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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.

990 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 990
Reviews: 335
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 943
Gots: 260 | 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: 990 | Reviews: 335 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stoutsman
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Stoutsman, Jan 14, 2012
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5/5  rDev +14.2%

whartontallboy, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of WorldWideStout
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

WorldWideStout, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -20.1%

ygtbsm94, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of nightwing002
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

nightwing002, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of brotherliam
5/5  rDev +14.2%

brotherliam, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of rpaul2012
4/5  rDev -8.7%

rpaul2012, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

imperialking, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of photomike
5/5  rDev +14.2%

photomike, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of portia99
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle (2008 Vintage) received a long while back from alaskajoe in a great trade. Thanks! Poured into a Brooklyn snifter. Pulled this out so many times to share and never got to it. Couldn't wait any longer...cold night in front of the fire.

A - Bottle opens with a smallish muddy pop. A fairly aggressive pour into the middle of the glass yields an equally muddy body of nearly opaque brown color that is a step above the yeasty remains found at the bottom of a carboy of homebrew. A finger of cream colored, somewhat loose bubbled foam lingers briefly and falls to the surface.

S - Sweet smelling overall with definite notes of molasses and brown sugar. Whiskey is also quite up front in the aroma with some booziness and some nice hints of vanilla and caramel. As it warms the whiskey really starts to take hold and becomes more potent.

T - As expected from the aroma, whiskey takes a strong role in the flavors as well. I'm getting strong hits of whiskey up front backed solidly by some sweetness of varying types - lots of burnt, caramelized sugar - creme brulee'ish, some molasses too. There's also a touch of smokiness and dark roasted malt that pushes towards a coffee-like bitterness but doesn't quite get there. Not really getting much for hops but this ends up being rather well balanced and not nearly as much of a malt bomb as I expected. The whiskey really seems to offset the sugary aspects quite well.

M - Body is medium/full with a low level carbonation just strong enough to let you know its alive...like a low level pulse but lingers close to a lifeless state. Initially I get a tingle on the lips from each sip - but that quickly disappears and leaves behind largely just whiskey flavors and really not that much heat. Booziness is really well controlled here. Actually ends up being quite a smooth drinker through the entire bottle - rather surprised in a very positive way.

O - Obviously this beer has a decent amount of hype behind it (and plenty of good ratings with it), but I've also heard several rather negative experiences with this too. Came into this with high hopes but prepared to be disappointed. Although not the perfect barleywine for me, this trended towards meeting the hype. Really well balanced with sugars and alcohol in control without being disguised to the point that one could down this quickly with unexpected results. For me the highlight of this beer is the well placed and lingering creme brulee effect. I can almost imagine the crunch and crackle of the burnt sugar coating on top of the dessert...really, really nice effect. This absolutely makes this beer for me. The overall balance and complexity are just bonuses - quite like a dessert in a glass for me.

portia99, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of codynevels
5/5  rDev +14.2%

codynevels, Dec 13, 2011
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5/5  rDev +14.2%

morimoto76, Dec 11, 2011
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5/5  rDev +14.2%

StoutFest, Dec 07, 2011
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4/5  rDev -8.7%

Destral, Dec 06, 2011
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5/5  rDev +14.2%

bespin15, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of jophish17
5/5  rDev +14.2%

jophish17, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of jeffmart22
5/5  rDev +14.2%

jeffmart22, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +14.2%

HopStoopid120, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of teamizm
5/5  rDev +14.2%

teamizm, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of beerandcycling88
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

beerandcycling88, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of craytonic
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper-brown opaque pour, small amount of lacing

Smell: Caramel, leather, earth, touch of hops

Taste:Very rich, caramel, toffee, cinnamon, brown sugar vanilla, molasses, port, bourbon, figs

Mouthfeel: Full and silky.

Overall: One of the better barley wines out there

craytonic, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of hippityhops85
4.83/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has to be one of the best beers I have ever tasted. Bottle shared with a good friend. I don't know the year specifically (no year on bottle) Assuming it's around 2006.

Pours a deep ruby/brown with minimal head with a thin ring around the circumference.

The nose literally smells like cinnamon toast crunch but like, the best cinnamon toast crunch you've ever had. Lots of vanilla as well.

The taste follows the whole cinnamon toast crunch thing with excellent toffee and butterscotch notes, deep malt flavors, molasses, some tea flavors as well. Unbelievable how much is going on here.

The mouth feel is superb for a 5+ year old bottle. Very light oxidation, thick mouth feel that isn't overbearing. YUM YUM YUM!!

I would definitely buy this again, and again, and again if I was given the option.

hippityhops85, Nov 25, 2011
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5/5  rDev +14.2%

enelson, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

brandoman63, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Trystero
5/5  rDev +14.2%

Trystero, Nov 21, 2011
Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 990 ratings.