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RATINGS: 539   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.01/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 20   EST. CALORIES: 396   ABV: 13.2%
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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JorisPPattyn (9377) - Ursel, BELGIUM - APR 18, 2006
No head (impossible) on a fully hazy dark brown beer. Very alcoholic, estery nose with fusels, vinous, wood, portwine. Very nutty, woody, alcoholic taste, but rather well integrated with dark malts, and of course fruity, cherry- or plumlike esters and lots of fusels. Slight suggestion at sourness. Aggressively alcoholic, but it is a true sipping beer, so that’s OK with me. Now this I can learn to like. Midnight Sun, leave Belgians to Belgium, and do your own thing.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Rastacouere (6174) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 23, 2006
Flat looking deep copper body wears a fading off-white head. Very sweet nose comprises gentle orange and lime notes whereas the rich malts are thick with prunes and smoked maple notes. Potentially nugget/chinook hops procure more woodsy vegetal/herbal tones that I don’t care much for. Appears rather simple initially, but MS’ malts become as potent as they need to be as it warms. Some alcohol eventually peaks through the nose, but the 11.5% really hits the spot in mouth where an immediate burn is felt in a woody way. Besides, strong molasses, maple, berries, grapes and roasted chocolate flavours speak of the intensity MS tries to showcase. Medium-full bodied, moderate carbonation, syrupy and hot barleywine, well executed in that regard.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Oakes (15457) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 21, 2006
Cloudy brown-amber colour. Balanced, chewy, earthy maltiness. Big chewy malt, big dry hoppiness. This clash of palate titans works very well here. It’s a straightforward two-step but both are well done and results in a muscular brew. I need one of those bombers to dip into this beer a little more seriously.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Siroy (220) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 21, 2006
A mostly diminishing thin fizzy vieil tops up a muddy medium sugar-brown body. Heavy lacing. Few thin particles. No bubbles. Aroma presents malt being medium caramel /faint molasse while hops are barely noticeable ... Yeast character is light Also, there are evident evocations of chocolate, maple, toffee and berries. Vanilla impression from oak. Initial flavor is .. very complex, shows off what the aroma annonced while a smooth development of nuances takes place. Finish shows mostly roastiness. medium to full body... creamy texture... Soft carbonation from barrel aging. [ Bottled ; chilled ; bottled nov 04 ]

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MartinT (9267) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 20, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 11, 2006 Any first impressions?
-There is scant head around the muddled, orangey burgundy.
-A portentous wooden barrel character is a little heavy on the nose, seeing eye to eye with the caramel malts and port wine fruitiness.
-Hot alcohol laces the berries, toffee, maple, and hazelnuts.
-The low carbonation admires the lengthy barrel-aging, and brings out the fruitiness quite well.

What if you dig deeper?
-There is earthiness within the chocolate sweetness.
-This feels a little too young, and not completely cohesive, even though the bottles have been over a year old, and nearly 2 years old.
-The back bitterness seems to come mostly from the alcohol, but a few wooden hops as well.
-Ripe banana purée peeks through the aroma once in a while.
-A very good sipper of a barley wine, but I would prefer it with either a lighter touch of barrel aging, or less alcohol presence.

First bottle bottled on the 4th week of November ’04, second bottle bottled on the 5th week of November, year unknown (probably 2004; 10%abv).

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
wnhay (722) - Princeton, New Jersey, USA - MAR 16, 2006
Pours like maple syrup with good lace on the side of the glass. Looks like the Old Numbskull. Hints of maple syrup, caramel, vanilla, coconut, cognac, chocolate honey, molasses and other stuff are in the nose. Taste is remarkable because of the smoothness. Syrupy is the best word to describe it with great alcohol burn and many complexities coming through. It is quite buttery with cognac and various fruits including plum coming into play. Palate is thick with a great alcohol burn. I can’t shut up about this because it is the best beer I have had in over a month. A most impressive creation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Aurelius (5030) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - MAR 14, 2006
Props to Joe, the barkeep at David Copperfields for slipping me some of his own private stash. Medium dark brown, great label, nice bomber. Like stinging butter. Very liquor-ish. Finishes bitter with a lingering diacetyl. Some chocolate. Muted aroma, but very fine.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
harlequinn (2744) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - MAR 13, 2006
Amazing appearance, and a monster aroma. Super sweer, like drinking fresh maple syrup. Nutty and syrupy, with maple and honey, sweet dark molasses abd rich brown sugar. Absolutely the most amazing finish I have ever had in a barleywine.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JoeMcPhee (9267) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 13, 2006
Tap at the 2006 Hard Liver Festival. 2005 vintage. Dark slightly hazy garnet colour with a thin lace over the surface. Sweet dark molasses aroma, buckwheat honey, toast, chewy caramel. Great malt complexity. Dark plums/prunes. A bit hot, but the malts are great. Flavour is sweet, very similar to the aroma, fresh bread crusts, almost rye like graininess. Sweet molasses and brown sugar flavour. Heavy hopping and peppery alcohol balances out all of the sweet malts described. Very tasty brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
RooftopRogue (423) - Champaign, Illinois, USA - MAR 11, 2006
This beer offers the nose a hearty fragrance combination consisting of malt, barley, caramel, dates and other fruit hints, and freshly harvested grain. It is a cloudy mahogany with a good sized cashew colored head and good lacing. This beer is thick, sweet, and smooth. This beer has a big taste of caramel, malt, fruit, and mild hints of vanilla. The slightly hot finish blends in with the caramel and malt nicely.

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