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Big Slick | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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Very Good
44 Ratings
Big SlickBig Slick

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This kick ass American Barley Wine is all about hops —Nugget, Chinook, Simcoe and Centennial. And, yeah, LoTs of ‘em. OK…there’s a substantial malt base on which these juicy Pacific NW hops lie down and do their dirty work. Maybe that’s too much info…

100 IBU

Added by AKBelgianBeast on 07-04-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 |  Reviews: 35
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a nice beige head that leaves plenty of lace behind; very leggy, too

Smell: Caramel and tobacco, with hints of pine; has that oxidized smell of an aged barleywine - not a bad thing at all

Taste: Caramel and tobacco, up front, with a growing piney edge by mid-palate; after the swallow, the hops continue to make a statement, even after more than two years; very balanced and smooth in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: This barleywine has matured very nicely and the overwhelming hop dominance reported in the first year has mellowed though it remains part of the mix

Thanks, hannont, for the opportunity

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another Midnight Sun rarity shared by nickd717. Thanks!

Clear brownish-amber, this has nice color and a small but lasting head.

Huge aroma, hops are still prominent for an aged barleywine, lending notes of pine and grapefruit. There's a big caramel malt character behind the hops, along with a touch of anise.

The taste offers more of the same, big hoppy pine flavors along with caramel, grapefruit, licorice, and something faintly botanical or minty. Full-bodied but fairly attenuated, very hoppy and bitter for the style. I enjoyed this, a very solid American barleywine.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to bmanning for pulling out this Midnight Sun bottle from his stash. Served in a snifter.

Poured a hazy peach-amber color with a good white head and a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose brought forward some dough and brown sugar plus a good dosing of booze. Lightly tannic, even though I don't think this was oak-aged. The flavor falls along the same lines. Some sweetness, but not all that much goind on. Medium body and fairly boozy; dry and slightly astringent. Not one of my favorite MS brews.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a quite clear, dark amber body with a smallish, off-white head.

Smell: A sheer abundance of hops in the nose with sharp scents of juicy grapefruits (peels, pith, and all), pine, and resin vapors. Lesser, secondary notes of candyish, lightly caramelly malts and a teensy weensy hint of red currants.

Taste: Initial flavor of candied, sugar-coated malts are very quickly supplanted by the strong hop character and bitterness within. With a caustic resinous quality and heady flavors of white grapefruit, citronella oil, and yellow pine, the hops then go on to deliver a big burst of bitterness. Small hint of berrylike fruitiness. Noticeable traces of booze, but, thankfully, nowhere near hot. Warming, longly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is just a tad oily.

Drinkability: It's fairly good, though, to me, it's one of those DIPAs surreptitiously masquerading as a Barleywine with a greater prominence placed on the medley of hops more than anything else.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark amber in color with a smooth look to it. Nice cloudiness to it. Some carbonation could be seen streaming up from the bottom of the glass, with a nice amount odd white head sitting on top of it. Smooth settle, left behind only trace amounts of side lacing. The aroma was rich, light notes of alcohol and a ton of bready malts. Hints of pine resin hops and a nice, touch of grain mingling in throughout the profile. The flavor was smooth as could be, a very mellow barley wine with hints of caramel and a muted hop note. Interesting balance here, with the alcohol mostly hidden in amongst the profile. Easy to sip

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Photo of womencantsail
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bobby for sharing this.

A: The pour is a dark copper color with a certain murkiness to it and a khaki colored head.

S: A nice citrus aroma with lots of grapefruit and oranges. There's a bit of a sweet orange thing going on and sort of balances out the intense pine notes. Mildly oxidized with some brown sugar, toffee, caramel, and molasses.

T: Lots of hop flavor to this beer. Pretty darn bitter with pine, grapefruit, and citrus peel flavors. The sweetness is there and offers up some brown sugar, caramel, and molasses, but really overwhelmed by the hops.

M: The body is medium to full with a pretty decent level of carbonation for a barleywine.

D: Despite the age, this beer is still pretty damn bitter. I've begun to like the sweeter barleywines a bit more, but this hoppier variety still works for me.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The last of my Brew Crew beers provided by akbeerfiend. Served in a Heineken taster glass.

A - Huge foam that leaves behind sheets of lace and eventually settles to a thin cap and thicker collar. Transparent dark brown body. Somewhat surprising considering the high ABV.

S - Damn this is hoppy! The 100 IBUs make themselves known. There's also a hefty amount of brown sugar, caramel, roasted grains, and a touch of spice. The alcohol is shockingly well-hidden.

T - Taste is quite sweet, with heft amounts of burnt brown sugar and caramel. There's some residual citrus hop character, even after fourteen months, and it contributes a moderate residual bitterness that builds over time and keeps things from being cloying.

M - Medium-full body, with soft, low carbonation. Chewy, sticky finish. Pretty much what I expect from the style. No obvious heat, which is a shocker.

D - This is quite a nice barleywine, and manages to impress even without barrel-aging. I'd love to have a few more bottles of this one to open periodically. Reminds me a lot of Old Backus, which is high praise.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured orangish brown with reddish highlights that had a half finger of head and left some bubbly lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma was pretty hoppy in aroma with caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and malty sweetness that had slight booze notes in the background. That hops were also pretty potent on the palate alongside caramel, brown sugar, and toffee accents but the booze was pretty subtle with a little underlying earthy wood character, the brew was full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, hoppy bitter, mild boozy, and sticky finish. It drank decent but was a little too on the hoppy side for a barleywine. I would rather drink and IPA if I wanted a hop punch.

 699 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer shared by Ben, thanks!

Beer is amber / brown mostly clear with a lazy head in this tiny snifter.

Aroma is a little boozy, alcoholic, strong moderately.

Beer is medium in body and has this boozy / tannic quality to it that detracts from the malt sweetness and the overall enjoyability of the beer. It is fine but I think in the future I'll skip it.

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Photo of John_M
4.62/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's been roughly 6 weeks since I had this beer on tap at the brewery. That's not very long, but already this beer has developed and matured... happily, not in a bad way at all.

The beer pours a reddish mahogany color with impressive head retention and lacing. This beer just looks rich, thick and viscuous. On the nose, this is a hop forward barleywine on steroids. Interestingly, while the hoppy perfume is still huge in this beer, the sweet malt flavor has gained some ground, with the beer gaining additional aroma and complexity. There is now a considerable cinnamon/candy apple aroma, something I don't recall detecting initially. Incredibly, that aroma is quickly followed by a huge, pungent, skunky, bitter hop aroma, though it's not quite as perfumy as it once was. Still, the aroma profile in this beer is profound, and quite impressive. On the palate this beer is again just delicious. So much flavor in this bad boy.... Initially there is that sweet candy apple flavor, which is as intense as it is compelling. Yet all of a sudden the hoppy bitterness comes on strong and just washes away the malty sweetness. As before, the hoppy bitterness lingers on the finish, though I don't think it's quite as punishing as it was when I first had it. As before, mouthfeel is full, rich and very, very long. Incredibly, for such a big beer, it's not the least bit heavy or tiring, with the alcohol incredibly well disguised and integrated into the flavor profile.

Midnight Sun may call this a barleywine, but truth be told, it's everything I want (and yet so rarely find) in a DIPA. Also, if anything this beer has improved with some bottle age, as it's much better balanced now, with the hoppy bitterness countered nicely by the sweet, spicey malt. Impressive stuff.

 1,771 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Thanks to Ryan for the bottle.

A: Red tinged dark orange with a huge white head of froth. Great retention and lots of lacing.

S: Pronounced caramel with baked bread. The hops have faded for the most part, redolent with pine and grapefruit. There's a little cardboard.

T: Lightly sweet bread with moderately bitter pine and grapefruit. Caramel blends with light oxidation. Finishes bitter with pine, caramel, cardboard, a little booze, and a moderate bitterness.

M: Medium in body with upper moderate carbonation.

Overall: Pretty oxidized but still good. I would have liked to try this fresh, but Alaska is so aloof.

 630 characters

Photo of DucksFan16
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of corby112
4.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks for Dajtai007 for sending this one to me in a recent trade. 22oz bomber shared with kubrick215 and another buddy not on BA.

Pours a deep dark ruby red that's almost a black cherry soda color with some lighter colored golden ruby hues when held to a light source and a creamy, frothy light yellowish beige head with excellent retention. The head only slowly fading into a lasting cap that leaves chunky rings of soapy lacing in it's wake.

Pretty hoppy aroma for the style with some sweet citrus notes along with a biscuit malt backbone with hints of rye, caramel and toast. Slightly piny with some grapefruit and citrus peel. Slight alcohol presence but it's well masked by the other aromas.

Extremely hop forward even for a west coast style American barleywine. Chewy resinous mouthfeel with a lot of bitter earthy hops. Dry and piny with a big leathery malt backbone with hints of biscuit, caramel and roasted nut. The flavor is very must and earthy with a bit of sweet citrus from the agressive hopping. Hints of grapefruit and citrus peel. There are some big flavors in this beer but they are perfectly balanced. There is a slight alcohol warmth in the finish but the ABV is very well masked, especially considering it clocks in at 11.9%. This beer is dangerously drinkable and feels much more like a really strong malty DIPA than anything else. I would love to have another bottle of this for aging but I fear that it would lose all of it's hoppy greatness and be a completely different animal. Highly recommended if you can get it.

 1,546 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

John pulled this out last night, and boy, was it a treat!

A: Brilliant clear garnet with a thin beige head that recedes to a thin disk rather quick, leaving lace. The clarity and color are brilliant, and the head retention is great for a 11% beer

S: Pretty darned hoppy with perfumey, citrus,pine needles and a dank, weed-like aroma. Mildly spicy with pepper and a touch of alcohol. The hops are huge, but don't really hide the malt behind with caramel and honey, both of which play off the hops really well. Candied apple with the blend of sweetness and fruitiness being excellent.

T: Opens with such a big wave of hop flavor and bitterness, it's incredible! This is immediately surpassed by a huge malt sweetness. Hop characteristics include pine, spruce and citrus, with the balance leaning towards flavor hops over bitterness. The bitterness is tempered by a great malt sweetness with honey, caramel and toffee. Long and bitter on the finish some caramel sweetness

M: Exquisite. Big in body with creamy carbonation, great hop character and a long finish

D: The alcohol is not noticeable, and that makes this beer all the more dangerous

 1,144 characters

Photo of jrallen34
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alex for this bottle served in a tulip...Pours a light brown, really clear and watery on the edges. A light tan head that is thin and whispy but has great retention and lacing....This is a very hoppy barleywine, but besides being more hoppy than the average bw it is what a typical bw smells like. Not much else going on, average aroma; hops, caramel and spice...The taste actually backs off the hops but its replaced mostly by alcohol and a little more sweetness. Its still more hoppy than your average bw but a drinkable beer it is.

This is the epitome of a regular bw from every aspect. Slightly more hoppiness makes it an interesting and drinkable bw worth trying.

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Photo of ccrida
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into my Duvel tulip (1/2 of it, the other half shared with a beer loving co-worker suffering through work at 8pm on a friday night at the office as well). Clear amber, nice off-white head, sticky lace.

Smell is big citrus hops and sweet malt.

Taste is also super hoppy, without being over bitter, very nice. There's some bitterness to it, but only enough to keep it in check, nothing overwhelming. Nice maltiness, not to sticky or sweet, some vanilla tinges, but really, all about the hops. However, I'd guess that the lucsious fresh grapefruit like hop character would fade rather quickly, given there's not a blistering (but granted substantial) bitterness, giving way to a really nice barleywine. Reminds me a bit of fresh old guardian.

Mouthfeel is super creamy, very slick!

Drinkability is high. This beer is excellent. It is making up for my otherwise lousy night working late on a friday...thanks a million John!

 941 characters

Photo of Pencible
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured a clear dark copper with moderate light tan head. It smelled like orange and grapefruit and floral hops, with sweet caramel and a bit of cream. It tasted like sweet orange and bitter grapefruit, with some floral and waxy and copper hops along with honey and caramel malts. It was thick with some carbonation, and had a lasting bitter aftertaste. Overall this had a great scent and taste that could pass as a 2IPA, with powerful hops. It had great body too, and it hid the alcohol pretty well, so it wasn't difficult to drink. But the big hops bitterness makes this better to sip. I have no clue how this would age, but it's definitely enjoyable fresh. Reminiscent of Bigfoot, but more unique than Sierra Nevada.

 723 characters

Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alex again for sharing this.

A - Caramel colored beer with a bit of a tan head that had some nice retention and lacing.

S - Fairly good barleywine smell, crystal malts, toasted malts, some burnt sugar and caramel, bit of toffee. Also has a nice hops presence that is very distinctive.

T - Not quite as hoppy as the smell, it's a pretty straightforward, albeit, enjoyable barleywine with good caramel and burnt sugar, some molasses, and some hop bitterness on the end.

M - Medium bodied with some decent carbonation.

O - No complaints here, a very solid barleywine that is worth trying. Doesn't necessarily stand out in any way, but it's a quality brew that has good characteristics.

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Photo of gford217
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Ira for another MSBC brew.

Pours a dark, but very clear, copper with a big creamy off-white head that leaves very good lacing and a solid cap for the duration.

The aroma is a combination of caramelized sugar, citrus hops and dark fruits. The hops are especially prominent and extremely pithy with grapefruit rinds and even some pineapple. The is a toasted bready malt presence as well.

The taste starts with an initial citrus hop kick with the grapefruit coming out again. There is a big bready malt backbone with some toffee sweetness in there and hints of light and dark fruits. The finish is hoppy and astringent with a more grassy character than the previous hops.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with good carbonation and still pretty bitter and dry from the hops which are still very fresh in this one.

This is a good barleywine that I am almost certain will become excellent with another year on it. I like the hop presence but I think when they fade this will be a more balanced barleywine and definitely more drinkable. That said, it's a great beer right now.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1168th Review on BA
Bottle to Tripel Karmeliet

Thanks to Gurudel for sharing

Shared with Gurudel, Jazzpatel, Mrhirschybar & BdubleEdubleRun

App- Poured a dark orange with yellow highlights with a small head and a couple bubbles. Not a lot of cling.

Smell- For an older bottle this to me still had a lot or muted hops. Big malt backbone. A lot of damp and earthy citrus was present as well.

Taste- It's tasty but drinks more like a muted DIPA vs. Barleywine. Has way more hops than I wouldve thought. This beer fresh wouldve been a monster. Has a unique spicy type of flavor with a ton caramel citrus.

Mouth- Light medium bodied with a medium carbonation and a big damp citrus residual flavor.

Drink- Its an okay beer. Very different from what I was thinking. Had way more hops vs. malts and citrus. Leave it to Vince to bring a bottle weve never seen.

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Big Slick from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 44 ratings
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