A Deal With The Devil - Anchorage Brewing Company

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A Deal With The DevilA Deal With The Devil

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

83 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

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Reviews: 83
Hads: 686
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 5.01%
Wants: 630
Gots: 298 | 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: 83 | Hads: 686
Photo of Rutager
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (154 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 draheim
4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (1,699 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (299 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 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 IckyT2012
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (404 characters)

Photo of WolfsbaneBloom
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wasn't a fan of the nose but the flavor and mouthfeel were fantastic.
Cognac barrel really comes through. Maple syrup, apple, pear, caramel. Velvety smooth with no alcohol burn. (177 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

#3000 on BA

Oak, coconut, and a heavy dose of vanilla. Sweet, but smooth. Raisins and brown sugar. Caramel The cognac is hard to find unless you let it warm and look for it in the finish. Reminds me of Remy Martin or Hennessy,. The abv is well hidden and no where to be found.

This drinks so easy and is incredibly smooth. Such a complex beer. I wish I had lots of bottles of this one. (387 characters)

Photo of SteveB24
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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! (781 characters)

Photo of Suds_Suds
4.56/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The nose on this is ridiculous! There is so much going on. I was a little drunk to take notes but this has to be one of the best smelling barleywines I've had. The taste put it over the top. Fantastic! I'm bummed out that I didn't pick up a bottle when it hit the shelves. (272 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 iong516
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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. (204 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)

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

Batch 1 from December 2013. Big ups to @hawkeyepa for the bottle.

A: Pours a syrupy murky reddish dark brown that turns up a bit of light tan head that quickly recedes. I'm wishing I had a plate of pancakes in front of me.

S: Caramel soaked marshmallows swimming in molten toffee. Some dark raisiny/date aromas. I thought this was 17% abv? No burn at all--the booze is very well hidden.

T: Malty caramel sticky toffee pudding. Woody Brandy/cognac pleasantly surfaces.

F: Creamy, full-bodied feel that coats and lingers long after the sip.

O: Possibly the best Barleywine I've ever had. Hits on all cylinders. Sweet without being cloying and ridiculously drinkable for such a high abv. I'm already seeking this out again and crossing my fingers that batch 2 turned out just as well. (805 characters)

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark brown/black and looks totally viscous and flat until a few seconds after pouring when a fleet of tiny bubbles escape towards the beer's surface and briefly hold a centimeter of tan head. I've never seen this phenomenon with a beer before. The nose is super sweet and fruity (mainly grape notes), with toffee, a hint of tobacco, and almost no alcohol. The taste is incredibly decadent with its rich malt backbone, followed by some oak and a slight bitterness in the finish. This may be the most viscous beer I've had to date, it sits like a cement truck of barrel and malt on the palate, and has minimal carbonation, bitterness, or alcohol. I'm very impressed by this beer - it very well may be my favorite BA barleywine - and is totally worth the money. (775 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 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 smakawhat
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. Batch #2.

Comes out of the bottle an interesting dark copper orange, then fills with a murky sense of dark rust red and brown, with maybe a bit of mahogany and chestnut colors. No head creation at all on this thing, barely a pencil thin collar around the edges and faint tan. There's hardly even a top to this beer at all either. Sort of looks a little lifeless on arrival.

Aroma really reminds me of King Henry but better. A sense of fruit cake like action, but more citrus and zesty in character. Hints of thick orange, nice warmth but not overly boozy or even hot, mixed in with apricot and nectarine and maybe even a touch of peach in there also. It's big and powerful, but it's also masking much of any other character, and there's virtually no barrel like notes going on here either. It is however, very stunning.

Palate on first sip is very sweet rush of fruit, with an unbelievably thick body. Huge thick rushing oils that feel cold and stuck in your palate. Mid palate fills with much fruit cherry, grape, and then citrus warmth, with huge jammy quality. Mild sensing action of zest and concentrate cherry like brandy. Warmth brings out more hop bitterness just barely, but the sugary aspect gets into lots of brandy sweetness that really starts to mellow out with some warmth. Coats all over incredibly, like a marmalade sweetness on your lips, maybe even some grapefruit hiding in there.

This beer is very hard to put into words. A pretty impressive creation. If the sweetness was just toned down this thing would just be out of this world. (1,621 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 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 BEERMILER12
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
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 (1,292 characters)

Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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. (354 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 tommykimchi
4.9/5  rDev +11.6%
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. (710 characters)

A Deal With The Devil from Anchorage Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.