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RATINGS: 133   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.27/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 348   ABV: 11.6%
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 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 16, 2005
22 oz. bomber, shared by DarkElf, you rock dude! Pours dark brown, opaque with a thick tannish head which left good lacing. Aroma is sweet and rich with dark roasted malts, brown sugar, caramel, wood and whiskey notes (both from the bourbon barrel and the alcohol content) Flavor is rich , dark fruits, brown sugar and molasses, smooth alcohol, dark coffee, port wine notes, wood, earth and dried ripe cherries. What an amazing amalgam of sensory stimulation! Smooth mouthfeel, gentle carbonation and very drinkable - dangerously so for an 11.6 abv monster. This is one rockin’ brew!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
radiomgb (2686) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 15, 2005
Rating #1000. Bottle. Deep brown - near black - in colour with a thin tan coloured head. The aroma was candyish, some yeast, lots of brown sugar, quite sweet with some roasted malts. The flavour was quite sweet as well, lots of brown sugar again, candied fruits, dark cherries, chocolate malt and caramel. Some minor alcohol present, thick mouthfeel, medium body, medium carbonation. Finishes with a lingering light bitterness, slightly dry. Midnight Sun’s 1000th batch and my 1000th rating, what could be better then that?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 12, 2005
Pours with a dark brown body topped by a thick head with a good amount of lacing. It’s sweet and full of candy sugar notes, malt and a touch of fruit. Full bodied, smooth and a touch dry.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
biz82 (1328) - austin, Texas, USA - AUG 30, 2005
Very dark brown with a red hue and a creamy thin walnut colored head. Sweet brown sugar and dark caramel with some leather and a hint of alcohol. Very sweet but balanced by the complex nutty malt musky bourbon flavors and a lick of tartness. Luxurious body. I think the commercial description is right on and the beer lives up to it. I hauled six bottles 20 miles into the Alaskan bush on a canoe trip which were greatly appreciated by the locals I was with. The evening’s conversation tended to alternate between bear encounters and how this was unlike any beer we had drank.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
IPFreely (1470) - Sanborn, New York, USA - JUL 26, 2005
Deep brown in color, chestnut, with a tan head. Full on malty, with plenty of brown sugar, some light smoke, and a good dose of maple. Medium to full body, alcohol is present, but only slightly. A damn fine beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jzzbassman (1578) - Arlington, Texas, USA - JUL 24, 2005
Thanks to mjames to sharing this. I struggled on whether to even rate this, as I never did quite get a handle on it. I do know that the aroma was like a good scotch, and that went further into the flavor, with hints of a good pipe tobacco. Very smooth for 11.6%, had so much going on in the flavor that I couldn’t ever really wrap my palate around much. There was a strange flavor that I can’t begin to describe, that while not awful, kept this from being perfect. Close to being the most complex thing I have ever tasted.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - JUL 22, 2005
Bottle sampled @ RBSG 05’ (Montréal) Grand Tasting
Dark burgundy color, nice head, lots of lacing. The nose is strong with smoke, salt and brown sugar, lots of strong odd flavors. The finish is strong, musky and sharp. Some yeast and alcohol is present from the copious use of candi sugar but still remains above water.

   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

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
tiggmtl (4544) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
SpringsLicker (3417) - 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.

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