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:
1,345
Reviews:
380
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
8.05%
 
 
Wants:
982
Gots:
312
For Trade:
33
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,345 |  Reviews: 380
Photo of beerpirates
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of alcstradamus
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cola brown pour with a nice cascade effect that formed two fingers of head. Settles to a nice collar of bubbles after a couple of minutes.

Holy cow the nose on this one is in-your-face. Huge caramel malts, wood, and complex bourbon aromas. I had to go read up on this beer and see if it ever hit bourbon barrels. Apparently every batch is different in terms of what type of oak barrels it sits in. Interesting.

The taste is good, but not quite on par with the nose. I think this one still needs to age some more even though it is a year old...the oak character is somewhat harsh at this point and it definitely needs to round out a bit more. Still though, what an impressive beer. Not as sweet as most English Barleywines, but definitely as flavorful.

The body is on the full side of medium. There is definitely a big alcohol presence, so if you are drinking this one with a year or less on it I would definitely recommend splitting it with 2 or 3 other people. A very fine sipping beer, but one that I will age for a few years before cracking again.

 1,053 characters

Photo of morrowd3
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this bottle in a trade last summer; the bottle is not dated, so I have no idea how old it is. Poured from the bottle into a Duvel tulip. Pours a rich, dark brown, with a nice, fluffy tan head. The head dissapates quickly, leaving scattered bubbles across the surface. Some oxidation up front on the nose, followed by dark fruit (raisins, sour cherries), red wine, oak and sweet malt. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. On the palate it is very sweet and vinuous, with suggestions of cherry, fig and winey alcohol. Finishes slightly dry and bitter.
Overall very nice, improving nicely as it warms.

 600 characters

Photo of cmgage
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of RoyalT
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one poured a nice, glowing brown in color with an off-white head that frothed up good for a high-octane ABV.

Smell – Man, this is a big ‘un. The huge, roasty malts are thick and boozy. They are drenched in fruity and refined sugars. This nose is almost overpowering. If you like big Barley Wine bouquets, you have to buy this just for the smell.

Taste – The malts from the nose are thick and roasted at the taste as well. The alcohol is sharp but very confident in the flavor profile. The giant table sugars almost make this one feel like an English-style Barley Wine.

Mouthfeel – This one is in between medium and full in the body with a nice, almost stinging alcoholic mouthfeel.

Drinkability – This is not for everyone, but if you like your ABWs big, bold, and boozy (like I do) than this definitely is for you.

Comments – Ms. Skyhand busted out this Barley for her first annual Bring on Da Booze festival, and personally it was the highlight of the evening for me.

 1,008 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Murky brown complexion. Like dirty River water. There's a beige fingernail around the rim. I smell a massively sweet malt bomb. The bitterness of the barley cuts the sweetness. It tastes massively sweet with a heavy malt presence. The mouth is sticky, chewy, thick, and dry.

 280 characters

Photo of Czarkazm
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage, so about 1 year old. Brown pour but appears dark amber/red up to a light with a very small head consisting of medium sized bubbles. Bouquet includes strong caramel and toffee aromas, with burnt brown sugar, dark fruit, oak, and slight booze. Sticky sweet mouth feel, on the verge of cloying but this is expected in a 13.4% barleywine. More caramel and brown sugar sweetness in the taste, rum soaked raisins, the whiskey comes out more in the flavor along with the oak and vanilla, and a hint of spiciness.

 523 characters

Photo of TexIndy
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got from Liquids Solutions last month but this seems to be an older vintage which suits me fine. This is no date on the label but the web address is wildales.com which they no longer use and the 2008 version had a date on the label, also this one says 10% and current version is 13.2% - so guessing 2007 at least if not older. Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Duvel tulip. Was a dark, dark reddish brown color. It had an average sized brown head that settled into a nice collar. Plenty of center carb from the laser etching. Quick sliding lace that doesn't stick.

The aroma was amazing and seems to have aged very nicely. Caramel and toffee dominant with dark fruits, oak and alcohol along for the ride. Very complex combination's that I found myself sniffing over and over. The taste followed the aroma but the alcohol jumped from the front to the back. Wish it was a little more toned down but still good and what you'd expect in a barleywine. Very sweet from start to the finish which ended up being just on the wrong side of cloyingly sweet. The mouthfeel is creamy but feels a little overcarbonated as it stings the tonuge at the end.

Overall, an excellent beer worthy of the praise. It's my first Midnight Sun and won't be the last if they are all this good. Would love to try this on tap. Very highly recommend. Rotation: not avail here and had to get thru mail order so this might be my only try of it for awhile. If here, I'd like a bottle a year.

 1,459 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, 10% ABV. Cloudy chestnut color. A thin tan head disappears almost immediately.

Dark fruit, caramel, figs, ripe fruits and pine in the aroma. A lot of complexity. Bourbon, and oak linger. Some vanilla and coconut. Very complex nose, quite enjoyable.

Lots of sweetness, caramel and figs galore. Comes close to being cloying. Bourbon and oak, along with vanilla round tings out. A fair amount of bitterness, but this is certainly malt driven. More dark fruits as it warms.

Medium body, with low carbonation. I wouold suspect that this will age wonderfully. Very nice.

 582 characters

Photo of spinrsx
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Total Wine Palm Springs for $16.

44 characters

Photo of jakemn91
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of AgentZero
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been looking to knock this one out for a while. Big thanks to spycow for the share. 2007 vintage.

A - Brownish beer with some slight ruby highlights that had a tan head. Dissappeared rather quickly to a small ring.

S - A good bit going on here. Some bourbon, a little wood, touch of vanilla, toasted caramel, dark fruit, slight bit of ether, little booze, burnt sugar.

T - Sweet, taste does follow the nose, although something fell a little flat for me. Someone else said that while this was good, it may have passed it's prime and other vintages have been mind blowing. Some good caramel, oak, burnt sugar, dark fruit, actually a little booze too, kind of surpring given how old it was.

M - Medium bodied, but it felt like it finished just a little bit light somehow. Lower carbonation.

O - Good beer, drank a little bit sweeter than I would have liked, but probably to be expected from an English Barleywine with some age on it. Would love to try some other vintages.

 974 characters

Photo of karst
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 Nov release - 22 oz bottle from trade with Eagle River, Ak residents Tim and Julie

Standing around a campfire trying to thaw out the garden hose on a 20°F Sunday early afternoon - hardly Artic conditions but here in mid Missouri its time to break out the Barleywine. Brew club members Emit, Randy and I are brewing 10 gallons of a mild ale that will show off their 05 seasons fresh Cascade and centenial hops. As we start the mash with a full cooler of crushed 2-row and crystal and pour in 8 gallons of hot strike water I learn that Emit and Randy flew to Alaska for a 5 day fishing trip and that their accomadations included Alaskan Amber Ale on tap!

The Midnight Sun Artic Devil Barley Wine added to the telling on many fishing stories as we built up a small campfire next to the brewkettle.

By the third pour it was evident that the clear dark chestnut body was without sediment. More tan head than I expected for barleywine - quickly falling (expected for a 10% abv ale). With the naked surface catching mid day sun ruby highlights outline the three pint glasses.

Aroma of dark fruits - plumbs and raisins combine with cherry and sweet caramel with the alcohol rising to a near cognac level never dominating or becomming too prominate. Too good to hide. The tales of artic fishing continue. Silver salmon, chum salmon and pink salmon congregate in slack-water areas off the main river channel and providing fast action on the
fly . . . .

Flavors that would complement the five star meals served by the two chefs attending Emit and Randy at their long days ends back at their lodge. Complex caramel malts oak flavors swimming in alcolic hopped liquid. Randy, a hophead noted that it was still hoppy thinking that it was this years release - and could use a few more month in the cellar. I did not tell him it was already had a year of aging. I found the hop/malt balance very nice with the bitterness and alcohol countering the sweetness.

 1,967 characters

Photo of TheEarl
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2014 vintage bottle into two snifters. Thanks to Jordan at Chuck’s CD for suggesting this one.

Appearance: Brownish/red, extremely cloudy, little or no head/foam.

Aroma: Alcohol, over-ripe plum, raisin, caramel, fruitcake,, cherry, oak, vanilla.

Taste: Follows aroma--hot, intense malt with oxidized aftertaste, mild hop bitterness, very sweet.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thin, medium viscosity, low carbonation, present alcohol.

Overall: Arctic Devil is a world-class barleywine with the perfect ammount of wood to round it out. The booze can be a bit rough but, with a year or two in the cellar, I expect great things.

 635 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 bottling

Appearance: With a hard pour the beer raises a minimal head that squatts on the hazy tea-brown liquid; fading quickly to a ringlet, it leaves some leggy lacing behind

Smell: Toffee, figs, mulled cider spicing and discernable alcohol, even after four years

Taste: The toffee and fig flavors jump out from the moment the liquid touches the tongue, with bigger fruit, earthy hop and burning alcohol elements arriving shortly thereafter; in the finish, the sweet and fruity flavors blend with a pipe tobacco character to provide a complex finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation; plenty of warmth, still

Overall: A very nice English Barleywine, indeed, though it doesn't jump out at me as being extraordinary; perhaps it has something to do with the age, though this is still quite potent

I cannot remember who sent it to me as I kept this one in the cellar for quite some time; thanks to whomever

 936 characters

Photo of s1ckboy
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 bottle with about a year of age on it.

A - Orange/Red body, 1/2 finger of of white head.

S - Oak, bourbon, dark fruits, sweet.

T - Oak, booze (not necessarily bourbon), figs, red wine.

M - Surprisingly light mouthfeel, smooth carbonation

Vey good, was expecting more given it's reputation.

 299 characters

Photo of jrallen34
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this 2008 vintage from a 22oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours a dark brown with a little tan head, not much head, retention or lacing.

The aroma has tons of malts, very sweet. Vanilla dominates with a little bourbon, and wood. Its very subtle which makes it very easy to smell.

The taste is a little rougher than the aroma, bringing a lot of wood to the front with a little vanilla at the end. It has a pretty smooth finish with lots of wood

The feel is good, drinkability pretty good.

Overall, this is a pretty good bw, one of my favs. Better than most but remotely as good as the perfect storm, and probably not a top 100 beer.

 660 characters

Photo of Zonian1
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of drone
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of eire
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of oldsailor
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.14/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle at City Beer. Poured into a snifter. 2010 bottle.

Appearance - No head. Murky brown with some reddish flecks. Ring of foam around the surface.

Smell - Oak is prominent. Bourbon and vanilla. Low barrel character next to other barreled barley wines, but it's nice. Slightly oxidized, but it's beneficial. Earthy hops join the caramel.

Taste - Even less barrel, but it's still nice. Caramel mostly, but oak and vanilla are close behind. Bourbon and oxidation blend in. Earthy finish. A little bitter.

Mouthfeel - Boozy, but I wouldn't guess 13.4%. Low carbonation. Bitter. Maybe even a bit thin and watery as the flavors drop off.

Overall - Excellent flavors. The oxidation is nice. The only downfall is the mouthfeel. Too thin in the finish.

 758 characters

Photo of dwagner003
4.14/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of mykie73
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

a) Burgandy caramel, burnt amber color with small lacing

s) Complex. red apples, cherries, hint of figs, vanilla, toffee

t) delicious; tastes like it smells but with more toffee. lingering after taste. reminds me of eating a twix bar in away. can not taste the alcohol at all.

f) so smooth, does not coat mouth, great feel.

d) very drinkable. A spendy beer at $15 a pop so something you bring out for a special treat. Very happy that this beer is very available in Oregon. Tremendous Barley Wine.

 500 characters

Arctic Devil Barley Wine from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
4.35 out of 5 based on 1,345 ratings.
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