Big Slick | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

very good
35 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 44
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.

 911 characters

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.

 538 characters

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.

 419 characters

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.

 1,027 characters

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.

 840 characters

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 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 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.

 250 characters

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 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!

 2,335 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Big Slick from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
3.98 out of 5 based on 44 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.