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Behemoth Blonde Barleywine - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Behemoth Blonde BarleywineBehemoth Blonde Barleywine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,519 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,519
Reviews: 546
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.65%
Wants: 538
Gots: 532 | FT: 35
Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.50% ABV

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

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-04-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,519 | Reviews: 546 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 71gto
1/5  rDev -76.5%

71gto, May 03, 2012
Photo of DogfishJoe
1/5  rDev -76.5%

DogfishJoe, Sep 04, 2012
Photo of TheDM
1.83/5  rDev -56.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Hotstuff and I went on a tour of their brewery. For $5 you get a 12oz glass of 3 of their beers. I thought this was the worst of their beers. The aroma was obnoxious to me. The head was mixed with large and small bubbles. It had a heavy taste with an after bite and an initial taste that I could only describe as off. The color was very nice deep caramel brown and you could not see through it. Hotstuff did not rate it but preferred to get another Robert The Bruce instead!

TheDM, Jun 26, 2003
Photo of kscaldef
2/5  rDev -52.9%

kscaldef, Apr 22, 2013
Photo of charlesw
2.42/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

They should just call this an IIPA - it would score better. As it stands... Bleh. I suppose... By BJCP you might get away with having this much grapefruit in your face, but by normal drinkability standards... No way. No balance. Like, hello.

The marketing speak on the bottle is pretty far from the mark:
"gleaming dark ruby copper"
- Uh. How about cloudy orangey amber?
"breathtaking aroma [...] brown sugar, grapefruit, molasses, dark bread ..." (etc, etc)
- How about not. Brown sugar as first? And the grammar errors... It's just not professional. Well, that was obvious from the bad and inappropriate artwork. But, still. This doesn't describe the beer I smelled in the slightest. It smells like grapefruit juice mixed with fizzy mineral water.

It goes on to try to tell me what I'm tasting. Well, it's not even close. This is, oddly, cloying. Certainly hopped up the wazoo but definitely not to good effect. Sweet, flowery, bitter, sour. Leaves the mouth watering (and I don't mean that in a good way).

"It's not normal."
- Exactly. And, hey, for an IIPA I'd just say that I don't like it. For a barleywine... I say that the light fruitiness is not to style.

charlesw, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of Higravity
2.48/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

A real nice brown with an orange tint, but I got barely any head out of this thing. It smelled promising with large floral bouquet of some potent flower and some sap that has caught fire mixed with a double fist punch of alcohol all sitting above a bed of sweet malt madness. The I took a sip and the train jumped the tracks. What a mess of a beer. The alcohol is so prevailent that even the hops seem weak and they are strong enough to do damage all on there own. I could see laying this one down for some years that is the only thing that could save this. Sharp, abrasive, raw and rough is the way I would describe this beer. It does have a great thick mouthfeel and if I couldn't taste anything I would enjoy this well enough. Sorry maybe if I get some again I'll lay it down for a few years.

Higravity, Nov 07, 2005
Photo of Arbitrator
2.58/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2007 vintage. Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by bring at a post-Christmas tasting. Thanks, Barry. From notes.

A: Pours a dark honey color, very murky. A finger of beige head forms, with short retention. The final product is a broken film on top with a thin collar.

S: Toffee, butterscotch, caramel. Roses, honey.

T: Toffee, butterscotch, and caramel up front. Honey. But the hop character is still quite pronounced, with a citrusy undercurrent, producing some tropical fruit as well as apricot. I think the roses I smelled must be floral hops, but I can't pick them out. It leans toward the sweet side; not saccharine, but it's unsatisfying in its one dimensionality.

M: The aftertaste is lightly dry, with a burn from evaporating alcohol (not too hot, though). It's viscous, with low carb. Creamy.

D: I wasn't impressed. I guess it was a mistake having this next to Perfect Storm and other beers of that ilk.

EDIT: I had the 2009 Behemoth (blue wax) at a tasting in April 2010. I was still underwhelmed. Having the 2007 next to Perfect Storm wasn't the issue. It's just not an upper tier barleywine. Very middle of the pack.

Arbitrator, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of satowns
2.73/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured a brownish orange color with a rocky foam cap.

Aromas of bread mold and alcohol. Apricots and a hint of medicinal alcohol. I get the sense of slight oxidation...kind of a wet cardboard stench.

Flavors of orange and other citrus. A little musty around the edges. Bitterness is there, but I don't really like the flavor of the hops, outside of the citrus.

Didn't want to finish my half of the bomber, pour it out. There could have been something wrong with this bottle; a bit light struck (although no skunk), maybe its old (but this beer should withstand a bit of age) or improper storage...

I will update my review as soon as i get another bottle.

Music enjoyed whilst sampling: none, just chatting with my neighbor who brought the beer back from a business trip to Chicago...

satowns, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of lindenboy
2.78/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Started with a frosty pint glass, and the recollection that this beer when I first saw it at the liquor store a year ago (2006 Summer) cost almost 19$ a bottle!!! "It better be good!" I told the owner.

Almost a year later, and armed with more money than sense, I happened upon the barleywine again, at a different store, and the price had been dropped to $15 a bottle. I figured "what the hell?" and went for it.

This bottle has been cellared for a month -- I just couldn't wait any longer (and was out of beer otherwise).

Appearance - Carbonation is non-existent. Head retention lackluster (probably because of the former). It's probably good for the style not to be over done, but it could use a bit more effervescence in the glass. Looks very crisp, almost a reddish brown...good color for the style I think.

Smell - Somewhat malty, but lacking that "Three Floyds" hop crazyness. What gives on this one with the lack of aroma hops? Everything 3F makes, even an out-of-style stout, is hoppy as hell. Then you get to the barleywine, the one beer that absolutley kills for the hop balance, and that trademark crazy hoppyness vanishes. Like their previous brewer? This beer reeks of plain old pale malt. It's a muddy, malty mess. Least they could've done was pump up the sugar to dry this thing out.

Taste - Balance is all off. Hop bitterness is there, but aromas are missing. Maltyness is there, but it's mostly of a muddy, pale malt range. No biscuity flavors, nothing complex, just plain old malt. And it's deeply unbalanced. The sweetness is too much...too syrupy. This beer needs to be a bit drier to really balance well. It's hard to slurp down. My lips are sticky with sweetness after a glass.

Mouthfeel - This beer is chewy and sticky.

Drinkability - Not very. One 22 oz. bomber is MORE than enough for this evening.

I'd buy a heckuva lot of different singles before this one again, unless some major improvements came along. I would simplify the malt bill, add a little basic sugar (maybe even brown for character) to dry it out, and add some trademark aroma hops -- this beer is made for that!

lindenboy, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of harrymel
2.85/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to lurchingbeast for this one: AS AN EXTRA!!
White wax: 2011

A: Pours a whiskey orange with a three finger head which resonates for quite some time. The head is burnt cream color of thick, fine viscosity. Lacing is excellent.

S: The smell of hops burst toward me upon cracking this beer even before pouring. Pine, resin, grapefruit, caramel malts. Pretty standard combo, but well presented.

T: Sweet, alcoholic, sweet, alcoholic. The citrus of the hops comes through after a bit, but nonetheless, the alcohol is not well addressed in this beer.

M: Slick and medium bodied with low-medium carbonation. The beer leaves the mouth slick for a moment, then dry for the finish.

D: The beer is okay. The alcohol is poorly concealed. I'm disappointed. Too sweet for a fresh Barleywine. I can see why many enjoy the beer (presuming those who like this also find Hopslam and TwoHearted, Pliny to be the best of the best out there - sweet). Can't say it's for me though.

harrymel, Feb 25, 2011
Photo of MuddyFeet
2.9/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Woah! the first sipped made me stumble on ymway from the kitchen to the couch. It was like a kick to the ol' taste buds.

Poured a very murky reddish-brown in color. Thick head that dissolved to a thin film. Not much lace but I think that is a result of my dishwasher. Nose should been a warning aout the flavor. Mild malts followed by a very large wallop of hops. Even a hint of heat from the alcohol.

There is seriously no subtlety in this beer. Much easier to drink after it warmed a bit and I adjusted to it a tad. Lots and lots of piney and citrusy hops. Kind of made my tongue tingle. And adding to the tongue tingles is a solid burn from the alcohol. Really took away from the mouthfeel and the drinkability. Think I am picking up some tannins but am not really too sure. Just really struggled to finish this beer.

MuddyFeet, Jun 03, 2006
Photo of AndyEdgar
3/5  rDev -29.4%

AndyEdgar, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of Azrael
3/5  rDev -29.4%

Azrael, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of Rempo
3/5  rDev -29.4%

Rempo, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of s1ckboy
3/5  rDev -29.4%

s1ckboy, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of ajs4bd
3/5  rDev -29.4%

ajs4bd, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of Jimbobebop
3/5  rDev -29.4%

Jimbobebop, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of Bartos
3/5  rDev -29.4%

Bartos, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of maximum12
3.03/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared a tulip with the wife bellied up to the bar at the Three Floyd's brewpub. Probably due to the cost of bombers, I've managed to avoid trying this one until now.

Light blond in color. Nose is light sweetness, but prett subtle, with a bit of light fruit salad.

Behemoth struck me as something that needs to age. Fresh out the keg, this isn't all that good. The hops are jarring & harsh, at odds with the caramel sweetness lurking under the surface. The malts play a definite second fiddle here, & the high alcohol adds to the strangeness & chaos in the mouth. The smooth mouthfeel only added to the confusion.

Overall a pretty decent beer, but one I'd like to see with some age on it. The components of this one definitely need to introduce themselves & get comfy before this one comes together as it seems it should.

maximum12, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of TexIndy
3.05/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 650ml waxed bottle into a pint glass. Blue wax so 2009 vintage that my buddy picked up at the brewery in July. Was a hazy amber color. Plenty of carb streams and some lacing. It had a large foamy beige head that very slowly settled to a collar and wisps.

The aroma was very hoppy with grapefruit and pine but plenty of molasses and sweet caramel malt as well. No alcohol presence. Was surprised how sweet smelling this one was. The taste was extremely sweet and on the wrong side of the too sweet border at first. It got a little better as it warmed up but still way too sweet. The hops were never really a player which was shocking considering how much they were in the aroma. Very odd. Needs some hop balance to the sweet and aging. Just becomes too sweet halfway to really enjoy. My rating reflects a half bottle as any more than that isn't doable.

Overall, a major disappointment and a rare miss for me from 3F's. I've had a lot of barleywines in the past couple months and this one is bottom tier.

Rotation: one and done on fresh. Would try an aged one. Would try on-tap to see if it differs.

TexIndy, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of robgage
3.25/5  rDev -23.5%

robgage, Aug 20, 2014
Photo of Erdinger2003
3.25/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a small head with an OK lacing and a dark ruby color that's a little hazy. The smell is so very hoppy with fruit smell of grapefruit flavor. That's all I taste is grapefruity hops with a hint of grassy hops near the finish. The mouthfeel was fine, but had a little bite to it. Overall I will have this again after aging it for a while.

Erdinger2003, Jan 20, 2007
Photo of pisano
3.25/5  rDev -23.5%

pisano, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of kustard
3.25/5  rDev -23.5%

kustard, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of Gary79
3.25/5  rDev -23.5%

Gary79, Sep 17, 2012
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Behemoth Blonde Barleywine from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 1,519 ratings.