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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 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Sean9689 (285) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 16, 2011
Mega Tasting III. 22oz bottle, wow...really? Im reviewing this beer? Pinch me. Huge thanks to Derek for this one! A - Pours a very dark brown, almost black, small ring around the glass, no head or lacking to speak of. S - Huge sweetness, caramel, molasses, slight dark fruit, ultra-smooth alcohol. Just an excellent combo of sweetness and booze. Lots of chocolate in there as well...wow. The oak is a perfect touch. T - Burnt sugars, caramels, chocolate, touch of oak, dark fruits. This is like a decadent chocolate truffle mixed with sweet caramel and dark fruit. Seriously amazing. Lots going on...just excellent. M - Full, rich and smooth, light carbonation, creamy finish. D - Uh, wow. This is just phenomenal. Almost like a BA stout in some ways. The chocolate sweetness and dark fruits are just stellar along with the oak. Jeez...really impressive.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
50belair (3426) - Florida, USA - OCT 9, 2010
LCBS late addition. This was maybe my number one want, and somehow this uncanny crew put it together. Its a sweet nose loaded with brown sugar, dark fruits, and sweet malt. M is super smooth and creamy with an explosion of sweet malt, molasses, dark fruit, and maple syrup. Simply amazing!!!!!!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
markwise (5195) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - MAY 28, 2010
Sampled at the same time as the Tampa crew and saved for rating 1500. Greg, you a re a man amongst men. Thank you, humbly, for this share. The man tried the dregs of the second bottle so we could all sample it. Bottle courtesy of tpd975. Thanks for the amazing share, Greg! Pours dark caramel brown with an off-white head. Nose is what I imagine northern purgatory smells like: malt, caramel, some sugar, brandy, plums, brown sugar, raisin, chocolate, toffee, and heath bar. Flavor is similar, but it would be wrong not to name it out: brown sugar, malt, caramel, toffee, brandy, raisins, dark fruit, and a barely noticeable hop presence. Medium to full body and a force to be reckoned with.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
DuffManSW (436) - Riverside, California, USA - APR 3, 2010
Very tiny hand bottle shared by hophead22...Pours a thick reddish brown with no head. Coats the glass very nicely...Aroma is lots of caramel and alcohol..Flavor is burnt caramel, slightly fruity, raisins and some bourbon...thick...Pretty damn awesome. Thanks Tim and thanks Treyrab!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Hophead22 (2879) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - APR 3, 2010
Small hand bottle generously sent to me by treyrab, I am in your debt Trey. Rating #104. Muddy brown with virtually no head, just very still and quite hypnotic to look at. Wonderful aroma, huge and bold, molasses, raisins a touch of vanilla and a little bit of bourbon, quite spectacular, I spent a good 10 minutes just breathing in this rare creation. Sweet is the first thing that hits my lips, a little more bourbon, slightly fruity and more dark molasses, but not what I expected after smelling it for all that time, but this was just plain fucking tasty and I look forward to the time when/if I get a chance to try it again. (1162)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
MeadMe (1610) - Fishhawk, Florida, USA - FEB 20, 2010
I am proud to say I was lucky enough to have this beer twice in a two month period. First bottle provided by matta. Second bottle bonused in a trade by a wonderful BA in the great white north, and shared with the tampa, orlando, and miami crew. A: Pours a nice deep shade of brown with tinges of angry maroon showing through. The head is rather small with little retention or lace. S: Wonderful malty sweetness. Tons of sweet molasses, chocolate, caramel, and over ripe dark fruit. T: This one has gloriously aged. Tons of wonderful malt sweetness. Molasses, caramel, and rich nutty toffee. Dark fruit is there with mild chocolate, mild woody notes and a dash of vanilla. M: On the fuller side of body, rich, bold, smooth, sweet, tasty, with a bit of booze in the finish D: Wonderful, a masterpiece that is not only rare, it is great. One of the best aged beers I have ever had. Wish I had been drinking good stuff to have tried this one fresh as well.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
kiefdog (1826) - Tampa, Florida, USA - JAN 18, 2010
Bottle courtesy of tpd975. Thanks for the amazing share, Greg! Pours a cola brown to black with a thin tan head. Aroma is heaven -- sweet and malty with notes of brown sugar, ripe plums, rum-soaked raisins, toffee, molasses, chocolate, malty goodness. Flavor is sweet and malty with notes of brown sugar, overripe dark fruit, maple syrup, chocolate, toffee, sweet, malty goodness. Medium body with a malty and slightly boozy finish. Amazing beer and worth the wait!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
HOPSHUNTER (742) - Tampa, Florida, USA - JAN 8, 2010
UPDATED: FEB 16, 2010 Rating #400. Bottle at tpds infamous M throwdown, Poured near black with some ruby highlights and a thin tan head. Nose is dark fruit and chocolate up front, later notes of caramel, molasses, and smoke become more apparent. As it warmed I started getting some wood notes in the nose. Full bodied with soft carbonation and a slightly syrupy, creamy mouth feel. The flavor is sweet malt with loads of dark fruit like cherries, fig, and raisin. Flavor also contained big notes of caramel, chocolate, brown sugar, wood, and vanilla. Finishes very sweet almost to the point of being cloying, alcohol is very well hidden. Major thanks to Greg for sharing this gem.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
GodOfThunder (1249) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JAN 6, 2010
Special thanks to TPD975 for the pour. Amazing generosity. Brown sugar, dates and dried fruits are still kicking in this. Smooth and easy going, surprisingly. Very tasty and still very good.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
gkost (1709) - Tampa, Florida, USA - DEC 28, 2009
#900 ... thanks tpd975! Pours deep red/brown. Nose is ridiculous toffee, plum, fig and ripe cherries, booze, wood molasses, leather and vanilla. Flavor is full of sweet dark fruits, warming alcohol, musty leather, tobacco, roasty grain, mild smoke, bourbon, fresh wood, an cocoa. Full bodied, rich flavors, oily, complex. What a gem.

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