A Deal With The Devil - Anchorage Brewing Company

Not Rated.
A Deal With The DevilA Deal With The Devil

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

568 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 568
Reviews: 85
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 9.49%
Wants: 608
Gots: 272 | FT: 38
Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  17.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HuskyinPDX on 01-29-2013

Barleywine style ale brewed with Galaxy Hops. A starting gravity of 37 Plato. Aged eleven months in Cognac barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 568 | Reviews: 85
Photo of Spud8610
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely hands down the best barrel aged beer I have ever had

Photo of Shon4star
4.91/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ok here we go.
2014 Batch 2 poured into a teku glass

P- pours a dark amber with very little to no head. There is some lacing around the glass. Very thick

S- The smell is absolutely amazing, It has dark fruits, vanilla, caramel, toffee, brown sugar. This is by far the best smelling barley my sniffer has ever encountered. It literally is making my mouth water.

T- OMG. Candied sugar, Toffee, Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Caramel all hit your palate like an explosion. This is a Sweet one thats for sure. The high abv is unnoticable.

M- Super thick. Coats the entire mouth perfectly. Makes for a great sipper as the taste well stay in your mouth for a long period.

O- This is by far the best B Wine I have had the pleasure of having. IMO better then King Henry and MOAS. I simply cant put how good this is. It meets everything I look for in a B Wine sweet, great flavor profile, and hidden ABV. If you could try 1 B Wine before you die get this one!

Photo of Jackp_43
4.71/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Not generally a huge fan of barley wines. However, this particular one is the epitome of a well crafted beer of that style. Two thumbs up.

Photo of cbutova
2.97/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Dan Nos Boss like a bawz. Thanks for sharing.

A- Amazing label bottle drops a somewhat hazy caramel amber brew which ends up with a thick creamy head. Pillow thick ring leaves rare lace.

S- Old Ale caramel delivered by the devil himself apparently, its huge. Cognac, toast and raisins with time. Apple juice rears its head with more time.

T- Massive caramel sweetness is a vast majority of the flavor; butterscotch is mentioned. Woody oak from the barrel as well as some deep sugar tones and heavy raisins. Mostly just like Old Ales but less balanced and insanely sweet. Apple juice again.

MF- One of the most oily and viscous brews I have encountered. That being said it has a creamy and smooth texture despite low end carbonation. No heat, somehow.

Tastes like an underfermented sweet homebrew with some oak chips thrown in. Caramel sugar bomb. Apple juice flavors just don't mesh well with the rest of the brew. Maybe a different batch or something but this is not what I expected.

Photo of IowaBiertrinker
4.69/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Batch 2 from a bottle. $35 plus shipping from SFO.

This is a BIG beer, all around. Big taste and mouthfeel. Big Barleywine which is fairly seet up front with the apple barrel taking over 1/2 way through, well into the long finish. It would take a while to sip on even half this bottle, so as with most beers, best shared with friends! This one lives up to the hype.

Photo of maximum12
4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to Sanderson for providing this bottle; I’ve been looking forward to it like a Friday night in Venice. 750ML bomber with some awesome bottle art & a bizarre, stream-of-consciousness poem on the back that I felt compelled to read out loud. Plus points already.

The pour is low carbonation & looks like it could be solidified slightly & worked into a clay animation video. The smell is more akin to a fine liqueur one might sip looking out over the pier in Lisbon. Cognac, caramel, love. This just smells like it’s going to kick ass.

A Deal With the Devil makes me stop & smell the roses; I’m going to savor this like a twelve minute lap dance. The cognac here is not subtle but smoother than a Cano swing, without a hint of alcohol or harshness. The malts are secondary: toffee, caramel, roundhouse of sweetness, candied sugar, brown sugar…this should have a vial of insulin taped to the bottle. Vanilla, honey emerge as it warms. Alcohol finally emerges as a nuclear chain reaction in my gut, spreading warmth in every direction. Too many subtleties for my B- brain to comprehend. Sticky, thick, & sticky; I’d like this to be made into a syrup I could pour on my Belgian waffles. Drinkable? Shit. I could have drunk the entire bomber, gone & cracked another, & only been regretful tomorrow when I woke up & left several ounces undrunk, slipped out of my hand & spilled on the (wonderfully smelling) carpet.

This is better than Jurassic Park. Let me clarify, this is better than East of Eden, though doesn’t reach the level of Dune (though really, what does?). Anybody who’s looking for complexity, or an expensive drunk, or a kick-ass barleywine, should really just give their bottle to me. Excellent beer that’s only a chip shot from the elite.

Photo of marct13
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just an amazing beer. Thanks Josh! Now to try and get another ha.

Photo of Franziskaner
4.2/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown in color and extremely hazy in complexion. There's a fingernail of dark khaki colored head. I smell dark malt and sweet cognac. The flavor is very malty and it finishes slightly sweet. The mouth is remarkably silky smooth considering the strength.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.29/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. The most expensive beer I have bought. Oh Hell, tax returns were last week. As this beer falls into my glass I marvel at the visually noticeable viscosity. A Deal pours a dark copper color. Body is turbid and deep. As I agitate the glass, I can only gather a thin slice of tan, creamy foam. Spots and dots of lacing with legs like wine. Poured cold and allowed to warm. At its coldest, I get a cognac richness that is new to my senses. With warmth, the flavors don't necessarily change, they just become richer. Incredibly sweet smelling. Booze infused apples and dark fruits. Caramel and brown sugar by the gallon. Dry wood. Some wet, sugar-dipped tropical hops. One of the richest, sweetest aromas. The flavor is just as sweet as the nose suggested. Cognac really expresses itself. Lots of apple flavor. Caramel-coated figs, plums and raisins. A boozy woodiness. As it warms, it reminds me more and more of port wine. The Galaxy hops even raise a tentative hand here. Finishes with a ridiculous sweetness. Like drinking maple syrup. Softer carbonation. This beer's sweetness is so aggressive that I can't even taste the huge amount of booze hidden here. The flavor coats my palate and never leaves. A Deal With The Devil is incredibly ambitious. Cognac and probably 700 grams of sugar. I'm happy I went for it...just kidding, this beer was very overpriced.

Photo of kdahnke123
3.94/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter at room temperature.
L - Poured a deep amber color with a half a finger of short lived head.
S - Faint whiff of booze, caramel and malt.
T - Sweet, vegetal and somewhat cloying even for a barley wine.
F - Moderate to heavy mouthfeel.
O - For the price this one was a disappointment.

Photo of BrentLepping
3.71/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sweetness is almost too much. It's over the top and is the only thing holding back a higher review on my end.

There are other high gravity beers that don't come off nearly this sweet.

Photo of tykechandler
1.5/5  rDev -66.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

NO. cloyingly sweet. no nuance. i love everything else i've had from anchorage, but i'd rather have almost any other beer than this (yes, even a [insert shitty beer]). MAPLE SYRUP IN A BOTTLE. blech.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.44/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

2014 Bottle from Mike’s Barleywine tasting, thanks for the opportunity! Rich sweet fruit and caramel. Sticky syrupy sweet mouthfeel. Hides the alcohol content extremely well with just a wisp on the nose. A bit too sweet for my taste.

Photo of Stevedore
4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Medium dark brown body, half finger white head, minimal retention time, no lacing. Looks pretty much like black coffee, really.

S- Caramel and toffee bomb. As it warms up, you get a bit more of that dry cognac aroma, but make no mistake, there is a lot of molasses-like sweetness in this beer accompanied by a bit of damp oak. As it warms up, I get a bit more of a menthol-like mint aroma that is nice and dry.

F- Incredibly balanced sweet caramel with a good toffee complement and even a bit of sweet tropical fruit. Plenty of molasses. No menthol or mint, but there is a hint of that excessive syrupy brandy sweetness that makes it particularly appealing compared to other barleywines. A bit of dark fruit and raisins as well.

M- Thick bodied, lower carbonation, syrupy but without being cloying. Finish is more of a mild tropical fruit subdued by a ton of sweet molasses and sugar.

O- Phenomenal barleywine. It's much different than King Henry or The K13 which remain my favourite barleywines, but it's almost as good as these are in its own way. Highly recommend.

Photo of ivegot3Dvision
3.08/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I may have had a bad bottle, but honestly it's so overly sweet it's almost hard to enjoy. I'm quite surprised this had a perfect 100 and is so high in the top 250.

Photo of Rutager
4.45/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sweet and delicious. My kind of b-wine! Montrealbcr89, you maniac! Boozecamel too, who hooked me up with a bottle. You handsome fellas are too good to me.

Photo of pmarlowe
4.1/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Batch 2. Tulip glass.

A: Pours an opaque, dark amber color tending toward brown, with a few cm of sloppy, fine sand-colored head. Pretty good retention and some dots of lacing.

S: Red and dark dried fruits (plum, raisin, black cherry), rich oak and cognac character, mild toffee, red fruit roll-up, orange vanilla frosting. The fruit comes through nicely and prominently with the oak lending structure.

T: Rich fruit melds with prominent oak and malt, moderate gripping tannins impart an abrupt and almost off flavor. Moderate sweetness.

M: Full bodied, bordering on syrupy, with very light carbonation. Hides the massive ABV well.

O: Very fruit forward barleywine, with the cognac treatment only increasing this rather than providing some vanilla/oak, which is notably absent, to cut the fruitiness. This is decidedly a step down from Sucaba or Bourbon Abominable.

Photo of ronricorossi
4.43/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deserves its reputation. Best barleywine I've had.

Photo of draheim
4.71/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750 (batch #2, December 2014) into a tulip. Pours a hazy deep mahogany w/ a minimal beige head, as would be expected of a 17% barleywine. Leaves a gorgeous fine viscous coat of liquid on the side of the glass when swirled or tipped, and maintains a beautiful layer of carbonation throughout.

Aroma is huge sweet dark fruits, caramel, vanilla, cognac, toffee, leather, tobacco, and just about any other rich decadent superlative you can throw at it. Yet as bold as it is, the aroma is also refined and subtle. This isn't just a big ridiculous beer for the sake of extremes. This is exquisite. Can't wait to taste any longer.

First sip. Oh, so smooth and rich, velvety. The figs/dates, the toffee, the caramel, the vanilla, the cognac, the alcohol all blend and swirl together effortlessly. There's little to no boozy harshness here, this is not a big beer that I need to choke down. This beer is complex, deceptive, seductive ... in a word, devilish. About as close to a true 5 as I'm likely to get... but I want to hold out for a truly perfect beer.

Mouthfeel is thick, velvety, smooth. Coats the palate and holds on. Here's where that fine layer of carbonation sets this beer apart. I've had extra strong beers before that get syrupy and heavy on the palate, that become a chore to drink. This one might do that too, but there's no early indication of it.

Overall, hands down one of the best strong beers I've ever had, and also one of the best beers period. 750mL is obviously a sharing size for this, and unfortunately I have no one to share it with tonight. So I hope by opening it before 5 p.m. I've given myself enough time to savor this one throughout the evening. It really is that good.

Photo of bcrossan
4.57/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2. One of best BA BWs I have tasted

Photo of mdfb79
4.24/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Super sweet, but very good.

Photo of dar482
4.59/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The beer hits of loads of cognac throughout, almost like a dessert wine or liqueur. Up front, some dark fruit and figs, then onto lots of almost cloying sweetness of toffee and caramel. The beer is full bodied and offers flavor throughout.

On the sweeter side of the style, but wonderfully complex.

Photo of Mickeyp2814
4.55/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

As a Texan living in Alaska the whole Barleywine thing was new to me. Sure we get them in Texas but the experience is totally different. Barleywines are typically a cold weather type of thing so it's not surprising that when reading reviews from people in Austin, TX or Tampa, FL There is a lack of knowledge regarding Barleywines and the low ratings. There is a reason BA gives Deal with the Devil a 100 score and something folks in the before mentioned places do not understand.
This is a must have for anyone that enjoys Barleywine. Sweet and strong and better as it warms. Time only makes Deal with the Devil better so if you can get a bottle hold on to it a couple of years letting it age. Also this is a sipping brew to be shared with friends. A bottle can easily be shared between four or five people.
If you know what good Barleywine is you will appreciate Deal with the Devil. Get it if you get a chance!

Photo of kojevergas
3.16/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: 750ml. Brown glass. Great label art (screen-print style). Pry-off pressure cap.

Shared by a friend at a bottle share. Thanks, Collins!

Reviewed live at low altitude in Austin, TX. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Vintage: December 2014. Batch #2.
ABV: None listed.
Style: Cognac barrel aged barleywine.
Serving temp: Chilled. Allowed to warm over the course of consumption.
Serving vessel: Goblet.
Expectations: Sky-high given its current perfect 100 rating and #82 ranking in the Top 250.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: None. No lacing.

BODY: Dark red with brown hues. No yeast particles or hop sediment is visible.

AROMA: Cognac punches through, absolutely. Caramel. Caramalts. A kiss of marshmallow. Treacle. Hints of apple. Toffee. Loads of malt sweetness. A kiss of cherry. Some vague fruit.

Aromatic intensity: average.

Suggests a boozy imbalanced beer.

TASTE: Too sweet, but its candied vibe works. Caramel, marshmallow, treacle/unrefined sugars, hints of toffee, caramalt, amber malts, brown malts, and cognac. The cognac barrel is nice and interesting, and the marshmallow works, but overall its imbalanced, with the unrefined sugars lending a rough-around-the-edges sweetness that hides the booze but betrays the lack of adequately attenuated yeast. Green apple and vague fruit round out the wanting flavour profile.

Depth of flavour: Average.
Flavour duration: Average.
Flavour intensity: Average.
Flavour amplitude: Average.

For a barrel aged brew, it's surprisingly simplistic, lacking intricacy - in terms of both the base and the barrel. This build is cohesive, but the beer as a whole is far from gestalt. No hop profile, yeast character, of off-notes come through.

TEXTURE: Not as syrupy or sticky as I anticipated. Certainly, there's some boozy warmth, but it's not off-putting. Full-bodied, smooth, and wet. Adequately carbonated.

Not oily, gushed, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

This texture fails to elevate the beer and doesn't accentuate the taste particularly well.

OVERALL: Huge thanks to Collins for the bottle share, but I wouldn't seek this out again, and I'm a bit taken aback it's this high on the Top 250 list (and that it's present at all); this emperor has no clothes. Maybe those spending the $38.00 USD a bottle just convince themselves it's great, but as drinkable as it is for the high ABV the flavour just isn't there. Way too sweet. Needs intricacy and subtlety.

As it warms, the cognac emerges more, making it more interesting - but there's still not a harmony of barrel to base. An above average barleywine, sure. Definitely a sipper.

C+

Photo of IckyT2012
4.57/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

At over $30, I had to think twice about picking this up. After tasting, I'll be going back to get a bottle to age. I was worried this one would be too sweet, but the barrels really mellow it out. The cognac addition is wonderful. With the weight, it drinks more like a stout than a barleywine. Overall, an exceptional beer. This is neck and neck with Bourbon county for the best barleywine I've ever had.

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A Deal With The Devil from Anchorage Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 568 ratings.