Devil's Milk - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Devil's MilkDevil's Milk

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

111 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 111
Hads: 324
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 6.6%
Wants: 34
Gots: 63 | 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: 111 | Hads: 324
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 SolipsismalCat
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
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. (427 characters)

Photo of tlazaroff
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque muddied mahogany color which supports a thin white foamy head. Alcohol feet in the head are clearly visible, and it quickly dissipated.

S: I'm surprised that after 6 months, the hops are still present in the smell of this beer. They come across as a nice earthy, but robust scent. The malt base is clearly present here with the nose of sweet carmel.

T: Big fruit here. Plum, Date, and peach even. The beer is very sweet, but balanced. It has a carmel like taste, just like the smell, but it's in the background of all the fruit in the beer.

M: Full bodied and moderate-heavily carbonated. Almost a bit cloying on the palate.

D: Quite good, but the strength begs it to be sipped. (702 characters)

Photo of Higravity
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (746 characters)

Photo of ManekiNeko
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (656 characters)

Photo of cubedbee
4.17/5  rDev +10%
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.. (612 characters)

Photo of chodinheaven
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (1,428 characters)

Photo of DaveBlack
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: A finger's width of off-white head tops this copper colored beer. The head has an almost permanent retention with a lot of lacing.

S: Bready malts backbone holds of a lot of piney hops. Also some honeyed fruits, kind of peachy. Really a nice smelling brew.

T: Honey hits the tongue right off the bat, with caramel and followed by the taste of bread, and pine/grapefruit hops on the finish. The hops bring some bitterness, but not as much as is needed to balance the incredible sweetness up front.

M: Incredibly thick and viscous. Almost has the consistency of honey.

O: A tasty beer, but just a little much. Too much sweetness, too thick, too much alcohol. If they had toned it back a little it could have been a great beer, but I can barely drink a 12 oz bottle. (770 characters)

Photo of ThaBobfather
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a text book barley wine maple syrup color with a light tan head with good retention.
Smell is very malty with sweetness/ a caramel on the nose.
Taste is very sweet to me- light syrup with a malt on the back.
Finish is very wet with a great sweetness on the back.
Drinks very well here- a light bite on the very end but at 11 is great. (341 characters)

Photo of PSUDREW
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden color. Some foam, kind of doesn't retain it, though. Has a little bit of carbonation. Very malty nose, with hints of alcohol, with a smidge of pine. Rather pungent upfront taste. Toffee, pine/hops taste, and a chunk of alcohol in the 1st taste. Sweetness cut with the hops. Very sharp mouthfeel. Sweet abv aftertaste. Solid barleywine. has a pretty good style, and doesn't beat your mouth up on consumption. Thanks to lackenhauser for this one (463 characters)

Photo of hdofu
4.32/5  rDev +14%
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. (458 characters)

Photo of devilben02
3.64/5  rDev -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. (628 characters)

Photo of drumrboy22
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (602 characters)

Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.58/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. 2010 vintage poured into Devil's Milk snifter.

A - Translucent ruby, thin head, minimal lacing.

S - Malty, alcohol, mixed berries.

T - Apple skin, piney hops, alcohol, sweetness, light pepper, maltiness and bitterness on the finish.

M - Thick, smooth, low carbonation.

D - Delicious! A sipper for sure. This is my favorite beer brewed in Maryland, Period. (367 characters)

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

2010 vintage. Pours a mostly clear medium amber with plenty of thick, cream-colored head. Great head retention and lacing. Some active carbonation. Fruity, citrus aroma up front; very sweet smelling with berry notes as well as floral hoppiness. Hints of malt lurk in the background but this one is all hops pretty much. The flavor comes on with a strong malt profile - plenty of bread and dark fruit notes. A cherry-like cloying sweetness quickly follows, only partially covered up with sweet citrus and floral hops. A tad bitter but not nearly enough for the cloying sweetness. This one had great potential but is just too sweet for me. (637 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 taylorhamrick
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade from Lunch.

Drank 5-11-2010, reviewed from notes.

Pours a sort of hazy, ruddy brown, with a 1 cm head, tan colored, that falls back pretty fast. Not much lacing. Looks to be the norm, but nothing beyond it there. The smell is nice, toasted sweet nuts come to mind, with bits of orange zest and peel, and some sweet berry flavors as well. I get a lot of caramel in the smell, with raisins, and a little bit of crackery smell too. This one has a hefty malt presence, with a slighty fruity hoppiness. The taste has a bit more of the hoppiness that has come to be the norm in an American Barleywine. It's like eating pollen coated cake. The bitterness is not too strong, thanks to the incredible sweetness, but it does a great job of balancing. There is definitely a flowery presence, and the consistent orange is vary nice in this. The malt is still the winner I believe, which is a nice change of pace. Very bready, and very raisiny as well, with a slightly drying finish, despite the heavy sweetness up front. The body is a nice medium, with pretty low carbonation, which helps to sort of thicken it up and enhance the sweetness. The alcohol provides a nice warmth, but not a burn really. I thought this was a pretty good beer, though way too strong for me to go back for any other beer after it. (1,317 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 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 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 degerbah
3.64/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a ruddy amber with just a finger of head. The aroma is very hoppy. The taste reminds me a lot of bigfoot from Sierra Nevada. On the hoppy end of the spectrum as far as Barleywines go. Would be much easier to drink except for the tongue curling syrupy thickness. It's a good drinker, but the thickness forces me to treat this as a sipper. Probably would just get Bigfoot instead of this in the future. (406 characters)

Photo of JasonA
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (874 characters)

Photo of Hefe
3.98/5  rDev +5%
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. (976 characters)

Photo of dickroop
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (1,061 characters)

Photo of Hex92
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (360 characters)

Devil's Milk from DuClaw Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.