Posts tagged ‘Anchorage’

T.R.E.A.T. Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter – Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

treat1 WEB

Today sounds Round Two of our way, way up there beer double feature, and it’s a doozy. Sure to keep you warm on any winter night, (or spring, summer, and fall if you happen to be in Alaska), this Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter scored in spades with us, and to anyone who knows how much we tend to disagree, that should mean something. So raise a glass to the season, and take a solid draught of this black as the devil’s heart concoction. If you can find some, that is.


Name:  T.R.E.A.T. (The Royal Eccentric Ale Treatment)

Place of Origin / Brewer: Alaska, USA / Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Beer style / ABV%:  Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter / 7.8%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  This demented ale took home the Gold at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival, and is made with pumpkin, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.



A wicked pumpkin king sits defiantly in front of the wrought iron gates of his spooky house on the hill while stars and lightning bolts illuminate the blackened sky behind him.  TREAT screams of a whimsical Halloween ale – right down to the tombstone proclamation decreeing this brew an Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter!   Have four simple words ever sounded so good strung together? – Tim

Very playful label, just like their Trickster. Cartoon style art with a colorful character of a pumpkin presenting a tombstone with what appears to be a haunted mansion at the top of the hill in the background. It’s cute. – Rick


Color:  8

Black as midnight (if you don’t live in Alaska), with just the slightest of ruby hues and a head that’s off white enough that you don’t want to know what kind of snow it is. – Mike

This is a great pitch black fully opaque porter. It’s so dark, and I love it. The super light coffee colored head disappears quickly, but make for a delicious looking brew. – Rick

M- 8.5 / T- 8.5 / B- 7.5 / R- 6.5


Aroma:  7.5

Smells of espresso, bitter chocolate, and malt. There is also a faint aroma of a molasses and a black strap rum quality towards then end of the scent. – Brittney

Dark, Dark bitter chocolate and roasted malt. We’re close to stout territory here. No sign of pumpkin or spice, but vanilla is making it’s way through the mix. Mouthwatering, none the less. – Mike

M- 8 / T- 8 / B- 7 / R- 7


Mouth feel:  7.5

A surprisingly assertive carbonation level for a porter, which brings forth an interesting contrast–one that allows the fuller medium bodied nature of the beer to bounce more freely on the tongue.  Intriguing. – Tim

Considering the darkness and depth of the color of this beer the medium body is thinner than I expected also there is a surprising amount of carbonation.  I expected thick still and syrupy and got medium bodied and active. I guess it is a porter after all. – Brittney

M- 9 / T- 7.5 / B- 6.5 / R- 7.5


Tasting notes:  8.5

Sweet cinnamon, pumpkin, and chocolate peanut butter fudge. Like grandma forgot that Reese’s weren’t an ingredient in pumpkin pie, and served it up with Hershey’s syrup on top. Awesome roasty goodness. – Mike

Thick with roasted malts, lush pumpkin, cocoa nibs, blackberries, dark fruit jam and molasses blending with a notable touches of cinnamon, vanilla and  clove.  The beer envelops, it’s sweet and bitter all at once with enough pronounced notes of alcohol heat to keep you warm on the long sunless Saturday’s during Alaska’s famed 30 days of night. – Tim

Quite bitter at first taste, this beer then mellows to slightly smooth and slick and all the flavors of the nose arrive with bitter chocolate, espresso, sweet molasses and a surprising presence of cinnamon. – Brittney

A very well balanced brew indeed. Cocoa nibs, a touch of clove, and ripe pumpkins all build upon the great sweetness that holds this brew together. – Rick

M- 8.5 / T- 8 / B- 7.5 / R- 8


Finish:  7.5

Long and boozy, bitter and sweet but never bittersweet.  The carry over spice from cinnamon and clove linger but the most prominent note on the close is chocolate and coffee. – Tim

The pumpkin shines here with almost a smoky quality to the back end. It is dry on the finish, but a tad sweeter than I had expected. – Rick

M- 9 / T- 7 / B- 6.5 / R- 7.5


Flavor balance:  7.5

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance: 7


We are quite in check here. Though the spicing is subtle, it accentuates the beer, rather than defining it. – Mike

Complex and challenging, the pumpkin is overshadowed by the bold nature of the beer, the chocolate malts while imparting some notes in the body and bouquet were not distinct enough for a definitive “chocolate porter”.  But overall this is still a pretty great beer. – Tim

M- 8 / T- 6.5 / B- 6 / R- 8

–         Sweet / Dry balance: 7.5

Slick and sweet; the bitterness of the chocolate and the finish are not enough to contend with the fact that this is leaning towards the sweet side – Brittney

It leans sweet, but the dryness helps reel it all back in. Its not cloying either, which is something that had me worried early on. – Rick

M- 8.5 / T- 7 / B- 6 / R- 8

–         Multiple Drinkability?  8.5

I love pumpkin ales, and chocolate porters / stouts. This is an insane beer that could be a dessert for any holiday meal. And the appetizer, aperitif, and courses… – Mike

This beer is fun and unique enough to have as a part of a tasting flight to show some of the differences you can present a pumpkin beer, but I don’t think I would have more than one. – Brittney

This is awesome for an imperial porter, and one of my favorite pumpkin beers so far. I would try to drink as many as I could get my hands on. – Rick

Strong and Robust, I think a session of this beer would not only blow my plate apart, it would likely leave me in a coma that might last as long as the midnight sun itself.  Still, I’d go another round with this treat any day.  – Tim

M- 10 / T- 8 / B- 6 / R- 9


Overall:  7.75

M- 8.83 / T- 7.67 / B- 6.83 / R- 7.50

treat2 WEB


Trickster – Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

You may have to quest long and hard to acquire this particular ale. Hailing from the way, way up there, Midnight Sun has been brewing Alaska’s finest beers for a number of years now. There are some clever minds at work where you get thirty days of night, and this beer is no exception. So have faith. It may have taken us two years to acquire it, but we’ve never had anything quite like it.


Name:  Trickster

Place of Origin / Brewer: Alaska, USA / Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Beer style / ABV%:  Pumpkin Belgian Ale / 7.0%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  This unusual brew is made with pale malted barley, cardamom, nutmeg, coriander, pumpkin, and Belgian yeast in a steel cauldron. Plus, we hear-tell you can see Russia from the brewery.



It’s a jester-hat-clad pumpkin jumping off the label over a whimsical font.  It’s just screams of all the wicked, wicked things that kids do to one another on All Hallows Eve.  I’m scared…not in a razor-blades-in-your-apple kind of way, but in a thrill of the unknown aspect.  I can’t wait to see what’s under that cap. – Tim

A goofy looking cartoon of a jester pumpkin (hence trickster) graces this label.  A quick mention of basic ingredients and an invitation to fool around; who could resist? – Brittney


Color:  6

Amber waves of grain all the way here. Straw yellow, sparkling clarity, and a few tiny bubbles accompany a terse white head. Looks like a Belgian ale to me! – Mike

A pretty crystal clear golden orange, a thin ivory head, sticky lacing, and very slight carbonation. – Brittney

M- 7.5 / T- 6 / B- 6 / R- 5.5


Aroma:  6.5

Complex Belgian yeast and malts make up the backbone of this aroma and stand out quite nicely. There’s a fruity character that is almost candy like in its sweetness. Also, just detectable, is a sweet smattering of spices. – Rick

Belgian farmhouse yeast abounds with a musty hop character, citrus notes, and plenty of coriander. Little to no pumpkin though. – Mike

M- 5.5 / T- 7 / B- 6 / R- 7.5


Mouth feel:  7

Medium bodied and crisp with moderate carbonation—this is pretty textbook stuff; nothing strange or bizarre going on, just a very solid ale. – Tim

This falls somewhat flat with me, resembling a Tripel, but with a slightly watery, yet crisp finish. There is a nice touch in avoiding  the overabundant carbonation found with that style, though. – Rick

M- 9 / T- 7 / B- 6 / R- 7.5


Tasting notes:  6.5

Blood oranges, coriander, and yeasty funk along with notes of nutmeg and clove. The pumpkin here is sweet, but plays so directly into the tart yeast, it’s tricky to recognize at first. –Mike

Farmhouse gamey, with raw vegetal pumpkin, notes of raw meat, oats, and hay. Nutmeg and clove mesh with pronounced flavors from the Belgian yeast strains.  If you like Farmhouse and Saison-styled ales this is gonna be right up your alley.  Pumpkin Pie aficionados better run for the hills. – Tim

From the aroma you would bet the farmer’s daughter that this was going to make your face pucker, but the taste is surprisingly mellow and even a bit sweet.  There are subtle layers of pumpkin and clove, and a solid flavor of malt. – Brittney

Kudos for being unique and complex for sure. The Tripel character imparted from the Belgian yeast adds fruity qualities and is nice departure from the norm. There is, however, a candied sweetness lingering that has an artificial taste almost like an extract of sorts. – Rick

M- 7.5 / T- 7.5 / B- 6 / R- 5.5


Finish:  7

A drying nutmeg finish with metallic hints of copper and fruit. – Mike

It’s clean and dry like a cider without too much carbonation. There’s a real vegetal quality to the finish imparting slightly sweet and sour notes. – Rick

M- 8 / T- 7 / B- 6 / R- 6.5


Flavor balance:  6

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance: 5.5

The spices exist to give the body depth of flavor without working themselves into such a frenzy that they overtake your palate or the raw pumpkin nature of the ale. – Tim

Perplexing pint; pumpkin prevails provost per poignant poise. – Mike

M- 5.5 / T- 8 / B- 5 / R- 4

–         Sweet / Dry balance: 6.5

There is a nice ginger dryness to this ale but overall, I feel it’s not enough to tip the scales either way. – Rick

The sweetness in the body is nicely offset by the dry and relatively clean finish. – Tim

M- 7 / T- 7.5 / B- 6 / R- 5

–         Multiple Drinkability?  6

I would drink more of this. Touches of the ABV present themselves with a hint of alcohol heat here and there. At 22 IBUs it’s also got a nice hoppy character present in the close.  I was pleasantly tricked on this one….not what I was expecting at all. – Tim

This ain’t your mama’s pumpkin ale. Midnight Sun is reaching a little here, but in good nature, and towards the serious European palate. This sucker is a tank. – Mike

M- 6.5 / T- 7.5 / B- 5 / R- 4


Overall:  6.50

M- 7.33 / T- 7.00 / B- 5.92 / R- 5.92