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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

1,047 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 1,047
Reviews: 339
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.47%
Wants: 952
Gots: 261 | 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: 1,047 | Reviews: 339 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of michaeljstraub
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of unclejazz
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of JDV
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

Photo of Nunya
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of ezperkins2
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of UNCCTDawg
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of bauermj
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of jaken0ss
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of mfl620ks
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of M1A2
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of drummermattie02
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of kscaldef
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of gueuzegossage
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of itsiilegal
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of wdarcy77
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of Robert84vette
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of celticfutblclub
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of halo3one
3.77/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of thetomG
3.78/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep orange/reddish/amber color.

Thin layer of dense white foam for head.

Primarily dark fruits, malts and some earthy notes in the nose.

Good solid bitterness in the flavor, with a solid amount of heat from the alcohol in the finish.

Well carbonated, but full bodied and smooth mouthfeel.

The warmth from the alcohol and its overall intense flavors make this one a bit of a sipper for me, but I would try it again anytime.

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 davod23
3.81/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Bruery tulip. I believe this bottle is about a year or so old.

Poured a very clear, rusty copper color with a thin, sandstone head that quickly dissipated (unsurprising, in a brew of this strength). When swirled, the beer sticks to the sides of the tulip nicely, a couple spots of lace remaining for a few moments before disappearing into the ether. Nice looking beer.

Aroma is relatively nondescript, surprisingly. There's some caramel and toffee sweet aromas present, malt, but the strongest component is alcohol heat. This beer burns my nostrils.

For all the heat I found in the nose, there's not a lot in the taste. Surprisingly, it's not that boozy even at 13% alcohol. That's to the brewer's credit. That said, this is good but not great. There's an astringency in the finish of this beer that I'm not that fond of. Caramel, fig, English toffee, booze, and something I can't put my finger on... it's a vinous taste... a hint of port, perhaps? A bit sweet, but not cloyingly so.

Mouthfeel is very nice. Thick-ish, sticky, with slight carbonation. Very nice.

Drinkability. Eh... it's good, all things considered. Hell, this beer sits at over 13%, so the drinkability is pretty great when you take that into consideration. That said, this bomber is going down pretty slowly - I wouldn't want more than one. I might like this even more if it was in a 12 oz bottle.

This is a good beer. I can think of a number of English barleywines that are better, though. Perhaps if I set it aside for a few years, the astringency would dissipate... worth a shot.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.82/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a perfect pint. 2008 vintage.

4.0 A: Clear darker amber color. Aggressive pour yielded just one finger of light brown creamy/frothy head. Retention is okay given the ABV and a short ring of lacing is left.

4.5 S: Nose on this is divine. Perfect mix between the barrel and the beer. Bourbon is fruity, leathery, and lightly earthy. Oak and vanilla with no tannic astringency. The base offers a ton of caramel, moderate toffee, tobacco, raisin, dates, prunes, sugar plums, and apple. Sweet sugary maltiness, molasses, and some toastiness. Alcohol is non-existent.

3.5 T: Taste is a bit of a let down after experiencing the nose. Don't get me wrong, it's still tasty, but the mouthfeel is a bit too thin, which causes issues in the taste. Basically, the taste isn't as potent as I'd like. Same flavors as in the nose, just less intensity. Leathery bourbon, earthiness, and light fruits. Caramel, toffee, tobacco, raisin are strongest. Prunes, sugar plum, molasses, and toastiness next. Apple underneath. Moderately sweet with just a light booziness. Borderline 4.0.

3.0 M: Lighter medium to medium body. Good moderate carbonation, especially for a beer this old. Missing creaminess and body. If this were a bit thicker, the taste would be better too.

4.0 D: It's a good beer that just has one fatal flaw. Great flavors, but I need more maltiness when I'm drinking a barleywine. I'll have to try this fresh sometime.

Photo of Zaximus
3.83/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,047 ratings.