Devil's Milk | DuClaw Brewing Company

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86
very good
120 Reviews
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Devil's MilkDevil's Milk
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
120
Ratings:
370
Avg:
3.81
pDev:
20.73%
 
 
Wants:
39
Gots:
86
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 120 | Ratings: 370
Photo of Khazadum
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Tad bit of fighting to genrate a head. When it comes to fruition we have a creamy off-white head. Low retention disturbed by a huge carbonation cascade. Tons of average sized and a few large bubbles create an acceptable collar. I'm left with mild lacing and a couple flotillas of bubbles.

Tad bit darker than amber mixed with caramel for a body. Impenetrable to light and again, tons of carbonation up the sides of my snifter.

S- Nicely chockful of fruit esters. Apples, bit of tart cherry essence, little bit of citrus presence. Bit of the malt backbone coming forth as caramels. Altogether pleasant. Slight astringency, but nothing up front all on the back end.

T- Opens with what you'd expect. Sweetness of the malt backbone, caramels and a syrupy nutty flavor. Transitions to the fruit esters, predominantly mild flavors. Apple and dark fruits, but nothing strong. Just a chunky middle because of it. Finish is mild hop bitterness with the heat of the alcohol. That eleven percent really starts kicking about halfway through the beer. Comes forth as a sharp upstroke leading to the bitterness.

M- Thick body. Nice full, and syrupy. Sticky and definitely some chewy aspects to it. Prickly with opening carbonation and sharp at the outflow. This beer is a mixed bag of fun. The only thing you can count on through and through is the slick, heavy feel.

D- That mouthfeel that I actually love, does take a hit on the drinkability. Not only that, but halfway through that alcohol causes another negative tick mark to come through. Averages it out to be... average. I like it, just isn't amazing. It was fun to tick, and for a brewery no one really talks about I'm happy with what they've done.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a beautiful copper color w/ crimson highlights. Awesome two finger caramel head w/ lingers for a few minutes, then goes down to a sliver. Great lacing on my snifter glass. Carbonation is average. This is a GREAT looking Barleywine.

S- Like all good barleywines, this beer has a great hops/malt balance that makes up the majority of the nose. Also get some fruit, sweetness, and yeast/bread as well. Only gripe is that the nose could be a little stronger- but it's still good.

T- Really, really tasty. Malt hits at first, followed by strong hops. Nice smooth aftertaste. It has a sweetness to it as well. Devil's milk is appropriate- that's a great description of what the flavor is like. This is definitely one of the more enjoyable, tasty barleywines that I've had the pleasure of trying.

M- Super molasses. Very smooth, sweet, not bad at all.

O- This is a really great barleywine. Anyone who likes this style owes it to themselves to pick this beer up. I'm impressed, and will definitely look for this one again.

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Photo of nhindian
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured until a tulip.

Vintage 2010.

A - Pours a murky orange with streaks of crimson and brown. An active, 1.5-finger head quickly settles on top of the beer, with large, soapy bubbles slowly drifting across. Lots of static lacing sticks like glue to the sides of the glass, forming a sort of lattice pattern.

S - The nose brings an intense amount of toffee, caramel, and hops. The hops are of particular interest to me, as they are more spicy with a touch of floral notes. The alcohol comes across strongly here as well, with a quite astringent tone to it.

T - Wow, this beer hits fast and hard, with the malts delivering a heavy hit of sweetness. It's almost sugary in the way the front-end comes across. The toffee does its part in both curbing and aiding this in its own way, but then the bitterness starts to kick in soon thereafter. There is a slight fruitiness from the hops, but again, they add a more earthy tone with a strong bitter note, which the alcohol also help contribute to. The heat from this is no stranger, and it definitely is a limiting factor in its drinkability.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy with decent carbonation. This is fairly thick and syrupy on the palate, imparting its flavor long after you swallow. A sip goes a long way here.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. I keep going back and forth on this beer. On one hand, I love the assertiveness of this beer, and it's not afraid to bring the flavor. However, I feel that these intense flavors are not congruent with each other. A strong sweetness is immediately replaced with bitterness, and then an alcohol-filled finish. It's not smooth in its transitions, and by the time you reach the aftertaste you are wishing the sweetness would return.

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had the 2005 vintage just last night. They put two kegs on early as part of a fund raiser that had shut down the Fells location. Didn't know the ABV at the time, and they poured a generous 10 oz. portion.
Lighter than expected, with a light brown color and off white head. A slight sticky ring, but the ABV beat down the head quite quickly.

Alcohol soaked dried figs and oranges aroma.
EtOH bite makes itself known with every drink. Hearty caramel background. The dried fruits are there with a floral hop wafting around.
Medium bodied, not syrupy or sweet. Aftertaste stays with you a bit, needed a nice hoppy venom to wash it through.

Overall, I didn't dislike the beer. It needs to be bottled, aged and come back to. Very aggressive beer, even for the style.

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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 SolipsismalCat
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear red-brown with half-finger, white head that lasted 10 seconds. Almost no lacing.

S: Caramel malt and tropical sweetness. Dark fruits.

T: Moderate sweetness and moderate bitterness. Citrus and pineapple with a biting bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Kind of watery.

O: Average ale. The taste was kind of flat and it had a sort of watery mouthfeel. Smelled good though.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque muddied mahogany color which supports a thin white foamy head. Alcohol feet in the head are clearly visible, and it quickly dissipated.

S: I'm surprised that after 6 months, the hops are still present in the smell of this beer. They come across as a nice earthy, but robust scent. The malt base is clearly present here with the nose of sweet carmel.

T: Big fruit here. Plum, Date, and peach even. The beer is very sweet, but balanced. It has a carmel like taste, just like the smell, but it's in the background of all the fruit in the beer.

M: Full bodied and moderate-heavily carbonated. Almost a bit cloying on the palate.

D: Quite good, but the strength begs it to be sipped.

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Photo of Higravity
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Maryland Springfest '05. It has a nice dark ruby complexion and the head goes away fast. The volunteers pouring this were wasting too much of it as I stood in line it pissed me off, I wish one of the brewers would have said something. Another thing was that I bought a Devil's Milk snifter and they wouldn't pour the beer in it so I had to transfer from my plastic cup into the snifter. At 11% this barleywine that has several months on it still seems rough. It is definatley an American as the bold C hops are present and there is some nice sweetness left in the malt. The alcohol comes through a little too much as the malt can't contain it and the hops can't mute it. An enjoyable barleywine, something I would buy on occasion.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a sample cup at the Michael Jackson Beer Tasting held at RFD's. 2002 vintage.

Appearance: Orange-brown liquid topped by a small light tan head that receded to a film and a ring right quick. Lil' bits o' foam were left on the cup.

Smell: Prominent aromas of orange marmalade with strong peppery and floral hops wafting about. Slightly brash alcohol taste.

Taste: Sweet caramel malts that get pimp slapped by the Simcoe hops, much to its detriment (IMHO).

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy with aftertastes on steroids.

Drinkability: Not very smooth or contemplative. Very raw for an aged barleywine. This is a rude American interpretation.

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Photo of cubedbee
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this from a snifter at Xmas in July. Pours a dark burgandy/brown with a thin head that quickly fades to a small ring, no lacing to speak of. Nice fruity nose---oranges, pineapples, grapes, figs all marked with a distinctive alcohol. As the beer warmed a little a floral hop scent emerged. Taste is a deep sweet caramel malt infused with dark fruits balanced by a decently strong hop bite. Alcohol makes itself known from the getgo, and is a little to agressive for my tastes. Medium bodied with a nice fine carbonation level, this feels great in the mouth. This is a very good effort by Duclaw at the style..

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Photo of chodinheaven
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice clarity in this reddish brown beer. One finger of creamy seafoam off-white head that dissapates slowly down to an inconsistent sheet. Pretty bold on the nose with lots of dried fruity esters coming through. Caramel malts as well as a light citrus hop smell float up as well, with an overall booziness singing the nose hairs a little bit.

Lots of flavors that round each other out in the first sips. The caramel and bready malts provide a nice backbone for the fruity esters to play, which are both dried and fresh. Grapes and raisins definitely come to mind, as well as apple. Not necessarily as much citrus as I thought there was judging from the nose. The hop presence fits right in with a nice herbal bitter note. That is until the aftertaste, which is bready, herbal, and boozy, which don't seem to complement each other, leaving a weird linger. As far as the booze in the taste, it is definitely evident throughout and it seems to work as it doesn't ever become cloying. This is pretty much dead on for the style, but does become a bit too much as you get to the bottom of the glass. It has a low to medium carbonation level that does well here. The beer finishes somewhat dry and boozy.

Really not a bad beer. Low on drinkability as it is on the sweeter side and big on ABV, but for a one-timer to have in the fridge, not a bad choice. Duclaw seems hit or miss, and this one sits closer to the hit side of things.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: A finger's width of off-white head tops this copper colored beer. The head has an almost permanent retention with a lot of lacing.

S: Bready malts backbone holds of a lot of piney hops. Also some honeyed fruits, kind of peachy. Really a nice smelling brew.

T: Honey hits the tongue right off the bat, with caramel and followed by the taste of bread, and pine/grapefruit hops on the finish. The hops bring some bitterness, but not as much as is needed to balance the incredible sweetness up front.

M: Incredibly thick and viscous. Almost has the consistency of honey.

O: A tasty beer, but just a little much. Too much sweetness, too thick, too much alcohol. If they had toned it back a little it could have been a great beer, but I can barely drink a 12 oz bottle.

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Photo of JWU
2.85/5  rDev -25.2%
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 hdofu
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark brownish with a thin white head which quickly vanished. It was served in a brandy snifter and I had it with dill creamed salmon with walnuts. Smelled kind of like apple cider. Tasted somewhat sweet, but the bitterness built up like alot of stronger sweet beers (Alot of imperial ipas have this hopp bitterness buildup too). This beer was pretty thick almost syrupy. Tasted good enough to drink another but I'd be leary with such a potent monster.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a text book barley wine maple syrup color with a light tan head with good retention.
Smell is very malty with sweetness/ a caramel on the nose.
Taste is very sweet to me- light syrup with a malt on the back.
Finish is very wet with a great sweetness on the back.
Drinks very well here- a light bite on the very end but at 11 is great.

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Photo of devilben02
3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
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 PSUDREW
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden color. Some foam, kind of doesn't retain it, though. Has a little bit of carbonation. Very malty nose, with hints of alcohol, with a smidge of pine. Rather pungent upfront taste. Toffee, pine/hops taste, and a chunk of alcohol in the 1st taste. Sweetness cut with the hops. Very sharp mouthfeel. Sweet abv aftertaste. Solid barleywine. has a pretty good style, and doesn't beat your mouth up on consumption. Thanks to lackenhauser for this one

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Photo of drumrboy22
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Late '06 bottle. I pulled this out of the cellar to share at a tasting my wife and I recently hosted. Poured from 32oz. fliptop into nonic taster glasses. Beer was a dark copper color with a small, creamy, tan head. Moderate lacing around the glass.

Aroma was caramel, toffee and raisins. Very sweet with malt and lightly hoppy.

Taste was sweet and creamy with caramel and a surprisingly fair amount of hops still present. Nuts and grain flavors present.

Very thick and chewy mouthfeel.

A very nice sipper that everyone enjoyed. Still have another bottle in the cellar. This one has held up well.

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Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.58/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. 2010 vintage poured into Devil's Milk snifter.

A - Translucent ruby, thin head, minimal lacing.

S - Malty, alcohol, mixed berries.

T - Apple skin, piney hops, alcohol, sweetness, light pepper, maltiness and bitterness on the finish.

M - Thick, smooth, low carbonation.

D - Delicious! A sipper for sure. This is my favorite beer brewed in Maryland, Period.

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Photo of goldbot
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. Pours a mostly clear medium amber with plenty of thick, cream-colored head. Great head retention and lacing. Some active carbonation. Fruity, citrus aroma up front; very sweet smelling with berry notes as well as floral hoppiness. Hints of malt lurk in the background but this one is all hops pretty much. The flavor comes on with a strong malt profile - plenty of bread and dark fruit notes. A cherry-like cloying sweetness quickly follows, only partially covered up with sweet citrus and floral hops. A tad bitter but not nearly enough for the cloying sweetness. This one had great potential but is just too sweet for me.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade from Lunch.

Drank 5-11-2010, reviewed from notes.

Pours a sort of hazy, ruddy brown, with a 1 cm head, tan colored, that falls back pretty fast. Not much lacing. Looks to be the norm, but nothing beyond it there. The smell is nice, toasted sweet nuts come to mind, with bits of orange zest and peel, and some sweet berry flavors as well. I get a lot of caramel in the smell, with raisins, and a little bit of crackery smell too. This one has a hefty malt presence, with a slighty fruity hoppiness. The taste has a bit more of the hoppiness that has come to be the norm in an American Barleywine. It's like eating pollen coated cake. The bitterness is not too strong, thanks to the incredible sweetness, but it does a great job of balancing. There is definitely a flowery presence, and the consistent orange is vary nice in this. The malt is still the winner I believe, which is a nice change of pace. Very bready, and very raisiny as well, with a slightly drying finish, despite the heavy sweetness up front. The body is a nice medium, with pretty low carbonation, which helps to sort of thicken it up and enhance the sweetness. The alcohol provides a nice warmth, but not a burn really. I thought this was a pretty good beer, though way too strong for me to go back for any other beer after it.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to ratebeer's GMCC2181 for shipping me this growler! Pours clear copper with thin off white head. The mild aroma is full of citrus hops, spicy to earthy hops and some slick malt sweetness. The taste starts out with smooth earthy to grassy hop flavor and then the bitterness begins to pick up. By midway slick sweet maltiness murmurs up in the background to provide a pleasing level of support for the tasty load of hops. Nice American style Barleywine.

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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 MarcatGSB
3.06/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Matt (mjtiernan) for this one. Received in a recent BIF.

Appearance: Pours a brightish red, crimson color. Small bubbly white head doesn't stick around long.

Nose: First thing I noticed is lots of citrus. Big tropical nose with pineapple, mango, finished with pine.

Taste: Rather interesting. It's fairly complex, with some deep flavors of caramel hiding under sticky tangerine and lemon.

Mouth: Big beer. Huge malt body. Really sticky. Bitter finish.

Drink and overall: Well, this beer took me a minute to warm up to. And, I think it got better as it warmed up. Fairly boozy. Not really easy to drink.

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Photo of TheDudeRules
1.86/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into my Darkness snifter.

Rich copper color. Fingers worth of tan head. Smell is hop and sour apple. Figgy dark fruit as well. Taste is strong alcohol. Incredibly overpowering. In fact I can't get past a few sips to notice anything else. This was a drain pour. Really unworthy of this lame review even.

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Devil's Milk from DuClaw Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 120 ratings.
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