Arctic Devil Barley Wine - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

348 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 348
Hads: 1,161
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 4.37%
Wants: 973
Gots: 289 | FT: 39
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  13.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 03-24-2005

Arctic Devil Barley Wine, aptly named after the ferocious wolverine of the north, is an English-style (meaning malt-inclined) barley wine. Though the recipe and process for Arctic Devil have evolved over the years, it is brewed once a year then aged in oak barrels for several months before the entire batch is blended, bottled and released.

In its youth, Arctic Devil gnarls and snarls its way across the palate. Containing this beast of a beer for long periods in oak barrels--some having previously aged port, wine or whiskey--tames the unleashed malt and fierce hop flavors, melding and mellowing this powerful liquid into an incredible elixir worthy of a brewer's table.

Each annual batch of Arctic Devil Barley Wine represents the brewers' resolve to create an intriguing and sought-after barley wine by precisely brewing to well-designed specifications, carefully selecting the type and combination of barrels to use for aging, and meticulously checking the beer as it ages. Distinct nuance and complexity are contributed by the wood's previous tenants, resulting in unique flavor profiles in each batch that continue to change over time. We invite you to savor Arctic Devil Barley Wine upon its release then cellar some for future enjoyment.

20 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 348 | Hads: 1,161
Photo of siege06nd
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pours a dark ruby brown color. Really love the crimson hues in this. About a quarter finger of thin, swirly, cream colored head. Moderate spotty lacing. One of the prettier barleywines I have seen.

S. Ripe dark fruit (cherry, fig), leather, caramel, vanilla, traces of chocolate, and some faint earthiness.

T: Caramel, chocolate, oak, bread crust. Very malty, but not quite as sweet and not nearly as much dark fruit presence as I've had in other barleywines. I get some faint toffee and roasted marshmallow as well. A solid beer, but was expecting a sweeter and fruitier flavor profile.

M: Full bodied, light carbonation. A lot of bitterness in the finish, though, that tastes like barrel and isn't quite evened out by the rest of the flavors.

O: I wanted to love this beer, but I think it needs some age. It's big and malty, but it hasn't quite acquired that sweet, ripe fruit flavor that I've come to expect from the style. Good, not great. (951 characters)

Photo of hoppymeal
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aggressive pour shows a small yellowy creamy head that dissipates quickly. Some decent chunkiness and floaties from bottle conditioning. Aroma is a big rich sugary caramel and apple brandy alcohol. Also some dry red wine fruitiness, rich port like aromas. Taste follows with a nice rich maltiness, some coconut alcohol flavor, some nice balancing hop bitterness and a good sized alcohol warmth in the finish. Taste also showed some raisin and caramel in the maltiness. Nice and thick to start, the alcohol seems to become more apparent in the mouthfeel as I get into it. A nice spiciness on the tongue and a sharp bite at the back of the throat. A very nice barleywine, I would definitely say this is much more of an american style than english as it is classified here, easy to drink for its strength, I'd love to have a few of these for the cellar. Thanks Mark. (863 characters)

Photo of GeezLynn
4.04/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Arctic Devil 2008 bottle lugged back from the source several years back.

A: Murky dark crimson brown with an expectedly smallish(given its age) white head.
S: Caramel, singed brown sugar, nutty brown malt, brandy. Barrel characters nicely apparent.
T: A little buttery and woody, with some sharp burnt caramel flavors. Still pretty rough with plenty of bitterness balancing any sweetness left at this point. Midway through my snifter as the taste buds adjust to the alcohol singeing, blackberry and plum flavors show up through the heavy bitterness. A trace of vanilla shows a times, but is pretty well covered. Finish is bitter and tannic with noticeable alcohol, somewhat similar to a dry red wine.
M: Medium bodied and slightly sticky, with low carbonation.

Wow. Four years still hasn’t tamed this critter much. I knew from previous experience that this was an aggressive BW and being partial to aged English barleywines, figured with some time to cool off this would be primo stuff. Apparently I need to give the other ones more time. Certainly a quality beer (as always with Midnight Sun), but a bit of a thrash metal mosh pit in the mouth. (1,149 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks again to msubulldog25 for another NW barleywine. This one's about as Northwest as it gets too--Alaska's Midnight Sun. Love the creature on the label, sort of a wolverine-ish looking guy...he's completely wigged out, probably due to a few too many of these bad boys.

Poured into the snifter a cloudy, milky caramel color. Thin head slims down to a thin ring with a quickness.

Big aroma of alcohol, dark fruits, vanilla, citrus rind, milk chocolate.

Flavor delivers a barleywine that's on the chocolate/malt side of the spectrum...big burly sweetness that's not overdone, very dessert-like. Alcohol nip is pretty big, and even though I like the warming sippability of it, I'd rather the more intense part of its personality came from hops (like Bigfoot, another northern devil). Hops are here, but diminished in presence by the gooey candy-like malts and sherry-like alcohol warmth. Good bitterness lays on the tongue in the finish, a welcome melange of green grass, unripe fruit and hops.

Mouthfeel is wonderful, a little gooey, a little sticky, but carbonated enough to give it some lift and action. Really nice.

There are hardly better beers to drink in the cold winter months than Barleywines or Russian Imperial Stouts...Midnight Sun are doing right by Alaskans in brewing this sucker. (1,301 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-review of 2011 vintage.

A: Pours a clear amber body with quickly-receding tan head.

S: Caramelly bourbon with mild vanilla, leather. It has a strong grape nose (wine? brandy?) along with plums. Oak. I sampled two different bottles and found that one was much less pungent than the other.

T: It is evidently aged in multiple barrels, as there is a mild brandy presence along with bourbon. Vanilla, oak, caramel, toffee. That being said, the beer lacks the complexity of previous vintages. Leather and oxidation are missing, and the booze is noticeable. It's good, but it could be more outstanding given what previous vintages have accomplished.

M: The beer suffers a bit here. My notes of the 2008 vintage mention it being viscous. This vintage is more medium-bodied and less substantial on the palate. The booze is also noticeable as a moderate burn. I don't hate it, but it weakens the beer.

O: I was a big fan of the 2008 vintage, which I gave a 4.93. This one feels rushed in comparison, though I admit some of it is that other competitors have come out and raised the bar. I enjoy this substantially more than Abacus / Sucaba, but it is less bold than King Henry.

~~~~

First bottle: 2008 vintage, purchased with ramnuts' help. Thanks Frank.
Re-review off a 2008 bottle. Thanks Ted.

A: Pours a clear amber body in the glass. Its tan head is composed of fine bubbles that vanish quickly into a moderate collar, leaving no lace.

S: Caramel, whiskey, mild oak, leather, tobacco. A small floral nose. When cold, it reminds me of Old Stock, with a dark fruit presence: grape/raisin (perhaps wine barrels?), plums.

T: Very, very tasty. Caramel, toffee, whiskey, soft tannins. It is a little hoppier than expected, with a floral component. Substantial dark fruits entice my palate: raisins/grapes and plums, giving it a vinous component that I really enjoy. I'd liken it to cognac, actually. I get some "old ale" flavors in the finish, namely leather and tobacco, which are surprising but very welcome and interesting.

M: It's very viscous. Chewy and heavy. Just the lightest warmth, which is impressive for the ABV. I am very glad I didn't try to tackle this beer on my own, though.

D: I try not to use superlatives for effect, so I'm being sincere when I say this is among the best English barleywines I've ever had. I'd drink it again anytime. (2,368 characters)

Photo of domtronzero
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you, Loren, for bringing this one back from Alaska for me!

A - Dark brown with ruby highlites. Clearish with an average sized, lingering tannish white head. Lots of lacing left throughout.

S - Sweet caramel malts, dark raisin-like fruits and a subtle smokiness. Slight alcohol aroma is warm and pleasant. Piny hops in the background.

F/M - Again, sweet bready caramel malts, rich dark fruity esters and a nice, balanaced smokey malt flavor. Moderately firm bitterness with a piny/resinous/spicy hop flavor. Full bodied, slightly oily and slick, with moderately low carbonation - but just enough. Lingering smokey caramel flavor.

D - This is a great (albeit unique) barleywine. Full bodied, tasty and smoky, i could easily finish this bomber by myself. (761 characters)

Photo of Floydster
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle acquired in a trade as an extra from urwatuh8, thanks again Richard, drank with Chelsea and Drake last night, poured into my Dogfish Head snifter, color is a dark brown with some dark reddish edges, two inch foamy beige head that stays around about five minutes, some lacing at first, aroma consists of dark fruits, sweet malts, caramel, toffee, sweet brown sugar, booze and very light hops, flavor starts off with a big caramel flavor with some sweetness, some dark ripened fruits in the middle that were mostly berries, pretty big alcohol burn in the finish, more sweet malts and lots of toffee come out towards the end but there is still a good amount of alcohol present, sweet, boozy, malty, and fruity mouthfeel, medium bodied, moderate carbonation for the style, taste lingers pretty well, could drink this bomber probably but alcohol is there, not too sweet or heavy considering though, my bottles said 10% ABV, so it seems this particular year is lighter than past years, believe this was the 2008 vintage, could probably use more age regardless, taste is still a bit hot but it seems like the cellar will really make this a world class barleywine, it is already well on its way, would drink again, recommended (1,234 characters)

Photo of carps12
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Beerworld-Alex for this generous extra. Poured into my duck rabbit snifter. 2007 Vintage. Pours a murky cherry brown with a thin lacing of head around the edges. Loads of sweet malt, toffee, caramel. Also notice some spice. Awesomely smooth on the tongue with a touch of carbonation. Just a slight bitterness on the finsih which is perfect. Toffee, caramel and mild oak, nutmeg, light cherries on taste. This will warm you up. (436 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.07/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Before I review I must say beware of this devil it f*ckin will bite you!Just newly bottled on November 5th this bad boy poured a deep amber with a thin off white head,incredible complexities in the aroma vanilla,oak and kentucky whiskey really hits and hits hard really waking up the senses and quite appetizing.Now I really liked the flavors of this beer but whoo they hit ya,very woody and whiskish (if thats a word) with vanilla and caramel standing out as well.The alcohol burn steals the show it actually burned my nose going down.This beer weighs in at 14% alc although the label says 10% that according to the head brewer at Midnight Sun and it feels like more than that.A very good very complex barley wine but these need to be laid down for awhile thats for sure. (772 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.07/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Paper notes from quite awhile back. Thanks go to Kegatron for sharing this 2007 vintage with a couple of us. Bomber into a tulip, the brew appears a deep ruby amber with a tan head that fades leaving a ring around the perimeter of the glass. When held to the light, it shows some green and yellowish clarity around the edges. A light swirl brings a half finger of yellowish stained cap back to the surface.

The smell of this brew included some orange citrus character mixed with a fruity alcohol inclusion that hints towards raisins and a floral component. More sniffs bring out a citrus element that contrasts the maltiness that smells of toffee and molasses. There is a faint hint of cardboard-like oxidation which is no distracting but it adds an interesting layer of complexity.

The taste is boozy for 5 years old. Flavors of raisin and toffee get a significant accent of alcohol esters. Just like the aroma indicated, there is a mild presence of oxidation across the backend that blends nicely into an aftertaste of fruity and floral mixed with a bit of biscuit to bready grain.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. It is a bold boozy sipper that is quite enjoyable. I am very appreciative to have the chance to sit down and enjoy a significantly sized pour of this aged beauty. However, just like my initial thoughts of this brew when i had a small sampling some time ago, it lacks just a bit in body. I found the aromatics to be much more complex than the flavor as well. Thanks again Heath! (1,528 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
4.07/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015-04-19
22oz bottle split between a pair of snifters. 218 D-1 1153 is the bottle code.

Pours turbid grayish brown with a very small head. Very little carbonation. Smell is mild -- bourbon, yeast, fruit.Not sure what fruit. I seem to get a little pear or apple and a little plum or cherry.

Taste is a blast in the face compared to the aroma. Bourbon and brown sugar, nutty, alcohol. Vanilla. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is smooth and almost velvety. Overall, the taste is very good, and the rest of the beer doesn't live up to it. Would still definitely drink it again. (568 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1647th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22oz

2011 Vintage
Purchased from El Cerrito Liquor, Corona, CA

App- When I poured this out. It was very thick and dense. It was the color of crimson mixed with ambers and golds. A good center was there with some radiating highlights around the edges. A good 1-1/2" head was there and was a bit of a tan/khaki color. A good bit of cling and lace was retained as it slid. A little bit of bubbles remained on the surface as well like a soda would.

Smell- I was expecting a little bit more integration and deep layering on this one. I am learning very quickly that for a barleywine I much prefer bourbon vs. whiskey. The whiskey barrel does add a nice amount of booze and charry oak, but too much prickly aroma behind it. A little bit of a deep malt with a hint of creamy sweetness behind it. A little bitter hops on a strong pull.

Taste- I thought it was good. It was good, it wasnt great. There are a lot of other Barleywines out there that are a bit better. However, most of those are preference because I enjoy bourbon english BW's vs. Whiskey. So with that. This had a good deep malt backbone and the base barleywine did come out well. The barrel added a good depth of flavor with a bit of oak char, a bit of prickly spirit flavor and a strong booze flavor.

Mouth- A very full medium body with a strong medium carbonation. As it warmed from the 55F I poured at it did start a bit thin. A little prickly carbonation. As it time when by it was more lush and creamy and then went into that full carbonation. The more upfront residual flavors were the whiskey and the base malts.

Drink- I enjoyed this. I got a new job yesterday and opened something nice. I was hoping this was some sort of a KH killer that I finally had my hands on. It wasnt. Not to say it wasn't a good beer. Just expected more. Its good, but not great. I think I prefer Abacus to this. (1,897 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review numbers from 08 Vintage.

2009 Vintage

A-deep hazy mahogony in color. The head is tan, tight, and creamy with little retention and lace

S-the nose is quite big and has more hops than expected but still favors the malts. Brown sugar, candied fruits, and caramel dominate the aroma. A light hop presence lies in the back with floral hops

T-wow, the taste is huge! Carmelized brown sugar comes in right away. An underlying caramel malt sets in next. Candied fruit and some raisins and plums come in towards the back. The hop presence is faint but floral hops and a touch of bitterness make up the finish

M-this is full bodied and chewy. It is extremely big, one of the biggest barleywine's I have ever had. The texture is so syrupy but still smooth on the palate. The carbonation is just right giving it a light bite and crispness at the back.

D-are you kidding me? The only thing keeping this from a five is some warming in the back from all the booze. The balance is there, malts run wild, sweetness is high but it doesn't put you off. Everything you could want, and did I mention this thing is huge!

****
2008 Vintage drinkin on 6/18/10. Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one!

A-pretty clear with a dark ruby red, hints of brown with an extremely light tan head.

S-the nose is nice, big but soft. notes of candied sugar, caramel, port wine. still hints of earthy floral hops in the back with just a touch of oak.

T-the taste relieves the hops, huge flavors. tons of caramel and brown sugar, candied sugars, notes of port but very faint. oak towards the back, a good bit of vanilla, very sweet with some heat in the finish.

M-huge full body, quite syrupy with a good bit of carbonation, smooth and creamy on the palate.

D-this is a big beer, lots of flavors. barrel flavors are present but overpowered by a lot of malty sweetness. still the flavors work well. (1,879 characters)

Photo of mfavoino
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks again to Treebs for obtaining this HUGE want to share with me. Poured into a Surly tulip.

Appearance: Deep ruby/light brown with a small head that dissipates to a foamy rim. Really nice looking.

Smell: Caramel malts and subtle whiskey aroma are most of what my nose picks up.

Taste: Rich caramel malts are paired with dark fruits, as well as just the right amount of whiskey flavor. Finishes with touch of light hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with a warm finish and silky smoothness.

Overall: Glad I got to try this one. Still think Abacus is my favorite English Bwine, but this is not far behind. (627 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.09/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter. I had this during our BA Barleywine tasting. The bottle is from 2010.

Pours a dark reddish amber. This beer had more of a bitter note to it than many of the other beers opened that night. There is a strong sweet presence to balance things out, but I would have liked the bitterness to be a bit milder. I'm getting some booze, but it's still quite smooth. There is a nice caramel note in the background. The body is thick with smooth carbonation and a dry finish. (510 characters)

Photo of alcstradamus
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cola brown pour with a nice cascade effect that formed two fingers of head. Settles to a nice collar of bubbles after a couple of minutes.

Holy cow the nose on this one is in-your-face. Huge caramel malts, wood, and complex bourbon aromas. I had to go read up on this beer and see if it ever hit bourbon barrels. Apparently every batch is different in terms of what type of oak barrels it sits in. Interesting.

The taste is good, but not quite on par with the nose. I think this one still needs to age some more even though it is a year old...the oak character is somewhat harsh at this point and it definitely needs to round out a bit more. Still though, what an impressive beer. Not as sweet as most English Barleywines, but definitely as flavorful.

The body is on the full side of medium. There is definitely a big alcohol presence, so if you are drinking this one with a year or less on it I would definitely recommend splitting it with 2 or 3 other people. A very fine sipping beer, but one that I will age for a few years before cracking again. (1,053 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this bottle in a trade last summer; the bottle is not dated, so I have no idea how old it is. Poured from the bottle into a Duvel tulip. Pours a rich, dark brown, with a nice, fluffy tan head. The head dissapates quickly, leaving scattered bubbles across the surface. Some oxidation up front on the nose, followed by dark fruit (raisins, sour cherries), red wine, oak and sweet malt. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. On the palate it is very sweet and vinuous, with suggestions of cherry, fig and winey alcohol. Finishes slightly dry and bitter.
Overall very nice, improving nicely as it warms. (600 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one poured a nice, glowing brown in color with an off-white head that frothed up good for a high-octane ABV.

Smell – Man, this is a big ‘un. The huge, roasty malts are thick and boozy. They are drenched in fruity and refined sugars. This nose is almost overpowering. If you like big Barley Wine bouquets, you have to buy this just for the smell.

Taste – The malts from the nose are thick and roasted at the taste as well. The alcohol is sharp but very confident in the flavor profile. The giant table sugars almost make this one feel like an English-style Barley Wine.

Mouthfeel – This one is in between medium and full in the body with a nice, almost stinging alcoholic mouthfeel.

Drinkability – This is not for everyone, but if you like your ABWs big, bold, and boozy (like I do) than this definitely is for you.

Comments – Ms. Skyhand busted out this Barley for her first annual Bring on Da Booze festival, and personally it was the highlight of the evening for me. (1,008 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Murky brown complexion. Like dirty River water. There's a beige fingernail around the rim. I smell a massively sweet malt bomb. The bitterness of the barley cuts the sweetness. It tastes massively sweet with a heavy malt presence. The mouth is sticky, chewy, thick, and dry. (280 characters)

Photo of Czarkazm
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage, so about 1 year old. Brown pour but appears dark amber/red up to a light with a very small head consisting of medium sized bubbles. Bouquet includes strong caramel and toffee aromas, with burnt brown sugar, dark fruit, oak, and slight booze. Sticky sweet mouth feel, on the verge of cloying but this is expected in a 13.4% barleywine. More caramel and brown sugar sweetness in the taste, rum soaked raisins, the whiskey comes out more in the flavor along with the oak and vanilla, and a hint of spiciness. (523 characters)

Photo of TexIndy
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got from Liquids Solutions last month but this seems to be an older vintage which suits me fine. This is no date on the label but the web address is wildales.com which they no longer use and the 2008 version had a date on the label, also this one says 10% and current version is 13.2% - so guessing 2007 at least if not older. Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Duvel tulip. Was a dark, dark reddish brown color. It had an average sized brown head that settled into a nice collar. Plenty of center carb from the laser etching. Quick sliding lace that doesn't stick.

The aroma was amazing and seems to have aged very nicely. Caramel and toffee dominant with dark fruits, oak and alcohol along for the ride. Very complex combination's that I found myself sniffing over and over. The taste followed the aroma but the alcohol jumped from the front to the back. Wish it was a little more toned down but still good and what you'd expect in a barleywine. Very sweet from start to the finish which ended up being just on the wrong side of cloyingly sweet. The mouthfeel is creamy but feels a little overcarbonated as it stings the tonuge at the end.

Overall, an excellent beer worthy of the praise. It's my first Midnight Sun and won't be the last if they are all this good. Would love to try this on tap. Very highly recommend. Rotation: not avail here and had to get thru mail order so this might be my only try of it for awhile. If here, I'd like a bottle a year. (1,459 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, 10% ABV. Cloudy chestnut color. A thin tan head disappears almost immediately.

Dark fruit, caramel, figs, ripe fruits and pine in the aroma. A lot of complexity. Bourbon, and oak linger. Some vanilla and coconut. Very complex nose, quite enjoyable.

Lots of sweetness, caramel and figs galore. Comes close to being cloying. Bourbon and oak, along with vanilla round tings out. A fair amount of bitterness, but this is certainly malt driven. More dark fruits as it warms.

Medium body, with low carbonation. I wouold suspect that this will age wonderfully. Very nice. (582 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been looking to knock this one out for a while. Big thanks to spycow for the share. 2007 vintage.

A - Brownish beer with some slight ruby highlights that had a tan head. Dissappeared rather quickly to a small ring.

S - A good bit going on here. Some bourbon, a little wood, touch of vanilla, toasted caramel, dark fruit, slight bit of ether, little booze, burnt sugar.

T - Sweet, taste does follow the nose, although something fell a little flat for me. Someone else said that while this was good, it may have passed it's prime and other vintages have been mind blowing. Some good caramel, oak, burnt sugar, dark fruit, actually a little booze too, kind of surpring given how old it was.

M - Medium bodied, but it felt like it finished just a little bit light somehow. Lower carbonation.

O - Good beer, drank a little bit sweeter than I would have liked, but probably to be expected from an English Barleywine with some age on it. Would love to try some other vintages. (974 characters)

Photo of karst
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 Nov release - 22 oz bottle from trade with Eagle River, Ak residents Tim and Julie

Standing around a campfire trying to thaw out the garden hose on a 20°F Sunday early afternoon - hardly Artic conditions but here in mid Missouri its time to break out the Barleywine. Brew club members Emit, Randy and I are brewing 10 gallons of a mild ale that will show off their 05 seasons fresh Cascade and centenial hops. As we start the mash with a full cooler of crushed 2-row and crystal and pour in 8 gallons of hot strike water I learn that Emit and Randy flew to Alaska for a 5 day fishing trip and that their accomadations included Alaskan Amber Ale on tap!

The Midnight Sun Artic Devil Barley Wine added to the telling on many fishing stories as we built up a small campfire next to the brewkettle.

By the third pour it was evident that the clear dark chestnut body was without sediment. More tan head than I expected for barleywine - quickly falling (expected for a 10% abv ale). With the naked surface catching mid day sun ruby highlights outline the three pint glasses.

Aroma of dark fruits - plumbs and raisins combine with cherry and sweet caramel with the alcohol rising to a near cognac level never dominating or becomming too prominate. Too good to hide. The tales of artic fishing continue. Silver salmon, chum salmon and pink salmon congregate in slack-water areas off the main river channel and providing fast action on the
fly . . . .

Flavors that would complement the five star meals served by the two chefs attending Emit and Randy at their long days ends back at their lodge. Complex caramel malts oak flavors swimming in alcolic hopped liquid. Randy, a hophead noted that it was still hoppy thinking that it was this years release - and could use a few more month in the cellar. I did not tell him it was already had a year of aging. I found the hop/malt balance very nice with the bitterness and alcohol countering the sweetness. (1,967 characters)

Photo of TheEarl
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2014 vintage bottle into two snifters. Thanks to Jordan at Chuck’s CD for suggesting this one.

Appearance: Brownish/red, extremely cloudy, little or no head/foam.

Aroma: Alcohol, over-ripe plum, raisin, caramel, fruitcake,, cherry, oak, vanilla.

Taste: Follows aroma--hot, intense malt with oxidized aftertaste, mild hop bitterness, very sweet.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thin, medium viscosity, low carbonation, present alcohol.

Overall: Arctic Devil is a world-class barleywine with the perfect ammount of wood to round it out. The booze can be a bit rough but, with a year or two in the cellar, I expect great things. (635 characters)

Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 348 ratings.