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Arctic Devil Barley Wine - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

928 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 928
Reviews: 333
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 933
Gots: 252 | FT: 36
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  13.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: Todd on 03-24-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 928 | Reviews: 333 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bauermj
bauermj

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

06-09-2013 12:26:43 | More by bauermj
Photo of mfl620ks
mfl620ks

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

08-23-2013 00:14:00 | More by mfl620ks
Photo of M1A2
M1A2

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

02-18-2013 18:50:12 | More by M1A2
Photo of drummermattie02
drummermattie02

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

01-19-2013 15:16:26 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

01-19-2013 15:08:21 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of kscaldef
kscaldef

Oregon

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

06-03-2013 17:15:39 | More by kscaldef
Photo of gueuzegossage
gueuzegossage

California

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

05-07-2013 05:06:58 | More by gueuzegossage
Photo of itsiilegal
itsiilegal

California

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

06-03-2013 02:59:40 | More by itsiilegal
Photo of wdarcy77
wdarcy77

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

02-24-2013 22:24:53 | More by wdarcy77
Photo of Robert84vette
Robert84vette

Louisiana

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

02-21-2014 09:10:52 | More by Robert84vette
Photo of celticfutblclub
celticfutblclub

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

02-24-2013 20:51:47 | More by celticfutblclub
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a perfect pint. 2008 vintage.

4.0 A: Clear darker amber color. Aggressive pour yielded just one finger of light brown creamy/frothy head. Retention is okay given the ABV and a short ring of lacing is left.

4.5 S: Nose on this is divine. Perfect mix between the barrel and the beer. Bourbon is fruity, leathery, and lightly earthy. Oak and vanilla with no tannic astringency. The base offers a ton of caramel, moderate toffee, tobacco, raisin, dates, prunes, sugar plums, and apple. Sweet sugary maltiness, molasses, and some toastiness. Alcohol is non-existent.

3.5 T: Taste is a bit of a let down after experiencing the nose. Don't get me wrong, it's still tasty, but the mouthfeel is a bit too thin, which causes issues in the taste. Basically, the taste isn't as potent as I'd like. Same flavors as in the nose, just less intensity. Leathery bourbon, earthiness, and light fruits. Caramel, toffee, tobacco, raisin are strongest. Prunes, sugar plum, molasses, and toastiness next. Apple underneath. Moderately sweet with just a light booziness. Borderline 4.0.

3.0 M: Lighter medium to medium body. Good moderate carbonation, especially for a beer this old. Missing creaminess and body. If this were a bit thicker, the taste would be better too.

4.0 D: It's a good beer that just has one fatal flaw. Great flavors, but I need more maltiness when I'm drinking a barleywine. I'll have to try this fresh sometime.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2012 02:02:16 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of thetomG
thetomG

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep orange/reddish/amber color.

Thin layer of dense white foam for head.

Primarily dark fruits, malts and some earthy notes in the nose.

Good solid bitterness in the flavor, with a solid amount of heat from the alcohol in the finish.

Well carbonated, but full bodied and smooth mouthfeel.

The warmth from the alcohol and its overall intense flavors make this one a bit of a sipper for me, but I would try it again anytime.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 20:36:57 | More by thetomG
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

3.83/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage
Poured from bomber into a tulip glass. Pours a dark red hue along with a thin white head that dissipated too quickly for my liking. Aromas of whiskey, subdued oak and toffee. The flavor carried some caramel, dried fruits, brown sugar candied fruits, vanilla and hints of oak and bourbon. I could just barely detect those traits though just like I had to do with the aroma. Perhaps it is because of the complexity of the beer? The mouthfeel was a tad thin and sticky. I was a little disappointed with this vintage as it had a cardboard smell on nose and less flavor than I had hoped for – mostly flattish.

2011 Vintage
Also poured from bomber into a tulip glass. Pours a darker red copper color along with another disappearing head though the lacing was stuck on throughout. Same aromatics and flavors as the 2008 vintage but more enhanced probably due to the freshness of the brew. Improved carbonation and mouthfeel. A much better vintage – seems as if the fresher it is the better? I’d probably not cellar this one any more than a couple years if I had multiple bottles.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2012 17:19:56 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of davod23
davod23

California

3.85/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Bruery tulip. I believe this bottle is about a year or so old.

Poured a very clear, rusty copper color with a thin, sandstone head that quickly dissipated (unsurprising, in a brew of this strength). When swirled, the beer sticks to the sides of the tulip nicely, a couple spots of lace remaining for a few moments before disappearing into the ether. Nice looking beer.

Aroma is relatively nondescript, surprisingly. There's some caramel and toffee sweet aromas present, malt, but the strongest component is alcohol heat. This beer burns my nostrils.

For all the heat I found in the nose, there's not a lot in the taste. Surprisingly, it's not that boozy even at 13% alcohol. That's to the brewer's credit. That said, this is good but not great. There's an astringency in the finish of this beer that I'm not that fond of. Caramel, fig, English toffee, booze, and something I can't put my finger on... it's a vinous taste... a hint of port, perhaps? A bit sweet, but not cloyingly so.

Mouthfeel is very nice. Thick-ish, sticky, with slight carbonation. Very nice.

Drinkability. Eh... it's good, all things considered. Hell, this beer sits at over 13%, so the drinkability is pretty great when you take that into consideration. That said, this bomber is going down pretty slowly - I wouldn't want more than one. I might like this even more if it was in a 12 oz bottle.

This is a good beer. I can think of a number of English barleywines that are better, though. Perhaps if I set it aside for a few years, the astringency would dissipate... worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2010 03:13:44 | More by davod23
Photo of Grabbin2nd
Grabbin2nd

California

3.88/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Notes: 12/28/08
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Arctic Devil B-wine

Big shout out to my mom, who hooked this up for Christmas. How awesome is that?

Appearance=Very dark brownish/black beer. Vigorous pour into pub glass (I know, I know...)yields a slow rising off white, 1 finger head that dissipates rather quickly.

Smell= Honestly, not much. I'm kinda sick. I get the sweet caramel malt smell, along with the hops and alcohol.

Taste= Good. A little on the sweeter side I'd say, compared to Avery Hog Heaven

Mouthfeel= Good mouth on it. Full bodied.

Drinkability= @ 10%, along with the sweetish thick mouthfeel, does not make the drinkability that high. With that being said, I finished this beer no problem.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2009 19:24:34 | More by Grabbin2nd
Photo of vkv822
vkv822

Oregon

3.88/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into tulip snifter.
2011 vintage.

Pours clear, dark red with a bubbly, light toffee head.

Deep oak, caramel, toffee, very light vanilla.

Taste is caramel toffee malts with prominent bourbon notes, slightly boozy harshness.

Medium body, with prickly carbonation, light alcohol burn.

A well done English barleywine. Definitely one of the top-tier in the example, though I felt the booziness became just a bit harsh at times.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2012 05:43:01 | More by vkv822
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber shared over lunch. Dark brown, bubbly initial head. Although the alcohol isn't very apparent, this is strong and calls for food, It's a sipper. Cinammon and spice and nutty barleywine. Full mouthfeel. Flavorful winter warmer crossover, very good.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2006 02:56:29 | More by Sammy
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured medium to dark brown with some off-white head.

S - Whiskey and oak up front with a fairly big caramel aroma. There is also a somewhat odd aroma that I can't put my finger on. Not off-putting at all, just unexpected and odd.

T - Whiskey and oak followed by sweet caramel, toffee and a light raisin flavour.

M - Medium to full body. Light carbonation.

O - Tasting this side-by-side with King Henry and MOAS didn't do this one justice at all. That said, it is yet another solid beer from Midnight Sun.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2012 21:55:50 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of mikeyv35
mikeyv35

New York

3.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Date: 05/31/2010
Type: 22oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2008
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

Poured a brown mahoghany in color w/ a skim coat light brown head w/ little to no lacing. Nose was of toffee, caramel, dark fruits, and light tobacco. Taste was the same as the nose w/ a great bitter hop backbone that balances out the brew nicely. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and the tobacco and flavors really hung on the palate. Drinkability was my only drawback on this brew, as the booziness really started to get to me before I was finished w/ my snifter. If the ABV was kicked down a notch or two, I would have rated this brew as world class. Overall, great flavors and aromas, but pretty disappointed at how hot it was at even two years of age.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2010 00:13:59 | More by mikeyv35
Photo of Sixpoint
Sixpoint

New York

3.93/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm....

I remember having this beer several years ago and it tasted much better then. However, my sample this time around was nothing to sneeze at...

Yet this beer must be restrained for its absolute brute strength. You can practically feel the alcohol vaporizing off this bad-azz mutha.

And she's got a body of a sumo wrestler. Bear hugs you and takes you down for a death crawl.

Definitely a sipper by the fireside.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2008 18:54:34 | More by Sixpoint
Photo of Urbancaver
Urbancaver

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage
Thanks norm

Pours a clear reddish brown. Some nice whie head.
Smells earthy and odd. Norm says celery seed and im inclined to agree.
Tastes smooth and boozy. Hot from a looot of barrel hitting hard. Bourbon, malt, earthiness. Weird... Im not sure what i think
Well carbonted. Hot but good mouthfeel
Overall interesting but man.. Ouch
Weird

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 20:37:44 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

3.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unsure of the vintage but this one is labeled as 10% ABV. Thanks to ipa247 (Jeff) for this one. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Darkness snifter.

A: Gentle pour yields just a thin ring of frothy lacing around the edge of the glass. Beer is a semi-cloudy clay-brown. Lacing is stringy and thick with moderate cling. Pretty average.

S: Nose is outstandingly aromatic. Toffee, caramel, brown sugar, and some plum and raisin notes. Alcohol is prominent but not enough to cover the robust flavors. Nice.

T: Opens toffee, caramel, and molasses. Brown sugar, honey, plums, and raisin towards the middle along with a sharp alcohol twinge. More toffee and caramel at the end. Alcohol becomes warming and subtle. Finish is molasses and anise with brown sugar in the aftertaste. Super rich and hearty. Great complexity.

M: Full bodied with low carbonation. Oily and filmy in the mouth with good viscosity. Goes down smooth and warm. Finish is messy with a lingering aftertaste. A bit too thick but incredibly rich and smooth.

O: A monster of a beer, Arctic Devil is a meal in a glass. Incredibly robust and complex with a ton of subtle flavors. However, what keeps it from the top tiers is the huge body and alcohol bite towards the middle and end. Age would probably do wonders to this one. Definitely worth trying and older vintages are likely worth their weight in gold!

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2011 19:01:57 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of arguemaniac
arguemaniac

Virginia

3.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to timmcd64 for getting this one to me!

Pours a hazy, dark brown color with just a hint of copper. The rich, creamy, but poorly sustaining head is a brown-tinged white, and leaves a very thin lace. The aroma is a robust and sugary blend of dark fruits, roasty characteristics, and alcohol. The flavor has a lot of the same features, but is richer and far more complex; there a notes of rum, raisins, prunes, dates, various roasted flavors, and a sharp alcohol bite. The pleasantly long finish is sweet and roasty. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and very creamy with a subtle carbonation tang.

This is one rich beer, almost overpoweringly so, and is dominated by dark fruit flavors. The finish is impressive too. My only complaint is that the sweetness is a bit too much; this brew would be a little more drinkable if the sweetness were a milder. Still, highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2005 04:57:03 | More by arguemaniac
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving no lace. Cloudy amber/brown color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Caramel/alcohol nose. Flavor starts sweet, malty, but the higher ABV (10%) is in your face - leaves an alcohol burn. The difference between this and Avery's Mephistopheles Stout (at 16%) is like night and day. I should have let this age for a few years. Pricey at $15.99 for a 500ml bottle from John's Marketplace Portland, OR.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2008 23:53:23 | More by jdhilt
Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 928 ratings.