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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

117 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 117
Hads: 358
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 20.79%
Wants: 37
Gots: 80 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States | website

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: 117 | Hads: 358
Photo of dar482
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%

The beer comes in a rich orange color.

The aroma bursts of orange, fruity hop character, with a touch of dank and lots of sweetness.

The flavor follows with that Centennial quality up front of sweet orange marmalade. The sweetness in the front falls off quite well onto a Simcoe character of dank pine and green flavors. A really well balanced brew that does not taste like its ABV.

In general, I would categorize this as a really well made triple IPA.

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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 cpetrone84
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a clear dark amber color with hues of red inside and a few bubbles rising to the top. the head is a light tan color, tight and creamy with a few bubbles on top. It lingers for a little while leaving a slow falling thick lace on the side of the glass.

S-the nose is pretty nice yet slightly subtle. The malt backbone is present but overtaken by sweetness and hops. Caramel and a lightly toasted biscuit up front. Notes of lactose lie in the middle with sweet cherries seem to blend with a strong oily floral hop presence in the back accompanied by notes of fusel alcohol.

T-the taste follows the nose pretty spot on. Lighter on the malt up front followed by notes of lactose then sweet fruit finishing off oily and hoppy showing notes of fusel alcohol.

M-this has a great soft, smooth and creamy feel on the palate. it is about medium body, a little thinner than ideal but still decent. the carbonation picks up at the finish blending with the alcohol to give it a slight crisp burn at the back of the throat.

D-this is quite tasty and has a big hop profile. It would be an interesting brew to age; but this one is quite tasty fresh and has a very pleasing feel. Very solid beer and great example of an American Style Barleywine.

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Photo of tigg924
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Taste is big oily pine, light caramel, and earth. Alcohol comes out as the beer warms. An above average American Barleywine, but there are others in the style that I prefer.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer is served a golden amber color with a billowy white head of one finger height. The head has a decent level of retention, fading over time to leave a decent level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is rather large of sweeter aromas of caramel and toffee. Mixed with these smells are some aromas a lightly floral and earthy nature, but these are rather light overall. A moderately strong dark fruit aroma of cherry and fig are there as well a bit of a boozy smell are there as well, creating a rather warming smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a very sweet and malty taste with plenty of caramel and toffee sweetness matched with a good showing of a bready nature. As the flavor advances some of the fruit flavors that were detected in the nose come to the tongue with some cherry. Along with these sweeter tastes comes a good lot of candied sugar and a bit of some lighter fruit flavors of orange and pear. A bit of hop flavors also come to the tongue more toward the middle and the end with them consisting mainly of a floral and citrus nature. In the end, a light earthy flavor and some light boozy flavors comes to the tongue, leaving a rather sweet and lightly hopped flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The beer was on the average side of thickness and creaminess (at least for a brew of ~10.5 % with a carbonation level that is rather low. The low carbonation level is quite appropriate for the brew accentuating the light hop and sweeter flavors of the brew nicely all while the thickness was OK a little bit thicker brew may have accentuated the flavors a bit better.

Overall – A very easy drinking Barleywine with lots of sweetness and minimal hop. Not a
bad one to try.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle (2012 vintage) courtesy of mwrecording pours a hazed copper color with a small cap of tan head. Not much for retention but lacing is solid.

Nose is lots of caramel and toffee, smells pretty classic barleywine....Honey Nut Cheerios. Little bit of alcohol and muted remnants of some hops. Pretty sweet, not overly toasty.

Taste is really smooth for a 10+ %er. Goes down really easy and there is some sort of sweet lactosy malt that makes the name worthy. The hops have faded quite a bit here and a little bit of oxidation is creeping in. The mouthfeel is almost thin, but that sounds worse than it is, the upside is that is really easy to quaff. This is a good beer, Id like to try a fresh one to see what kind of hop load it has.

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Photo of maximum12
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

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.

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Photo of Pencible
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of illidurit
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the free table at Woodshop 5.0. Pours an orangey amber color with very little head. Big dark caramel aroma, with lots of orange hops and toffee. Flavor is caramel, toffee, candied hops, dark fruits, light booze, and pine. Good complexity. Texture is, funny enough, sort of milky. Very creamy and smooth with lowish carbonation. Rich and tasty.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a semi-hazy orange color. The head on this is pretty solid: one finger high, pale yellow shade, good texture, and decent retention. Its smoothness suggests it isn't hopped to high heaven. Plenty of sticky, thick-looking lacing is left on the glass.

S: This has a particularly nutty smell, which seems to be assisted by its piny, floral hop notes. Let it warm up a bit, and the aforementioned piny, floral aroma really comes to the forefront. Let it warm up even more, and the malts return better than ever, bringing slight touches of dark fruit, candy, and even chocolate (!) on occasion. The aroma has some promise, especially for a brewery that doesn't usually pull off hoppy brews well.

T: Its initial flavor is fairly hoppy, bringing primarily a floral quality. These hop notes are supplanted with notes of nuts, dark fruits, and occasional chocolate. The finishing booze is prevalent, but not particularly harsh - in fact, its tart, fruity flavor (continuing where the malts left off) helps give it a bit of depth instead of come off as pure vodka. While it's not the boldest of barleywines, I like it as a more easygoing alternative.

M: It isn't that heavy feeling. It has enough carbonation. It's even faintly crisp. Translation: this beer is dangerous as fuck. Sure, you taste - and occasionally feel - the alcohol, but its integration means you're noticing the actual flavor instead of wincing from the booze. The finish is sweet, but who cares? This is a 10.6% barleywine - that doesn't come across like 10.6% at all.

O: I'm semi-impressed. Half the time I forget about DuClaw as a local option, and when I do remember them, I usually go 'meh' and get something else. But every once in a while, I come to the realization that they can make some really good beer on occasion (X-1 springs instantly to mind.) And honestly, this IS really good - it brings all the good traits of a barleywine while leaving many of qualities I don't like on the back burner. I'd reckon this is their best beer that comes in 6-packs.

Now, if only DuClaw could brew X-1 again...

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of argock
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. 2010 vintage on the label. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.99.

A: Soft leather brown with 1-finger of beige head with spotty lacing.

S: Mild aromas of caramel with some herbal hoppiness. Not much of an aroma punch -- pretty bland. Alcohol is pretty well hidden.

T: The flavor follows with the same pasty combination of malts that provide grist for alcohol production but not as much flavor as it could. The malts are papery and layered and complex as many other barleywines. The hoppiness is in check and doesn't provide the sharp counterpoint you expect in an American Barleywine. Alcohol is not hidden but doesn't detract from the flavor. I would put this in the English Barleywine or Strong Ale grouping.

M: Smooth and caressing -- this is the best feature of this brew. Carbonation is low as expected.

D: Disappointing in many ways, but mainly in missing an opportunity to produce a more distinctive beer. It is good, but doesn't push greatness at all. The malt component is too mellow and lacks the power expected from this style.

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Photo of hopdog
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
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

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

Vintage 2006 bottle into an actual Devil's Milk snifter on 11/16/08. Thanks to akorsak for sharing.

A - Poured a hazy caramel-colored body with minimal carbonation and a bubbly off-white/beige head that left a nice amount of lace around the snifter. The head flared up nicely with each swirl of the glass.

S - Sweet caramel maltiness up front with toffee notes and a bit of meat or soy sauce in the back. While this barleywine has a fairly prominent alcohol presence as well, the sweetness seems to counter it a bit with hints of candi sugar and vanilla.

T - Huge malt flavor with dark caramel notes and dark fruit reminiscent of apricot and prunes. Quite a bit of booze flavor as well. That mild soy sauce character makes an appearance during the finish as well.

M - Soft and syrupy, yet smooth and almost oily. Although this brew is very softly carbonated, it still emits a waram and tingly sensation on the palate. This is quite sweet but not cloying at all.

D - Definitely a sipper... but aren't all barleywines? I found this one to be quite smooth and drinkable. However, one snifter was enough for me. This definitely benefitted from a bit of aging, in my opinion.

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Photo of Vancer
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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

2006 vintage 1 L. bottle thanks to akorsak and shared with him, brewslut, ksak and ffejherb.

A-Deep red-orange copper with a thin light tan head that lasts and leaves spotty lace.

S-Big and bold caramel malt and brown sugar dominate. A twang of earthy/spicy hops play in the background.

T-Big and robust with forefront malts. Heavy doses of caramel amd brown sugar with some minor notes of dark fruit skins and a spicy hops.

M-Heavy bodied with a thick, syrupy feel. Long lasting flavours.

D-Without question a different beer with 2 years on it than when it is fresh. While I prefer the fresh version with it's stand out hop blast I did enjoy this now caramel/brown sugar malt bomb. A nice sipper and a good one to share with friends.

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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.

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.

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Photo of Chaney
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cool bottle design!

A: Poured a reddish, Jolly Rancher-like color, with about a finger or so off-white head that stayed frothy and then some.

S: Hoppy, but not as hoppy as most American Barleys that have captured my heart. Candy sugar, and fruit cocktail syrup. Jolly Rancher and then some....

T: I actually found this one delicious and very smooth overall. Sure it was sweet, but it had sort of a chocolate aftertaste that I personally found pleasant.

M: Sweet and kind of yeasty overall, but still very good. The carbonation was low, yet appropriate for the style. Glass bubble coating ++++!!!

O: I went to one of the DuClaw alehouses this past weekend and have a new found interest in their beers after the quality ones I had there. This one didn't disappoint.

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Photo of DIM
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

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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 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 CuriousMonk
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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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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Photo of lackenhauser
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mild bronze in color. Small and tight off white head. Piney and resiny aroma with a soft caramel hint. Big caramel malty flavor with a large bevvy of hop bitterness. Stand out hop flavor along with bitterness. Solid and slick mouthfeel. Finish is rather dry. Damn solid US barleywine. I might need to run up the road to try on draft. Nice.

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Devil's Milk from DuClaw Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.