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RATINGS: 126   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.23   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 348   ABV: 11.6%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - JUL 21, 2005
Aroma of dark chocolate, mulberries, firewood-sweet but not cloying. Soft mouthfeel. Raisins, a pecan or 2. Very dry finish. Another extremely well-crafted overly sweet barleywine. What pushed this past "just good" was the softness of the alcohol and the incredibly benign addition of bourbon-barrel aging

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
tiggmtl (4548) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 20, 2005
UPDATED: NOV 27, 2006 Rerate (Aug-06, 8-3-8-4-17=4.0): Blackberries, vanilla, oak, bourbon, chocolate, nutty marzipan and alcohol all blend well in the nose. Opaque brown body is topped by a low tan head that recedes to a lasting cover. Sweetness is offset by alcohol. Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and berries all make guest appearances. Medium full body is liquorous and warming with low carbonation. Bottle enjoyed with beerbuzzmontreal, MartinT, Olivier_MTL, Rastacouere and Yowie. Original rating (7/20/05, 7-3-8-3-15=3.6): Thick, sweet, vinous dark fruits with roasty malts and soy. Opaque brown-black with low tan head that recedes to ring with some lace. Sweet dark chocolate with maple and vanilla notes that lead through to roasty dark malts and alcohol in the finish. Medium-light body with fair carbonation. Bottle sampled at RBSG’05.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
SpringsLicker (3046) - Tennessee, USA - JUL 16, 2005
RBSG M has a dark brown body that supports a small off white head. Caramel and molasses come through in the aroma. The flavor is off balance somewhat, being a bit too sweet. Cloying.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
TAR (2410) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JUL 16, 2005
Blackened ruby. Attractive gray-tan foam disperses to form a tightly packed fringe. Lace dots the glass. Splendid nose of port, tobacco, mashed prunes, and fruitcake. Touch of wood and salty bourbon. Lush, pillow soft carbonation. Superbly conditioned. Mild dried plum tartness caresses the jet-puffed thickset malt structure. Tardy, but sufficient, emergence of tannins and dainty yeast fruitiness pierce the viscid consistency. Magically, the alcohol is never a factor, even as it reaches room temp. Artfully placed crystallized sugar grittiness reinforces the fluffy malt backbone. Gains more jammy succulence as it breathes. Next-to-nil phenolics fail to complement the sweetness, but the redeeming aridness more than compensates. Finishes juicy with a kiss of fruitcake infused with grapey acidity as a powdery brush of oaky dryness skims the palate and stabilizes the sweetness. Hops seal the finish by lending a lasting breath of fruitiness. Feels downright wonderful on the mouth, aroma and flavors are quite cohesive, alcohol is virtually imperceptible, and the bourbon shows plenty enough restraint to allow the complex nuances to come forward. What a way to commemorate ten years!

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
beerbuzzmontreal (3490) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 13, 2005
UPDATED: AUG 7, 2006 Excellent aroma of dark fruits, toffee, malt and alcohol. Excellent flavor of dark fruits, molasses, toffee and alcohol. The body is light to medium with a slick, liquorous texture and soft carbonation. Wow. Previous rating : 8/3/8/3/17 3.9 RBSG 05 Pours a dark brown color with a thin light brown head. Aroma of caramel, roasted malt and fruits. Flavor of raisin, caramel, roasted malt. Light to medium body, dry texture.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
MartinT (7523) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 13, 2005
UPDATED: APR 24, 2006 Voluptuous caramel malt volume flattering the juicy berries...A few branches are smoking afar, tracing the trickly treacley firmament...A heated orgasm is multisensorial in this sweetest of planets...

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jercraigs (7348) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 13, 2005
RBSG 2005. Dark brown-black body with a moderately fluffy white head is delivered to me be a jolly young man with a big red beard – Santa??? Aroma is sweet boozy chocolate roast. Sweet chocolate and malt flavour with a very mild roast in the finish. Medium bodied. Enjoyable.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hopscotch (8529) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JUL 13, 2005
UPDATED: APR 2, 2014 Bottle... RBSG2005... This beer rocks!... Very dark ale with a small, frothy, beige head. Notes of caramel, soy sauce, toasted nuts and chocolate in the aroma. What a big beer! Flavor is all about chocolate, alcohol, caramel and dark cherries. Full-bodied and lightly oily with medium carbonation. Lengthy, warm, sweet alchohol finish. Incredible!

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Walt (2449) - Austin, Texas, USA - JUL 13, 2005
Pour is black with a thin tan head...smell is sweet caramel and nuts (and doughnuts)...taste is sweet and malty with cookies and bread throughout...finish is a little smokey and went great with the sweetness...another surprising treat...

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JUL 12, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 24, 2006 Bottle aged about a year: Pours a nearly opaque dark brown with a thin, wispy tan head. Aroma of sweet complex dark caramel malts and lots of raisins. Body starts with a full, sweet, complex viscous maltiness. Nicely balanced, with good aged complexity. A very nice barleywine. I sure wish this was easier to find.

Sampled at the RBSG ‘05 bottle tasting courtesy of mjames: Very viscous, nearly opaque dark brown pour with a thin tan head. Rich, sweet, caramely and dark chocolatey with some candy-like sugar throughout the aroma. Body is filled with chocolate chip cookie dough sweetness with good sticky maltiness and a hint of bready Belgian yeast. This reminds me a lot of Pannepot and should age gracefully. Another great Midnight Sun beer.


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