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Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
89 92 86 4 15 10

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Berserker Imperial Stout by Midnight Sun Brewing
Russian Imperial Stout
12.70 % ABV


 
Review by everetends on 07/04/10  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
92 3 12 18 4 9 2010
Old Review
22 oz bottle that I can only thank Frank's generousity for, a random package full MS goodness is always an O face moment. I have been sitting on this beer for such a long a time and I wanted to save it. Well, I needed some cheering up and my birthday was last week so its Berserker time. Served up in a snifter.

A: Pours a thick very dark black in color. Held to the light, this is nothing but darkness. No light is getting through this one at all, just pitch black. The pour got about a 3/4 finger of head that is just a really nice dark brown, cocoa color. Sadly it falls a good bit to thick ring with some wispy amoeba like formations. You get some light lace on the glass, but most of it slips back into the cap ring due to the slickness of this brew. My only bitch is that I only wish there the head was a bit bigger, more frothy and longer lasting. Otherwise, we are off to an amazing start.

S: As soon as I popped the cap on the bomber, I could smell this thing. Just a huge aroma that fills the area effortlessly. First thing that hits me is a nice and boozy whiskey aroma. its just enough to let you know its there but it doesn't over power like whiskey tends to do. Behind that comes some nice molasses and chocolates. Heavily roasted malt brings a touch of bitterness to the nose but very light. Really good oak and vanilla starts contributing to this nose. There is a touch of a boozy fruit presence that cuts the heavy sugar sweetness a bit. Other notable scents are a touch of leather and a bit of a light nuttiness (pecans maybe).

T: Oh this is quite fuckin fantastic. Lots of nice, heavily and dark roasted malts coming out. Has a nice sweetness to it but also a light smokiness that plays well of the next flavor. That flavor is the whiskey. Light and sweet, but still good and boozy. After that getting some good chocolate, molasses, and just a touch of espresso. Some plum starts to peak through a bit, which compliments so well. There is also a touch of a grape like quality (deep red wine almost), the bottle says nothing about wine barrels but it seems like that might be going down in here. Good amounts of vanilla and oak poke through toward the end. This is great but I think it is slightly lacking in comparison to the nose.

M: Good and full in body, nice and heavy but still easy drinking for the size. Nice and viscous, I mean good and thick. Still slick and smooth, almost pillowy at times. Carbonation is light, allowing this brew to have some good weight. ABV is big in the flavor but not huge in the feel. Just a wonderful, slow building heat in the belly. The ABV doesn't wreck the palate at all. Aftertaste is a touch of grape and some roasted malty goodness.

D: For being a fuggin HUGE beer, this is easy drinking. The snifter emptied much faster than I ever wanted but its still a great thing. Sure I don't have another bottle, but the enjoyment factor of this experience is top notch. I might have found my new favorite RIS. Its just so damned good and well crafted. Just so well put together and everything sits just where it should be. The aroma is the show stopper for me, just amazing. Frank, you are a great man and a lucky bastard for having this around you each year. Stellar beer that derserves some more recognition.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 09-22-2009 05:06:06

Served In: Snifter

Review by joe1510 on 11/08/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
86 2 10 18 4 9 0
22oz Bomber

12.7%

This is yet another Alaskan gem from the gentlemanly scholar known as AKBelgianBeast, thanks Sir Francis! Berserker? Well, there's no other word to describe this stout than pure coal black. I think light is actually afraid of the oil like black body of this beast. Two fingers worth of one of the darkest heads on planet earth formed on the pour and eventually fell to a skimming. A quick swirl brings it back easily. You know how chocolate milk looks when it's poured with the bubbly top? Well, that's Berserker's head for you. There's a good amount of stick left behind as well .

The nose on this giant beer is insanely complex. Roasty malts on the verge of being charred start things off but licorice, cocoa powder, and blackstrap molasses (in that order) follow closely behind. The bourbon is there but sweetly mild (or is that mildly sweet?). Faint vanilla here and there with sweet earthy sweet hints of cabernet wafting through in the back. Oak is poking its head out with a soft mingling vanilla character. This beer is a complexity bomb, without a doubt.

The flavor actually manages to outshine the nose, I don't know how but it does. Where to begin? Roasty malts, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, licorice, molasses, yada, yada, yada...This beer is a never ending evolution of flavor. The bourbon comes up front, the cabernet on the swallow and both add a touch of sweetness that keeps the roastiness in check. Oak manages to refine it as a whole to make it an absolute pleasure to imbibe. It's tough for me to do this brew justice. I barely ever give away 5s (especially for flavor) but this stout deserves it. Wow!

The mouthfeel is insanely good. Somehow it's so incredibly smooth and airy yet creamy and slick. Again, I can't even bring myself how to get into the descriptors. The body leans toward the heavy, obviously and the alcohol is barely noticeable. How do they do that?

For a beer of this strength the drinkability is amazing. No noticeable alcohol and this bomber is disappearing like I'm a fish. Berserker is one dangerously drinkable beer (cliché? Yes).

Well, what can I say that hasn't already been said? Not a whole lot I guess. This beer isn't even gone yet and I'm already fantasizing about the next. Thanks for this gem Beast, you da man!

Reviewed: 1/17/09

Served In: Snifter

Review by Lum on 11/04/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 11 18 4 9 0
Thanks to the one and only AKBelgianBeast!
2008
12.7 ABV

Pours a silky, viscous, ominious BLACK. Huge two fingers of dark moccha brown head rises.... then falls. Quite audibly too. Nice collar remains in the glass - some light lacing... which kinda surprises me.

Aroma is excellent. Nice and toasty, very roasty - but not charred! How pleasant - really. Very sweet in aroma - molasses, sweet milk chocolate - all entwined with a good deal of sweet whiskey - holy fuck yes (and I don't cuss very often mid-review). Lactose sugars? Very possible. I love this so far...

This is really living up to my expectations so far - and then some. Hugely roasted malts here - charred, but not overly so. Nice hints at hardwood smoke also. The sweetness prevails here as well - chocolate, toffee, licorice, sugary coffee, along with prunes and a handful of raisins thrown in. A certain sourness also - I am going to attribute this to the Cabernet barrel aging. Oh yeah, molasses as well - almost in a dominate way. Everything in excellent balance, and all carry through the finish sooo well.

Full, no, FULL in body. Thick, syrupy, sticky, and creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is nice and light - perfect. 12.7 ABV!!?? Wouldn't have guessed it.... but a nice alcohol warmth, all the same. Dry in the finish.

Good God - this is fantastic!
Really, that about covers it... big, bold, boozy-ish (but very boozy), good whiskey barrel aging - barrel aging done RIGHT. Everything is melded together so well, so perfectly crafted... WOW.
I NEED more.
Does MS make a so-so beer? I think NOT.
Frank, again, THANKS.
A MUST Try!!!!

Served In: Tulip

Review by seaoflament on 07/28/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
86 3 9 17 5 9 2005
Thanks to Stephen for bringing this nice surprise at the 'You Bring the Cheese Tasting' which took place on July 25-26th 2009. I had this beer before, likely a 07 vintage, and wasn't too impressed with it. This bottle was a 2005 vintage and significantly better than the last time I had this beer

Poured dark, like any other imperial stout, with a quarter inch of foam and not much retention.

The nose was a combination of chocolate, oak, raisins, toasted oak, toasted malts, chocolate malts, dates, prunes, black cherries, "green" barrel aromas, vanilla, still a bit harsh with burnt notes and tannins. Still, the smell is pretty darn good and fresh for an almost 4 year old imperial stout.

Now, the taste is where this one shines. Smooth chocolate flavors upfront, coffee, sweet raisins covered in chocolate and booze, toast, caramel, vanilla, and soft oak. A bit tannic on the finish. Some flavors of black cherries develop later on. Carbonation is on the low side but very smooth and creamy on the palate.

Very tasty beer and I was surprised how well this one has aged but even more impressed that I feel it still has not peaked. I could tell Stephen has done a fine job at cellaring this beer.

Served In: Snifter

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