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Arctic Devil Barley Wine - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,074 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,074
Reviews: 343
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 960
Gots: 269 | FT: 37
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  13.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 03-24-2005

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,074 | Reviews: 343 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DangerDawg
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of scott2269
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Brandywine
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of sukwonee
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage

I have had this beer in and out of possession before but this was my first time having it. and goddamn... It's awesome. My top 5 Barleywine to date.

A: Black with slight red tint. One finger head. some lacing on the side of the glass but not much.

S: vanilla bourbon caramel brown sugar very complex.

T: wow. bourbon aging done to perfection. Caramel molasses vanilla chocolate coffee dark fruits some booze zero hops. you can taste the alcohol but its dangerously drinkable. can't tell its got 13.4%. perfect amount of sweetness for the style.

M: I think this is where this beer really shines. It's Not the biggest beer in terms its thickness but it's just so perfect. good amount of carbonation. for a sweet desert beer the finish is rather dry and clean.

O: Glad I got a few extras to age although it's ready now to drink. This beer is highly recommended!!!

Photo of tectactoe
4.3/5  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.

Photo of bmwats
4.37/5  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.

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of Benny3000
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of jegross2
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of oline73
4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of marine1975
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of ncaudle
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of CarolinaKevin
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Morey
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of vivasbeer
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of pmoney
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of popery
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of LaChupacabra
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of ReeseMax3
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of bennetj17
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of oregone
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of leedorham
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Sarlacc83
4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,074 ratings.