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Devil's Milk - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Devil's MilkDevil's Milk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

115 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 115
Hads: 346
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 20.79%
Wants: 36
Gots: 73 | FT: 4
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 115 | Hads: 346
Photo of russpowell
3.64/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2012 vintage pours copper colored with a finger of pearl colored head. Good lacing & average head retention

S: Some breadyness, pears & figs, plus booze; started to open up as this warmed

T: Oaky dryness, boozey pears & a touch of figs & cherry up front. Big-time woody hops as this warms, much dryness as well, plus a touch of caramel & more pear. finishes very dry, woody with pear brandy notes & just a touch of grapefruit & pine at the very end

MF: Fairly chewy with low carbonation, alright balance

Seems more like an English barleywine, just doesn't hop forward enough. Drank fairly easy, but nothing to get excited about, Started to show more American aspects the last third of the bottle, but this was stored & served at 56 degrees, so it had to warm up a ton to really show what it was

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Photo of burdgod
4.72/5  rDev +24.2%
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!

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Photo of C20Percent
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a clean copper colored with a 1/4 finger's worth of bubbly head. Body is super clean. Minimal amount of bubbles. We'll see what happens with the lacing --> pretty impressive lacing actually.

S: Hops and caramel; sweetness. Some dark fruits.

T: Hops. Dry finish -- slightly bitter. Some sweetness coming from the malts -- caramel or toffee. Butter. Little woody. Really good. Warmness. Alcohol is well managed.

M: Nice carbonation. Smooth and creamy. Medium body -- maybe a tad thin at times. Chewiness brings out some earthiness. Might be the hops. Oily feel. Pretty good here.

O: Really good Barleywine that is somewhat local. Taste a lot like Bigfoot. Might be the hops that do it. But, this is about $5 less for a sixer. Definitely recommend this brew. Good offering from DuClaw.

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Photo of ckollias
4.49/5  rDev +18.2%
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.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.31/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a beer mug.

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

Toffee, grapefruit and pine.

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

Medium-full bodied, oily and well carbonated.

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

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours hazy light brown with a small white cap fading into a wisp. Decent lacing down the edges.

Aroma is somewhat tame. Some brown sugar, toffee and a bit of piney hop character. Sweet.

Lots of toffee and booze up front. Some pine hops mixed in with burnt sugar in the back. Pretty sweet, but the bitterness and booze kept it in check a bit with the hop profile being earthy and piney.

Medium bodied, perhaps a touch thin for my tastes with lighter carbonation although still present.

A solid barleywine. Nothing about it really wowed me, but it was solid all around if a bit on the sweet side.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear red-brown with half-finger, white head that lasted 10 seconds. Almost no lacing.

S: Caramel malt and tropical sweetness. Dark fruits.

T: Moderate sweetness and moderate bitterness. Citrus and pineapple with a biting bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Kind of watery.

O: Average ale. The taste was kind of flat and it had a sort of watery mouthfeel. Smelled good though.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottle

A: Pours a hazy dirty brown water color with white dust on the top and a foamy head that quickly receded. Lacing left on edges of the glass.

S: Aroma of heavily caramelized sugars, dense with piney hop residue. Heavily floral with cotton candied burnt sugars. Very sweet off the bat.

T: A rich and strong tasting barrel aged barleywine. Oak barrel aging is present and the bourbon hints are very subtle. There are plenty of bittering hops mixed with burnt sugars, bittering hops in the back and floral flavor hops in the front. This is extremely sweet, which I usually enjoy in a barleywine. It is not overly hopped either to the point that the sweetness is overshadowed. Both of these are positives but the one area I am not a big fan of that this really has too much of is the burnt sugar ending. It is a mash of burnt sugars vs stale hops that were bittering hops and have gained a more earthy taste.

M: Medium body with a very light carbonation. About right for the style.

O: Overall a good barleywine. This is nothing unbelievable and the barrel aging has not done anything great to the complexity. It is a little deeper, but nothing transforming. Overall the barrel aging has added some oakiness and earthiness but maybe the barrel they chose wasnt as fresh as it could have been.

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Photo of templar316
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Impressive 1/2 inch of bubbly head lacing is decent. Color is a nice ruby amber brown, very clear,

S - Straight up citrus hops with a balance of caramel and toffee like malts.

T - Fairly close to my other favorite Barley wine "Avery Hog Heaven" Mildly bittering hops in the finish but mostly zippy citrus and pineapple like hops and a sweet malt backing like caramel crackers. Tasty stuff.

M - I don't know where the ABV is but this almost 11% brew drinks like a DIPA. Fantastic!

Overall I would welcome seconds! This is so far the best beer Duclaw has made in a shower of mediocre beers. Recommended!

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Photo of nickfl
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of jtierney89
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%
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.

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Photo of JayQue
3.34/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

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Photo of Hex92
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a beer that I am glad I picked up. I am not a big hop fan, but they have balanced the big hop taste with a hefty dose of malt. The sweetness and sticky mouth feel of the malt makes this a drinkable beer.

All that said, this isn't my favorite barleywine . It was worth trying, but not exactly what I am looking for. So I most likely won't buy it again.

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Photo of nhindian
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Mahogany/Amber colored body with a light tan head that disappears quickly. Light transparency.

S- Some dried fruits, barley and a slight citrusy hop presence.

T- Very complex. Fruity sweetness up front, followed by a malty, hoppy back. Finishes closer to a traditional strong ale with the hop/malt presence.

M- Smooth, not too heavy and medium bodied.

O- One of the best barleywines I have had. Very unique and complex, but also drinkable. ABV is hidden well.

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Photo of MarcatGSB
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

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Photo of chodinheaven
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice clarity in this reddish brown beer. One finger of creamy seafoam off-white head that dissapates slowly down to an inconsistent sheet. Pretty bold on the nose with lots of dried fruity esters coming through. Caramel malts as well as a light citrus hop smell float up as well, with an overall booziness singing the nose hairs a little bit.

Lots of flavors that round each other out in the first sips. The caramel and bready malts provide a nice backbone for the fruity esters to play, which are both dried and fresh. Grapes and raisins definitely come to mind, as well as apple. Not necessarily as much citrus as I thought there was judging from the nose. The hop presence fits right in with a nice herbal bitter note. That is until the aftertaste, which is bready, herbal, and boozy, which don't seem to complement each other, leaving a weird linger. As far as the booze in the taste, it is definitely evident throughout and it seems to work as it doesn't ever become cloying. This is pretty much dead on for the style, but does become a bit too much as you get to the bottom of the glass. It has a low to medium carbonation level that does well here. The beer finishes somewhat dry and boozy.

Really not a bad beer. Low on drinkability as it is on the sweeter side and big on ABV, but for a one-timer to have in the fridge, not a bad choice. Duclaw seems hit or miss, and this one sits closer to the hit side of things.

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Photo of corby112
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby red color that's completely opaque with a 1.5 finger frothy off-white head that has very good retention, only slowly fading into a thick lasting cap/ring. Large rings and chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Earthy aroma with a nice balance of floral and citrus hops, estery fruit notes and leathery malt. The hop presence is stronger than expected with hints of grassy pine and lots of sweet citrus. This is complimented by the light fruit notes from the yeast. The malt presence becomes more prominent as it warms with some earthy, leathery notes. Hints of caramel, toffee, dark fruit and toast.

Medium bodied with a strong hop presence up front that lingers over the sweeter notes into a sweet, slightly dry finish. Some dry, bitter notes with hints of grassy pine followed by some sweet citrus. The malts are pretty tame for a barleywine without being overly musty/leathery. Hints of nut, caramel and toffee as well as a sweeter dark fruit character. Subtle sweetness and boozy heat in the finish but the high ABV is well masked making it easy to drink. Well balanced but feels more like a strong ale than a barleywine.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a really nice amber color with a pretty good thin yellowish cream colored head. Thin, not much lacing but stuck around for a while on top. The smell of this beer has a really nice sweetness, grains and malts on the nose. The taste is also sweet, it's got a citrus kick of lemon in the flavor. The malts and grains are really flavorful. The mouthfeel of the beer is smooth, nicely balanced. Overall a damn good Barley Wine!

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Photo of TheDudeRules
1.86/5  rDev -51.1%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

azy dark, burnt ruby amber. Very intresting hue as the reddish tint was very noticeable even though the haze made it almost opaque. A one inch head formed on the top upon pour, that faded almost immediatly. What was left was a thin film of decent quality lace that circle around the glass. Smell was very sweet, caramel sugars hitting almost immediatly. The deeper smell after some warming indicated a nice bready, earthy malt back with a hint of alcohol, which at 9%abv and being a barleywine should be expected. The taste for me was just too light. I expect barleywines to make me sit down and to be a definite sipper, but this just did not have the fullness I would have expected. The finish on it was very dry, and did last a good bit though

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Photo of philbe311
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A fingers worth of light-to-medium tan colored head that is loosely pack and visibly fizzy... Minimal retention gives way to a full veil of misty lace and fairly thick collar... A couple of stray sluggish carbonation bubble can be seen rising along the sides of the snifter... The color is a light to medium brown with a few amber highlights and a pronounced haziness...

S - Lots of dark fruit... Plums... Raisins... Figs... Perhaps even a bit of blueberry... Loaded with gobs of sweet caramel and toffee... Brown sugar... Apples...

T - Booze from the get go... It's not overpowering, but it is pronounced and lingers throughout never letting anything else to shine through... Brown sugar... Some toffee... The dark fruit gets completely buried...

M - Medium bodied... Light carbonation... Moderately sticky... A bit chalky... Fairly "plain jane..."

D - A very promising American Barleywine in terms of appearance and aroma, but quickly becomes average at best when taking into accounting taste, mouthfeel and overall drinkability... Not terrible, but there are scads and scads of other style mates that I would opt for and recommend...

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Devil's Milk from DuClaw Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.