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on tap

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RATINGS: 514   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.01   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 20   EST. CALORIES: 396   ABV: 13.2%
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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. Beginning in 2010, ADBW will be released in late SEP.

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.

Vintage guide:
Pre 2008 label notched with month and year on side of bottle
2008 listed on label
2009 not released
2010 listed on label
2011 listed on label
2012 not released
2013 vintage not stated, new sticker labels with rounded edges and says "Ale Aged in Bourbon Oak Barrels"

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
GothGargoyle (1644) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 18, 2015
Medium brown with a pale head. Aroma is raisins, brown sugar, dates, maple. Full bodied, slightly sticky mouthfeel, sweet on the palate, lightly boozy finish. Taste is brown sugar, raisins, caramel, dates.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ferris (7533) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 18, 2015
Bottle - Sweet vinous and caramel. Cloudy red copper with a decent beige head. Sweet caramel, raisin and a long finish. Really nice good example.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
OldMrCrow (2135) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 19, 2014
2013 bottle sampled Dec 19, 2014.

Bottle. After reading Prufrock’s gloriously crunk review of Anchorage Deal with the Devil (I’ve been there -- I love that feeling too!) I had to bust out my own 100/99 barrel aged Alaskan barleywine. I’m very glad I did. At one year of age this has to be peaking. I’m sure it needed a year, but it also clearly will not improve from here.

Pours a rich viscous sienna into my snifter with a small and ephemeral head. The nose: tons of vanilla and barleywine sweetness. Age on the hops, but only slight to hit that sweet spot between bitter bite and aged hop cheese. The bourbon is all vanilla and no booze. How do they do that? The flavor is warm and sweet, hops aged just right and bringing their bitterness only way after the finish and even then still dancing with the sugars. And all of that lovely vanilla oak. The palate is ridiculously smooth, basically zero heat. If it wasn’t thick like a perfect ristretto I’d think it was closer to 8% than 13+. Even so I’d have called it at 10 or 11. This is pretty much a perfect BA barleywine.

If I wanted to complain, I’d have two avenues. The first is that I’m bored of high alcohol beers. But that’s a case of "It’s not you, it’s me." The other much more damning complaint is that it doesn’t have it’s own unique character. It’s beautiful exactly the way that an average or composite of many womens’ faces is beautiful ( highbrow link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2435688/ ). But yeah, you know you’d hit any of those --- so it’s pretty thin grounds on which to complain.

tl;dr summary. Perfect BA barleywine. Yawn.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Boutip (5133) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 17, 2014
Bottle: Poured a deep dark cloudy brown color ale with a small dark brown foamy head with light retention and some minimal lacing. Aroma of toffee, residual brown sugar and caramelized malt is pretty awesome. Taste is also dominated by toffee with some brown sugar notes and caramelized malt. All rough edges have been rounded by the bourbon notes with light vanilla notes also noticeable. Body is full with limited filtration and a good amount of carbonation. This beer has so many layers of complexity while retaining such a good amount of drinkability. Really amazing beer that I wish I could try on a regular basis.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
markextrae (2020) - NETHERLANDS - DEC 14, 2014
bottle thanks to jeff, shared with a friend. no notice of the vintage year, but i’m pretty sure it was a 2013 bottle... poured a murky light amber colour with a nice white head. toffee, caramel, lot’s of fruits in the nose, like plums, figs, rainsins, vanilla, got that sticky butter aroma, toasted malts, maybe some of a red fruit, there is a bourbon barrel notice, but not in a big amount that i would like in my barley wine. bit of a disappointment for such a high ranked beer. take some of the BA emelisse barley wines from the netherlands, it blews this one away in no time.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
AirForceHops (4345) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - NOV 23, 2014
22 oz bottle gifted by AJax, thanks bud! 2013 vintage. Murky, dirty River water color without any type of head or retention. Aroma is oak, mild bourbon, sugar dipped raisins, caramel candy and vanilla.

The flavor has subtle bourbon with a moderate amount of oak. Sweet without being cloying. Warmth after the sip without the presence of alcohol taste. Syrupy sticky sweet texture in a fuller then medium in body. Pretty nice BBA barley wine.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
anders37 (19063) - Malmö, SWEDEN - NOV 11, 2014
Bottle vintage 2011; thanks Bruce! Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a small off-white head. Has a fruity malty spicy caramel woody aroma. Slightlyssweetish malty spicy caramel and dark fruit flavor. Has a sweetish malty dark fruit and caramel finish with woody hints.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Countbeer (5236) - Best of E-Town mit 2 Brauhausen, NETHERLANDS - NOV 8, 2014
Bottle: Thanks jdb288: Served in a Chouffe glass: Hazy amber brown with a small creamy head. Aromas of bourbon, caramel, raisin, cream, light liquor, some molasses, hints of butter and vanilla. Flavours of bourbon, vanilla, malts, caramel, cream, bitters, light alcohol burn, wood, light molasses, some prunes and some raisin. Delicious! Aftertaste malty, light bourbon and earthy tones, ending of cream, some caramel and wood. Low carbo, oily silky mouthfeel, almost full bodied and a sticky texture. Great aroma, good taste. Very fine beer!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Beardaxe (293) - - NOV 7, 2014
Poured from bottle into scotch glass. Thin lingering head. Mouthfeel not as oily as others have described. Lively carb. Flavor is prototypical barley wine with intense butterscotch flavor that shapes the whole thing. bourbon barrel is smoothly integrated. Very smooth for the ABV. Well done

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Jesterdeal (1985) - Marlton, New Jersey, USA - OCT 31, 2014
Bottle shared with the epic. Aroma of toffee, bourbon, malt, and caramel. Pours barleywine orange/brown and clear with nice carbonation and a small foamy head. Taste follows suit with vanilla, caramel, toffee, sweet chocolate, oak and bourbon. Mouthfeel is sweet without being too sticky intense. Just flawlessly executed. Immediately procured two more bottles.

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