Arctic Devil Barley Wine - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 828 | Reviews: 326 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
4.85/5 rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Hugely tarnished copper (like an old penny) with raspberry cordial highlights. I'll take it as a good sign that Arctic Devil is incredibly murky to the point of opacity, a much different look than the gemstone-like lucency of most barleywines. The caramel colored cap looked good right after the pour and looks good as it slowly recedes. Too bad the ABV is a lace killer.
The nose is fantastic! I loved what reached me on the pour and I love it just as much up close. As the style dictates, there isn't a whole lot of hoppiness. That's okay because the aroma is incredible without it. Rich caramel, earthy leather and cherry pipe tobacco lead the way.
As I was pretty sure it would be, Arctic Devil is tremendous beer. My first mouthful told me that it's the best English barleywine that has ever entered my glass. Nothing else even comes close. I need more hoppiness than this for perfection to be a consideration, but this beautifully aged ale is very nearly there. I'm not sure if it's just over two years old or just over three.
What a delicious concoction. The brewery must have used a few tons of caramel malt and included 'who know what else' to get the beer to taste this rich and complex. My description of the nose applies on the palate as well, so I think I'll use it again. Stickysweet and bitter and earthy weave around one another like three strands of a supple barleywine rope. Start it out barely cool, like I did, and your tongue just might explode from sensory overload.
I've changed my mind. When a beer nails a style with this degree of precision, when I'd rather sit and savor it than finish the review, that beer deserves the ultimate compliment of a perfect flavor score. I wish I knew what the oak barrels that were used to age this masterpiece previously contained. Midnight Sun says that there are one of three possibilities for each batch: port, wine or whiskey.
Given the sweet, caramelized sugar that is oozing all over my taste buds, I'll go with bourbon whiskey. Then again, there's a fruity vinousness that suggests port. It really doesn't matter in the end. Whatever was used, I hope my next bottle is placed in the same sort of barrel.
I've had bigger mouthfeels, but I don't know that I've had a more silky smooth big mouthfeel than this one. Lucious doesn't quite capture it. How about superduperfreakinamazinglucious? Every other brewer of barleywines should drink this beer and take copious notes.
I must admit, I expected good to great things from Arctic Devil Barley Wine, but I didn't expect the magnum opus that is currently occupying my snifter. If you love great beer, do yourself a favor and do anything it takes to acquire a bomber of this outstanding elixir. This is my new gold standard for the English barleywine style.
Serving type: bottle
05-22-2007 22:53:08 | More by BuckeyeNation
More User Reviews:
4.58/5 rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.
A - Pours a cloudy amber color with half a finger of short lived head. A small amount of lacing results.
S - Smells of bourbon, vanilla, carmel and toasted oak.
T - Carmel, bourbon, sweet malt with little hops and a nice candy finish.
M - Nice coating mouthfeel, next to no carbonation, lingers in the mouth long after swallowing.
O - One of the top 5 barley wines I have tasted. Highly recommended.
Serving type: bottle
03-29-2014 20:10:24 | More by kdahnke123
Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 828 ratings.