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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.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

913 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 913
Reviews: 333
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 934
Gots: 252 | 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:
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: 913 | Reviews: 333 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

3.55/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Dunt. 2008 vintage.
reviewed from notes.

pours a nice rustic burgendy color. toffee colored head is loose and lazy. some decent lacing.
nose is deep rich malts. just a plethora of sweet toffee, caramel, some crystal malt perhaps... The hops have practivcally all faded at this point. No real bitterness to speak of. The beer is really sweet, but comes across pretty nice.
Certainly one that is fun to drink-- a nice little treat from the cellar!
The body is thick and full with ample carbonation.
Quite tasty.
Is this a go-to barleywine? nah.
But will I enjoy this glass? hell yeah.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2011 02:22:44 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of rvdoorn
rvdoorn

Netherlands

3.55/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 21:33:28 | More by rvdoorn
Photo of bunnyhustle
bunnyhustle

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I'm very confused first of all because my bottle says its 10% abv and here its 13%. Probably just different years I'm guessing. Pours virtually black but upon closer inspection its more of a deep, deep, deep mahogany color. Light tan head, 2 finger, with good retention and lacing. Smell is rich of caramel, vanilla, sweet syrup and cream. A bit of booze too. Taste is similar. Very rich flavors of cream, caramel, sweet syrup, vanilla, some light coffee. Very thick and full, you could probably use a spoon with this stuff. Velvety and creamy as it goes down, strong warming sensation too. Overalll a good and complex beer. A little sweeter than I prefer. I think if there were a little more hops present, which I detected none of, this would be a great beer. But for now I'll just say its good.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2009 03:26:43 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.58/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Beachwood I, 2010 vintage

A: Pours a light mahogany, good lace with a long lasting off-white head.

S: Great nose. Full of vanilla bean and oak, brown sugar.

T: Lots of malt flavour, the IBUs being 20 I expect it. Vanilla, wood tannin, toffee, light berry. Bit of an unappetizing sugar character to this, but the other flavours are quite good.

M: Full-bodied, rich, definitely cloying at places, a sipper.

O: This is a barleywine that's still incredibly young, this certainly needs 2-3 years to dry out and possibly become really good. Right now it's just adequate.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2012 19:07:30 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.65/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to WriterLJBerg for hooking me up with this barleywine in a great summertime trade. Now that the weather is, at least theoretically, turning colder here on the Frigid Plain, time to bust this one out. Although I'd happily have barleywines in June, too. Opened, poured, & split with my lovely wife.

Poured into our wide-screen Free The Hops snifters, looks like red-tinged Mississippi River mud (minus the condom wrappers & empty Mountain Dew bottles). Smell is as expected, good chits of bourbon, malts, caramel, a little oak & fruits. Nice.

Artic Devil follows the path blazed by the odors. Big caramel's been hitting the gym, with the whiskey spotting it. Malts lend an otherworldly sweetness underneath. There's vanilla, oak, raisin brand crunch. Terrifically thick & chewy, like a big piece of beer-soaked oak. But there's an earthiness to the finish that limits how high this one goes for me, washing out the flavors & making them less sharp, distinct.

Overall? Like this, good beer. Without the dirtiness, this one would rise to a whole 'nuther level for me. So close.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 04:11:52 | More by maximum12
Photo of tjthresh
tjthresh

Indiana

3.68/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours dark clear brown without much head. Buckets of hops in the nose with chocolate covered caramels. Some nice cherry as well. This thing has tons of hot alcohol, but there's still plenty of malt and hops. Good stuff, but I'd hoped for better.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2009 23:07:48 | More by tjthresh
Photo of tewaris
tewaris

Minnesota

3.68/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arctic Devil (2011 vintage)
Poured into a snifter. Thanks Dan.

Dark and rusty with good head. Ripe fruit, burnt sugar and dark caramel. Great barrel notes in the taste, dried fruits and chocolate. Good mouthfeel too. Very smooth with a good barrel character and a good beer overall. However, it seems to more about barrels and less about the base. Didn't really stack up to other barleywines at the tasting.

4, 3.5, 3.5, 4, 4

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2012 06:17:40 | More by tewaris
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Turbid chestnut brown with a light tan head, tiny ring of retention has a little leg.

S: Dark raisins, figs, sponge-toffee, marmalade, sherry, beer nuts and a light spicing.

T: Alcohol forward; a little overly boozy. Figs, dark raisins, prunes, maraschino cherries, brown sugar, sponge toffee, marmalade, roasted nuts, hints of cocao, resiny bitterness, a little over-the-top for an English Barleywine.

M: Full body has some residual sweetness, modest carbonation.

D: A bold sipper.

Over-rated.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2010 00:19:51 | More by Derek
Photo of RedDiamond
RedDiamond

Oregon

3.7/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The label indicates a bottling date of November, 2004, making my Arctic Devil 16 months old at the time I drank it. I noted a strong ETOH aroma intermixed with warm fruitiness. The diminished carbonation yielded virtually no head or lace. The body was dark russet brown and placid.

Taste is comparable to sherry wine with a warm alcoholic flush to the tongue and belly. The sweet aperitif contours with fruity complexity were a pleasure to indulge. The alcohol at first comes across as slightly intrusive, even after 16 months. But this effect tends to fade before long (or is that just me getting hammered?)

Overall, a fine sipping beer with strong character though not a heavy hitter.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2006 05:29:04 | More by RedDiamond
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

3.71/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2011 Vintage. Review from notes.

A: Pours a brown color with a small tan head on top that quickly reduces leaving a thin ring on top. Minimal lacing.

S: Sort of vegetal, a little caramel and and brown sugar. Some dark fruit mixed in.

T: The flavor is a bit better than the aroma, but was hoping for more. Others who had previously had it said it had certainly fallen off. Caramel and toffee with some brown sugar with a bit of the vegetalness coming back.

M: Medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

O: Really had high hopes, might have just had a bad bottle, or one that might have been a little too old? Will hopefully have this one again and will rereview if needed.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2013 21:57:25 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

3.73/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a sampler. 2010 vintage.

Pours a deep ruby amber with a small brown head. Nose is malty and sweet, a bit of cardboard .

Taste is sweet, sharp a bit of oxidation but super tasty and a bit tart
Really crisp and quit drinkable. Mouthfeel is creamy and rich.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 19:36:46 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of JDV
JDV

Texas

3.73/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

$18 for the '08 22-oz bottle. Pours a rich burgandy color with a short lived tan head. Smell is malty, molassesy, with lots of rich chewy, sweet and sticky dried fruits and nuts, along with a noticeable alcohol presence as well. Taste is similarly malty with a dark sweet fruity and nutty flavor. Somewhat prailine like. Really nice flavor aside from the somewhat strong alcohol presence which by the 2nd glass definitely detracts from the beer. Moderate body, to perhaps a bit sticky and syrupy but definitely not overly so. I really loved the unique nutty fruity malty flavor in this and would like it even more if the alcohol tamed down with age. Unique and really nice, but hard to justify the price I paid.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 18:07:28 | More by JDV
Photo of jtladner
jtladner

District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

02-04-2014 03:24:15 | More by jtladner
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

05-27-2013 12:43:56 | More by acurtis
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

02-09-2013 22:24:15 | More by GRG1313
Photo of kbuzz
kbuzz

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

02-17-2014 03:49:01 | More by kbuzz
Photo of ReeseMax3
ReeseMax3

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

01-26-2013 11:18:27 | More by ReeseMax3
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

05-21-2012 02:55:43 | More by drewone
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had the 2006 version of this beer at the 2007 Hard Liver festival at Brower's.

This was the first time I had this beer on tap, having previously tried it out of the bottle. Usually I prefer draft versions of beer, but this one might be better out of the bottle. No matter, it was still an excellent beer.

I believe this beer received honorable mention from the judges at this festival.

This beer was much darker then the other beers, and had something of smokey quality that none of the other beers had. Muted nose, but on the palate one got flavors of cola, caramel, and smoke. The beer was fairly viscuous, and was quite sweet. It ended with a long, smooth finish, with a hint of bitterness at the end. A good beer, but not as fine as I remembered.

Serving type: on-tap

03-18-2007 19:12:43 | More by John_M
Photo of michaeljstraub
michaeljstraub

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

04-21-2014 23:58:00 | More by michaeljstraub
Photo of unclejazz
unclejazz

New York

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

01-05-2014 17:42:57 | More by unclejazz
Photo of Nunya
Nunya

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

12-15-2013 04:00:06 | More by Nunya
Photo of ezperkins2
ezperkins2

California

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

04-24-2014 17:13:18 | More by ezperkins2
Photo of UNCCTDawg
UNCCTDawg

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

03-31-2013 14:35:29 | More by UNCCTDawg
Photo of bauermj
bauermj

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

06-09-2013 12:26:43 | More by bauermj
Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 913 ratings.