Arctic Devil Barley Wine - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 950 | Reviews: 334 | Display Reviews Only:
3.78/5 rDev -13.7%
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.
11-19-2012 02:02:16 | More by DavoleBomb
3.8/5 rDev -13.2%
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.
01-04-2011 20:36:57 | More by thetomG
3.83/5 rDev -12.6%
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.
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.
06-07-2012 17:19:56 | More by CuriousMonk
3.85/5 rDev -12.1%
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.
08-12-2010 03:13:44 | More by davod23
3.88/5 rDev -11.4%
From Notes: 12/28/08
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Arctic Devil B-wine
Big shout out to my mom, who hooked this up for Christmas. How awesome is that?
Appearance=Very dark brownish/black beer. Vigorous pour into pub glass (I know, I know...)yields a slow rising off white, 1 finger head that dissipates rather quickly.
Smell= Honestly, not much. I'm kinda sick. I get the sweet caramel malt smell, along with the hops and alcohol.
Taste= Good. A little on the sweeter side I'd say, compared to Avery Hog Heaven
Mouthfeel= Good mouth on it. Full bodied.
Drinkability= @ 10%, along with the sweetish thick mouthfeel, does not make the drinkability that high. With that being said, I finished this beer no problem.
04-01-2009 19:24:34 | More by Grabbin2nd
3.88/5 rDev -11.4%
22oz bottle into tulip snifter.
Pours clear, dark red with a bubbly, light toffee head.
Deep oak, caramel, toffee, very light vanilla.
Taste is caramel toffee malts with prominent bourbon notes, slightly boozy harshness.
Medium body, with prickly carbonation, light alcohol burn.
A well done English barleywine. Definitely one of the top-tier in the example, though I felt the booziness became just a bit harsh at times.
04-08-2012 05:43:01 | More by vkv822
3.9/5 rDev -11%
Bomber shared over lunch. Dark brown, bubbly initial head. Although the alcohol isn't very apparent, this is strong and calls for food, It's a sipper. Cinammon and spice and nutty barleywine. Full mouthfeel. Flavorful winter warmer crossover, very good.
06-04-2006 02:56:29 | More by Sammy
3.9/5 rDev -11%
A - Poured medium to dark brown with some off-white head.
S - Whiskey and oak up front with a fairly big caramel aroma. There is also a somewhat odd aroma that I can't put my finger on. Not off-putting at all, just unexpected and odd.
T - Whiskey and oak followed by sweet caramel, toffee and a light raisin flavour.
M - Medium to full body. Light carbonation.
O - Tasting this side-by-side with King Henry and MOAS didn't do this one justice at all. That said, it is yet another solid beer from Midnight Sun.
07-27-2012 21:55:50 | More by TheSevenDuffs
3.9/5 rDev -11%
Type: 22oz. Bottle
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip
Poured a brown mahoghany in color w/ a skim coat light brown head w/ little to no lacing. Nose was of toffee, caramel, dark fruits, and light tobacco. Taste was the same as the nose w/ a great bitter hop backbone that balances out the brew nicely. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and the tobacco and flavors really hung on the palate. Drinkability was my only drawback on this brew, as the booziness really started to get to me before I was finished w/ my snifter. If the ABV was kicked down a notch or two, I would have rated this brew as world class. Overall, great flavors and aromas, but pretty disappointed at how hot it was at even two years of age.
06-03-2010 00:13:59 | More by mikeyv35
3.93/5 rDev -10.3%
I remember having this beer several years ago and it tasted much better then. However, my sample this time around was nothing to sneeze at...
Yet this beer must be restrained for its absolute brute strength. You can practically feel the alcohol vaporizing off this bad-azz mutha.
And she's got a body of a sumo wrestler. Bear hugs you and takes you down for a death crawl.
Definitely a sipper by the fireside.
09-22-2008 18:54:34 | More by Sixpoint
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
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
Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 950 ratings.