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A Deal With The Devil - Anchorage Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

91 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 91
Hads: 716
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 5.01%
Wants: 635
Gots: 306 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 91 | Hads: 716
Reviews by Fux:
Photo of Fux
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of maximum12
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (1,775 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%

Not meant for the faint of heart- this massive taste of ale is a high testiment to what ale can be and not of what it should be. With its high succulent charm and slow-sipping rewards, patience is rewarded in such high culinary delight.

A Deal With The Devil shows a highly viscous weight with its decant. Layering upon the glass with such sugary weight, it seems to crawl into the glass all by itself. Its tawny mahogany color gives way to a breadth of aromas that stimulate the senses with brown sugar, toffee, molasses and sweet fruity booze. Those cognac tendencies show full force as the flavors favor grape, caramel, umami and black-strap molasses.

As the middle unfolds, the booze-soaken fruits of apples, dates, figs, raisons, plumb, cherry and peach are all represented, but done so in a dried and pleasantly oxidized kind of way. With such tang, heat and sweetness, that session easily gravitates to a sipping session rather than a drinking one.

And as the most subtle of sips latch onto the taste buds, its finish is long-lasting, deeply saturating and luxurious on the palate as each decadent sip reaches deeper and deeper into the taste buds for a lasting dessert-like slumber. (1,193 characters)

Photo of Mickeyp2814
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
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! (915 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml batch #2 bottle poured into brandy snifter a ways back (from notes) thanks alpineclimber for the bottle

A darker then expected, brownish amber when held to the light, a little tan foam but little retention and no lace but at this ABV that's what I expect, some legs and visible bubbles looks like a big one alright

S I get the cognac but not much wood, maple, brown sugar, some fruit I can't place, ju jubes, its boozy but I wouldn't guess its such a monster, some caramel apple, vanilla, honey, some rum soaked raisins, plenty going on

T still lots of cognac, slightly more wood, sugar of all sorts, candy like, there's booze but fairly well managed all things considered, some sponge toffee, fruit liqueur maybe cherry? hard to place the fruit in this one, more toffee, more cognac, its tasty but a sipper no doubt

M very thick and syrupy, a couple bubbles here and there, my lips are stuck together but a little oily on the palate, there's heat but its mellow, booze hits your chest and brain pretty fast though, caramel and cognac linger

O this one will ruin you in a hurry, massive but well executed and surprisingly easy to drink. Its one of those beers that I'd like to try again in a decade, this one could really go the distance IMO.

Its a good thing my wife likes BW because I'm a little over my head trying to take this one on solo, would work well in a 250ml or maybe I should just make some friends. (1,433 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (1,074 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to The Dooper for the share on this one. Fun times man!

From a 750 into a snifter.
Batch #1
December 2013
37 degrees Plato
IBU 60
Galaxy hops
Barleywine aged in cognac barrels for 11 months

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium-thicker looking, light tan head with great retention. Dark maroon red or brown body with no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a ring leaving some dots of lacing down the glass. Beauty.

SMELL: Cognac, oak, vanilla, coconut, red fruits and lots of toffee on the nose. Bold for sure. Some caramel and butterscotch accompany the cognac and oak as well. Alcohol for sure, and some spicy aromas. Very bold and candy-like. Excellent.

TASTE: Cognac, oak, toffee and butterscotch up front. Very sweet and flavorful. Lots of barleywine and alcohol as well. Big finish of toffee, caramel and butterscotch sweetness, some spicy alcohol, with oak, vanilla and sweet cognac from the barrels. Excellent. Bold and lingering aftertaste is mostly sweet with a touch of bitter hops under all the sweet caramel, toffee and cognac barrel flavors. Perhaps a touch more bitterness is necessary to balance out all the sweetness, but this is plenty interesting, complex and enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium-full body with medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down silky smooth and finishes sticky. A good amount of heat lingers. Excellent feel for the style. Big, silky, sticky enough and some well measured heat. You'd never guess this was 17%, and it's much fuller, creamier, and less abrasive than the competition. Class.

OVERALL: This was really, really good. It's definitely a sweet beer, but it's big, full bodied, thick, flavorful, and very complex in the flavor profile. A touch more bitterness might help push this into the next stratosphere, but as it is, it's a beauty of a beer and well worth checking out if you can. Would love to see a bottle of this with 5 years on it, and am very much looking forward to the next batch. Awesome beer night Dooper. Cheers! (2,016 characters)

Photo of ivegot3Dvision
3.08/5  rDev -29.8%
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. (163 characters)

Photo of timc100
4.83/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 2 - Blizzard day beer

Upon hearing about this beer it was hard to imagine it would be able to come together without being a boozy mess. Somehow Anchorage has done it - it is an incredibly clean, complex and balanced barleywine. Tons of sweet cognac, boozy brandy fruits, very sweet oak with a light dry tannic woodiness, and the fresh crisp galaxy hops round it out very well. On the palate it is incredibly smooth, rich, full and not overly boozy by any means. The flavors do not compete or trample one another, all come together very well. The more it opens up the aroma smells like freshly brandy-finished wood, sweet and very inviting, accompanied by dark chewy caramel, vanilla, and chocolate. On top of everything it is a great looking beer - no head, very very soft carbonation, but looks like a glass of dark cognac.

It's name and wild recipe make it sound like an overly aggressive beer that would punch you in the gut, but it is quite the opposite. Very well crafted and full of interesting and delicious flavor nuances. (1,047 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750mL bottle from itracy63 (many thanks!). Batch 2, bottled 12/2014. Served in a Terrapin snifter.

An opaque, deep crimson burgandy nectar fills the glass. A finger and a half sandy butter hued froth rests on top for a couple minutes before disappearing entirely. Once the initial foam is gone there is no head and zero lacing.

Sweet, enticing aromas of apple, raisin, cherry, oak, cognac, toffee, some vague pine and just a hint of vanilla. This smells incredible and I keep coming back to enjoy it more.

Oh goodness! That nose wasn't lying about the majesty it foretold. Rich, bold flavors of apple, cherry, cranberry, raisin, candy sugar, oak, caramel, toffee, maple syrup, semi earthy and a floral bitterness all wrapped up in a thick, comforting blanket of booze. It gets even better as it reaches room temperature. Despite the not insignificant alcohol heft, this goes down with an ease that belies the 17% abv tag. Absolutely delicious.

Fantastic thick, syrupy, coating body with delightfully soft carbonation. With my mouth almost completely coated those flavors of cognac, toffee, caramel and a slight herbal bitterness linger a very long time. Outstanding

A Deal With The Devil is a truly special brew. Of the myriad barrel aged English barleywines I've tried this is certainly one of the top two or three. It's worth the money, more than worth any hype and a truly hunt-worthy brew. I really hope that I can score some more at some point but a heartfelt thanks to @itracy63 for the surprise mail bomb from Alaska to Georgia! (1,545 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
2.87/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 1.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Simply not the beer I was expecting. Thin, looks like what'll come out of my ass tomorrow and smells like malted white chocolate milk balls. Only way I'd have this again, if I was looking to tie one on. (202 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.54/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dull leathery color, almost not head, but some tan bubbles form but the bubbles don't last. strong alcohol legs as it swirls. it is dark but not quite opaque.

Smell: strong rubbing alcohol scent. cognac, raisins, toffee, some dark fruits.

Taste: opens with a maltiness that is closest to special b. rum and cognac along with other spirits and alcohol. more maltiness comes through with raisins, caramel, toffee and dark fruits, closest to prunes. some nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: thick and syrupy, low carbonation, some alcohol heat but nothing like what is in the taste or smell.

Overall: a good strong and powerful beer but does nothing to keep its booziness down flavors are good but just short of cloying. maybe this one need some time to mellow but as of now, I would give it a pass at this age. (813 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.17/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1815th Review on BA
Bottle to Anchorage Teku
750 Ml Capped

Batch 2 - December 2014

App- Out of the bottle this was so confusing to me. A couple bubbles and I am thinking its a flat BA Barleywine then BAM! Its a reverse Guiness. All the bubbles come flowing out like a cascading river. Comes to a head with 2 fingers of tan bubbles. Rich, creamy and smooth. Very frothy and looks amazing.

Smell- Smells like a loaf of bread to me with with lots of dark fruits baked in it. Plums, raisins and of course the smells from the barrels come next. Vanilla and Oak. The next thing is the bitter hops on the nose. Quite an interesting mix on this one. I get a bunch of citrus on this one as well.

Taste- Well its a bit more than I thought and a bit more let down as well. Its a big beer to say the least. A ton of flavor from the actual beer itself and the barrel aging process. The flavor of the beer is much like Dr. pepper. A lot of fruits and some other flavors you cant place but its tasty. A very thick drinking beer. A lot of esters from the alcohol, a little middle flavor comes in from the hops and then a bit of the oak. Just large and in charge but needed a bit of calming. Maybe after sitting the flavors will meld. I just couldnt wait.

Mouth- A very large beer. A good solid thick body with a very thick and creamy carbonation. Like drinking an espresso or a latte with the residual foam creeping up on you. The residual flavors are the dark fruits and the flavors of the cognac aging.

Drink- This was a good beer. Bordered on great with time I think. Its a bit thick and chewy with a bunch going on. I saw signs of greatness in it. I will admit. This kicked my ass. I can drink some big beers but I needed a nap. Well done Gabe. (1,738 characters)

Photo of Sixpoint
4.61/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is the real deal (with a devil) (36 characters)

Photo of Kuaff
4.83/5  rDev +10%

I decanted A Deal With the Devil into my snifter at cellar temperature. This should be fun.

It pours languidly as if thick and weighty, a sheet of tan foam fizzling up gradually and then dying away. The color is intense, murky blood red. Probably as close to looking like blood as any ale I've seen. Bonus!

Potent vanilla, oak, leather, and butterscotch fume up from this stuff in excess, along with a mix of fruits that aren't only sweet-smelling, but a little tart, too! Like raisins, dates, and prunes accented with a fair amount of lemon zest. Maybe a little maple or molasses in there? And I swear I can detect the essence of hops to an extent., kind of as part of that lemon zest quality. A fascinating and tantalizing aroma.

I just took my first sip. Jeepers. This is no mere beer. This an atomic bomb of cognac, vanilla, and oak followed up with a raiding assault by a merciless menagerie of various fruits. A battalion of dark fruits leads the attack, with a smaller regiment of brighter citrusy fruits (along with some peach or nectarine) providing support. AND YET... I'm pretty okay with being visiously attacked by these intense flavors, because they carry out their brutality in a pretty well integrated, orderly and balanced fashion. I even get fine touches of earth, yeast, and nuttiness in the finish. A little bit of noble hops as well. Overall, it's very much like a boozed-up dark fruitcake. And the booze is cleverly concealed, by the way.

The body is massive and thick and sticky, and just... over the top. Nice.

This here is a special little barleywine. It's got insane intensity of flavors, and incredibly, all the complexity and balance necessary to harness that intensity. Not only sweet, but kinda tangy, and with that leathery, slightly bitter swagger that always makes an ale like this interesting. It's got character to spare. (1,861 characters)

Photo of ryannosaurus
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Batch 2 750 poured to tulip

One of the most intriguing pours ever... dark brown and opaque, looked almost flat at first... a nice sticky one finger head eventually developed and only subsided a bit

The nose is huge with grape and cognac, some toffee and burnt sugar

Flavor starts with toffee and grape and runs a gamut of vanilla, oak, fig, buttered popcorn, prune, and cherry after that

Mouthfeel is think, intimidating, almost chewy... nice!

Price point seemed a bit expensive, but I grabbed it anyway. I'm glad I did. If not the best barley wine I've ever tried, it is certainly the best I've have recently. Cognac aging lends layers other barrels just don't, totally right for this brew. (697 characters)

Photo of salmo
1.69/5  rDev -61.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poored into a Culmination Festival Snifters to share with friends.

Appearance: nice ruddy brown color.

Smells like lots of sweet malt.

Tasted like watered down malt extract with little to no hop presence.

Feel was also somewhat sticky.

Overall: quite possibly the most expensive, over rated barley wine in recent history. Sorry Gabe and Jerimiah, this one should have not left the brewery. (398 characters)

Photo of IowaBiertrinker
4.69/5  rDev +6.8%
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. (371 characters)

Photo of BradMacMullin
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sitting on a nice night with Chris Truskey, fresh out of jail. This tastes a candy stick. Actually goes down well for such a heavy abv. Chris is telling me a story about his prison stint....boring ... (202 characters)

Photo of Brewski
4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had batch 1 and batch 2 side by side. B1=5 B2=4.4 (49 characters)

Photo of DanGeo
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of tectactoe
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of t2grogan
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of cjn40277
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of tbryan5
4.91/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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A Deal With The Devil from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.