Arctic Devil Barley Wine - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

348 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 348
Hads: 1,161
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 7.82%
Wants: 974
Gots: 289 | FT: 39
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 348 | Hads: 1,161
Photo of notchucknorris
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage. Got 2 bottles of this, so I wanted to try one fresh.

A: Pours a really dark brown color, nearly the color of a stout. A one finger khaki colored head fades quickly, leaving a clear view of the ominous looking beer.

S: At first, this smells like nothing but oak. But the more I let it open up, the more flavors started popping to the surface. Brown sugar, toffee, leather, tobacco and a pretty hearty smack of booze. Hints of banana bread and raisin as well. The oak fades a bit, but it's still pretty prominent.

T: Even as it warms, the oak comes through a lot more than I'd like, holding back the other flavors in here. Brown sugar and caramel come through along with a pretty big hit of booze. Some toffee, a slight hint of bourbon, and some more buttery oak on the finish. Definitely way too oak forward for me right now, but I can't wait to revisit this in a year or so. (892 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage.

A: Dark reddish-brown pour with a small tan head that fades pretty quickly. Tiny bits of lacing.

S: Big sweet malty aroma with bourbon heat. Tons of dark fruit. I get cherries, figs, plums and raisins - maybe even grapes. Backed up with loads of almost sickly sweet caramel, brown sugar and a touch of vanilla. Fairly boozy as you might expect. Big, rich and complex. Wonderful.

T: Up front, loads of sweet toffee, caramel, molasses and brown sugar. A little bit of bourbon burn in the middle along with hints of dark fruit throughout. Dries out a little bit with some leather, earthiness and charred oak towards the end - maybe even a bit of cocoa sometimes. Honestly not as bourbon-heavy or boozy as I expected, just a touch of burn for a split second.

M: Big and heavy. Coats the mouth. Surprisingly a little drying on the back end.

O: A huge and complex barleywine for sure. I taste and smell something different every time. The only thing that really detracts is that the bourbon tastes kinda cheap and the appearance is weak (not that that counts for much). (1,084 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber into snifter on 8/31/09. Thanks to FooFaa for sharing!

A - Poured a really dark mahogany with burgundy hues and a thin beige ring that reduced to a patchy film. Pretty muddy-looking with lots of yeast chunks collecting at the bottom of the glass.

S - Initial aroma opens with a huge waft of alcohol and some caramel and toffee sweetness as well as hints of real licorice and tangy dark fruit akin to raisins, prunes and dried apricots. Nose is quite boozy and chock full of sharp alcohol notes.

T - Where to begin? This complex barleywine begins with plenty of chocolate and toffee sweetness with a tangy pitted fruit character reminiscent of plums, black cherries and raisins, the latter of which is most apparent. Some warm alcohol notes emerge in the wake of the huge malt presence. Hop bitterness is surprisingly scant overall. Chocolate character really opens up in the finish.

M - Full bodied with a syrupy texture and somewhat prickly mouthfeel. Warm and boozy on the palate, which really gives this barleywine a thick, beefy character. Finishes quite sweet on the palate.

D - Hot damn! This is without a doubt one of the tastiest, most complex barleywines I've ever had. I was indeed stunned. Simply put, Arctic Devil is a fantastic traditional English style barleywine to say the least. I would even go so far as saying this is the finest of its kind available anywhere. (1,399 characters)

Photo of Vancer
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Time to finish the year with a highly rated brew, sent to me by beerbeing in the BA annv club – many thanks again.

The 2005 brew poured a murky caramel brown, capped with a fair amount of tan head and lace – this with a 10% alcohol lurking within.

Nice aroma of caramel, plums, raisons and the BW malt. All these aspects fire up in the taste, along with a bit of an alcohol burn in the finish – after almost 3 years??

Still overall it remains smooth and sweet – perfect fit for an English BW. Yum, a real treat, Happy New Year! (534 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to spycow for this one. 2007 vintage into Narke tulip.

A - Pours a brownish/reddish color, off-white head, thin collar.

S - Caramel, smooth booze, oak, burnt sugars. A nice level of sweetness and booze, not too hot and not too sweet. The caramel notes are excellent and the bourbon melds perfectly.

T - Caramel, toasty malts, smooth bourbon, oak, burnt sugars. Again, a perfect mix of sweetness and booze for the style. Just how I like it. The booze has smoothed out nicely since 2007...really a nice vintage.

M - Medium, soft carbonation, creamy boozy finish.

O - A excellent English Barleywine. The combo of booze and sweetness is really well-done and I really don't have much bad to say about this beer. Try it! (726 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It's a surprise that I've never reviewed this one ~ notes from undated mid-December (2010) bottle opening. Poured to a snifter, pretty warm out of the cellar (maybe 55-60°F?).

22 oz. bottle from, I believe, 2008 (possibly 2007?). Month/week label notches at 'N', '2' and '5', for what that's worth; it's been cellared at least 2 years is all I know. Of note, the label shows an ABV of 'only' 10%, so this has increased a good bit in recent vintages.

A: Deep chestnut auburn, ruby-tinted and fiery warmth - mesmerizing color. Many fine wriggling and edge-creeping carbonation streams rise to a thin almond head. Good retention and specks and stripes of lace linger then droop after each sip.

S: Sweet toffee and buttery nuts, like a candied reduction over pralines. Vanilla subtleties, molasses (2014 edit) and cocoa spikes, indistinct boozy fruit (a mild apple/pear brandy?). Not incredibly strong, just deep, complex and completely inviting.

T: Brown sugar, raisin, toffee and buttercream... it all sounds too sweet, but magically this suspends belief with deftly balanced hop spicing and bittering. A little ashy wood in the finish and some drier cocoa powder. Recognizing that the style isn't very hop-forward, the way that this has held and evolved over the years is pretty spectacular.

M: Absolutely the smoothest mouthfeel I've ever experienced in a barleywine - soft and slightly syrupy (think a velvety maple - the good stuff). Refined and pliable, yet filling out and coating. Unctuous with age (2014 edit)

D: Just a damn stunning barleywine; I find it really hard to give a 'perfect 5' to any strong beer in this category, but this one is sooo very close. I've enjoyed it much fresher (a year or less since bottling), but with 3-4 years of age, Arctic Devil absolutely glows. As of now, perhaps my favorite of the style. (1,837 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for opening this with me, baybassboy!

Dark chestnut in color, with a small, tightly bubbled light khaki colored head that remains a small ring round the top of the beer for the duration. Small bubbles dot the glass.

Rich, sweet, malt-forward aroma of caramel, oak, earth, candied sugars, and dark fruits. Complex.

The flavor follows the aroma, and the alcohol is marvelously well hidden. The sweet, earthy, and fruity malt characters play nicely against the wood. Complete and very nice.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Fantastic. (566 characters)

Photo of Resuin
4.76/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. No bottle date but I believe this is this year's version. ABV is listed as 13.4% on bottle. This is being served at just under 50 degrees, but will warm slightly as I drink it.

Appearance: Pours black with a half-finger tan head, which fades slowly to a layer atop the black beer.

Smell: Delicious, strong bourbon and vanilla definitely out first. Chocolate, slightly roasted malts, dark fruits. Really delicious aroma.

Taste: Bourbon out front again mixed with vanilla, chocolate, figs, malts, and finishes with some woody oak. Pretty sweet, really well balanced, and absolutely delicious. Alcohol is masked brilliantly. Phenomenal.

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation and a really creamy, thick body. Wonderful.

Overall: This is an all-around outstanding beer. The bourbon comes through in the perfect amount for me, and the other flavors, all of which are delicious, blend together for a fantastic profile. Some beers with a similar profile to this are overly sweet, but this one is just perfect. (1,036 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Received my box from Beership of 6 of these... been wanting to try this one for a while. Poured into Half Acre snifter. Appearance is really dark, much darker than most barleywines. Small rim of tan head dissipates quickly. Nose is rich and full of layers. Notes of caramel, molasses, chocolate, raisin, vanilla, leather, and tobacco. Taste is just as complex as the nose with highlights of molasses, chocolate, and raisins. The bourbon is mellow and melds nicely with everything going on. Mouthfeel is thick with mild carbonation. Overall, incredibly complex barleywine. (571 characters)

Photo of koopa
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this one from Liquid Solutions back in late 2007 / early 2008. I believe its a 2007 vintage and it says 10% abv on the label. I had bought about 15 of these bombers back at that time and traded / gave away as extras 14 of them. This is the one and only bottle I saved for myself.

Appearance: Pours a slightly murky deep caramel to auburn with a minimal beige crown that displays little retention or lace.

Smell: Quite a nice mixture of caramel malt, raisins, a touch of oxidation, brown sugar, and hints of alcohol.

Taste: Same as the nose but a bit more oxidation then I enjoy. Should have cracked this one opened a year ago :( Then again I didn't have it at cellar temperatures the entire past 4 years, so one in cellar temperatures for 4 years might be perfect right now. Still a great barley wine and I'd give this bottle a 4.2 if I could so I'm rounding down a bit.

Mouthfeel: Thick body with minimal carbonation. Rib sticking and nice for this freak cold spell we are currently experiencing.

Overall: Probably an excellent barleywine that is merely very very good right now. (1,093 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.46/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Stupac in a recent trade. Thanks for doing the dirty work!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2011
Aged in American oak whisky barrels

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium-thick, creamy looking, off-white head with good retention. Dark maroon red in color, clear, with higher levels of carbonation evident. Head eventually fades to a nice full wisp with carbonation ploughing through the top. A good wisp remains until the end and leaves some nice lacing down the glass. Good looking.

SMELL: Caramel malts, dark fruits, like rasins and dates, as well as some spicy and peppery yeast notes. Light hints of whisky and oak from the barrels, but not much. More fruit and light spices. Only medium strength.

TASTE: Caramel and dark fruits with peppery spices up front. Some nice rasins and dates at the swallow, with notes of oak and some boozy whisky as well. Alcohol is very well hidden. Mild but lingering aftertaste of spicy alcohol, oak, and caramel, fruity sweetness. Medium strength flavors and the ABV is well hidden. Quite nice really.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down fine with a little scratch at the back and finishes slightly sticky. Decent feel. A hint of heat lingers, but minimal.

OVERALL: A solid beer that's easy enough to drink, but somewhat lack luster compared to others in the style. The base beer is a little mild, and the barrel aging a little too restrained perhaps. Something worth checking out if you see it, but nothing earth shattering enough to go out of your way for. I'd have it again, but would most likely pick something else first. Thanks again for the trade Stupac. Much appreciated. (1,691 characters)

Photo of harrymel
2.5/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 31JAN13
Pours really dark- like nearly stout. Tan foam and spotty lace
Smells sweet, boozy, nougat, vanilla...actually, this beer is a mess
Taste is sweet booze, vanillas, raisin, marshmallows. Full body with moderate on low carved and a dry, peeling finish. I wasn't happy last time and I'm less impressed now.

Review 08MAR12
3.5/4.5/3.5/2.5/3.5-3.6
Vintage 2011, ABV 13.4%
Pours a dark amber body with fleeting tan head, leaving a sheet of the same. Caramel, vanilla, oak, bourbon, Brandy(?), seafoam, hints of leather and sherry oxidation. Flavor is similar to the nose, but less impressive and there is an alcoholic tinge to the finish. Thin bodied and low carb, the booze is evident on this one and leaves a burn. This is a good beer, but my favorite was the '08, sadly I didn't review back then, but I recall a fuller body and more refined character in the beer. As it stands, I would advise trying this beer, but not really seeking it out particularly hard, unless you're ChadQuest or other peeps that really dig the BA BW's. (1,043 characters)

Photo of flexabull
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of beersabound. Thanks again!

Bottled November 2005. Been looking for a reason to open this one... with the Phillies (my favorite baseball team) beating the Mets for the NL East, this seems like a good reason to crack this one open.

Beer pours a deep dark amber color, with a nice white head.

Aromas are really strong. Very spicy with bright fruit notes... this also has a very whiskey like smell to it. Quite pungent...

First thing of notice on the sip, is the complexity. What an intense beer. Very bready, dark fruit like, spicy, tart, and with a distinct whiskey, malty, booze like taste. It's a bit sweet, but with a nice alcohol warmth on the finish. Top notch barley wine. And certainly fits well with the English style. Not overly hoppy, just a touch of bitterness, with some pine flavors on the finish.

Mouthfeel is great. Very full, creamy, smooth, yet still bold and thick.

Drinkability is great. This is really 10% ABV? Could have fooled me... a classic barley wine. Exceptionally crafted. Smooth, tasty, and with a wonderful warmth while going down the throat. Seek this beer out! It's that good. (1,131 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark red-brown with a finger of frothy khaki colored head. Fades normal.

S - Sweet caramel and caramelized malts, brown sugar, oak, vanilla, whiskey, dark fruits, and some booze.

T - Sweet caramel and caramelized malts, oak, vanilla, whiskey, brown sugar, dark fruits, toasted coconut, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a warming and sweet finish.

D - Fantastic barrel aged barley wine. Great overall balance. (454 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks again to msubulldog25 for another NW barleywine. This one's about as Northwest as it gets too--Alaska's Midnight Sun. Love the creature on the label, sort of a wolverine-ish looking guy...he's completely wigged out, probably due to a few too many of these bad boys.

Poured into the snifter a cloudy, milky caramel color. Thin head slims down to a thin ring with a quickness.

Big aroma of alcohol, dark fruits, vanilla, citrus rind, milk chocolate.

Flavor delivers a barleywine that's on the chocolate/malt side of the spectrum...big burly sweetness that's not overdone, very dessert-like. Alcohol nip is pretty big, and even though I like the warming sippability of it, I'd rather the more intense part of its personality came from hops (like Bigfoot, another northern devil). Hops are here, but diminished in presence by the gooey candy-like malts and sherry-like alcohol warmth. Good bitterness lays on the tongue in the finish, a welcome melange of green grass, unripe fruit and hops.

Mouthfeel is wonderful, a little gooey, a little sticky, but carbonated enough to give it some lift and action. Really nice.

There are hardly better beers to drink in the cold winter months than Barleywines or Russian Imperial Stouts...Midnight Sun are doing right by Alaskans in brewing this sucker. (1,301 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (915 characters)

Photo of Floydster
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle acquired in a trade as an extra from urwatuh8, thanks again Richard, drank with Chelsea and Drake last night, poured into my Dogfish Head snifter, color is a dark brown with some dark reddish edges, two inch foamy beige head that stays around about five minutes, some lacing at first, aroma consists of dark fruits, sweet malts, caramel, toffee, sweet brown sugar, booze and very light hops, flavor starts off with a big caramel flavor with some sweetness, some dark ripened fruits in the middle that were mostly berries, pretty big alcohol burn in the finish, more sweet malts and lots of toffee come out towards the end but there is still a good amount of alcohol present, sweet, boozy, malty, and fruity mouthfeel, medium bodied, moderate carbonation for the style, taste lingers pretty well, could drink this bomber probably but alcohol is there, not too sweet or heavy considering though, my bottles said 10% ABV, so it seems this particular year is lighter than past years, believe this was the 2008 vintage, could probably use more age regardless, taste is still a bit hot but it seems like the cellar will really make this a world class barleywine, it is already well on its way, would drink again, recommended (1,234 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this bottle in a trade last summer; the bottle is not dated, so I have no idea how old it is. Poured from the bottle into a Duvel tulip. Pours a rich, dark brown, with a nice, fluffy tan head. The head dissapates quickly, leaving scattered bubbles across the surface. Some oxidation up front on the nose, followed by dark fruit (raisins, sour cherries), red wine, oak and sweet malt. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. On the palate it is very sweet and vinuous, with suggestions of cherry, fig and winey alcohol. Finishes slightly dry and bitter.
Overall very nice, improving nicely as it warms. (600 characters)

Photo of CRJMellor
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep dark caramel color with some red and maroon undercurrents. Small light tan head fades immediately.
Aroma of chocolate and caramel with some bready undertones.
Flavor of sweet caramel, hint of chocolate, grains and bitter somewhat citric and resined hop flavored profile. Really well balanced.
Mouthfeel is very chewy, candy backbone. Thick and resiny almost like a paste or glue (not in a bad way.) ots of sweetness upfront and then a growing gradual bitterness reaching a spicy crescendo.
Drinkability is really high. Great example of style, incredibly well-balanced. (583 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pours like a barley wine should with a high degree of thickness and a firm foamy head. The color was a cloudy mahogany an it laced brilliantly.

Not surprisingly this has a lot of barley and wine aromas. The barley is easily distinguishable while the wine aromas are not alcohol strong but more fermented grape. I get a little raisin light caramel malt and an end of light fudge.

The flavor is very chocolatey, lots of toffee, caramel and molasses. Barley grain, dark fruit and a final appearance of cognac.

The feel is downright velvety with not a stitch of the high ABV to be felt. (589 characters)

Photo of DIM
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a pretty, dark mahogany color that was slightly hazy. It poured with a smallish light tan head that didn't last long.

s: Big dark fruit aromas of cherries and plums leap out of the glass. Mildly sweet elements of peaty vanilla as well. There are some mildly alcoholic flowery hops to round out a very appealing nose.

t: Up front this had sweet flavors of malty cherries with a hint of vanilla. These turned a bit prickly and sour before a dry, floral finish. Some perfumed alcoholic warmth emerges as this breathes.

m: This had a very nice, silky, velvety texture. It was relatively still, but I think that worked pretty well here.

d: This might be the best English barleywine I've tried. $16 a bomber means this will probably be my only bottle, but I don't regret the purchase. (795 characters)

Photo of Overlord
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looking forward to trying a Midnight Sun beer for a long time. Yay!

Pours a ruddy dark brown. Big tan foam head that settled down to a tan crust. Decent looking, though, to be honest, I hate brown beers.

Smells like rich malt caramel malt, some piney, grapefruity hops, and boozy dark fruits. Taste is incredibly rich. I think it makes my teeth hurt. Just boozy plums, with a caramel malt and raison base, and there is definitely a balancing, bitter hop content. But, it's a very muted citrus component.

Nice sticky, thick mouthfeel. Impressive. (550 characters)

Photo of mcallister
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a damn fine looking barleywine sitting in front of me. Deep russett color with orange red hues. Head pours to a half inch and is an amazing color of tannish yellow. Hangs around for awhile and fades into a nice ring around the glass.

Complex aromas of fruit, malt, and hop arise from my snifter. You first recognize a thick gooey sweet fig paste aroma full of dates and almonds with a hint of prune and cherry. Following is a blast a toffee rising from the ashes and making its arrival with a blundering announcement. On the end a somewhat piney, somewhat citrus hop aroma adds a little sparkle and gives a layered feeling of substance to the aroma.

This is what a barley wine is all about in my opinion. Huge dried fruit flavors with blasts of toffee and caramel, and a nice alcohol bite at the finish. Hops help tame the sweet malt slightly but aren't over accenuated and making things seem more like a DIPA which always irks me. Viscous and thick toffee with a hint of milk chocolate and vanilla lead way into fig paste, prune, nuts, dried berries, maple syrup, and brown sugar. The slight floral, pine hop comes into the mid palate for a second and than finishes quickly into a alcohol burn in the chest.

Thick and gooey mouthfeel lets you rest you mind and entices the senses on the long finish. Perfect for a cold Ohio night or better yet an Alaskan one. (1,372 characters)

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to msubulldog25 for this beer! Poured from an '08 vintage 22oz. bomber into a Deschutes tulip glass.

A: Dark brown with a red hue that pours with a 1-finger foamy head and recedes to a big bubble white collar. Nice lacing is apparent which I did not expect from a beer of this style and ABV.

S: The best feature of this beer. An intense foray of caramel, maple syrup, chocolate syrup, toffee, and mixed nuts.

T: Rich as expected. Caramel, toffee, and Brazil nuts dominate the flavor. There is a noticeable saltiness to this beer that causes it to stand apart from other English barleywines. In my opinion, this is a good feature as I'd rather have it be salty than be sweet. Don't expect any bitterness like you would in an American barleywine. The whiskey barrel aging mellow out for the better 2 years later.

M: A little chewy and real smooth. The carbonation held up just right in this bad boy.

D: Downright delicious. I had no problems drinking the whole bomber to myself over the course of 2 hours.

Overall, a solid beer from Midnight Sun. I don't get to try many of their beers, but this one is right down my alley. (1,134 characters)

Photo of grub
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Viggo shared this one. big thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled may 9/09.

pours deep red-brown with a bit of haze. a thin layer of very fine dark tan head forms, dropping fast and leaving spotty lace.

aroma is excellent. light alcohol. bit of american hop bite - pine, grapefruit. tons of dark fruit - raisin, date, fig. dark caramel and toffee. lightly toasted multi-grain bread. brandy, calvados, vanilla. really complex and interesting.

taste is great. rich caramel and toffee. lightly toasted multi-grain bread. biscuit. bit of cracker. lots of rich dark fruit - date, fig, raisin. bit of earthy character. vanilla and raw oak. hints of dark chocolate. loads of depth and complexity. while the aroma gave me a bit of an american impression, this is decidedly english now.

mouthfeel is great. nice big body. medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is great. well balanced. great depth and complexity. the alcohol is still a bit warm, but goddamn i love it anyway. i'll be looking for more of this! (1,006 characters)

Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 348 ratings.