RATINGS: 556   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"

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jimhilt (2614) - Bow, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 12, 2008
Pours a two finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving no lace. Cloudy amber/brown color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Caramel/alcohol nose. Flavor starts sweet, malty, but the higher ABV (10%) is in your face - leaves an alcohol burn. The difference between this and Avery’s Mephistopheles Stout (at 16%) is like night and day. I should have let this age for a few years. Pricey at $15.99 for a 500ml bottle from John’s Marketplace Portland, OR.

Brigadier (3710) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - JAN 9, 2008
650 ml bottle

miketd’s generosity appears to have few limits. Not long after opening one rare beer someone brought out this gem. I’ve yet to try any Midnight Sun beers but should I ever get the chance to visit Alaska I will be stocking up on as much as I can ship home affordably. If you have any spare bottles I would not object to them showing up on my doorstep (full please :) )

Aroma / Appearance - The sticky lacing clung to the sides of the glass as the rest of it filled with a dark brown body. The nose was boozy but wheaty and chocolately. Overall being chewy and thick it felt like the perfect thing for a cold winter day.

Flavor / Palate - Caramel, vanilla and ash made me think this was barrel aged before finding out that was the case. The throat warms from the alcohol which is not subtle at all. It even lingers in the finish which is strong enough to overpower most simpler styles. You might be able to finish a bottle alone but if you have friends invite them over.

mreusch (851) - Olathe, Kansas, USA - JAN 7, 2008
2007 bomber, pours a cloudy dark burgundy brown with a thin tan head, minimal spotty lacing. Aroma is very diverse and pleasant - pear, apple butter, plum, raisin, fig and light oak and caramel cream, with a gentle spice presence as well. Loads of good stuff and lots going on! Flavor is malty barleywine goodness, with dark fruits, spice, vanilla, oak and brown sugar, with a touch of alcohol showing itself. A great experience relatively fresh, and see A LOT of potential as it ages.

LeopoldStoch (201) - Green, Ohio, USA - JAN 7, 2008
Pours a very dark mahogany with a caramelized white head. Lots of fruits in the aroma with apples, figs, berries, plums, and other dark fruits. Quite a bit of alcohol in the nose as well but works well in this winter warmer of a barleywine. Flavors of dark cane sugar/brown sugar with molasses, fruits, lots of creamy malty backbone to the finish of this beer. A decent amount of alcohol in the flavor profile as well. A really good brew, that screams with potential to age.

Stine (1794) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 4, 2008
Vintage 2007; this one simply bursts with the potential to age, but it was simply too enticing on this cold night. Rich, murky mahogany pour. Varnish with a beige cream. Aroma eases into the richest of malts with soft creme brulee, moist gingerbread and rum bread pudding, nuanced by a bright cantaloupe and caramelized pear overtone that is at once relaxed and searingly assertive. Soy sauce with some musty cut grass and graham cracker lend some tangential saltiness and aged sentiment. Blasts of toffee and dirty barrel. This is an aroma to contemplate, thoroughly and slowly. Taste brings a stinging but soft bourbon quality of eggnog and tender vanilla, overlaying a syrup of strawberry, raspberry and watermelon seed; hot, but pleasantly so, with a lot of burnt sugar and raw barrel earthiness. So big, brash, and uncompromising in its impenetrable, pristine and artful collage of malt; cherry skins, caramel, toffee, dates. Full bodied, warm, and wet with the intimations of brandy and port barrels in the mouth, giving an understated and well placed scrape of soft carbonation on the back of the throat at the end; finishes warmly with a peppery, curtailed touch of alcohol in sherry form. An extraordinary, pleasingly malt dominant, careful, and quintessential example of this so often overkilled style. Glory. Thanks Tim!

1FastSTi (3361) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 27, 2007
2005 vintage bottle shared by Jason. This is an awesome beer! Pours to a hazed over dark chestnut body with an ultra thin off-white head. The aroma is absolutely amazing. Flaked barley and super caramelized Maris Otter? Liquid toffee, caramel, perfect malts. The flavor is insanely caramelized toffee, clean barley, nice lingering muted hops. Very beautifully aged. I wonder what a fresh one would taste like. The palate is rich and creamy, aged sherry but every so slight. Sweet and full bodied.

Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 26, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 27, 2007 2005 bottle thanks to Tim!! Poured clear, deep garnet with just a ring of tan headage sticking around. The aroma had a delightful oak, bourbon, and vanilla presence over dark fruit and cararmel at the base.. everything blended together well, and the age managed to mellow it out a bit. The flavor had drawn caramel and lots of warm dark fruits on the syrupy core with hefty, yet well-integrated barrel accents all around (and interlaced).. very sweet finish with the fruits, vanilla, and bourbon rocking the finish.. great stuff! Thick and syrupy on the palate with a light herbal bitterness and alcohol warmth (but nowhere near as much as I expected).. long finish was a bit dry. This was most excellent!

Ofortuna (322) - Grafton, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 26, 2007
Many thanks to Jason for this wonderful treat! Wow, the aroma - Notes of alcohol, sweet caramel, oak and pinot noir. Flavours of a sweet sticky goodness with plenty of barrel aging for an added layer of complexity. Nice kettle caramelization and the emphasis is definatley on a dominant malt presence. A bit fusel overall and could probably be toned down a bit. A great English inspired barley wine.

BrianK (200) - Livingston, New Jersey, USA - OCT 15, 2007
Darkest barleywine i’ve seen in a while. kp’s review said it best so i’m not even going to say any more.

kp (10882) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 17, 2009
Name: Arctic Devil
Date: March 13, 2005
Mode: Bottle
Source: Liquid Solutions
Vintage: 2005
Appearance: pours thick and muddy brown with a scant head
Aroma: sweet malt aroma with a smokey earthy essence
Body: nice thick body
Flavor: rich malt flavor, lots of brown sugar character that remains dominant until the end, enough bitterness in the finish to keep it almost balanced, this beer will be interesting with age if the sugary aspect turns into ripe fruit

Name: Arctic Devil
Date: December 15, 2005
Source: tasting
Vintage: 2005

Name: Arctic Devil
Date: April 20, 2006
Vintage: 2005
Score: iii to iiii
wow, wow, wow, the brown sugar turns into a wonder rich ripe dates, very well balanced, awesome, very creamy, warming, still a lot of brown sugar left, another two years...

Aroma: 7/10; Appearance: 8/10; Flavor: 9/10; Palate: 8/10; Overall: 18/20
Rating: 4.2/5.0
Drinkability: 9/10
Score: ***4

Name: Arctic Devil
Date: January 08, 2009
Mode: Bottle
Source: Ale Atlanta
Vintage: 2007
Appearance: clear dark amber, wispy beige head
Aroma: sweet brown sugar and caramel aroma
Flavor: sweet brown sugar flavor, lots of caramel sweetness, well balanced bitterness

Aroma: 7/10; Appearance: 6/10; Flavor: 7/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 15/20
Rating: 3.5/5.0
Drinkability: 7/10
Score: **4

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