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100
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Serve in Snifter

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RATINGS: 139   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.28/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 348   ABV: 11.6%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.

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GAManiac's rating

4.4
   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. It’s 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 doesn’t live up to the aroma though it’s 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 I’ve ever had and the nose really stands up to anything I’ve ever smelled in the style. I have to imagine that this would have been one of the best beers I’ve 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.


4.5
fonefan (50004) - VestJylland, DENMARK - MAR 27, 2017

Bottle 22fl.oz. shared at [ A Day To Sink All Sea Shepards tasting. ], Brussels, Belgium.

[ As Midnight Sun M ].
Clear dark red brown color with a small, fizzy, virtually none lacing, fully diminishing, light brown head. Aroma is light heavy malty, sweet malt, caramel, riped fruit, dark fruit, prune, raisin, plum, tobacco, light vanilla - bourbon - wood. Flavor is moderate to heavy sweet with a long long duration, sweet malt, prune, dark fruit, alcohol - bourbon - vanilla. Wow that is nice :) Body is medium, texture is oily, carbonation is soft, finish feel is light alcoholic. [20160917]
9-3-9-5-19

4.1
ctipping (2179) - Florida, USA - FEB 13, 2017
650 mL bottle. Originally reviewed 5/18/2014. Dark body. Nearly black. Small khaki head. Nose is sherry and a bit of cardboard oxidation. Sweet brown sugar and caramel. Mild dark roasted malts. Tastes sweet. Sherry flavored oxidation. Caramel. Some roasted malts. Dates. Not any barrel, really. Lots of raisin fruitiness. Thick bodied. Sweet, but not overly so. Alcohol is still prevalent. Well, I’m underwhelmed. It’s really good, but it’s not earth-shattering.

4.7
rouhlas (3665) - GREECE - SEP 21, 2016
650 ml bottle shared at the original Chez Moeder Lambic’s cellar. Hazy copper brown color with beige brown head. Malty aroma, caramel, chocolate, nutty, hazelnuts, vanilla, dark dried fruits, raisins, wood, alcohol. Sweet and light bitter taste like aroma. Medium to full oily silky body with soft carbonation. Great!

4.9
77ships (10455) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - SEP 18, 2016
Extreme & manifold thanks to kermis!!! 650 ml. bottle sampled. 2005 Vintage presumably. Nose carries clear oxidation over a sweet base of caramel syrup, toffee, thick malts & sugar. While unfavorable oxidation, thinned by age is clear in the nose, I found none in the taste which is extremely sublime. Taste is insane richness, thick toffee malts, sweet vanilla, almond, sweet walnut syrup, warming perfect sugar syrup, warming, soft carbonation, faint fruits leading into an almost chocolate-like finish. Really builds supreme complexity. I expected it to be past its point & just hype but this turned out to be amazingly supreme. Too bad that they don’t know how to remake it.

4.8
kraddel (8615) - Antwerp, BELGIUM - SEP 17, 2016
@ A day to sink all seasheppards. Thnx for sharing, everyone !! Pours unclear, dark brown. No real head. Smell is intense, sweet, caramelized malts. taste is intense, dark malts, sweet, some vanilla, some bourbon, some oak. Very silky MF. Dark fruits, full-on intensity ! sticky aftertaste. Low ( perfect) carbo. The beers keeps evolving during drinking, and Always make you crave for more. insane how good this has held up. The best one of the mega-tasting, so it seems !!!

4.8
kermis (14212) - The Hague / Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS - SEP 17, 2016
Bottle shared at A Day To Sink All Sea Shepards tasting. Fairly clear dark reddish brown with a ring tan head. Aroma of big caramel, toffee, floral notes coming out, rich malt, fruity notes developing, butterscotch, vinous notes and raisins. Flavour is heavy sweet. Full bodied with soft carbonation. Beautiful stuff, so complex building and developing with each sip. Superb and lives up to the hype.

4.5
vtafro (7445) - Wayne, New Jersey, USA - JUN 5, 2015
Bottle. Brown pour with tan head. Sweet dark fruit, spice, chocolate, candy and caramel aromas. Tootsie roll perhaps, chocolate, roasted, candy, caramel, vanilla and a bunch of sweetness.

4.5
jtclockwork (16857) - , New Jersey, USA - JUN 5, 2015
UPDATED: JUN 7, 2015 Bottle. Pours dark brown tan head. Nose and taste of bourbon, molasses, caramel, oak, tobacco and port - medium body. Smooth.

4.1
fletchfighters (1546) - AUSTRALIA - OCT 18, 2014
Thanks to Hallinghansen for the bottle. Much, much appreciated. Dark brown color, light tan head that falls away quickly to a thin layer. Thick ABV legs on the sides of the glass. Nose starts off oxidized but falls off to prunes, cherries, figs, brown sugar, red grape and Belgian chocolate. After the oxidation this nose is top notch. No hints of bourbon or oak though. Taste is very complex. Belgian chocolate, red grape, red cherries, figs, plumbs, brown sugar, and red wine. Very vinous. At the end it did get bourbon, coconut and vanilla. Long lasting in the palate. Sweet and sticky. Big mouth on this. The long lasting feel is what set this apart from anything else I have had. Has it dropped off?? Probably but still world class in a massive way. Few fresh ones can come close to this. Worth what gave up to get this. Only a couple of none BA versions come close to this beer. Must have been a beast a few years ago.

4.4
Beerman6686 (6607) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 23, 2014
4200th rating! Thanks to cheapbeerbuzz for trading this one I feel that drinking this on the same night as completing the top 50. This marks an end to a very long fun journey to seek the best and drink the best. I will still continue to tick, but try to focus my efforts more towards local quality and sharing with friends, rather than saving and trading for the next best thing. Anyways, on to the rating. Poured an intimidating very dark brown to black with a miniscule beige head. Aroma was Bourbon soaked dark fruits, digs, prunes, caramel, toffee and light oxidation Flavor was incredibly balanced, figs, berries light roast, vbourbon, toasted caramel, light vanilla, and only mild booze. Incredible how this has held up after 9 years. I really wish I could have tried this new. Glad to have shared this with Artmcd8, Lithy, Charule, and hornydevil, and hope to share many more in the future. Cheers!


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