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Devil's Milk - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Devil's MilkDevil's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

112 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 112
Hads: 327
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 34
Gots: 65 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: farHillsBrewer on 11-02-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 112 | Hads: 327
Photo of TheDudeRules
1.86/5  rDev -50.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into my Darkness snifter.

Rich copper color. Fingers worth of tan head. Smell is hop and sour apple. Figgy dark fruit as well. Taste is strong alcohol. Incredibly overpowering. In fact I can't get past a few sips to notice anything else. This was a drain pour. Really unworthy of this lame review even. (310 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
2.5/5  rDev -34%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Semi-clear burnt amber hue with a finger and a half of off white head which doesnt wanna die. No born on date or freshness date so I have no idea of the age on this bottle.

Sweet ripe dark fruits with some citrus and pine on the nose. Raisins and toffee evident as well. Old jam.

Pretty mellow and smooth for the high abv (maybe it's old as hell) Dark fruits and burnt caramel, lightly toasted maltiness, all blend together for a nice concise flavorful sip. Rather subtle though. A bit of alcohol heat on the finish. For a barley wine it's pretty drinkable but it's not complex or presents the drinker with anything unique. Sweet overall with a big chalky mouthfeel. It's alright. I'd take it over a lot of things, but probably wouldn't buy it again. (754 characters)

Photo of JWU
2.85/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A- A dark, cloudy amber. A little light for a barleywine. A thin offwhite head that dissipates quickly.

S- Some sweetness, perhaps a hint of dark fruit, and a bit wallop of woody, earthy hops.

T- Some dark sugar sweetness is quickly overshadowed by the sheer booziness of the brew, and a bit dose of earthy, woody hops that impart more bitterness than flavor. Kind of a mess.

M- light side of full. Heavy on the carbonation, this needs to back off. Alcohol burn, and lots of it.

O- Brews like this make you realize how well crafted something like SN Bigfoot is. This is a big, hot, boozy mess. (644 characters)

Photo of RandomExile
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: cloudy, translucent orange, quickly fading head, but impressive persistent lacing.
S: musty, citrusy
T: tangy, metallic, pine, bitter yet sweet
M: sharp bite of citrus and alcohol, yet somehow smooth until the aftertaste, medium-bodied
O: for being a barleywine, I would have pegged it for a smooth IPA. Not terrible, but I'm not sure he palate I'd recommend it for. (369 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
2.94/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle opened by Jared. Served in a wine glass.

Pours a copper color with a minimal off-white head and a touch of lacing, though most of the head fades into a thin color. Some light legs as well. The nose is really quite plain with only a bit of bread and some brown sugar. The taste is mildly sweet and has a bit of light booze. Moderate caramel and brown sugar there as well. Mild cherry in the back end. Medium body with low carbonation and a dry finish. Not bad, but not particularly good, either. (502 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.01/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks go to Kegatron for gifting me with a 12oz bottle of this. Poured into a matching Duclaw pint, the brew alpears a slightly hazed copper with an off-white cap more than a finger strong. The cap fades leaving a wall of lacing effect.

The aroma is like candy with an herbal hop inclusion mixed with some mineral/carbonic quality. Overall not a bad smelling beer, just a bit disjointed and lacking any clear direction. The sugary or candy aspect is a bit distracting.

The flavor is sweet with a mineral aspect somewhat like dirty pennies. There is a dusty grain inclusion which while not exaxtly thrilling, is much appreciated over the candy-like sweetness you might expect base off the aroma. The candy sugary quality the brew does display feels somewhat burnt in the aftertaste which is not all that enjoyable.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is boozy and awkward and not something I would seek out if looking for a solid barleywine. It saddens me to say it because I am always hoping to see local places do good but this one is rough. I appreciate the chance to try this but would probably not persue again. (1,153 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So for the first time in six years of trading my tracking system has failed me - I have no bloody idea where this beer came from, but I'm sure it arrived in a box. Thanks, whomever you are. 12 oz. bottle consumed in the wee hours of the morning after a lively evening of poker.

The pour is dark amber with a raging hard-on of carbonation that looks like it might climb out of the glass & kick my ass. Nose belies the listed ABV, more light, fruity, with a side of warm summer breeze, more like a nice malty blonde than a big barleywine.

Devil's Milk is dry enough to induce coughing. Dry, woody, with a big huge malt bill, & the sweetness is almost completely drowned in the lumber. Bittering hops with a soft pinewood floor dominate the middle. That's about it.

Simple, direct, but just not much to it, I've enjoyed many of DuClaw's beers much more than this one. Decent enough, but this needs more vavoom. (913 characters)

Photo of MarcatGSB
3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Matt (mjtiernan) for this one. Received in a recent BIF.

Appearance: Pours a brightish red, crimson color. Small bubbly white head doesn't stick around long.

Nose: First thing I noticed is lots of citrus. Big tropical nose with pineapple, mango, finished with pine.

Taste: Rather interesting. It's fairly complex, with some deep flavors of caramel hiding under sticky tangerine and lemon.

Mouth: Big beer. Huge malt body. Really sticky. Bitter finish.

Drink and overall: Well, this beer took me a minute to warm up to. And, I think it got better as it warmed up. Fairly boozy. Not really easy to drink. (622 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.09/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This year's Devil's Milk was a little bit disappointing, so I'll have to be sure to try it again next year! Its short head of creamy off-white foam receeds quickly (as might be expected considering its strength), but it still leaves some limited splashes of lace about the snifter. The hazy mahogany body appears darkish on the bar or table but reveals a glowing ring of orangeish gold at the rim as you raise the glass to your lips. The aroma offers some dried apricot and tart baking apples (acetaldehyde) along with a waft of alcohol over a limited amount of malt. The body is medium and it's soft in the mouth with a fine carbonation. Its flavor delivers a well-balanced combination of alcohol; bitterness; and straight-forward, just slightly caramel-touched malt. It finishes dry with some lingering malt, bitterness, and apple. (833 characters)

Photo of DIM
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a: This was a clear, ruby tinted copper color. It poured with a thick, sticky head.

s: Strong overall, but it really doesn't come together all that well. I found some sharp cherries, mild chocolate, a little vanilla, caramel, and some fairly potent, but featurless save for a hint of pine, hop aromas. The heat wafting off of this one was pretty potent.

t: Starts off kind of sweet with strong, sharp, caramel flavors with hints of sugary cherries. This carries over into the finish were it is joined by some almost flavorless bitterness. I may have opened this one at a bad time.

m: Thick, chewy body with long lasting, gently creamy carbonation.

d: I think often times hop forward barleywines are prone to awkward phases between 3 and 9 months after bottling. The hop flavors have faded leaving strong, flavorless bitterness behind. Meanwhile, the malts haven't had time to come together either. With no date on the bottle I can't say for sure that is what happened here, its just speculation on my part. (1,010 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: Poured a murky brown color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention and not much lacing. Aroma consists of deep caramelized malt with quite a bit of green hoppy notes. Taste is also a mix between some overly sweet caramelized malt with some stalled green hops that don’t really mix that well with the malt backbone. Body is about average with medium-to-low carbonation and light apparent alcohol. There is something off balanced in this beer that I didn’t particularly enjoyed. (499 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
3.31/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a beer mug.

Appearance
Amber with 1 finger of off-white head. Crystal clear clarity with lively carbonation.

Nose
Toffee, grapefruit and pine.

Taste
Huge toffee and table sugar notes all over. Very sugary. Some grapefruit pith. Lighter notes of pine in the finish.

Mouthfeel
Medium-full bodied, oily and well carbonated.

Overall
Not very complex, however it is well balanced. The 10.6% abv is well hidden. Not necessarily something I would purchase again though. (479 characters)

Photo of JayQue
3.34/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bright clear orange/amber color with a big slightly off-white head, good retention and thick lacing. A good looking beer.

Smell is a real drop-off. For a style that usually includes a strong aroma or caramel malt and hoppiness, this beer offers up a mild bready malt aroma. Thats it!!

Flavor is somewhat more robust. There is some caramel malt, bready malt and a mild hoppiness. I also detected some oak.

Mouthfeel is fairly rich and crisp. The bitterness and oak add to the overall mouthfeel.

A fairly good barleywine but nothing close to the top ones I have tried. (579 characters)

Photo of rapidsequence
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. 2010 vintage (the website says it is brewed in November, so its 4 months young). $7.90 from Pints O Plenty. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Clear amber with a good looking off white head and some fine looking lacing.

Smell: Sharp alcohol. Malty sweetness. Citrus and grassy hops. Booze soaked fruit. Burns the nose a little.

Taste: I'm surprised by how much less the alcohol is tasted than smelled (thankfully). Not to say that the alcohol is anything approaching "hidden". Fruity maltiness in the middle becomes caramel-like by the end. Bitterness from hops and burning alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Pretty big feeling. Very warming.

Drinkability: Its just too hot tasting. Needs a long nap. Not too expensive, but it sits next to Old Guardian and Old Ruffian at the store for the same price, so... (812 characters)

Photo of Dithyramb
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had the 2005 vintage just last night. They put two kegs on early as part of a fund raiser that had shut down the Fells location. Didn't know the ABV at the time, and they poured a generous 10 oz. portion.
Lighter than expected, with a light brown color and off white head. A slight sticky ring, but the ABV beat down the head quite quickly.

Alcohol soaked dried figs and oranges aroma.
EtOH bite makes itself known with every drink. Hearty caramel background. The dried fruits are there with a floral hop wafting around.
Medium bodied, not syrupy or sweet. Aftertaste stays with you a bit, needed a nice hoppy venom to wash it through.

Overall, I didn't dislike the beer. It needs to be bottled, aged and come back to. Very aggressive beer, even for the style. (770 characters)

Photo of templar316
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a quickly receeding head as a lovely reddish amber. Served fresh the piney hops are muted but present in the nose. The body is surprisingly soft for the ABV. It starts with bready malt, quickly overcome by grapefruit hops, the alcohol warms the finish and it's surprisingly drinkable for the abv. (307 characters)

Photo of JMS1512
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

I echo Dar482 sentiment a bit. It's a TIPA. Oddly balanced, not too malty, not too hoppy, I was initially confused, and then I remembered. It's DuClaw. Fun beer, but not usually great beer. Hwever, it might be someone's gateway into barleywine, and for that, DuClaw, I thank you. (285 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

In review is a 2011 vintage.

A - Dark amber color with little to no carbonation, soapy white lacing ring that's thin and sticky on the sides of the glass.

S - Toffee, toasted caramel, boozy, and light hints of figs and prunes.

T - Follows the nose but predominantly sweet toffee and caramel over the top of figs with some slight alcohol burn on the way down and a slight touch of oranges in the backs of the throat. Mild earthiness on the back end.

M - Heavy medium body, sticky, very little carbonation presence on the tongue.

O - Average. If I tried it again, 'would definitely be a newer bottle or would go for the barrel aged version. (645 characters)

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to ratebeer's GMCC2181 for shipping me this growler! Pours clear copper with thin off white head. The mild aroma is full of citrus hops, spicy to earthy hops and some slick malt sweetness. The taste starts out with smooth earthy to grassy hop flavor and then the bitterness begins to pick up. By midway slick sweet maltiness murmurs up in the background to provide a pleasing level of support for the tasty load of hops. Nice American style Barleywine. (463 characters)

Photo of Seanibus
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy deep amber with a slight, sticky head. The aroma is rich and pruny, with a sharp, sweet malt. The flavor is very hot and spicy, with a rich, sweet, peppery malt, with prune and apple and mulled cider. There is a hot, peppery bitterness and a boozy sting on the finish. The mouthfeel is thick and gooey. (315 characters)

Photo of Daniellobo
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A fair US barleywine, a bit brash around the edges, and closer to a rich DIPA than to complex expectations for the style, at least on this young tasting.

Presentation: 22 oz brown bottle. Hellblazer like label illustration (ala early John Constantine covers) of a crouched angel dressed in street clothes and covering his face. Brief side narrative rambling about the evil beauty of the brew with a short description. No apparent bottling date. Shows Alc. by Vol. (10.6%). Served on a snifter.

A - Clear amber brown pour, short head with little retention, minimal lacing, and a faint surface memory.

S - Very hoppy, initially a bit bitter, citrus and pineapple with a sweet note, floral touch, and a metallic finish.

T - Luckily there is a range that the the smell didn't show: nicely sweet malt, with some caramel and toffee notes. It does not go away but flows and is often covered and ultimately coated by a showy hoppy profile, citrus and pineapple again, with an occasional bitter hint.

M - Medium to full body with medium carbonation, and a back and forth between a smooth finish and an insinuation of a bitter brash finish that never quite happens.

D - It´s not too bad a sipper but it is closer to rich DIPAs ala 90 Minute than a commendable barleywine offering. And yet the thing is that this is well above quite a few US barleywines that really lack the malty profile that this barleywine is able to share, and is not that rough.

Notes: Lack of bottling date aside this seems to be a late 09 or very early 10 release. It is actually a good representation of what has become for some a standard of the US barleywine style i.e. a sturdy malt range with an equally assertive hop profile. Luckily for this one there is a back and forth between both ranges, and the hoppiness does not take over entirely given a pretty nice sweet range, and when it is in command it still has a nice sweet identity as an undercurrent. A bit of aging smoothing the hop profile might make this a much better rounded sipping barleywine. (2,029 characters)

Photo of nhindian
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured until a tulip.

Vintage 2010.

A - Pours a murky orange with streaks of crimson and brown. An active, 1.5-finger head quickly settles on top of the beer, with large, soapy bubbles slowly drifting across. Lots of static lacing sticks like glue to the sides of the glass, forming a sort of lattice pattern.

S - The nose brings an intense amount of toffee, caramel, and hops. The hops are of particular interest to me, as they are more spicy with a touch of floral notes. The alcohol comes across strongly here as well, with a quite astringent tone to it.

T - Wow, this beer hits fast and hard, with the malts delivering a heavy hit of sweetness. It's almost sugary in the way the front-end comes across. The toffee does its part in both curbing and aiding this in its own way, but then the bitterness starts to kick in soon thereafter. There is a slight fruitiness from the hops, but again, they add a more earthy tone with a strong bitter note, which the alcohol also help contribute to. The heat from this is no stranger, and it definitely is a limiting factor in its drinkability.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy with decent carbonation. This is fairly thick and syrupy on the palate, imparting its flavor long after you swallow. A sip goes a long way here.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. I keep going back and forth on this beer. On one hand, I love the assertiveness of this beer, and it's not afraid to bring the flavor. However, I feel that these intense flavors are not congruent with each other. A strong sweetness is immediately replaced with bitterness, and then an alcohol-filled finish. It's not smooth in its transitions, and by the time you reach the aftertaste you are wishing the sweetness would return. (1,745 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to mughugger for sharing -poured close to cellar temp into a cervoise

A - deep copper/brilliant amber w/ 2 finger ecru cap and streamers of lace cling to the glass. The ale has tiny beading and retention is good

S - The aroma has both floral and spiced elements w/ woody hop notes. The barleywine is slightly cherry estered with a light caramel note from the malt and subtle alcohol note w/ pine again from the hops

M - A sweet mildly bitter brew with moderate carbonation and subtle alcohol w/ residual sweetness lasting into the finish

T - The taste has lots of caramel malt and herbal notes from the hops but not quite bitter flavored w/ fruity yeast taste and light brown sugar flavor which hangs on and borders on cloying with moderate alcohol in the taste with mild pepper and pine accent. The mild orange from the malt/hop combo accents a mild biscuit taste w/ sweet malty finish

D - I appreciated trying this and it was not a bad barleywine, but for the style I could think of many that outpace this. I prefer a bit more hop in an American if that is what the brewer intended - but it is possible the beer has a little age on it, nice barleywine, thanks for the taste mughugger (1,197 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at bierstube - served in pint glass

Pours a lightly hazed copper color with a thicker crop of beige head resting on top. Spotty lacing on the glass while drinking.

Fairly intense hop bitterness in the nose with resinous pine and grapefruit peel. Raisin and caramel with roasted malts and soft sweetness. Alcohol punch combines with the hops to create a formidable scent.

Citrusy and pine hop bitterness right up front with sticky resin, grapefruit and oranges. Biting and slightly harsh with some tempering caramel and raisin sweetness. Roasted malts with bread crust and a creamy dose of brown sugar. Finishes bitter, hoppy and boozy.

Fuller medium body, slightly higher carbonation, sticky and coating on the tongue. Extremely hoppy barleywine that could probably benefit from some time in the cellar, although this isn't exactly in the top tier of the style. (875 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark amber color with good carbonation and a nice dirty white head

S: Immediatielly smell some hints of caramel, tad funk, sugar sweetness, booze

T: Caramel, toffee, piney hops, fruits at times, plenty of sweetness

M: Well carbonated, tasty, good body

D: Pretty good (282 characters)

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Devil's Milk from DuClaw Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 112 ratings.