Arctic Devil Barley Wine - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 926 | Reviews: 333 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheBrewo:
4.63/5 rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
We crack the top on a 2012 bomber of this beast, pouring a brew of deep ruby mahogany into our large tasting snifters. It offers a one finger head of creamy, ghostly eggnog colored bubbles on a rough pour. This shows nice retention for the style, fading into archipelago lacing, with aggregates and dust across the top of the liquid. The high abv affords legs when the beer is swirled. A chill haze cuts clarity, but no sediment is noted. Carbonation appears to be slow but pervasive. The aroma is rich and deep, with soft and lightly solventy booze fumes of bourbon, bright buttery diacetyls, sweet pales, heavy caramel, and soured English brown malts, salted caramel, dried figs and raisins, warm oaky woodiness, candy corns, coconut and plum fruitiness, bready biscuits, molasses and toffee syrups, cotton candy sugars, and mild floral hop oils. With warmth the ethanol takes on a sweeter, more grapey and wine-like character. Our first impression is that the flavoring is downright fantastic, with heavy, intense complexity, and a suitably chewy feel to the delivery. As we sip, the taste opens up with sugary sweet caramel and toffee cloy, heavily toasted pale and caramel maltiness, sharp coppery metallics, vanilla and almond extracts, hard butterscotch candies, brandy-soaked raisins, fermented sweet red grapes, oily butters, heavily mossed oakiness, and light banana ester sweetness. The middle comes to a peak with melted caramel sauce, coconut flesh and milk, sunflower seediness, bourbon heat, lemon zest, Tootsie Roll chewiness, soy sauce, heavily toasted and roasted caramel and English brown sours, chalky brown sugar sweetness, and light phenolic chemical bite. The end washes with enhanced but cleansing sweetness of apple cider, cooked caramel and salt water taffy, oaked woodiness, maple syrup, vinegar acidity, cane sugar, clean leathers, shoe shine polish, sweet ethanol, clover honey, black tea tannins, and essence of marigold. The aftertaste breathes of cherry, plum, and pear fruitiness, brandy, peaty scotch, and bourbon booziness, light campfire smoke, fusel booziness with warmth, almond oils, banana esters, bitter floral hops, drying oak, sour fermented violet grapes, phenolic plastics, toffee stickiness, figgy muck, musk, and corn husk. The body is full, velvety, and chewy, while carbonation is medium. Each sip gives heavy slurp and smack, with lighter creaminess or froth. Finish to the lips is sticky and infinite. The mouth is coated in oiliness in its entirety, with nice dryness and warmth to slowly sizzle the wetness away. No major astringency is ever palpated. The abv is big, but the beer drinks so, so smoothly.
Overall, the most enjoyable things about this brew were its aroma and flavoring. It is extremely hard to peg a top component for this beer, as everything about it sings beautifully and strictly to style, all while satiating and appeasing the drinker. The aroma is deep, rich, and sweet, and the flavoring follows exactly as it should in those footprints. The booze is heavy but subdued, and neither hot nor harsh at any point. The bourbon is glorious, oaky, and musky, just boasting what a proper barrel aging could do for a beer. The feel is what really takes this beer to other-worldly status, with velvety crush, silky smoothness, and buttery slide across the oropharynx. Even with excessive warmth, the Arctic Devil remains firm to its promises, with the complexity of it all extending this tasting beyond two hours. This is one of the best English barleywines we’ve ever come across, and again, while that is partly due to its impeccable execution of recipe and style, the unique, heavily warming, and rich Alaskan flair makes for an incredible, unforgettable experience that will not soon be forgotten.
Serving type: bottle
12-08-2013 02:10:48 | More by TheBrewo
More User Reviews:
4.56/5 rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Picked this up in a great trade with Evan! An aggressive pour yields a caramel-colored two finger head with decent retention and great lacing. Dark brown, nearly black pour is probably the darkest Barley Wine I've seen. Rich, bold nose with huge dark fruits, bourbon, and oak along with hints of vanilla, figs, toffee, raisins, and sweet brown bread. The taste follows suit with tons of oak and dark fruits along with hints of vanilla, maple, butterscotch, subtle chocolate, molasses, brown bread, and toffee. The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, but creamy smooth with a subtle warming finish. The 13.4% ABV is nowhere to be found for this unbelievably drinkable beer. Overall, this is a world class Barley Wine. Bold, flavorful, complex, and extremely drinkable. It's time to start trading for more...
Serving type: bottle
07-05-2014 21:07:19 | More by beerdrifter
4.74/5 rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Wow... just wow...
Poured from bottle into snifter. About 50-55 degrees.
A- leather brown with ruby highlights, semi transparent. Nice 1 in antique white head, rocky. Went away fairly quick and left a ring for a short time before that faded away as well.
S-Honestly, theres too much going on, in a good way. Figs, dates, caramel, dark bread, almond, vanilla, Malt, slight bourbon scent. Butterscotch, candied plums.
T- just delightfull. Same as the nose. Dominated by the figs and dates with sweet bourbon and a slight alcohol kick at the end.
M-thick and slick, not too sticky or heavy. Light to medium carbonation. A little hot going down.
O-this is a mans drink. I always let my buddies who aren't into craft beer always try the barleywines and always they look at me like im crazy. Im in love with English style brews as in old ales, stouts and barleywines. This is a spot on english style barleywine. Malt foward with lots of fruit. I was surprised by this brew. I now have to have a side by side with bourbon county barleywine as I feel this has a slight edge for my taste.
Serving type: bottle
06-27-2014 01:24:24 | More by pjkelley82
4.45/5 rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Pours the color of cola with a frothy, loose, tan-colored head that slowly dissipates into a soapy slick. Nose reveals toffee, figs, and burnt sugar. Taste consistent with nose with a light, residual ethanol presence that cuts the sweetness. Mouthfeel is light-medium with an even carbonation. This has been a long-time want of mine and I was not disappointed. Top notch - wish I had more.
Serving type: bottle
06-27-2014 01:14:12 | More by Jwale73
Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 926 ratings.