Big Slick | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Big SlickBig Slick
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 nickd717
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber via trade thanks to akbeerfiend.

Great appearance - crystal clear medium reddish-amber in color with a lasting one-finger light tan head.

The aroma is nice - sweet caramel and toffee with molasses and anise. Some earthy and resinous hops as well.

The flavor has a nice sweet malty backbone - lots of toffee - with blackstrap molasses and lots of licorice, like a black Twizzler. Lots of earthy, citrusy, and resinous hops on the finish.

Medium-full bodied with average carbonation for the style. Some serious alcohol warmth.

A solid barleywine overall. Unique.

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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 tpd975
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to tim for this one.

A: Pours a nice amber hue with a small cream colored head. No real retention with just a few spots of lace.

S: Slight caramel aroma with some summer fruit, honey, and a big blast of hops.

T: Malty and fruity up front. Llight apple notes with a big dose of caramel sweetness . The finish is where the hops shine through. Lots of citrus with lighter resinous pine like notes.

M: On the fuller side of medium. Rich, sweet, smooth with some hoppy bite in the finish.

D: Good, it's not arctic devil, but it is tasty.

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

Smells of freshness and piny hops. Pours a nice thick vanilla head, brown golden body.

Taste of pine hops, long everlasting bitterness. The bitterness stuck with me for several minutes after each sip, although it was a super super strong bitterness. There is a warming sensation, but the alcohol is not too overwhelming, you can taste it at first however. This beer really is alll about the hops 100 IBUs. Its a good try, pretty drinkable.

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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.

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Photo of sprucetip
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Scoring revised Oct 2012, original review Dec 2009. It's still pretty dry, but not so hot. Definitely mellowed some. But the overall caramel/floral/fruity character with medium bitterness remains.

From notes. Very clear, amber/orange, active, 1 finger white head after settling, patchy lacing.

SMELL big sweet caramel malty aroma with fruity and boozy esters, and a floral hoppy presence. Some spiciness adds complexity.

TASTE floral hops battle for attention but stay in the background as strong booziness and sweet maltiness dominate. Bready, pretty dry throughout but especially into and after the finish, with some lingering bitterness.

FEEL Medium carbonation, very full body, chewy, really dry.

OVERALL I'm a huge Midnight Sun fan, but was not thrilled with this one the first time around. Very hot and dry, and somewhat out of balance. That said, I think it will be much better and very enjoyable with some time in the cellar, and certainly worth a try.

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Photo of slaintemhor
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Git to try a bottle of this courtesy of my bro-in-law who lives in Anchorage. The colour is and orange amber with little head. The aroma is just plain teeming with hops! On the palate, MAN! 100 IBU's?! Not 200??! This seems ultra hoppy for a barley wine and I'm lovin' it! This is like a cross between the MSBC Gluttony and their Arctic Devil. Dang nice stuff!

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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 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.

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Photo of boralyl
4.21/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up on a recent trip to Ancorage, AK.

A - Pours an inch of off-white head that clings to the inside of the glass as it settles. The beer is a very dark copper color with ruby highlights.

S - A decent amount of piny and ctrusy hops are joined by a strong sweet malt base. There's also a touch of alcohol. The aroma is good, but it's rather subtle.

M - Medium-Full in body with nice active carbonation. Some astringency present.

T - The label calls it an American Barley Wine, but it could just as easily be an Imperial IPA. Some candied sweet malt up front followed by a nice mixture of citrus and pine. There's a bit of alcohol present in the finish and just a slight bitterness. This is actually very well balanced between the malts and hops.

A very good brew. The 11.9% abv is almost unnoticeable, so it can catch up to you quick. Regardless of the style, it's excellent, and I'd recommend it.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been looking forward to trying this since I first heard about it from tpd975. Thanks for sharing this yummy beast. It poured clear copper with amber core and thin tan head. The aroma has a smooth full pine, grapefruit and resiny bitter hoppy goodness with a sense of a sweet malty base. The taste is full on hoppy pine bitterness then moving into resiny hop notes. By midway a modest level of thick sweet maltiness comes to the surface to create a brief safe haven from the persistent pestilent hops. Very tasty hop heavy barleywine.

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Photo of rye726
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany with a silky beige head. Nice lacing and retention.

Nose has floral hops, caramel, toffee, sugary malts and a subtle alcohol aroma.

Taste is quite hoppy up front followed by candy malts, ripe pitted fruits and a bit of sweet booze flavor. More bitter hops through the finish.

Medium body is well carbonated. Nice resiny palate. Perhaps closer to a DIPA than Barleywine, but still a tasty brew.

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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 brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from the fridge.

Pours dark amber with a copper hue and a two inch head of tan. Plenty of lacing throughout as well as a decent surface coating.

Aromatics lead off with pleny of ripe, citrusy hops, toffee, candied malt, and figs.
Quite floral and malty, and plenty fresh.

On the full side of medium bodied with an almost chewy mouthfeel. Big slick is a bit slick and plenty tacky.

Rich malt and candied fruit support an almost stinging array of lush hops and warming alcohol. A light carpet-bombing of resinous hops lingers through the solid malt base and sweet malt. Bitterness is in check and hefty but not overpowering.

Finishes with lingering bitter fruits, pine resin, and a hint of boozy alcohol.

OK, so WTF is up with this brewery? I've yet to have a bad beer let alone anything remotely mediocre. Thanks again Tim.

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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.

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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

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Photo of ralree
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice head. Clear brown, good lacing.

S: Almost no smell. Some barley and alcohol.

T: Lots of alcohol, barley like crazy. Great flavor, very flowery.

M: A little syrupy, well-carbonated. A little astringent.

D: Drinks well. Not good for a meal.

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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!

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

Big thanks to grant for hookin it up with a bottle sample.

Don't know who the 12 year old kid on the label is, but this is Grant's Crew Brew. An american style barleywine that clocks in at 100 IBUs and 11.9% abv.

Pours a beautiful glowing amber red color. clear with a very large off white fluffy head that lingers to the days end and leaves good lacing.

The nose is chock full of fat hop bitterness. Not getting a big sticky malt presence as is expected for the style. Plenty of fruity and bitter hop flavors though, undoubtedly.

Flavor is...hoppy. The hop profile takes front and center stage here. The typical malt stickiness and sweetness normally found lurking in the halls of your typical american barleywine is not prominent here. There is a good malt backbone, but this is very much a malt profile you would find in a large DIPA, which, this beer pretty much is. I know it is common to hear people say that american barleywines taste like DIPAs, and beleive me, i hate hearing that as much as you do, but this one, IMHO, is closer to DIPA or maybe TIPA than to american BW. That being said, it is a frickin fantastic hoppy masterpiece! rockin bitterness and resiny hop juice abound. bitterness and hop flavors linger on the finish.

Mouthfeel is slightly thin for the proclaimed style, but dead on for a bigass IPAish brew. Carbonation is perfect.

Drinkability is amazing. For a beer pushing 12% this one drinks like your average 8 or 9% DIPA, very consumable, and dangerously drinkable, especially given the excellent taste.

Overall, I really like this brew, and i do not want to sell it short in any way. It is a great beer, and one any beer geek will enjoy. I just think it has the wrong style on the label. The malt profile is nowhere near as sweet and sticky as it needs to be in a barleywine, and due to that, I don't see alot of aging potential in this one. But fresh, this beer is bomb! Again, if you like american barleywines, you probably like DIPAs as well, and any fan of either one of those, will love this beer. But the lesson to be learned here isn't American BW vs DIPA, its FUCK LABELS. If the beer is good, its good, period. An excellent creation, and one i am very happy to be resting my feet on a case of.

Excellent work Grant, A beer you, and the rest of the company should be very proud of. Cheers!

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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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