Arctic Devil Barley Wine
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine
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Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
Barleywine - English
Ranked #22
Ranked #751
4.36 | pDev: 8.26%
Apr 25, 2022
Mar 24, 2005
Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine
Notes: 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
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4.44 by khargro2 from Tennessee on Apr 25, 2022
4.54 by OtisCampbell007 from Tennessee on Apr 18, 2022
4.25 by smartassboiler from Illinois on Jan 05, 2022
4.34 by SierraFlight from Virginia on Dec 09, 2021
Photo of Sandis
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Sandis from Minnesota

2019 version poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Morning Delight tulip glass. Toffee aroma. Taste is sweet malts, molasses, barrel. Smooth, sweet and boozy.

Nov 11, 2021
4.46 by psweendogg from Connecticut on Jul 20, 2021
4.53 by Scottsbeer from Florida on Jul 07, 2021
4.34 by loganburgh from Michigan on May 24, 2021
4.46 by Rothobinide from California on Mar 22, 2021
Photo of stevoj
4.26/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by stevoj from Idaho

Bottle from Bottle Barn. Mahogany pour, fluffy head fades to tiny ring. Woody, toffee aroma, hint of booziness to come. Taste is sweet malts, molasses, barrel notes. Smooth, sweet and boozy. Wonderful.

Mar 19, 2021
4 by BeerRay from Rhode Island on Mar 18, 2021
4.75 by mrmsmith from District of Columbia on Feb 10, 2021
4 by thewimperoo from Illinois on Jan 29, 2021
4.34 by Dharmelink from Wisconsin on Jan 16, 2021
Photo of mschrei
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by mschrei from Illinois

Dark cloudy brown with lightly fuzzy hPead and lacing. Smell is boozy, malty, dark fruit notes, molasses, and brown sugar. Taste is boozy bourbon, sweet brown sugar and molasses, light dark fruit and vanilla notes. Medium bodied, mouth watering, and yes, boozy. Very good.

Jan 15, 2021
Photo of REVZEB
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by REVZEB from Illinois

Opaque medium dark brown with a thick khaki ring. Huge barley with big fig dipped in toffee, bourbon, molasses, and supporting sugar plum, brown sugar and oak. Let it warm up as you sip and be amazed by the aromatic depth! Taste is just a powerful, though more booze and barrel centric. Same cast of characters from the nose, but more raisin now instead of fig with a touch of cola. Feel is warm to almost hot, robust with barley yet smooth with the malt textures, not syrupy but certainly viscous. Glad I finally got to try this beauty, sip and enjoy on a cool day. The wife liked it

Jan 09, 2021
Photo of Captain69
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Captain69 from Illinois

great tasting barley wine -malty with hints of bourbon

Dec 27, 2020
4.14 by ToddBeans from Kentucky on Dec 02, 2020
5 by branham1989 from Texas on Dec 01, 2020
Photo of erickc
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by erickc from Washington

Had on tap at Special Brews Lynnwood, WA

Nov 23, 2020
Photo of AllOfTheCats
3.75/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by AllOfTheCats from Wisconsin

A little bitter, probably because it's young, but decent barleywine when warmer. Will probably age my other 2yrs. I enjoyed all other Midnight Sun beers more than this - Termination Dust, Tundra Wookie, Berserker

Sep 26, 2020
Photo of Brewbuzzard
1.79/5  rDev -58.9%
look: 1.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5
by Brewbuzzard from Texas

I shared a bottle with my brewing buddy it was one of three bottles I purchased. It is from 2019. The color was deep brown and very cloudy like sludge and a thin light tan head. The aroma was sugary sweet with a malt background. Very low hops as to be expected for an English barleywine. No fruit. Hot alcohol nose, fusal. The flavor was residual sugars and cloyingly sweet. Very low hop flavor, some malt but the strong sweetness over powered everything. Hot high alcohols. Full body, fat and flabby. Overall impression, what happened at the brewery in 2019? I purchased this beer due to the wonderful reviews of the earlier batches. The 2019 is very under attenuated or the mash temperature got way out of hand. It is under carbonated, fat and very undrinkable. Guys, clarity is important. I poured mine out, my buddy chocked his down so I asked him if he wanted the other two bottles, he said NO. I might try one of the other bottles on the off chance that one bottle had a problem but I doubt it.

Aug 10, 2020
4 by Nichols33 from Massachusetts on Aug 06, 2020
4.43 by cd34 from Illinois on Jul 11, 2020
4.17 by bschmidt_37 from Illinois on Jul 07, 2020
4.5 by Wisconsin_IPA_Lover from Wisconsin on Jun 09, 2020
4.5 by Scott17Taylor from Iowa on May 21, 2020
4.24 by Duncian from Pennsylvania on Apr 10, 2020
Photo of Treyliff
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
by Treyliff from West Virginia

taken from notes

2011 22oz bottle poured into a snifter, drank in 2015

Pours deep brown in color with a one-finger creamy off-white head that has short retention. Smells of caramel & toffee, molasses, brown sugar, earthy tobacco, leather, figs, raisins, wet oak, vanilla & bourbon, some sherry-like vinous notes and a hit of herbal tea. Flavors follow the nose with bold caramel and toffee notes, as well as a sherry-like sweetness, earthy tobacco and peppery oak, a variety of dark fruits on the finish with more caramel. Medium body with moderate carbonation, foamy mouthfeel and slightly warming finish. Simply an outstanding English Barleywine

Mar 31, 2020
4.31 by ppavlick from New Jersey on Mar 28, 2020
Photo of DokiDokiLitFam
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by DokiDokiLitFam from New Jersey

Pours an opaque, dark copper brown. No translucence. Appearance is similar to apple cider. A finger of light khaki head. Medium lacing.

Nose is bourbon, caramel, and dark fruit. The bourbon really shines through here. Melding with caramel/toffee notes. Booze as it warms.

Taste is bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee, moderate hoppiness. Starts with bourbon, hop flavor comes in after, then the smooth caramel which slowly fades into the malt finish. A very layered brew. It unravels more than it mixes with each other. It takes time to show each flavor, then it moves on to the next.

Mouthfeel is fullbodied and smooth with mild to medium carbonation.

A smooth delicate brew, with some bite to it. Hop quality and big booziness combined with bourbon and caramel provides a slow sipper to be respected and enjoyed.

Mar 01, 2020
4.45 by jmbeerdude91 from Arizona on Feb 06, 2020
4.31 by smithj4 from New York on Feb 05, 2020
Photo of micada
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by micada from New York

2019 12 oz bottle poured aggressively room temp to a tulip. Head is three finger light tan tight-bubble that burns down to a thin persistent ring. Murky caramel color. Nose is sweet caramel and a faint bourbon if you stick your nose way down in there. First sips are a balanced hoppy/caramel twang up front, lots of booze but on the mid palate, and leaves a lot of flavor on the back. Mouthfeel is medium thick. It’s already warmed, so the profile isn’t changing much. Has a nice leather nose on each sip. Very quick hop to caramel to booze progression in the swallow. Booze is pretty hot, but never passes too much. Malt backbone keeps it solid and balanced. Reading the description, I can pull in the wine barrel vibe way down deep. Good drink!

Jan 24, 2020
Photo of beergoot
4.06/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4
by beergoot from Colorado

Dirty, murky amber-brown body topped with a 1/2 finger-thick creamy head. Rich, malty aroma; caramel; phenolic; musty; boozy. Strong oak flavor nearly overpowers the rich caramel and toffee taste; a nudge of vanilla; pecan. Heavy body; thick and chewy; sludgy; warm.

Well, this one is a beast. In many ways, in hindsight, I would like to have tried this aged for at least a year or so. I think the wood barrel notes undercut the rest of the beer's fine points. I see where another reviewer (ref. @Benish, Oct 02, 2017) the beer was aged in bourbon barrels vice oak. I agree. The oak comes across too raw with this, but like I mentioned earlier, perhaps some judicious cellaring might tame the roughness. Well, it still has its high points...

Jan 22, 2020
4.75 by KAP1356 from Pennsylvania on Jan 20, 2020
4.31 by MDDMD from Pennsylvania on Nov 16, 2019
Photo of PlinyBeMiney
4.74/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by PlinyBeMiney from California

Nice representation of the style. I keep looking for that 2013/2015 Great flavor in the English Barleywine style and this is the closet yet. The biggest difference is the mouthfeel. Great has this smoothness that honestly cannot be replicated. Despite that, I think I have found a more regular option to suit my needs in between the 4 year wait for Great.

Nov 14, 2019
4.25 by warrendietrich2001 from Nevada on Sep 12, 2019
4.75 by crob3888 from California on Jul 20, 2019
Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 1416 ratings