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Arctic Devil Barley Wine - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

828 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 828
Reviews: 326
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.22%


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)
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Ratings: 828 | Reviews: 326 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of oceanman907
oceanman907

Alaska

4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This Review is for the 2012 Vintage, had recently at the brewery.

I have had other batches of Arctic Devil, and every one does seem just a bit different, this "new" 2012 batch seems to have lost some of the fruity notes from years past... but in their place there is an overwhelming blast of roasted malts and sweet bourbon, leading to a semi-dry finish that is quite a bit more boozy, however it is less so when it opens up (probably should be drank near 50-55 degrees). Maybe MS has ditched some of their port and cabernet barrels for more bourbon, because thats the direction that this vintage is headed for. Mouthfeel on the beer is, as always, velvety and sublime.

Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2013 11:03:48 | More by oceanman907
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.58/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Beachwood I, 2010 vintage

A: Pours a light mahogany, good lace with a long lasting off-white head.

S: Great nose. Full of vanilla bean and oak, brown sugar.

T: Lots of malt flavour, the IBUs being 20 I expect it. Vanilla, wood tannin, toffee, light berry. Bit of an unappetizing sugar character to this, but the other flavours are quite good.

M: Full-bodied, rich, definitely cloying at places, a sipper.

O: This is a barleywine that's still incredibly young, this certainly needs 2-3 years to dry out and possibly become really good. Right now it's just adequate.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2012 19:07:30 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Closing it out at Beachwood BBQ with a 13% ABV barleywine...from 2010...aged in whiskey barrels....and a 12 ounce pour for $7 (Happy Hour price!). That's smart. On to the beer:

It's shiny brown polish with hues of violet. The head stays up for awhile considering its strength, and it leaves a little of its residue on the glass. One whiff for the nose delivers happiness. Pure happiness. If you like timber, vanilla, toasted marshmallow, and an element of alcohol, it's a very difficult thing to top. It smells so damn good!

The taste is huge as well. The vanilla and wood combo are deadly. You can vaguely taste the spirit that was once aged in the barrels used to age this beer. Brown sugar and molasses make their stamp. For its size the 13% alcohol is hidden well, though that doesn't mean you won't feel a little of its wrath as you drink it. It does provide an orange cough syrup flavor, which could go either way. This beer is full bodied, chewy, and just a little boozy. All things considering, this beer has a good balance and great integration of flavors and elements.

Easy recommendation.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2012 07:07:31 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of lakersfan16
lakersfan16

Alaska

4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting at the Great Alaska Beer & Barleywine festival.

Dark brown with a faint white head. Aroma of sweet fruity, caramel. Considering this beer is over 14% abv, it does not have an alcohol-dominated taste. Delicious but not overpowering flavor imparted from the oak. Aftertaste lingers for quite some time, making this one a sipper!

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2011 16:27:58 | More by lakersfan16
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0110x011

California

4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on Good Mojo Day. Reviewed from my (backlogged) notes.

A - Dark, ruddy red brown. Ruby red highlights when held to the light. Thick, tight mother of pearl head. Thick, chunky lacing all the way down.

S - Insanely pungent nose. Fig and prune fruits combine with leathery earth. Huge barrel influence; major wood and vanilla. Hazelnut and walnut. Some minor noble hop grassyness is barely perceptible, but there.

T - This is a malt bomb like I have never had. Dark figgy fruits & brown sugar sweetness. Oaky vanilla. Hazelnut, walnut and almond. Leather. Spiciness and booze combine for a brandy-like character. ABV shows, but not overtly. According to my notes, "kicks like a mule."

M - Thick & syrupy. "Coats like lacquer." Fine carbonation keeps it from getting too heavy.

D - A sipper, to say the least.

A unique and spectacular take on the style. A beer to be sought out by any barleywine lover.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2009 17:21:49 | More by 0110x011
Photo of juzy
juzy

Alaska

4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

6 oz. pour at "The Loft" (Midnight Sun's new location offers a tasting area where you can purchase up to 36 oz. of whatever they have on tap, in 6 or 12 oz. pours)

2008 vintage

Apperance: deep and dark with ruby highlights when held up to a light. Small, just off-white creamy head.

Smell: vanilla, heavy, deep caramel on the nose, like smelling creme brulee as you are torching the sugar, but just before the sugar scorches. Brown sugar and dark dried fruits.

Taste: Pretty much tastes like it smells. like biting into a piece of rich, boozy, dark, dried fruit fruit-cake (think figs, prunes, raisins, sour cherries, then top it off with molasses, vanilla and brown sugar)

Mouthfeel: the body is rich and full with just the right amount of carbonation to help the flavors dance on your tongue.

Drinkability: This always stumps me, I could drink lots of this just for taste and aroma alone, but at 13% I really wouldn't want to.

Awesome beer, fresh or aged.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2009 18:00:40 | More by juzy
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had the 2006 version of this beer at the 2007 Hard Liver festival at Brower's.

This was the first time I had this beer on tap, having previously tried it out of the bottle. Usually I prefer draft versions of beer, but this one might be better out of the bottle. No matter, it was still an excellent beer.

I believe this beer received honorable mention from the judges at this festival.

This beer was much darker then the other beers, and had something of smokey quality that none of the other beers had. Muted nose, but on the palate one got flavors of cola, caramel, and smoke. The beer was fairly viscuous, and was quite sweet. It ended with a long, smooth finish, with a hint of bitterness at the end. A good beer, but not as fine as I remembered.

Serving type: on-tap

03-18-2007 19:12:43 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of kdahnke123
kdahnke123

Indiana

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
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

4.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can't speak to previous batches. Have heard of this BW for years, but finally have a chance to try thanks to Paul 510a.
Poured out a rich amber ruby pour with a full shipped cream head. Head dissipated as expected but not quickly and left a notable lace in the glass. Impression was this one was well made.
So far so good.
Aroma was good. Some caramel and nougat like aromas. Hint of dried fruit, but more a hint of syrup. Hint of vanilla.Hops very subdued. Difficult to identify. but not piney or citrusy. Suggested European hops...Kent? Goldings?. Shouldn't be surprised if an English BW.
At this point I knew I had a good beer, but still looking for the "wow.
OK...Wow! The flavor is just spectacular, and it just kept getting better as it warmed. Huge hits of caramel, toffee and dark cane syrup. Mild hop bitterness just kept the beer from being a sugar bomb. Craftfully blended and matured. As the beer warmed the oak and vanilla took over, and the beer reached another level. it was just sublime.
The mouth feel was full and creamy. Thicker than your typical English BW, but pleasant not overwhelming. It seemed perfectly aligned with the big beer it was. The alcohol while big, was not too big. No harshness, just warming. It just seemed exactly the right level.
Overall, started as a very good beer, but ended as a beer just about perfect for its style and claims.
I'm going hope I get more from this batch, but will look forward to more regardless of year.
Well done!

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 23:28:38 | More by BillRoth
Photo of MarcWP
MarcWP

Arizona

4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter.

Appearance is a muddled plume juice brown with tiny tan head that dissipates instantly.

Aroma is dates, figs, plum, prune, English toffee, new leather, unfiltered dark honey, peloncillo, dulce de leche, and deep caramelized sugar.

Taste brings about more of those dark fruits with major prune, fig, and dates. The toffee comes through big as well. You get some port and young Cabernet showcasing that fermenting grape character given off by some English Barleywines and Old Ales. Brown sugar, molasses, and caramel making the scene incognito.

Mouthfeel is where it should be for a Barleywine. Medium body with enough carbonation to lend support in keeping the flavors from overwhelming. A bit more carbonation would do no harm.

Overall a fantastic Barrel-Aged English Barleywine. Can stand with the best of them. Too bad places price gouge this quite a bit. I've seen bottles for 30% less than what I paid.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 01:55:19 | More by MarcWP
Photo of kaseydad
kaseydad

California

4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2011 Vintage

Pours a pretty clear dark amber/brown colored ale with a small cream colored foamy head. Ring around the glass during the session and no lacing.

The aroma is great. Brown sugar, wood, vanilla, raisin, caramel, cinnamon, and booze. Almost singe the noise hair aroma. Candied fruits. Really impressed with the aroma. Wasn't sure what the age would do but it seems to have blended nicely.

The taste is very oaky. Big oak and wood taste with some brown sugar, butterscotch, butter, hops and booze burn finish. Tingling of the lips and gums after each sip. The 13.4% abv doesn't lie. Getting some caramel as well, but the flavor almost goes away as soon as it shows itself. Odd. Left with a dry oak aftertaste.

Smooth mouthfeel though it's a little thin.

Overall I think this is a really good barleywine. Great? I dunno. I will definitely try this fresh and see the difference it makes. For me, the beer was a little bland which could have been from the age. The aroma is the best thing about it, though the taste left me a little let down given the love for this brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 20:57:22 | More by kaseydad
Photo of TheEarl
TheEarl

Washington

4.15/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 03:31:16 | More by TheEarl
Photo of hardy008
hardy008

Minnesota

4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2011 Vintage

Pours a cloudy copper color with an almost full finger light tan head, with nice retention for a high abv beer, and spotty lacing. Has a very nice aroma with figs, dates, raisins, caramel, oak, vanilla, and a little Whiskey. Just a fantastic smelling beer.

Tastes every bit as great as the aroma suggests, and then some. Has a nice sweet flavor, which is not overly sweet, with figs, dates, raisins, caramel, oak, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, and a little bit of Whiskey. I let this one age for a while, and it has aged and developed beautifully.

Medium bodied, smooth, with low carbonation. The alcohol is extremely well hidden for a 13.4 % abv beer. This is an outstanding beer.





Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 03:54:44 | More by hardy008
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.61/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a mocha ring of head.

S:Vanilla, oak, red grape, red wine in the nose.

T: Sweet fruit, pineapple, vanilla, red grapes/wine and oak.

M: Full bodied and smooth.

O: An excellent example of what barrel aging can do to an english style (to me, not supper hoppy) barleywine. If you like Sucaba/Abacus, or Bourbon Angel's Share, you'll like this. One of the best example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 23:37:52 | More by BierJager89
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
Goblinmunkey7

Massachusetts

4.01/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark rich brown bordering on black in the glass. Slightly creamy khaki head. Decent retention. Drops to a small cap and collar with minimal lacing.

Smell: Malt and more malt. Loaded with caramelized malt sugars. Caramel, rich toffee, and even some lingering butterscotch. Slightly earthy with some herbal hop notes. Alcohol on the back. Bourbon and oak are assertive, leaving a woody vanilla aroma. Big and sweet with some alcohol spiciness. nicely roasted with some almost burnt bread crust. A bit doughy.

Taste: Butterscotch bourbon. Seriously cooked and caramelized malts. Deeply bready with some slightly burnt and toasted malts. A touch of marshmallow in the back. Sweet malts run heavy on caramel and toffee. Touches of coconut. Bourbon adds a touch of heat, but the base alcohol adds a slight spiciness and warmth. Some almost jammy fruit as it warms. Really sweet, but not cloying.

Mouthfeel: Creamy medium pushing full body. Smooth with a moderate carbonation. Hits the mark here.

Overall: Better than the yellow suit version.

A nicely complex take. The year of age has mellowed it and made it a worthy investment.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2014 22:19:47 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of angrybabboon
angrybabboon

Rhode Island

4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Consumed 1/15/14

Appearance: Dark, dark dark brown - nearly black - pours with a medium-sized, light tan head - almost keeps a solid cap, and leaves some nice spots of lacing

Smell: In a word, burly - this smells huge, even for a barleywine - huge caramel, cooked malts, toffee, molasses, chocolate, burnt sugar, caramelized everything - liquified donuts - some spice, some sugar, and a a ton of sugar - some ripe, dark fruits - booze, so much booze... this kind of smells like a dessert wine - with some oak

Taste: Thick, rich, borderline demonic - huge malts, huge booze - caramel malts, caramelized grains, caramel syrup, molasses, toffee, sugar, with more sugar - some chocolate, with a touch of roast, coffee, and espresso - tons of dark fruits, as well as some lighter fruits, like cherry skins - somewhat earthy, with a lot of oak, and general barrel - I can't quite discern the barrel, but whatever it was, it was boozy - so much booze here, this more or less demands to be sipped

Mouthfeel: Big, full, thick - not sludge, but somewhat syrupy, oily - adequate carbonation, finishes with booze

Overall: You're not the devil. You're practice.

This is kind of like a night in a bottle. The only reasonable way to drink this is to sip it. It's monstrous, but it's worth it. Maybe this would be a lot better in like 5 years.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2014 22:15:59 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a great trade. Thanks. No bottle date to speak of but pretty sure it is a 2013 bottle. Pours dark brown nearly black with a small khaki colored head. Aroma of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, nuts, rich chocolate. Flavor is big rich sweet chocolate caramel up front, then fades on to a medley of dark fruits, and finally bursts into a big vanilla oakiness that just longer on the palate for a long while. Lots going on here with many layers. Big thick rich mouthfeel with just enough carbonation to ensure it is not syrupy. Not too sweet with the oak showing through very strong to balance. Mmmm.

Wow as this warms it really starts showing its chocolate and bourbon character, where colder it had showed more fruit, but, and dry oak. On the warmer side the flavor is comparable to something like a BA Speedway chocolate and bourbon character. Awesome.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2014 01:14:01 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The pours like a barley wine should with a high degree of thickness and a firm foamy head. The color was a cloudy mahogany an it laced brilliantly.

Not surprisingly this has a lot of barley and wine aromas. The barley is easily distinguishable while the wine aromas are not alcohol strong but more fermented grape. I get a little raisin light caramel malt and an end of light fudge.

The flavor is very chocolatey with a little bit of smoke. Barley grain, dark fruit and a hint of anise make an appearance at the end.

The feel is downright velvety with not a stitch of the high ABV to be felt.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 22:32:17 | More by KYGunner
Photo of bum732
bum732

Maryland

4.61/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Rich maltiness, caramel candy, bourbon sweetness

L: Very dark brown, bordering on black, light tan head that dissipates

T: Intense toffee brittle sweetness with a rich maltiness. Low bitterness, bourbon sweetness comes through next. Touch of chocolate and maybe a hint of coffee roastiness. Butterscotch into the finish. Finishes semi-sweet with some oak.

M: Medium full body, medium low carbonation.

Great stuff, just a fantastic BA barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 04:40:42 | More by bum732
Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
ironchefmiyagi13

New York

4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 Vintage

Dark like a stout and simple, quickly evaporating head

Aroma is fantastic. Lots of vanilla, bourbon, toffee/caramel, molasses and a little port-like vinous note in the background.

So much is happening on the palate. Big bourbon gently numbs the taste buds with vanilla, sweet maple syrup and toffee with a little oak giving a long, long, long finish. Definitely a sipper but at 13% it goes down quicker than I thought it would.

Nice carbonation and a body that is not too sticky and syrupy. Not as amazing as King Henry, but definitely in the top 5 Barleywines I have ever had the pleasure to drink. King Henry>Great>Arctic Devil>Sucaba.

Aging this for a year PROPERLY really did a trick.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 03:01:20 | More by ironchefmiyagi13
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Notes taken live at our huge Barleywine tasting last weekend. So glad I randomly found this in NYC last year. 2012 bottle drank in December 2013. (~1.25 years or so old).

A- Somewhat hazy dark amber bodied, bordering on ruby red with a small frothy and creamy off-white head. Falls fairly quickly to a creamy ring around the edges. Lacing is spotty but there are a good deal of those spots and lots of legs after each sip.

S- Super smoothed out Bourbon barrels atop a big old syrup laden Barleywine. Almost semi-tart dark red fruits come to mind as well as spiced raisin. Nice oak, vanilla and caramel.

T- Bourbon comes to life a bit more here but still kept in check by the huge malty Barleywine base brew. Peppery Bourbon is nice and the barrels give off nice oak and vanilla dessert notes. Toffee, raisins, caramel, spicy yeast, dark fruits from the English yeast. The complexity between the yeast, malts and barrels is balanced and intense.

MF- Moderately high carbonation for the style but it works out nicely and reminds me of some Stouts carbonation level. Good heat from the alcohol but not even close to 13.4% (in flavor and feel). Thick bodied with a good creaminess with agitation.

This beer is pretty unique to me after having more than a few Bourbon barrel Barleywines. The bourbon flavor is unique, it has a peppery feel but only mixes and does not dominate the flavor. The English yeast only makes it all the better with a great raisiny dark fruit spiced feel.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2013 17:05:56 | More by cbutova
Photo of nickapalooza86
nickapalooza86

Wisconsin

4.94/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to KangarooAdam59 for this one!

Pours a deep murky brownish amber

Smell is toffee, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, oak, figs, raisons, dark fruit, black licorice, slight earthy hop character which is very light.

Taste is incredible sweet toffee, dark fruit plum and fig most prevelant, caramel, oak, light earthy hop bitterness, char, vanilla, bourbon, light chocolate note, black licorice, roasty malt character, finishes sweet but not overly so.

Mouthfeel is full, light to medium carbonation, slightly drying on the finish.

Holy cow, how have I never heard of this beer mentioned when people are talking about the best of the best in Barrel Barleywines, I think this may be it. I rated Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine a perfect 5 and go through at least a case of it a year. But this is just as good if not better holy cow I am truly thankful for the opportunity to try this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2013 23:05:19 | More by nickapalooza86
Photo of TheBrewo
TheBrewo

Michigan

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
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johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Review from notes 2007 Bottle Shared by MrBarleywine.
Pours a deep copper color with a decent sized off white head that shows moderate retention. Aromas of dark caramelized sugar, dark pitted fruits, bits of wood, hints of rum and bourbon, light alcohol, no hop aromas. The flavor is sweet with dark sugars, light oak, light fruits, a solid hit of warming alcohol and a touch of earth. Medium to thick body with a moderate to light level of carbonation and a sweet almost sticky mouthfeel. One of my favorite barley wines, I only wish it were a little easier to obtain.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2013 21:18:39 | More by johnnnniee
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jbaker67

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice dark copper color with a beige head. Aroma is of filled with dark fruits, oak, vanilla, bourbon soaked raisins, cherries, caramel, toffee and earthy notes. The flavor follows the nose with nice amounts of barrel character, again lots of oak and vanilla, bourbon soaked raisins, caramel, toffee, earthy notes, cherries and nice sweet notes. The body is full with a silky and slightly sticky mouth feel.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2013 12:39:06 | More by jbaker67
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Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 828 ratings.