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Arctic Devil Barley Wine | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
96
world-class
365 Reviews
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Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine
BEER INFO

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

Style: English 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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
365
Ratings:
1,299
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.05%
 
 
Wants:
989
Gots:
304
For Trade:
34
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 365 | Ratings: 1,299
Photo of mahak213
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 Arctic Devil, into a Goose Island snifter-

Appearance- Clear, very dark amber with a light tan head that recedes quickly.

Smell- Brown sugar and sweet booze with a light vanilla and oak presence.

Taste- Starts off with sweet toffee and dark fruits, like a fig dredged in brown sugar, then moves on to vanilla and bourbon. Has a really nice balance between sweet and bitter, and the alcohol presence is integrated perfectly.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, finished sticky and sweet.

Overall- Very impressive beer from Midnight Sun, this and Berserker should surely be on your wants list.

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Photo of Manoftyr
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 22oz bomber into snifter glass.

Appearance-Deep Mahogany with ruby highlights, gives rise to an inch or so of beige head which lasts for a few sips before fizzling away into a film, surprised to see any head with this high an ABV to be honest. Lacing is truly excellent for a beer of this high ABV, very substantial legs. Hard for me to imagine a more attractive Barleywine.

Aroma-Sweet caramel throughout, notes of buttered toffee, sweetened maple, dark fruits; plums, dates, raisins etc. Alcohol is there but is very well integrated and impressively hidden for such a strong beer. Bourbon is there as well but well integrated, a lot of the time with these bourbon barrel aged beers the bourbon can just overwhelm and dominate everything else in aroma/taste but that's not the case here; a good thing in my book. The aroma is perfect if you ask me.

Taste-Bit of an alcoholic bite upfront reminds you of this bad boy's strength. Sweet malty flavors that follow the aforementioned aroma show throughout, however, the oak and bourbon character is far more prominent than noted previously. The same notes of dark fruit, caramel, toffee etc. are there as well, just in a more understated role, to some this would be preferable but I would prefer the bourbon and oak to be a tad more understated. This is purely a matter of personal preference however and this is still an excellent beer I am enjoying immensely.

Mouthfeel-Thick, rich, syrupy, low carbonation. Exactly how a Barleywine should be.

Overall/Drinkability-This is objectively speaking one of the best Barleywines I've ever had. Truly an exceptional beverage.

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Photo of DevilsCups
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Super murky muddy brown/mahogany. Very cloudy brew. Small light tan head, settles to a soapy layer. Huge legs. Not ugly, but not pretty.

S - Big bourbon, caramel and vanilla. Smells similar to BCBS's barrel treatment.

T - Tastes like bourbon soaked caramel apples. Vanilla is big on the finish. Awesome. Huge caramel/bourbon notes.

M - Very, very thick and solid carbonation. Thicker than some heavy-hitting stouts. Coats like a boss.

O - So glad I got to try this finally. Very solid brew from Midnight Sun. Seek it out.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.86/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. I assume vintage 2013.

Out of the bottle it pours like thick mocha coffee, transparent and clear. Hits the body and makes a huge dark walnut brown body, and matching creamy tan head. Collar is always populated with a solid whispy top and has some nice dark red edges. Very nice.

Spicy on the nose. Spicy whiskey character, and dried fruits almost fig like a Belgian Dark Fruit and spicy character match nicely, almost burnt spruce and barrel charred. Dark red fruits seem to come out matching the currants, vanilla touching softness also. Very nice, reminds me more of rye forward barrel aged than bourbon, lovely either way.

Extremely diverse palate. Wonderful caramel smoothness and silky palate with a hint of fizz and playful carbonation. Big spicy character comes through matching the nose. Lots of toasty wood and barrel notes. The palate has a spicy malt character that's hard to describe and it melds nicely with the caramel sensing and gives of salt which is a wonderful combination. Doesn't even feel that big either in terms of boozy quality making for easy drinking. Big licorice notes as the beer warms up also.

Diverse, great aromatics, memorable. Fantastic.

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Photo of zipper8650
4.86/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Review # 2 and it turned into Battle Alaska ...my first review was a 3 year vertical Alaskan Barleywine. It was my second time having it and I remembered I really liked it....then I had Arctic Devil
Snifter
A - poured out a light amber color, almost like a liquid honey, little to no head. Once the glass was filled it was that great amber/maple syrup color. The color graduation towards the middle was pretty, this is a great looking beer
S - incredible, warm sweet slightly burnt toffee, orange, this is a great smelling beer
T - tastes as good as it looks and smells. It is incredibly smooth for a 13.4, it has some boozy heat but its not biting at all and smooth throughout the taste. The bourbon is so well balanced in this and doesnt hit you in the face, it just works well. this is a great tasting beer.
M - again, no surprise, nice prominent mouthfeel like a barleywine should have...or as my girlfriend put it "so fucking pleasant"
O - loved this beer, I hope they still have some on the self because I am going to get more!
Skol

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: into a snifter, deep brown body with brief tan head of fine fizz

S: sweet and nutty malts, hints of toffee sweetness and dark, moldy fruit; lighter notes of smoky whisky barrels

T: great complexity - malt-froward, nutty, robust, chewy, and caramel sweet; earthy, and savory; hints of bourbon and wood and smoke

M: smooth, touch of alcohol, medium+ body, slick

O: truly a masterpiece.

I would be remiss if I did not amend this review having had a bottle of the 2013 with about a year on it. The aging on this beer was stellar. Not only did it retain a lot (more?!?!) of the original hoppiness, but the flavors of booze, barley, and hop melded together seamlessly into a truly superior product. You should always buy a bottle of this when it comes around, and if you have the discipline, sit on a bottle (or two) to enjoy later.

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Photo of Beerandboards
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2008 vintage

Bomber into a large wine glass

A - Dark caramel, more opaque than translucent. Pour produces about a one inch head that dissipates to about an 1/8 of an inch that sticks around the entire time. Fair amount of lacing. Really a fine looking beer.

S - Pretty much bourbon and vanilla. Smells great, kind of surprising given the age that so much bourbon holds through. Not complex, but nothing wrong here.

T - Lots of rich rich vanilla, bourbon, some dark chocolate as it warms, maybe some dark fruit, dates? The ABV, even at 13.4%, is non-existent on the palate. A very very well done beer. At 4+ years old, this one has a teeny bit too much oxidation, I would love to try it with 3 years on it. I would also love to try it fresh, but I have to think this thing is an absolute beast fresh.

M - Nailed it. Just the right amount of carbonation to set the flavor profile off. Sticky in a good way, leaves a linger aftertaste for a good 10 minutes.

O - I've been wanting to try this one for a long time and it didnt disappoint. A great complex barelywine where eveything lines up in an equal order, barrel, sweetness, vanilla, chocolate, awesomeness. Where I have found other BA barleywines (even the highest rated) to be a little thin or lacking in complexity, this one nails it. Rich, chewy, great. I will be buying a couple fresh ones to age.

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Photo of zac16125
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a snifter
2013 vintage

300th BA review

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black. Its opaque and has less than 1/2 a fingers width of mocha colored head, which quickly fades away. Looks like an IS really. Leaves zero lacing.

S: Tons of sweetness. Dark fruits, caramel malts, toffee, chocolate fudge. Barrel characters with bourbon, oak, and vanilla. I also get notes of black licorice and a hint of booze. Incredible aroma.

T: Initial sip is tons of black licorice, followed by some roasted malts on the finish. Cocoa, and dark fruits come next, along with a big degree of hoppy bitterness on the finish. Caramel and toffee come out later. Barrel notes are subtle, with only hints of bourbon and oaky vanilla. Lots of different flavor layers, quiet complex, and very tasty. Only complaint is the bitter component is a bit much, which somewhat detracts from the other characters.

M/D: Fairly smooth, somewhat limited by the carbonation, which is a touch high for the style. Full body, a bit syrupy at times. The huge ABV is well restrained. Drinkability is good.

O: Overall, this is an excellent barleywine. It doesnt quite make it into my top, elite-BW tier (with MoAS, Sucaba and Old Nuptial), but its not far behind and is still one of the best BWs Ive had. Intoxicating aroma, just a touch too bitter on the tongue. I wish I had another one to cellar and see if that bitterness fades. Either way, still excellent. Glad I was able to try this one. Highly recommend.

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Photo of atalayafr
4.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A-Beautiful deep caramel. No head, almost syrupy in appearance.
S-Outstanding oak and bourbon along with a mild aroma of sweet red wine. Alcohol is also abundantly noticeable.
T-Wonderful. Starts a bit sweet-but not too sweet-with wine hints at first. The the bourbon, pepper and oak begin to develop. Finishes like a gentle bourbon. This barley has layers of taste. Extremely complex but also very drinkable considering it's 13.4% ABU.
M-Very smooth, walks the 'not to heavy-not too dry' line very nicely.
O-In a word: Delicious. Enjoying a scotch or bourbon now and then perhaps this beer fits my particular niche. But I would presume anyone new to barley's would enjoy this outstanding beer. Another winner from MSB.

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Photo of jimmy82063
4.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Finally the beer ship came in! Poured in to a snifter glass. This beer pours a jet black with a very minimal head. The nose gives deep caramel and toffee. Taste is caramel & toffee with some chocolate, coffee and vanilla. There is a lot going on with this. Some slight tobacco notes are on the finish. Very smooth with some slight bourbon notes! Well done!

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Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing barleywine, almost more like an Imperial Stout/barleywine hybrid. Deep ruby/brown, almost black color with a remarkably syrupy, mouth-coating body. Flavors of bourbon, brandy, roasted dark chocolate, cappucino, cherries, plums, orange peel, toasted coconut, leather, tobacco, and spices.

There's definitely a good deal of heat, but this only adds more complexity, in a catalyst sort of way. Sucaba WAS my favorite barleywine, but this flavor/texture monster eclipses it.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Received my box from Beership of 6 of these... been wanting to try this one for a while. Poured into Half Acre snifter. Appearance is really dark, much darker than most barleywines. Small rim of tan head dissipates quickly. Nose is rich and full of layers. Notes of caramel, molasses, chocolate, raisin, vanilla, leather, and tobacco. Taste is just as complex as the nose with highlights of molasses, chocolate, and raisins. The bourbon is mellow and melds nicely with everything going on. Mouthfeel is thick with mild carbonation. Overall, incredibly complex barleywine.

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Photo of harrymel
2.5/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 31JAN13
Pours really dark- like nearly stout. Tan foam and spotty lace
Smells sweet, boozy, nougat, vanilla...actually, this beer is a mess
Taste is sweet booze, vanillas, raisin, marshmallows. Full body with moderate on low carved and a dry, peeling finish. I wasn't happy last time and I'm less impressed now.

Review 08MAR12
3.5/4.5/3.5/2.5/3.5-3.6
Vintage 2011, ABV 13.4%
Pours a dark amber body with fleeting tan head, leaving a sheet of the same. Caramel, vanilla, oak, bourbon, Brandy(?), seafoam, hints of leather and sherry oxidation. Flavor is similar to the nose, but less impressive and there is an alcoholic tinge to the finish. Thin bodied and low carb, the booze is evident on this one and leaves a burn. This is a good beer, but my favorite was the '08, sadly I didn't review back then, but I recall a fuller body and more refined character in the beer. As it stands, I would advise trying this beer, but not really seeking it out particularly hard, unless you're ChadQuest or other peeps that really dig the BA BW's.

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Photo of sukwonee
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage

I have had this beer in and out of possession before but this was my first time having it. and goddamn... It's awesome. My top 5 Barleywine to date.

A: Black with slight red tint. One finger head. some lacing on the side of the glass but not much.

S: vanilla bourbon caramel brown sugar very complex.

T: wow. bourbon aging done to perfection. Caramel molasses vanilla chocolate coffee dark fruits some booze zero hops. you can taste the alcohol but its dangerously drinkable. can't tell its got 13.4%. perfect amount of sweetness for the style.

M: I think this is where this beer really shines. It's Not the biggest beer in terms its thickness but it's just so perfect. good amount of carbonation. for a sweet desert beer the finish is rather dry and clean.

O: Glad I got a few extras to age although it's ready now to drink. This beer is highly recommended!!!

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Photo of tectactoe
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2007, big-time thanks to Ed for bringing this one to the tasting and sharing it with the rest of us. Pours a dark mahogany color, 50/50 mix of clarity and haziness, topped off with a small tan-ish head that reduces to a ring around the glass pretty quickly.

Aroma is comprised of a nice meshing of oak, bourbon, sweet plums, black cherries, syrup, brown sugar, molasses, and maple. Lots of things going on here - very sweet and very complex. Malty to the core with no real sign of hops or herbals anywhere, but after six years - can you blame it? Amazing how well everything has held up for being this old, and it shows no real signs of oxidation in the aroma.

Arctic Devil hits the palate thick and muddled with a surprisingly substantial amount of carbonation considering its age. Very sweet up front, but still pretty far from being cloying. It's more of a refined and controlled sweetness, albeit very strong. Brown sugar, molasses, maple, light anise, plums, dates, black cherries. Buttery and creamy smooth on the palate - the bourbon and alcohol is noticeable and warming, and becomes even more so with time.

The finish is full of sweet, candied dark fruits and a mild oakiness. Despite the 13.2% ABV, this one remains pretty damn drinkable, making it very dangerous. Even though the aroma didn't show any, the taste reveals some light oxidation - not nearly enough to hinder or really even matter - I mean goddamn, this shit was six years old!

Big thanks again to Ed for opening this one. It was damn delicious. I have no other Arctic Devils to compare it to, but holy shit, this was super-drinkable for a 13.2% barleywine. Very sweet and woody all around, such a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of bmwats
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a snifter.

A: Medium, dark brown. Plenty of effervescence clings to the sides of the glass. Pours about a half finger, bubbly, white head. Dissipates quickly leaving a ring of foam around the rim and a smattering of bubbles on the surface. Carbonation, continues to rise throughout. Light, spotty lacing.

S: Molasses, caramel, maple syrup, and milk chocolate. Buttery and nutty.

T: Caramel and milk chocolate prevalent, here. Balanced with a little pungent peaty tone.

M: Thick and syrupy, with a light crispness. Slightly sweet, but too much so, nutty character, high alcohol...unnoticeable.

D: Goes down with less resistance than you'd expect for the high alcohol content. Try to sip, savor, and make it last...it won't be easy.

Atmosphere is really solid. Decent head, nice effervescence, and some slight lacing. Nose is excellent combination of sweet components. Flavor is lightly pungent, and lightly sweet, nutty and syrupy characterized by caramel, milk chocolate, and maple; but heavily sweet... well done. High alcohol content is well disguised. Overall, this is a great quaff.

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Photo of oline73
4.09/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter. I had this during our BA Barleywine tasting. The bottle is from 2010.

Pours a dark reddish amber. This beer had more of a bitter note to it than many of the other beers opened that night. There is a strong sweet presence to balance things out, but I would have liked the bitterness to be a bit milder. I'm getting some booze, but it's still quite smooth. There is a nice caramel note in the background. The body is thick with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

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Photo of popery
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From notes, 12/9/10. Bottle. 2010 version. Among the very best barleywines that I’ve tried. This is sit-down-and-take-a-moment good, and I can imagine it getting better with age. The pour is clear ruby with a tiny head. It’s fairly viscous, though not quite as much as you might expect from a 14% abv beer. All sorts of flavors come out in the aroma and taste. There’s an enormous English caramel/toffee malt flavor marbled with a ton of fruitiness. Lots of raisins, plums, peaches, dates and cherries. On top of that, there are great flavors of vanilla, mint, oak, leather and subtle barrel notes. There’s just a touch of hop bitterness in the finish to pull it back from cloying territory. This is a deeply flavored beer that oozes luxury and craftsmanship. Mouthfeel is full and smooth. It coats the mouth pleasantly, but I’ve had lots of stickier, boozier beers that aren’t nearly the size of this one. Midnight Sun knows their stuff and really hit one out of the park with this beer. I might be scoring this a bit low in anticipation of trying an aged bottle in a few years.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. 2011 vintage. A: Red raspberry with brown hints. Very thin lacing. Grips the glass.

N: Tons of caramel and oak. Lots of toffee. Smoothly sweet like caramel being folded in a candy commercial. Smells like a fresh coffee cake with specks of brown sugar. This is about as perfect as nose as barleywine can have.

T: Very well blended. Has a distinct oakiness that lends peppercorn and vanilla. Caramel and toffee flavors are subtle. Raisins and licorice bitterness. There’s a pronounced hop presence/some pineapple. Could use a little more sweetness, IMO, but I can’t really knock the execution, either.

M: thinner than I might like, but it keeps the beer from being a choking hazard. Alcohol is really well hidden.

O: One of the best barleywines out there. Strong execution all around, and highly recommended. So smooth and complex. I kept going back for more and more pours, even though it's a bad idea at 13% ABV.

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Photo of unclekeith
4.66/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 year old bomber in a teku

L: Cloudy dark amber, thin siege head the quickly settles out, fast moving lacing
A: Oak, malt, caramel, vanilla, dark fruit
T: Malty and sweet bomb, bourbon
M: Hot and creamy, viscous,
O: A wonderful balancing act of powerful flavors, great beer I always find myself going back to

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle courtesy of Libby pours a hazed brown color with a nice tan head. Moderate retention and surprisingly large bubbles.

Nose is caramel for alchies! Maybe some Bit-O-Honey and Chic-O-Stick sweetness thrown in for good measure...man, this beer smells like a candy store run by alcoholics.

Taste is molasses, fresh maple syrup, alcohol and caramel. Soooo smooth and very easy to drink. The malts are rich and have a perfect flow to them. Mouthfeel is rich, but not overly thick or cloying. Wonderful beer...classic even. One of the best barleywines I have had in some time.

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Photo of rudzud
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade 2011 Vintage.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice crystal clear deep coppery mahogany hue with a nice one finger off white head that fades to leave a nice thin blanket.

S - Nice sweet (but not too sweet) malts and soft oak with good whiskey notes. Quite faint throughout.

T - Slightly hot, but to be expected. Softer, sweet malts light caramel and toffee, gentle oak and whiskey. Some nice intermingling but again its all rather light with some alcohol in the background.

M - Mouthfeel is spot on. Nicely carbonated here with those prickly bubbles keeping it up off the tongue. As it warms though it gets a bit thin.

O - Overall this was a good barleywine. Not great, just good. Slightly disappointed here, for the trouble it is to get Anchorage brews I had higher expectations for this one. There are readily available barleywines on the market I can get at a fraction.

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Photo of GeezLynn
4.04/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Arctic Devil 2008 bottle lugged back from the source several years back.

A: Murky dark crimson brown with an expectedly smallish(given its age) white head.
S: Caramel, singed brown sugar, nutty brown malt, brandy. Barrel characters nicely apparent.
T: A little buttery and woody, with some sharp burnt caramel flavors. Still pretty rough with plenty of bitterness balancing any sweetness left at this point. Midway through my snifter as the taste buds adjust to the alcohol singeing, blackberry and plum flavors show up through the heavy bitterness. A trace of vanilla shows a times, but is pretty well covered. Finish is bitter and tannic with noticeable alcohol, somewhat similar to a dry red wine.
M: Medium bodied and slightly sticky, with low carbonation.

Wow. Four years still hasn’t tamed this critter much. I knew from previous experience that this was an aggressive BW and being partial to aged English barleywines, figured with some time to cool off this would be primo stuff. Apparently I need to give the other ones more time. Certainly a quality beer (as always with Midnight Sun), but a bit of a thrash metal mosh pit in the mouth.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1647th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22oz

2011 Vintage
Purchased from El Cerrito Liquor, Corona, CA

App- When I poured this out. It was very thick and dense. It was the color of crimson mixed with ambers and golds. A good center was there with some radiating highlights around the edges. A good 1-1/2" head was there and was a bit of a tan/khaki color. A good bit of cling and lace was retained as it slid. A little bit of bubbles remained on the surface as well like a soda would.

Smell- I was expecting a little bit more integration and deep layering on this one. I am learning very quickly that for a barleywine I much prefer bourbon vs. whiskey. The whiskey barrel does add a nice amount of booze and charry oak, but too much prickly aroma behind it. A little bit of a deep malt with a hint of creamy sweetness behind it. A little bitter hops on a strong pull.

Taste- I thought it was good. It was good, it wasnt great. There are a lot of other Barleywines out there that are a bit better. However, most of those are preference because I enjoy bourbon english BW's vs. Whiskey. So with that. This had a good deep malt backbone and the base barleywine did come out well. The barrel added a good depth of flavor with a bit of oak char, a bit of prickly spirit flavor and a strong booze flavor.

Mouth- A very full medium body with a strong medium carbonation. As it warmed from the 55F I poured at it did start a bit thin. A little prickly carbonation. As it time when by it was more lush and creamy and then went into that full carbonation. The more upfront residual flavors were the whiskey and the base malts.

Drink- I enjoyed this. I got a new job yesterday and opened something nice. I was hoping this was some sort of a KH killer that I finally had my hands on. It wasnt. Not to say it wasn't a good beer. Just expected more. Its good, but not great. I think I prefer Abacus to this.

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Photo of draheim
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz (2011 vintage) into a tulip. Pours a murky amber-mahogany, beige head that settles to a ring of foam.

Aroma is bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, rum-soaked raisins, a nice earthy nutty quality on the swirl.

Taste is complex and buttery. Sweet residual sugars, booze, oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee, rich pipe tobacco. Fermented dark fruit.

Mouthfeel is sticky and slick, chewy.

Overall a decadent bourbony malt bomb, a great sipper of a beer.

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Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 365 ratings.
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