. Dark and dried fruit is suggested, and where I perceived molasses in the nose, I am getting more of a toffee note in flavor. Good stuff; MS does it again...

M - The feel is silky and rich.

O - Awesomeness.

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Photo of KevSal
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to lakersfan16 for this guy!

22oz bottle into a snifter

A- Look spot on! completely dark with a deep brown, maybe half inch head. disolves to a a dark ring around the glass

s- YES! this guy fills the room! Smokey, sweet chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate. a strong particular smell reminiscent to hunahpu and apple brandy zhukov actually. full body aroma fills your nose.

t- bitter chocolates. smoke flavors are present but not over-bearing. all the flavors are balanced very well together. bitter chocolate after taste. delicious

m- mouth feel definitely helps the flavors come out. thick and chewy. perfect carbonation.

o- very well crafted beer. every works together really well. the nose is just amazing. was surprised to see this guy sit at 12.6! only .4 less than bcs, but nowhere near the heat. thank goodness i got another!

EDIT: this guys a creeper. it goes down so smooth it'll f*ck you up rightquick

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Alex for opening this bottle at DLD 2011. Served in a snifter.

Pour yields a near-black brew with a good mocha-ish-colored head and a nice cap as it falls down. The nose is really quite nice with an underlying smokey character throughout. On top of that comes some light chocolate as well as a dusting of coffee and some roasted malt. Everything is layered with the smoke quite well. Very nice touch. The flavor is really nice, hiding the alcohol quite well. Impressively well, in fact. Smoke mingles with chocolate, roast, and espresso. What's not to love? Good full body and appropriate carbonation. Very nice. Thanks again, Alex.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours a thick black with a small mocha head. Nose is rich, earthy malt, lightly ashy, with some smoke and wood. Very thick and rich in the mouth, fairly sharp carbonation. Fairly sweet flavor with fudge brownie, light wood, and a long roasted, smoky finish. Very nice, I enjoy the smoke and wood elements of this a lot. A lot of residual sugars...a bit more attenuation would have made this just killer.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Man I love me some smoked stout. Thanks to Alex for bringing this one (I think).

A - Dark black beer with a tiny mocha head that didn't stay for long and left nothing on the sides.

S - Roast, little bit of smoke, some chocolate, and some sweetness. Nothing jumps out at you, rather the aromas blend together nicely and can be individually picked out.

T - This is a well balanced stout. The sweetness sticks out a little bit in the form of chocolate and toffee, but combines nicely with the roast. Smoke is present, but I wish it were just a touch stronger, although there is nothing to complain about. For some reason I'm thinking of Czar Jack or BA Speedway when I'm drinking this, but it might just be my imagination. Great taste.

M - Full bodied and smooth.

O - Really great beer, I have yet to drink something by MS that isn't a quality brew. This is quite well balanced and offers something for everyone. Recommended.

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Photo of gford217
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to a great BA for this bottle.

Pours seriously dark, oil slick black, with a small but thick mocha head that shows decent retention and leaves sticky legs along the sides.

Whoa, this thing has a fantastic nose, massively complex. Starts out with dark, bakers chocolate, licorice and just enough smoke to make me take notice. There is a bit of oak in there as well, but nothing dominates the nose. Everything fits together.

The taste is seeming more complex. It's like the beer takes on three different forms. Starts with heavily roasted chocolate malts, bitter almost. This is swept away with a combination of sweetness, licorice especially, and the smoky notes. The smoke lingers a bit in the finish along with some spicy oak and a return of the bitter chocolate....floored me.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. It's pretty thick on the palate, sticking through the finish. Just coats the mouth completely.

Another fantastic beer from MSBC, using the smoke to supplement a great base beer, not letting it dominate. Can't believe the ABV is over 12%. Big ups to the boys in Anchorage.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.57/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Alex... pours a dark black with out much of head but super dark and good looking... nose is really complex with some much going on but they blend perfectly, roast, oak, lots of smoke and bitter chocolate, very good... the nose is sweeter than you would expect, chocolate and smoke, the wine barrel adds some nice depth, smoke and wine go wonderfully... a little thin but hides the alcohol completely... this is excellent and you need to get it

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Photo of hopluva1
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BigE90 for the 22 oz. served in a snifter @ 50-55*

This is black with just a slight light brown head. Aroma is not to complex, it is bourbon barrel with a hint of smoke. This beer comes to life when you taste it. Bourbon(not sure if it was in a bourbon barrel), roasted barley, some dark fruitiness and alcohol flavor blend well together. The smoke just lingers there adding one more layer of flavor.

I really enjoyed this beer, hopefully they will produce it again.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

MI Mega Tasting III. 22oz bomber, poured into RBSG 2010 snifter.

A - Pours black as night with nothing else much going on. Just black stout in my glass and that's about it. There's a yellow hue left after swirling the glass around a bit...motor oil-esk.

S - Bitter dark chocolate, slight smoke, roast, nice oak character. A little bit of this and that, blended together, equals awesomeness.

T - Not quite as much dark chocolate on the palate as the nose, but it's still there. The slight sweetness comes out from the cabernet barrel. Smooth booze, slight roast, very complex. 12.6% alcohol, you say? No way...barley noticeable/very impressive.

M - Full body, smooth, rich, with light carbonation.

O - Hard to find any flaws at all with this one. The alcohol is seriously well-hidden, which impresses me most of all. The chocolate and oak are not overdone and contribute instead of mask mistakes, which I find with other stouts. Another excellent brew from MS...recommend!

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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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