Arctic Devil Barley Wine - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 947 | Reviews: 334 | Display Reviews Only:
4.58/5 rDev +4.6%
2011 vintage, bottled February 2011. Thanks to RWNewhouse for the trade. Enjoyed 30 June 2012, reviewed from notes.
Pours a deep amber color, ruby highlights, with one finger of off-white head. Clear, and just dark enough that I can still see through it. Head has decent retention; not much lacing.
Smell is like brandy - rich, strong, and sweet, and heavy on the fruits. Wood and oak, prunes and cognac, Yum.
Taste is just fantastic. So much depth, so many layers of flavors. The barrel-aging is prominent, but dang is it good. Heavy fruit flavors, alcohol which, as I mentioned earlier, is like brandy. Waves of flavor, washing over each other, adding complexity and deliciousness until it gradually fades away. Oh, I could savor this for hours.
I like the feel, just as I like the rest of the beer. Heavy, syrupy, more slippery than thick. Enough carbonation to keep me happy.
A delicious, fruity, liquer-like barleywine. Not quite the best I've had (that title remains with Abacus), but definitely up there. I will most definitely seek this out again.
08-02-2012 17:43:52 | More by zeledonia
3.73/5 rDev -14.8%
750ml bottle poured into a sampler. 2010 vintage.
Pours a deep ruby amber with a small brown head. Nose is malty and sweet, a bit of cardboard .
Taste is sweet, sharp a bit of oxidation but super tasty and a bit tart
Really crisp and quit drinkable. Mouthfeel is creamy and rich.
02-11-2012 19:36:46 | More by kingcrowing
4.63/5 rDev +5.7%
I poured from a 22 ounce bottle, 2008 vintage, into a snifter. It is a murky caramel color with a very slight tan head, slight lacing. The aroma is full of vanilla, oak, and a balanced amount of whiskey. The flavor follows the nose, with some dark fruit notes added. A very well balanced beer, the whiskey notes add a fullness to the flavor without being overpowering. The finish has a caramel/whiskey sweetness to it. Artic Devil has a very full body and a sticky mouthfeel, very low carbonation. With an ABV of 13% it is a nice sipper. An outstanding beer that I received from Dunt in a recent BIF.
03-12-2010 23:26:14 | More by bonkers
4.24/5 rDev -3.2%
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.
01-06-2014 22:32:17 | More by KYGunner
4.63/5 rDev +5.7%
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.
12-08-2013 02:10:48 | More by TheBrewo
4.8/5 rDev +9.6%
Huge thanks to me for busting this out while at a recent tasting. 08 vintage. Split into tulips.
A: Cinnamon brown with a slight red tint. Small beige head leaves tiny soapy lace flecks.
S: Rich malt, heavily buttered and sugared white toast. Caramel and toffee drizzled dates and figs. Sweet tarts, mild earthy hops and a bit of leather. The alcohol is faint. Damn there's a lot going on here.
T: Wow! Super sweet and rich caramel malt. The tartness of the hops is still lingering after all this time. Giving it a great push and pull. Dark fruits, brown sugar, bread crusts and maybe a hint of leather in the finish. I can't pick up hardly a trace of the alcohol.
M: Full creamy body. It just slowly drips off the tongue.
O: This was a beer that totally lived up to the hype. I could drink a whole bottle myself. Maybe I will one of these days.
04-17-2011 20:45:10 | More by beerwolf77
3.45/5 rDev -21.2%
22oz bottle into a snifter
A: Pours nearly pitch black with a finger of off white head. This is an extremely dark Barleywine - if given this beer not knowing what it was, I'd think it was a stout based on look. Poor retention, terrible lacing.
S: Strong bourbon, caramel, prunes, and a bit of soy sauce. Burnt sugars are also present. As the beer opens up, I get more and more Quad characteristics. Prunes become more prominent with a bit of orange bitters. Maybe a tad muddled, but this is extremely complex.
T: Woah, booze. This beer is extremely boozy. Also not nearly as sweet as the aroma would suggest. Bourbon is fairly strong here, supported by toffee and a touch of malted milk ball. This is really subdued next to the aroma. This definitely needs some time.
M: Medium thickness with fairly high carbonation.
O: The aroma on this was extremely nice. The taste was not bad, but definitely needs some time. This is extremely boozy and the flavors don't quite meld together. I'm going to let the rest of the bottles sit for a while.
11-17-2011 02:34:09 | More by coreyfmcdonald
3.93/5 rDev -10.3%
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
10-08-2011 20:37:44 | More by Urbancaver
Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 947 ratings.