A Deal With The Devil - Anchorage Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

652 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 652
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 9.27%
Wants: 635
Gots: 287 | FT: 40
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 652 | Reviews: 101
Photo of Brewski
4.71/5  rDev +4%
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

Photo of iong516
5/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Photo of JamesStreet
4.34/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of TampaRainman
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.4/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.54/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of smakawhat
4.43/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of salmo
1.69/5  rDev -62.7%
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.

Photo of HoppyMcStout
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Incredibly sweet tasting. No alcohol heat whatsover. Top notch.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.93/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The closest I've come to a perfect 5.
Incredible beer!

Photo of timc100
4.83/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.8/5  rDev +6%
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

Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Photo of ThickNStout
4.79/5  rDev +5.7%
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!

Photo of tommykimchi
4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle brought back by my sister from Anchorage.

Pours like a thick, syrupy pile of mud. Like seriously, this stuff just crawled out of the bottle- it looks unbelievably thick. There's a thin layer of something that looks like molasses or maple syrup on the top of the beer. There's a very small layer of foam of bubbles that could pass as a head, I suppose, with a very small amount of lacing.

Smells quite sweet, with caramelized sugar, sweet caramel, cognac, vanilla, oak, toffee, and dark fruits.

The only drawback here is the intense sweetness- it's not off-putting, but it does keep it from being the absolutely god-tier barleywine I'd thought it would be. Beyond the sweet, intense caramelized sugar factor here, there's a good amount of niceties to be found underneath- molasses, maple syrup, dark fruits, a herbal character that honestly reminds me of aquavit, caramel, toffee, raisins, plums, blackberries, port, bourbon and sweet cognac. It's got a bit of sherry character that sort of suggests oxidation, but I know it can't be at this point.

If I was given this blind, I honestly wouldn't have been able to pick out the specific barrel it was in, because I got notes of cognac, sherry, bourbon, and port at different points.

This is probably the thickest beer I've ever had, it literally drinks like syrup. The mouthfeel is so sticky, so gloopy, so thick and delicious. I feel like I took a bath in maple syrup after drinking this. There's a very low level of carbonation. Despite the hefty ABV (which isn't noticeable, at all), and the intense flavors, it's very drinkable. It was not hard to split the bottle with a friend, and finish my half.

This is a really awesome achievement in brewing. If the sweetness was toned down a bit, and some of the residual sugars fermented out, this would be basically perfect. As it is, it's near perfect, though.

Photo of FosterJM
4.17/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Photo of grandslamfam
4.63/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Sweet, fruity with a subtle hint of the strength of the abv. Taste becomes more complex as it warms.

Photo of ryannosaurus
4.7/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of ubercrazy
5/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the Best beer of 2014

Photo of beercoach
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

what I want an american barleywine to taste like.

Photo of Kuaff
4.83/5  rDev +6.6%

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.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.8/5  rDev +6%

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!

Photo of chinchill
3.74/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

A Deal With The Devil from Anchorage Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 652 ratings.