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Devil's Milk - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Devil's MilkDevil's Milk

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

243 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 243
Reviews: 105
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 32
Gots: 29 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: farHillsBrewer on 11-02-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 243 | Reviews: 105 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hopdog
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted from Growler.

Poured a darker and clear mahogany color with a very small sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, citrus, light cherries, and all around hops (very hoppy). Tastes of caramel, some dark fruits, and grapefruit. Light warming alcohol bite in the finish (but not 11+%).

Notes from 12/12/05

hopdog, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of drumrboy22
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Late '06 bottle. I pulled this out of the cellar to share at a tasting my wife and I recently hosted. Poured from 32oz. fliptop into nonic taster glasses. Beer was a dark copper color with a small, creamy, tan head. Moderate lacing around the glass.

Aroma was caramel, toffee and raisins. Very sweet with malt and lightly hoppy.

Taste was sweet and creamy with caramel and a surprisingly fair amount of hops still present. Nuts and grain flavors present.

Very thick and chewy mouthfeel.

A very nice sipper that everyone enjoyed. Still have another bottle in the cellar. This one has held up well.

drumrboy22, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of Vancer
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here she be: sent via wickedpete in a great trade, many thanks, Pete.

The recapped bomber was understandable a bit light on carbonation and head, like cask ale. No biggie. Clear and crisp copper and oak.

Aroma smacked me with the sweet malty caramel, moderated with a pine hop. Sweet BW, smooth and slipping down like a 2 year old on the playground slide. No idea that this packs a 11% wallop. Very hard just to sip just a tasty, easy drinking brew.

Vancer, Jan 12, 2008
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!

, Dec 03, 2007
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).

PaulieD, Nov 20, 2007
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brewed 2006, Sampled July 2007
Pours with a three-finger thick, light tan colored head that sits atop a brilliantly clear, light cranberry tinged, full amber colored beer. The aroma is a mix of herbaceous hops and ample, concentrated malt. Notes of caramel, brown sugar, boozy-brandied over-tones, toasted grain, syrup-crusted soda crackers make up the malt notes. The hop aromas at times contribute a soft berry-like note to this beer as well as a soft pine-like note and almost even a winter-green character. The malt & hops do combine to give this an aromatic fruit component, but it is only noticeable at times.

Fairly sweet, especially considering that this is not the thickest or richest Barleywine out there. The sweetness accentuates a soft, berry like flavor that runs throughout this beer. A herbaceous hop character is also found in this beer, but becomes the most noticeable note towards the finish where it is something like a mix of resinous pine and rosemary notes. Citrusy hop components play a role here, though somehow the straight-forward malt sweetness turns them into berry like flavors; at times notes of bergamot, tangelo and candied orange peel are quite noticeable. As the beer warms up the candied orange peel flavors become quite a bit more noticeable. A solid bitterness is noticeable from beginning to end, though it does not quite tame the simplistic malt sweetness, but it does make a good attempt.

This certainly hides the alcohol quite well, I never would have guessed it was near 12%, though this would never be mistaken for a light weight. The hop character is still fairly vibrant, and this certainly has not picked up much age or oxidation yet. This beer becomes more enjoyable as time goes on; it has become a fitting beer to end the night on.

Gueuzedude, Jul 09, 2007
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.

HopDerek, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of JasonA
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

64oz Growler from Arundel Mills Mall DuClaw

Pours a barely cloudy light red copper. Little tannish head quickly disolves into little lacing.

Smells very hoppy, sweet fruit, maybe malt and barley.

Pretty sweet initial which masks the hopness momentarly. Though somewhat masks it as I dont get much hops. Ends with a different sweet masking most of the alcohol. ABV masked very well.

Little syrupy for me. Good carbonation level with nice fireworks in my mouth. Smooth at the end. Good staying power, though sweetness from taste lasts a bit too long.

Im sad i gave a 3.5 on the drinkability. This is probably more my prefernce than anything, but it seemed just a little (tiny bit) too sweet syrupy for my taste with the style. While Im going to love the growler, for a beer that doesnt come in bombers, 64oz will be just a bit too much for 1 person over 2 days.

JasonA, Dec 09, 2006
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.

dickroop, Nov 17, 2006
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.

MaltyGoodness, Nov 13, 2005
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.

Dithyramb, Nov 05, 2005
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..

cubedbee, Jul 29, 2005
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.

Higravity, May 16, 2005
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.

Hefe, Jun 28, 2004
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.

ManekiNeko, Apr 04, 2004
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.

sideshowrob, Jan 01, 2004
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.

NeroFiddled, Dec 05, 2003
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.

farHillsBrewer, Nov 02, 2003
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Devil's Milk from DuClaw Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 243 ratings.