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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.

112 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 112
Hads: 836
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 9.17%
Wants: 673
Gots: 317 | FT: 41
Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company
Alaska, United States | website

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: 112 | Hads: 836
Photo of floridadrift
4.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

L: Thick reddish brown, big white head
S: Cognac, burnt sugar, figs, molasses
T: Booze, figs, dates, molasses
F: Super creamy, dreamy going down, incredible body
O: A great example of a BA barleywine with nicely masked ABV.

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Photo of winningwes91
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is probably a top 2 or 3 barleywine. So sweet and thick. The deal with the devil has been made, and I don't regret it. Maybe in the morning.. loads of sweet caramel and oak notes with some candied dark fruits.

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Photo of ragnar3
4.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2 poured into a snifter. Pours a viscous dark reddish brown. Dark fruit, raisin and brown sugar with notes from the cognac barrels being very apparent as well. Sweet but not overly so even after taking down well over half of a bottle. Alcohol was extremely (almost too) well hidden for such a high ABV beer. Currently the top barleywine I have had the experience of trying.

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Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A confounding brew if ever there was one. Pours frighteningly viscous, with little carbonation. Smells like wet cardboard...like an oxidized beer that should've been drank years ago.

However, the taste is a whole other story. Sweet caramel, liquid vanilla cake dessert heaven is what you get. This is the most unique and full-bodied mouthfeel of a beer I've ever had...it's literally like drinking liquid silk. There is almost nothing in the way of carbonation, but it just works. Cheers!

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish brown. Hazy and opaque. Minimal cream colored head. More lacing than expected considering the small head. Lacing is super sticky.

Sweet aroma. Caramel, grapes, and fig. Plum, citrus hops, and some molassres. Vanilla and oak barrel notes. Cognac really comes through.

Fruity flavors first. Plum, grape, fig, and raisin. Sweet caramel and molasses. Citrus hops, fairly subtle. Lemon and grapefruit. Bug vanilla barrel notes. Alcohol is noticeable but not distracting.

Thick, oily body. Mild carbonation. Sweet and sticky on the tongue. Flavors linger. Boozy warmth.

Huge, complex beer. Definite sipper and meant for sharing. A whole bottle would be a struggle due to both the alcohol and the sweetness.

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Photo of BenGap
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First batch of this beer enjoyed at the brewery on A Deal With the Devil Day. Poured a dark brown with hints of caramel color when held to the light. A slight brownish head that faded quickly but left sticky lacing. The smell had notes of raisin, sweet and some malt. Very little alcohol in the nose. Taste was deliciously complex with a sweet and prune like start, quickly giving way to a malt and raisin tang before finishing with just a slight hop bittering. Overall medium body with a sticky cling. Overall wonderful beer that hid the high abv almost too well and took to the multi year aging wonderfully. Each bottle I get of this will go to the cellar.

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Photo of tapperm
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Deep dark reddish color with an off 1 finger of head on an agressive pour
S: Can really smell the cognac in the nose.
T: Blew me away. Rich an sweet. Dark fruits, very slightly malty and oaky. Very well balanced. At 17.3%, the alcohol is bueatifully hidden.
F: Full mouthfeel. Not as heavy as I would have thought. Very rich though.
O: This has to be one of the best barleywines I have ever had. Love BCBBS, but this is better (especially when compared to the 2015). Am glad I picked up a few of these bad boys. My only knock on this beer is it is slightly too sweet. I'm hoping with a little age, that sweetness is tamed a little. Otherwise, pretty much perfect!

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Photo of Damian
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank from a 1 pt. 9.4 fl. oz./750ml bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
Batch #2
Served in a tulip

Uber thick and viscous appearance. This poured thick like maple syrup. Hazy, ruddy crimson with orange highlights in the glass. The liquid was capped by a barely-there film of tan bubbles that quickly dissolved. The beer looked rather still and somewhat cordial-like.

The aroma was amazingly rich and robust. Super malty and sweet but not overly so. Loads of caramel and dark fruit notes. Sticky toffee pudding came to mind. Boozy. Really rummy. Very raisiny. Booze soaked raisins perhaps. Plummy. Maple notes also came through big time. There was a bit of a port/oxidized character. All in all, incredibly complex and intense. While I probably would not peg this beer for being aged in cognac barrels, it would not surprise me.

The flavor profile was outstanding and very similar to nose. Boatloads of rich, sweet caramel malts. Here too, sticky toffee pudding came to mind. Tons of maple and toffee character. Good amount of port-like complexity. There was a light aged/oxidized character. Boozy but not hot. This drank amazingly well for 17.3%. The booze came through a bit more on the finish. Light barrel notes. Perhaps a touch of bourbon. A hint of piney hop bitterness appeared as well.

The mouthfeel was spectacular. Uber thick and viscous. One of the fullest bodied beers I have ever tried. The liquid contained a fine, frothy effervescence. Pillowy soft on palate.

I sampled the same vintage of this beer fresh after its release and it definitely lacked depth and complexity. The year of age on this bottle however did wonders to it. This is unquestionably the most intense barleywine I have ever tried and one of the most impressive beers in general. Despite its steep ($42) price point, it was definitely worth the splurge. I would love to buy another bottle or two and see how they mature with even more time in the cellar.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - The pour was deep amber in color with similarly colored bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell - There was a big malty nose with some lingering cognac notes.

Taste- Sweet malts comes to the front. There is a little grass, dates, raisins and a sweet, deep licorice finish. Every aspect of the cognac is present, except the heat. There is almost a syrupy quality to it.

Mouthfeel - The beer is thick and almost syrupy. The alcohol (at 17%) is well masked with little burn.

Overall - This is in the conversation of the best barleywines I have had.

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Photo of von_kaiser
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dec 2014 Batch #2:
A: dark burgundy, ridiculously dense, one finger of head, strong lacing of glass (syrupy)
S: sweet raisins, pecans, candy, slight alcohol sting
T: overly sweet. same hints as scent raisins, pecans, candy
M: so thick and rich. boarder-line syrup. i prefer it chilled rather than coming to room temp. the warmer it got the tougher to drink. mild alcohol presence.
O: glad i got to land and drink this beast. it was an absolute chore to finish by myself. by far the most difficult beer/bomber i've done by myself. this is good but almost too much of a good beer in a sense. HIGHLY recommend sharing over doing by self. don't pass the opportunity to try it. Cheers!

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Having lived in Alaska at one point in my life, whenever this came out, it was a nut house in the stores to try and get. Having said that, glad I was able to score a bottle of this and realize why it gets the numbers it does.
This was poured into a snifter.
The appearance was a dark red to having some light brown hues residing along the edges. A one finger white foamy head retained it's edge at the top for a good about thirty seconds and then died off at a nice pace.
The smell started off with big sweet boozy and woody notes sliding into some caramel and toffee with some dark fruits.
The taste was immensely sweet through the previously mentioned flavors and allows a fairly clingy sweet sugary aftertaste to slide into the finish.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a nice sipping quality to it as the booze does end up hitting a bit but doesn't come across too heavy. Carbonation really is under for this one, allowing some stickiness to cling to my tongue.
Overall, while this barleywine sits on top of the world in ratings, I will admit, it is very good personally but does lack a bit with the "hops" side of the wheelhouse to make me feel its an "American" version of one. Still, for some odd reason, its drinkability is quite enthralling and quaint enough to make me want more.

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Photo of Casey3236
4.81/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Batch #2

Beer #1000 for me! Wanted to make it a special one, and I did. Thick into the glass, aroma made us all cringe in fear. Booze and more booze on the nose. Taste is of plum, raisin, sugar and booze. Very sweet, but that's how I like my BA Barleywine. Thick, almost syrupy mouthfeel. Worth the wait!

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Photo of zac16125
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750mL bottle into a snifter
Batch 2, bottled Dec 2014

BA review #775, on my way to 1,000!

Thanks to eb1610 for sending this one over in a trade!

A: Pours a dark mahogany, essentially opaque, less than 1 fingers width of tan head dissipates fairly quickly. Leaves no appreciable lacing but does leave some alcohol legs. 4.25

S: Wonderful sweet boozy notes. Cognac is very prevalent from the barrel aging. Base beer characters of huge caramel/toffee, as well as vinous dark fruits. Some booze to round it all out. Fantastic. 4.75

T: Hugely sweet, like the nose theirs tons of cognac. In addition, lots of caramel/toffee and candied sugar. Boozy notes to balance. 4.75

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation very low which is appropriate, a bit syrupy, ABV is noticeable but for 17%+ its exceptionally well masked and drinkability is dangerously good. 4.75

O: Exceptional beer. One of the best Barleywine’s I’ve ever had. 4.75

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Photo of carrionricardo
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared with 3 others so we all got full pours in 5oz taster glasses and I really appreciate that. Beer of this style I feel truly need to be enjoyed in all elements. Poured a dark cloudy brown. Nice thin head that disappeared very quickly. Aromas were toffee,butterscotch,burnt brown sugar, and caramel. Slight vanilla. Your can definetly tell its not bourbon barrel aged but know it's aged in some barrel. Couldn't really pin point cognac but barrel for sure. Taste was sweet butter toffee. Brown sugar. Vanilla. Flavors were everywhere. A little fruity. Like dates or figs. As it warmed the cognac really comes through and everything mellows. The flavors almost seem to seperate. Each sip you taste a different one. First the fruits then burnt brown sugar then Carmel. Wow this one really just gets better each temp degree it raises. Must have sat on my 5 oz pour for an hour slowly sipping here and there as we cracked other bottles. By the time I got to the last sip I was truly blown away. Hands down best ba barleywine I've had!!!!!

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Photo of EJJ1848
4.61/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Had this at 10am tailgating before the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, maybe it was the nostalgia , but this beer was everything I expected, thick and syrupy without being cloying. Strong notes of caramel, fig, and dark fruits. This beer drank much lower than the ABV

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Photo of W_Des
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow I can't believe that is 18% ABV. The nose has a lot going on especially as it warms up. Lot's of dark fruit, raisins, figs, some toffee, some vanilla and oak. The body is sweet but not ridiculously so. It hides the 18% ridiculously well. But the sweetness of the dark fruit comes out in the body with figs being the most prevalent to me. One of the best barleywines I've had.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Deep amber color with creamy beige head. Aroma fills the room with dried figs, dates and raisins. Taste is definitely on the sweet side but not cloying at all. Same dried fruits with the cognac notes underneath. Body is heavy and syrupy. Alcohol is extremely well hidden. I would have never guessed it has such a high ABV. One of the best barleywines I ever had.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.86/5  rDev +8.7%
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 Rollzroyce21
4.41/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

- 2014 vintage
- 750mL poured into stemless wine glass on 3-Sep-15

Sweet, syrupy goodness which I appreciate because it's a Cognac barrel aged beer. It would've been off-putting if it were any other barrel (other than perhaps brandy or wine barrel). The heat is dangerously low. Nice barrel notes in the finish.

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Photo of Johnct
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

17.2%? Tastes like 5.5%. Amazing. Really hard to describe this one. Like cognac barrel aged maple syrup. Extremely viscous. I don't even know. One of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle. Poured a reddish brown color with an average frothy tan head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate to heavy toasted malt, dark fruit and alcohol aroma. Medium to heavy toasted malt, dark fruit flavor with a heavy dark bittersweet and small alcohol bite finish of moderate to long duration. Full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. This is standout beer.

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Photo of drewone
3.97/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very disapointing, such high expectstions yet soooo sweet. Makes Black Tuesday look like a pool sipper, anchorage has done better. Wish had more barrel character. Too much sugars.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
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 YodersBeerEmporium
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This might be my favorite barley wine to date....definitely top three… This is a HUGE BW and you can really taste the cognac barrel in the finish....lots of toffee caramel as well....got another bottle of the stashed away for a special occasion I am already excited about drinking it!!!

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Photo of Tele
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Bottle (Batch 2)
Consumed: 8.8.15

A: 4.5 Pours caramel brown with a bit of red around the edges. Small, light tan head that dissipates rather quickly.

S: 4.5 Nose is very intense with lots of oak, vanilla, toffee, sweet malt, and caramel. Not much in the way of hops on the nose. Smells like a classic, barrel aged English barleywine turned up to 11.

T: 4.5 Starts quite sweet. Not cloying, but definitely a sipper. Flavors match the nose well; there’s more toffee and caramel though, with vanilla and oak a bit more subdued. The barrel is interesting as it doesn’t taste particularly like cognac. Rather, the flavor is reminiscent of a bourbon barrel. As the beer warms to nearly room temperature, there’s a really nice orange peel flavor and some very light hop bitterness. The high abv is hidden incredibly well.

M: 4.5 Rich body but not too thick. Carbonation is low, but it really should be for such a big beer. Drinkability is obviously hindered due to sweetness and intensity.

O: 4.5 Anchorage did an excellent job with this huge barleywine. There are a lot of great, classic flavors going on, but they also successful added a twist with good hop treatment that doesn’t take away from the base beer or barrel.

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A Deal With The Devil from Anchorage Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 112 ratings.