Arctic Devil Barley Wine | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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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:
366
Ratings:
1,306
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
15.4%
 
 
Wants:
986
Gots:
308
For Trade:
33
User Reviews
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Reviews: 366 | Ratings: 1,306
Photo of notchucknorris
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage. Got 2 bottles of this, so I wanted to try one fresh.

A: Pours a really dark brown color, nearly the color of a stout. A one finger khaki colored head fades quickly, leaving a clear view of the ominous looking beer.

S: At first, this smells like nothing but oak. But the more I let it open up, the more flavors started popping to the surface. Brown sugar, toffee, leather, tobacco and a pretty hearty smack of booze. Hints of banana bread and raisin as well. The oak fades a bit, but it's still pretty prominent.

T: Even as it warms, the oak comes through a lot more than I'd like, holding back the other flavors in here. Brown sugar and caramel come through along with a pretty big hit of booze. Some toffee, a slight hint of bourbon, and some more buttery oak on the finish. Definitely way too oak forward for me right now, but I can't wait to revisit this in a year or so.

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

Enjoyed at a tasting thanks to James.

A: reddish brown color with decent tan head that dies fairly quickly

S: some bourbon comes through with the oak and vanilla. Dark fruits are a part of the smell, but I didn't get strong scents of anything.

T: beautiful blend of dark fruits with some bite of the oak and sweet bourbon and caramel flavors.

M: great carbonation for such a big beer, and a hefty body to it.

O: amazing beer, so glad I had the chance to taste this and remember it.

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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 KYGunner
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pours like a barley wine should with a high degree of thickness and a firm foamy head. The color was a cloudy mahogany an it laced brilliantly.

Not surprisingly this has a lot of barley and wine aromas. The barley is easily distinguishable while the wine aromas are not alcohol strong but more fermented grape. I get a little raisin light caramel malt and an end of light fudge.

The flavor is very chocolatey, lots of toffee, caramel and molasses. Barley grain, dark fruit and a final appearance of cognac.

The feel is downright velvety with not a stitch of the high ABV to be felt.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.46/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Stupac in a recent trade. Thanks for doing the dirty work!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2011
Aged in American oak whisky barrels

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium-thick, creamy looking, off-white head with good retention. Dark maroon red in color, clear, with higher levels of carbonation evident. Head eventually fades to a nice full wisp with carbonation ploughing through the top. A good wisp remains until the end and leaves some nice lacing down the glass. Good looking.

SMELL: Caramel malts, dark fruits, like rasins and dates, as well as some spicy and peppery yeast notes. Light hints of whisky and oak from the barrels, but not much. More fruit and light spices. Only medium strength.

TASTE: Caramel and dark fruits with peppery spices up front. Some nice rasins and dates at the swallow, with notes of oak and some boozy whisky as well. Alcohol is very well hidden. Mild but lingering aftertaste of spicy alcohol, oak, and caramel, fruity sweetness. Medium strength flavors and the ABV is well hidden. Quite nice really.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down fine with a little scratch at the back and finishes slightly sticky. Decent feel. A hint of heat lingers, but minimal.

OVERALL: A solid beer that's easy enough to drink, but somewhat lack luster compared to others in the style. The base beer is a little mild, and the barrel aging a little too restrained perhaps. Something worth checking out if you see it, but nothing earth shattering enough to go out of your way for. I'd have it again, but would most likely pick something else first. Thanks again for the trade Stupac. Much appreciated.

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Photo of tpd975
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a rustic brown color with tints of red shining thru. The head is huge, brown, and puffy. The retention is wonderful and some lace is noted.

S: Whoa boy this is one boozy monster. Tons of bourbon and oak in the nose. Beneath the booze hides caramel malt, toffee, a hint of hops and spice.

T: Wow what a suprise. Not boozy at all considering the ABV. The nose makes you think this one is going to be booze booze booze, but its not. This one is wonderful. The sweet malts really come out and shine here. Lots of caramel and toffee. A bit of butter rum candy and a splash of spice. There were some citrus hops in there for balance, but overall this one is packed with malty goodness.

M: THICK... almost syrup like.

D: Extremely good for the style and ABV. I could have enjoyed an entire bomber myself.

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Photo of alexgash
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle served at 45 degrees F.

Pours a slightly opaque maple syrup brown. Lighter edges. Small, tight, wispy, khaki brown head. Nose of rich caramel, sherry, Madeira, more caramel, vinous tannins, brandied fruits, and a whiff of chocolate pudding. Complex and very impressive.

Warming reach of brandy-soaked dark fruits up front. Develops some caramel malt sweetness with a vinous edge. Hints of vanilla, sherry, and oak. Rich cookie and caramel malt settle in mid-palate before giving way to warming alcohol and mildly herbal bitter hops. Long finish with lingering caramel, toffee, and fruit. Full-bodied with a thick, lush, creamy feel. Very nice!

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.72/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The label indicates a bottling date of November, 2004, making my Arctic Devil 16 months old at the time I drank it. I noted a strong ETOH aroma intermixed with warm fruitiness. The diminished carbonation yielded virtually no head or lace. The body was dark russet brown and placid.

Taste is comparable to sherry wine with a warm alcoholic flush to the tongue and belly. The sweet aperitif contours with fruity complexity were a pleasure to indulge. The alcohol at first comes across as slightly intrusive, even after 16 months. But this effect tends to fade before long (or is that just me getting hammered?)

Overall, a fine sipping beer with strong character though not a heavy hitter.

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Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at a tasting. Dark amber pour, thin tan head. Smells like bourbon, dark cherries, green hops and vanilla. Tastes like cherries, bourbon, almonds, alcohol, vanilla, toasted coconut, caramel, maple syrup. Medium body and a medium-low carbonation. Bitter-sweet aftertaste. An excellent barleywine.

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Photo of hopdog
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled date of November '04.

Poured a dark and cloudy brown color with a small off white head. Aromas of vanilla, dark fruits and wood. Tastes of vanilla, dark fruits, brown sugar, and molasses. Sweet. Light alcohol in the finish. Overall a very tasty Barley Wine.

Notes from 4/15/05

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into a snifter. Been sitting on this for nearly a year.

Pours a cloudy brown/dark caramel color. Think a tootsie roll. Thin frothy pale oatmeal head that develops into a ring of foam and lace on the interior of the glass. 4.25

Delicious aroma. Oatmeal raisin cookie with some bourbon. Sticky fig and vanilla are in the fray as well. 4.25

Got a raisin wine flavor with some spiciness, caramel, grape sucker, and that oatmeal-cookie flavor I find in so many bourbon-barrel aged beers. Vanilla lingers as does some booze taste. 4.25

It's got a sticky mouthfeel that's wet and mildly boozy and kind of reminds me of drinking Frangelico. It's in that vein of a smooth, full-mouthed liquor that still has that solvent bite that reminds you that you're drinking booze and not a child's drink. To be sure though, the booze tastes as if it has receded greatly. 4.25

Another great bourbon barrel-aged barleywine.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber into snifter on 8/31/09. Thanks to FooFaa for sharing!

A - Poured a really dark mahogany with burgundy hues and a thin beige ring that reduced to a patchy film. Pretty muddy-looking with lots of yeast chunks collecting at the bottom of the glass.

S - Initial aroma opens with a huge waft of alcohol and some caramel and toffee sweetness as well as hints of real licorice and tangy dark fruit akin to raisins, prunes and dried apricots. Nose is quite boozy and chock full of sharp alcohol notes.

T - Where to begin? This complex barleywine begins with plenty of chocolate and toffee sweetness with a tangy pitted fruit character reminiscent of plums, black cherries and raisins, the latter of which is most apparent. Some warm alcohol notes emerge in the wake of the huge malt presence. Hop bitterness is surprisingly scant overall. Chocolate character really opens up in the finish.

M - Full bodied with a syrupy texture and somewhat prickly mouthfeel. Warm and boozy on the palate, which really gives this barleywine a thick, beefy character. Finishes quite sweet on the palate.

D - Hot damn! This is without a doubt one of the tastiest, most complex barleywines I've ever had. I was indeed stunned. Simply put, Arctic Devil is a fantastic traditional English style barleywine to say the least. I would even go so far as saying this is the finest of its kind available anywhere.

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Photo of Vancer
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Time to finish the year with a highly rated brew, sent to me by beerbeing in the BA annv club – many thanks again.

The 2005 brew poured a murky caramel brown, capped with a fair amount of tan head and lace – this with a 10% alcohol lurking within.

Nice aroma of caramel, plums, raisons and the BW malt. All these aspects fire up in the taste, along with a bit of an alcohol burn in the finish – after almost 3 years??

Still overall it remains smooth and sweet – perfect fit for an English BW. Yum, a real treat, Happy New Year!

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing a 2 yr old bottle at cellar temp in a snifter.
The beer pours a deep cola brown with some garnet highlights on the edge of the glass. Only a minimal beige edge layer foams up with one large wispy island in the center of my glass.
Aroma is very complex with robust figs, plums, brown sugar and port wine notes. Makes me expect a fairly boozy beer from the nose.
First sip reveals a fairly thick body with a little bit of a syrupy texture, and almost no carbonation. Flavor is rich malt with molasses, brown sugar, and maybe a little soysauce, could be slightly oxidized. the flavor improves as the beer breathes in the snifter, since this beer is a sipper in my opinion, it takes a good 30 - 40 mintues or so to finish my glass.
More dark fruit comes out as I sample longer with figs and plums. A pretty solid beer that I enjoy a lot, but the nose seemed to promise a little more than the flavor delivered.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to spycow for this one. 2007 vintage into Narke tulip.

A - Pours a brownish/reddish color, off-white head, thin collar.

S - Caramel, smooth booze, oak, burnt sugars. A nice level of sweetness and booze, not too hot and not too sweet. The caramel notes are excellent and the bourbon melds perfectly.

T - Caramel, toasty malts, smooth bourbon, oak, burnt sugars. Again, a perfect mix of sweetness and booze for the style. Just how I like it. The booze has smoothed out nicely since 2007...really a nice vintage.

M - Medium, soft carbonation, creamy boozy finish.

O - A excellent English Barleywine. The combo of booze and sweetness is really well-done and I really don't have much bad to say about this beer. Try it!

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It's a surprise that I've never reviewed this one ~ notes from undated mid-December (2010) bottle opening. Poured to a snifter, pretty warm out of the cellar (maybe 55-60°F?).

22 oz. bottle from, I believe, 2008 (possibly 2007?). Month/week label notches at 'N', '2' and '5', for what that's worth; it's been cellared at least 2 years is all I know. Of note, the label shows an ABV of 'only' 10%, so this has increased a good bit in recent vintages.

A: Deep chestnut auburn, ruby-tinted and fiery warmth - mesmerizing color. Many fine wriggling and edge-creeping carbonation streams rise to a thin almond head. Good retention and specks and stripes of lace linger then droop after each sip.

S: Sweet toffee and buttery nuts, like a candied reduction over pralines. Vanilla subtleties, molasses (2014 edit) and cocoa spikes, indistinct boozy fruit (a mild apple/pear brandy?). Not incredibly strong, just deep, complex and completely inviting.

T: Brown sugar, raisin, toffee and buttercream... it all sounds too sweet, but magically this suspends belief with deftly balanced hop spicing and bittering. A little ashy wood in the finish and some drier cocoa powder. Recognizing that the style isn't very hop-forward, the way that this has held and evolved over the years is pretty spectacular.

M: Absolutely the smoothest mouthfeel I've ever experienced in a barleywine - soft and slightly syrupy (think a velvety maple - the good stuff). Refined and pliable, yet filling out and coating. Unctuous with age (2014 edit)

D: Just a damn stunning barleywine; I find it really hard to give a 'perfect 5' to any strong beer in this category, but this one is sooo very close. I've enjoyed it much fresher (a year or less since bottling), but with 3-4 years of age, Arctic Devil absolutely glows. As of now, perhaps my favorite of the style.

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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 ehammond1
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for opening this with me, baybassboy!

Dark chestnut in color, with a small, tightly bubbled light khaki colored head that remains a small ring round the top of the beer for the duration. Small bubbles dot the glass.

Rich, sweet, malt-forward aroma of caramel, oak, earth, candied sugars, and dark fruits. Complex.

The flavor follows the aroma, and the alcohol is marvelously well hidden. The sweet, earthy, and fruity malt characters play nicely against the wood. Complete and very nice.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Fantastic.

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Photo of koopa
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this one from Liquid Solutions back in late 2007 / early 2008. I believe its a 2007 vintage and it says 10% abv on the label. I had bought about 15 of these bombers back at that time and traded / gave away as extras 14 of them. This is the one and only bottle I saved for myself.

Appearance: Pours a slightly murky deep caramel to auburn with a minimal beige crown that displays little retention or lace.

Smell: Quite a nice mixture of caramel malt, raisins, a touch of oxidation, brown sugar, and hints of alcohol.

Taste: Same as the nose but a bit more oxidation then I enjoy. Should have cracked this one opened a year ago :( Then again I didn't have it at cellar temperatures the entire past 4 years, so one in cellar temperatures for 4 years might be perfect right now. Still a great barley wine and I'd give this bottle a 4.2 if I could so I'm rounding down a bit.

Mouthfeel: Thick body with minimal carbonation. Rib sticking and nice for this freak cold spell we are currently experiencing.

Overall: Probably an excellent barleywine that is merely very very good right now.

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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 siege06nd
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pours a dark ruby brown color. Really love the crimson hues in this. About a quarter finger of thin, swirly, cream colored head. Moderate spotty lacing. One of the prettier barleywines I have seen.

S. Ripe dark fruit (cherry, fig), leather, caramel, vanilla, traces of chocolate, and some faint earthiness.

T: Caramel, chocolate, oak, bread crust. Very malty, but not quite as sweet and not nearly as much dark fruit presence as I've had in other barleywines. I get some faint toffee and roasted marshmallow as well. A solid beer, but was expecting a sweeter and fruitier flavor profile.

M: Full bodied, light carbonation. A lot of bitterness in the finish, though, that tastes like barrel and isn't quite evened out by the rest of the flavors.

O: I wanted to love this beer, but I think it needs some age. It's big and malty, but it hasn't quite acquired that sweet, ripe fruit flavor that I've come to expect from the style. Good, not great.

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

22oz bomber. 2011 Vintage. 13.4% ABV.

Pours a deep translucent mahogany. A very small beige head quickly dissipates to a small ring.

Aroma brings on strong dry-bread malt with hints of vanilla and sherry. A touch of sulphur. Noticeable alcohol.

Flavor of the malt is much more toffee-like than the aroma. A lot of oak and vanilla from the barrel aging. Still getting a little of that sulphur. Tobacco notes. Sweet through the middle and then finishes with a dry alcohol note. The heat comes on after a few sips but flavor wise the alcohol is extremely well blended.

Medium-full bodied with a nice moderate amount of carbonation. Slick and very drinkable given the strength.

A great beer at this age and one that you can tell will get even better with age.

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Photo of flexabull
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of beersabound. Thanks again!

Bottled November 2005. Been looking for a reason to open this one... with the Phillies (my favorite baseball team) beating the Mets for the NL East, this seems like a good reason to crack this one open.

Beer pours a deep dark amber color, with a nice white head.

Aromas are really strong. Very spicy with bright fruit notes... this also has a very whiskey like smell to it. Quite pungent...

First thing of notice on the sip, is the complexity. What an intense beer. Very bready, dark fruit like, spicy, tart, and with a distinct whiskey, malty, booze like taste. It's a bit sweet, but with a nice alcohol warmth on the finish. Top notch barley wine. And certainly fits well with the English style. Not overly hoppy, just a touch of bitterness, with some pine flavors on the finish.

Mouthfeel is great. Very full, creamy, smooth, yet still bold and thick.

Drinkability is great. This is really 10% ABV? Could have fooled me... a classic barley wine. Exceptionally crafted. Smooth, tasty, and with a wonderful warmth while going down the throat. Seek this beer out! It's that good.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark red-brown with a finger of frothy khaki colored head. Fades normal.

S - Sweet caramel and caramelized malts, brown sugar, oak, vanilla, whiskey, dark fruits, and some booze.

T - Sweet caramel and caramelized malts, oak, vanilla, whiskey, brown sugar, dark fruits, toasted coconut, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a warming and sweet finish.

D - Fantastic barrel aged barley wine. Great overall balance.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks again to msubulldog25 for another NW barleywine. This one's about as Northwest as it gets too--Alaska's Midnight Sun. Love the creature on the label, sort of a wolverine-ish looking guy...he's completely wigged out, probably due to a few too many of these bad boys.

Poured into the snifter a cloudy, milky caramel color. Thin head slims down to a thin ring with a quickness.

Big aroma of alcohol, dark fruits, vanilla, citrus rind, milk chocolate.

Flavor delivers a barleywine that's on the chocolate/malt side of the spectrum...big burly sweetness that's not overdone, very dessert-like. Alcohol nip is pretty big, and even though I like the warming sippability of it, I'd rather the more intense part of its personality came from hops (like Bigfoot, another northern devil). Hops are here, but diminished in presence by the gooey candy-like malts and sherry-like alcohol warmth. Good bitterness lays on the tongue in the finish, a welcome melange of green grass, unripe fruit and hops.

Mouthfeel is wonderful, a little gooey, a little sticky, but carbonated enough to give it some lift and action. Really nice.

There are hardly better beers to drink in the cold winter months than Barleywines or Russian Imperial Stouts...Midnight Sun are doing right by Alaskans in brewing this sucker.

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Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 366 ratings.
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