Beer of the Week: Midnight Sun XXX Black Double IPA

By Iron Chef Leftovers

If you want to consider Alaska as part of the Northwest, then Midnight Sun Brewing in Anchorage is definitely a brewery that should be considered one of the best in the Northwest. If you are like me and think that a brewery 1800 miles from Seattle is not really part of the Northwest, then you can call Midnight Sun possibly the best brewery in Alaska, a state that has a surprising amount of great breweries. My only knock on Midnight Sun is that their beer is spendy. Take the recently consumed XXX Black Double IPA, which ran about $12 for a 22 oz. bottle. Of course I had to try this beer since I don’t think I ever had a double black IPA, so price be damned, I bought it. The beer clocked in at 8.5% ABV and 87 IBU.

From the Midnight Sun website:

Originally brewed in 2009 to celebrate Specialty Imports’ 30th Anniversary, XXX Black Double IPA is now produced each winter as one of MSBC’s four “seasonal double IPAs”. XXX offers bold, American hop character — comfortably cloaked in dark, luxurious malt. This exciting “winter warmer” will take the chill right out of your bones. Curl up with this session-beer-meets-nightcap.

Although XXX pairs really well with roasted meats and vegetables, it also complements creamy desserts and cheeses, especially those that feature burnt sugar and nutty flavors.

Sometimes XXX just means 30.

XXX-art-only3The beer pours jet black with a creamy brown head. Significant roasted notes with hints of citrus and coffee in the background and a touch of boozy vanilla show on the nose. The beer starts out on the palate with a slight sweetness from the malt before quickly moving into a strong hop character with distinct notes of mango and passion fruit up front, then moving to dried citrus with just a hint of citrus peel. The finish is slightly boozy with strong notes of roasted coffee and hints of vanilla with touches of orange blossom and peel interspersed in a very long finish. Despite the boozy quality, the alcohol is balanced and there is no alcohol burn and the flavors are deep and layered, bringing this CDA to the next level. I would definitely drink this one again as a rare treat to be enjoyed in the fall and winter months in the Northwest.

Midnight Sun XXX Black Double IPA rolls down the lane with 4 turkeys out of 5.

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