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RATINGS: 126   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.23   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 348   ABV: 11.6%
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On this 10-year mark, Midnight Sun Brewing Company proudly releases its 1000th batch of beer - a larger-than-life Belgian-style Barley Wine (if such a style exists) simply called M - in commemoration of the enduring spirit that founded and sustains this little brewery in the extreme Northwest. Making M required a massive grain bill - seven seductive malts - boosted by strength-inducing Belgian candi sugar. Once original gravity hit 37 Plato, a frenzied fermentation ensued: four completely fabulous yeast strains, two of Belgian origin, transformed this sweet concoction into all that is beer. But not just any beer. A beer of madcap magnitude - 11.6% ABV. Character and complexity increased exponentialy while M meddled and mellowed for several months in all-American bourbon oak barrels. Blending the aged beer before bottling ascertained smoothness. M is mesmerizing, pouring dark and silky. Caramel and spice waft up from the glass; bourbon, molasses, leather and vanilla follow. The first taste proffers tobacco, burnt sugar and raisin with a sublime port-like finish, but bourbon - smooth, sensuous, brooding bourdon - is ever-present. The finish, a bit edgy like an American take on barley wine, provides the necessary leap toward overall balance. M is a precious gift to ourselves as well as you, seekers of beer-that-is-beyond-beer adventures... We are but mere mortals in the presence of M.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
BoBoChamp (5105) - Gent, BELGIUM - MAR 9, 2014
65cl, retired exclusive American brew, thx alot to Antonio for shipping this over!, very complex brew, malty/sweet and slightly fruity/alcoholic, yet not too heavy, very balanced, cloudy, small head, world class!, yet very expensive!, íTo celebrate my 5000th beer rating; this awesome sample aged very well! Wondering how this would have tasted a few years ago...í

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
gEUS (890) - Linden, BELGIUM - FEB 25, 2014
One of the most special bottles I have had the honour to taste. Thanks to Jeffo! I am quite critical when it comes to hypes, but this one lives up to it, and beyond... With some background in wine tasting, the M is one of the few beers where all of the individual aroma and taste components have beautifully merged into a "bouquet"í, just like wine. One of the richest aromas ever experienced in beer: a perfect fruitiness (raisins, lots of raisins, figs, dates, dark prunes, plums and Belgian syrup aka "poepspijs") balanced in the most perfect way with sourness and sweetness. This is so much more than a beer... this is nothing less than divine.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
brystmar (1112) - Dallas, Texas, USA - FEB 7, 2014
UPDATED: FEB 8, 2014 Been after this one for years! Thanks to Mac for helping me land this beast. Pours nearly pitch black with handsome tan head & lace. Liquified Belgian candi sugar dominates the aroma. Some roastyness and bourbon, oak, hints of smoke too. Smells pretty nice, but the taste is where this baby shines. Torrents of flavor pummel my taste buds, imparting liquified candi sugar, sticky caramel, mild licorice, miles of complexity. Boozy warmth at the end doesn’t bite like others do. Low carb = fantastic. Jesus this is good. One of the very best liquids I’ve ever consumed.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
cpetrone84 (1201) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 2, 2014
Wonderful moment with two great friends, cheers to Kevin and Jeremy. Pour is black with light brown head. Nose is salty, soy, and date. A fair amount of berry fruit sweetness behind. Taste is a bit less soy, sweet berry, dates and figs. Some caky rum soaked raisin or date. Really soft body, full an gentle at the same time with very soft carbonation and extremely inviting. Overall, not really any oxidation, a really well put together beer, lots of sweetness but not sugary, nothing mind blowing but very solid.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
MrChopin (2927) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - DEC 22, 2013
Planned this review a week in advance. Expected an analytical comparison with added details on each of the 10+ barleywines we picked as background. But it hissed upon opening, we smiled, and then drank up.

M is achievement, a moment, the end of a long search in a hobby of "whatís next?" Our bottle celebrated friendship, years of joint efforts, trips, tastings, and thousands of miles. Today it was a 6hr project to buy, transport, build, and then use a ping pong table long into the night. M is still really good just no longer great. But thatís not why you go after it.
Thank you Chris.
Thank you Jeremy.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
JAXSON (524) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 21, 2013
UPDATED: DEC 24, 2013 A much sought after bottle for me. Pours deep brown, near black, with a wispy ring around the edges. Nose is dates, light soy, kind of mild but pleasant, meatier than expected. Mouth is very refined, old tasting. A lot of rum soaked dates, sweet rum cake. Sweet and full of dates and cake along the finish. Some smoke, coconut sugars open up. Feel is thick, full, silky. Elegant, regal, very nice. Quite sweet, cake like, marshmallow sweets. I would have loved to have enjoyed this 5 years ago but I wonít sully this moment with those thoughts.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TheAlum (5205) - Lisle, Illinois, USA - NOV 25, 2013
Bottle at Tony/Jim BA Birthday Extravaganza 2013 (Western Springs, IL). Fucking Sean. Pours a deep roasty brownish hue, dark with a good hazy body. Gentle copper brown glow on the edges. Frothy offwhite layer atop laces small, mellow lacing. Aromas are a bit oxidized, mellow oak, toffee and caramel. Gentle dryness, earth, and toast. Some gentle biscuit, toast. Initial is a bit thicker, firm body with mellow oxidation. Touches of caramel, toast and toffee. A bit thinner, more approachable, mellow warm$$th. Some gentle toast, vanilla and biscuit. A bit oxidized, touch of cardboard and age. Middle is a touch sticky, carmelized, mellow oak and gentle warmth. Finish is a touch sticky, some vanilla, oak and biscuit. Mellow toasty. A bit past itís prime but a pleasure to try. Some toastiness, biscuit, and oak sticks on to the backend. Still rocking it without much body or sticky sweetness. A touch faded on the nose but still nice. Nice stuff, even for itís age.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
readbaron (78) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 12, 2013
Mmmmmmmmm. Smell is fantastic. Not quite like any other beer Iíve had. Smells of caramel covered dates. Taste is exceptional. Hybrid of barleywine and stout - lots of dark fruit, rich depth of character. Lightly sweet and incredibly smooth. Looks like a blend of barleywine and stout - lightly carbed.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ianhuntley73 (21) - - APR 30, 2013
Second to last bottle I have left. Fantastic Barley Wine from Midnight Sun. Unbelievably smooth for a Bourbon barrel aged ale. Iíve had this beer 3 times and it appears to age well with the tobacco and burnt sugar notes significantly increasing with age. The funny thing about this beer was I obtained a number of bottles (8) for around $40. total and recently sold a single bottle for $4500.00. The beer is good but not worth that price. During this review, I did a cross comparison with a 1953 Trumanís No. 1 Barley Wine Coronation Year. Suprisingly, I found the 1953 Trumanís better than the Midnight Sun M.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
crossovert (6344) - Illinois, USA - APR 28, 2013
UPDATED: APR 29, 2013 Can finally say that it isnít as oxidized as expected. A bottle that jus recently came out of alaska so maybe the lower ambient temps helped it out. It is a great barleywine, caramel, bourbon, sweet but well-aged.

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