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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.

989 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 989
Reviews: 335
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 943
Gots: 259 | 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: 989 | Reviews: 335 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fiver29
4/5  rDev -8.7%

fiver29, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of Beerandboards
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2008 vintage

Bomber into a large wine glass

A - Dark caramel, more opaque than translucent. Pour produces about a one inch head that dissipates to about an 1/8 of an inch that sticks around the entire time. Fair amount of lacing. Really a fine looking beer.

S - Pretty much bourbon and vanilla. Smells great, kind of surprising given the age that so much bourbon holds through. Not complex, but nothing wrong here.

T - Lots of rich rich vanilla, bourbon, some dark chocolate as it warms, maybe some dark fruit, dates? The ABV, even at 13.4%, is non-existent on the palate. A very very well done beer. At 4+ years old, this one has a teeny bit too much oxidation, I would love to try it with 3 years on it. I would also love to try it fresh, but I have to think this thing is an absolute beast fresh.

M - Nailed it. Just the right amount of carbonation to set the flavor profile off. Sticky in a good way, leaves a linger aftertaste for a good 10 minutes.

O - I've been wanting to try this one for a long time and it didnt disappoint. A great complex barelywine where eveything lines up in an equal order, barrel, sweetness, vanilla, chocolate, awesomeness. Where I have found other BA barleywines (even the highest rated) to be a little thin or lacking in complexity, this one nails it. Rich, chewy, great. I will be buying a couple fresh ones to age.

Beerandboards, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of zac16125
4.36/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a snifter
2013 vintage

300th BA review

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black. Its opaque and has less than 1/2 a fingers width of mocha colored head, which quickly fades away. Looks like an IS really. Leaves zero lacing.

S: Tons of sweetness. Dark fruits, caramel malts, toffee, chocolate fudge. Barrel characters with bourbon, oak, and vanilla. I also get notes of black licorice and a hint of booze. Incredible aroma.

T: Initial sip is tons of black licorice, followed by some roasted malts on the finish. Cocoa, and dark fruits come next, along with a big degree of hoppy bitterness on the finish. Caramel and toffee come out later. Barrel notes are subtle, with only hints of bourbon and oaky vanilla. Lots of different flavor layers, quiet complex, and very tasty. Only complaint is the bitter component is a bit much, which somewhat detracts from the other characters.

M/D: Fairly smooth, somewhat limited by the carbonation, which is a touch high for the style. Full body, a bit syrupy at times. The huge ABV is well restrained. Drinkability is good.

O: Overall, this is an excellent barleywine. It doesnt quite make it into my top, elite-BW tier (with MoAS, Sucaba and Old Nuptial), but its not far behind and is still one of the best BWs Ive had. Intoxicating aroma, just a touch too bitter on the tongue. I wish I had another one to cellar and see if that bitterness fades. Either way, still excellent. Glad I was able to try this one. Highly recommend.

zac16125, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of pmoore311
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

pmoore311, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of G-Hawk
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

G-Hawk, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of hopswap1
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

hopswap1, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of stevec32
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

stevec32, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of Holmes698
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Holmes698, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of DJButters
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

DJButters, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of atalayafr
4.73/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A-Beautiful deep caramel. No head, almost syrupy in appearance.
S-Outstanding oak and bourbon along with a mild aroma of sweet red wine. Alcohol is also abundantly noticeable.
T-Wonderful. Starts a bit sweet-but not too sweet-with wine hints at first. The the bourbon, pepper and oak begin to develop. Finishes like a gentle bourbon. This barley has layers of taste. Extremely complex but also very drinkable considering it's 13.4% ABU.
M-Very smooth, walks the 'not to heavy-not too dry' line very nicely.
O-In a word: Delicious. Enjoying a scotch or bourbon now and then perhaps this beer fits my particular niche. But I would presume anyone new to barley's would enjoy this outstanding beer. Another winner from MSB.

atalayafr, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of DNICE555
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

DNICE555, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of injuredreserve
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

injuredreserve, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of AlexFields
4/5  rDev -8.7%

AlexFields, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of twelveinches
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

twelveinches, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of itsthepleats
5/5  rDev +14.2%

itsthepleats, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of HALB
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

HALB, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of Prospero
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Prospero, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of CADMixes
3.5/5  rDev -20.1%

CADMixes, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of jimmy82063
4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Finally the beer ship came in! Poured in to a snifter glass. This beer pours a jet black with a very minimal head. The nose gives deep caramel and toffee. Taste is caramel & toffee with some chocolate, coffee and vanilla. There is a lot going on with this. Some slight tobacco notes are on the finish. Very smooth with some slight bourbon notes! Well done!

jimmy82063, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of wdarcy77
3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

wdarcy77, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing barleywine, almost more like an Imperial Stout/barleywine hybrid. Deep ruby/brown, almost black color with a remarkably syrupy, mouth-coating body. Flavors of bourbon, brandy, roasted dark chocolate, cappucino, cherries, plums, orange peel, toasted coconut, leather, tobacco, and spices.

There's definitely a good deal of heat, but this only adds more complexity, in a catalyst sort of way. Sucaba WAS my favorite barleywine, but this flavor/texture monster eclipses it.

Impfan, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of celticfutblclub
3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

celticfutblclub, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Gonzoillini, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of homebrew311
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Received my box from Beership of 6 of these... been wanting to try this one for a while. Poured into Half Acre snifter. Appearance is really dark, much darker than most barleywines. Small rim of tan head dissipates quickly. Nose is rich and full of layers. Notes of caramel, molasses, chocolate, raisin, vanilla, leather, and tobacco. Taste is just as complex as the nose with highlights of molasses, chocolate, and raisins. The bourbon is mellow and melds nicely with everything going on. Mouthfeel is thick with mild carbonation. Overall, incredibly complex barleywine.

homebrew311, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of ShanePB
4/5  rDev -8.7%

ShanePB, Feb 22, 2013
Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 989 ratings.