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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 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
gunhaver (1030) - Tampa, Florida, USA - DEC 18, 2009
Bottle, courtesy tpd75. Pours a very dark brown, red highlights, with fuzzy lacing and a bubbly head. Nose is big on caramel, wood, sherry, licorice, dry vanilla. Pretty routine barley wine nose, but the flavor kicks it up quite a bit. Huge, very smooth malts, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, vanilla, bourbon, lots of fine alcoholic, but smooth, malty notes. Sooooo good, extremely complex; each sip presented new flavors and elements not noticed in the previous one. I really liked this one, would love to have more, but I doubt Iíll ever get another shot. Thanks Greg!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Ibrew2or3 (8055) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - OCT 30, 2009
UPDATED: DEC 18, 2012 Barleywine Rating #200!

Pours a striking mahogany with thin tan head. The aroma is caramel covered graham cracker and black strap molasses as well as musty aged figs, dates and plums. It smells of smooth yum and is very inviting. The taste is smooth rich creamy goodness with aged minced raisins fully populating a thick slice of pumpernickel and then moving into sweet black strap molasses, creamy caramel and then rich smooth blended notes of prunes, figs and dates. It evens out into the finish a bit with soft notes of chocolate and burnt molasses. This tastes fantastic and doesnít overwhelm with syrupiness by ending with a high degree of drinkabilty. In fact, I can see myself drinking a little of this every night.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
presario (4902) - Stampede City, Alberta, CANADA - OCT 6, 2009
pre-GABF. Big intoxicating alcohol nose. Still black beer. Aroma of soy and black midnight. Flavour of soy, thick taste, sweet delicious!!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
BeerandBlues2 (11979) - Escondido, California, USA - SEP 28, 2009
Sample from a bottle at Loganís pre-GABF party 2009. Pours black with an average, frothy, light brown head, somewhat diminishing with fair lacing. Aroma is heavy malt (caramel, toffee, nutty), light hop (herbs), average yeast (leather) with notes of raisin, date, port, and brown sugar. Full bodied, creamy texture, average carbonation, and an astringent finish. Long duration, heavy sweetness, light acidity and bitterness.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
yobdoog (1888) - Kingston, New York, USA - SEP 8, 2009
Consumed August 29, 2009. To date this has to be the most amazing beer I have ever had. The hype surrounding this beer is not what even made it, the beer is actually ridiculously good and so original and complex. Dark rich brown color with no head. Pours so thick and rich and just looks smooth. Aroma has chocolate, cream, molasses, cake and some rich dark candied fruit. Flavor is really complex. Rich dark chocolate and sundae syrup. Some alcohol warms you right up but isnít overpowering at all. Some fruit jam and lots of sweetness finish this off. Awesome!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
badbeer (434) - Iowa, USA - JUN 14, 2009
I want to start out with a huge thank you to hoppymeal for trading his only other bottle of M! Looks black or very dark brown from a distance, but when held to light has some very dark red colors to it. Excellent clarity on the beer. The head is tan colored and hangs around well leaving a decent lacing. Aroma jumps out of the glass with burnt sugar, molasses, sour cherries, mint, rum, bourbon, oak, plum, raisins, and Christmas cookies. Intense and complex smell, but everything smells so delicious. Taste is full of brown sugar, molasses, huge amount of caramel, cherries, bourbon, and vanilla. Mouthfeel is full, but so damn smooth, not cloying at all. Low carbonation and full body cause this to slide over the tongue delivering deliciousness to every taste bud possible. A beautiful beer to drink, I could sip on this beer all day, but sadly I donít ever think Iíll see a bottle again. As much as I had built this beer up in my mind after finding out everything I could about it, I didnít think it would be able to live up to what I believed it to be. Somehow, M knew my expectations and instead of breaking under the pressure, it stood strongly and proudly saying take it or leave it. Take it, I will. Simply M-mazing!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
ketchepillar (1184) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - JUN 14, 2009
Huge thanks to hoppymeal, pepsican, badbeer, and iowaherkeye.Low carbonation. Really smooth finish. Lots of fruit. Moderately sweet. fig & currant. Nice caramel, chocolate, slight butterscotch. Plums. Finishes with lots of chocolate & caramel. Some burnt sugar.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
DietPepsican (1585) - @ $13.99, Iowa, USA - JUN 13, 2009
Pours a reddish brown with a nice sized tan head. Aroma has a nice bit of chocolate, raisin, cherry, plums, old pears. Flavor was up front chocolate and caramel. Lots of sweet fruits are also dominate, mainly plums and cherries. It definitely has a light amount of sherry and cardboard oxidation that isnít quite distracting yet, but I could see it getting in the way soon. A bit of bourbon, vanilla, bubblegum, and toffee round this one out. The mouthfeel and finish are damn near perfect. I always want to hate aged beer, but I canít with this. Awesome.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
thebaldwizard (1205) - Ohio, USA - JUN 1, 2009
Pour was very dark brown with a small tan head. The aroma was sugary chocolate, vanilla and oak. The body was medium to thick with low carbonation, which fit well. The taste was plenty of sweet chocolate with hints of port and raisins. Really good stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Cletus (6355) - Connecticut, USA - MAY 16, 2009
Bottle cracked open to celebrate my 35th birthday. Pours dark brown with some off white bubbles around the rim of the snifter. Smells dry and oaky with some dark fruit, pepper, earthy, cognac, some molasses. Tastes of sweet malt, some vinous hints, toffee, some nuttyness, dry. Well balanced and enjoyable.

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