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A Deal With The Devil - Anchorage Brewing Company

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A Deal With The DevilA Deal With The Devil

Educational use only; do not reuse.

96 Reviews
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 96
Hads: 745
Avg: 4.43
pDev: 26.86%
Wants: 635
Gots: 314 | FT: 41
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: 96 | Hads: 745
Photo of iong516
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Kinda still in the glass, huge toffee and booze aroma, tasted like a toasted marshmellow in a toffee cognac, syrupy, beautifully integrated and well hidden booze. Best BW I've had. b1 shared three ways.

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Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely remarkable red and brown fruit complexity with a luxurious cognac overlay that meshes perfectly. A sophisticated and delightfully mouth coating marvel that is unbelievably smooth and mellow for its 17.3% abv. Beautifully balanced from start to finish. Trade heavily for this one, or don't even flinch at the $30+ price tag, it's well worth it.

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Photo of SteveB24
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look- color is a rich, honey like golden-amber. Pours a half finger of head that settles into beautiful swirls of lacing that dont go away, leaves nice lacing on the glass as well. Also has the coolest looking label i've ever seen.
Smell- grapes, plums, cherries, toffee, vanilla, oak.
Taste-just like the smell, a wonderful, rich blend of candy-like sweet fruitiness blended with the sweet malt characters found in the finest english barleywines. Grapes, plums, cherries, apples, toffee, caramel, honey, vanilla. Zero hint of alcohol.
Feel-full bodied, rich and syrupy, but not oily. Almost no carbonation. Finishes with lip smacking stickiness.
Overall-this beer is unlike I have ever had or could ever have imagines. If you get the chance get it, dont even think just get it!

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Photo of Brdlist
4.96/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Only batch so far - very cool bottle and artwork with some cool Daniel Webster quotations on the back

A - Pours a hazy brown, light yellow foam on the head, settled nicely (poured by a sommelier)

S - earthy and sweet, classic BW profile and a standard for all BW's

T - Impossible to describe it's complexity - subtle booziness almost caramel winey sweetness

M - Incredible, similar to a great wine, soft on the palate

O - an outstanding beer, probably the only batch 1 I'll have, felt quite lucky to enjoy at ChurchKey

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Photo of Reswald
4.93/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This monster of a beer had an Original Gravity of 1152, resulting in an ABV of 17.3%, making it easily the strongest beer ever brewed in Alaska. It took over 4000 pounds of malt to brew this beer, and four separate 3.5 hours boils to fill just two 110 gallon used cognac barrels. Gabe Fletcher brewed it back in February and then let it age in the wood for over 8 months. What's even more amazing is that this is a single malt, single hop beer, quite unusual for a barley wine. So how does it taste?

In a word: Amazing! No, make that two words: Freakin' Amazing! First off, tasting it, you would never believe that it is north of 17% alcohol. It is so smooth and deep that I would have guess more like 12% tops. It is incredibly complex, with a balance and depth of flavor profile that has to be experienced to be believed. I first tasted it the day before the Great Alaska Beer & Barley Wine Festival and I immediately knew it would win first place; it was just that good. Once again Gabe Fletcher has pulled off a brewing masterpiece. A Deal with the Devil indeed. I'm starting to wonder if he didn't meet a certain gentleman at the crossroads late one night and make a deal for the power to brew these sort of beers. After all, if Robert Johnson could do it to learn how to play the guitar, why not a brewer?

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Photo of Shon4star
4.91/5  rDev +10.8%
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!

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Photo of derftron
4.91/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle pouring at Belmont Station

Two 5 oz pours

Smell is of dark liquor, dark furits, figs, bourbon, cognac, maple syrup, carmel, and just thickness

had a slight head that goes away fairly quick. off white

mouthfeel is thick and slightly carbonated. coats the mouth and throat for a few minutes after swallowing..

taste/overall - this is a new standard for barley wines and barrel aged beer in general for me. over 17% and I feel I could drink it for hours (unless my liver quit working). so smooth and luxurious with a depth of flavors that is remarkable. Had not even heard of this beer 3 days ago and heard about this tasting. after reading about it I knew I had to try it and I am very glad I did. sounds like this stuff never comes around. higher alcohol and even better balanced that Sucaba which is damn impressive. they balanced the booze and the cognac barrel flavor so well with this beer and in the end all you taste is a cornocopia of flavors from dates, carmel, figs, bourbon/cognac, maple syrup, etc.. I really hope they put more of these out for sale some day as I will not forget this beer.

As a side note: the only bummer was the extreme price gauging done by Belmont Station with this tasting. I know this beer is expensive, but $10 for a 4-5oz pour??? that sucked, but oh well.

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Photo of tommykimchi
4.9/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch 2.

Appearance : Pours with a syrup-like consistency and practically zero head. Has a deep/rich dark amber color.

Aroma : Despite the enormous ABV (17.3%!), there are very little boozy or fusel alcohol characteristics. Instead it has a rich maple syrup and dark caramel aroma.

Taste : Again, maple syrup. Think incredibly sweet dark caramelized sugar coating a brick of toffee with reduced vanilla coke drizzled on top.

Mouthfeel: Thick. I can see how the incredibly viscous nature of the beer may be off-putting for some, but I really dug it.

Overall: Definitely a sipper. Quite the extreme beer experience and truly worth the high price tag. Easily busts into the upper echelon of BA Barleywines.

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Photo of TheBrewViking
4.9/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 32oz growler into a snifter. Appearance is dark brown with ruby highlights around the edges. A thin white ring of bubbles form around the edges of the glass.

Smelling this beer is addicting. Smells of vanilla, oak, cognac, toffee and raisins. Wow

Taste follows the nose. Starts with vanilla and oak, then the sweet flavors of cognac toffee and dark fruits. Very complex and very balanced. Absolutely no hint of the 17.3% alcohol.

Mouthfeel is sticky. very light carbonation.

I didn't get to try this at the Alaska beer and Barleywine fest but I was very excited when I saw it at my local beer warehouse. I will definitely be first in line for this next year at the GABBF. Thanks for making this amazing beer Gabe, please put this in bottles

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Photo of ReeseMax3
4.89/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Amsterdam Cafe in Anchorage. Just heard that the real name for this beer is " A Deal with the Devil". The name is fitting. I have no reservations saying that this is the best barley wine I have ever had, hands down, bar none, not even close. This beer needs to be bottled! I can't even explain in words how indulgent this beer is. Mouthfeel is smooth as butter. As smooth as any oatmeal stout but thicker and a little chewy. It's got that dark ripe ripe fruit and malty taste of a barely wine but just more dank. The flavors are so balanced it is ridiculous. It also tastes of rich toffee, caramel, malt, and wood. A little more boozy as it warms but barely. My mouth and lips are numb from all the alcohol. A real treat.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.86/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle poured into a snifter

A: very brown brackish in color very hazy small white little head and soapy. When you swirl it the beer has legs looks high alcohol

S: so much vanilla, toffee, caramel, figs, dates, raisins, alcohol some oak this is like candy soaked cognac

T: my....its so silky it has a lot of vanilla sweet candied figs and dates with this like burnt sugar but a good way almost brown sugarish such a nice toasty taste to the finish

M: very soft hardly any carbonation but it has a silky viscous mouthfeel

O: This beer is a must have its amazing the depth of the flavors is insane and the smell is just as good. That little bit of brandy soaked toastiness in the end is worth the price of admission. Let alone having such a beautiful vanilla toffee fig plum and raisin and brown sugar taste. I'm shocked to see this is an American Barleywine because the hops are completely absent to my taste buds.

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Photo of drmcleod10
4.86/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Tasting at The Wine and Cheese Place. There were 4 bottle of this and I got two pours + another half pour. Poured into a wine glass after having a few collaborations between Anchorage and various breweries.

A - Pours nicely into a wine glass with a murky syrupy light carmel color with minimal head and minimal carb. This one coats the glass nicely and looks thick and chewy

S - Smell is loads of carmel, sugar, maple syrup, with hints of booze

T - Taste follows the nose here. Maple Syrup followed by carmel and hints of dark fruits that blend together to form an amazing taste. I thought this taste better than King Henry and I am basing this review off what I thought of King Henry a couple weeks ago. This one is so smooth and it hides the 17%+ very well. There is only a faint hint of booziness in this but nothing on the finish or anything that lingers. Carmel, Maple Syrup, Cognac, then dark fruits and hints of molasses

M - This is a very thick chewy viscous barley wine. Definitely a full bodied beer with minimal carbonation.

O - This is the best barley wine that I have had so far. Some people may not agree, but I love the sweetness to this beer and I think it is perfect for masking the 17% beast. I may have to seek this one out.

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Photo of lupercmda
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured deep brown with very little carbonation. Smells of figs, and plums and raisins. Tastes the same with nice vanilla and oak tastes. A fabulous beers that I could drink again and again.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Umm, wow is this good. Quite possibly the best barleywine I’ve had. Huge sweet molasses taste. Drinks like a fine Cognac. I’d actually fork over $35 per bottle any day for this. Tons of dark fruit taste. Absolutely no sour notes, which is wonderful. Sometimes you get that from barrels. I’m not really sure what else to say, but WOW!!!

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Photo of tmbgnicu
4.84/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best beers I have ever had. Split with a friend who continually asked me to open until I finally relented. I think I could have drank it alone because it goes down WAY TOO EASY. Smoothest 17.3% beer ever for sure. Tons of cognac and fruit, even a nice hop presence. Definitely hunting for another one.

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Photo of timc100
4.83/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of JamesNoBrakes
4.83/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Great beer, complex flavors, hides the alcohol content well. It's very thick though, like oil. It's hard to drink more than one and enjoy it, but it's a great beer. It may be my current favorite.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.83/5  rDev +9%

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.

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Photo of dmgeng
4.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the most expensive bottle of beer I've gotten so far without shipping ($33) so I was really hoping I would like it and I was impressed.

A - Very dark amber color that is somewhat cloudy from the journey this beer has taken. Has a bone colored head that subsides quickly and leaves only a few spots of lacing.

S - Big sweet malt character and a huge dark fruit character accompanied by caramel and some vanilla. The booze is not bad and only adds to the evaporation of the complex aromas. It is quite an amazing smelling beer at >17%.

T - Similar to the smell but much more robust, with a sweet malt character first and then a wash of big flavors takes the tongue. Toward the middle is the rich dark fruit and deep caramel that is almost like candied raisins which I really enjoy. Approaching the back of the tongue is the oak, caramel, and vanilla from the barrel. The finish has the dark fruits and some warmth from the alcohol.

M - High mouth-feel with low carbonation. This just feels right and how the beer should be; soft on the palate, full flavored, and not too cloying. Again it's hard to believe that this beer is so high in ABV since it doesn't really burn on the way down.

Overall, this is an amazing barleywine. I really don't like Cognac but this beer really takes the fruit flavors and ramps it up into a very delicious elixir. It is very complex, flavorful, and a good get but at this price and at this high of an ABV I definitely wouldn't get it more than once a year or even half the volume. If you want to polish your beer resume then you have to try this one if you get a chance but don't expect gold leaf, just gold quality.

Glass- Snifter

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Photo of EveningCordial
4.81/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great, chewy barleywine and probably my favorite barrel aged offering. Lots of dark fruit, walnuts, and sweet candy on the nose with a great presence of cognac and strong brandy. This is a thick drink but extremely smooth. The ABV is noticeable but not overpowering. On the sweeter spectrum of barleywines, but the overall texture and mix of fruits, cognac, and sweetness make this a near perfect offering. Thank you, Anchorage.

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Photo of anteater
4.81/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

4oz pour from a bottle

A: Dark brown with a good amount of carbonation and a thin tan head

S: Heaven. Such deep and rich notes of caramel, oak, vanilla, molasses and maple.

T: A very small sip is all you need for an absolutely explosion of flavor. Rich caramel, molasses, oak and lots of maple syrup. The alcohol is ridiculously well hidden, and although you don't taste the burn of it, you do get a very pleasant mouth numbing sensation from this beer. It really takes over every part of your mouth.

M: So thick and luxurious, but the carbonation is still very present which makes the mouthfeel on this beer amazing and special.

O: When I walked out the door to go to the bar and try this beer, I had a feeling that this might unseat my previously favorite beer or at least match it. Most of the time, those types of feelings are inaccurate, but in this case it was dead on. This beer meets the hype. Holy shit. Its amazing!

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.8/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Batch #2, DEC/2104

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with a slowly rising head that is very tiny and eventually goes to the outer ring of the glass

S: Very malty with notes of oak, vanilla, tannins, dark fruit, cognac, and a very light vinous note, also from the cognac. The booze is absolutely buried under complexity. Extremely close to perfection

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a huge rush of sweet maltiness and then comes the complexity of flavor. Everything found in the nose is present and then some. Oak, vanilla, toffee, light tannins and vinous quality, hints of cognac, and dark fruits like raisins and figs all shine through. Booze is again nearly completely buried under amazing complexity and sheer maltiness. Finishes with lingering maltiness and pleasant sweet booziness

M: Full bodied with low carbonation. This is thick, with very low carbonation which makes for a very smooth and decadent brew

O: Wow. This is a beast of a beer, and one that delivers in every category. The barrel really adds some nice nuances, but surprisingly isn't the star of the show. That honor goes to the maltiness and flat out high gravity/plato of the brew. Very much worth the $30+ that was begrudgingly (at the time, not so much now) spent. If you get the chance to try this beer, DO IT

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.8/5  rDev +8.4%

bottle, thanks Scott.

dark reddish brown. caramel, dark fruit nose. taste reminiscent of aged utopias. raisin, caramel, cognac. ABV extremely well hidden. a top 2 barleywine for me. thick, smooth, creamy, awesome!

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.79/5  rDev +8.1%
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!

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Photo of Vincent_bros
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I had this at "The Festival" in Portland, ME this summer. They were in the first few stalls on the left as you enetered. Out of the whole festival this is the beer that sticks with me.

It's a punishment for such a good beer to pack SUCH a whallop. Let me make this very clear, a 12 oz serving of this beer is a good buzz for an average sized adult male. 2 and you're in for a wild night.

Admitted this was the last beer of the show, but it should have been the first! This hands down is the best barely wine I have ever had. Beautiful dark plum flavor balanced by richness of the alcohol makes an amazing pairing. It's like being a kid again and looking up at the starry sky on an ink black night and relaizing how incredibly complex the universe is. You don't drink this beer, you embrace it in the deepest hug you can and hold on for the ride.

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