A Deal With The Devil | Anchorage Brewing Company

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A Deal With The DevilA Deal With The Devil

Brewed by:
Anchorage Brewing Company
Alaska, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 17.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Barleywine style ale brewed with Galaxy Hops. A starting gravity of 37 Plato. Aged eleven months in Cognac barrels.

Added by HuskyinPDX on 01-29-2013

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Reviews: 131 | Ratings: 977
Photo of ryannosaurus
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Batch 2 750 poured to tulip

One of the most intriguing pours ever... dark brown and opaque, looked almost flat at first... a nice sticky one finger head eventually developed and only subsided a bit

The nose is huge with grape and cognac, some toffee and burnt sugar

Flavor starts with toffee and grape and runs a gamut of vanilla, oak, fig, buttered popcorn, prune, and cherry after that

Mouthfeel is think, intimidating, almost chewy... nice!

Price point seemed a bit expensive, but I grabbed it anyway. I'm glad I did. If not the best barley wine I've ever tried, it is certainly the best I've have recently. Cognac aging lends layers other barrels just don't, totally right for this brew.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%

I decanted A Deal With the Devil into my snifter at cellar temperature. This should be fun.

It pours languidly as if thick and weighty, a sheet of tan foam fizzling up gradually and then dying away. The color is intense, murky blood red. Probably as close to looking like blood as any ale I've seen. Bonus!

Potent vanilla, oak, leather, and butterscotch fume up from this stuff in excess, along with a mix of fruits that aren't only sweet-smelling, but a little tart, too! Like raisins, dates, and prunes accented with a fair amount of lemon zest. Maybe a little maple or molasses in there? And I swear I can detect the essence of hops to an extent., kind of as part of that lemon zest quality. A fascinating and tantalizing aroma.

I just took my first sip. Jeepers. This is no mere beer. This an atomic bomb of cognac, vanilla, and oak followed up with a raiding assault by a merciless menagerie of various fruits. A battalion of dark fruits leads the attack, with a smaller regiment of brighter citrusy fruits (along with some peach or nectarine) providing support. AND YET... I'm pretty okay with being visiously attacked by these intense flavors, because they carry out their brutality in a pretty well integrated, orderly and balanced fashion. I even get fine touches of earth, yeast, and nuttiness in the finish. A little bit of noble hops as well. Overall, it's very much like a boozed-up dark fruitcake. And the booze is cleverly concealed, by the way.

The body is massive and thick and sticky, and just... over the top. Nice.

This here is a special little barleywine. It's got insane intensity of flavors, and incredibly, all the complexity and balance necessary to harness that intensity. Not only sweet, but kinda tangy, and with that leathery, slightly bitter swagger that always makes an ale like this interesting. It's got character to spare.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%

bottle, thanks Scott.

dark reddish brown. caramel, dark fruit nose. taste reminiscent of aged utopias. raisin, caramel, cognac. ABV extremely well hidden. a top 2 barleywine for me. thick, smooth, creamy, awesome!

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Photo of chinchill
3.8/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Large shared bottle.

Spicy and dark fruit notes in the nose. Hints of brandy.

Body seems a bit light but is fairly smooth for the very high ABV.

Nice complexity. A bit boozy in the finish.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very enjoyable beer, the cognac barrel adds an interesting presence to go with the strong barleywine characteristics. The cognac adds a smoothness but without the boozy flavors you get from bourbon or rum barrels.

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Photo of macher0
4.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on Zwanze Day at the Holy Grale

A. Pours moderately thick with a deep mahogany color with amber hints. Fine bubble head. Moderate to high viscosity.

S. The nose is caramel, booze, boozy oak, dark chocolate, and toffee. The cognac is present.

T. The taste follows the nose consistently with major notes of cognac, toffee, vanilla, marshmallows, hazelnuts, figs, and bread pudding. Certainly boozy but not unpleasant - I mean this is a beast. There is sweetness but it comes through to balance the flavors and blends to the flavors.

M. Smooth for the abv, moderate carbonation, and FULL body. Sticky.

O. This is an excellent treat. Very big beer. Bold flavors makes this one worth the acclaim. I'm happy I was able to try this so I do not need to search it out. Anchorage brought their A game.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%

Not meant for the faint of heart- this massive taste of ale is a high testiment to what ale can be and not of what it should be. With its high succulent charm and slow-sipping rewards, patience is rewarded in such high culinary delight.

A Deal With The Devil shows a highly viscous weight with its decant. Layering upon the glass with such sugary weight, it seems to crawl into the glass all by itself. Its tawny mahogany color gives way to a breadth of aromas that stimulate the senses with brown sugar, toffee, molasses and sweet fruity booze. Those cognac tendencies show full force as the flavors favor grape, caramel, umami and black-strap molasses.

As the middle unfolds, the booze-soaken fruits of apples, dates, figs, raisons, plumb, cherry and peach are all represented, but done so in a dried and pleasantly oxidized kind of way. With such tang, heat and sweetness, that session easily gravitates to a sipping session rather than a drinking one.

And as the most subtle of sips latch onto the taste buds, its finish is long-lasting, deeply saturating and luxurious on the palate as each decadent sip reaches deeper and deeper into the taste buds for a lasting dessert-like slumber.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged Batch 1 (Dec 2013) bottle from Tipples poured on 7-12-14. Pours a mahogany brown color with some purple--and it pours very viscous looking-and a big light brownish yellow head. The aroma is magnificent coming off this thing and you can smell it across the room. Big dark fruits, figs, oak, molasses, brown sugar, coconut, maybe some vanilla, yum. Flavor is huge sweet brown sugar, figs, cognac, lots of chewey oak, leather, more brown sugar. Good lord it is sweet and intense. Incredibly smooth for the ABV and very little boozy alcohol heat presence. Cheery and thick mouthfeel with low but still present carbonation. What a treat this is. Worth every bit of hype and one of the best Barleywines I have ever had.

Batch 2 bottle not quite as rich and viscous but still darn good. This years seemed a bit more one note than before, with less coconut and brown sugar, and more molasses.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to The Dooper for the share on this one. Fun times man!

From a 750 into a snifter.
Batch #1
December 2013
37 degrees Plato
IBU 60
Galaxy hops
Barleywine aged in cognac barrels for 11 months

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium-thicker looking, light tan head with great retention. Dark maroon red or brown body with no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a ring leaving some dots of lacing down the glass. Beauty.

SMELL: Cognac, oak, vanilla, coconut, red fruits and lots of toffee on the nose. Bold for sure. Some caramel and butterscotch accompany the cognac and oak as well. Alcohol for sure, and some spicy aromas. Very bold and candy-like. Excellent.

TASTE: Cognac, oak, toffee and butterscotch up front. Very sweet and flavorful. Lots of barleywine and alcohol as well. Big finish of toffee, caramel and butterscotch sweetness, some spicy alcohol, with oak, vanilla and sweet cognac from the barrels. Excellent. Bold and lingering aftertaste is mostly sweet with a touch of bitter hops under all the sweet caramel, toffee and cognac barrel flavors. Perhaps a touch more bitterness is necessary to balance out all the sweetness, but this is plenty interesting, complex and enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium-full body with medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down silky smooth and finishes sticky. A good amount of heat lingers. Excellent feel for the style. Big, silky, sticky enough and some well measured heat. You'd never guess this was 17%, and it's much fuller, creamier, and less abrasive than the competition. Class.

OVERALL: This was really, really good. It's definitely a sweet beer, but it's big, full bodied, thick, flavorful, and very complex in the flavor profile. A touch more bitterness might help push this into the next stratosphere, but as it is, it's a beauty of a beer and well worth checking out if you can. Would love to see a bottle of this with 5 years on it, and am very much looking forward to the next batch. Awesome beer night Dooper. Cheers!

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Photo of scottfrie
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Batch 1. 750ml bottled opened at Trappist Provisions.

A: Pours a ruddy deep brown with a bubbly and thin light brown head that faded into a faint light brown collar.
S: The cognac barrel definitely dominates with scents of boozy raisins, brandy and red grapes. It's also very musty and earthy smelling. Definitely some damp basement. There's a note of mild chocolate as well.
T: I get some warming booze and very smooth barrel flavors, rich notes of leather, dark chocolate, and earthy subtle hops, very mild leaf tobacco,barrel spices, brown sugar, caramel and some toffee. Woody barrel finish, with dark fruits, brandy, and rich chocolate fudge lingering in aftertaste along with bitter earthy herbal hops. Booze soaked raisins and dark chocolate dominate overall.
M: Extremely velvety carbonation, rich mouthfeel, smooth with warming booze but not hot at all. Drinks like a beer with much lower alcohol. Very rich and full, but super soft and airy at the same time. Extremely impressive could sip all day.
O: Take any other 17% beer fresh and it's hot, but this tastes like its been cellared five years in the bottle. One of the better barleywines I've ever had, and definitely the best one I've had fresh. Really delicious and amazing mouthfeel, and really impressive all-around.

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Photo of Get_Lowell
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a wine glass at a Shelton Brothers tasting at the Wine and Cheese Place.

A: Pours a murky reddish brown with a small amount of tan foam, head dissipates fairly quickly, leaves a nice trail of suds on the glass as you sift it.

S: Very aromatic, toffee, caramel, biscuit comes out as it warms up, boozey fumes if you get close enough.

T: Sweet molasses, roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, toffee, booze; all of the flavors which were out on the nose come together for a big party. There's so much going on from start to finish you keep discovering new flavors after numerous pulls.

M: Full bodied, one of the thickest beers I have ever had, very chewy, a dessert in a glass.

O: This is one of the finest barleywines I have ever had the pleasure to drink. I couldn't quite pull out any traces of the cognac barrels but I am sure it is probably hiding in there somewhere waiting for a more experienced palate. Be careful with this one, it will sneak up on you given how smooth it is!

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Photo of drmcleod10
4.86/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Tasting at The Wine and Cheese Place. There were 4 bottle of this and I got two pours + another half pour. Poured into a wine glass after having a few collaborations between Anchorage and various breweries.

A - Pours nicely into a wine glass with a murky syrupy light carmel color with minimal head and minimal carb. This one coats the glass nicely and looks thick and chewy

S - Smell is loads of carmel, sugar, maple syrup, with hints of booze

T - Taste follows the nose here. Maple Syrup followed by carmel and hints of dark fruits that blend together to form an amazing taste. I thought this taste better than King Henry and I am basing this review off what I thought of King Henry a couple weeks ago. This one is so smooth and it hides the 17%+ very well. There is only a faint hint of booziness in this but nothing on the finish or anything that lingers. Carmel, Maple Syrup, Cognac, then dark fruits and hints of molasses

M - This is a very thick chewy viscous barley wine. Definitely a full bodied beer with minimal carbonation.

O - This is the best barley wine that I have had so far. Some people may not agree, but I love the sweetness to this beer and I think it is perfect for masking the 17% beast. I may have to seek this one out.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed out of a 750 mL Batch #1 bottle at an Anchorage tasting/flight at Bridger's Bottle Shop in Kansas City. Served in a half pint nonic style tumbler.

Appearance - Has the color of black strap molasses, and looks about as close to the consistency as a beer could look, with a very viscous feel and legs that really linger when I tip the glass to see the liquid wash over the side. There is only about a half finger of dark tan foam and it dissipates fairly quickly, leaving the slimmest of ringlets around the edge of the glass and zero lacing.

Smell - Rich, sweet aromas waft out of the glass, with flavors of dark salted caramel, molasses, maple syrup and buckwheat honey. There are hints at woody tannins, but I think most of the flavor profiles imparted by the barrel aging are more in the vein of port wine and rich, passionfruit syrup/jam, which I would guess comes from the Galaxy hops. I don't get any citrus or bitterness whatsoever.

Taste -The immediate impression that comes to mind is sorghum and syrup, almost like if you were to take whole grain pancakes and syrup, then infuse them into a beverage. It's not sweet enough to be straight up syrup, and the grain base definitely plows through to give this one a great flavor profile. Again, the notes of molasses and buckwheat honey are present, with the caramel being less noticeable than in the smell. There is also a hint of french vanilla and notes of candied figs and dates--again similar to port. I'm stunned at how well the booze is hidden. Not that it's unnoticeable, but that it's a bit of a surprise that we're in 17% range.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied--about as full bodied as any beer I've ever had--and low carbonation, which ultimately plays into the syrupy impression the beer gives. Very viscous and lingers on the palate long after the liquid has been swallowed, which is nice because you can sit and appreciate the flavors and give yourself some time to absorb the high levels of alcohol.

Overall, just an otherworldly beer. Even though this beer is listed as an American Barleywine, the barrel-aging has definitely taken over in the primary characteristics and gives it a very English feel with big sweetness and lots of grain. I wish I had a full bottle of my own, because I would love to pour this into a brandy snifter and sip on it over the course of an hour or two. And with the low carbonation, I can imagine it would hold up pretty well over a couple days--you could possibly even decant it without severely impacting the overall profile of the beer. I hope against hope that Anchorage produces this beer again and that I can actually procure some for myself.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.02/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Batch #1, December 2013.

Appearance - Wow. It pours like fake milk in a cereal commercial. Murky reddish brown. Small khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Cognac. Dark caramel. Oak. Lots of brown sugar.

Taste - Viscous caramel. Cognac. Sharp fruitiness. Apples. Grape. Then brown sugar. Oaky finish. Thick syrupy sweetness. It's even a little hoppy.

Mouthfeel - This is thicker than any beer I've ever had. Medium low carbonation. Not very boozy, though.

Overall - This is serious. Good, but really sweet.

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Photo of Brdlist
4.96/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Only batch so far - very cool bottle and artwork with some cool Daniel Webster quotations on the back

A - Pours a hazy brown, light yellow foam on the head, settled nicely (poured by a sommelier)

S - earthy and sweet, classic BW profile and a standard for all BW's

T - Impossible to describe it's complexity - subtle booziness almost caramel winey sweetness

M - Incredible, similar to a great wine, soft on the palate

O - an outstanding beer, probably the only batch 1 I'll have, felt quite lucky to enjoy at ChurchKey

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.39/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750mL bottle.

Cola-dark and impenetrable. No head.

Smells like 17%. Blast of fruity booze. Flat and sweet.

Not nearly as strong or sweet as anticipated. Really rich, deep, and full. Mouth-coating and marvelous. Dark fruits, hints of spice. Stewed and delicious. Carmelized brown sugar. Lingering, tobacco-esque finish. Big and bizarre and rewarding.

This is a sipper and a sharer, but this beer is very nice. Highly recommended. Would love to encounter again.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.29/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml corked and caged bottle into Mikkeller stemware. Reviewed at a tasting 5/3/2014.

Pours a muddy maple syrup with no lace and no head. Huge, thick, oily legs really coat the glass though.

Nose is boozy. Maple, brown sugar, caramel and dark fruit. Rich and very robust.

Opens maple, brown sugar and caramel. Boozy in the middle with some nuttiness and dark fruit. End is sweet and sticky molasses. Some woodiness and leather too. Aftertaste of maple with just a very light tartness. Delicious!

Full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and rich in the mouth and goes down heavy and viscous. Messy finish with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Just right!

This isn't quite Perfect Storm or even King Henry but it certainly belongs in the conversation of top barleywines. Great complexity with an excellent feel to tie things together.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from Churchkey in D.C. Split with a few buddies.

The beer looks like a muddy cola. Brownish gray and murky with an inch of thick, khaki hued cap. Not a very nice looking beer. However, every other aspect of the beer (all of the important attributes) is fantastic.

The aroma brings the cognac front and center. Additional notes of toffee, oak, booze, leather, brown sugar. Fabulous flavor, carrying every delectable whiff of the aroma into the taste. Rich and smooth. Delicate on the palate with a gentle, silky finish. 17.3% abv?!? Dangerously drinkable. Teeming with flavor, this is a beer to sip and savor. A top notch example of the style. I'd love to have this again sometime.

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Photo of MarcWP
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into chalice.

Pours dark brown, small tan head, little lacing.

Aroma is huge dark fruit, fig, date, spiced plum, vanilla, oak, subtle Brandy, and a slight mintiness.

Taste brings fig, date, vanilla, oak, definite Brandy/cognac character. Also a slight bitterness I'm assuming from the hops which helps to balance out the beer and keep it from becoming cloying. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is pretty on par with English barleywines. Medium with soft carbonation. Sweet finish.

Overall, yes it's great. It's fantastic, but the best of the best? Probably not. Would love to have some to age. Would pull out port qualities that would make it even more interesting. Boozy for sure, but I find it hides it better than most Bruery booze bombs.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

an enormous barleywine type here, aged in cognac. an i thought between the staves was cognac heavy! ha! this is next level, ultra rich and decadent and intense. indian brown in color with about as much viscosity as ive seen in a beer. not much head, but a small ring of tan lace along the edge of my glass. it smells like cognac, with that sweet wine property, tons of oak, and an enormous grain bill that must assuredly add some leftover sugar to this. i feel the beer before i taste it, what an incredible texture to this, velvety smooth, slippery, but with a gigantic body, hard to even swallow this in big sips its so heavy, up there with the heaviest beers ive had really, as far as body is concerned, its almost not fully liquid, like maple syrup or something. burnt sugar and vanilla and cognac are the dominant flavors, and although it is quite sweet, i dont find it nasty and cloying and over the top. the wood mellows it all out. i am amazed at just how smooth this beer is, i mean, for 17% abv and change, its hardly hot in the slightest, and certainly doesnt reek of big booze and feel like a fusel bomb. certainly a bomber of this would light up even the most seasoned of drinkers, but is a beer to be shared anyhow. extremely impressed with such a big barleywine, and would take this over the likes of bourbon county and others, the texture is special.

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Photo of John_M
4.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Heard that Bier Stein got in a case, and that they were going to do 4 ounce pours for "only" $6 a pop. So I hustled right on down to get my fair share of abuse.

The beer pours an impressive tawny brown color with very good head retention and good lacing. The beer is every bit as impressive on the nose, as I picked up considerable milk chocolate, cherry prune, vanilla and toffee. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this decadently rich beer. The beer is almost viscuous on the palate, and mouthfeel is soft,creamy and very full. The finish is also quite long in this sweet, rich beer, and I'm amazed by how well the alcohol is integrated into the flavor profile. Yes, you can tell it's a big beer, but there's no heat or heaviness on the palate from the 17% abv.

A very impressive beer, and while enjoyable, the beer was so rich, 4 ounces was more than enough. Nevertheless, this is one of the better barleywines I've had in quite some time.

One of the more amusing comments I heard from the manager at Bier Stein (Dave) pertained to the beer's drinkability. He noted that you really couldn't tell this was a 17% abv. beer, that it really drank like a beer with only 12% abv. I suppose that's true, but 12% or 17%, this is a sizeable BW with some serious alcohol to it.

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Received with a tiny bit of head. The head is a creamy light beige with hints of tan and light burnt umber while the body is a deep chestnut brown that shows hints of beige and khaki in the light.

Nose- This is absolutely delicious. This hits all the notes you want a barleywine to hit and I'm surprised that this is described as an American barleywine because it doesn't smell like one. Huge notes of toffee, caramel, coconut, and vanilla. Light notes of chocolate and cocoa. Even minor butterscotch. I really enjoy smelling this beer so much that it's almost a shame to drink it.

Taste- Dominated by leather on the front and this leather continues to permeate through the flavor profile. Some tobacco. The intense malt notes of the aroma sit in the middle and while they are all there they don't seem to have the presence that they had on the aroma. Definite vanilla, toffee, and caramel. Slight butterscotch- minimal notes of chocolate and cocoa. The hops that seem to characterize this as an American barleywine come through stronger than they did on the noes. Slight woodiness with citrus notes that build to candied fruits on the finish. This is definitely a great beer but I think that I prefer Abacus. It's been sometime since I've had Abacus so I'm comparing from memory. I could compare side by side but the 5.50 for a 4 oz pour is too much in my opinion. This does hide the alcohol quite well but it is there. It seems more like a 12% than a 17%. Slight burnt caramel that tends toward popcorn. Definitely the best American barleywine out there and without a doubt, a great beer. I think the slight hop presence mars what could be a brilliant beer but that's mostly my preference for English barleywines.

Mouthfeel- Between medium bodied and heavy bodied with some carbonation and tons of syrup to the texture. This makes it seem thicker than it is.

Drinkability- This is a very dangerous beer. There is an alcohol presence but not 17%. I don't know if I would spend 30 on a bottle for myself but if I did, it would go down too quick. Great deal as a part of the Upper Lip flight.

Overall- Definitely a great beer but I don't think I can rank it as high as most have. This is partially a result of style but I do truly think that it isn't as good as Abacus. A must try, especially if you can get a small pour.

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Photo of anteater
4.81/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

4oz pour from a bottle

A: Dark brown with a good amount of carbonation and a thin tan head

S: Heaven. Such deep and rich notes of caramel, oak, vanilla, molasses and maple.

T: A very small sip is all you need for an absolutely explosion of flavor. Rich caramel, molasses, oak and lots of maple syrup. The alcohol is ridiculously well hidden, and although you don't taste the burn of it, you do get a very pleasant mouth numbing sensation from this beer. It really takes over every part of your mouth.

M: So thick and luxurious, but the carbonation is still very present which makes the mouthfeel on this beer amazing and special.

O: When I walked out the door to go to the bar and try this beer, I had a feeling that this might unseat my previously favorite beer or at least match it. Most of the time, those types of feelings are inaccurate, but in this case it was dead on. This beer meets the hype. Holy shit. Its amazing!

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Photo of sprucetip
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, only one full review of the amazing beer since October? A month ago I saw a whole pallet of it, wrapped in plastic and ready to be shipped south, in the Anchorage Brewing Company's facility. And some other pallets had already moved in that direction. I couldn't find a bottle of it for sale in Anchorage, though I had only missed the release by having been a week late getting home and not arranging for a proxy buyer.

The narrative of the scoring review is from notes in a dimly lit bar. Humpy's. While having a conversation with a friendly feller whose name I don't remember and who dropped $10 for an 8oz pour of this 2013 DWTD after I told him what I was drinking, and offered him a sip. ..

Continue reading after the scoring sections for a good story that beer geeks should enjoy….

In low light it is unclear whether or not it is murky. In retrospect, i doubt it. It appears to be mahogany in color and has little head or visible activity. Still, it's quite attractive.

I first notice plentiful boozy esters, but the often associated boozy heat is minimal. Earlier I find the aroma vaguely fruity, citrus and with the caramel elusive but detectable. Later the caramel becomes more prominent and cherry fruitiness emerges too.

It tastes surprisingly hoppy up front, thru the middle and even into the finish. That hoppiness includes some citrusy hop flavor as well as some mild bitterness. Other elements include cherry/fruity tartness, and the rich caramel sweetness that balances perfectly.

Perfect carbonation, high viscosity, rich and with a full body. Wicked smooth.

This is an extraordinary beer from an extraordinary brewer.

So I’m on my way home to Alaska. My buddy in Iowa has some of this beer he made over a year ago that is pretty flipping good. Though he has never had M, he modeled it after M based on things he had read. It kinda reminds me of Hebrew Jubilation 16. It weighed in at around 14.5%. So he put some in a bottle for me, with the plan that I would go see Gabe at Anchorage Brewing, share the homebrew with him, and maybe get some feedback and tips on the brew. That all came to pass. Gabe liked it, said “I dig it.” Then came the feedback. The oak and bourbon were a little overdone. Then the advice. Next time oak/bourbon part of the batch and not the other part. Then blend it together. Even play with different proportions in a glass before blending the whole batch, and use that experience to guide future decisions. It’s pretty cool that Gabe took the time to do this, and show me around. Again. He’d gotten a whole bunch more huge oak fermenters since the last time I was in there. He showed me the last pallet of DWTD that was about to be shipped to the states. I mentioned that I missed the release and had a nice vertical of Bourbon County with me (08, 09, 10, 12) that I’d be willing to trade if he knew anyone that had any. He found me a bottle and we commenced the deal. Then he told me that last years was on tap at Humpy’s and he’d had a glass with his lunch. I made a bee line over there to try it. The bottle I traded for will go back to Iowa and be shared with my friend who sent the homebrew attempt at M. Good story? … And the good news is that he is making exponentially more DWTD next year. I forget how much, but orders of magnitude more. He had to rent another building to hold all the barrels.

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Photo of derftron
4.91/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle pouring at Belmont Station

Two 5 oz pours

Smell is of dark liquor, dark furits, figs, bourbon, cognac, maple syrup, carmel, and just thickness

had a slight head that goes away fairly quick. off white

mouthfeel is thick and slightly carbonated. coats the mouth and throat for a few minutes after swallowing..

taste/overall - this is a new standard for barley wines and barrel aged beer in general for me. over 17% and I feel I could drink it for hours (unless my liver quit working). so smooth and luxurious with a depth of flavors that is remarkable. Had not even heard of this beer 3 days ago and heard about this tasting. after reading about it I knew I had to try it and I am very glad I did. sounds like this stuff never comes around. higher alcohol and even better balanced that Sucaba which is damn impressive. they balanced the booze and the cognac barrel flavor so well with this beer and in the end all you taste is a cornocopia of flavors from dates, carmel, figs, bourbon/cognac, maple syrup, etc.. I really hope they put more of these out for sale some day as I will not forget this beer.

As a side note: the only bummer was the extreme price gauging done by Belmont Station with this tasting. I know this beer is expensive, but $10 for a 4-5oz pour??? that sucked, but oh well.

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A Deal With The Devil from Anchorage Brewing Company
4.49 out of 5 based on 977 ratings.
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