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
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
Ratings:
1,338
Reviews:
378
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.05%
 
 
Wants:
983
Gots:
311
For Trade:
33
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,338 |  Reviews: 378
Photo of Fooditems
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mikeale
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks TexasStout for this one.
Served in a snifter.

A. opaque dark rust ruby body, caramel head fades quick.

S. Caramel, toffey, citrus hops are faint

T. toffey, creamy vanilla, alcohol, leather notes.

M. wow! this is almost chewey, mouth coating, rich,

D. I started this on Saturaday 11:00 A.M. still enjoying over an hour later. Well balanced, I did'nt find the alcohol overpowering.

Yummalisus!

 407 characters

Photo of scottoale
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber with month & week bottled: J 2&5 notched on the label. I'm pretty sure this is the latest vintage in any case. It pours a dark mahogany (brown coppery-red) with decent viscosity and ample carbonation. The head rises up to almost 1/2" in a Duvel tulip with an orange tint of beige and good retention, but no clingy lace.

The aroma is of sweet and rich caramel maltiness. Dark caramel, toffee, shortbread, brown sugar, plum, hazelnut and vanilla for the most part. It smells malty and oak mellowed with a bit of alcohol as it warms.

The taste is just that much better, with loads of the afore mentioned and more. Rich and chewy kind of flavor if you will, filled with toffee and caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar and molasses, oak, vanilla, fig, plum and hazelnut. The flavor is divine and really reminds me alot of the Angel's Share. Truly awesome flavor that I can't get enough of.

Good full body with ideal carbonation that's silky smooth and creamish. Good dose of alcohol that never gets in the way and really adds to the delivery of the flavor. This is one barleywine that is as drinkable as they come...it's great now and becomes even greater with some age on it, a must try if you love B-wines!

 1,217 characters

Photo of mcallister
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a damn fine looking barleywine sitting in front of me. Deep russett color with orange red hues. Head pours to a half inch and is an amazing color of tannish yellow. Hangs around for awhile and fades into a nice ring around the glass.

Complex aromas of fruit, malt, and hop arise from my snifter. You first recognize a thick gooey sweet fig paste aroma full of dates and almonds with a hint of prune and cherry. Following is a blast a toffee rising from the ashes and making its arrival with a blundering announcement. On the end a somewhat piney, somewhat citrus hop aroma adds a little sparkle and gives a layered feeling of substance to the aroma.

This is what a barley wine is all about in my opinion. Huge dried fruit flavors with blasts of toffee and caramel, and a nice alcohol bite at the finish. Hops help tame the sweet malt slightly but aren't over accenuated and making things seem more like a DIPA which always irks me. Viscous and thick toffee with a hint of milk chocolate and vanilla lead way into fig paste, prune, nuts, dried berries, maple syrup, and brown sugar. The slight floral, pine hop comes into the mid palate for a second and than finishes quickly into a alcohol burn in the chest.

Thick and gooey mouthfeel lets you rest you mind and entices the senses on the long finish. Perfect for a cold Ohio night or better yet an Alaskan one.

 1,372 characters

Photo of DucksFan16
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting at the Great Alaska Beer & Barleywine festival.

Dark brown with a faint white head. Aroma of sweet fruity, caramel. Considering this beer is over 14% abv, it does not have an alcohol-dominated taste. Delicious but not overpowering flavor imparted from the oak. Aftertaste lingers for quite some time, making this one a sipper!

 336 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared a bottle of this with Matt today. Thanks!

2008 vintage

A: Dark brown with crimson hues appearance and a one inch head. Initially, there is a sheet of lacing, but it fades after a few moments.

S: The aroma is fantastic. Sweet malts with dark fruits. No heat in the aroma. 13.4%?!?

T: Fabulous taste! Wow. This is my new favorite English Barleywine.
Very complex, with dark fruits and delicious malts.

M: 13.4% alcohol is completely hidden. Not sure how they did that.

D: Awesome. Highly drinkable. Best barleywine I've had to date.

 544 characters

Photo of Chingringo
4.7/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Resuin
4.69/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. No bottle date but I believe this is this year's version. ABV is listed as 13.4% on bottle. This is being served at just under 50 degrees, but will warm slightly as I drink it.

Appearance: Pours black with a half-finger tan head, which fades slowly to a layer atop the black beer.

Smell: Delicious, strong bourbon and vanilla definitely out first. Chocolate, slightly roasted malts, dark fruits. Really delicious aroma.

Taste: Bourbon out front again mixed with vanilla, chocolate, figs, malts, and finishes with some woody oak. Pretty sweet, really well balanced, and absolutely delicious. Alcohol is masked brilliantly. Phenomenal.

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation and a really creamy, thick body. Wonderful.

Overall: This is an all-around outstanding beer. The bourbon comes through in the perfect amount for me, and the other flavors, all of which are delicious, blend together for a fantastic profile. Some beers with a similar profile to this are overly sweet, but this one is just perfect.

 1,036 characters

Photo of younger35
4.69/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received this brew from gclarkage in a recent trade for a bunch of goodies. I've been looking to land this brew for quite some time but didn't want to pay the shipping costs to Alaska. Glad it's in the lower 48 now. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Appearance- Pours a hazy reddish orange with a soft dirty tan foamy head that dissipates fairly slowly. When it's gone though, it's gone basically leaving no cap and a ultra thin collar.
Smell- The nose is slightly sweet with a big burst of toffee that could be the most intense I've smelled in a Barleywine. Some woody oak and plenty of vanilla mix well with the sweetness and the occasional waft of alcohol. Some light over ripened raisin adds a bit of fruitiness but this one tends to stick toward the brown sugar side of things. The hops are lightly fruity and vibrant but the nose is dominated by the malt and wood.
Taste- Not as sweet as the nose led me to believe but a nice bit of brown sugar and light molasses shine. Some light wood and vanilla really come out strong once the beer warms as does a bit of fruit. Prunes, raisins and dark cherries all are fairly prevalent as is a bit of alcohol. For 10% though it's hidden extremely well. Finishes with a bit of lingering cherry and toffee.
Mouthfeel- Thick and rich with a super creamy feel and ultra light carbonation.
Drinkability- Reminds me of homemade grain alcohol cut with burnt sugar and cherries that I had at a bachelor party one time (170 proof and tasted like cherry syrup, dangerous stuff). Except this actually tastes good. Extremely smooth, extremely drinkable and probably the best Barleywine I've had since Old Ruffian. Crazy good stuff, mucho recommended. Thanks Chris!

 1,702 characters

Photo of glid02
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Joe - judging by the bottle it's a 2007 vintage and has only a sub-10% ABV.

Pours a hazy honey-copper color with a half-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth caramel malts with light toffee and vanilla aromas. Also present are slight amounts of milk chocolate and dry honey.

Tastes similar to how it smells, yet somehow even more complex. Moderately sweet caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by equal parts butterscotch and toffee flavors. Midway through the sip light vanilla and slight bourbon flavors make an appearance. Finally, hints of oak smooth things out near the end of the sip, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass very quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was a huge fan of this beer, something I normally can't say about aged barleywines. An amazing beer that is very much worth a shot. Also worth setting one down for a few years if you're lucky enough to have multiples. As a quick note that was tasted side-by-side with Mother of all Storms and came out on top. Both fantastic beers but it really wasn't even a competition to decide my favorite.

 1,331 characters

Photo of grub
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Viggo shared this one. big thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled may 9/09.

pours deep red-brown with a bit of haze. a thin layer of very fine dark tan head forms, dropping fast and leaving spotty lace.

aroma is excellent. light alcohol. bit of american hop bite - pine, grapefruit. tons of dark fruit - raisin, date, fig. dark caramel and toffee. lightly toasted multi-grain bread. brandy, calvados, vanilla. really complex and interesting.

taste is great. rich caramel and toffee. lightly toasted multi-grain bread. biscuit. bit of cracker. lots of rich dark fruit - date, fig, raisin. bit of earthy character. vanilla and raw oak. hints of dark chocolate. loads of depth and complexity. while the aroma gave me a bit of an american impression, this is decidedly english now.

mouthfeel is great. nice big body. medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is great. well balanced. great depth and complexity. the alcohol is still a bit warm, but goddamn i love it anyway. i'll be looking for more of this!

 1,006 characters

Photo of jabocu
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 edition 22 oz. bottle.

Pours a deep mahogany with reddish hues, A thin one finger tan cap that dissipated into thin lacings. Aroma is sweet caramel and molasses, estery figs, some citrus and floral hops, and a little alcohol. vinous aroma. Explosive rich flavor of figs and molasses, a little tropical fruit, toasted buttery cashews, whiskey, vinous quality, very nice subtle floral and tangerine hop bitterness, undertones of spice and pepper. Alcohol is noticeable with a deep warming effect. Mouthfeel is viscous with a full body, with med-high carbonation, and finishes dry. Exceptional and half-way done with bomber and already feeling good!!! Glad I have a couple more of these cellared.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice dark mahogany brown beer with a glimpse of head that did a Houdini and disappeared quickly. No appearance of any carbination what-so-ever.

S- The smell is wonderful. Fruity, malty, spicy, sweet caramel. The smell is very big and complex, but the different above smells seem to do a great job trading in and out with each other.

T- Caramel and roasted malts if very present at first then the 10% ABV takes over and stings the tongue. Second taste yeilded a fruiter hoppier taste with the malt finish. There is a fruity date taste that is present as well. Very complex in the taste and is more of a bittersweet taste then sweet. Unlike Old School by DFH which is very sweet. This almost seems like a combination of European and West Coast Barley Wine styles. Gives a nice warming sensation from the inside out.

M- The beer is very thick. The alcohol definitely stings the tongue. But it doesn't dry out the tongue which is nice.

D- I think this is an easy beer to drink. The ABV seems to be quite potent in this brew. Or perhaps I should have just eaten more for lunch.

 1,080 characters

Photo of jjayjaye
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy translucent empty beer bottle color with a full finger frosted tan collar that fades fairly quickly to surface, leaving negligible spotty patterns of Belgian lacing behind. The smell is amazing and classic. The aroma is HUGE and rich; sweet caramel and butterscotch. Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is full bodied and has a tangy character from the alcohol and salty notes that compliment the flavors extremely well and linger nicely. Full flavored, the taste mirrors the nose...the caramel character is deep and slightly roasted, but the butterscotch note has the leading role in this play. An AMAZING drinker!! The 13.2% ABV is really well integrated...but be advised...this one needs to be savored...or you'll get stupid!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! Many thanks to koopa for this opportunity.

 805 characters

Photo of edmedina
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours with about 1 fingers worth of head. The color is a nice dark brown color. Definitely no light coming through it. The smell is a nice sweet licorice. The taste is pretty over powering. You start out with the same licorice taste and then it becomes more sweet almost a brown sugar sweetness taste. There is some bite to the taste showing the alcohol content here. It does leave the brown sugar as an after taste. I really enjoy this particular barleywine and have managed to store another away to age for a little while. I am sure the taste will settle down some more.

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Photo of mikecharley
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't done a review in a while, so please excuse the rough nature of this one, as it is done live. '11 vintage, Taking this one down solo (probably a bad choice)

Pours a dark copper, with some brown notes in there, one finger head that quickly fades. No real lacing, but what do you expect for a 13% beast

Smells really good. Some wine, whiskey, barrel, vanilla, coconut, marshmallow, nuttiness. All melding nicely

Taste really does a good job delivering on the promise of the nose, as it tastes fan-fucking-tastic. The marshmallow is really good. I would explain this as a BB4D with a little more depth to the nose and flavor. Great brew. Nice full mouth too.

I would rank this the second best Barley Wine I've had, only behind Alpine Great.

 748 characters

Photo of NJBrews609
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

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

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

 311 characters

Photo of SomethingClever
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle poured into snifter

A: very little head with just a slight filming. Body is a slightly hazy brown amber

S: hops floral and resiny with a nice oak,vanilla, and toffee has a little astringent smell as well

T: tons of vanilla, toffee, raisins, a good dose of hops but a lot more rich bourbon oakiness with beautiful vanilla and toffee flavors

M: lighter and very smooth its not cloying or huge on the mouth surprising for such a huge ABV beer

O: This beer is exactly what I want out of a bourbon barrel Barleywine huge amounts of toffee and vanilla with a nice bite of hops. This beer is amazing definitely pick it up.

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Photo of nickd717
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2008 bomber shared by Arbitrator at a tasting.

Pours clear medium brown with a nice small light tan head that fades to a ring.

Aroma is awesome - really strong barrel notes - oak, whiskey, and vanilla. A lot like Perfect Storm. Toasted coconut, caramel, and toffee as well.

Flavor is awesome too. Excellent base barleywine with caramel malt and lots of sweet toffee. Lots of wood, whiskey, vanilla, and coconut

Mouthfeel is straight-up amazing. A little dry with ridiculously full body and lots of alcohol warmth.

Damn, this beer is great. I'm cellaring a bottle of what I think is '07 right now. Looking forward to having this again.

EDIT: Ticked the '07 vintage from the bottle (well, poured into a glass) recently. UN-BE-LIEVABLE. Great -bal character and just so much going on. Nearly the perfect -bal aged barleywine. Just amazing.

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Photo of straightlambic
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DerekMorgan
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This may the best English Barleywine I've ever had, bar none. I will be looking to trade for this soon! From old notes....

A: Brown to dark crimson hue with a tan head that dies to a ring. Has some stuff floating, which actually makes me want to drink it more.

S: True Barleywine smell thats rich and packed with flavor. Wicked prune, grape, barley, leather, alcohol, caramel, raisin, and candy sweetness all are there. Can't wait for whats next.

T: Huge flavor, definitely one of the best tasting barleywines I've ever had. Rum raisin, grapes, toffee, brown sugar, burnt caramel, molasses, tea leaves (loved this), and alcohol complexity. A real serious barleywine, pretty much perfect for the style IMHO.

M: A little thick but not too much, sticky and sweet. Nice low carbonation that works great to let the big flavors come out even more.

Overall outstanding.

 869 characters

Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,338 ratings.
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