Devil's Milk
DuClaw Brewing Company

Devil's MilkDevil's Milk
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American Barleywine
Ranked #287
Ranked #17,112
3.87 | pDev: 11.63%
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States
Very Good
Devil's MilkDevil's Milk
Notes: Our award winning barleywine will seduce you with its assertive hop bill (that changes each year to make each vintage unique), citrus flavors, and warming 10% ABV. Devil’s Milk is best served in a snifter to accommodate its ABV and allow complex flavors to emerge as it warms in your hands.
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Reviews: 139 | Ratings: 430 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of micada
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2019 Duclaw Devil’s Milk. First time brew for me. Seems more like an IPA than a barleywine. Lots of piney hops on the nose. Lots of carbonation in the amber body. Very bitter up front. Medium thick mouthfeel. Slight booze heat lingers. Maybe it needs time on a shelf to mellow some of the vibrancy.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a relatively clear dark amber, with visible floaters. A creamy head retains very well, persisting as a frothy film with lacing.
The aroma imediately announces its hops presence. Leafy, minty piny and grassy hops evoke a green forest. This is followed by citrusy and orchard fruit, of which I detect apple cider in particular. Notes of biscuity malt and caramel round out the aromas, as does a touch of alcohol.
In the taste, a full and chewy caramel, bready and cookie dough malt flavor is balanced with a moderately bold hops bitterness. Fruity esters and fruity hops flavors impart notes of grapefruit, melon, apple cider, pear and apricot. There is a big herbal hops presence that is piny, grassy and with a big resiny finish. The finish also has a significant presence of alcohol spice that provides warmth.
Full bodied with a chewy and sticky mouthfeel. Complex yet balanced well between the full malty flavors and the hops. The alcohol spice is defibeyely there, yet, it is not boozy and it is dangerously drinkable.
I don’t get why this is not rated higher. It’s so tasty and easy to drink for a high ABV beer.

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Photo of Billolick
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle, I see no dating info.

Pours darker Amber, with a ruby hue, moderate tiny bubble, film, collar and lacing left behind.

I get ripe plums on the nose.

Soft and smooth, malty with ripe fruit notes abounding. Delicious stuff, that is well worth a try.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Surprised at the middling reviews - this is a citrusy, hoppy barleywine - maybe not what you're expecting in a barleywine - but a real solid beer... Amber colored, but kinda bright - clear under a thin pale head... some lace motes trail behind a wispy collar... Lots of orange and lime and even almost woody notes - kinda reminds me of Widow Jane bourbon (which is a good thing)... Mild fruit leather shellac from a medium-bodied, slightly tacky body... It's not a big boozer, but maybe leans toward an old ale or Scotch ale in its body and feel - but the hoppy fruits are very bright and clean... I thought it was really good... 11/30/18 bottling...

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Photo of avalon07
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a cloudy consistency. Some sediment. There was a half inch of foamy, off white head that lasted an average amount of time. Fantastic lacing.

S: A fair aroma of hops, caramel, malt, citrus, and a floral quality.

T: Tasted of a moderate amount of caramel, lots of hops (more than expected), an odd floral quality, lots of malt (present throughout), and some citrus notes (orange in particular). This is a decent enough flavor, but it's a bit out of balance. The hops kind of outshine the other ingredients, but it's oddly interesting.

F: A solid amount of carbonation with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole, this is an uneven beer, but it has some interesting points. Worth a try.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

UPDATE: 04-Jan-20:
I rarely update reviews, but every so often I find I need to tweak one or another. This is the case with this DuClaw offering. This version - out of a can - had spectacular lacing down the glass - the entire glass. And the mouthfeel was full-bodied and even creamy. The rest of thew brew is pretty much the same, but those two aspects made me bump up the overall a quarter point. Nice job from Duclaw...

DuClaw is one of those brewers I keep an eye out for, and this offering was high on my watch-out-for list...

A mixed review for me on this one from DuClaw. On the one hand it looked great with the hazy, copperish colored brew; I paid no big heed to the weak head or the non-existent lacing. The smell was deliciously boozy, with hints of orange to my nose. The rest of it, though not as special, was still very, very solid - Mouthfeel was full-bodied, quite carbonated, but still smooth on the tongue. The taste reminded me of those "blood orange" brews and less than a Barleywine, but I still liked it enough. Overall, I find this good, solid beer. Not my favorite from DuClaw, but definitely one to have on hand to share with folks who haven't "run with the devil" just yet...

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Photo of outdoor7or24
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pint had at Tamara's Tapa cafe in Apalachicola, FL.
A: pours a amber copper body, carbonation, heavy sheet like lacing, carbonation
S: heavy malt build, slight hints of citrus, notes of sweet brown sugar
M: medium thick, syrupy like, clean fish
T: malt, cracker, brown sugar, meaty, hop builds up to hints of pine and grape fruit
O: great brew and overall build

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Photo of barczar
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Aged 6 months.

Aroma is very malty, with dark fruit notes of dates, plums, figs, and toffee sweetness. Hint of bitterness, as well. Muted citrus surfaces late.

Flavor is intensely bitter initially, fairly one note. As it sits, notes of citrus juice and pith become evident, coaxing out some sweet caramel and floral notes.

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Photo of hman43
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: It pours amber with an off white head.

Smell: It has a malty rich aroma of bread and hints of caramel. There are also aromas of oranges and plums.

Taste: There is a strong hoppy bitter taste initially with heavy malt. There malt flavors feature toast and caramel and the hops flavors feature plums, oranges, hints of raisins and hints of pear.

Feel: It has a full, chewy body with a sharply bittler after tastes.

Overall, this is well balance with a slight edge to the hops initially and the hops being more predominant in the finish.

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Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is relatively clear amber in color but has some fine particulates floating in suspension along with a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a off white collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of citrusy and floral hops and caramel malts are present in the nose along with some hints of alcohol.
T: The taste follows the smell and has flavors of caramel malts, floral hops, and fruits along with a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and slightly sticky on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The alcohol lends warming to the finish.
O: This beer hides its alcohol rather well but is interesting enough to sip and savor.

Note: 2016 vintage

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of woodychandler
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

As I continue to winnow through the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody, I am finding beers that I do not even remember purchasing! In fact, I have so many DuClaw beers hanging around that I am embarking on a horizontal tasting for the next few days. This should be interesting.

From the bottle: "No prayer, exorcism, or divine intervention can save your soul once our unholy Barley Wine Style Ale seduces your palate with sensual fruit esters, a mighty malt backbone and a demonic hop presence. One sip and you will believe ... THE MILK MAN COMETH"; "Respect_the_Fluid".

I was kind of anxious to get started with this one & since it was a relatively fresh bottle (2016 Vintage), I decided to go with a heavy-handed pour after I Pop!ped the cap. Man, the head was explosive, like the devil himself was going to rise up! I got a finger-and-a-half of dense, foamy, tawny head from my exertions and it hung in defiantly before finally falling away to wisps. Color was a beautiful Copper-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity & Deep Amber highlights. Nose had a catty, grassy hoppiness along with a caramel sweetness. I was a little surprised as I expected sulfurous fumes to issue forth! Mouthfeel was medium, but it burns! Ahhh, how it burns! I jest. Actually, it was less hot than its predecessor, Obol Oat Wine Style Ale which had two (2) years of cellaring on it. The hops were really the centerpiece here, really aggressive and very American with flavors of pine, mint and dank underlain by a caramel malt sweetness. I'll bet that this would age nicely. Sadly, I only bought one bottle, but I will be buying (at least) two when the 2017 vintage is released. Finish was hot, dry and literally breathtaking. Perhaps the devil really was lurking in there somewhere.

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Photo of superspak
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 8/25/2016. Pours slightly hazy medium orange/amber color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, apricot, peach, plum, pear, melon, white grape, lemon, berry, orange peel, light pepper/pine, honey, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light toffee, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/fruity/earthy hops and moderate dark/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, apricot, peach, plum, pear, melon, white grape, lemon, berry, orange peel, light pepper, pine, honey, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light toffee, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Light-moderate pine/herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, apricot, plum, berry, orange peel, pepper, pine, honey, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/earthy hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Light dryness from bitterness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/sticky, and lightly slick/silky/resinous balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with a small warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a great American barleywine! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/earthy hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; very smooth and easy to sip on for the ABV. A very unique mix of hop flavors with a nice malt backbone. Well balanced with good bitterness, without being overly aggressive. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, dated August 2016

Clear dark copper colored, white head. Earthy hop aroma - pine, wood. Bitterness is sharp, balanced with some grainy malt flavor. Medium bodied

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Photo of chinchill
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter.
Pours with a clear copper-brown body topped by a thin, mostly short-lived head. Spotty lacing.

Aroma: Sweet and boozy, with hints of dark fruits, apples and toffee.

Flavor. Similar to the aroma, with soft and dried fruits, faint hops and caramel. Modest complexity.

Overall: Smoother and, perhaps, better, than the bourbon barrel aged version (Hell on Wood).

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Photo of Marraybay
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is really good. Probably the best offering I've had from DuClaw to date and in fact would hold its own against my favorite barleywines. Rich; sturdy malt background, with nice fruity undertones. Finish is of course citrus--big and bold--but it doesn't totally annihilate the malt and sweetness. The booze is nicely suppressed for such a big big beer; present, but not overwhelming.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Bubbly Amber body with a slightly off-white head rising maybe half a finger's length. Drops quick after one sip.

Smell: malty scent, like fresh malts and light hint of hops.

Taste: Complex bitter brew which malts are heavy enough to make you forget your drinking "barleywine". I say that in quotes because because after two sips you might think your drinking a DIPA. Nothing wrong with that, just be recoginizant.

Mouth: ultra sticky and sweet malts with light hints of orange/tangy finish.

Overall: Good brew, glad I picked up an extra glass which I'll hold on to for one of those football sundays. Final word is, if you see it buy it. Personally I believe it's a DIPA in disguise. Salud

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Drier, stronger and certainly hoppier than traditional British varieties, the American yeast uses leads to a higher attenuation rate, highter alcohol, and assertive dryness. But with still a bulk of residual sweetness at hand, the DuClaw attitude is to balance that with equal parts hops for a bittersweet taste with an agressive backbone on both fronts.

Rich with caramel, toffee and pulled candy, its sweet scent is woven together with citrus, herb and pine. Pale amber and richly golden, the ale is capped with a short and sturdy cotton-like froth. As its sweetness slathers the tongue in all-things-malt, those toffee, candy and simple sweetnesses are front and center on the early palate.

As the middle palate acclimates to the powerful flavors and as the ale releases its culinary secrets as it warms, the middle palate shows a lift of sweetness and a fruit-forward introduction of apricot, orange, lemon, grape and berry. As the hops grow, their own grapefruit, orange peel and peppery grassiness begins to offset the lasting sweetness. Eventually trailing into a bittersweet finish of pine sap and southern sweet tea, the beer's taste is gentler on the palate than most other beers of the style.

Full-bodied, rich and sweet, the beer's weight on the palate is soft and somewhat somber; allowing its hoppy counterpart to apply a crisper dryness than is normally associated for the style. Seeming like an imperial amber ale at times, this barleywine lingers with stone fruit, savory toasted sweetness and a smooth bitter grip.

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Photo of TripleSun
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm by no means a Barleywine kind of guy but been trying to explore the genre a little bit more lately.

L - Dark amber with a nice lacing
S - Very sweet. Honey, cranberry, apples etc
T - Big malt backbone of course, syrupy consistence, caramel on the end
F - Big bodied for sure but coming from a guy who doesn't usually like barleywine, goes down surprising well for 10%

Definitely my way into the genre for sure!

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Photo of tykechandler
2/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is honestly the worst commercial barley wine I've ever tasted. I've had better homebrews. In fact, this tastes like a subpar entry to the state fair from a very inexperienced brewer. Just bad all around. Blech.

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 8/17/14 (bought fresh and cellared) into pint glass. Pours a nice rich amber color - slightly hazy. Thick tan head. Initial impression is honey, dark fruits, caramel, citrus, and biscuit. Hops are very subdued. Alcohol is just barely evident but not in your face. Very smooth. Mouthfeel is medium-thick. Low carbonation. Really tasty and quite easy to drink despite the ABV.

If you cellar it, caution is advised.

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Photo of Whey2Hoppy
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- lots of sediment, deep red amber color with a big, frothy head that's caramel colored.

S- Lots of fig and hops in the aroma, sweet citrus fruits, some caramel and hints of vanilla.

T- Very surprising amount of hop bitterness and juicy, fruity sweetness upfront. You can only really taste the alcohol kick at the very end on the finish, but otherwise it follows the nose. Absolutely wonderful, a pleasant surprise from DuClaw.

M- Thick, syrupy body (note: I got the 11.5% batch of this). Medium carbonation. About what you would expect from a barleywine like this.

Overall- Barleywines may not be for everyone, but they are one of my alltime favorite styles. And, this beer has the honor of being one of the best that I have ever tasted, which came as a big surprise since I haven't liked much from DuClaw aside from Sweet Baby Jesus.

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Photo of MarkLinton1
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pleasantly surprised. First Barleywine style beer I have tried. Without a doubt the alcohol is there. Beautiful orange amber color with flavors of fig and apricot. There is essence of honey and caramel with lots of hops yet finishes smooth with a little blood orange at the end. Somewhat reminiscent of a 2X IPA. Will need to try other American Barleywine style beers to compare

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Photo of Apellonious
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, 2015 version, poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a ruby red,visible sediment, with orange/brown highlights and a half finger head that moves to a thin lace immediately.

S - Dark fruit, with some fig and caramel notes, and wafts of booze.

T - In line with the nose, but the hop presence (mild citrus and biscuit) becomes much more prevalent and at the forefront, especially as it warms, when the citrus seems to meld with blueberry notes.

M - Carbonation is medium to a touch above medium, the feel seems light for the style comparatively speaking.

O - Definitely in the American side of the style. It goes down fairly fast for a 10+%er. Worth a try.

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Photo of gautch726
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a perfect amber with minimal head. This beer has a potent, bitter aroma that gets you from the start. The taste is very hoppy with strong alcohol but mellows out into a sweet fruitiness by the end. Not bad. Feels good to drink with just the right amount of body. Just too hoppy for me.

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Photo of LAp
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beer that seems uncertain if it wants to be a double IPA or a barleywine. It has the warm booziness of a high-ABV barleywine, as well as the sweet, fruity undertones, but these are contrasted by a prominent dry hop presence that is distinctly uncharacteristic of the style. This doesn't make the beer any less of a great value, nor an any-less interesting beer to try, just one that doesn't exactly conform to its named style. Overall, an interesting beer - one I'd buy again at this price point - but one sufficiently different from the classic barleywine character that I'd not get it when I really want that warming, wintery feel.

An interesting, unscientific anecdote: I had my three housemates try this beer blind and guess the style. One guessed "something Belgian", one guessed Belgian quad, one guess double IPA. Certain a beer ambiguous in its genre.

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Devil's Milk from DuClaw Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 430 ratings