Beer of the Week: Midnight Sun Brewing Moscow Russian Imperial Stout

By Iron Chef Leftovers

Since I reviewed Reuben’ Imperial Russian Stout, I figured that I should continue the trend with the Midnight Sun Moscow Imperial Russian stout brewed with rye. This is one that was not exactly easy to come by and was only available in 5 states – AK, OR, WA, CA and, for some reason, NY. Not only that, it was spendy, coming in at $13.50 for a 22 oz. bottle. I, of course, had to buy 2 of them. From the Midnight Sun website:

ABV: 11.0%
IBU: 45

First brewed as part of our 2011 World Tour series, MOSCOW Rye Russian Imperial Stout is a hefty, opaque black liquid that pours slowly and soulfully into your snifter. A high percentage of spicy rye and roasted dark malts create a dense, chewy yet elegant winter wonderland of flavors. And from AK we say: Let it Snow…in Moscow.

Moscow-art-252x300The beer pours a beautifully jet black with a coffee brown head. Strong notes of coffee and chocolate dominate the nose with hints of rye interspersed and a very light fruitiness also shows itself, but it could easily be missed among all of the bigger scents. Thick and inky with a tremendous buildup The beer starts off with a very light milk and sugar profile before transitioning into roasted malt and chocolate, next moving into the realm of black coffee before finally ending with notes of rye and sugar in a very long fade with hints of chocolate lingering on the palate. This beer is complex and well balanced and the strong flavors hide the 11% ABV well. To add to the complexity, as the beer warms, the finish is joined with notes of fruit and rye, adding yet another layer to this beer.

It is a rare occasion that I will spend nearly $14 on a beer and even rarer that I would recommend to anyone to do the same, but this is one of those times that I am making a recommendation. If you see this beer, buy it. My second bottle is destined for my beer cellar and I really wish I had picked up more than the 2 I did. Even Mrs. Iron Chef, who really doesn’t like dark beer, wasn’t completely horrified at tasting this beer. If you like Russian Imperial Stouts, you need to try this beer. Really, it is that good, and possibly the best I have ever had.

Midnight Sun Moscow Russian Imperial Stout with rye sweeps your thoughts away with an amazing 5 Perestroika’s out of 5.


Beer of the Week: Kassik Brewing Moose Point Porter

By Iron Chef Leftovers

Raise your hand if you knew there was a brewery in Kenai, Alaska. Raise your hand if you know where Kenai, Alaska is. Well, there is a brewery there called Kassik Brewing and they produce some pretty tasty beers, which happen to be available in Seattle. A little about Kassik from their website:

Kassik’s Brewery is housed in a small warehouse, nestled in a clearing in the woods, adjacent to the Kassik’s home in Nikiski. Frank’s passion for brewing began when his wife Debara, bought him a home brew kit for Christmas. Frank was hooked and soon became a proficient home brewer. They built a 36 X 50 shop in hopes to someday have a brewery. In May of 2005 Kassik’s purchased a used seven barrel system, and then remodeled their building to accommodate the equipment with the help of family and friends. The brewery opened Memorial Weekend 2006 with their first brew Beaver Tail Blonde, their Moose Point Porter was on tap a few weeks later.

I cracked open a 22 oz. bottle of their Moose Point Porter, which ran about $5 and happens to be their flagship beer. It is available at most good bottle shops and the occasional mega mart (I believe I have seen their beers in Fred Meyer).

The description from their website:

ABV 5.2%          –          Silver 2011 World Beer Championship

A delightfully deceiving signature brew! 

Moose Point Porter has a dark and heavy appearance with a surprisingly light and clean finish.


Moose_Point_PorterThe beer pours on the dark side for a porter with light malt and hints of roast and chocolate hidden on the nose. The initial sip is slightly hoppy (and surprisingly so) with notes of caramel and toffee yielding to a slightly sweet but long finish. As you make it further into the beer, light notes of vanilla and sassafras start to appear, reminding me of a root beer or a cream soda. For being a dark beer, it is surprisingly approachable without any dominating flavor profile, making it a complex and well integrated beer.

Kassik Brewery’s Moose Point Porter saunters in with a strong 3 Alces alces out of 5.