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Arctic Devil Barley Wine | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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Arctic Devil Barley WineArctic Devil Barley Wine
1,347 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: 1,347 |  Reviews: 382
Photo of shuajw
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of zipper8650
4.86/5  rDev +11.5%
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
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!

 1,039 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

 835 characters

Photo of brycevolk
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of juliusseizure
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Satchboogie
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Sparky44
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of SteelersX
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of fiver29
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Beerandboards
4.63/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

 1,358 characters

Photo of zac16125
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 1,493 characters

Photo of pmoore311
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of G-Hawk
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of hopswap1
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of stevec32
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Holmes698
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of DJButters
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of atalayafr
4.73/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

 722 characters

Photo of DNICE555
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of injuredreserve
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of AlexFields
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of twelveinches
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of itsthepleats
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of HALB
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Prospero
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.36 out of 5 with 1,347 ratings
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