May 3, 2011

DuClaw Brewing Devil’s Milk

DuClaw Devil's Milk label

I’ve had Dragon’s Milk (from New Holland Brewing — I cannot believe I haven’t reviewed it on the site yet) on numerous occasions. I’ve even drunk from the “Horn of the Devil”, but this is the first time I’ve enjoyed the milk of that charred bad boy.

DuClaw Brewing releases Devil’s Milk as it’s Fall seasonal. It’s an 11% ABV barleywine that’s dry-hopped with a different hop varietal each year. I’m not sure how much dry-hopping the brewery does with the actual brew, but it’s not quite as hop-forward as some of the American Barleywines that are available — leaning more toward an aromatic hop presence in the nose than on the palate.


Copperish amber in color Devil’s Milk held a head for a short while before it quickly disappeared — probably due to the higher ABV.


Juicy, fruity hops with hints of tangerine, orange and grapefruit dominate the nose as a malty sweetness accompanies. There’s a touch of a peppery alcohol presence, as well.


It’s got a bit more of a subtle palate than I expected after enjoying the hoppy aroma. A fruity malt sweetness with hints of caramel comes in first as the beer quickly, but smoothly transitions to a lingering hop bitterness in the dry finish. The bite from the hops is of a moderate level and not that sharp, but it does help cut the sweetness and boozy nature of the brew for a balanced end.


All in all, Devil’s Milk isn’t quite as intimidating as its name may suggest, but I’ll be damned (and I am) if it’s not a tasty little treat. As far as American Barleywines go, it’s not as aggressive as some, but more balanced than others. It’s a smooth drinking/sipping brew with just the right amount of hops to cut through its otherwise sweet nature. I’ll be picking some more up again next Fall.


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