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Arctic Devil Barley Wine - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,092 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,092
Reviews: 346
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 959
Gots: 276 | FT: 38
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: 1,092 | Reviews: 346
Photo of Exiled
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of sammo
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of 3Hops
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of hiphopj5
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of msgraves
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Holland
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at a tasting thanks to James.

A: reddish brown color with decent tan head that dies fairly quickly

S: some bourbon comes through with the oak and vanilla. Dark fruits are a part of the smell, but I didn't get strong scents of anything.

T: beautiful blend of dark fruits with some bite of the oak and sweet bourbon and caramel flavors.

M: great carbonation for such a big beer, and a hefty body to it.

O: amazing beer, so glad I had the chance to taste this and remember it.

Photo of Hophead717
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of iadler
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to exitmusic00 for cracking this bottle open for our blind barleywine tasting. 2011 bottle. From notes.

A- Pours a translucent ruby red with a thin off white head that leaves adequate lacing behind.

S- Very fruity upfront with notes of raspberries, cherry, plumb, fig and raisins. Brown sugar emerges with oak and burnt caramel following.

T- Oak and vanilla upfront with plumb, raisins, cherries and fig and caramel following with some toasted marshmallow at the finish.

M- Medium carbonation and full smooth body with the high abv being hidden very well.

O- One of my favorite barleywines at the tasting, behind King Henry of course. Would love to grab a few more of these to set down for a bit. Very impressed.

Photo of mrandypandy
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased on my last trip to Oregon. Was incredibly stoked to see this sitting on the shelf!

A - Pours dark mahogany/brown. Nice off-white head on pour quickly dies down.
S - Caramel, raisins, figs with a hint of bourbon. Dark fruits are very prominent. Sweet.
T - Malty sweetness. Dark fruits are in the forefront. Have to strain to get the oak/barrel, but it comes out more as it warms.
M - Thick, heavy, full body. A bit boozy. May need another year to mellow out some more.
O - Hmm. I found this got much better as I let it warm. A sipper for sure, and the high ABV really shows.

Photo of natemort13
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby copper color with a semi fizzy thin khaki head that dissipates quickly.

Nose is deep sweet oak, cherries, booze, brandy, caramel, whiskey.

Taste brings sweeter cherries up front with a nice woody whiskey flavor underneath. This beer is still hot. Caramel maltiness.

Mouthfeel is syrupy, stinging booze, full bodied.

Overall this beer is more enjoyable than the score im giving it suggests, it just should look better... but then again
I've never given that a ton of credence.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.8/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage
Poured from bomber into a tulip glass. Pours a dark red hue along with a thin white head that dissipated too quickly for my liking. Aromas of whiskey, subdued oak and toffee. The flavor carried some caramel, dried fruits, brown sugar candied fruits, vanilla and hints of oak and bourbon. I could just barely detect those traits though just like I had to do with the aroma. Perhaps it is because of the complexity of the beer? The mouthfeel was a tad thin and sticky. I was a little disappointed with this vintage as it had a cardboard smell on nose and less flavor than I had hoped for – mostly flattish.

2011 Vintage
Also poured from bomber into a tulip glass. Pours a darker red copper color along with another disappearing head though the lacing was stuck on throughout. Same aromatics and flavors as the 2008 vintage but more enhanced probably due to the freshness of the brew. Improved carbonation and mouthfeel. A much better vintage – seems as if the fresher it is the better? I’d probably not cellar this one any more than a couple years if I had multiple bottles.

Photo of claaark13
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured at cellar temp into a Hill Farmstead tulip. Thanks schmaltzy, you've made my evening with this one.

A - Pours a ruby color with an inch or less of an off-white head. Seems thick, great head retention. Looks really good until it is gone.

S - Sweet malts, some fruit and slight oak. Notes of caramel as well. As it opens up, some heat and licorice can be found. Really not much of a dominating aroma, takes a battle to get in there and pick things out.

T - Malts, dark fruit presence...like a cherry mixed with a raisin (charaisin I believe), woodiness, caramel, licorice and sweet heat on the finish. Fairly smooth overall. The more I sip it, the more I really like it.

M - Medium body that feels heavy on the tongue.

O - I'm trying to be critical about this because I've been wanting to try this beer for a while. After fighting with it over 30 minutes, I'll say that it is one of the best of the style that I've had. Deserves more than a 4.0, but there is no 4.25 overall option. The real thing holding it down in the overall is the heat. I think another year in the bottle will bring this thing to another level. Now I need to find another one...

Photo of dc55110
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle opened on 6.2.12.

A - Pours a dark copper brown with a fluffy light tan head that slowly fades.

S - Woody, subtle booze and carmel.

T - Sharp wood, then some carmel, toffee, vanilla, and strong booze.

D - Good carbonation and an average medium body.

O - Sweet and carmel and toffee that try and hide the beast of an ABV. A bit hot, but Great!

Photo of dirtylou
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber

appearance: served in oversized snifter - rich garnet body with a creamy beige head. nice looking beer

smell: rich and sweet - oak, vanilla, whiskey, dark fruits

taste: really awesome - at 13+% abv, i expected a sticky and excruciatingly sweet beer which was fortunately not the case. sweet brown sugar, dark fruits, oak, whiskey, vanilla, tannic notes, maple. Really good stuff

mouthfeel: creamy and quite smooth, light bitterness

overall: great barleywine

Photo of beersis81
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of muchloveforhops3
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of pawpaw
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of yourefragile
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz 2009 bottle.

Pours a dark, cloudy amber brown color with a thin tan head. Aroma is a decadent blend of roast, oak, bourbon, vanilla, plum, raisin, brown sugar, caramel, and cherry. Extremely creamy and smooth body with a rich flavor similar to the nose; maple, cherry, raisin, plum, vanilla, bourbon and oak dominate the flavor. An all around, smooth, well balanced and complex barleywine.

Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of canjeeps
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of Auracom
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

5-6 oz. poured into a CBS snifter on May 18th, 2012. Thanks to Gregg for sending this bottle!

A - It pours quite similar to Abacus but perhaps a tad thinner (which means too thin, really). Very little carbonation, retention, or lacing. Rather uneventful.

S - Red wine grapeskins. Whiskey-bourbon. A tandem of oak here. More subtle notes of caramel, spices, and alcohol.

T - Many barrel blessings to this brew. Wine grape astringency, port/cherry-fruit quality, Rear-palate highlights the whiskey oak element. Underneath toffee malts, raisin bread, and figs.

M - Medium-heavy body (heavier than it looked), good smoothness. Very fine carbonation and a semi-sweet finish.

D - Overall I really enjoy the freshness and mix of barrels. It creates this multiplicity across the nose and palate that is really unique for the style. Midnight Sun's grasp on this blend is pretty excellent.

Photo of brotherloco
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. 2011 Vintage. 13.4% ABV.

Pours a deep translucent mahogany. A very small beige head quickly dissipates to a small ring.

Aroma brings on strong dry-bread malt with hints of vanilla and sherry. A touch of sulphur. Noticeable alcohol.

Flavor of the malt is much more toffee-like than the aroma. A lot of oak and vanilla from the barrel aging. Still getting a little of that sulphur. Tobacco notes. Sweet through the middle and then finishes with a dry alcohol note. The heat comes on after a few sips but flavor wise the alcohol is extremely well blended.

Medium-full bodied with a nice moderate amount of carbonation. Slick and very drinkable given the strength.

A great beer at this age and one that you can tell will get even better with age.

Photo of kevgod
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

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Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,092 ratings.