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RATINGS: 130   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.23   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 348   ABV: 11.6%
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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 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
5000 (6241) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - JAN 1, 2008
Bottle for rating #2400: Viscous pour, burnt caramel in color, the deepest brown before becoming black, thin short lived light beige head, a few whisps of lacing.   Being at nearly two and a half years in the bottle, it has taken on an aged appearance.   The aroma is dominated by the raisin and prune.   Very subtle oak, vanilla, and bourbon character as well.   I can see where the aformentioned aromas might have been stronger years ago.   Any sort of hop presense has diminished.   Oh my lord, on first sip you realize how smooth and silky this one is.   WOW!   Amazingly smooth.   Wrapped around my tongue are raisins, prunes, soft caramel, and sense of accomplishment.   This is one of the better Barley Wines I have had in a long time.   Damn!   This one takes on a Port like quality.   Utterly delicious!   I do believe this one needs to be brewed again.   Full bodied, silky smooth mouthfeel.   So clean, well balanced, and flavorful.   This one is very warming, but not alcholic at all.   I am amazed to see that it is listed as 11.6% ABV.   Quite sweet on the tongue, but not yet cloying.   I think as time goes on it may get that way though.   Lingering raisins and prunes, with faint hints of vanilla, oak, and bourbon.   Sad to see the remainder of my glass being finished.   I really wish I had more of this.   Fantastic stuff!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Ungstrup (29224) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - OCT 28, 2007
Bottled. A pitch black beer with a brown head. The aroma is sweet malty with notes of soy sauce, caramel, alcohol, and cherry. The flavor is sweet malty with notes of caramel, alcochol, cherries, and sweet soy sauce. Great.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
1FastSTi (3334) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 23, 2007
UPDATED: SEP 11, 2008 Thanks Jeff. Pours to a dark brown body with ruby highlights. A thin brown head. The aroma is really nice. Aged malt and barley with notes of sherry, port, and molasses. Sweet vanilla. The flavor is sweet aged barley, sherry, vanilla, oak, and port wine. Toffee. The palate is warming, smooth, and moderately full bodied. Sampled this again. Liked it slightly better.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
MIBRomeo (2555) - Wisconsin, USA - OCT 15, 2007
Dark black pour tan head nice lace Coccoa powder lt coffee tons of roast malt ltly hot alcohols Full well coated & creamy pal Sweet creamy milk chocolate lightly roast malts hints of alcohol Delicious

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
kp (10886) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2007
Date: 06/24/2006
Mode: Bottle
Source: Tasting

black with ruby edges, thin fine beige head, thin lace, rich sweet aroma of brown sugar and dark fruits, rich malt flavor, lots of ripe figs, lots of dark sugar sweetness,

Aroma: 8/10; Appearance: 8/10; Flavor: 8/10; Palate: 7/10; Overall: 18/20
Rating: 4.2/5.0
Drinkability: 8/10
Score: **4

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - JUL 7, 2007
A huge thanks to timmcd64 and cquiroga for letting me try this beer when we ran into each other at Lost Abbey. It pours nearly black with an offwhite head. The aroma is of bourbon and vanilla. The flavor is an explosion of chocolate, vanilla & bourbon, the mouthfeel is luscious and creamy. Incredible

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
mkobes (2140) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - JUL 2, 2007
#1700. 22 oz bottle had at Midnight Sun tasting. Deep dark brown in color with a little off white head. Chocolate, roasty caramel bourbon aroma. Roasty, caramel and woody vanilla flavor. Dark fruity notes. Plums, figs, and raisins. Bourbon was not overpowering. Very smooth and drinkable. Chocolaty finish. Complex beer. Smooth and creamy. Alcohol very well hidden. Very enjoyable. Wow. Well balanced.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
hopdog (8867) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 20, 2007
Here it is, ratebeer rating # 3,000 (finally, I am someone!!!). 22oz bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf (thanks!). Poured a dark mahogany color with a smaller sized tan head. Aromas of dark fruits, chocolate, caramel, light roast, smoke, brown sugar, bourbon (not overpowering) and wood. The woodiness came out more and more in the aroma as the beer aired out. Aromas were very complex and I kept getting more as I smelled each time. Tastes of dark fruits (raisins and plums), caramel, earthy / peaty, woody, candi & brown sugar, and vanilla. Very sweet, not cloying, but any sweeter and it would be. Alcohol completely hidden. Creamy body. The barrel aging was done very well; it complimented both the aromas and tastes nicely.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
TomDecapolis (4473) - Milton, Delaware, USA - MAR 20, 2007
Thanks to hopdog for sharing and congrats on 3,000! Bottle 05-05-05. Pours a deep/dark brown with ruby red highlights when held to the light. Head was average size with a dark creamy tan head with small bubbles and lots of darker tan lacing. Aroma was very strong, dark fruits, lots of vanilla, woody, earthy, bourbon, hints of alcohol and nuts. Flavor is very sweet, almost sticky, lots of roastiness, vanilla, various nuts, roasted almonds, caramel, hints of bourbon. A lot of the flavor comes out in the after taste. Alcohol well hidden in the flavor but still just a little on the sweet side even after sitting for close to 2 years.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 5, 2007
From a 22oz Bottle. Deep, roasty brown colors with some ruddy cherry hues and a thin layer of desperatly clinging, creamy beige head. Distinctly Belgian malt character in the nose - a plethora of raisins, molasses, fleshy prunes, and a hint of cinnimon spice. Some notes of caramel and vanilla toffee are also present in the bouquet, adding a thick dessert-like quality to the spicy belgian malt concoction that rests beneath the nose. Fantastic full-bodied mouthfeel with a shimmering carbonation that lightens up the weight of the palate, making it full bodied without getting syrupy. Easily one of the best mouthfeels I have ever experienced. Lots of deep caramelly raisin characters with loads of prune and molasses-soaked organic brown sugar. Some sticky fired cured Virginia tobacco gives it a unique woody character. So many wonderful things are going on here its difficult to describe with words, but there really is no need as this one is a truly memorable experience. A well caramelized british raisin pudding topped with a slice of port soaked dried pineapple. Warming finish, but without any harsh edges. Fantastic blend of British and Belgian styles - if there were a conceptual beer to perfectly suit my tastes, this would be it, and this one proves that this concept was an excellent idea. Thanks for sharing, Chris!

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