Arctic Devil Barley Wine | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine
1,370 Ratings
Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine

Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States

Style: British Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Arctic Devil Barley Wine, aptly named after the ferocious wolverine of the north, is an English-style (meaning malt-inclined) barley wine. Though the recipe and process for Arctic Devil have evolved over the years, it is brewed once a year then aged in oak barrels for several months before the entire batch is blended, bottled and released.

In its youth, Arctic Devil gnarls and snarls its way across the palate. Containing this beast of a beer for long periods in oak barrels--some having previously aged port, wine or whiskey--tames the unleashed malt and fierce hop flavors, melding and mellowing this powerful liquid into an incredible elixir worthy of a brewer's table.

Each annual batch of Arctic Devil Barley Wine represents the brewers' resolve to create an intriguing and sought-after barley wine by precisely brewing to well-designed specifications, carefully selecting the type and combination of barrels to use for aging, and meticulously checking the beer as it ages. Distinct nuance and complexity are contributed by the wood's previous tenants, resulting in unique flavor profiles in each batch that continue to change over time. We invite you to savor Arctic Devil Barley Wine upon its release then cellar some for future enjoyment.

20 IBU

Added by Todd on 03-24-2005

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,370 |  Reviews: 392
Photo of Jernut81
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of buschbeer
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours a mahogany color with deep amber highlights. There is a slight haze. It is topped with less than an inch of fleeting tan head that leaves no lacing.

The smell is sweet. I get caramel and vanilla. I also get a little wood and a lot of alcohol aroma.

The taste is toffee and caramel with hints of vanilla and orange marmalade. There is some cocoa with a little oak and alcohol for good measure.

Full bodied with smooth and syrupy mouthfeel

This bottle has ages very well. The taste and smell are great. The warming effect is needed on a cold December night. This is a great beer that I got as an extra in a trade in early 2015.

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Photo of mitch3114
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dirtyhalos
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of gspeer711
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Avitra
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This one is really like going into a date orchard (or whatever it's called). The color is fantastic, like that of a nice ripe medjoul date, the smell is the same, but most importantly, so is the taste. dates, dates, dates. And then yes, there's a hint of bourbon (more Knob Creek than anything else, i think), but none of the petrol that accomanies that. Just beautiful lingering sweetness. This is truly remarkable

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of larryi86
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thank to y2kawakami for this!
22 oz bottle, dated 11/12/15, poured into a tulip

A- A clear deep ruby red with a two finger off white head.

S- Oak, earthy, dark fruits, figs, brown sugar, some bourbon, some molasses.

T- Figs, cherries, bourbon, brown sugar, toffee, oak, touch of molasses, slightly earthy.

M- Smooth, full body.

O- A great Barelywine, sweet and rich, alcohol is very well hidden. Very happy I finally got to try this!!

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Photo of ADG2995
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Furlinator
4.69/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Vintage 2017.
Pours thick and sticky. Aromas of brown sugar, oak, pipe tobacco and vanilla. Flavors of burnt sugar, fig, oak, toasted bread and a bourbon finish. Outstanding.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of brewaddict
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2018 Bottle
L - Pours a hazy toffee color with a thin one finger khaki head.
S - I get notes of sweet toffee, bourbon, oak, chocolate, and vanilla, with a tinge of ethanol.
T - I was a bit surprised by the big bold flavors. Starts off with sweet toffee, bourbon, oak, and vanilla. There is a good amount of Fig and bourbon soaked raisin. The finish is classic barleywine.
F - The mouthfeel is thick, chewy, sticky, and has a dry finish.
O - Enjoyed this very much. As a fan of the style, I'm sorry that I passed it up the last couple of years. I was mostly surprised by how much flavor is packed in there. There is also a balanced sweetness from start to finish. This is fantastic now. It should age really well.

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Photo of Uconnelmo
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of LloydDobler
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle 13.4%ABV poured into snifter

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Photo of Tomesco
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of neenerzig
4.19/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got a bomber bottle of this in March of 2016 when I went to Seattle, a few months before the law changed in Ohio and beer over 12% ABV could be legally sold here, so this was quite a find for me at the time. Brought the bomber back with me and aged it in my cellar until tonight. Poured into one of my tulip glasses, this beer pours a very dark copper color with an off-white/slightly tan colored head that's an inch thick when first poured that settles to a nice film layer of foam that covers most of the beer's surface along with a very thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Aromas of some toasted, biscuit caramel malts and toffee sweetness along with molasses and brown sugar and certainly a bit of alcohol. The taste is pretty much the same, with somewhat toasted, biscuit, caramel malt, toffee, caramel, and brown sugar sweetness along with some dark fruit notes of fig and plum. A bit of earthy hops gives the overall flavor profile some semblance of balance, but the sweetness certainly dominates, no question about it. There is of course also the taste of some alcohol, being that this is a 13.4% AVB beer. Has a somewhat crisp and slightly prickly, slightly oily and chewy, slightly smooth, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Has a slightly astringent and somewhat dry finish and aftertaste. A pretty good beer all around, and glad I got a chance to try it.


 1,421 characters

Photo of dansmcd
4.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 1971bernat
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Robomunky
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of boothbeer
4.26/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Bottle Split 4 ways at about 11:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving with family.

This beer held up surprisingly well. nice toffee notes and sweet caramel. Touch of oxidation which I didnt mind. The booziness was subdued and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.79/5  rDev -36%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a chestnut colored brown with an off white head 1/3". Aroma of hot barrel, oak, maris otter. Kind of wondering why this smells "harsh" as I would term it, its making me wonder about fusel alcohols, but its prolly just a big hot beer and that is why it smells like a big hot beer.

Tastes actually like it smells. Old English wet wormwood and oak feels. Maris otter for days still. The damn booze blend from like brandy and port seems up there. It doesn't result in a barrel feel that is specifically discernable, its just a jumbled hot mess of a beer.

Looks like this might be one of those, OMG this beer is so strong, it must be awesome type of reviews. I just don't really understand how something so hot and lacking in basic flavor beyond that can be so loved. Just not my cup of tea.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.01/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: pours light brown with a orange hint to it, no head on the pour. The color reminds me Helldarado.
S: big bourbon smacks me in the face, love it! Then big sharp raisin sweetness and caramel. Smells very fruity/big raisins.
T: like the nose, sharp raisin sweetness, caramel and a bit harsh bourbon. I wish the bourbon was smoother.
F: medium to thin thickness, doesn't coat well, and had a touch of alcohol heat.

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Photo of Muss42
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of PprBurke
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Benish
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a hazy brown color with a beige head that disappeared quickly to nothing. The aromas were of baked goods - mainly cinnamon rolls. Also picked up ton of oak, vanilla, and pitted fruits. There were absolutely no hop aroma. Flavors are not quite the same as the aromas. Its very sticky sweet, not so much like a "baked good" but more like liquified sweetened dark fruits. As it warmed up, the alcohol became so potent and obvious. Some trace of oak. Maybe a trace of caramel at the very finish, leaving a note of bourbon. The mouthfeel is is full bodied with a lot of warmth at the end. Overall its a heavy beer thats best to share with others. This is an English Barleywine and by that, they don't mess around. Its sweet, sticky and without any notes of hops. I just think it would be even more spectacular if it sat in bourbon barrels instead of oak.

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Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.36 out of 5 with 1,370 ratings