Devil's Milk Barleywine Style Ale | DuClaw Brewing Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
401 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
401
Reviews:
132
Avg:
3.81
pDev:
11.81%
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
93
For Trade:
4
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 401 |  Reviews: 132
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

 178 characters

Photo of Dave_Treat
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -47.5%

Photo of Zekenyce
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of JNForsyth
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of maximum12
3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
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.

 913 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

 1,800 characters

Photo of Bung
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Clear orangy/amber pour, maybe half a finger of cream head.

Balanced malt, pine citrus aroma. Red fruits, raisin and prune.

Taste, Malt, toffee and fruitcake. Leather, peat and hopy resin finish. Small amount of booziness. Lingers pretty well.

Sticky medium body with enough carbonation. Not a problem drinking this, adequate amount of warming.

 354 characters

Photo of madelf66
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of zekeman17
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a semi-hazy orange color. The head on this is pretty solid: one finger high, pale yellow shade, good texture, and decent retention. Its smoothness suggests it isn't hopped to high heaven. Plenty of sticky, thick-looking lacing is left on the glass.

S: This has a particularly nutty smell, which seems to be assisted by its piny, floral hop notes. Let it warm up a bit, and the aforementioned piny, floral aroma really comes to the forefront. Let it warm up even more, and the malts return better than ever, bringing slight touches of dark fruit, candy, and even chocolate (!) on occasion. The aroma has some promise, especially for a brewery that doesn't usually pull off hoppy brews well.

T: Its initial flavor is fairly hoppy, bringing primarily a floral quality. These hop notes are supplanted with notes of nuts, dark fruits, and occasional chocolate. The finishing booze is prevalent, but not particularly harsh - in fact, its tart, fruity flavor (continuing where the malts left off) helps give it a bit of depth instead of come off as pure vodka. While it's not the boldest of barleywines, I like it as a more easygoing alternative.

M: It isn't that heavy feeling. It has enough carbonation. It's even faintly crisp. Translation: this beer is dangerous as fuck. Sure, you taste - and occasionally feel - the alcohol, but its integration means you're noticing the actual flavor instead of wincing from the booze. The finish is sweet, but who cares? This is a 10.6% barleywine - that doesn't come across like 10.6% at all.

O: I'm semi-impressed. Half the time I forget about DuClaw as a local option, and when I do remember them, I usually go 'meh' and get something else. But every once in a while, I come to the realization that they can make some really good beer on occasion (X-1 springs instantly to mind.) And honestly, this IS really good - it brings all the good traits of a barleywine while leaving many of qualities I don't like on the back burner. I'd reckon this is their best beer that comes in 6-packs.

Now, if only DuClaw could brew X-1 again...

 2,112 characters

Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Lucoli
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

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

A fair US barleywine, a bit brash around the edges, and closer to a rich DIPA than to complex expectations for the style, at least on this young tasting.

Presentation: 22 oz brown bottle. Hellblazer like label illustration (ala early John Constantine covers) of a crouched angel dressed in street clothes and covering his face. Brief side narrative rambling about the evil beauty of the brew with a short description. No apparent bottling date. Shows Alc. by Vol. (10.6%). Served on a snifter.

A - Clear amber brown pour, short head with little retention, minimal lacing, and a faint surface memory.

S - Very hoppy, initially a bit bitter, citrus and pineapple with a sweet note, floral touch, and a metallic finish.

T - Luckily there is a range that the the smell didn't show: nicely sweet malt, with some caramel and toffee notes. It does not go away but flows and is often covered and ultimately coated by a showy hoppy profile, citrus and pineapple again, with an occasional bitter hint.

M - Medium to full body with medium carbonation, and a back and forth between a smooth finish and an insinuation of a bitter brash finish that never quite happens.

D - It´s not too bad a sipper but it is closer to rich DIPAs ala 90 Minute than a commendable barleywine offering. And yet the thing is that this is well above quite a few US barleywines that really lack the malty profile that this barleywine is able to share, and is not that rough.

Notes: Lack of bottling date aside this seems to be a late 09 or very early 10 release. It is actually a good representation of what has become for some a standard of the US barleywine style i.e. a sturdy malt range with an equally assertive hop profile. Luckily for this one there is a back and forth between both ranges, and the hoppiness does not take over entirely given a pretty nice sweet range, and when it is in command it still has a nice sweet identity as an undercurrent. A bit of aging smoothing the hop profile might make this a much better rounded sipping barleywine.

 2,029 characters

Photo of Pencible
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured clear copper with a little white head.
S: It smelled like grapefruit and citrus hops, with caramel and a bit of roasted barley.
T: It tasted like strong grapefruit and citrus, with some copper and caramel. It had a strong bitter aftertaste, with some alcohol heat.
M: It was thick with some carbonation. Nice and full body.
D: This was a nice bold, and balanced barleywine. It had solid body, but it was a bit hot, so it was better to sip. There wasn't anything really unique about it, but it was an enjoyable beer.

 530 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.27/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

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

on tap at bierstube - served in pint glass

Pours a lightly hazed copper color with a thicker crop of beige head resting on top. Spotty lacing on the glass while drinking.

Fairly intense hop bitterness in the nose with resinous pine and grapefruit peel. Raisin and caramel with roasted malts and soft sweetness. Alcohol punch combines with the hops to create a formidable scent.

Citrusy and pine hop bitterness right up front with sticky resin, grapefruit and oranges. Biting and slightly harsh with some tempering caramel and raisin sweetness. Roasted malts with bread crust and a creamy dose of brown sugar. Finishes bitter, hoppy and boozy.

Fuller medium body, slightly higher carbonation, sticky and coating on the tongue. Extremely hoppy barleywine that could probably benefit from some time in the cellar, although this isn't exactly in the top tier of the style.

 875 characters

Photo of Gatordaddy
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a clear dark amber color with hues of red inside and a few bubbles rising to the top. the head is a light tan color, tight and creamy with a few bubbles on top. It lingers for a little while leaving a slow falling thick lace on the side of the glass.

S-the nose is pretty nice yet slightly subtle. The malt backbone is present but overtaken by sweetness and hops. Caramel and a lightly toasted biscuit up front. Notes of lactose lie in the middle with sweet cherries seem to blend with a strong oily floral hop presence in the back accompanied by notes of fusel alcohol.

T-the taste follows the nose pretty spot on. Lighter on the malt up front followed by notes of lactose then sweet fruit finishing off oily and hoppy showing notes of fusel alcohol.

M-this has a great soft, smooth and creamy feel on the palate. it is about medium body, a little thinner than ideal but still decent. the carbonation picks up at the finish blending with the alcohol to give it a slight crisp burn at the back of the throat.

D-this is quite tasty and has a big hop profile. It would be an interesting brew to age; but this one is quite tasty fresh and has a very pleasing feel. Very solid beer and great example of an American Style Barleywine.

 1,240 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

 743 characters

Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of deonreds
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of khargro2
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of argock
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. 2010 vintage on the label. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.99.

A: Soft leather brown with 1-finger of beige head with spotty lacing.

S: Mild aromas of caramel with some herbal hoppiness. Not much of an aroma punch -- pretty bland. Alcohol is pretty well hidden.

T: The flavor follows with the same pasty combination of malts that provide grist for alcohol production but not as much flavor as it could. The malts are papery and layered and complex as many other barleywines. The hoppiness is in check and doesn't provide the sharp counterpoint you expect in an American Barleywine. Alcohol is not hidden but doesn't detract from the flavor. I would put this in the English Barleywine or Strong Ale grouping.

M: Smooth and caressing -- this is the best feature of this brew. Carbonation is low as expected.

D: Disappointing in many ways, but mainly in missing an opportunity to produce a more distinctive beer. It is good, but doesn't push greatness at all. The malt component is too mellow and lacks the power expected from this style.

 1,125 characters

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

Devil's Milk Barleywine Style Ale from DuClaw Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 401 ratings.
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