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Arctic Devil Barley Wine - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine

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

832 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 832
Reviews: 327
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: 832 | Reviews: 327 | Show All Ratings:
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
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UCLABrewN84

California

4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Skuter for sharing this one with me!

2011 vintage.

Pours a murky brown with a khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, and wood aromas. Taste is the same but there is a more noticeable wood and whisky presence in the flavor. This beer has a very nice mouthfeel with a good crispness and medium body. Overall, this is a very good barleywine with some awesome aromas and flavors.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2012 03:00:49 | More by UCLABrewN84
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BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up in the Barley wine BIF recently and needless to say I was thrilled to get it. I had been looking for this one forever so when I finally had it, did not take long for me to get it chilled down and into a glass. Served at cellar temperature in a Terrapin snifter while watching cloverfield last night.

Appearance - This one poured a very nice, and very dark brown. Very thick looking on the pour with a minimum amount of head coming up through it. A bout a half inch of off white foam rose up through it, but then quickly settled down into a thin film, which itself then faded into nothing after a minute. Touch of side glass lacing could be seen.

Smell - The aroma was loaded down with bourbon. This shocked me a bit at first, in a good way, but nonetheless. Lots of spices in the nose here as well. Hints of raisins and figs, light earthy, roasted malts and a good touch of alcohol. Very complex nose, and unique for the style.

Taste - The flavor was a wonderful surprise. Rich tastes of oak and vanilla, hints of roasted malts and caramel. Lots of bourbon like flavors swirling around. Very tight and nicely done. A bit of alcohol, just enough to thicken it up a bit. A really nice and very full barley wine. Finish was strong, with a healthy dose of bourbon and spice lingering in the mouth for what seemed like forever.

Mouthfeel - A super full Mouthfeel, much bigger then most barley wines out there. Creamy with ample carbonation, this was just absolutely wonderful. A really fantastically put together beer.

Drinkability - The quintessential sipper, I thoroughly enjoyed going on with this one for a good long while. An interesting take on the style, but highly shippable and most of the 10% was extremely well hidden.

Overall I thought this was an outstanding selection from MS. Really a top notch beer here. Not so much a barley wine as it was a bit bigger then that. Very good though and something that I will look to buy a few to cellar.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2008 17:25:44 | More by mikesgroove
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womencantsail

California

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

A big thanks to Kevin for opening this one during the Bruery 2nd Anniversary.

A: The pour is a slightly hazy dark amber color with a medium off-white head on it.

S: A really top notch bouquet on this one. Rich caramel, toffee, burnt sugar, and dark fruits. Some bourbon, vanilla, and some more caramel for good measure.

T: The sweetness is certainly present, but it is not cloying at all. The caramelized and "burnt" sugar flavors offer some balance and interact wonderfully with the cherries, plums, and vanilla.

M: A smooth and silky mouthfeel, nearly chewy but not syrupy. A low to moderate carbonation and a pleasant alcohol warmth.

D: Easily one of the best barleywines I've had and one of my new favorites.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 21:07:03 | More by womencantsail
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brentk56

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 bottling

Appearance: With a hard pour the beer raises a minimal head that squatts on the hazy tea-brown liquid; fading quickly to a ringlet, it leaves some leggy lacing behind

Smell: Toffee, figs, mulled cider spicing and discernable alcohol, even after four years

Taste: The toffee and fig flavors jump out from the moment the liquid touches the tongue, with bigger fruit, earthy hop and burning alcohol elements arriving shortly thereafter; in the finish, the sweet and fruity flavors blend with a pipe tobacco character to provide a complex finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation; plenty of warmth, still

Overall: A very nice English Barleywine, indeed, though it doesn't jump out at me as being extraordinary; perhaps it has something to do with the age, though this is still quite potent

I cannot remember who sent it to me as I kept this one in the cellar for quite some time; thanks to whomever

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2011 01:53:50 | More by brentk56
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BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Alas, the longly anticipated Arctic Devil Barleywine. Richly malted, complex, and with a formitable hop counterpart the beer lives up to its lofty expectations.

A very hazy rusty color and medium haze give a rich and weighted look. Sprinkles of yeast can be found floating about. Ivory stanined roam forms a sturdy head early on and fades over its own weight to a sheet of lace across the surface and glass. A pretty good look.

Aromas steal the show with a balanced and rich flavor of molassas, toffee, and brown sugar. Throw in an estery flank of prunes, dates, figs, raisons, and rummy spiciness. A vinous note of sherry with red wines give a mildly tart balance to the rich fruits and malts. Lightly herbal (tea-like) character gives a modest glimpse into the hop balance. Barleywines just don't carry a much better aroma.

Flavors pick up where the aroma leaves off. But along with those delicate and rich flavors that resemble port wine, brandy, and cognac; the flavors pack on a balanced bitterness that in one sip seems to balance the beer well, while in the next seems to detract from the seductive sweetness. Alcohol bite adds to the sweetness while it's spicy taste seems to intensify a bit too much and interrupts the malt sweetness- tasting a bit like cough syrups at times. However, the initial malty-fruity interplay is too good to ignore.

Weighted, rich, and robust, the beer takes on a bit texture at the on onset. But the beer's chewy texture is quick waivering, in favor of alcoholic heat, assertive hop/alcohol bite, and a bit of scratchy texture in the back of the throat. Dry late but also alcoholic, still leaving plenty of malty stickiness on the mouth's surfaces.

An outstanding Barleywine of the English variety, but its only the rougher alcohols and bitey bitterness that keeps it from world class status.

Thanks Auroracrisis!

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2010 03:04:29 | More by BEERchitect
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Thorpe429

Illinois

4.63/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 edition shared by SonicAlligator at the Sexual Chocolate release.

Pours a dark chestnut brown with a small, tight head. Loads of things going on in the aroma department: bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, and bits of dark fruit. Taste is very similar, with the barrel-aging really coming through; love the combo that Midnight Sun has done. Unbelievably lush mouthfeel--super creamy with the perfect tint of alcohol warmth (which was quite necessary waiting out there in line). Great drinkability. One of my all-time favorite barleywines.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2010 14:27:58 | More by Thorpe429
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ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Okay, so I was a bit hasty. I was just so eager to finally crack open the bottle of Arctic Devil that I made no note of its production year. Now, this beer was received in a trade waaay back in early 2008 (mid-February, IIRC). So, if we suppose it was, at the time, a current bottle, it was from the November 2007 release, making it a 2007 vintage. Let's roll with that!

2007 Vintage.

Appearance: Pours a delicately hazy, deep, russet-hued body with a thin, wispy, ecru-colored head.

Smell: Strong, sweet-smelling malt aroma with plenty of dark caramel, toasted toffee, and brown sugar. While there is a ripe plum and dried fig fruit character, it's simply bursting at the seems with a rich cherry fruitiness. There's even room enough for vanilla, damp oaken barrels, and some nose-tingling alcoholic wafts.

Taste: Thickly sweet and oh-so delectable dark caramel ice cream topping flavor garnished with a pinch of hearty cinnamon and brown sugar. Plenty of fruitiness, and, as with the nose, it's big on the cherries! Drizzle of Grade A maple syrup straight from Vermont. Touches of vanilla and lightly tannic oak wood. An earthy bitterness melds in well with the rest of the brew. Now, mind you, there's an ample amount of alcohol warmth coursing through this brew, but, thanks to the assertive maltiness, it prevents it from coming across as overly hot. Finishes long with plenty of drying alcohol and an enduring maltiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is both silky and smooth.

Drinkability: Another skillful release from Midnight Sun. Barleywines are addicting enough on their own, but Arctic Devil takes it to a whole new level of hedonistic indulgence. Overall, an exemplary brew!

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 20:06:40 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2005 03:19:14 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a clear plastic cup.

High five to yeahnatenelson for sharing this 2008 vintage bottle during DLD!

Now that I think about it, though, I'm pretty sure I gave that high five away before this was cracked. Meh, worth it regardless. It (the beer, o' course) pours a cloudy sunset russet-amber topped by a half-finger of dark sandy foam. The nose comprises caramel, vanilla, toffee, mild maple syrup, and butterscotch. The taste holds notes of toffee, chocolate, oak, vanilla, light orange peel, light mandarin orange syrup, and butterscotch. The body is a hefty-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a very tasty b-wine, one that a few years seems to have done wonders for.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2011 22:53:09 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz brown bottle; packaged November 2004.

The Arctic Devil is a devil to be sure! This little nip will sneak up on you quick!

It pours a clear, dark-chestnut body with a reddish-cast and glowing crimson and orange highlights. What head comes up initially is a yellow tan; but it doesn't hold for long and leaves only a few spots of lace here and there (which can sometimes happen with stronger beers).

The nose is malty, caramelish, toffee-ish, and lightly hoppy with a leafy side.

The body is full, and it moves across the tongue with a light zest from its exceptionally fine, moderate carbonation (and perhaps some alcohol sting as well!) before warming to become more dextrinous.

Toffee and molasses dominate the flavor, backed by dark sweet fruit (prune, raisin, red grape, some fig), a rub of leafy hops, and a spritz of spicy alcohol. It's rich and malty, but not overly sweet due to it's solid bitterness and alcohol. It finishes with some residual maltiness entwined in drying alcohol that fades to reveal some even longer lingering dull-bitterness.

A better head retention, a touch more complexity, and a little less alcohol would bring this up into world class status! Very nice!

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2005 22:27:30 | More by NeroFiddled
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feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10% abv, according to the label.
the words "survive" and "subzero" hover in the corners of the label art, while what seems like a crazed wolverine snarls at the viewer front and center. I'm keeping safe distance...but plan to get comfy with this bottle, off goes the cap, and away we go...
dark russet color, with deep ruby at the corners, sizeable, light tan head.
Gorgeous nose at first sniff, bright cherries, big, cognac-y alcoholic feel, rosey, port-wine feel...slick, thick, viscous, ..leather and molasses, on a bed of berries and grapes.
Big, bold, imperial flavor, massive mouthfeel, sticky and lip-smacking. Same flavors in the aroma rebound in the taste, but don't hang as hard, sort of dwindles...nicely rounded, very harmonic...I can't keep quacking about barleywines not being as big as they ought to be, when, in this case, it contains itself very nicely, has an abundance of character, yet isn't too loud or hot. Mellow for a barleywine, but very classy.
Pity I didn't had this around when it was colder...I have to drink this damned thing in the dawning of spring...but it does the job!
Nice one, Midnight Sun!...further into the bottle, prunes are the predominant flavor...not tasted earlier...

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2005 06:02:30 | More by feloniousmonk
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MasterSki

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage, supplied by Joe1510. Served in a mini-pint NotLA taster glass.

A - A half-finger of light tan foam that leaves some spotty lace and a thin ring. Body is a hazy raisin brown color. Looks like a typical barleywine.

S - Burnt sugar, raisins, caramel & toffee, tart apples, dark fruits, and light alcohol. Very excellent example of the style.

T - Super smooth combination of brown sugar, caramel, and molasses. The booze has really mellowed out over the last few years. Lots of sweet flavors, but never verges on cloying somehow - perhaps there is some residual hop bitterness that keeps things in check.

M - Medium-full body, smooth, sticky, low carbonation, and minimal heat. All the things I like in this style of beer.

D - Surprisingly easy to drink for 13.2%, although my resolve started to fade after about 6oz or so. Still, I wish this were available more places, as it'd be one of my go-to barleywines.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 05:49:25 | More by MasterSki
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russpowell

Oklahoma

4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased from bottletrek $16, plus delivery. Here's hoping it lives up to the hype!

Pours an effervescent ruby tinged chestnut with 2+ fingers of fluffy sand colored head. Average lacing & head retention for the style, nice viscous look

S: Oaky, vanilla notes along with other bourbon notes, plus figs

T: Rich dark fruit, singed dark sugar, molasses, & a bit of booze warmth/burn up front. English Christmas pudding, a bit of chocolate, dryness & subtle leafy/herbal hoppyness as this warms some more. Finishes dry, with tons of dark fruit, leafy hops, & more Christmas pudding, if I could give this an A++ I would

MF: Gooey, with near zero carbonation, luscious!

Drinks great for the style & this is a great English Barley wine with a bit of a twist, this devil will get to you before you get to him! Great offering, better than this rating! But very few beers/wines or liquors are worth this price (unless bootlegged)

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2008 05:16:27 | More by russpowell
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drabmuh

Maryland

4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. Served in a tulip. Beer is dark brown and hazy. Forms a thin off white head that leaves no lacing on the glass. Head falls away and breaks, gravitates toward the glass.

Aroma is strong, sweet, boozy, and malty.

Medium body, some carbonation in the mouth, really sweet up front, lots of flavor. Some liquor like components, raisins, plums, sweetness, lots of fruit. Finishes a little dry. Its a big beer and I'm doing my best to slay it but at 22 ounces and 13.2 % its an uphill battle. It is quite heavy but it hides the alcohol well. The fruitiness of the body makes this a great drinking beer but it is better split two ways. Good barleywine though, probably improve after 2 or 3 years.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 04:02:55 | More by drabmuh
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Gueuzedude

Arizona

4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 release; Sampled January 2009
Served at around 60°F / 15.6°C. The beer pours into my 25cl tulip glass with a three-finger thick, amber tinged, full tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, deep cranberry hue when held up to the light. The aroma first hits with sticky hop aromatics but is soon backed by a solid malt note. Up front there are notes of grapefruit zest and pine needles, but the sticky, candied malt character seems to slowly win out over the hop character. Malt aromatics of brown-sugar crusted raisins, toasted-toffee-glazed pastries, perhaps a hint of cherry notes and a light, toasted nut note that because of the sweet malt reminds me of candied nuts. The hop character is never totally subsumed by the malt, it seems to add a sort of green, sort of herbal vegetation type thing to the nose.

Very sweet and rich feeling, up front there is a solid herbal hop note as well as a reasonable bitterness in the finish, but this beer is really about the malt. Rich notes of toffee, brown sugar and a touch of cocoa along with a deep, toasted malt note make this quite the chewy beer. The finish has a bit of warm alcohol to it that along with the sweet malts reminds me a bit of a dark rum; the alcohol warmth is brought out by some spicy oak notes and there also seems to be a touch of vanillin noticeable underneath the sweet malt. There is a touch of toasted, not quite roasted grain here, it adds a touch of almost bitterness that couples with the astringency from the tannic oak, both of which provide some balance to the dominant sweet malt.

After noticing the oak in the flavor, I can now pick it up in the aroma; it adds a soft spiciness and probably exacerbates the green hop notes a bit as well. The hop character though seems to completely fade into the background after this has breathed for a bit; much of the sharp, un-integrated character was likely from the barrel, and it still is a bit jarring. Somehow, despite not being the most well integrated beer, this just oozes potential. Part of the charm of this beer for me is the fact that I can just see this aging so well.

I am disappointed in myself for not getting two bottles of this. The hop character in this fresh example are really a distraction, despite how slight they are (though they are magnified a bit by the sharp oak character), I want this beer to be all about the malt and I have the feeling that a bit of age will make this beer fantastic; the hops, and even the oak character should round out considerably and the beer should turn into heaven in a glass.

Purchased: Liquid Solutions

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2009 01:11:38 | More by Gueuzedude
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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
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barleywinefiend

Washington

4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Batch(yep, marked 11/05 on side of bottle, 1st bottled):
A: Poured a golden copper color hybrid with almost a small white cap.

S: Nose is toffee, some bourbon, toffee and caramel

T: Earthy and woody with light caramel and toffee. I felt some of the darker fruits faded, booze was still a bit sharp

M: Mouthfeel is big bodied, lower carbonation

O: Good
///
2007 Batch:
Poured a sluggish copper color with almost no head at all. Nose is caramel, dried fruits, brown sugar candied fruits, vanilla and a very light hint of oak and bourbon. Yeah..all of this from the nose. Taste followed suit. Taste is biiig malts up front. Lots of brown sugar, candied fruit, fruits, with vanilla, oak and bourbon on the finish. Mouthfeel is nice, thick and coating. Sooo drinkable and the mouthfeel is great.
///
2010 batch. Not amongst the best. Demoted this year due to thinner mouthfeel, cardboard smell on nose and less flavor than I recall.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 16:19:57 | More by barleywinefiend
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mdfb79

New York

4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 08/21/11 notes. Huge thanks to Thorpe429 for saving me some of this one, and to BManning for sharing the bottle. 2009 vintage poured into my SAVOR tasting snifter.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with a few light tan bubbles and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bready malts, light bourbon, oak, vanilla, light fruit, and light brown sugar. A little sweet smelling and not a ton if bourbon, but still really nice and complex.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, bourbon, oak, toffee, vanilla, sweet dark fruit, sugar, and alcohol. More bourbon in the taste than the nose had, and still a lot of caramel/toffee. A step up from the nose, and really great.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation, very smooth body. Not too hot and very easy to drink for over 13% ABV.

o - Overall I thought this was a fantastic barrel aged barleywine. I personally would have liked a little more bourbon in the nose but the taste was amazing, and I loved the toffee/caramel that came through. Super smooth body, would love to try this again sometime.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 15:15:35 | More by mdfb79
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akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to beerbeing for this 650 mL bomber (a long ago trade).

A: The barleywine is a dark red-brown collaboration, murky with ruddy creek water hues. Of course it is opaque. A small head, never more than a 1/3 of a finger, left a pretty impressive patch of lace behind.

S: Crazy malty! This one just smells thick. A delicious blend of bread and dark fruits. There is some evidence of a barrel, a touch of oak and vanilla. Stunning aroma.

T: Oak is lingering around the front of each sip, sturdy and woody. Behind it, the barleywine comes through with a vengeance. Hints of cinnamon mix with an excess of booze, a sweet nightcap. The barleywine is malt-driven but a heavy dose of hops and the barrel aging really take the edge off. Yeah, this is really, really good.

M: The mouthfeel is full, starting off with the oak and finishing with the super malts. The barrel especially stands out for the smoothness that it adds.

D: At 10% (or thereabouts), this is a sipping beer at best. One and done for this sleepytime cowboy.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2010 01:49:28 | More by akorsak
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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
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Wasatch

Utah

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to msubulldog25 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a nice semi-cloudy dark brown color, some carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, which leaves som oil slicks and sticky lacing. The nose is malty, some hops, licorice, toffee, some vanilla, alcohol, and caramel. The taste is sweet at first sip, big malts/toffee/alcohol, tones of vanilla and caramel. Medium body, very nice brew, might be a tad too much on the alcohol though, but still very tasty, could turn some people off. Very drinkable, this is the best MS brew for me so far, a very tasty EBWSA. Thanks Brian.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2008 01:34:38 | More by Wasatch
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corby112

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to shadowane for sharing! 2011 vintage.

Pours a dark amber, almost chestnut brown color with mahogany edges and a 1.5 finger, creamy off-while head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing.

Sweet, slightly boozy aroma with subtly integrated barrel presence.  Hints of toasted oak and spicy whiskey along with some vanilla and coconut.  Underneath characteristics of the base beer are evident with leathery malt, sweet toffee, dark fruit and caramel.

On the fuller end of medium-bodied with a well integrated barrel character that doesn't overpower the elements of the base beer.  Some nice dry oak along with spicy/sweet whiskey, vanilla and coconut. Soft carbonation adds to the palate and the sweet and leathery notes from the base beer really come through. Hints of toffee, dark fruit, caramel and leathery malts with a slightly dry finish.  Subtle warmth in finish but overall the ABV is very well masked.  Lots of boozy flavor but not a lot of heat.  Can't believe that it's 13.5%!  Really nice. A bit heavy on the barrel/whiskey presence but the characteristics of the base beer come through nicely.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2012 22:55:36 | More by corby112
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from weefisheads via trade. Thanks for the opportunity. Bottled Nov05.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" light brown head above the clear burgundy brew. Head holds on nicely, with heavy, slow-to-fall lace. Aroma is sweetness, dark fruit, and alcohol, all well proportioned. Taste is creamy maltiness upfront, dark fruit and touch of tanned leather in the middle, and massaging alcohol warmth to close. Mouthfeel is wow smooth, and drinkability is scary dangerous for the abv. Seek this one out.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2006 00:58:48 | More by ppoitras
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Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 832 ratings.