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Beer Information
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
87 94 80 5 22 13
Arctic Devil Barley Wine by Midnight Sun Brewing
English Barleywine
13.40 % ABV

Review by everetends on 02/05/10  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
92 3 11 18 5 9 0
A 22 oz bottle that I got from the amazing Reino. This beer has eluded me for quite a while and I have been wanting to try it for a while. Leave it to Reino to ship it to me. you the man. Served up in a snifter. **just updated that this a 2007 vintage*

A: This is an incredibly dark brown. Probably the darkest brown I have seen. It doesn't look black at all, never leaves the brown family. Very dark, not going to see through it at any point. Got about a half a finger of cream colored head. It has a pretty damned vibrant color. Has a good weight and to it. Nice and thick foam. Puts a nice glaze on the glass, showing how the weight of the beer. The head does coat the glass with lace that slowly slides back into the glass probably due to the glaze and weight of the foam. Just looks amazing.

S: Hey, malty goodness! This is a heavenly nose. It does attack you with alcohol at times but sometimes it is not there, which is really damned weird. Phantom alcohol. The malt shows up quickly and wonderfully. Good amounts of caramel and buttery toffee bringing on the sweetness. Just a touch of cocoa in there. Getting a bunch of almond nuttiness. Such a pleasant aroma. A really nice and rich tobacco aroma behind that. Fruits follow up with some good raisin, prune and red apple skin. This is stupid good.

T: Not much different than the nose, which is fantastic. Lots of malty goodness in flavor as well. Good amounts of roast to the malts. Caramel, toffee and just a touch chocolate and cocoa. The almond flavor is a bit more muted than in the aroma. Alcohol and sugars come through. The thing that really rocks here is the fact that the prune flavor really comes through. Its just a beautiful and big dark fruit flavor with that rich sweetness. The prune flavor is probably the most distinct prune flavor I have ever experienced. Toward the end I get some pine resin from the hops I imagine and a really nice spiced rum flavor that mixes awesomely! Really good.

M: Nice weight to this brew for sure. Really smooth feel to it with just a touch of stick to it. Carbonation is very light. Shockingly the ABV which is so big in the nose and flavor, is not overpowering in the feel at all. Just a nice and slow burn. not too sweet on the palate. Aftertaste is some spiced rum and prune.

D: Uh . . . this is great. It reached all my expectations and that is saying a lot because I have been wanting this beer for about two years now. The flavors and aroma are just so distinct and present. This is probably the best Midnight Sun brew I have had thus far. Just so well crafted its amazing. Rock on, Midnight Sun. Rock on, Reino.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by Dr. Rockzo on 11/22/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
84 2 10 17 4 9 2008
Thanks to Alex for opening this bottle of (we think ’08 vintage) Arctic Devil. Poured from a 22oz. bottle marked 10% ABV into a Darkness snifter.

A: Pours a ruddy/murly dark amber/hazelnut/mahogany/brown color with a modest .5 finger bubbly, sopay head that recedes almost immediately into a ring and faint skin. Decent speckles of lace are left coating the glad until I begin to swirl for aromatics. All things considered, a pretty good looking English BW.

S: The smell is immediately reminiscent of Wooden Hell but without the barrel aspects. Lots of dar, dried fruits (lotsa raisin/fig) with plenty of sticky toasted caramel/toffee and roasty medium grains. A hint of fruity raisin-rumcake alcohol esters and minty, herbal, earthy hops peak out from time to time as well adding complexity. Hints of cocoa powder and chocolate covered raisins come out with some warmth. Very pleasing in the nose.

T: The taste is a bit less complex and more concentrated on the raisins, dried dark fruits than the nose, but still very nice. The aforementioned raisins (semi-cocoa covered and caramel covered) are fairly dominant with subtle backing traits of more toasty caramel/toffee, medium roasted grains, some fusel and fruity (think rum cake) alcohol esters adding to the flavor profile. Kinda sharp and almost a bit too fusel on the finish, but overall more tasty and enjoyable than harsh.

M: The mouthfeel is on the thicker side of the spectrum with a lower level of backing carbonation. The consistency is quite sticky and coating, with lots of residual sweetness and a bit of a boozy bite at the back end that is more spicy than harsh. It actually goes down fairly smoothly and softly for being so sticky and full bodied/intense upfront.

D: Overall I was pretty damn impressed with this MS offering. It had most of the good characteristics of a good English BW and beyond that it was just tasty and satisfying in most ways. Maybe just a touch too raisiny in the flavor for my tastes, but the alcohol was hidden reall well and it was pretty damn smooth for how big of a beer it was.

2 thumbs up here, Arctic Devil was quite nice indeed. I’m curious to see how my bottle of ’07 is doing compared to this, I feel it may continue to get to raisin-ified over time, but otherwise I’ll be glad to drink this again in the future. For sure recommended for fans of the style.

Served In: Tulip

Review by Lum on 11/04/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
94 3 11 19 5 9 0
Thanks go to two of the original LNBAers, Reino and AKBelgianBeast!

Pours nearly as dark as arctic night- cola colored brown - with some appealing amber highlights gleaming their way through. Almost oily looking. Very smallish almond hued head, thin, less than a quarter inch - I expected this. I see fine streams of bubbles crawling their way up the sides of the glass...
Only to die a quick death in a small collar encompassing the inside perimeter of me goblet...

Aroma is malty, malty malty. This sucka just screams HUGE! Enormous amounts of dark fruits and spice - raisins, prunes, tart dark cherries (faintly), molasses, licorice, caramel, spice cake. Some enthusiastic hints at dark, robust pipe tobacco, and even a bourbon-esk like appeal to it.

WOW. This is HUGE. Copious amounts of molasses/licorice and dark fruit - true to the nose. Prune - definitely. Raisin, and toffee enhance this experience.... wow. Rum like. Nice, mellow hop bite/bitterness, tobacco like - almost subtle compared to the malty sweet caramel blast... I completely love this. Everything blends and compliments the other so damn well, and it all carries throughout the never ending finish...

Full in body, smooooth, sticky, creamy, heavy yet "lush" mouthfeel. Carbonation is subdued - but spot on for the HUGENESS of this EBW. Some dryness towards the finish. Prominent alcohol burn... perfect.

This... is a true treat. Everything I could ever want in an English Barleywine... and then some. Dark as the polar night... smooth and robust, a true winter sipper. Somewhat hot right now, but I personally love the burn.
I'm packing my bags now.
Drew, Frank, I thank you. This is top shelf, my friends.
Send more.
A MUST try.

Served In: Goblet

Review by Kegergator on 01/09/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
86 3 11 17 4 8 2007
A- Murky, dark brown color. No head to speak of(flurey> hey)

S- Very strong malt nose. Alcohol burns the nostrils. Very grainy, with some old hop smell.

T- Whoa, big bunches of flavor here. huge caramel liquor flavor. burns as it goes down. Very malty with some hops and bitterness to it. Very nice blend here.

M- Just about perfect, nicely done here.

O- A great barleywine. Could use more to age, thats for sure.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by SAP on 01/08/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
80 3 10 15 4 8 2008
2008 release; Sampled January 2009
Served at around 60°F / 15.6°C. The beer pours into my 25cl tulip glass with a three-finger thick, amber tinged, full tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, deep cranberry hue when held up to the light. The aroma first hits with sticky hop aromatics but is soon backed by a solid malt note. Up front there are notes of grapefruit zest and pine needles, but the sticky, candied malt character seems to slowly win out over the hop character. Malt aromatics of brown-sugar crusted raisins, toasted-toffee-glazed pastries, perhaps a hint of cherry notes and a light, toasted nut note that because of the sweet malt reminds me of candied nuts. The hop character is never totally subsumed by the malt, it seems to add a sort of green, sort of herbal vegetation type thing to the nose.

Very sweet and rich feeling, up front there is a solid herbal hop note as well as a reasonable bitterness in the finish, but this beer is really about the malt. Rich notes of toffee, brown sugar and a touch of cocoa along with a deep, toasted malt note make this quite the chewy beer. The finish has a bit of warm alcohol to it that along with the sweet malts reminds me a bit of a dark rum; the alcohol warmth is brought out by some spicy oak notes and there also seems to be a touch of vanillin noticeable underneath the sweet malt. There is a touch of toasted, not quite roasted grain here, it adds a touch of almost bitterness that couples with the astringency from the tannic oak, both of which provide some balance to the dominant sweet malt.

After noticing the oak in the flavor, I can now pick it up in the aroma; it adds a soft spiciness and probably exacerbates the green hop notes a bit as well. The hop character though seems to completely fade into the background after this has breathed for a bit; much of the sharp, un-integrated character was likely from the barrel, and it still is a bit jarring. Somehow, despite not being the most well integrated beer, this just oozes potential. Part of the charm of this beer for me is the fact that I can just see this aging so well.

I am disappointed in myself for not getting two bottles of this. The hop character in this fresh example are really a distraction, despite how slight they are (though they are magnified a bit by the sharp oak character), I want this beer to be all about the malt and I have the feeling that a bit of age will make this beer fantastic; the hops, and even the oak character should round out considerably and the beer should turn into heaven in a glass.

Purchased: Liquid Solutions

Served In: Tulip

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