The presentation of WeldWerks’ Rye Vanilla Medianoche is undeniably intriguing. The 22oz bomber, sealed with a neat white wax cap, introduces a label design that breaks away from the conventional. Poured into the glass, the brew resembles used motor oil, boasting a deep black hue with a viscosity matching its appearance. Generating a mocha-colored foam requires some effort, but when achieved, it presents a formidable head.


Upon bringing the glass close, the aroma unfolds into a rich tapestry of dessert-like notes. Toffee, butterscotch, and dark chocolate fudge intertwine with nuances of dark rum and a hint of torched blueberries. As the temperature rises, the scent transforms, reminiscent of Cherries Jubilee. However, the olfactory journey sets up expectations that the taste may not fully meet.


Contrary to the complex and inviting nose, the taste experience takes an unexpected turn. Despite the robust 13.9% ABV and an intricate recipe involving chocolate rye, roasted rye, and caramel rye malts, the Medianoche leans towards bitterness and dryness. Anticipating a syrupy, dessert-style beer, the palate encounters a focus on mega roast and tannic oak barrel. Heavy roasted malts introduce a bitter, charred flavor with an unexpected acidic, lemony twist. The lower-than-expected residual sugar places this imperial stout in an unusual territory – extra bitter, slightly acidic, and relatively dry.


A redeeming quality emerges in the mouthfeel, showcasing a superbly executed texture. The incorporation of rye malt contributes to a soft silkiness, providing a pleasant drinking experience. Surprisingly, the near-14% ABV remains well-hidden, making this beer deceptively easy to consume without the burden of excessive sweetness.


WeldWerks’ Rye Vanilla Medianoche presents a delightful surprise for those who appreciate bitter imperial stouts with unique grain profiles. However, its pronounced acidic bite, a consequence of heavy roasted malts, may prove too intense for those seeking a more dessert-like indulgence. The beer’s lighter-than-expected feel, potent roast, and restrained sweetness create a distinct profile that might catch some drinkers off guard.

Similar Beers

In terms of profile, Medianoche shares similarities with Perennial’s imperial stouts, such as Maman.


While Rye Vanilla Medianoche diverges from the anticipated dessert beer territory, its focus on bitterness, acidity, and dryness sets it apart. For enthusiasts of bitter stouts with a penchant for unique grain additions, this offering is a welcomed deviation. However, those expecting a sweeter, more dessert-oriented experience may find themselves in uncharted and possibly challenging flavor territory. WeldWerks Brewing delivers a distinctive brew that, despite its quirks, manages to leave a lasting impression.