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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: 715
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 5.01%
Wants: 636
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: 715
Photo of tykechandler
1.5/5  rDev -65.8%
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. (199 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 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 cbutova
2.97/5  rDev -32.3%
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. (989 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 kojevergas
3.16/5  rDev -28%
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+ (2,665 characters)

Photo of Keananmichael5
3.26/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Very sweet! Too much to enjoy and really overrated in my opinion. I can see how a barleywine lover would enjoy this but I could not get through a few oz of it. (159 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.44/5  rDev -21.6%
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. (235 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 BrentLepping
3.71/5  rDev -15.5%
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. (184 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.74/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Large shared bottle.

Spicy and dark fruit notes in the nose. Hints of brandy.

Body seems a bit light but is fairly smooth for the very high ABV.

Nice complexity. A bit boozy in the finish. (194 characters)

Photo of kdahnke123
3.94/5  rDev -10.3%
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. (308 characters)

Photo of drewone
3.97/5  rDev -9.6%
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. (182 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle $38.99 (ouch). Dark brown, cloudy. People won't like this but to me it smelled like aged Bigfoot. Flavor was sugary sweet, brown sugar, and cognac. A good tasting beer but no way this should be priced more than Darkest Hour. (237 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.02/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Batch #1, December 2013.

Appearance - Wow. It pours like fake milk in a cereal commercial. Murky reddish brown. Small khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Cognac. Dark caramel. Oak. Lots of brown sugar.

Taste - Viscous caramel. Cognac. Sharp fruitiness. Apples. Grape. Then brown sugar. Oaky finish. Thick syrupy sweetness. It's even a little hoppy.

Mouthfeel - This is thicker than any beer I've ever had. Medium low carbonation. Not very boozy, though.

Overall - This is serious. Good, but really sweet. (543 characters)

Photo of pmarlowe
4.1/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (879 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 Franziskaner
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (262 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Saxmusik45 for sharing this one at Oneinchaway's tasting.

Batch # 2. Bottled December 2014.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of caramel, toffee, fruit, cognac, wood, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, and cognac flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with great aromas and super sweet but tasty flavors.

Serving type: bottle. (703 characters)

Photo of tmoneyba
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
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. (382 characters)

Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very enjoyable beer, the cognac barrel adds an interesting presence to go with the strong barleywine characteristics. The cognac adds a smoothness but without the boozy flavors you get from bourbon or rum barrels. (216 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml corked and caged bottle into Mikkeller stemware. Reviewed at a tasting 5/3/2014.

Pours a muddy maple syrup with no lace and no head. Huge, thick, oily legs really coat the glass though.

Nose is boozy. Maple, brown sugar, caramel and dark fruit. Rich and very robust.

Opens maple, brown sugar and caramel. Boozy in the middle with some nuttiness and dark fruit. End is sweet and sticky molasses. Some woodiness and leather too. Aftertaste of maple with just a very light tartness. Delicious!

Full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and rich in the mouth and goes down heavy and viscous. Messy finish with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Just right!

This isn't quite Perfect Storm or even King Henry but it certainly belongs in the conversation of top barleywines. Great complexity with an excellent feel to tie things together. (841 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (1,366 characters)

Photo of Bugs318
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: pretty dark in colour at an ample brown with a thin tan head.
S: wafts caramel, some wood, cognac, some plum, some decent herbal hops.
T: caramel through and through. Sweet and alcohol very well hidden on palate.
M: creamy and smooth with low carbonation. A bit sticky. Fairly hot down the chest.
O: a fine barleywine with well hidden warmth except in feel. (367 characters)

Photo of JamesStreet
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L- poured a muddy, ditchwater brown with gold highlights. Almost like liquid caramel. Not much head other than a few bubbles here and there
S- oh baby! Sweet sugary caramel, molasses, some wood, malty sweetness. Amazing smell.
T- follows the nose for the most part with additional hints of brown sugar and cognac/alcohol. Surprisingly smooth for as hug an ABV.
M- chewy thick, medium carbonation
O- really good BW. One of the better ones I've tasted. The barrel-aging was done right on this one. (499 characters)

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