A Deal With The Devil
Anchorage Brewing Company

A Deal With The DevilA Deal With The Devil
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Style:
American Barleywine
Ranked #1
ABV:
17.3%
Score:
100
Ranked #96
Avg:
4.57 | pDev: 8.53%
Reviews:
149
Ratings:
1,092
From:
Anchorage Brewing Company
 
Alaska, United States
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Rotating
Wants
  799
Gots
  309
SCORE
100
World-Class
A Deal With The DevilA Deal With The Devil
Notes: Barleywine style ale brewed with Galaxy Hops. A starting gravity of 37 Plato. Aged eleven months in Cognac barrels.
Reviews: 149 | Ratings: 1,092 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Zach_Attack
4.74/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

05/2015 - Love the huge cognac aromas, raisin and plum, a slight maple, subtle hoppy aromas; sweet, honey, boozy, caramel, dank hops, and more plum and some tobacco too; chewy mouthfeel with flavors of raisin, tobacco, dark chocolate, and cognac lingering.

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Photo of FlintB
4.78/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Massive caramel and vanilla. Plenty of barrel. Not at all hot for the ABV. Creamy, sticky mouthfeel. Long, sweet finish. 2014 vintage, cognac seems to have fallen off a bit. Just a fantastic sipper!

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Photo of JLK7299
5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is absolutely the most perfect barleywine that I have ever tasted. If it wasn’t so expensive I would probably drink nothing but this all winter. Barleywine is life!

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Photo of Vidblain
4.74/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I'll begin this review by stating that I am not a barleywine guy. Revoke my membership to BiL, because I'm not worthy.

But, Jesus, if you don't like this beer, your Craft is Life membership should be revoked.

A Deal with the Devil (Double Oak) has a strong caramel nose - tasting notes include rich caramel, quite a lot of barrel, a bit of malt, chocolate notes, and a lot of richness. It's quite sweet, but with the balance of the barrels, it's very drinkable and finishes quite cleanly.

Again, I'm no barleywine fan boy - but A Deal with the Devil is fantastic.

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Photo of stevoj
4.05/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Christmas tasting, lineup of all variants. Base beer comes off as very similar to the Woodford, a bit more fruity perhaps. Plums, raisins. Sweet and boozy.

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Photo of Frudel
3.97/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Batch 2
Dark brown with reddish highlights, almost no head.
Huge nose of booze, candi sugar, dark dried fruits (plums, dates, raisins).
Medium sweetness, barley sugar, malty, dried fruits.
Way too heavy for me to handle it at the head of a tasting, couldn't finish my glass, too maderized.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.64/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch 2 bottle. Poured from a 750mL bottle into an Anchorage Teku glass. Thanks Ray for sharing.

Pours a dark brown body with an off white two finger head that reduces rather quickly to leave a ring of retention.

Aromas are sweet and malty, molasses, cognac and toffee dominate. On the tongue its roasty and sweet, butterscotch candy and molasses, bourbon soaked vanilla beans, french vanilla, more vanilla than other barleywines I've tasted which is a nice touch. Aftertaste is toasted malt and sticky dark fruits. Mouthfeel is rich, heavy, low carbonation.

This is drinking lovely right now.

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Photo of RAlmeida77
4.6/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle poured in a stemmed bulb. Pours brownish red in color. Minimal head that fades quick. Aromas of dates, raisins, plums and booze. Taste is exactly as the aroma. Sweet dark fruits that hit the tongue on the front. Some booze burn. Finish doesn’t linger. Feel is medium bodied for the style. Overall, this is an amazing beer. I’m starting to enjoy barleywines more and this one is near the top of my list.

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2
A- Brown with ting of read
S- Syrup - dark brown sugar, oak, and molasis
T- Follows nose with sweet barrel aged brown sugar and molasis with a bit of aged hops
F- Thick-medium
O- I don't love barleywines, but this was nice and drinkable.

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Photo of Lazhal
4.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Perhaps the best beer I've ever had in my life.

A step above some of the big hitters like BCBBW.

Sampler out of bottle.

A big thanks to MIke for sharing.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.9/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Vintage 2014.

Pours translucent rust, dark copper with a khaki head that eventually disappears completely leaving no lace. The smell is of stone fruit, caramel and cognac. The taste is sweet and complex with caramel, toffee, vanilla, dates, burnt sugar, raisin and toasted bread. Full texture with low carbonation. Admittedly sweet but, so many different flavors blending together in glorious harmony. Instantly one of my all-time favorites.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.94/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 4

L: pours very thick and dark brown syrup. A film of head for a brief moment then fades to a tiny ring about the glass.
S: big sweet cognac, caramel covered raisins, there is some slight bitterness. Overall it smells big, boozy and sweet.
T: wow! Zero alcohol, wow. Wasn't expecting that. Huge and awesome flavors of sweet raisins, grapes, with nice caramel sweetness that lingers well past the drink.
F: The sweetness completely coats my mouth and lips. I just keep tasting it long after the drink. So smooth, very thick.
O: wow! Blown away!!

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.93/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 2, pours brown into the glass, not overly thick, small lighter brown head on the top, 1/5". Aroma and appearance both look and smell like cognac. Massive amount of fusel like alcohol waft from the glass. Wow, this is just like smelling rubbing alcohol.

Taste, man the alcohol is the dominant thing going on. A little bit of french oak like notes from the cognac barrel up the senses and probably get the alcohol burn pairing with a drier astringency, thereby totally dominating the mouth in a non consensual way. It just burns the entire way through. Some toffee aspect to it, but it still tastes like burning. At this point, I just have to reconcile the harsh fact that I don't like anything aged in a cognac barrel, Eclipse cognac masterpiece or whatever was limited for the same reasons. Or maybe cognac barrel aging just needs to be for far less time to contour itself to my palate limitations. A lot of raisin bitterness too, despite a very mild set of carbonation and decent amount of sweetness (coming from where, I don't know) to it.

I like so much Anchorage stuff, but this is my least favorite of anything they make, no doubt because of the heavy amount of Cognac influence.

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Photo of MTKATL
4.99/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 2. Poured form bottle into snifter. Dark amber color. Nose is caramel, cognac and raisins. The taste follows he nose. The cognac blends so perfectly here. The mouthfeel is wonderfully smooth. Overall this is the best barelywine I have had the opportunity to enjoy.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.6/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was dark brown color with a slim one finger white to slight off white somewhat foamy head that dissipated within a light lacing. The smell was full of sweet darkened caramel boozy malt. The taste had a full boozy sweet caramel malty flavor. There is a slight boozy sweet caramel aftertaste that lead to sweet yet dry finish. On the palate, this sat about a medium to heavy on the body. I don’t mind the thickness on this beer - it’s a barleywine, it’s supposed to be this way. Boy, does this super smooth over my tongue. Overall, well, Gabe Fletcher, yeah dude, you knocked this one outa the park.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.22/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lively mahogany hue with thin, tight, off-white band around the edges. Nose expresses smokey notes, molasses and brown sugar. Taste follows nose - sweet and cloying, but not in a bad way in theses circumstances and the cognac barrel (wood and spirits) comes forth in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium in body with an almost still carbonation and an oily texture. Overall, nothing short of amazing. I just wish the price point wasn't so dear.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.45/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had 2014 version aged for 2 years 4 months. Very smooth and lots of taste. Had a smooth cognac barrel taste with no heat to it. Compares well to MOAS. Had a debate over which was better. Think I prefer Moas by a hair though I'd have to side by side to be sure.

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Photo of Meow49
5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am not always a big fan of barleywines, but this one absolutely knocked my socks off. Everything about this big boy is, paradoxically, in your face, and yet, very nuanced. Lots of candied molasses, toffee, caramel, drambuie, cognac, orange and lemon zest, kiwi, strawberry, dates, vanilla, oak, and even a touch of the kind of tartness one might find in a world class lambic. I paid around fifty for this bottle of Batch #1, and I've seen them selling on the internet for at least twice that (and it would still been well worth the experience.

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Photo of stakem
4.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch 2, 2014 bottling poured into a snifter appears a dark chestnut color with a khaki head that fades leaving stringy lace.

Aroma is vinous, raisony, caramel, molasses, oak and herbal hops. Little sherry accent as it breathes.

Taste is sweet with caramel, vanilla, molasses, slight oak, vinous and herbal. Boozy as it warms but yet remains quite sweet throughout.

This is one thick bodied brew, so viscous and chewy with moderate to lower levels of carbonation. I heard nothing but amazing things about this beer and while it was good, I think a lot of the residual sugar in this covered up some otherwise enjoyable nuance. Regardless I would seek this out again because it is quite tasty.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Dark maroon with suppressed fizz trying to slowly rise from the deep, like an orc snuffed out in the dark, leaving some tan bubbles as evidence. Thick, sticky clear legs appear after a swirl.

Smell is deep charred oak, cutting and bright red grape, smoothing almond paste and smoked walnut, with leather, a dash of black pepper, a hint of raspberry, and cigar ash. So far there is a shocking lack of prune element. As it warms I get an added and welcome development of toasted biscuits and maple sugar candy.

Oh holy cow, the flavor is really rich but balanced with a wonderful body--a fizz that just barely surfaces on the palate with a nice, moderate to thick body.

I'm getting a really savory, mouth-watering sauce flavor like demi-glace with grape, red wine, or even raspberry, with some candied citrus I'm guessing might be an abundance of hops. I then taste some softly toasted...I don't know. Wtf is the element that is keeping this from being too sweet? This is a rare barleywine that completely avoids the prune territory, and is well balanced between sweet and savory. Okay, continuing, as it warms, there is that deeply charred oak again, but far in the background, accompanied by mincemeat, tangy caramel, and fruit leather.

17.3%??? I don't feel it at all! I'm not so sure about that listed ABV. I've had small Jackie O's bottles listed at 10% that knocked me on my ass. I drank this whole bomber, albeit slowly but probably at the same pace, and I really only feel a moderate buzz when all is said and done.

This was worth the effort it took to get it.

Batch #2 2014 vintage

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Photo of aleigator
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A deal with the devil b2

Pours a dark ember red-brown colored beer, together with a slowly uprising bubbly, beige head, which then disappears all too soon. After swirling the beer, its thickness becomes obvious at the glass, revealing slick alcohol legs, reminding me of drinking a Whiskey.

Complex on the nose, not defined by an overly present barrel though. A vivid, multi layered fruit note mingles perfectly into caramel malts, evoking dried plums, raisins, fermenting grapes and red apples. A toasty nut quality sets itself atop of the malts, soothed by a flowery note. Way lighter on the nose than its abv indicates, due to its awesome balance.

Drinks utmost silk, with a nice creaminess to it, complex and rich, creating a long lasting, awesomly well balanced firework on my palate, with a warming ending.

Tastes of a glazed caramel maltiness, spiced up by matured, gently bitter hops, creating a dried, sugared orange flavor. Ripe figs, dipped into bakers chocolate and wild honey, enriched by sweet cold pressed coffee get completed by a warming raisin, pepper and clove spiciness. Finishes soft, slighty oaken, with a jammy raspberry and juice grape fruitiness, coated by caramel.

A wonderfull sipper. Its not at all over the top/boozy/hot as I expected it to be - instead this showcases an incedible, well nuanced depth of flavors and aromas, which beautifully respond to each other. Another highlight is its mouthfeel. Many Barleywines tend to have a thinner, unpleasant mouthfeel, this does certainly not. It is silk and soft, almost a little creamy, reminding me of having a warming scoop of caramel ice cream.

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Photo of mjpolzin
4.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Finally cracked this one after holding onto it for awhile. 2014 vintage so about two years on it.

I am finding I am not as big of a fan of barleywines anymore so maybe I didn't like this as much as I would have a few years ago. That said, this was a smooth, decadent treat that almost could serve as an after dinner drink. It was very sweet and balanced. Any hop presence had died out and the barrel character had combined nicely with the malt profile. Drinking a full bomber would have been too much so I was glad to share this on Thanksgiving Day.

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Photo of fireazzi
4.89/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wow, what an amazing barleywine. Probably my favorite barley wine. Such a nice sweet taste to this and so complex. I really can't believe how smooth this was for being such a high alcohol beer. Please try this if you can. It is really really good.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours dark with minimal head

S: Sweet sugar, figs, raisins, and liquor

T: A burst of sugary, raisin filled sweetness, rounded out by the cognac barrel.

F: Thick and adequately carbonated

O: An outstanding barleywine, one of the best in its style.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.24/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Dec 2014 (batch 2) bottle, opened Aug 2016.

A - Slighly murky mahogany body. Light tan head pours a half finger high with ok retention and lace.

S - Apple brandy, caramel, Pumpernickle, port wine, and molasses.

T - Sweet caramel apple, apple brandy, rum cake, ice wine, almond, and buckwheat honey.

M - Silky smooth with a thick medium-full frame.

O - Delicious and incredibly drinkable at >17%, but the aggressive sweetness isn't for everyone.

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A Deal With The Devil from Anchorage Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 1092 ratings