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RATINGS: 137   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.28/5   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 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
crossovert (11398) - 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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
neepsntatties (1781) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 17, 2012
Bottle courtesy of AKFaust and BrewBoone. Colour...deep mahogany brown with no head. Nose...smells just like Don Pedro Ximenez but with crushed dates, Brooks prunes and dark fruit cake. Palate...delicately carbonated with an immediate rush of Christmas cake and fruit bar. Next comes the waves of dark raisins, medjool dates and dark currants followed by a slightly bitter burnt brown sugar hit and a plush yet semi-tannic mouthfeel that adds an interesting dimension to the experience. This is a truly unique and rare beer!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
brokensail (16057) - Dublin, California, USA - OCT 29, 2012
Very, very dark brown pour, almost black, with a khaki head. Rich bourbon and vanilla notes, lots of dark fruits, a hint of leather, and plenty of wood. Some sweet caramel, a mild to moderate oxidation, and a fair amount of chocolate. Sweet brown sugar and caramel notes which go nicely with the fruit, bourbon, and vanilla. Mild chocolate, some oxidation, molasses, and a hint of alcohol.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - SEP 13, 2012
I want to start off by saying thank you to the generous BA who shared this with a few of us last night. I definitely thought trying this one was beyond my reach. "We are but mere mortals in the presence of M." Indeed. Pours extremely dark for a barleywine, dark mahogany brown, with a small beige head. It looks almost like a Belgian dark in color, almost black. Aroma is outstanding and has clearly held up to the years in the bottle. Itís a good bit fruiter than I was expecting, certainly more than the typical barleywine. Lots of raisins and plums mixed with chocolate and caramel. The oak is present with some light tannins, leather and booze. The taste just doesnít live up to the aroma though itís still extremely good. This is clearly where the age is beginning to catch up to M, with hints of oxidation creeping in. The booze soaked dark fruits are in the forefront, but with a chocolate-covered character to the whole thing. The finish is a mixture of port, oak and the oxidized notes. The mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, and softly carbonated. Hides the alcohol exceptionally well . This is one of the more complex barleywines Iíve ever had and the nose really stands up to anything Iíve ever smelled in the style. I have to imagine that this would have been one of the best beers Iíve ever tasted if I had it 2-3 years ago. As it is, I feel lucky to have been able to try it and it has held up much better than could be expected.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Huhzubendah (3542) - Washington DC, USA - JUN 25, 2012
Wow...bottle shared by scraff. Thanks a lot, Scott! The beer appears a dark, chestnut brown color and displays a small, oily, beige head. Only sparse lacing is left behind as well as an oily, filmy layer that coats the snifter. The aroma shows a bit of age and a myriad of scents, to include figs, raisins, plums, oak, booze, maple, brandy, toffee, caramels. The beer is rich and luxurious, yet light on the palate somehow. Smooth and velvety, a silky feel. The flavor resembles a fine tawny port or sherry. Dark fruits coated with brown sugar. A delicate sweetness is present throughout. A light, warming booze presence, but unobtrusive. This beer goes down effortlessly. What an experience.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Dunt (310) - Illinois, USA - JUN 23, 2012
Thanks Mike for bringing this epic bottle. Another bottle I never thought Iíd have the honor of trying, thank the lord for Epic Tres! Pours a dark brown with some reddish hues when held to the light. Good carbonation on the pour. Nose opens up with honey and caramel, then moves onto more caramel, dark fruit, light booziness, cocoa, and oak. Tastes slightly oxidized, but itís still a phenomenal barleywine. Caramel, honey, chocolate, malt, dark fruit, some light brown sugar, and molasses. Exceptionally smooth, not really boozy at all, low carbonation, and a long finish. Not just a product of hype, M is a real damn good beer. While it may be slightly past itís peak, it is still one of the best barleywines Iíve ever had. Thanks again Mike.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Thorpe429 (5016) - , Illinois, USA - MAY 30, 2012
UPDATED: JUN 11, 2012 Huge, huge thanks to Scott for opening this bottle and giving me the opportunity to try some. Served in a Midnight Sun goblet. Pours a very dark brown with a thin light tan head that recedes fairly-quickly, leaving behind a few spots of lacing as it falls to a thin collar. The nose has loads of dark fruits with plum and raisin being prominent. The background is a bit of caramel and toffee with very mild esters. Some barrel character is there, though itís in the background. The flavor adds in a touch of port character along with a very mild oak and vanilla presence. Not the most complex that Iíve had, but quite good. Body is medium with low carbonation and a slight viscosity. Smooth with no noticeable alcohol. Overall, a very delicious beer that I would have at any time. However, at this point, Iíd say that things like King Henry and perhaps Kuhnhenn BB4D are equal or better. Still, what a damn fine experience.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
BrewDad (5328) - Olympia, Washington, USA - APR 1, 2012
Dark brown in color, clear with a thin head. Nice dried fruit aroma with alight Belgian yeast lingering. The flavor was fruity and sticky sweet. I get a dried prune and slight citrus flavors. Very sweet bourbon aromas and flavors linger this brew also is high in alcohol and you can taste it. A terrific brew after all these years. Thanks Midnight Sun for the taste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
callmemickey (4285) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 9, 2011
UPDATED: MAY 29, 2015 A: Dark chocolate brown body with a thin to moderate sized khaki head. Light amount of lacing left behind. S: Tootsie rolls, brownies, slight burnt brown sugar, the slightest hints of sherry and booze. T: Chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, sherry, toffee, slight booze, oak, and a hint of vanilla. M: The highlight of the beer. Sublimely smooth with a light to medium level of carbonation. Decadent, silky-sweet finish. Not cloying in the slightest. Perfect. O: This is close to a 19/20 here, but the nose could have been a "tad" better. Well worth the hunt... I am lucky I didnít have to do the hunting. The hype is well deserved and this is (still) drinking great. Thanks, Joe.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
fbm115 (187) - New Jersey, USA - AUG 24, 2011
This was presented as a surprise bottle by Jon at a tasting. tried to go into this as imparital as possible. poured about 3-4 oz into a large stemed goblet. color is dark brown with a small dense head that falls quickly. clear up to the light. smell is rich dark malts mixed with dark fruits belgian yeast esters and rich barrel oak and bourbon component. notes of dark sugars and tobacco. there is a moderate note of oxidation that almost ties all the smells together. taste is, well, a barrel aged belgian barelywine. perfectly executed. a rich malt base with notes of brown sugar carmel maple syrup leads to a touch of dark fruits rasin and light note of roasty chocolate and a bit of tobacco. belgian yeast esters a touch fruity but clean and kept in check. barrel component adds a vanilla oaky char with a hint of spirit. finish is a touch sweet with a light bitter balance. a touch of alcohol to taste. oxidation is definitely noted but mild and adds another note of complexity. mouthfeel is super smooth and full bodied without much alcohol to feel. carbonation is low lending a creaminess to the feel. the balance of all the components sets this one apart from all the others. I canít thank Jon enough for sharing this masterpiece

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