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Devil's Milk - DuClaw Brewing Company

Devil's MilkDevil's Milk

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

221 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 221
Reviews: 102
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 12.76%

Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: farHillsBrewer on 11-02-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 221 | Reviews: 102 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of RandomExile


2.88/5  rDev -25%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2013 23:47:26 | More by RandomExile
Photo of burdgod


4.71/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I had this served in a snifter.
A: copper colored, relatively tall, thick head that stuck around until I began drinking it.
S: Lots of fruit. I smell mostly apricot. smells beautiful.
T: Almost tastes like a fruit salad. I taste apricot, peach, and maybe even papaya. It's delicious. It's pretty sweet, but has just enough hops to cut the sweetness and prevent a nasty aftertaste. But not too much hops to where it's overly hoppy for a barleywine. Can hardly even taste that 10.6 abv.
M: Heavy body. Thick, almost syrupy. It could be a tiny bit thinner, but not bad.

Overall: This is probably the best barleywine I've ever had. I want more!

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2013 16:48:13 | More by burdgod
Photo of ckollias


4.49/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this on tap at Duclaw in Bowie, MD – served out of snifter glass.

A: Pours an amber hue with a thin white head that dissolves down the side of the glas clear amber hue with a very thin white head that quickly dissipates and leave no lace.

S: Very sweet aroma followed by a huge whiff of hops.

T: Very sweet caramel malt flavor balanced by the huge amount of hops in this beer.

M: Thick body and minimal carbonation.

O: Awesome barley wine – I grab one or two of these every year.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2013 05:28:23 | More by ckollias
Photo of xnicknj


3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2012 00:00:16 | More by xnicknj
Photo of nickfl


3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A poured with a small white head on a clear dark copper body. Good retention and lace.

S spicy yeast and alcohol with caramel and pine hops.

T sweet rich malt with pine and moderate bitterness. Some mustardy notes in the middle with spicy hops and thick caramel in the finish.

M medium body moderate carbonation and a sweet finish..

D a pretty standard barley wine with a nice balance of hops and sweet malt. Not the most complex, but reasonably well done.

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2012 02:50:09 | More by nickfl
Photo of kylehay2004


4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Single finger head with excellent lacing on a clear amber with straw hues body. Aroma is malty with caramel, candied fruit and light toffee. Very smooth caramel malts, tanginess, candied citrus and light toffee. Moderate carbonation and smooth oily body. This is one of the smoothest and more drinkable barleywines I have had. Very good and highly drinkable for the style.

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2012 02:43:22 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of Pencible


3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured clear copper with a little white head.
S: It smelled like grapefruit and citrus hops, with caramel and a bit of roasted barley.
T: It tasted like strong grapefruit and citrus, with some copper and caramel. It had a strong bitter aftertaste, with some alcohol heat.
M: It was thick with some carbonation. Nice and full body.
D: This was a nice bold, and balanced barleywine. It had solid body, but it was a bit hot, so it was better to sip. There wasn't anything really unique about it, but it was an enjoyable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2011 19:22:40 | More by Pencible
Photo of CuriousMonk


3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the brewery and at a beer tasting event in MD. I remember this being my first bold beer from DuClaw which was a big hit at the festival when it unveiled and went out in about half hour or less. Pours a big deep orange color with some red hues. Big frothy slightly off white heads with lots of lacing. Aroma is nice, full of big and bold hops. A big punch of citrus and flowers, with a nice caramel malt backbone. Slight hint of yeast as well. Flavor is bitter and sweet at once, and finishes thick and creamy on the palate. Everything about this brew is big, bold, and full of hops. The alcohol warms, but isn't overly boozy. A good bold beer. I will need to try it from the bottle one day. Perhaps in the Fall.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2011 15:09:37 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of hdofu


4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark brownish with a thin white head which quickly vanished. It was served in a brandy snifter and I had it with dill creamed salmon with walnuts. Smelled kind of like apple cider. Tasted somewhat sweet, but the bitterness built up like alot of stronger sweet beers (Alot of imperial ipas have this hopp bitterness buildup too). This beer was pretty thick almost syrupy. Tasted good enough to drink another but I'd be leary with such a potent monster.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2009 02:48:05 | More by hdofu
Photo of foamee


3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Each year the Devil's Milk is made with different hops. This year's version is made with Amarillo hops, making it hoppier than usual. It looks like a brown ale and has a modest head that soon disipates. It's hoppy with an almost citrus flavor and added sweetness to compensate. To me it was similar to an American IPA, flavorful and easy to drink, despite the high alcohol.

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2009 14:06:00 | More by foamee
Photo of Kegatron


4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Arundel Mills location on 11/15/08. Served in a 10 oz snifter.

Pours a clear but deep colored cranberry with a thin head of fizzy, pale-tan head. The retention doesn't look that impressive at first but once I get the level down some and start swirling this bad boy, it flares up beautifully, leaving a huge and creamy cascade of lacing behind. The aroma is floral hops with a piney edge to it and a sticky smelling mix of bready malts, spice, citrus, and a waft of alcohol warmth.

The taste is an assertive floral hop profile that seems to be a bit more earthy and less "West Coast" feeling than I remember past releases of this being. The hops are propped up by a big backbone of bread, citrus, and spice. Finishes warm, bitter, and sticky. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied that lends itself more to the beefier side of the alcohol spectrum but never feels stinging. As a matter of fact, the ABV is incredibly well hidden and will creep up on you quickly if you let it.

This is IMHO, probably the best offering that DuClaw puts out during the year. A robust American Barleywine with great strength behind it, yet remaining a steady and warming sipper. My only complaint is that they serve this way to cold. Let it warm up and enjoy. Good stuff that I'm hoping to grab a couple more glasses of this winter before it's gone.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2008 18:06:27 | More by Kegatron
Photo of

4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Fell's Point location.

Bartender handed me a snifter filled with clear, amber/copper colored fluid. Very small, light tan head. Decent legs and lacing.

Aroma seemed pretty mild, but beer was very cold. Fruit, caramel and pine.

Bitter more than sweet, back to pine. However, pretty good balance overall, with a lot of fruit and caramel in there.

Medium to full in body. Surprising amount of carbonation, very tingly. More sweet than dry.

One and done for sure, but I look forward to having another. Somewhat similar to Old Ruffian, or maybe a mix of DFH 90 & 120. Lives in that zone of a very sweet DIPA or a very bitter barleywine. Very good, and will have to invite the Devil to the holiday celebrations!

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2007 15:38:21 | More by
Photo of PaulieD


4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the Arundal Mills location. Served in a 8 oz Brandy Snifter. Great color, good head, and nice aroma.

Expected a much stronger taste based on past barleywine ales. Was unbelieveably smooth and drinkable. Would have had 2 had the first one not gone directly to my head. Followed it up with a Porter to finish out the visit. Had just stopped by to fill up growlers for tailgating and decided to stay for one (or two).

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2007 19:07:35 | More by PaulieD
Photo of HopDerek


3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the Arundel Mills restaurant.
Chestnut red in color with 2cm of rich white head, served in a regular 8 oz glass. Smells of sweet caramel and spices. A very strong spice flavor with a caramel sweet finish, alcohol presence noticeable. Very sweet with a medley of spices in each sip. Great taste, lovely lacing on the glass, worth a drink each year when its released.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2006 23:09:24 | More by HopDerek
Photo of dickroop


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served on Release Night at Bowie in a brandy snifter, this 2006 Devil's Milk brew poured a mahaghony color with ruby highlights. There was an off-white, coffee-foam colored head that never completely went away and left modest lacing. The nose was fruity and yeasty, the 10.5 abv not overly apparent.

First sip was dominated by sweetness, with a gray bitterness never absent. The flavor was sugary with cherry, fruity notes - almost like a cherry life-saver, except for the accompanying bitterness. Mid-palate was more of the same, except the sugary-ness begins to come across as saccharine. It has a dryish bitterness in the finish that, after a while, turns to a grainy semi-sweet. Overall, the alcohol is very well hidden. It's a pleasing balance, but overall too sweet for this hop-head.

Mouthfeel is medium- to full-bodied, sticky sweet, then some pucker in the middle, and some astringency in the finish, with residual sticky-on-the-lips sweetness. Pleasant sipping. Drinkability is OK, but if I had wanted a second beer it would have been Venom APA.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2006 02:42:18 | More by dickroop
Photo of MaltyGoodness


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler purchased last night at BelAir location.
$7 for a growler of barleywine!! That's a serious deal!

Pours a deep rich amber with crimson highlights. Small head that fades fast. Some apparent lacing on the glass. Nice and clear.

Smells of big malt with a surprisingly nice hops aroma. I get some nice caramel tones coming through as well.

A nice big wave of sweet maltygoodness hits upfront with a nice blast of herbal hops and a nice bitter bite. The alcohol becomes more present as it warms up, but never gets obnoxious.

Big fat body on this lady. Feels like a four course meal in my mouth. Perfect compliment to the big taste.

Deceptively drinkable. Make no mistake this is one big beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2005 21:16:21 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of Dithyramb


3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2005 16:40:37 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of cubedbee


4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this from a snifter at Xmas in July. Pours a dark burgandy/brown with a thin head that quickly fades to a small ring, no lacing to speak of. Nice fruity nose---oranges, pineapples, grapes, figs all marked with a distinctive alcohol. As the beer warmed a little a floral hop scent emerged. Taste is a deep sweet caramel malt infused with dark fruits balanced by a decently strong hop bite. Alcohol makes itself known from the getgo, and is a little to agressive for my tastes. Medium bodied with a nice fine carbonation level, this feels great in the mouth. This is a very good effort by Duclaw at the style..

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2005 12:47:01 | More by cubedbee
Photo of Higravity


3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Maryland Springfest '05. It has a nice dark ruby complexion and the head goes away fast. The volunteers pouring this were wasting too much of it as I stood in line it pissed me off, I wish one of the brewers would have said something. Another thing was that I bought a Devil's Milk snifter and they wouldn't pour the beer in it so I had to transfer from my plastic cup into the snifter. At 11% this barleywine that has several months on it still seems rough. It is definatley an American as the bold C hops are present and there is some nice sweetness left in the malt. The alcohol comes through a little too much as the malt can't contain it and the hops can't mute it. An enjoyable barleywine, something I would buy on occasion.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2005 13:07:34 | More by Higravity
Photo of Hefe


3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

additional review --- 2002 vintage
Reviewed from notes, 3/24/04 Michael Jackson Tasting @ R.F.D.'s

Appearance: Red/brown with a slight tan head.

Smell: Aggressive, even after some aging. Spicy, piney, floral.

Taste: Again very aggressive, Big malt, Big hops, but these flavor just seem to be coming together. Is there more hanging around for next year?

Mouthfeel: Fuuulll bodied.

Drinkability: She can't take much more of this captain!
Tasted on tap at the Arundel Mills release party 11/19/03

Appearance: Roasted mocha color with a reddish tinge and a thick lasting tan head.

Smell: Complex, with interweaving tones of sweet malt, spice, hops, plum, cocao, caramel.

Taste: Again exceptionally complex, taking a hint from the aroma, spice, toffeeish malt, clove and nutmeg, honey, espresso and finishing dry.

Mouthfeel and drinkability: Mouthfilling, unctous almost. And so I would have to call this a sipping brew, rather like a fine cognac.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2004 20:43:22 | More by Hefe
Photo of ManekiNeko


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a sample cup at the Michael Jackson Beer Tasting held at RFD's. 2002 vintage.

Appearance: Orange-brown liquid topped by a small light tan head that receded to a film and a ring right quick. Lil' bits o' foam were left on the cup.

Smell: Prominent aromas of orange marmalade with strong peppery and floral hops wafting about. Slightly brash alcohol taste.

Taste: Sweet caramel malts that get pimp slapped by the Simcoe hops, much to its detriment (IMHO).

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy with aftertastes on steroids.

Drinkability: Not very smooth or contemplative. Very raw for an aged barleywine. This is a rude American interpretation.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2004 00:42:03 | More by ManekiNeko
Photo of sideshowrob


3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thought I'd add a few notes to my review of this beer. I had a months-old sample at a Heavy Ale tasteing at DBA's in WDC. VERY different brew! The sample at DBA had developed some real character during it's lagering. Strongest note was a molassas flavor that was totally abscent during it's release at DuClaw. I'm now really glad I have a bottle of this brew stashed away. Jim, the brewer from DuClaw admitted that the beer was a little bit green when it was released. Hopefully, the brewing schedules can be revised next year so that a properly aged version can be served. If the aged beer had been served at the brew-pub, I would have given it a "5" for taste.

If there's a stock formula for barley wine, DuClaw used it for this brew. I suppose it's actually a good thing that one can gripe about a beer because it's only a "typical" BW, but I can't help but to feel let down by this brew. DuClaw does a real good job marketing their beers, and I did attend the "release party" for this brew, but neither the hype or the high-production values of the short video clip shown at the party could raise this brew above an overall average score.

Appearance was quite good. The beer was poured into a special "Devils Milk" release glass - a 11oz logo'ed challice. Nice touch. Smell was marked by a strong alcohol scent, along with some firece hops. Taste was good, the archtypical, websters-definition barley wine flavor. (Perhaps this beer was served too early to have developed any real character of its own?) Pretty easy to drink down too, It'd be easy to forget about the 11% ABV. Overall Devils milk is really only a standout as a bone-fide barley wine being brewed and served by a chain brew-pub. Well worth a drink if it's on tap, but not worth an out-of-the-way trip to the brewers.

Serving type: on-tap

01-01-2004 01:01:06 | More by sideshowrob
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-05-2003 03:08:00 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of farHillsBrewer


4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark Amber with plenty of sweetness and complex malt notes. Pours with a thick head and parallel-line lacing all the way down. The mouthfeel is beautiful and one almost regrets having to swallow. When you do the ample sweetness gradually fades and leaves a tangy finish. Overall among my favorite barleywines with almost no taste of the warming alcohol.

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2003 23:39:30 | More by farHillsBrewer
Photo of devilben02

North Carolina

3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle with a sparkling, clear, almost pinkish medium brown color, but almost no head. The aroma is disappointingly muted, with only a mild grainy sweetness and a light pine character being discernable. The flavor is more forward, with woody hops being balanced against subtly sweet caramel malts. It's not too boozy or sweet as many barley wines can get, and rather just provides a full balance of flavors. The medium body and light carbonation further help this one from getting too syrupy. Overall, despite being comparatively mellow for a 10% barley wine, the rich flavors one would expect still come through.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 13:59:50 | More by devilben02
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Devil's Milk from DuClaw Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 221 ratings.