A Deal With The Devil
Anchorage Brewing Company

A Deal With The DevilA Deal With The Devil
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Barleywine - American
Ranked #3
Ranked #86
4.58 | pDev: 8.52%
Anchorage Brewing Company
Alaska, United States
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: 156 | Ratings: 1,128 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GreatStoutman
GreatStoutman from Texas

5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 blend 2 is drinking amazing. First time with this beer so I can’t compare it to drinking fresh, but it doesn’t seem to of lost anything. Thick and viscous, slightly boozy, and just tons of dark fruit and toffee flavors. Really incredible

Oct 13, 2021
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minterro from California

4.76/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Got a chance to try this brew during beer tasting with a friend. As always, Anchorage not only impresses with the content inside the bottle, but also outside.

A&S: Appearance is maybe the most lacking characteristic of this beer. Unsurprisingly for a high ABV beer, it doesn't contain much head (head at all actually). The color of the beer is a muddy brown-black. Thick looking even when poured. The aroma is boozy upfront, after time becomes super sweet. Other notes include caramel, molasses, vanilla, and plums (in no particular order)

T&M: Incredible build over time. It is hard to predict what your going to get because this beer is constantly changing even long after sipping. These are some of the flavors we were able to identify (in no particular order of dominance): Marshmallow, dark fruits, currents, macarons, molasses, vanilla, and plums. The mouthfeel is impressive because it is simultaneously thick and carbonated. Super tongue coating, keeping the taste hanging around and evolving on your palate over time.

Overall: First off, truly mind-blowing! This beer clearly stood out as special even in a tasting that included Abraxas (which also happened to land in my top 10 of all time). When rating beers, I try my best to consider my personal bias toward certain styles and not give a high rating to particular beers because they are the styles I like. Barleywines are definitely one of my favorite styles, and this beer is excellent for that style. This beer is also unique in that I couldn't stop thinking even days after trying it. Only a handful of beers have had such an impression on me. Highly, highly, highly recommend this beer even for the high price tag.

May 09, 2021
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Siriusfisherman from Vermont

4.49/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: A dark ruby red with very little head and no lacing. Slight alcohol legs.

S: Fruity, deep, rich caramel, raisin, prune, vanilla, coconut, and cognac.

T: Very rich caramel flavor, similar to aroma, raisin, vanilla, coconut.

F: Thick, full bodied, very smooth and creamy finish.

Overall: One hell of a strong beer, but very smooth considering. It drinks like it has lower abv, very little alcohol burn, although five years in the bottle certainly helped. Highly reccomended.

Dec 01, 2020
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Did this and the 2020 version back to back, because quarantine. Dark clear brown, no head. Smells strongly of booze, wood, toffee, raisin, brown sugar, barley, vanilla, coconut, and caramel, cognac gives a sweeter complexion. Taste is rich, cognac booze, wood, with rich toffee/caramel, molasses, and everything from the smell, especially dark fruits and a hint of candied cherry lingering. Much sweeter than the 2020. Feel is velvet smooth, very warm, rich, and boozy. The wife loved it

Apr 25, 2020
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.93/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to JLindros for sharing this bottle. It's a batch 2, a gift to the two of us for working The Festival in Portland.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice darker brown hue with a great one finger lightly tan hued head that faded to leave great bubbly lacing and a thin halo.

S - Big aromas of burnt sugar and caramel. No real alcohol on the nose at all. TONS of dark raisins and dark fruits, glorious cognac barrels and flashes of oak. Great sticky raisin aroma here, super aromatic. While it smells like a vintage beer there is no oxidation.

T - Taste is phenominal. Enormous raisin flavour as well and flashes of chocolate. Exellent cognac barrel notes, sweet, dark fruits, vanilla, barrel oak notes. Loads of almost burnt sugars, little bit of toffee and caramel. This is just exquisietly crafted as far as flavour goes.

M - Mouthfeel is super is lightly carbonated, creamy, smooth, slightly sticky. There is no alcohol.

O - Overall this was a phenomenal beer. There is exquisite cognac notes, lovely dark fruits and creamy barrel. There are incredible characteristics here and with no oxidation in a beer that's 5+ years old....amazing.

Serving Type: bottle

Feb 01, 2020
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.93/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received at The Festival in Portland a few years back. Had a couple weeks ago at Tasty Tuesday and it was delicious, so I decided it was time to try it, shared with rudzud, from Dec 2014, batch 2

Pours a auburn tan foamy thicker creamy head with moderate retention, good lacing, somehow clear darker auburn color

Nose is awesome, layers of everything sweet, caramel, candy, toffee, big burnt caramel, big apple brandy like with some cognac and vanilla barrel, the aged malt is quite nice, big juicy aged fruit raisin, very aged soft malt slight winey oxidized character, but a good aged oxidation like character,

Taste is just awesome, just incredible, loads of juicy dark fruit, raisin plum like fruit and big caramel candy with some molasses but super smooth and fair sweetness, toffee, caramel, candy malt, reddish toasty malt, butterscotch toffee, a mild bitterness, caramel toffee and some buttery oak, sweet fruity cognac and apple brandy, vanilla barrel, drier finish with lingering sweet candy malt and toffee caramel brandy lingering, aged soft malt and barrel character

Mouth is med to fuller bod, creamy soft med carb, very low alcohol for what it is

Overall holy frig, this was just ridiculous, so smooth and ridiculously awesome, one of the best beers I've ever had, incredible barleywine that I really wish I had a bunch of

Feb 01, 2020
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Zach_Attack from Massachusetts

4.74/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Jan 02, 2019
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FlintB from Michigan

4.78/5  rDev +4.4%
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!

Dec 29, 2018
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JLK7299 from North Carolina

5/5  rDev +9.2%
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!

Dec 24, 2018
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Vidblain from Minnesota

4.74/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Nov 05, 2018
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stevoj from Idaho

4.05/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

Jun 21, 2018
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Frudel from Canada (QC)

3.97/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

Apr 30, 2018
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gcamparone from Rhode Island

4.64/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Mar 13, 2018
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RAlmeida77 from Massachusetts

4.6/5  rDev +0.4%
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.

Mar 04, 2018
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PBRmeasap1980 from Indiana

4.47/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Jan 02, 2018
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Lazhal from Michigan

4.98/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Dec 29, 2017
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Furlinator from California

4.9/5  rDev +7%
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.

Nov 13, 2017
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yesterdayfaraway from Missouri

4.94/5  rDev +7.9%
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!!

Nov 13, 2017
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

2.93/5  rDev -36%
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.

Nov 05, 2017
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MTKATL from Georgia

4.99/5  rDev +9%
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.

Oct 17, 2017
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Radcpa from Washington

4.67/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Brown appearance with no head. Aroma is a very nice barleywine with a touch of cognac. Taste is a very smooth barleywine with a nice touch of cognac.

Aug 29, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.6/5  rDev +0.4%
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.

Jun 05, 2017
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Jwale73 from Rhode Island

4.22/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

May 29, 2017
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Kevinpitts from Illinois

4.45/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Mar 17, 2017
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Meow49 from Washington

5/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Mar 11, 2017
A Deal With The Devil from Anchorage Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 1128 ratings