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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.

965 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 965
Reviews: 335
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 936
Gots: 255 | 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: 965 | Reviews: 335 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tom10101
4/5  rDev -8.7%

tom10101, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of Drknight
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Drknight, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of TheBrewo
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.

TheBrewo, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of dwitt24
4/5  rDev -8.7%

dwitt24, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of JOrtt
4.25/5  rDev -3%

JOrtt, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of Hefewiseman
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Hefewiseman, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of RyanSchwam
4/5  rDev -8.7%

RyanSchwam, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of fain12
4.25/5  rDev -3%

fain12, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of 22Blue
4/5  rDev -8.7%

22Blue, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

zestar, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of mltobin
4.25/5  rDev -3%

mltobin, Nov 19, 2013
Photo of PZBREW
5/5  rDev +14.2%

PZBREW, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of jhartley
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

jhartley, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of millerbuffoon
4.25/5  rDev -3%

millerbuffoon, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Knapp85, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of jzeilinger
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

jzeilinger, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of DimensionX
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

DimensionX, Nov 15, 2013
Photo of jriggins6
4.25/5  rDev -3%

jriggins6, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of KevinmusPrime
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

KevinmusPrime, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of bccocx
4.25/5  rDev -3%

bccocx, Nov 08, 2013
Photo of ArsMoriendiOU818
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

ArsMoriendiOU818, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of Drucifer
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Drucifer, Nov 05, 2013
Photo of e30todamax
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

e30todamax, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of nharres
4.25/5  rDev -3%

nharres, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of johnnnniee
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.

johnnnniee, Oct 27, 2013
Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 965 ratings.