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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

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 tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2007, big-time thanks to Ed for bringing this one to the tasting and sharing it with the rest of us. Pours a dark mahogany color, 50/50 mix of clarity and haziness, topped off with a small tan-ish head that reduces to a ring around the glass pretty quickly.

Aroma is comprised of a nice meshing of oak, bourbon, sweet plums, black cherries, syrup, brown sugar, molasses, and maple. Lots of things going on here - very sweet and very complex. Malty to the core with no real sign of hops or herbals anywhere, but after six years - can you blame it? Amazing how well everything has held up for being this old, and it shows no real signs of oxidation in the aroma.

Arctic Devil hits the palate thick and muddled with a surprisingly substantial amount of carbonation considering its age. Very sweet up front, but still pretty far from being cloying. It's more of a refined and controlled sweetness, albeit very strong. Brown sugar, molasses, maple, light anise, plums, dates, black cherries. Buttery and creamy smooth on the palate - the bourbon and alcohol is noticeable and warming, and becomes even more so with time.

The finish is full of sweet, candied dark fruits and a mild oakiness. Despite the 13.2% ABV, this one remains pretty damn drinkable, making it very dangerous. Even though the aroma didn't show any, the taste reveals some light oxidation - not nearly enough to hinder or really even matter - I mean goddamn, this shit was six years old!

Big thanks again to Ed for opening this one. It was damn delicious. I have no other Arctic Devils to compare it to, but holy shit, this was super-drinkable for a 13.2% barleywine. Very sweet and woody all around, such a pleasure to drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 21:38:49 | More by tectactoe
Photo of bmwats
bmwats

Louisiana

4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a snifter.

A: Medium, dark brown. Plenty of effervescence clings to the sides of the glass. Pours about a half finger, bubbly, white head. Dissipates quickly leaving a ring of foam around the rim and a smattering of bubbles on the surface. Carbonation, continues to rise throughout. Light, spotty lacing.

S: Molasses, caramel, maple syrup, and milk chocolate. Buttery and nutty.

T: Caramel and milk chocolate prevalent, here. Balanced with a little pungent peaty tone.

M: Thick and syrupy, with a light crispness. Slightly sweet, but too much so, nutty character, high alcohol...unnoticeable.

D: Goes down with less resistance than you'd expect for the high alcohol content. Try to sip, savor, and make it last...it won't be easy.

Atmosphere is really solid. Decent head, nice effervescence, and some slight lacing. Nose is excellent combination of sweet components. Flavor is lightly pungent, and lightly sweet, nutty and syrupy characterized by caramel, milk chocolate, and maple; but heavily sweet... well done. High alcohol content is well disguised. Overall, this is a great quaff.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 04:12:07 | More by bmwats
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter. I had this during our BA Barleywine tasting. The bottle is from 2010.

Pours a dark reddish amber. This beer had more of a bitter note to it than many of the other beers opened that night. There is a strong sweet presence to balance things out, but I would have liked the bitterness to be a bit milder. I'm getting some booze, but it's still quite smooth. There is a nice caramel note in the background. The body is thick with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2013 05:08:06 | More by oline73
Photo of popery
popery

California

4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From notes, 12/9/10. Bottle. 2010 version. Among the very best barleywines that I’ve tried. This is sit-down-and-take-a-moment good, and I can imagine it getting better with age. The pour is clear ruby with a tiny head. It’s fairly viscous, though not quite as much as you might expect from a 14% abv beer. All sorts of flavors come out in the aroma and taste. There’s an enormous English caramel/toffee malt flavor marbled with a ton of fruitiness. Lots of raisins, plums, peaches, dates and cherries. On top of that, there are great flavors of vanilla, mint, oak, leather and subtle barrel notes. There’s just a touch of hop bitterness in the finish to pull it back from cloying territory. This is a deeply flavored beer that oozes luxury and craftsmanship. Mouthfeel is full and smooth. It coats the mouth pleasantly, but I’ve had lots of stickier, boozier beers that aren’t nearly the size of this one. Midnight Sun knows their stuff and really hit one out of the park with this beer. I might be scoring this a bit low in anticipation of trying an aged bottle in a few years.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 07:45:11 | More by popery
Photo of writerLJBerg
writerLJBerg

Oregon

4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. 2011 vintage. A: Red raspberry with brown hints. Very thin lacing. Grips the glass.

N: Tons of caramel and oak. Lots of toffee. Smoothly sweet like caramel being folded in a candy commercial. Smells like a fresh coffee cake with specks of brown sugar. This is about as perfect as nose as barleywine can have.

T: Very well blended. Has a distinct oakiness that lends peppercorn and vanilla. Caramel and toffee flavors are subtle. Raisins and licorice bitterness. There’s a pronounced hop presence/some pineapple. Could use a little more sweetness, IMO, but I can’t really knock the execution, either.

M: thinner than I might like, but it keeps the beer from being a choking hazard. Alcohol is really well hidden.

O: One of the best barleywines out there. Strong execution all around, and highly recommended. So smooth and complex. I kept going back for more and more pours, even though it's a bad idea at 13% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2013 16:03:47 | More by writerLJBerg
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle courtesy of Libby pours a hazed brown color with a nice tan head. Moderate retention and surprisingly large bubbles.

Nose is caramel for alchies! Maybe some Bit-O-Honey and Chic-O-Stick sweetness thrown in for good measure...man, this beer smells like a candy store run by alcoholics.

Taste is molasses, fresh maple syrup, alcohol and caramel. Soooo smooth and very easy to drink. The malts are rich and have a perfect flow to them. Mouthfeel is rich, but not overly thick or cloying. Wonderful beer...classic even. One of the best barleywines I have had in some time.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 22:15:57 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade 2011 Vintage.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice crystal clear deep coppery mahogany hue with a nice one finger off white head that fades to leave a nice thin blanket.

S - Nice sweet (but not too sweet) malts and soft oak with good whiskey notes. Quite faint throughout.

T - Slightly hot, but to be expected. Softer, sweet malts light caramel and toffee, gentle oak and whiskey. Some nice intermingling but again its all rather light with some alcohol in the background.

M - Mouthfeel is spot on. Nicely carbonated here with those prickly bubbles keeping it up off the tongue. As it warms though it gets a bit thin.

O - Overall this was a good barleywine. Not great, just good. Slightly disappointed here, for the trouble it is to get Anchorage brews I had higher expectations for this one. There are readily available barleywines on the market I can get at a fraction.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 02:19:42 | More by rudzud
Photo of GeezLynn
GeezLynn

Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Arctic Devil 2008 bottle lugged back from the source several years back.

A: Murky dark crimson brown with an expectedly smallish(given its age) white head.
S: Caramel, singed brown sugar, nutty brown malt, brandy. Barrel characters nicely apparent.
T: A little buttery and woody, with some sharp burnt caramel flavors. Still pretty rough with plenty of bitterness balancing any sweetness left at this point. Midway through my snifter as the taste buds adjust to the alcohol singeing, blackberry and plum flavors show up through the heavy bitterness. A trace of vanilla shows a times, but is pretty well covered. Finish is bitter and tannic with noticeable alcohol, somewhat similar to a dry red wine.
M: Medium bodied and slightly sticky, with low carbonation.

Wow. Four years still hasn’t tamed this critter much. I knew from previous experience that this was an aggressive BW and being partial to aged English barleywines, figured with some time to cool off this would be primo stuff. Apparently I need to give the other ones more time. Certainly a quality beer (as always with Midnight Sun), but a bit of a thrash metal mosh pit in the mouth.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 04:56:34 | More by GeezLynn
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1647th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22oz

2011 Vintage
Purchased from El Cerrito Liquor, Corona, CA

App- When I poured this out. It was very thick and dense. It was the color of crimson mixed with ambers and golds. A good center was there with some radiating highlights around the edges. A good 1-1/2" head was there and was a bit of a tan/khaki color. A good bit of cling and lace was retained as it slid. A little bit of bubbles remained on the surface as well like a soda would.

Smell- I was expecting a little bit more integration and deep layering on this one. I am learning very quickly that for a barleywine I much prefer bourbon vs. whiskey. The whiskey barrel does add a nice amount of booze and charry oak, but too much prickly aroma behind it. A little bit of a deep malt with a hint of creamy sweetness behind it. A little bitter hops on a strong pull.

Taste- I thought it was good. It was good, it wasnt great. There are a lot of other Barleywines out there that are a bit better. However, most of those are preference because I enjoy bourbon english BW's vs. Whiskey. So with that. This had a good deep malt backbone and the base barleywine did come out well. The barrel added a good depth of flavor with a bit of oak char, a bit of prickly spirit flavor and a strong booze flavor.

Mouth- A very full medium body with a strong medium carbonation. As it warmed from the 55F I poured at it did start a bit thin. A little prickly carbonation. As it time when by it was more lush and creamy and then went into that full carbonation. The more upfront residual flavors were the whiskey and the base malts.

Drink- I enjoyed this. I got a new job yesterday and opened something nice. I was hoping this was some sort of a KH killer that I finally had my hands on. It wasnt. Not to say it wasn't a good beer. Just expected more. Its good, but not great. I think I prefer Abacus to this.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 17:08:24 | More by FosterJM
Photo of draheim
draheim

Washington

4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz (2011 vintage) into a tulip. Pours a murky amber-mahogany, beige head that settles to a ring of foam.

Aroma is bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, rum-soaked raisins, a nice earthy nutty quality on the swirl.

Taste is complex and buttery. Sweet residual sugars, booze, oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee, rich pipe tobacco. Fermented dark fruit.

Mouthfeel is sticky and slick, chewy.

Overall a decadent bourbony malt bomb, a great sipper of a beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 06:21:12 | More by draheim
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 tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage.

Pours a coppery brown, with a cap of lighter brown foam and patchy lacing here and there. Complex aroma; toffee and brown sugar; a hint of maple; whiskey and wood; lots of dark fruit like plums, raisins, and figs.

The flavor is equally complex. The most surprising and memorable note was that of maple; there also a good deal of brown sugar/toffee flavor and caramel, more fruit, and plenty of bourbon boozines. Alcohol present but not overly aggressive in the flavor; more noticed as a pleasant warmth in the belly after the swallow.

Medium bodied, perhaps a little thinner than anticipated. Would benefit from a bit more heft, in my estimation. Medium carbonation, quite smooth and silky.

A very nice barrel-aged barleywine that falls perhaps a hair short of the best in class. Wish I had been able to try past vintages; also wish I had more than the single bottle to so I could sock a few away for aging.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2012 23:11:19 | More by tobelerone
Photo of caskstrength
caskstrength

Minnesota

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

Have had several of the 2011 vintage, just not in the same league as the 2008. Flavors more subdued. As it warms, some of the wonderfulness from 2008 peeks through, but it's not like I remember it. Still a very good beer, just couldn't replicate the awesomeness this time around. Adjusted the score down.
---
original review: 4.95
2008 vintage, 22oz bottle. Barrel aged barleywine, midnight sun...drum role please. Attacking this bomber alone.

Pours dark red/brown with bubbly carbonation that quickly disappears, white ring remains.

The smells: Cherries, port wine, bourbon, multiple dark ripened fruits. Tobacco. Leather. Carmelized sugars.
Complexity defined. I smelled, then smelled some more. I didn't want to drink, I was worried it couldn't live up.

But it did. Alcohol more present, which is OK, works well with everything going on here. No solvents, deep rich alcohol mixing with everything mentioned above.

Thick, viscous, just enough carbonation to keep it from being too heavy. Slides down the throat, assaulting every last taste bud it can find.

A bourbon barrel barleywine sipper that I had a hard time sipping. I'd put my money on this against any barleywine, no matter the whale status.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2012 01:40:22 | More by caskstrength
Photo of kawilliams81
kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

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

2011 vintage. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 8 oz snifter.

A- pours a dark amber, near brown, with a 1 finger light tan head. Small blotches and bubbles on the glass.

S- brown sugar, maple, vanilla, green apple, bourbon

T- sweet toffee, brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, tart apple, some vino notes.

M- medium body and carbonation. Not as thick or syrupy as other top tier Bab barleywines.

O- good BA Barleywine but nothing outstanding. If you get a chance definitely worth a try but don't trade your first born for it.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2012 02:13:48 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of s1ckboy
s1ckboy

Massachusetts

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

2011 bottle with about a year of age on it.

A - Orange/Red body, 1/2 finger of of white head.

S - Oak, bourbon, dark fruits, sweet.

T - Oak, booze (not necessarily bourbon), figs, red wine.

M - Surprisingly light mouthfeel, smooth carbonation

Vey good, was expecting more given it's reputation.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2012 23:05:07 | More by s1ckboy
Photo of Duff27
Duff27

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inch tall off white head on a dark but translucent "mohageny" colored body. Very nice head retention for the style. Some lacing.

Sweet boozy bourbon goodness, not overdone though.

Caramel maltiness, low to nil hop presence duhhh. Alcohol burn going down...I know it says 13+%abv and that's about what it translates too.

Medium to medium-thick mouthfeel. Lower carbonation.

Overall well balanced English barleywine and barrel notes. I don't know if I was looking forward to this more than I should have but it's a small let down even as its at the bottom of the top tier of its style. What?

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2012 02:06:47 | More by Duff27
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Paper notes from quite awhile back. Thanks go to Kegatron for sharing this 2007 vintage with a couple of us. Bomber into a tulip, the brew appears a deep ruby amber with a tan head that fades leaving a ring around the perimeter of the glass. When held to the light, it shows some green and yellowish clarity around the edges. A light swirl brings a half finger of yellowish stained cap back to the surface.

The smell of this brew included some orange citrus character mixed with a fruity alcohol inclusion that hints towards raisins and a floral component. More sniffs bring out a citrus element that contrasts the maltiness that smells of toffee and molasses. There is a faint hint of cardboard-like oxidation which is no distracting but it adds an interesting layer of complexity.

The taste is boozy for 5 years old. Flavors of raisin and toffee get a significant accent of alcohol esters. Just like the aroma indicated, there is a mild presence of oxidation across the backend that blends nicely into an aftertaste of fruity and floral mixed with a bit of biscuit to bready grain.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. It is a bold boozy sipper that is quite enjoyable. I am very appreciative to have the chance to sit down and enjoy a significantly sized pour of this aged beauty. However, just like my initial thoughts of this brew when i had a small sampling some time ago, it lacks just a bit in body. I found the aromatics to be much more complex than the flavor as well. Thanks again Heath!

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2012 15:13:08 | More by stakem
Photo of mfavoino
mfavoino

Washington

4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks again to Treebs for obtaining this HUGE want to share with me. Poured into a Surly tulip.

Appearance: Deep ruby/light brown with a small head that dissipates to a foamy rim. Really nice looking.

Smell: Caramel malts and subtle whiskey aroma are most of what my nose picks up.

Taste: Rich caramel malts are paired with dark fruits, as well as just the right amount of whiskey flavor. Finishes with touch of light hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with a warm finish and silky smoothness.

Overall: Glad I got to try this one. Still think Abacus is my favorite English Bwine, but this is not far behind.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2012 15:59:21 | More by mfavoino
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

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

Huge thanks to Eric (Holland) for the bottle. You made some fellow beer geeks very happy. 2011 vintage bottled the first week in February. 22 oz bomber served in a FW tulip.

A: Pours a very dark ruby color a light khaki head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin film and ring that leave some splotchy lace behind.

S: Light whiskey and oak with some sweet, fruity esters and dark fruit. Caramelized malt sweetness as well.

T: Whiskey and light oaky body with a nice sweet malt body. Dark fruitiness with some light green hops. Minimal sweet berry flavor as well.

M: Medium bodied with a nice medium carbonation level with just a dash of heat on the finish.

O: The whiskey barrel was nicely integrated and a liked the sweetness it entailed. Very happy to have tried this guy.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2012 19:12:51 | More by Treebs
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Alieniloquium

Florida

4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle at City Beer. Poured into a snifter. 2010 bottle.

Appearance - No head. Murky brown with some reddish flecks. Ring of foam around the surface.

Smell - Oak is prominent. Bourbon and vanilla. Low barrel character next to other barreled barley wines, but it's nice. Slightly oxidized, but it's beneficial. Earthy hops join the caramel.

Taste - Even less barrel, but it's still nice. Caramel mostly, but oak and vanilla are close behind. Bourbon and oxidation blend in. Earthy finish. A little bitter.

Mouthfeel - Boozy, but I wouldn't guess 13.4%. Low carbonation. Bitter. Maybe even a bit thin and watery as the flavors drop off.

Overall - Excellent flavors. The oxidation is nice. The only downfall is the mouthfeel. Too thin in the finish.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2012 22:46:21 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of yamar68
yamar68

Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to match1112 for this! A long time want of mine, poured from bottle to snifter. 2011 vintage:

Pours more like a bourbon than a beer - burnt caramel body with barely a wisp of carbonation on the surface. Thick, oily legs and still a slight suggestion of lacing.

The nose is wicked. Sweet, syrupy whiskey notes. Caramel, thick wood bits, toffee, big aggressive malt profile. Lovely stuff.

Surprisingly approachable. The booze is well incorporated, the barrel is balanced. Smooth bourbon character and massive caramely malts. Lots of warm vanilla as well. Tasty.

Very glad to have had the chance to try this gem. Thanks so much Matt!

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2012 01:37:31 | More by yamar68
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zeledonia

Minnesota

4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2012 17:43:52 | More by zeledonia
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 corby112
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
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LiquidAmber

Washington

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

Review from 11/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a deep red amber, minimal off-white head and no lacing. Aroma of caramel, whiskey, malt and fruit. Starts with malt, whiskey and caramel, finishing with dark fruits, a touch of oak, more whiskey and alcohol. Very complex and rich. Nice heavy body. Would score higher without the big alcohol punch. Hopefully this will mellow with age. Excellent barley wine.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2012 03:41:06 | More by LiquidAmber
Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 828 ratings.