Arctic Devil Barley Wine | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine
BA SCORE
4.36/5
Outstanding
1,363 Ratings
Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine
BEER INFO

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

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
Ranking:
#368
Reviews:
389
Ratings:
1,363
pDev:
8.03%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
979
Gots:
310
Trade:
33
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,363 |  Reviews: 389
Photo of woosterbill
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber of the 08 vintage into a Weyerbacher tulip. Huge thanks to Matt for sharing this long-time want.

A: Clear dark reddish-brown body underneath a finger of fine tan head that settles into a ring. Nice.

S: Sweet, lightly oxidized aroma that just screams English Barleywine: sherry, toffee, brown sugar, and a touch of slightly spicy chocolate. Wow. This smells absolutely amazing.

T: Rich, smooth, and lovely. Very sweet, very complex, and awesome: tons of raisin, toffee, butterscotch, and caramel. Sticky sweet aftertaste. I love it, but the sweetness gets a trifle overbearing. Just a trifle, though, and for the style that's ok by me.

M: Smooth, slick full body. Nice viscosity, low carbonation. Lovely.

D: This can't be considered truly drinkable in any objective sense, but I still want more and more. It's insanely sweet, but somehow the sweetness doesn't come along with any booziness at all. Impressive.

Notes: This is my new benchmark for English Barleywines - it absolutely blew 99 J.W. Lees Harvest out of the water, imbuing its intense malt sweetness with a stunning plethora of nuanced, complex flavors. I could be happy smelling this for hours on end - it's that rich, that amazing. I really hope I get to drink this again someday.

Cheers!

 1,264 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
4.19/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

 892 characters

Photo of muskiesman
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of DmanGTR
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

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 Lovely85
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of calcnerd
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

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

Photo of Moses_Malone
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of whartontallboy
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of sirsteve42
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of sulldaddy
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

 915 characters

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

Photo of Holland
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 490 characters

Photo of FosterJM
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

 1,897 characters

Photo of BeerBucks
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of masterofsparks
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of KYGunner
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

 589 characters

Photo of snaotheus
4.07/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015-04-19
22oz bottle split between a pair of snifters. 218 D-1 1153 is the bottle code.

Pours turbid grayish brown with a very small head. Very little carbonation. Smell is mild -- bourbon, yeast, fruit.Not sure what fruit. I seem to get a little pear or apple and a little plum or cherry.

Taste is a blast in the face compared to the aroma. Bourbon and brown sugar, nutty, alcohol. Vanilla. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is smooth and almost velvety. Overall, the taste is very good, and the rest of the beer doesn't live up to it. Would still definitely drink it again.

---
2016-02-27
Had a 3oz pour of the '13 at Hard Liver Fest. I thought it was probably the best beer there, gave it much higher scores than I did in my original review. Extremely bourbon forward.

 765 characters

Photo of yeaprolly
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of tbone1384
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ScottP
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of jaymo18
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bkwhoppa66
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.36 out of 5 with 1,363 ratings