3000 Belgian-Style Barleywine | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

very good
18 Reviews
3000 Belgian-Style Barleywine3000 Belgian-Style Barleywine

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
In this ridiculously wonderful world we've created, we make beer- one batch at a time. As the scientist in us demands, we number said batches. And while every batch of our beer is special for us – providing a fresh start on a new day, establishing an experimental opportunity, bringing together our minds and spirits, projecting our company forward – each batch also scores time.

To celebrate our 3000th batch, we present a Belgian-style Barley Wine, simply called 3,000. Luscious layers of flavor begin with barley, wheat and rye malts followed by triple-hoppping with a single varietal. Fermentation, using three distinct yeast strains, achieves complexity in character and, of course, alcohol. This special batch was transferred into red wine oak barrels for eight months to age gregariously yet gracefully. After bottle-conditioning, this exclusive beer is ready for immediate enjoyment although it can be lovingly cellared for future festivities.

As we release 3,000 in January 2013, we hoist our glasses in thankful toast to YOU – our dearest friends in beer!

20 IBU

Added by MasterSki on 12-29-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 84
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a clear dark mahogany color ale with a large foamy head. Aroma of red wine notes with some caramelized malt and light sugary notes. Taste is also dominated by sugary notes with some vinous and red wine notes and some caramelized sugar. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Interesting but I would prefer less dominance from the red wine barrel.

 391 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Masterski surprised me with this a while back in a canbif box. Cheers man!!

Pours a deep burnt-orange/deep brown, over a finger of tan/creamy burnt-orange head. And at the edges, yes, I do believe ...yes!!! Roooooby tonez!!! Extra points for rooby tones. Always.

Anyhoo, nose is burnt toffee ...like the really dark part in sponge toffee, a bit of molasses, red wine and oaky vanilla, and sweet plums. Taste is brown sugar, raisins and caramel, some sweet oaky red wine. Dark malts and a touch of molasses lingers on the tongue. On the low side of full bodied, medium-low carbonation. Great stuff. Thanks again, Masterski.

 625 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #75 (April 2013):

Massive but still a good sipper, complex but pretty approachable, strong but still manageable. Happy batch #3000, an amazing beer to add to their portfolio. Nothing but epic on the lips. Hunt this beer down.

STYLE: Belgian-style Barleywine
ABV: 13.2%

LOOK: Thick head, nearly black

SMELL: Very oaky, red wine, mildly tart, carob, dark fruit, spice, faint phenols

TASTE: Thick, slick, smooth, woody, vinous, charred wood, modest hopping, tart apple, burnt raisins, sizable alcohol, bready, caramel, very fruity, medicinal herbs, tart cherry, mild wood tannin, yeast, drying finish

 652 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a very dark brownish color, it was pretty hard to pick out anyother hues or highlights since it was poured/consumed in the dark next to a campfire. However, it did provide a nice tannish colored cap with decent head retention and lacing.

S: A sour oxidation like note on the nose, with some big fruits and candy notes. A little booze sting on the nostrils, It's not really overpowering or promising but it smells sweet and "fruity" so lets give it a whirl....

T: Initial tartness from some cherries, grape skins and oxidation....It's backed up by a caramel and toffee candy sugar body. Some waves of oxidation like notes appear and disappear. The finish is sweet, dry and odd with sordove a lingering tartness and booze

M: Medium body, well carbonated, easy to drink with a touch of sweetness and oxidation.

O: Not what I was expecting. Sometimes to much of a good thing can result in a mess. While this beer was not bad it was a letdown in a way. The oxidation notes on the taste smooth out after it warms and airs out.

 1,035 characters

Photo of oceanman907
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to have this on tap at the brewery this week, 6oz. serving

My first impression of this beer was excellent. From the woody stone fruit smell (reminiscent to me of ripe plums toasted on an oak campfire) to the blast of cordial-like alcoholic sweetness (reminiscent of a cherry wine) with a finish that was very vinous indeed. The look of this beer is just as epic, slight tan head with a very dark rich almost purple hue. maybe its this color that makes me think this is a beer for a king... The thick viscous quality of this beer also fits wonderfully (and like many of the dark beers from MS) this one truly feels epic all the way down your throat. My only gripe with this beer was that it was very sweet almost a cordial beer, but it fits nicely as a special after dinner sipper without a doubt.

 815 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pour at mrbubbler's tasting.

Pours a murky dark orange-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, dark fruit, and red wine aromas. Taste is much the same with sour fruit, malt, and red wine flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that shows a better barrel aged presence in the aroma to me.

 598 characters

Photo of sprucetip
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

She's a good looker, but, of course, that is of little consequence in the big picture. It's dark brown like a thicker porter, but not inky black like a stout. The head is more brown than tan, fizzes into a couple of more inches then fades to a finger or so. This bit then fades very gradually, leaving a good deal more than film on top as I sip slowly. The lacing is bountiful.

The smell hit me from some distance upon opening. Impressive. It's a delicious aroma that I suspect will improve. The oak and and a sourness, that I assume (perhaps incorrectly) is from the wine barrel are prominent if not overly dominant. A rich malty sweetness gets into the mix, and every now and then I get a strong enough whiff of caramel to confidently identify it. The booze is evident but it isn't as sinus opening as many big beers. The sourness that I suspect is from the wine could be from one of the yeast strains? Whatever, it is somewhat reminiscent of cherries. There is also a vanilla/chocolaty essence that appears occasionally (I've been sipping and sniffin for nearly 2 hours and we have a ways to go yet before we conclude this sensory experience). Overall, it smells well, gells togethers fairly well now, and I suspect it will get even better after some rest down cellar.

Much like the nose but the sour/cherry element is somewhat more pronounced. If I could wave a magic wand and tone it down just a bit I probably would, but that's not to say I don't like it at all. Just that the caramel sweetness that I am fond of would be more of a player if the sourness was less. But that caramel richness is there and balances quite well. It tastes great now, and I believe it will get better.

Well carbonated, gentle warming, and a rich, luscious, viscous, and velvety smooth texture. Mouthfeel generally isn't a very important category to me, but I recognize the exceptionally nice feel of this one. There is some very gentle bitterness on the back end.

This is one of the best beers I've had from MSBC since Gabe left to start Anchorage Brewing. It is no M, but it is very good now and I predict, again, that it will improve. Thanks to Robert, the manager of the only retail beer store in my remote town in SE Alaska, for finding and getting a case of this long after it was supposedly all gone.!

 2,296 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Mike for the opportunity. 22oz. bomber into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a big, frothy 3 finger dark cream colored head with excellent retention. Beer is a super dark, almost opaque mahogany. Lacing is thick and layered with excellent stick. A superb looking beer all the way around.

Nose smells like a soured dark beer all the way around. Sour wine notes mix with caramel, toffee, brown sugar and a touch of roast. Some wet wood and burnt malt lingering in the background. Deep and aromatic. But the combination of flavors is a touch odd.

Opens with some tart fruit wine notes. Caramel and toffee sweetness linger nicely in the background and play oddly with the tart/sweet grape and cherry present. A little weird and not at all "Belgian-y". Brown sugar, more toffee, and a touch of boozy sweetness at the end. Finishes with hints of oxidized sweet purple fruit. Aftertaste of just a touch of sap hop bitterness. Very strange but I like it.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Oily and slick with some bubbles in the mouth. Goes down smooth with a touch of booziness. Finishes messy with a lingering, sweet, filmy aftertaste. Pretty solid. Considering the huge ABV, this is very, very drinkable.

This beer is a touch odd and its certainly no M. However, I think with what is going on here, this will develop into a very interesting brew down the line. The flavor combination is very unique and although certain notes feel out of place, it has a lot of room to integrate and change. I'm glad I have a couple cellared.

 1,570 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pours with a big head. Deep brown caramel. Thick collar and nice legs.

Smell - Lots of red wine character. Caramel. Yeasty. A slight acidic character.

Taste - Hint of a bright flavor. Touch of acidity. Deeper than caramel flavor. Almost milk chocolate. Red wine comes out in the middle. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel - Very chewy barleywine. Great body, despite how highly carbonated it is.

Overall - Good, but the red wine barrel doesn't blend as well as I thought it would.

 523 characters

Photo of Jeffo
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Been really impressed with Midnight Sun so far, so I was really happy to see a couple of these from akbeerfiend. Cheers man!

From a bomber into a snifter
Belgian barleywine aged in red wine oak barrels for 8 mos.

APPEARANCE: A dark brown pour yields a two finger, looser looking, foamy tan head with great retention. Bistre brown body, almost black, with loads of active carbonation. Piles of carbonation. A thick foamy cap leaves lots of sticky lacing on the top of the glass. A nice, full, foamy cap remains leaving sheets of lacing down the glass. Calms down a bit after a while, but this one was quite much like a Belgian strong dark for sure.

SMELL: Lots of oak and red wine with a distinct tartness on the nose. Grapes and wine with light lemon and citrus notes a well. Dark bread and rye spices add a solid base to the aroma. Pretty nice.

TASTE: Red cherries and dark grapes up front, with some red wine and oak tartness as well, then some flavors of sweet toffee, leather with lots of spicy rye and more tart wine at the swallow. Big and bold aftertaste of red wine, some vanilla and leather flavors from the oak barrels, lemon sourness and tart flavors, as well as some light bitter chocolate from the dark malts as well. Quite complex with a nice, refreshing red wine tartness the whole way through. No booze at all, which is impressive. This is really complex and enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and higher levels of carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, light, goes down fine and finishes somewhat dry. A touch puckering after the swallow. Decent feel, though the higher levels of carbonation just detract in the slightest, keeping this from being the blockbuster it wants to be.

OVERALL: This 13% brew went down way too easily. It is listed as a barleywine, but the red wine barrels have lended a tartness that makes it more like a strong, darker flanders ale perhaps. Except for the overly active carbonation, this is a wonderful brew with lots of complexity and happiness all over the place. Loved this one. Cheers again akbeerfiend!

 2,062 characters

Photo of MasterSki
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Review #3000. Figured this would be an appropriate beer for the occasion. Big thanks to Jer for the hook-up. Served in a taster pint with friends.

A - A humongous big tan foam settles to a thin cap, thick collar, and splotchy lacing. Very dark brown body that is verging on stout-like, with some ruby-tinged transparency at the fringes of the glass. Quite attractive, although I'm a little unsettled by the high level of carbonation.

S - Massive vinous character, with a hefty dose of oak, light vanilla, and perhaps a mild brett note that gives this a leathery and slightly coppery flavor. Initially heavy on dark fruits, nuts, but yields to phenolic yeast notes as this warms. This definitely seems more Belgian than M did, and it's extremely well-attenuated; doesn't really have the sweetness I expect from this style.

T - The taste is initially quite understated, with a mix of lightly sour and acidic red wine, oak, dates and prunes. Some notes of toffee, caramel, nuts, molasses, and chocolate emerge as the beer warms, and the taste is far less Belgian than the aroma. The malt doesn't totally integrate with the red wine notes, and there's a vaguely juicy quality as a result. Seems a bit oxidized too.

M - The feel is quite nice, with a soft carbonation, medium-full body, mildly chewy texture, and minimal alcohol heat. You really can't perceive the 13.2% ABV, and the beer goes down quite easily.

D - Not sure what to make of this beer. There are some nice qualities to it, but some odd and unexpected flavors as well. I've heard that this was rushed to bottles, and I'd concur with that sentiment. I'd also suggest this is miscast as a follow-up to M, as it's a vastly different type of beer. To me it's really more evocative of an English old ale, but aged in red wine barrels. I also think it will improve with more age, as some of the vinous character fades and the sweetness intensifies. I didn't really have a problem finishing a large portion of the bottle, but that being said, I'd rather have more Bar Fly.

 2,031 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle, thanks Joe.

Pours a dark cola brown with a bubbly, oily khaki head. Fruity Belgian yeast and red wine barrel notes complement each other in the nose, with light leather, molasses, dark malt, and tannins. Thick, chewy body with moderate carbonation and a dry finish that lingers with a blend tannin and leather. Flavor starts with dark malt, chocolate and sweet with a subtle transition of grape and dark fruit to a slightly tart wine barrel presence. Not much alcohol presence but too oaky. Not sure I'd care to try again but some age wouldn't hurt.

 564 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.69/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Shared by BucketBoy. Thanks Joe.

The beer is dark brown with a bubbly beige head. The aroma brings wine, oak, malt, brett. Rich and full bodied. Moderately low carbonation. Big barrel character. This beer is starting to turn sour. Very tannic. Some fruit tones. Alcohol warmth throughout. This was pretty good.

 311 characters

Photo of jegross2
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the Midnight Sun 3000 from Midnight Sun Brewing Company out of Anchorage, Alaska.

Score: 85

Bottle is from the January 2013 release. Served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 03/23/13.

Appearance: Pours just under a finger of tan head atop a deep brown colored body. Good lacing, above average retention. 4/5

Smell: Red wine/grapey sweetness, fruitiness, cinnamon, brown sugar, yeast, vanilla and toffee. This is a complex nose that is different (a lot more vinous) than anticipated. Hops-devoid for an American-style Barleywine. 4.25/5

Taste: The red wine aging is quite apparent on the tongue. This beer has a tangy sweet red grape flavor that has a sour-esque quality without actually being sour. Lots of fruitiness, almost like slightly funky jam in flavor. Vanilla, a little cocoa and toffee too. The flavors do not particularly integrate well, and the "tangy" red wine character really throws me off. Where are the hops (not that I think they would go well with this already messy flavor mix)? 3.25/5

Mouthfeel: Not quite full-bodied, but viscous. Average carbonation level. Does not drink like a 13+% ABV beer in the least. 4/5

Overall: I am very glad I got to try this beer and am grateful that my friend could hook me up with it, but found this one to be a massive disappointment. I was expecting a much better integrated beer that was not so vinous in light of the reputation of M. I brought this beer to a group tasting, so I did not have a large enough poor to dwell on the negatives for too long, but there is a good chance that had I had a full pour that I would not have wanted to finish it. Maybe time will treat this beer well, but I am finding more and more that I do not particularly care for stouts or barleywines aged in red wine and port barrels.

Cost: $15 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

 1,824 characters

Photo of Treebs
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle served in a Southern Tier tulip.

A: Pours a dark brown color with a khaki head forming on the pour. It recedes slowly to thin ring that leaves some soapy lace down the glass.

S: Fruity Belgian yeast with notes of bourbon and oak. Sweet toffee, vanilla and a light grape note.

T: The oak barrels really take over in the taste. The toffee sweetness is there followed by some light bourbon notes and a tart wine note from the wine barrel. Roasted malts with a dash of cocoa.

M: Medium to light bodied with a medium carbonation level. Slightly sweet and tart on the finish.

O: Way too oak forward at this point. It's very young and I think it needs much more time. The alcohol is nicely hidden though which is nice. It is a little thin as well.

 759 characters

Photo of Reswald
4.34/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

3000 poured opaque with a nice, tan head that was persistent and left a nice lacing on the glass. The nose was primarily of oak, from the barrel-aging, with some malt creeping in. At 13.2% ABV, and 25 IBUS, this beer certainly comes in on the malty end of the malt-hops continuum, but I found it surprisingly dry on the palate, compared to say MSBC's Arctic Devil Barley Wine. Don't get me wrong, it's still a big, chewy, sweet beer; it just seemed a little less so than some others. The flavor profile is everything you'd expect from a big, oaked, Belgian quadruple: malt, dark fruits, woody notes, hops purely to balance, and the alcohol barely discernible. As good as this brew is, I look forward to what several years in the cellar will do for it. Good luck finding any bottles for sale, but if you can, get as many as you can to cellar and savor.

 851 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.56/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 2.6.13
Bottle picked up at Brewpub in Anchorage

A - Pours a dark brown-ruby, looks black in the glass with a fine, two inch light brown head that lasts forever.

S - Malty and roasted, then dark fruit and red-wine, followed by some leather.

T - Roasted malt and chocolate, then lots of red wine and oak, followed by leather and vanilla.

D - Good carbonation with a heavier body.

O - Complex and deep. whoa.

 428 characters

Photo of ReeseMax3
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is my first full review. I'm not the best at describing what I taste but ill give it a go. Poured into a snifter.This doesn't look like any barely wine I have ever seen. Dark like coffee and relatively thick. With a tan bubbly 1/4" head that dissipates quickly to a foam that lounges around for the duration. Sticks to the sides of the glass.The smell is of milk chocolate and tobacco and malt. This is a tasty brew. If I wasn't told the style, I would call it a belgian strong dark ale rather than a barley wine. You can tell thus beer was coddled. Not a hint of the 13.2% abv. It's unbelievable how smooth this beer is. Extremely balanced and tastes of chocolate,molasses, tobacco, dark ripe fruit, a little sour( maybe cherry), roasted malt and a hint of smoke. A very nice brew. Definitely worth a try if you can find it. I have a couple to cellar.

* for what it's worth, I gave a lower grade for the look b/c it doesn't look like a barley wine. Who cares? It tastes damn good

 986 characters

3000 Belgian-Style Barleywine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
3.9 out of 5 based on 84 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.