Devil's Milk Barleywine Style Ale | DuClaw Brewing Company

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86
very good
131 Reviews
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Devil's Milk Barleywine Style AleDevil's Milk Barleywine Style Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States
duclaw.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by farHillsBrewer on 11-02-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
131
Ratings:
399
Avg:
3.81
pDev:
11.81%
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
91
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 131 | Ratings: 399
Photo of hman43
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
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 +0.5%
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 +4.7%
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 +5.8%
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 +0.5%
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 +3.9%
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 +8.9%
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 +3.7%
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 +4.5%
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 +12.1%
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 -47.5%
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 +7.3%
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 +20.7%
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 +8.9%
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 +7.3%
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 -3.9%
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 +2.4%
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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Photo of blivingston1985
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Frothy white head with appreciable head retention. Ring of lace lasts to the last drop of brew. Nice. Figs, piney hops, alcohol. Hop bitterness is bright, but balanced. Full body. Long snap of bitterness on the back with a decent finish. Solid American Barleywine. Worth a visit.

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Photo of Ohiovania
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wow, kinda impressed by this one which I wasn't expecting much from at all. usually don't like american barleywines but the apricot hop and citrus forwardness in it works really well with the malt build. Really nicely balanced with the hops still leading the show. A good and unique example of the style.

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Photo of 57md
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light copper color with yellow edges with less than a finger of head. The nose has an earthy hop essence. The hops bitterness is certainly well represented in the flavor profile but the bready maltiness leaves a bit to be desired.

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Photo of ordybill
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap in Chester, VA.
Aroma- Has a nice malt, hops, barley and some fruit essence tossed in.
Appearance- A reddish copper color with a small tan head.
Taste- Has a sweet opening that brings along the barley and hops for the finish. Not bad
Palate- A heavy bodied brew with light carbonation. Has a great texture that is thick to creamy.
Overall- I enjoyed this beer, I would buy it the next time I see it on tap.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

A real deep dark orange body, with a slightly opaque character. Head is real nice and creamy two fingers, thick and rich looking with a yellow and tan tinge. Thick collared and creamy with a good thin top. Bright and glowing, real nice.

Classic notes of mild caramel and sweet hop and booze. Slight tangerine orange, and lots of citrus with some mild caramel notes. Good bit of pine and hints of herbality as well. Pretty straight forward, actually reminds me very much like Bigfoot.

Palate is quite a bit surprising. Real creamy actually "milky" character on the palate for the feel. Rich solid nice mid palate filled with lots of citrus fruit, thick juice, and hints of honey. Lip smacking coating of sweet honey and light caramel on the finish. Mild tones of vanilla and cream as well. Controlled booze like warmth with a great chewy texture.

A solid American barleywine, definitely a DuClaw brew I can get excited about.

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Photo of Beejay
4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Medium brown going into red, with a nice tan head on top.

S: Hop-tastic. Rich caramel sweetness blends in with pungent hop aroma. Pine resiny, with hints at grapefruit peel.

T: Rich malt flavors, and a decent amount of hops. A bread and caramel taste, but there is certainly a distinctive bitterness as well. Pine resin rounds out the finish with maybe a touch of earth.

M: Medium thick, but the fairly high carbonation keeps it from getting too syrupy.

O: Overall tasty. I could see how some fans of the style would ding this for not being a little more bitter, but I am digging the solid hop flavor balancing the malt.... This Barley Wine certainly leans to the American side, but malt heads will like it as well.

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Photo of tigg924
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Taste is big oily pine, light caramel, and earth. Alcohol comes out as the beer warms. An above average American Barleywine, but there are others in the style that I prefer.

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Photo of JMS1512
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

I echo Dar482 sentiment a bit. It's a TIPA. Oddly balanced, not too malty, not too hoppy, I was initially confused, and then I remembered. It's DuClaw. Fun beer, but not usually great beer. Hwever, it might be someone's gateway into barleywine, and for that, DuClaw, I thank you.

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Devil's Milk Barleywine Style Ale from DuClaw Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 399 ratings.
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