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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

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162 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 162
Reviews: 104
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 225
Gots: 21 | 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:
Beer added by: scottoale on 01-25-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 104
Photo of aforbes10
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a re-review for me. The first time i reviewed this beer was back when i was getting into barleywines but not quite there yet. Still, i remember enjoying this beer but being a bit overwhelmed....so now that its out again, i thought i'd give it another try.

Pours red/brown and dark like a deep mahogany. Nice soft white head on it. Looks like a pillow. Odor is strong with very sweet maltiness. Hops also pronounced on the nose. Taste is super good. Sweet, rich molasses flavor. dry alcohol. Fruity to an extent....old strawberries and cherries. Sweetness might be a bit cloying and the whole thing is a bit unbalanced, oweing to it being such a new beer...but hey, its still tasty. Thick and rich and becomes hard to drink towards the end of the bottle as it warms and the bitterness grows, but that's ok. I bought a bottle to age for a year or so too so i'll probably hit this one up with a 3rd review one day.

Photo of Shovelbum
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle cellared 1+ year.

Pours a faint trace of a head over a glowing, fairly clear, crimson body. Tiny bubbles drift to the surface. Aromas of cherries and dark berries, caramel, and a hint of spicy hops. Flavors of sweet caramel and dark fruit up front. Develops a more medicinal/ cough syrup-like character toward the finish. Hop spiciness provides balance, but is in not way overwhelming in that tongue-numbing of some barleywines. The alchol is noticable, but not to its full extent. Sweet and smooth. Full bodied.

I’ve never tried this ale fresh, as I stuck this single away in my cellar last year. I’d be interested to see if the same medicinal character is present in younger versions of this beer. I didn’t so much mind that cpart of the flavor, but wasn’t exactly enamored with it either. All in all a nice, warming, cold weather sipping beer.

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish-orange color with a tan coating of bubbles for a head. Light, spotty lacing is speckled on the glass. Nothing eyecatching in the looks department.

The smell coming out of the bottle is totally different from the one coming out of the glass. In the bottle, it had a sweet fruity aroma...which I thought was odd for an American barley wine. In the glass the smell is much maltier. Caramel, sweet bread, citrus and alcohol.

The taste is stronger on the alcohol, which at over 12% can be expected. Bready malts, sweet caramel, lemon zest, and some other sweet fruit I just can't peg (berries?) wrapped in the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is a creamy medium with average carbonation. Alcohol tingle remains on the back of the tongue. Not sure if it needed more aging, but it was a bit harsh overall. I would not hesitate to aquire another bottle of this, but I would leave it in the cellar longer next time.

3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Body is a hazy copper color, slightly reddish when held up to light. Head is a tan quick fading inch of fuzz. A fiery spicey fruit filled nose, Sweet creamy notes with maybe a bit of malt. Sweet alchol syrupy fuzzieness enters the mouth, this is folowed by a slightly soured mouthfeel. The finish is a soft malty hue. Alchol really warms the belly very well. As this one warms it gets smoother and better balanced. Mouthfeel is very thick and lingering. It only takes one of these to do the job. Nice feel but watch out!

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

After busting out my Swiss army knife to scrape off the dark red wax, this old ale introduces itself with a fuzzy dim maroon countenance topped with a handsome fluffy ivory dense bowl shaped cover that paints the glass with with a coating of foam.

Tart lemon meets a pancake malt nose with a twist of orange. Fruity sugesstions overall.

First swigs: Fruity melifluous mix of Christmas fruitcake. Seems to be a take it or leave it blend. Some lemon cake and a crispy pastry.

Feel is medium bodied dry that leaves a citrus linger.

Last swigs: Reviewed from 2 bottles snaggled-toothed at Three Floyds Dark Lord 4/29 and reviewed recently. Seems to miss the mark by a hair. Solid A for effort but didn't do it.

Photo of mentor
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wax-dipped bottle provided by trbeer during my most recent visit to Michigan (December 2005). Thanks buddy! Pours a one finger light brown head over a cloudy brown-orange liquid. Smells like strawberries during the pour. To the nose it's caramel, soured alcohol, fruity sweet. Light-colored raisins. A bit of dried hay.

Tastes sherry oxidized caramel, alcohol burn and sweet fruity esters. Nice caramel aftertaste held on the tongue by the thick mouthfeel. The caramel fights a dry alcohol that tries to roughen the back of the tongue. Touch of oranges. Creamy thick mouthfeel and modest carbonation. Enjoyable, although I suspect that aging would greatly decrease the alcohol presence and improve the balance of the beer to my personal preferences. 6 months in my cellar wasn't enough.

Photo of IrishRedRock
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. wax capped bottle. Now I usually don't have issues with these wax dipped bottles, but this one was a pain in the ass to remove the cap from. Anywho, we're in. Pours without very much noticeable carbonation, a glowing ruby color. Nose of sweet, chocolate covered cherries...and booze. It doesn't hide. And then you taste it, and it's still not hiding. Sweet malt, plum skins dominate, riding the wave of alcohol booziness into the bittersweet, chewy finish. Lingering plum-cherry sweetness on the palate. Mild carbonation. A bit two-dimensional to go head to head with the best of American barleywines as it pales in complexity to some, but nonetheless a good enough nightcap. Weee....I'm sleeepy...

Photo of Derek
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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'.

Photo of mattcrill
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of plaztikjezuz
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Crosling
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of GreenWBush
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of nortmand
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of HopHeadKen
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of SupaCelt
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of rajendra82
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of CortexBomb
3.02/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of Sephiroth
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of mikeys01
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of dirtylou
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of macpapi
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Three Guy Off The Scale Barley Wine from Dark Horse Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.