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Three Guy Off The Scale Barley Wine - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Three Guy Off The Scale Barley WineThree Guy Off The Scale Barley Wine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

155 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 155
Reviews: 104
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.32%
Wants: 223
Gots: 23 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: scottoale on 01-25-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 155 | Reviews: 104 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Derek
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%

A: Murky copper-brown, off-white head, no retention, has a little leg.

S: Nice nose... raisin & alcohol is kind of sherry-like.

T: Slightly sweet up front, assertive alcohol, raisins, bread, brandy, slightly bitter aftertaste.

M: Moderately full body is a little acidic. Carbonation is moderate.

D: Good, but not exactly my 'cup of tea'.

Derek, May 04, 2006
Photo of mattcrill
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%

Big props to malty for the chance to sample this lovely MI brew.

Bottle inspection: No useful information and kind of a trippy lablel. Crimson red wax sealed cap...kind of cool.

Aroma: Dark dried fruits, estery, brown sugar notes, slightly metallic, a touch of warming alcohol, and sugar cookies.

Appearance: Dark copper color and clear. A low off-white cap. Good clarity with a few carbonation streams in the body. Sticky legs as the beer is swirled.

Flavor: Intense sweet carmel malt flavor balanced by a velvet hammer alcohol punch. Drying bitterness at the end that balances the carmel sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and chewy. Alcohol warmth dominates with low carbonation levels.

Overall impression: A sure fire winner. A sipper that goes great on a cool, cloudy, spring day. The lack of hops suggest more of an English Barleywine but it's still appropriate given the style. I'd definitely keep this around if I had access to it.

Thanks malty!

mattcrill, Apr 30, 2006
Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Appears a red toned amber with an off white head that slowly fades into a film. Nice amounts of scattered lacing left around the glass.
Smell is of apple, rum soaked raisins, alcohol infused toffee, syrup, brown sugar, and mild woody smokiness.
Taste is of a sugary version of the mentioned aromas.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, and sugary.

weeare138, Apr 21, 2006
Photo of plaztikjezuz
4/5  rDev -1.5%

this beer was tasted at the michigan brewers guild winter beer fest.
from my notes i was served a deep copper sample with a slight head.
the aroma was malty and hopsack
the flavor was malty, hopsack, citrus.
the mouthfeel was very full coats the inside of your mouth as it goes down.

plaztikjezuz, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of Crosling
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%

Rum soaked fruitcake, dark fruits, brandy like alcohol, brown sugar and very mild aroma hops in the nose. Dark copper color. Massive body of creamy and explosive flavors. An array of sugar coated grapes, dates and red plums initially, followed by melted caramel, vanilla and nougat, which leads into hints of madeira and booze.

Crosling, Mar 18, 2006
Photo of GreenWBush
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%

All the previous reviews i've read seem to imply that this beer is a booze-bomb. I strongly disagree, citing the possibilities that:

1) I got a well-aged, well-tended bottle.
2) I drink so many hot beers this one seemed mellow by comparison.

Anyways, this beer evacuates into my goblet a near Kool-Aid electric scarlett. Sizable head for the style, and great wispy clouds of lace on the sides of the glass...progress rings.

Nose is full of liquefied raisins. Toffee, nuts, pinecones, figs, alco-hop tincture. Gumballs, and hugely malty English Barleywine lovin'.

Taste is amazing. Oaky, gooey glue, heavenly malt-meat that climbs through a hop-molasses jungle. Raisins and chocolate intermingled. YUM. Amazingly balanced between heavy caramel sweetness and boozy hop-burn.

Mouthfeel falls in the DH profile of being softly carbonated, almost cask-like. This really brings out the flavors, unlike say BF's carbonation which washes them out. Great.

GreenWBush, Mar 10, 2006
Photo of nortmand
3.98/5  rDev -2%

Copper orange, slightly cloudy pour. About a centimeter of off white foam.

Raisins, alcohol in the smell. Incredible hop nose. Citrus resin.

Very sweet. Crisp bitterness at the back of the tongue. Deep down alcohol burn.

Huge bodied, lightly carbonated mouthfeel. Good, but not hugely drinkable.

nortmand, Mar 07, 2006
Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%

Pours a beautiful copper color with a nice yellowish off-white head that leaves quickly.

The aroma is loaded with ripe plums and other fruits. Also has a sugary smell.

The taste is very sweet. Fruity notes and some nut-like flavors. Reminds me of a belgian tripple but a little more sour in the finish.

Thick, heavy, syrupy mouthfeel. A bit oily. The drinkability is okay, but the alcohol/warmness creeps up on you in a hurry.

jasonpeckins32, Feb 10, 2006
Photo of HopHeadKen
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%

I found the last sixer in stock at Payless Liquors on 96th Street in Indianapolis; and wanted to try it just because I have enjoyed almost everything I have tasted from this brewery.

It poured clear rich copper amber with a thin ivory head. This is a very nice color.

The smell is distinctly malty with fruity overtones and a clear alcohol background.

The taste is slightly sweet with hints of raisins & plums but the alcohol is not far behind. I really don't notice much hop profile or bitterness.

The mouthfeel is full and viscous. I like this in a beer, not fizzy beers.
There is some definite alcohol sharpness to the mouthfeel.

This beer is drinkable now, but I plan to cellar the rest of the sixpack for about a year to see how it changes. I am hoping that the alcohol sharpness smooths out.

HopHeadKen, Jan 23, 2006
Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev -1.5%

appearance: The pour produces a low, off white head. The beer is a slightly hazy, reddish copper color.

smell: The smell is very interesting. There is a considerable caramel character, but what really intrigues me are the fruity notes. There seems to be a high ester presence, which produces the distinct smell of raspberries in my nose. Ethanol presence on the nose is slight. Moderate hop aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is towards the higher end of the low range. The body is medium and a little slick.

taste: Fruity esters, some caramel, and a moderate bitterness. Alcohol presence is well hidden.

drinkability: a decent beer and pretty drinkable for having such a high ABV

Another sample courtesy of dirtylou during my stay in Madison.

blackie, Jan 02, 2006
Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%

My favorite barleywine.

Pours dark amber. Head leaves a nice ring with decent lacing. Smells of raisins, grapes, and a sweet alcohol undertone. Tastes of brown sugar, rum, pine, plums and alcohol with the amazingly good yet rough bitterness that I've only seen in Dark Horse's bigger offerings. Low but balanced carbonation, it's great with this beer.

I'll be sad when my stash runs out.

TheBlackMallard, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of SupaCelt
4.1/5  rDev +1%

Appearance: Very amber with a nearly crimson cast. A decent head develops despite the alcoholic maelstrom that lies below. Unable to weather the atmosphere, it quickly plummets into a ring. Lacing is left behind from the initial head, but small sips allow the liquid to engulf what would have been left from the residual ring. Carbonation seems to lie dormant until the mix is agitated during sipping, when small springs give off thier gases.

Smell: Caramelized sugar and fruity sweetness and sourness. Alcohol swirls about in these richly sweet scents lending its powerful character. Cherries and apple as well as some dark fruit impressions reveal themselves without becoming overbearing. Rind like scents arrive as the bittersweet mixture of malt and hops culminates. Smells like a nice drink for this cold winter's night.

Taste: Sugary. Alcoholic. Bitter. A very delightful cascade of flavour to be sure. The fruity flavours of cherry and apple and dark fruit persuasions are very subtle yet direct. The taste stays well within tastefulness without becoming offensive or cloying. As the sweet side works its magic, the hops creep in with a growing bitterness that nicely balances out the sweet aspects and dries the finish. Somewhat sour, perfectly sweet, bitter, and dry. Alcoholic.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. Not extremely heavy, but enough to carry the intensity of flavours without requiring a knife and fork. Off the scale may not be completely accurate in terms of the body.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable. Not too heavy. Not overly sweet. Pretty good balance for something of this stature. I am anxious to try this again next year after I rest it for awhile. Diggin it.

SupaCelt, Dec 04, 2005
Photo of rajendra82
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%

This 12 oz. bottle was acquired via a trade with BA TheBlackMallard, and sported an unusual, wax coated cap. After a bit of carving with a knife, I popped off the cap and poured it into an oversized wine glass. The body looked deep copper colored with a one finger thick persistent head, and a decent level of fine carbonation underneath. The aroma was dates, raisins, figs, and other dried fruits. The alcohol was also present in the smell, as were a ton of spicy hops. Taste was that of a very warm alcohol sustaining the flavors of dry sweet fruits, and bitter and spicy hops. Mouthfeel was thick and chewy. The aftertaste was long drawn out and bittersweet. The beer definitely was potent enough to require slow sipping, but not so strong that it prevented the enjoyment of the entire bottle.

rajendra82, Nov 29, 2005
Photo of CortexBomb
2.95/5  rDev -27.3%

Pour: what one would expect for the style, dirty brown, not much in the way of head. Clouded. The smell is both floral and malty, and very intense. Dark fruit...figs. Sugar. Appealing.

Taste, wow...aggressive to say the least. Very sweet, but also extremely malty with a hoppy edge that is almost pushing it over the top. Astringent almost, a very vinegar like aspect at spots. The finish is wildly hoppy and alcohol laced, extremely intense, probably the least shielded alcohol flavour I've ever had in a big beer and is probably too much. I like what they were trying to do with this beer, but I think it's too much for my mouth.

The mouthfeel on this one is thinner than I would have expected given the style and alchol content. Still, not below average because it delivers a lot of hop action. Drinkability is harsh though, this beer is absolutely huge and a thorough sipper.

I think this beer is just too young right now, and, like Rogue's Old Crusty, is additionally appealing to someone who likes hops more than I do. I imagine laying one of these down for a few years would bring things into better balance, but straight out of the bottle in its vintage year this one was too harsh for my prefs.

CortexBomb, Nov 28, 2005
Photo of Sephiroth
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

I completely inverted the 12oz. bottle as I poured, and still most of the yeast stayed at the bottom of the bottle. The bottle is undated and dipped in wax. The body is a clear amber. Aroma of cherry and pineapple. Hops contribute some citrus and pine. Oh, and lots of alcohol.

Taste is fruity and alcoholic. Think cherries, pineapples, raisins, and maybe some dates, soaked in various rums and Everclear. Perhaps more hops would balance this somewhat. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, coating too. Drinkability is not so good. I won't have another tonight, but I have 11 more to drink later on. Maybe some age will calm the alcohol.

Sephiroth, Nov 24, 2005
Photo of mikeys01
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%

Thanks to trbeer for sharing this beer, which I would otherwise certainly never have even seen. The bottle has a very nice presentation with a wax covered top and a funky psychedelic label. The 3 Guys poured into my glass a dirty brownish amber hue, with a fine off white head, and plenty of lacing climbing the walls. Aroma is sweet, figgy, full of high octane alcoholic spice, and a bit of bready biscuit.

Taste is definitely a bit young, with a little more alcoholic bite than I’d like ot see, but this blends in a bit as the beer warms. Plenty of complexity even so, with aged fruit, subtle wood, and lots of sweet caramel wending its way through. Finish is hot and dry, this is a beer with potential, I’d say worth trying with a little more age. Definitely still quite enjoyable as is, though.

mikeys01, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of dirtylou
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%

12oz single, shipped to me by trbeer

appearance: murky dark amber, blood-red, very little head to speak of and no lacing

smell: alcohol vapor, plum, raisin, a tad of vinegar, caramel, dark skinned fruit, slight banana, sugary sweet

taste: plenty of alcohol up front, alcohol soaked plums and raisins, some floral hoppiness, honey, rum alcoholness, some banana...lots of stuff going on, sweeter than the norm

mouthfeel: very smooth, serious alcohol burn

drinkability: fairly drinkable, somewhat hindered by heavy alcohol content

dirtylou, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of macpapi
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%

Although Barley Wines have been my favorite style for sometime now, this is the first one I've ever gotten around to reviewing. Dark Horse on the whole is a pretty impressive Michigan Brewery and I've looked forward to trying this one. So here goes.

Three Guys pours a nice amber-brownish color with little head. Very slow rising bubble activity is present in the mid glass. Pretty nice lacing on the glass as well.

The smell consists of a deep aroma of strong, dark types of fruit. Raisins, plums, cherries and perhaps apple dominate. Alcohol is strong--more and more notable as the beer warms. Dominating and nice aroma overall.

The taste is, um, of alcohol right off the bat. Very sharp and bitter. Once that first shock dies sown, I can taste a pleasant mix of cherry and other sugary sweetness. A bit of hoppiness is also there, not a ton though. Be warned this is a very slow going drinking and tasting experience.

In the mouth this beer is full and very sharp. No carbonation is evident. Biting to the max.

Overall, this is not a beer I would label as terribly drinkable. One bottle is good for sipping for over an hour and will hit you hard if you're anything like me. A sipper for a cold, snowy night as long as you are in for the duration.

macpapi, Nov 18, 2005
Photo of xgrigorix
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Twelve ounce, wax dipped brown bottle. No dates.

Deep chestnut brown. Thin tan coloured halo. Small patches of lace are left clinging to the glass.

Big nose; alcohol vapors rocket out of the glass. Plenty of other notes rush in behind the alcohol - bold resinous pine, plums, raisins, & spice.

Plenty of caramel, along with some subtle hints of burnt sugar. All kinds of crazy dark fruit flavours float in & out. Plums, cherries, raisins. Some bready flavours as well. Big kick of citrus & pine announce a bold, hoppy, off dry finish. Never becomes cloying or complicated. Medium-full bodied, gentle carbonation.

I don't know who the 3 guys are, or what the problem with the scale is. I do know that I should go and pick up some more bottles of this.

xgrigorix, Nov 10, 2005
Photo of kohoutek
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%

A warm, brown, root beer barrel candy colored beer. A bit cloudy, is that wheat I smell? The head pours a yellowish white tempest, settling back into electron micrographers dreams. By the time the beer was gone the head was only the most faint white ring of tenacious, "I will not recede into the night", detriti-foam.

Aromas: carmelized sugar, honey, lots of banana and booze! Did I say, "lots of booze!"?

Flavors: booze, carmelized sugar, clover honey, butterscotch, currants, banana esters, slight diacetyl butter, slight papery oxidation, light malt. Nice clean bitterness - in balance. Perhaps this beers saviour.

Mouthfeel: lacking in integration. Incredibly pronounced flavors and aromas, but they are very singularly represented. Drink up quick, I believe the oxidation and diacetyl are likely to increase.

This beer is like a war being fought on multiple fronts with no communication. A retreat, in flavors, is likely.

I love Dark Horse beers! Did this one have fermentation/finishing issues?

kohoutek, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of walleye
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%

from the bottle. poured a cloudy amber, with no head. aroma the alcohol jumps right out there, than got malt, caramel, honey,fruits, apple. flavor, there is that alcohol in 1st again, hops, got hints of toffee. for me this is the best dark horse I have had. the flavors are robust and a nice full smooth mouthfeel.

walleye, Oct 29, 2005
Photo of sopor
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%

The wax dipped botle is cool, but made opening difficult. This beer is BIG and BOLD and very good IMO. I'm sure this will cellar well but I don't want to loose any of the great hop profile. Brilliant ruby brown color with creamy cappucino like head that leaves nice film and some small lacing. Not much smell but some roasted and syrupy notes.

Wow. When a wave of this brew comes crashing across my tongue my tastebuds scream and run in fright as if from a tsunami of hugely sweet, just on the edge of cloying, syrupy malt topped off with obvious alcohol and strongly bitter resinous hops intent on the destruction of every living thing in my mouth. Alcohol warms my stomach almost like liquor.

Pleasantly thick and slick body with delicate carbonation, or maybe my tastebuds are just so overpowered that they can't feel the carbonation. This beer is strong, and since I like bold Strong Ales and Barleywines (for the most part) this hit the spot! But one more would have me hitting the ground.

sopor, Oct 16, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%

Undated 12oz that has been dipped in red wax poured into a pint glass.

Dark crimson with a small white head that falls victim to the abv leaving a ring that encompasses a swirl of foam that looks like a slowly spinning galaxy.

Rum soaked raisins, cherries and raw homemade bread dough. A pinch of Christmas spice hangs in the back. The alcohol is a big part of the aroma, but it smells like it has been mellowed by time. The nose reminds me of North Coast Old Stock that has been cellared for a few years.

The alcohol is part of the flavor, but when looking at the big picture it fits perfectly. The raisins are there along with some of the citric cherry flavors with subtle notes of yeast. Its all supported by a nice backbone of malt and enough bitterness from the hops to add further balance.

The mouth is very full and threatens too much oil and syrup, but it backs off before going too far. This is a sipper and a delicious one at that. I hate giving a 3.5 for drinkability, but take that as a recommendation to slow down and enjoy.

ypsifly, Oct 04, 2005
Photo of tavernjef
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%

Liquid spills a wickedly dark blood in the shadows. Headless to the point of only bubbles squirting from the neck. Windy and scrapy splattered lace is left on the windows.

The stick and stink of the days' heat still slumbers here as the nightly cloaked mist of darkened fruit intangles plum and black cherry heat, fleeced and rising from the ashes of a heavy cigar recently smoked to the ring; filling an alumnium can that has the top torn off...Freshly lacquered pine tar persists from the area as the rooftops nearby are still drying after a long summers' day work.

Bold clues to the violation insight the heat may have had something to do with it. Heavy and thick dark caramel sit on a tar stained chair. Smoke still clings to the ceiling. Pine resin tried to escape the area but never got far as it was far too heavy and bitterly soaked with dark plummy deposits. Massive amounts of residue lead to more tar and pine thats been soaked through to the surface.

The air sits thick and rich with smoke. Heat still remains from the day. Smooth currents of air breeze by, but you still need to remove your hat to let some short soothing time aid you until you finally wipe the salty, full, dark fruits from your brow as you examine more of the "why". But that doesn't help, as the beads continue to break and the heat just won't cool off this night. Unforgiving to the point of swimming in over your very own thoughts. Succulant pine tar dances into the mind with thick finger prints left on the palate.

The pieces finally come together when you find empty, big brown bottles along the window sill. It seems as if 3 guys were enjoying themselves with conversation and ribbing when the heat finally consumed them and sent them out looking for more of the passionate heat that drove them to empty those exact same bottles.

More clues arise as the liquid found was not as it seemed. Someone of the 3 had spilled the very treat they were enjoying and left without haste to supply the demand needed to forget the very woes of working on the rooftops that day.

Your "mentor" was helpful enough to provide some of the adequate evidence to proclude that the 3 guys were only off the scale from the apparent lack of thirst and supply of said liquid needed to get by... until the next day.

This kind of event will make the old seem young and young seem old. A twist of life, a fleeting moment; memory, ...will I remember... Will anybody?

tavernjef, Apr 03, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
3.98/5  rDev -2%

22oz bottle obtained as part of BIF 11 from TikkiGodxxx. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 3/4" tan head over the murky reddish brown brew. Head is dense and lasting, and laces well for the style. Aroma is of sweet malts and alcohol, as expected from a American barleywine. Taste is sweet malts, that quickly give way to dark fruits and strong alcohol. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good for the style, although it would seem this one could be bottled in 12s, not 22s...

ppoitras, Oct 31, 2004
Three Guy Off The Scale Barley Wine from Dark Horse Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.