Arctic Devil Barley Wine - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 942 | Reviews: 334 | Display Reviews Only:
4.43/5 rDev +1.1%
A - lots of yeast, dark brown with cream head
S - caramel, oak, vanilla and quince.
T - nice sweet caramel and fig followed by a balanced bitter finish. A little tannins linger
M - perfectly light carb, very full bodied and a bit buttery; can still really taste the alcohol
O - have had a few times and this is the worst vintage I've had. That being said it is still an amazing brew. The alcohol is a bit hot but otherwise this is incredible and a great example of the style
10-15-2011 19:58:06 | More by ChrisPro
4.2/5 rDev -4.1%
2010 bottle, opened 10/2011. Poured a ruddy brownish orange with a small eggshell head. Sweet, sticky aroma with caramel, dark fruit, and alcohol.
Moderate carbonation and a thick, syrupy mouthfeel. Huge flavors with sweet caramel malt, molasses, prune and dark fruit, and a hint of tobacco/smoke on the finish. Some muddled, bitter hops are in hiding in there as well.
Big flavors and definitely boozy but I wouldn't have pegged it at 13 percent. Solid barleywine.
10-15-2011 02:14:42 | More by grittybrews
3.93/5 rDev -10.3%
Pours a clear reddish brown. Some nice whie head.
Smells earthy and odd. Norm says celery seed and im inclined to agree.
Tastes smooth and boozy. Hot from a looot of barrel hitting hard. Bourbon, malt, earthiness. Weird... Im not sure what i think
Well carbonted. Hot but good mouthfeel
Overall interesting but man.. Ouch
10-08-2011 20:37:44 | More by Urbancaver
District of Columbia
4.68/5 rDev +6.8%
This may the best English Barleywine I've ever had, bar none. I will be looking to trade for this soon! From old notes....
A: Brown to dark crimson hue with a tan head that dies to a ring. Has some stuff floating, which actually makes me want to drink it more.
S: True Barleywine smell thats rich and packed with flavor. Wicked prune, grape, barley, leather, alcohol, caramel, raisin, and candy sweetness all are there. Can't wait for whats next.
T: Huge flavor, definitely one of the best tasting barleywines I've ever had. Rum raisin, grapes, toffee, brown sugar, burnt caramel, molasses, tea leaves (loved this), and alcohol complexity. A real serious barleywine, pretty much perfect for the style IMHO.
M: A little thick but not too much, sticky and sweet. Nice low carbonation that works great to let the big flavors come out even more.
10-08-2011 15:00:01 | More by Dreadnaught33
3.38/5 rDev -22.8%
Drank July 7th, 2011 - Split with rfragga77
Not following regular format here...
Not sure if I got a batch variated bottle or if I'm just not at all a fan of English Style Barleywines. Both rfragga77 and I agreed, there was not much barrel to be found at all in this beer. A little thin for the ABV and almost had a green apple flavor along with toffee / brown sugar sweetness.
We both finished the bomber as I paid $20 for it but I'd much rather an Abacus without batting an eye which was agreed upon. (Yes, I understand they are very different animals) It wasn't too hot for the ABV which I'll give it credit for. It didn't finish overly sweet either so if this were your bag...you could finish the bomber solo.
Call it blasphmey if you will, but I just don't get it.
I'd be happy to revisit to see if I bought a "off" bottle but I won't be purchasing another
09-13-2011 04:05:45 | More by RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.47/5 rDev +2.1%
From 08/21/11 notes. Huge thanks to Thorpe429 for saving me some of this one, and to BManning for sharing the bottle. 2009 vintage poured into my SAVOR tasting snifter.
a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with a few light tan bubbles and light carbonation evident.
s - Smells of caramel malts, bready malts, light bourbon, oak, vanilla, light fruit, and light brown sugar. A little sweet smelling and not a ton if bourbon, but still really nice and complex.
t - Tastes of caramel malts, bourbon, oak, toffee, vanilla, sweet dark fruit, sugar, and alcohol. More bourbon in the taste than the nose had, and still a lot of caramel/toffee. A step up from the nose, and really great.
m - Medium to full body and low carbonation, very smooth body. Not too hot and very easy to drink for over 13% ABV.
o - Overall I thought this was a fantastic barrel aged barleywine. I personally would have liked a little more bourbon in the nose but the taste was amazing, and I loved the toffee/caramel that came through. Super smooth body, would love to try this again sometime.
08-23-2011 15:15:35 | More by mdfb79
4.1/5 rDev -6.4%
Appearance: With a hard pour the beer raises a minimal head that squatts on the hazy tea-brown liquid; fading quickly to a ringlet, it leaves some leggy lacing behind
Smell: Toffee, figs, mulled cider spicing and discernable alcohol, even after four years
Taste: The toffee and fig flavors jump out from the moment the liquid touches the tongue, with bigger fruit, earthy hop and burning alcohol elements arriving shortly thereafter; in the finish, the sweet and fruity flavors blend with a pipe tobacco character to provide a complex finish
Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation; plenty of warmth, still
Overall: A very nice English Barleywine, indeed, though it doesn't jump out at me as being extraordinary; perhaps it has something to do with the age, though this is still quite potent
I cannot remember who sent it to me as I kept this one in the cellar for quite some time; thanks to whomever
08-04-2011 01:53:50 | More by brentk56
3.55/5 rDev -18.9%
2009 vintage. Bought from crackedkettle.
Look: Pours an amber-brown color with a almost no head, leaving a messy lacing.
Smell: Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, orange zest, some bourbon and alcohol. This smells promising.
Taste: Toffee, brown sugar, caramel, dark fruits and sharp alcohol. Some bitter hoppy aftertaste with some hints of anise. This beer is nice, but a bit too unbalanced, it burns….
Mouthfeel: low carbonation, medium-thick body
Overall: Nice beer, bit to sharp and unbalanced though.
07-07-2011 21:33:28 | More by rvdoorn
4.72/5 rDev +7.8%
Tasting at the Great Alaska Beer & Barleywine festival.
Dark brown with a faint white head. Aroma of sweet fruity, caramel. Considering this beer is over 14% abv, it does not have an alcohol-dominated taste. Delicious but not overpowering flavor imparted from the oak. Aftertaste lingers for quite some time, making this one a sipper!
06-30-2011 16:27:58 | More by lakersfan16
4.35/5 rDev -0.7%
Reviewing a 2 yr old bottle at cellar temp in a snifter.
The beer pours a deep cola brown with some garnet highlights on the edge of the glass. Only a minimal beige edge layer foams up with one large wispy island in the center of my glass.
Aroma is very complex with robust figs, plums, brown sugar and port wine notes. Makes me expect a fairly boozy beer from the nose.
First sip reveals a fairly thick body with a little bit of a syrupy texture, and almost no carbonation. Flavor is rich malt with molasses, brown sugar, and maybe a little soysauce, could be slightly oxidized. the flavor improves as the beer breathes in the snifter, since this beer is a sipper in my opinion, it takes a good 30 - 40 mintues or so to finish my glass.
More dark fruit comes out as I sample longer with figs and plums. A pretty solid beer that I enjoy a lot, but the nose seemed to promise a little more than the flavor delivered.
06-26-2011 16:27:58 | More by sulldaddy
4.55/5 rDev +3.9%
Poured the bomber into my Brooklyn chalice. 2010 batch
Looks like: This barleywine is dark amber with a thin layer of head that retains decently
Smells like: Very sweet, raisins, brown sugar, molasses on the nose.
Tastes like: Starts as sweet as the nose, then there is a bit of sourness, but not at all offensive. A hair of green apple mixed into all of the sweet dark fruit and sugar flavors. This beer finishes a bit on the dry side with just a hint of citric hoppiness, and the light peppery burn of alcohol.
Feels like: It's a meal in a glass really, full, thick, sticky, oily and delicious. There is moderate carbonation and it's just enough to make the whole thing pop
Really nice offering, the complexity of the flavor profile really makes this beer shine, it's got the right amount of big sticky malt flavor and the right amount of hops. I actually would classify this as an American Barleywine, plenty of hops but not overbearing, lots of sugary, sticky goodness. I'd say this guy is too hoppy to be an English style BW and far too sweet to be a DIPA.
06-15-2011 08:05:56 | More by Donnie2112
4.48/5 rDev +2.3%
Adding 2011 version sampled early Spring 2012. Aromas is definitely more whiskey forward but by no means boozy or as spirit forward as I have sampled in the past. Flavor is also quite similar but still much more barrel flavor than the aged version. Really well integrated and still the top Barleywine on the planet for my money.
2007 Vintage, ABV listed at 10.0%.
Pours a murky and muddy chestnut brown; one finger tan head which recedes quite rapidly leaving minimal lacing. Cannot see light through this big boy like I could with Mirror Mirror last night.
The aromas begin lots or dark rich caramel maltiness and dark fruitiness (cherries and figs mainly). No hops what-so-ever but after 5 years what do you expect. As it warms you get some darker chocolate and roasted toffee and a little honey sweetness and a note of alcohol but it's a barleywine so it's acceptable.
The tastes begin with chewy caramel candy sweet malts and lesser but still prevalent toffee and milk chocolate. Reminds me a little of a piece of Werther's Original candy actually. Wow this is super complex. As it warms you can detect a little of the dark fruit which I noted in the aroma (dates and figs) but as soon as you pick them out the caramelized malts take over again and then some toffee and more milk chocolate and honey sweet flavors. Now I am getting some strong maple flavors, crazy! I am glad I had this as my first beer of the night because I can truly appreciate it's beauty and greatness. Although there was a slight booziness on the nose, there is zero in the taste. Also not much barrel, but it was blended with non-barreled beer, plus the age, no I deduct no points for that, in fact I am giving more credit. Some many flavors from the blended/different barrels used, wow... just wow.
Mouthfeel is stupidly full and heavy but somehow not syrupy at all which is amazing given the minimal carbonation (which I usually hate but it works for this beer). Decadent is the word that comes to mind as I am drinking this; definitely a sipper to be enjoyed (I didn't say you have to share it, I have no intention to, just quaff and enjoy). Silky smooth and somehow finishes dry despite all the sweet and delicious maltiness. Only with the last sip can I detect a little booziness, but it's really warm at this point because I enjoyed/savored this over a long period of time.
Overall I have had two of the best barleywines in my life back-to-back nights (last night was Mirror Mirror 2009, uninfected version) but I think, no I know, this tops it. Wow, so so so highly recommended and worth trading for.
06-10-2011 23:38:22 | More by claspada
4/5 rDev -8.7%
From a 2010 vintage. Pours into a snifter a clear dark brown with some red, and larger than expected bubbles. Aroma is some sweet bourbon, plums, a light bitter hop. Flavor is sweet plums and raisins, a nice hot bourbon in the finish, not too big. A touch of a hop throughout thats just out of place. Enjoyed this less than some of the older years, but still pretty good!
06-10-2011 02:27:54 | More by kayalla
3.95/5 rDev -9.8%
Unsure of the vintage but this one is labeled as 10% ABV. Thanks to ipa247 (Jeff) for this one. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Darkness snifter.
A: Gentle pour yields just a thin ring of frothy lacing around the edge of the glass. Beer is a semi-cloudy clay-brown. Lacing is stringy and thick with moderate cling. Pretty average.
S: Nose is outstandingly aromatic. Toffee, caramel, brown sugar, and some plum and raisin notes. Alcohol is prominent but not enough to cover the robust flavors. Nice.
T: Opens toffee, caramel, and molasses. Brown sugar, honey, plums, and raisin towards the middle along with a sharp alcohol twinge. More toffee and caramel at the end. Alcohol becomes warming and subtle. Finish is molasses and anise with brown sugar in the aftertaste. Super rich and hearty. Great complexity.
M: Full bodied with low carbonation. Oily and filmy in the mouth with good viscosity. Goes down smooth and warm. Finish is messy with a lingering aftertaste. A bit too thick but incredibly rich and smooth.
O: A monster of a beer, Arctic Devil is a meal in a glass. Incredibly robust and complex with a ton of subtle flavors. However, what keeps it from the top tiers is the huge body and alcohol bite towards the middle and end. Age would probably do wonders to this one. Definitely worth trying and older vintages are likely worth their weight in gold!
06-09-2011 19:01:57 | More by SpeedwayJim
4.6/5 rDev +5%
2010 vintage. Champagne flute. Silly straw.
Large light brown head on a nondescript seal brown body. Very impressive head for such a high abv beer.
Good aroma, but not jumping out at me like I'd hoped. Fruity malt, cherry pie, very little rummy alcohol and almost no hop presence. Fruit roll-ups.
Talk about layers, this is a beer to lose yourself in. Toffee creme, tobacco, old Port, butter pecan, BARLEYWINE. This is it, we have arrived, best tasting American-made barleywine I've ever had. Sorry Gratitude.
Rotund-ass body, low carbonation.
After smelling and before sipping, I was worried that this was just another hype monster. But with the first sip it really comes together in a big way.
Complex on the level of HotD Adam, mouthfeel of a big CCB beer, and as satisfying as Rochefort 10.
06-03-2011 01:28:44 | More by 7ways
4.43/5 rDev +1.1%
Swimsum busted this out at a recent tasting. Thanks a ton Brent! Bottle dated January 2009.
Poured into a Cigar City snifter.
Appearance: Heavy, tawny-colored body with brown-gold edges. Absolutely no head on this one; even vicious swirls can only generate a few splotches of off-white bubbles that dissipate immediately. No lacing either. I dig the colors, but this looks flat otherwise. I know low carbonation is typical for this style, but I'd like to see a bit more carbonation/head than this.
Smell: Tobacco, molasses, red currants, chocolate chip pancakes, and rubbing alcohol. From a distance, the nose is alright; deep whiffs garner the heavy, fusel notes. Wonder if this is a little past its prime.
Taste: Caramel, lightly toasted grains, tobacco, and leather play primary roles; cocoa, roast, Tootsie Roll, and earth are a bit more subtle. Very complex and smooth with absolutely no inkling of the alcoholic potency. Finishes with a delicate balance of residual sweetness and bite. Quite possibly the best-crafted barleywine I've ever tasted.
Mouthfeel: Big, malty, and a touch syrupy on the tongue, although the beer finishes more clean and dry than you'd expect. Very lightly carbonated. Good amount of warmth and some light prickliness to boot.
Overall: As soon as I tasted this one, I forgot all about the alcoholic nose. What an amazing barleywine! Seek this one out!
05-31-2011 01:08:50 | More by ThreeWiseMen
4.43/5 rDev +1.1%
Served in a plastic cup, unfortunately
yeahnatenelson cracked out a want of mine during DLD, holy crap where is my pen...!
High fives all around for how tremendous this beer was. And a huge thanks to Nate's generosity. This pours a nice sunset amber body with an off white foam. The aroma was unbelievable. There was figs, raisins, caramel, vanilla and I believe I detected a hint of orange zest as well. The taste made me almost cream my pants, this is on par with the best barleywines I've had. The flavors included hints of much of the same as in the nose only with the perfect level of sweetness. It's still got some bite to it on the tongue, but by most estimates the mouthfeel is really rather splendid. I wish I could have this everyday, bathe in it, make love to it. It was an outstanding beer.
05-09-2011 23:44:48 | More by Vdubb86
4.85/5 rDev +10.7%
Appearance -- Pours a rudy amber hue with one finger of sudsy creme head. Handsome.
Smell -- Caramel, bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit, and faint juicy citrus. Nothing harsh, out of place, or out of proportion. Heavenly.
Taste -- Rich dark fruits, caramel and toffee, bourbon sweetness, oaky vanillin, and mild citrusy hops. I'm not sure if it's the barrel character causing this, but Arctic Devil seems to be the ultimate blend of American-styled and classic English barleywines: rich malt character with enough citrusy hops to keep things balanced. Amazing.
Mouthfeel -- Full bodied with mild carbonation and zero alcohol heat. Amazing.
Overall -- I have a hard time believing that I'll find another barrel-aged barleywine this good. Had this right after Pelican Mother of All Storms and the Devil won out. Everything is so well integrated at this point, it would be hard to argue for waiting longer to pop this open.
Must have more!!!
05-09-2011 00:59:20 | More by yeahnatenelson
4.45/5 rDev +1.6%
22 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip.
2008 Vintage, 31 O.G., 13.4% ABV, 20 IBUs, Bottled N, 3/4.
Big Fat THANKS to Beerwolf for sharing this one, a long time want that'll continue to reside on my list.
A - Dark mahogany brown with good clarity. The brew is topped by a loose, poorly retained off-white head.
S - Warm, whiskey alcohol with a smooth, strong malty sweetness and rich breadiness. Gooey caramel and supple oak. Awesome aroma!
T - Woody, earthy hops, sticky caramel, and honey-soaked dense bread. Smooth flavor of mild whiskey and a tiny sliver of solvent alcohol to the finish.
M - This full-bodied barleywine is deliciously smooth and soft on the palate with almost no alcohol sensation to the finish in the mouth/throat, yet nicely warming.
O - A spectacular malty barleywine with a smooth barrel complexity and mildly warming finish. With some are, there's almost no alcohol to this one. Fantastic!
05-07-2011 19:34:51 | More by BeerFMAndy
4.33/5 rDev -1.1%
Served in a clear plastic cup.
High five to yeahnatenelson for sharing this 2008 vintage bottle during DLD!
Now that I think about it, though, I'm pretty sure I gave that high five away before this was cracked. Meh, worth it regardless. It (the beer, o' course) pours a cloudy sunset russet-amber topped by a half-finger of dark sandy foam. The nose comprises caramel, vanilla, toffee, mild maple syrup, and butterscotch. The taste holds notes of toffee, chocolate, oak, vanilla, light orange peel, light mandarin orange syrup, and butterscotch. The body is a hefty-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a very tasty b-wine, one that a few years seems to have done wonders for.
05-03-2011 22:53:09 | More by TMoney2591
4.83/5 rDev +10.3%
YeahNateNelson got a high five for this pour, i think 2 high-fives actually. If anyone else has a bottle, i will FT: 3 high fives. I probally owe Nate another one too.
So this bottle was an 08, and everything had melded so well it was unreal. There was little alcohol heat, but some deep bourbon flavors are still there. Caramel and Toffee had overtaken all others and created a slightly chewy palate coating monster of a BW. There was a resin hop note that is all flavor and no bitter, and a mammoth butterscotch richness. This one is an awesome Barleywine, i will need to track down a bottle.
05-02-2011 02:41:56 | More by ChadQuest
4.35/5 rDev -0.7%
2008 vintage. Thanks to Bill for this bottle.
A- A warm glowing ruby brown color. Pours with a mild slight off white head. The head retreats quickly to a ring around the glass. No lacing.
S- I get mostly notes of sweet malt, caramel, whiskey, and oak. There is some evidence of hops but nothing crazy. This is gonna be good.
T- Wow, one of the smoothest barleywines I've had. Very complex at the same time though. Prodominant notes of caramel, dark fruit. Whiskey and oak then become present, but it's not overdone. A little boozy, with hints of vanilla.
M- Very lightly carbed, could be due to the age. The mouthfeel and body though are great. The complex flavors just dance around in your mouth.
O- I really loved the smoothness and ease of consumption of this beeer, I just kept wanting more and more. I'd love to try a bottle that was a little fresher, and see what it is like. Will definitely seek out again.
04-30-2011 14:40:31 | More by Gfunk720
4.45/5 rDev +1.6%
22oz bottle poured into a tulip. From notes, 2010 vintage
A - This beer pours a deep brown with reddish amber accents and orange edging. Slightly off white head was around briefly but did leave a few rings. Deep rich colour, nice
S - Dark fruits, candy sugars, woody, some pine and citric hops
T - Yikes, so many layers to this one it is hard to pinpoint. Lots of fruits, purple grapes, plums, cherries. There is a perfectly complementing whiskey oak backbone. Now the best part, the aftertaste/late palate. It is a super rich butterscotch, the most I have ever tasted, all butterscotch.
M - Syrupy, slight heat from the alcohol, smooth, medium-heavy
O - This is an incredible beer, even while so young. The depth of flavours and variance leaves you wondering how that is even possible. Due to its youth, it is still a touch hot, but in a year or two this beer will be even more mind-blowing. Sure glad I have more...
04-26-2011 19:06:43 | More by OakedCanuck
4.45/5 rDev +1.6%
Bottled the last week of November 2008. Hard-poured in a DFH signature glass.
A: The beer itself is colored deep ruby and has wonderful clarity. A tight nitro-looking head forms initially, but gradually subsides, leaving splotchy lacing. Lazy bubbles drift to surface.
S: Caramel and light brown sugar mixed with leathery notes and cinnamon. As the beer opens up, some dark fruit and damp wood are detectible. Gingerbread, too.
T: Arctic Devil doesn't taste the way I thought it would. Caramel and candied dark fruits lead the way. Then the barrel aging reveals itself with whiskey, cinnamon and a hint of vanilla. Bitterness takes over, clearing a path for a dry woody finish. Cola on the tail end. A little leather throughout.
M: The beer's big body and moderate carbonation work together for a somewhat syrupy mouthfeel. Alcohol definitely warms throat and belly.
D: I have a feeling I'm catching the Arctic Devil in it's adolescence. He has shaking off some of the youthful edge of barrel-aging but has yet to mellow into a proper English Barleywine. A fascinating sipping beer.
04-24-2011 02:05:01 | More by Wadsey
4.8/5 rDev +9.6%
Huge thanks to me for busting this out while at a recent tasting. 08 vintage. Split into tulips.
A: Cinnamon brown with a slight red tint. Small beige head leaves tiny soapy lace flecks.
S: Rich malt, heavily buttered and sugared white toast. Caramel and toffee drizzled dates and figs. Sweet tarts, mild earthy hops and a bit of leather. The alcohol is faint. Damn there's a lot going on here.
T: Wow! Super sweet and rich caramel malt. The tartness of the hops is still lingering after all this time. Giving it a great push and pull. Dark fruits, brown sugar, bread crusts and maybe a hint of leather in the finish. I can't pick up hardly a trace of the alcohol.
M: Full creamy body. It just slowly drips off the tongue.
O: This was a beer that totally lived up to the hype. I could drink a whole bottle myself. Maybe I will one of these days.
04-17-2011 20:45:10 | More by beerwolf77
Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 942 ratings.