Arctic Devil Barley Wine | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine
1,357 Ratings
Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine

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

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,357 |  Reviews: 386
Photo of ptarmigan98
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rarigney
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Type: 22-oz. bottle
Glass: AleSmith Barrel-Aged Reserve snifter
From: Bine & Vine Bottle Shop in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $17.99
Purchased: Jan. 6, 2017
Consumed: April 15, 2017
Reviewed as: English Barleywine
Misc.: Bottled on Nov. 21, 2016

Picked this up with basically a $50 gift certificate for my birthday. Had heard of Midnight Sun and saw on one of the emails that they had a few coming in, so I pounced on this and the Berserker Imperial Stout. $19.99 (Berserker) and $17.99 (AD) seems a bit much but I got them anyway. Gave Berserker an overrated 4.16 (93/A-) back in January. Hoping for this to be better.

Poured a copper/garnet cloudy color with one finger of khaki white frothy head. Some light bubble streams coming up from the bottom of the glass. Good spotty lacing. Good retention. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled pent up bourbon, almost port wine like, dark fruits, plum, tobacco, raisins, sticky toffee, caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, some oaky red wine barrels and earthy basement aromas. Lovely. (Smell - 4.50)

Taste was at least just as good as the nose. Wow. Lots going on. Got smooth bourbon, port wine, sherry red wine, tobacco, unknown lingering spices (rye? maybe pepper?), brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee, plum, dark fruits, raisins, dates, prunes, dark grainy malts, caramel, smooth, but tasting the booze, oak, hints of molasses and sticky sugary chocolate syrup which seems to be muted somewhat by everything else going on. (Taste - 4.25)

Medium body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish. (Feel - 5.00)

This was fantastic. Much better than I thought it was going to be after having Berserker a few months back. Would not pay $18 for this again, but still delicious. (Overall - 4.50)

4.41 | 98 | A

 1,770 characters

Photo of morrowd3
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bshefftz
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of von_kaiser
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best barley wines I've had. This is a rich thick glass of candy. Perfect sipper for a bitter cold night. Booze is masked well by the sweetness...def plays a presence, but nowheres near bringing it towards medicinal like qualities. I enjoyed this beer heavily.

 274 characters

Photo of darktronica
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 72u7h
4.89/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Arctic devil Barley win 13.4 abv. I have 6 (now 5, crap) and it's AMAZING.

Tasting notes:

Sweet, not really boozy. malty. Silky AF. It's got a lot of flavors all over as it warms up, everything from chocolate, to raisins, to some fruit of some sort and everything in between. It's fluffy I guess? It's lighter than I thought it be, and that's good. It's really good. I had another barley wine "Arcadian Ales, Cereal Killer" and that bottle was sort of stupid. It had nothing on Arctic Devil at all, so it can go eat sand. This beer don't give much head, even if you froth it a little with a frother. Some say syrupy, I don't know. Seems it depends, mine is from 2015 and it's 1 year + at this point (it's feb 2017 now). I'd disagree, I don't have any experience with earlier variants or years so I can't compare. However, after going on a barleywine quest for the last couple years this is top notch

Of all the barleywine's I've had THIS is my favorite of them all. I've had 100's of them at this point.

 1,008 characters

Photo of silverblaze540
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - poured a murky reddish brown with a small creamy head.

S - Sweet and malty, with a strong prune presence.

T - Dark fruits, prunes, raisins, and some caramel with a sweet and malty start. A hint of bitterness in the aftertaste. Alcohol is not overpowering.

M - Heavy and smooth.

O - Great bear. Strong and smooth, but without an overpowering booziness. A great flavor.

 379 characters

Photo of codytwo
3.09/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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

Photo of Erik-P
4.02/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Bilco
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of oldsailor
4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of OrangeMen
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage
~1 year from bottling date

Appearance- Pours a dark amber, mahogany color, deep red hues. Fairly transparent, but slightly murky. Half finger thick, off white colored head, creamy. Alcohol legs coat glass w/ some small spotty head lacing.

Aroma- Rich maltiness, tons of dark fruit sweetness, predominantly dark cherries, plums, red wine grapes. Dry oak barrel, bourbon sweetness. Caramel, vanilla, toffee sweetness.

Taste- Dark fruits, lots of dark cherries, plums, booze soaked raisins. Intense rich malts, caramel, toffee, maple sweetness. Waves of bourbon, spicy oak barrel, tawny port notes, vanilla, and coconut.

Feel- Medium to full bodied, very sweet and creamy smooth. Lower carbonation, fluffy and smooth.

Overall- Intense richness interwoven with wonderful barrel notes and bourbon. Dark fruits are very forward, lots of cherry sweetness carries throughout. Barrel notes are very complex and add a real nice depth of flavor to the beer. Very enjoyable sipper.

 987 characters

Photo of Boilerup
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TboneRN
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Damian
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 22 fl.oz./1 pint 6 fl.oz. bottle purchased at DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine, Seattle, WA
Served in a snifter

Review #1275

Nearly clear, chestnut-mahogany appearance. The beer appeared rather still in the glass. A thin, fizzy film of khaki colored froth coated the liquid briefly before it dissolved. No lacing whatsoever.

The nose was surprisingly nondescript initially. Somewhat malty and sweet. Bit of maple. Slightly boozy. Some fruitiness came forth as the beer sat. Dark fruits for sure. Plums and raisins were noticeable. With time, the aroma definitely improved. Rich port-like notes appeared. More dark fruit intensity and sweetness too.

The flavor profile was very similar to the nose. Malty and sweet up front. Loads of rich caramel, toffee and maple notes. Fruity. Raisins and plums were apparent. Somewhat spicy. Quite boozy on the finish. For a 13-plus percent ABV beer, however, the alcohol was surprisingly restrained. Sweet plum, raisin and brown sugar notes lingered after the swallow. Like the nose, the flavor profile became more complex with time. Rich port and rum-like notes came forth. The dark fruits intensified as well.

The mouthfeel was quite syrupy. Medium bodied for the style. The liquid contained a light, frothy effervescence that turned fluffy on the palate. After a few sips, the sugars in the beer left a sticky film on my lips.

Arctic Devil Barkeywine has been on my "wants" list for quite a while and I am really glad I finally had a chance to try it. Although the the nose and the flavor both seemed somewhat more muted than I anticipated, I can see how people might have flipped out over this beer five or ten years ago.

 1,689 characters

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

2015 bottle at fridge temperature into a corsendonk tulip.
A - Murky brown, with ruby highlights. No head to speak of, a faint ring of bubbles towards the edge of the glass.
S - Muted aromas of dark fruit, and malt. Raisins, prunes and jaggery noted.
T - Starts sweet with dark fruits, raisins and brown sugar. The barrel aging is definitely noted on the palate, with bourbon heat and flavor noticed throughout the sip. Backend has some bitterness. This is an excellent sipper.
M - Medium-heavy, with an oily feel, leaves behind stickiness on the lips. This is for sure a malt-forward beer with some excellent barrel influences.
O - Recommended as one of the best examples of a barrel-aged old ale. Not too far off the Sucaba territory or the Pelican MoAS.

 757 characters

Photo of CoreyC
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

two year old bottle
A - light brown with nice head which dissipates quickly
S - Very good, the perfect sweet dark fruit EB aroma
T - Nice dark fruit and maltiness, but not as sweet as I would have expected/wanted
M - nice, sticky
O - Very good, but also very expensive

 268 characters

Photo of JayGreezy
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- The beer poured a dark murky brown color with off-white bubbkes crowning the glass.

Smell - The malty goodness that is the nose of a barleywine is here. Sweet malts and dark fruit are noted.

Taste - Sweet dark fruits and malts come to the front. Nutty fruit, raisins, leather, oak, cranberries, and caramel are all present. Some of these notes are better defined as it warms. The finish comes in a pleasant warming sensation.

Mouthfeel - Smooth sticky malts define the mouthfeel.

Overall - The 2 years of cellar made a good beer great!

 555 characters

Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.36 out of 5 with 1,357 ratings