raphael (883) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 29, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Hard to believe the 100 IBUs. Anyway don’t think they used any aroma hops as the smells very Belgian, that sweet off-gassing, a little honey, a little lemon and black pepper. big fluffy off white head over clear barely dark yellow. sweet sweet flavor, with the hop rasp stirring a little beneath, undercutting the swettness while clashing a little bluntly with it; & alcohol, as flavor and in warming. its just right in the mouth.
3fourths (8032) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 27, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: MAR 13, 2013 draft. hazed golden yellow with a white head. fresh, lively and ester-heavy pungent pine hop nose with equivalently pungent band-aid brettanomyces. high attenuation gives it a light body with pleasant dryness. this combined with low noticeable alcohol makes it seem less like any double IPA and more like something with some sessionability. tingling, buzzing hop acid finish. delicious in every way.
dalekliz (874) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 20, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Stone. Pours a hazy amber with a white ring. Aroma is fairly sweet, with citrus hops, malt, and preserved oranges. Bitter taste, of malt, sparkly yeast, hops, and a bit of preserved lemons. Lingering sparkly bitterness. Tasty.
skoisirius (1716) - Earth, Washington, USA - JAN 12, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Fairly clear yellow pour. Mild nose smells of Belgian malts and slight spice. Grass, citrus, sweeter malts make the flavors. Where this sets itself apart from other beers of this style is the finish: hopped and spiced up like there’s no tomorrow for a great lingering finish. Impressive.
hopscotch (9161) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JAN 8, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JAN 9, 2011 Bottle... Light amber ale with a large, foamy, off-white head. Good retention - eventually, interesting lacework is left behind. The bouquet presents a spicy clove-like phenol and piney, grapefruity hops with a faint suggestion of mint. Medium-bodied with prickly carbonation. The flavor is deeply bitter with grapefruit rind-like lupulin. Light pale malt sweetness. Lengthy finish with plenty of back-and-side-of-the tongue bitterness.
jredmond (5334) - Manhattan, New York, USA - DEC 26, 2010
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle split with Pat, Andrew, and Ryguy. Pours a murky orange body with nice haze and nice white head. Aroma is super fresh citrus hops and sweet Belgian spice. Mouthfeel is medium and well balanced with notes of pine, citrus hops, Belgian spices and candy, fruit - grapefruit, and a nice balance of sweet malts.
Pwn3d (1961) - Manhattan, New York, USA - DEC 26, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Courtesy of James from his west coast trip. Awesome and kind of spicy, ripe spruce ipa. Super fra fra fresh. Nam mean?
FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 23, 2010
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
A very soft pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a fat, three-finger thick, pale tan colored head that slowly rises above the rim of my glass. The foam leaves some layered lacing on the sides of my glass and slowly subsides in a cratered, billowy manner with lots of lopsided formations. The beer is an amber hue that shows some haze and a pale amber tinged, gold color when held up to the light. The aroma has a mix of light spice and fruity character; this last is a mix from both the fermentation character and the hops. Aromas of juicy fruit bubble-gum, bright tropical fruit, lychee, kumquat zest and ripe tangelo make up the bulk of the fruit notes with notes of clove, a light herbal character that reminds me of a touch of pine, some woody oak notes, perhaps a touch of basil and even some menthol like hop notes adding some complexity to the nose. Interesting woody pepper notes that become fairly musty even and at times you get a bit of warming in the nostrils from the alcohol. I really like the mix of fermentation character (especially the spiciness and mustiness) and the bright, hoppy, fruit character. The fermentation has added a nice complexity to what is more conventionally a hop focus.
Nicely dry tasting, though this does have some sweetness to it, which accentuates the herbaceous qualities of the hops. The beer is quite effervescent to start out, a bit excessively carbonated even, as it foams up quite a bit in a fizzy manner as it rolls across the tongue. The finish has a spicy white pepper note to it that is joined by touches of ginger, warming alcohol and some menthol like notes that linger just a bit on the palate. This has a firm bitterness that definitely lingers with quite a biting character in the long finish. Now that I have noticed it, there is quite a bit of clove character in this beer; it lingers on the tongue and adds an underlying spiciness that infuses itself throughout the flavor profile of this beer. The hop-fruit character is much subdued compared to the nose, but still nicely perfumes the flavor profile of this beer. The hops contribute flavors of lychee, kumquat zest, tangelo juice infused with zest, some peach essence that leans towards a very floral note and orange blossom honey notes (though without the sweetness). The texture of this is very light and drinkable, the biting hop character and spiciness does make this a more tempered drinking beer for me, but I definitely like that this has the body and texture of a good “Belgian” beer. The grain character clearly plays only a supporting role here, but it does contribute flavors of grassy grain and cracker-driven malt, both of which accentuate the hop character.
At times this can be a touch too hot in the finish; the combination of alcohol, fermentation derived spiciness and bitter / spicy hop notes can combine to contribute some harshness that luckily isn’t prominent all the time. The flavor definitely picks up more balance as it warms up, and it almost seems as if this beer works in smaller, discrete samples (meaning the first sip after being away for some palate rest always seems to be the best and most integrated). Definitely a nice beer, though it seems to be a bit sharp and slightly cacophonous at times, but overall it does work (plus I really like the aroma, even if the flavor doesn’t quite live up to its promise).
jtclockwork (8429) - , New Jersey, USA - DEC 20, 2010
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle thanks to Secret Santa. Pours cloudy apricot. Nose and taste of citrus, peach skin, lemon rind, papaya and Indian spices. Dry finish.
Luckyhank (32) - California, USA - DEC 14, 2010
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Drinking this with fish and chips. Nice combo. Smell pungent like a Belgian, tastes like an IPA. While this is a decent beer, it doesn’t really excel at either one. It’s a little too tart as opposed to a nice bitterness I would expect/want from a (supposed) top-shelf IPA. Not a bad brew, just not as great as I’ve grown to expect from Midnight Sun.