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Devil's Milk | DuClaw Brewing Company

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Devil's MilkDevil's Milk

Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by farHillsBrewer on 11-02-2003

For Trade:
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Reviews: 123 | Ratings: 378
Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
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 +12.4%
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 -47.4%
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 +7.6%
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 +21.1%
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 +9.2%
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 +7.6%
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 -3.7%
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 +2.6%
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%
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 +11.3%
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%
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 +16.3%
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 +7.1%
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 +6.3%
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 -5.3%
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 -7.9%

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.

 285 characters

Photo of dar482
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%

The beer comes in a rich orange color.

The aroma bursts of orange, fruity hop character, with a touch of dank and lots of sweetness.

The flavor follows with that Centennial quality up front of sweet orange marmalade. The sweetness in the front falls off quite well onto a Simcoe character of dank pine and green flavors. A really well balanced brew that does not taste like its ABV.

In general, I would categorize this as a really well made triple IPA.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter (10/24/13)

A: Dirty burnished copper with no head or lacing.

S: Single note of sweet malt. Interesting in its singularity of sweetness that is different from most barleywines that I've had.

T: Different, but not really what I expected from this, especially having known Hell on Wood, which is quite divine. Very easy drinking, and smooth with just a tinge of sweetness. I haven't had it fresh, but I bet it is a bit hoppy having 66 IBUs, but this is very muted in all terms: malt, sweetness, and hoppiness. I imagine this is what a bad-clone of Bigfoot would taste like with a year on it. However, it does benefit a lot from the barrel, unlike Bigfoot. This seems to be an interesting trend, like with Cook County Stout (the base for BCBS that they've never released and say isn't super great to start with, or at least that is what I remember).

M: Just an initial brush of carbonation, followed by smoothness.

O: Not bad, but I think this one changes a lot over the course of a year and is probably best when fresh, which is surprising for a 10.6% American Barleywine.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

In review is a 2011 vintage.

A - Dark amber color with little to no carbonation, soapy white lacing ring that's thin and sticky on the sides of the glass.

S - Toffee, toasted caramel, boozy, and light hints of figs and prunes.

T - Follows the nose but predominantly sweet toffee and caramel over the top of figs with some slight alcohol burn on the way down and a slight touch of oranges in the backs of the throat. Mild earthiness on the back end.

M - Heavy medium body, sticky, very little carbonation presence on the tongue.

O - Average. If I tried it again, 'would definitely be a newer bottle or would go for the barrel aged version.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer is served a golden amber color with a billowy white head of one finger height. The head has a decent level of retention, fading over time to leave a decent level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is rather large of sweeter aromas of caramel and toffee. Mixed with these smells are some aromas a lightly floral and earthy nature, but these are rather light overall. A moderately strong dark fruit aroma of cherry and fig are there as well a bit of a boozy smell are there as well, creating a rather warming smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a very sweet and malty taste with plenty of caramel and toffee sweetness matched with a good showing of a bready nature. As the flavor advances some of the fruit flavors that were detected in the nose come to the tongue with some cherry. Along with these sweeter tastes comes a good lot of candied sugar and a bit of some lighter fruit flavors of orange and pear. A bit of hop flavors also come to the tongue more toward the middle and the end with them consisting mainly of a floral and citrus nature. In the end, a light earthy flavor and some light boozy flavors comes to the tongue, leaving a rather sweet and lightly hopped flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The beer was on the average side of thickness and creaminess (at least for a brew of ~10.5 % with a carbonation level that is rather low. The low carbonation level is quite appropriate for the brew accentuating the light hop and sweeter flavors of the brew nicely all while the thickness was OK a little bit thicker brew may have accentuated the flavors a bit better.

Overall – A very easy drinking Barleywine with lots of sweetness and minimal hop. Not a
bad one to try.

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Photo of devilben02
3.64/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle with a sparkling, clear, almost pinkish medium brown color, but almost no head. The aroma is disappointingly muted, with only a mild grainy sweetness and a light pine character being discernable. The flavor is more forward, with woody hops being balanced against subtly sweet caramel malts. It's not too boozy or sweet as many barley wines can get, and rather just provides a full balance of flavors. The medium body and light carbonation further help this one from getting too syrupy. Overall, despite being comparatively mellow for a 10% barley wine, the rich flavors one would expect still come through.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle (2012 vintage) courtesy of mwrecording pours a hazed copper color with a small cap of tan head. Not much for retention but lacing is solid.

Nose is lots of caramel and toffee, smells pretty classic barleywine....Honey Nut Cheerios. Little bit of alcohol and muted remnants of some hops. Pretty sweet, not overly toasty.

Taste is really smooth for a 10+ %er. Goes down really easy and there is some sort of sweet lactosy malt that makes the name worthy. The hops have faded quite a bit here and a little bit of oxidation is creeping in. The mouthfeel is almost thin, but that sounds worse than it is, the upside is that is really easy to quaff. This is a good beer, Id like to try a fresh one to see what kind of hop load it has.

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Photo of JWU
2.85/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A- A dark, cloudy amber. A little light for a barleywine. A thin offwhite head that dissipates quickly.

S- Some sweetness, perhaps a hint of dark fruit, and a bit wallop of woody, earthy hops.

T- Some dark sugar sweetness is quickly overshadowed by the sheer booziness of the brew, and a bit dose of earthy, woody hops that impart more bitterness than flavor. Kind of a mess.

M- light side of full. Heavy on the carbonation, this needs to back off. Alcohol burn, and lots of it.

O- Brews like this make you realize how well crafted something like SN Bigfoot is. This is a big, hot, boozy mess.

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Photo of maximum12
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So for the first time in six years of trading my tracking system has failed me - I have no bloody idea where this beer came from, but I'm sure it arrived in a box. Thanks, whomever you are. 12 oz. bottle consumed in the wee hours of the morning after a lively evening of poker.

The pour is dark amber with a raging hard-on of carbonation that looks like it might climb out of the glass & kick my ass. Nose belies the listed ABV, more light, fruity, with a side of warm summer breeze, more like a nice malty blonde than a big barleywine.

Devil's Milk is dry enough to induce coughing. Dry, woody, with a big huge malt bill, & the sweetness is almost completely drowned in the lumber. Bittering hops with a soft pinewood floor dominate the middle. That's about it.

Simple, direct, but just not much to it, I've enjoyed many of DuClaw's beers much more than this one. Decent enough, but this needs more vavoom.

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Devil's Milk from DuClaw Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 378 ratings.
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