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Behemoth Blonde Barleywine | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Behemoth Blonde BarleywineBehemoth Blonde Barleywine

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
A huge, sweet Barley Wine with complex caramel malt notes, balanced by generous hopping and a high alcohol content. This fruity and malty beer is best enjoyed while keeping warm in the brutal winter months.

80 IBU

2005 Bottle release - Pink Wax
2007 Bottle release - Yellow Wax, hands not skull on flat finish label (Brewed in Nov 06)
2008 Bottle release - Purple Wax
2009 Bottle release - Blue Wax
2010 Bottle release - Green Wax
2011 Bottle release - White Wax
2011 Bottle release - Yellow Wax, glossy label, skull on label (Ohio only)
2012 Bottle release - Red Wax
2013 Bottle release - Orange Wax
2014 Bottle release - Blue Wax
2015 Bottle release - Purple Wax
2016 Bottle release - Black Metallic Wax

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-04-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 577 | Ratings: 1,783
Photo of Lothar666
4.78/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a ruby red body with a tiny bit of Amber-orange haze and a creamy bone white head that left beautiful muddy lacing on the sides of the glass.

Surprisingly thin but delicious aroma of dark sour cherries and a hint of vanilla.

Burnt toffee, dark cherries, vanilla, perhaps a touch of molasses. The aftertaste is slightly more fruity than the smell.

Seductively smooth and creamy but with a slight gritty feel on the tongue from the sugars and sediment in this 6 year old vintage bottle. The burn that one usually experiences with a barleywine is completely diminished due to the quality of the brew coupled with its age.

I may be biased because I opened up one of these 2010 vintage bottles for the first time a couple of years ago when my wife and I were first together. We opened up another bottle for our anniversary, and this is one instance in which Nostalgia has not been unkind. This is damned close to being a perfect beer. It's age has mellowed it to the point where it nearly completely hides it's potent ABV, and it drinks like a slighlty fruity and sugary decadent dessert in a glass. I look forward to when I can get out to 3 Floyd's brewery once again for dark lord day, and come back to New England with another case of this delicious beer.

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Photo of dleigh
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful amber color. Lots of fluffy just-off-white head.

Smells of hops, honey, and bread. Lovely smell.

Tastes of dark fruit with some caramel with a nice lingering hoppiness and breadiness.

The moutfeel is pillowy. Not much carbonation. Like velvet in my mouth. A nice warmth in my throat follow, but the alcohol is very well masked.

Bottle of the 2016.

Of the barleywines I've tried so far, this is probably my second favorite, right behind the inestimable Bigfoot.

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Photo of Trevor11
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I haven't had many Barleywines but I was comparing this one to Goose Island's Bourbon County release, and I have to say I prefer 3 Floyd's offering. The alcohol is much better masked, there is higher carbonation, not so in your face with the dried fruit complexity. For being the same style in beer they are quite different. I guess I don't like fresh GI BCBW because it is too hot and I enjoy more mellowed characteristics.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
3/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one tasted a bit off...there were hoppy, sour, then sweet notes all over the place with a bit too much carbonation.

If you took a Zombie Dust and let it sit in the fridge for a year, you would probably wind up with a similar tasting beer.

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Photo of madelfonatree
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed at 101 Beer Kitchen December 28, 2015 in a snifter.

Look - Very light brown with a red tint. See through. Awesome finger of thick bubbled head. A lot of lacing. I was expecting much darker.

Smell - Ginger bread. Cherry. Bread. Hop. Lighter fruits. Raisin. Cinnamon.

Taste - Ginger. Cinnamon. Cherry.

Feel - At 10.5% it is very smooth. Not as carbonated on swallow as it looks but sits a little bubbly. Little burn.

Overall - Surprised by the color. Hops come through just enough. A lot going on.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - To be specific, the beer really is not blonde. It actually is more of a copper/amber color with a white head.

Smell - The nose gives me the impression of sweet grassy notes.

Taste - The grass of the hops comes to the front, before the sweet malty backbone attacks. There is a creamy quality to the malts exaggerates the sweetness. The grass comes back to the front in the aftertaste, but the sweetness is very present.

Mouthfeel - Perhaps my favorite aspect of this beer is the mouthfeel. There is definitely a smooth, creamy quality.

Overall - From the Three Floyds catalog, this is a slightly underrated and often forgotten beer. I love it.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blue wax, 2014 vintage. Poured from a a 22oz bottle into a 3 Floyds Teku glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a magnificent deep cherry amber, slightly hazy but pretty translucent body with an off-white 1 finger head that reduces to a ring of foam and leaves little lacing.

Smells a lot more hoppy than I was expecting.. not fresh "IPA" aromas, but more aged hops that have lost their fresh character.. not in a bad way, they're just more piney and earthy, somewhat woody, sitting on a heavy caramel malt backbone.

On the tongue is a variety of notes.. nutty almonds, earthy, sweet caramel, roastyness, vanilla, muted hops on the follow through, some bitterness on the finish, aftertaste is almost oaky and charred. Mouthfeel is medium with light carbonation.

Overall very enjoyable, complex, unique, flavorful.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2015 Bomber. Cloudy amber, finger off white head, plenty lace. Caramel sweet aroma. Taste is sweet caramel malt balanced by some earthy hop goodness. Silky smooth feel with a dry finish. Love this Barleywine!

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Photo of JArt
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

While I am not a huge fan of the style, this was a very well done barleywine. I tasted more hoppiness and less sweetness than most others I had in the past.

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Photo of NappyB
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

More like a malty double IPA than a Blonde Barleywine for me, but still very tasty.
The 80 IBU hops dominate the flavor, fine with me. A heavier texture than most,
nice aroma of citrus and malt. Consistent with 3 Floyds style. Different and Delicious.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy and viscous copper brown and a slight green hue, looks rather unappealing.

Tropical and citrusy hop resins, cherries, earthy and slightly piney notes as well.

The hops play a main role in flavor and bring juicy tropical and citrus fruit flavors out immediately, soon after a sweet cherry and slightly oaky flavor emerge.

Heavy-bodied, medium carbonation, chewy, thick, some larger chunks of sedimentation.

Overall, while this appears a murky, unappealing mess, the hops really make this one stand out in aroma and flavor.

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Photo of 29mikoyan
4.93/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

A spectacular Barley Wine! It does have a hoppy presence, but it is smooth and mellow like a fine brandy. Molasses, cherry, and vanilla are present in this brew. It has a nice malty mouth feel.

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Photo of mlockman
3.19/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had it on tap, so maybe that was some of the issue; it was just so hop-aggressive. If I was looking for hop aggressive (which I was not) I would have ordered a Zombie Dust. Not horrible, just not my favorite rendition of the style

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Photo of blankenhoney
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber from January 2015 enjoyed 4.16.15 from a teku

A: Behemoth pours a dark amber or ruby with dark caramel and rich brown undertones. Hazy and turbid as all get-out. The head is substantial, and the beer appears well-carbed. Fair bit of sticky lacing too.

S: On the nose are big dollops of pine and resin that you might expect from a strong IPA, but they are a bit caramelized and thus a bit sweeter than in an IPA. A bit of fresh, sugary lemon peel underneath that.

T: Mildy sweet toffee and caramel upfront, followed by light citrus and pine. Really remarkable blend of sweet/malty and citrus/lightly hoppy flavors. Rich, sweet, lightly hopped, and a bit fruity...just fantastic stuff.

M: Velvety, creamy, and perfectly carbed: simultaneously light and substantial.

O: Loved this one. Behemoth is one of the better, possibly the best, non BA barleywines I've had. Wish I could get this easily, and year-round.

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Photo of IowaBiertrinker
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 2012 red wax bomber. Thanks Pat.

Light in appearance and mouthfeel. Fairly sweet and fruity for a barleywine. A little complexity on the finish with some tangy notes. Not great, but not bad.

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Photo of joeseppy
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 release.
Murky craft. Imagining unfiltered raisin/prune juice. Very aromatic and lush. Gummy bear, hops and raisin standout. Taste of hop and sweet. Soon after a peasantly sour mixed with a bitter effect and the higher abv blending in comfortably. Mouthfeel has hop bitterness lingering in back of the mouth. Sugars lay on the tongue. Overall this is really a treat. Not one component outdoes the other. Well done.

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Photo of JothHu
4.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first blonde Barleywine. This is much more hop forward throughout, with less sweetness than typical Barleywines. As it warms the alcohol comes out, but is masked early on. A terrific beer than I would gladly drink again!

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Photo of MLDucky
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange wax bottle. Alcohol smell was non existent. Fruity notes remained in the nose. Poured a very hazy copper color. Taste was dark fruit. Cherry, plum, prune with a nice sweetness. I greatly enjoyed this. The hops obviously faded and this almost resembled a quad, but it was fantastic nonetheless.

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Photo of basshaug
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap as a 9 oz pour that in beer equivalent may have cost as much as my left nut, but

Definitely a hop forward barleywine but I really enjoyed it. Pours a dark amber with a thick creamy head.

The hops are very pronounced and the alcohol heat is present but tucked behind the hop burst. A great med-full full body mouth feel. Overall a good barley wine, even if it is slightly off the "traditional" flavor profile and more along three floyds hop forward MO.

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Photo of dmgeng
4.91/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I got this beer for the first time this year at the brewery. I allowed it to age a few months but I just couldn't wait any longer to rip off that purple dress!

A - Deep dark amber. Pours thick. Big fine white head erupting out of the elixir with great lacing.

S - Initially the citrus hops just dominate the stage. There is some malt, caramel, and fruit but the hops are big and fresh. Very much more like a DIPA than a barley wine but I love it.

T - On the palate this beer is terrific it hits hard with the rich malt character you would expect from the style and then the pound of hops hits the middle of your tongue. On the backside there is the caramel and dark fruits but the hop bitterness hits the ringer. I'm sure that without the pungent, delicious hops there would be an alcohol tone but it is totally overridden. As it warms to 70 degrees the hops try to give way to the behemoth of the barleywine with the sweet malt, caramel, and raisins.

M - High mouth-feel with moderate carbonation. It is heavier on the palate but with all of the hops on the front end and the quenching bitterness you can enjoy your fruitcake and eat it too.

Overall, this beer stays true to 3 Floyds' mantra of hop first ask questions later and this is by far my favorite barleywine. Though this beer is more like a DIPA I give it it's due since it does have the rich malt character that you would expect from a barleywine but just with a ton of hops to go with it. If you want a true maltier experience I would not get this but if you like hops and the accompanying barleywine character then I strongly suggest when this becomes available to grab some!

Glass- Snifter

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Photo of Bisco42
4.56/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to @bakker for sending this!

Absolutely delicious Barleywine. Balanced and unique.

Dark amber with lacing that covers the entire glass all the way down. A full 4 finger head via vigorous pour. Takes about 5 minutes to subside and still remains about a half finger.

The smell is distinguishable from several very feet away. Bubblegum, pine, wine, cherries, hops and grapefruit.

The taste and feel are exactly what I expect out of a hop forward Barleywine. Full bodied, bursting with flavor that begs for another sip. Alcohol is present, but not overbearing. Just right.

Better than Bigfoot in my opinion, absolutely worth a purchase if available and one who enjoys American BWs.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very good beer, has the delicious notes you except from a fine barley wine such as toffee, raisins, dark fruit, has an unexpected touch of fruitiness in there reminiscent of apples and/or pears. isn't overly sweet or boozy. Slightly metallic in the finish. very good take on the style, just not quite sure i'd go through the effort and expense it took to get it again.

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Photo of rcjennings
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - deep honey, hazy apple cider with loose carbonation. Rich, foamy, caramel colored head.

Aroma - Prominent citrus hops with bready malts. Very fruity.

Taste - the aroma matches up with the taste. Fruit, hops, malt. And alcohol on the back end; mild for the style - these guys know how to brew.

Feel - Bitter and sweet. Sweet and bitter. Feels so good.

Overall - great barley wine. Hoppy, fruity, dangerously strong.

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Photo of rpmetzler
2.8/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer isn't bad, I'm just not a fan of the hoppiness. As I figure out my tastes, I can easily say that strong citrus hops aren't my thing. As far as hippy beers go, this isn't awful.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was served on tap at the Three Floyds Brewpub in Munster, Indiana. It arrived in a stubby generic chalice. It showed a deep apple cider coloring, sporting a half finger tall head of burnt caramel foam that was gone by the time the glass settled onto the table. In its wake a single sheet of tan lacing was left. Chill haze reduced clarity, and punctate sediment was noted. Carbonation appeared to be a bit high. The aroma warmed the soul, offering flashes of intense citric hops, corn and cola syrup, pale and deeply roasted caramel malts, green grassiness, milder piney resins, black pepper spice of harsh booze, sawdust, burnt amber grain, red hot steel, Styrofoam, soft phenolic plastics, and leather polish. Following through the taste buds was freshly poured concrete, bubblegum esters, immense vodka booziness, corny adjuncts, fusel chemical and Magic Marker phenols, white chalk, pineapple and nectary fruity and citric hops, heavy caramel roasted maltiness, daisy pollen florals, mild wheatiness, and green pea vegetal twinge. The aftertaste breathed especially of biting green grassiness and dusty banana bread esters. The body was heavy and syrupy with every sip, while carbonation sat moderately high. Nice slurp and smack accompanied this feel, but creaminess or frothiness was rather lost to the mouth swirl. Massive chalky dryness turned into involuntary puck across the mouth. The abv was big, but stylistically appropriate; it warmed you more and more with each sip, which occurred at a slower pace.

Overall, this was a surprisingly and remarkably hopped beer aromatically. I guess we weren’t quite sure what to expect for a “blonde barleywine”, but for some reason a major hoppy component wasn’t it. It was pleasant, translating well into flavoring. Sadly, it remained way up front in the mouth, getting battered by waves of sharp booze and heavy grain. This introductory taste actually made us think of a “Super Zombie Dust”. It was so hopped!! Again, however, you then hit this monstrous wall of bitters, puckers, and chemicals. All that said, we’ve had DIPAs that are bigger malt bombs than this barleywine, but the booze keeps you in line with your thinking; at least this works when remembering style. This beer wasn’t bad, but it just kind of took us for a loop following that description. If you want a big, big beer that isn’t afraid to show you what it is, then this is the ticket for you, our friend.

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Behemoth Blonde Barleywine from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 577 ratings.