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Behemoth Blonde Barleywine - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Behemoth Blonde BarleywineBehemoth Blonde Barleywine

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1,632 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,632
Reviews: 563
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 565
Gots: 596 | FT: 49
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-04-2002

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
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,632 | Reviews: 563
Photo of DocDownUnder
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of Agold
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of sacrelicio
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of Jwale73
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage shared by Dave Guay - I've been wanting to try this one for a while. Pours the color and clarity of cider - no volume to the head; just a soapy skim and a thin band around the shoulders. Aromas of malt, prunes, bready, sugared fruit and ethanol comprise the nose. Taste follows nose with the addition of a little medicinal bitterness towards the finish. All and all - not as sweet as suggested by the nose. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with an easy carbonation and a trace of acidity at the finish. Overall, this beer is really quite solid, but I do think it has a great deal more aging potential. I'd love to see this with another three years on it.

Photo of ONUMello
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage, 22oz bottle, poured into a Three Floyds pint glass
A: A brown very close to the color of a brown glass bottle. 1/2-finger lingering head.
S: Initial sharp hop attack of citrus and pint, but raisin, fig and toffee underneath.
T: Cherry, toffee, pine, fig, orange. Complex and tasty.
M: Full, a bit viscous yet crisp. Not remotely boozy despite the 10.5% abv.
O: This is very well made and very enjoyable. Complex and balanced.

Photo of GBallHead
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a rusty color, small head.

S - Good blend of piney hops.

T - Nice and hoppy, good amount of sweet grapefruit that fades into piney bitterness. Lots of nice complexities present here. Very hoppy with a solid malt backbone.

M - sticky and dry. almost feels like wine

Overall - A very solid barleywine here. Incredibly balanced between hops and malt, perfect for a chilly evening. Very good beer by FFF as always, cant wait to try it once its been aged

Serving type: bottle

Photo of koopa
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Yellow Waxed 22oz bomber poured into a Sam Adams Laser Etched Glass.

Appearance: Pours a mildly cloudy dark iced tea color with a 1 finger off white crown that displays moderate retention and lace.

Smell: Mainly raisins, figs, and toffee going on here. Not really any alcohol or hop presence at this point (brew nearly 5 years old now).

Taste: Same as the nose but with a touch of alcohol (and alcohol warmth) which I'm actually happy about on this freak October night of 32F and snow accumulation. The smallest hint of oxidation but its another welcome addition. Also a tad of brown sugar rounds it out nicely.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thin side of medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Not extremely enjoyable but quite appropriate for the style.

Overall: A very nice barley wine opened at a good time. Any earlier and it would have been too hot. Any later and it would have been too thin.

Photo of iadler
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Whole Foods for $6! That's a steal if you ask me.

A- Pours a slightly hazy amber with a one finger head that dissipates fast. Minimal lacing and retention. Pretty average.

S- Toffee, hint of dark fruits, sweet booze, and some citrus zest. Pretty subtle for such as big beer.

T- Much more complex and bold than the nose suggest. Ripe red cherries, brown sugar, pineapple, red grapes, toffee, oranges, grapefruit, caramel malt, grassy hops, and some sweet booze.

M- Low to medium carbonation and medium body. Syrupy mouthfeel with the alcohol being hidden very well.

O- I'm typically not a fan of barleywines as they tend to be a little bit too sweet for me. However, this was a fantastic barleywine that is very hop forward, but what else would you expect from FFF.

Photo of FightingEntropy
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber barleywine with a golden glow backlit by the kung fu movie on the plasma TV over the brewery window. Slightly off white head falls to a nice lace in the snifter. Big, hoppy citrus nose like a west coast IPA. Cool and reminds me a bit of Stone Old Guardian, but a bit more rough around the edges. Dark cherry, chocolate and caramel underneath the commanding hop. Sweet malt backbone that mellows the hop but by no means subdues it. Lingering Quad resin with more dark fruit and caramel on the tongue, and a fitter finish from the hop. Classic FFF hop interpretation of a standard style. Get it, drink it and live life. Going to find a clone of this one, and try to brew it at home.

11/4/11 Just drank a bottle of Behemoth that I brought home from 3F and love it even more. Really has move to the top of my list for favorite barleywines along with Stone OG. Great beer and a must try if you get a chance.

Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a rusty amber color, small one finger head with plenty of carbonation.

S - Good blend of piney and grapefruit hops. Peaches, a touch of dark fruit, honey, and a touch of caramel malt. Very nice.

T - Nice and hoppy, good amount of sweet grapefruit that fades into piney bitterness. It has a bit of a grape finish, some bready malt, and caramel. Lots of nice complexities present here. Very hoppy with a solid malt backbone.

M - Fairly sticky, a bit drying in the back of the throat. Mild carbonation.

Overall - A very solid barleywine here. Incredibly balanced between hops and malt, perfect for a chilly evening. Very good beer by FFF

Photo of Scout11
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it on-tap at the brewery, so very fresh. Definite hop bomb when fresh, with lots of citrus and pine aroma and taste. Had a very nice sweet caramel malt backbone and the heat from the alcohol was nice. This taste improved as it warmed bringing out more flavors in the malt and the alcohol. The 10.5 ABV was definitely apparent but well balanced with the hops and malt, and was very enjoyable.

Would love to try this after a few years, will definitely be finding a bottle to try after aging.

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split with Ryan011235. 2011.5 Ohio's yellow wax batch. Poured into a Thomas Hardy snifter for barleywine authenticity.

A superb looking beer. The head retention and lacing are basically impossible to beat. The head is a very rich, dense, frothy creature that doesn't seem to dissipate at all. Lacing is wild. The beer is fairly light, but I'm not seeing where people are getting "blonde barleywine", its just a typical caramel colored strong ale.

Lots and lots of candied orange with a minor pine and zesty edge to it. Overall it smells very pithy, very hoppy, but sweet and tropical.

There are plenty of sturdy malts here, but they are lighter tasting. White bread with only a little caramel. Pine sap and grapefruit pith ride over top. Its well balanced, very hoppy but not bitter and annoying like most other hoppy American barleywines. There is only a small bit of alcohol that manages to peek out. Cotton candy opens up towards the end.

The body falls into the lower ranges of full. The beer is somewhat sticky, but not enough to become burdensome. Carbonation is mild and feels soft and fluffy rather than sharp and prickly.

A really nice American Barleywine. This one is done up how I like em. I guess my tastes are trained to really enjoy something like this. I'm not sure how the Barrel Aged version would turn out. I'm inclined to say that this beer wouldn't be a candidate for the charred and oaky flavors of bourbon barrels. Also, at this point I'd also guess that a fresher bottle of this would be better, that tropical fruitiness is this beer's selling point at this juncture. We have nearly a whole vertical lined up so I'll make that call soon.

Photo of McNealc31
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The nose is full of caramel malt and a mix of citrus and spicy hops. This brew is definitely big. Caramel malt, big kick from the hops, and pretty hot from the alcohol. As it warms, more malt complexity is coming through along with a few different hops varieties: grapefruit, pine, and spice.

The 10.5% ABV is evident, but it all adds to making this beer live up to its name.

And the lacing! This isn’t rings of foam, it’s coating the entire glass.

Photo of MaxSpang
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 "Ohio Edition" with Yellow Wax. Served about 2 months after bottling in a snifter.


This big baby pours a lovely copper-rust color. It was more translucent than expected, but was still pretty hazy. The head was about 2 fingers and khaki colored. Wow, the lacing on this beaut was incredible - it stuck around the whole time and created a lovely pattern in my snifter. There were lovely little bubbles coming up along the side, slowly rising until they collected at the base of the soapy head. This beer is a beauty, even though she may be a bit hefty.


At first sniff, the hops took over. It actually smells a lot like Dreadnaught or Arctic Panzer Wolf - lots of citrus, orange, and grapefruit coming from the hops. The alcohol comes through and blends with the hop aroma beautifully (I love the combination of alcohol and hops). There's a bit of the malty aroma as well as some dark fruits and perhaps a little spice. It's hard to get past the hops, though. Many would argue that a beer like this is not meant to be drank so fresh, and I think this is a reason why - the hop character is just way too intense (though still very pleasant), leaving little room for other aromas to come through. That being said, YUM this beer smells amazing.


Oh wow... I am typing this as I sip, so let me indulge myself for a moment... Ahhh. This is a lovely, lovely beer. Because it's so fresh, it's a little rocky on the tongue, but it's still excellent stuff. The first sip bombarded my tongue with hoppy goodness - TONS of orange and a whole lot of grapefruit. As it warms up, the lovely malt character comes out and shines. There are notes of caramel and dark fruits which is followed by an intense, but lovely, bitterness which lingers for a long time after you swallow. The bitterness is actually extremely high in this beer. The alcohol is most definitely present, making this beer a bit boozy. All of the flavors hit you in layer, which shows that this beer is still young. As I said, it is a bit rocky and the flavors or sort of mixed up rather than being smooth. Luckily, I bought two of these bottles so we'll see how the other one tastes after a year (or two!).


This is a barleywine called Behemoth - it's big. Tons of mouthfeel in this one. The front of the tongue is a big sweet malt bomb, but is quickly taken over with an almost overpowering bitterness that almost coats your mouth in hop resin - it's nice, but it gets a little bit much after awhile. The beer was pretty easy drinking at first, but after it warms up it turns into a sipper. This beer sort of reminds me of a bigger, fatter version of Dreadnaught. Even though the beer is pretty high in alcohol, it doesn't really give you a warming sensation as much as you'd think. You can definitely feel it, though! *hiccup


This beer is wonderful fresh, but I can tell it's the kind of beer you want to throw in the cellar and forget about for a year. At $16 per bottle (yikes!), you definitely want to get the most out of this brew. As I said before, the flavors are nice albeit a little divided - they almost seem to battle it out on my tongue after every sip. I will say this - after trying it fresh, I want to buy a few more bottles and let them sit for awhile, even at the outrageous price. The blonde woman on the label of this beer is draped in a "Miss Behemoth" sash while two surly looking fellows are ogling at her. I think she deserves this title, and I salut her for being so unafraid of her curvy physique. This Behemoth is of the kind that you wouldn't be ashamed waking up next to.


Photo of b3shine
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deuce to tulip. Appearance (the most arbitrary category) is good; deep amber with little head. Smell is great for a barleywine. Probably the best bouquet of any unadulterated version (excludes barrel-aged BWs). Tastes great too. Everything you'd expect from a 3 Floyds brew. Alcohol is present, but that's not a bad thing. Mouthfeel is good. While I don't subtract points from the heat of the abv in the taste category, it cost them slightly in mouthfeel. Overall, this is a great beer - that I won't be drinking too often because of the $17/bomber price.

Photo of ElizabethCraig
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at 3 Floyds 9/29/2011

The appearance is dark amber with a light tan head, nice microfoam on the head of this =)

Rich caramel scent, with some hoppy spice notes, spice was a vague cardamom/curry scent to my nose.

More caramel in the taste! Sweet caramel to more caramel - a medium body with a rich feel on the palate. No carbonation to speak of.

I enjoyed the caramel of this barleywine, this is everything that I enjoy about barleywines without the intense sweetness that some examples of this style have.

Photo of cratez
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber shared by nicktbm. Thanks Baird! 2011 bottle.

Pours a reddish copper hue with amber edges, a sliver of cream-coloured froth, and lots of spotted lacing on the snifter glass. An attractive brew, to be sure, but where's the "blonde" appearance that the label advertises?

Smell is caramel, toast, alcohol, doughy malts, table cream, pine, floral hops, orange peel, slight grapefruit note, cake batter, and assorted stone fruits (peach, plum, nectarine). More hop-forward than an English barleywine, though not nearly as assertive as I expected.

Taste is toffee, caramel, burnt sugar, and cotton candy upfront, more peach, nectarine and pruney/plum-like flavours mid-palate, orangey-citric hop bitterness precedes a mild burn on the tongue. On par for the style.

Mouthfeel is smooth, fuller than medium-bodied, bordering on syrupy, balanced hop bitterness transitions to a toasty, drying finish. Alcohol warms the insides but thankfully I can't taste it.

Overall, Behemoth is more basic than I anticipated, but still a satisfying sipper nonetheless. Despite the claims that this beer is a monstrous complex blast of humulus lupulus, our fresh bottle was quite tame, and about as hoppy as most aged US barleywines. I enjoyed contemplating this tasty and well-constructed beer; however, don't go into it expecting a hop bomb.

Photo of Arenbeer
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a Tulip Glass

2009 Blue Wax Bottle served at Cellar Temp 55 Degrees

A- Pours a beautiful copper orange with 1 finger of fluffy off white head that disappears pretty quickly leaving some nice retention and a small rim around the glass.

S- Sweet yet musty caramel and toffee malts with a slight hop presence but very faded. Has some nice dark fruit qualities in the nose as well as some candied sugars or molasses.

T- Just like the aroma but so much better. Up front the hops are still fighting through even after all these years with a strong bitterness and slight tropical fruits, citrus, grass, and resin. But what really shines through is the beautiful array of caramel, toffee, and wheat like malts that are so sweet and create such a smooth body. They also give off tons of dark fruits and candied sugar like molasses. No alcohol at all, really really balanced.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a nice slightly bitter sweet finish.

Overall this is definitely one of my favorite barley wines and will always be. I had the 07 but forgot to review it. I highly recommend aging this bad boy but it's just as good fresh. Whether you like tons of hops of musty malt bombs this beer can do it all.


Photo of mondegreen
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber into a Founders Tulip.

2010 Vintage (Green Wax)

Pours a hazy caramel amber. Moderate head and impressive lacing.

Sweet malts meet citrus hops. Lovely aromas. Enough hops for a DIPA, but with an enhanced malt profile.

Taste comes together brilliantly. The massive malt profile meets the ample hopping for a very well crafted hefty barleywine. Leaves a slight lingering bitterness.

Mouth is on the light side of heavy. Coating.

Overall, a great brew. Probably not worth the $17 price tag, but still a great brew that is worth picking up at least once.

Photo of Janderson91
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 bottle sent from duffcalifornia so thanks to him! Enjoyed on 09/21/11.

A - Pours a clear, dark amber with a small off-white head. Leaves a nice wall of lacing down the sides.

S - Lots of alcohol on the nose, along with a very earthy, floral hoppiness. Rich caramel malts balance it out.

T - The taste is sweeter than the nose. Very nice rich caramel sweetness throughout. Nice hop flavor and balance through the middle. Sweet malts again on the finish along with a nice kick of alcohol. Excellent.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty good, could be a little more full.

O - Overall, I think this is an excellent barleywine. Can't wait to see what a couple years of age does to this one. Still have yet to be disappointed by FFF.

Photo of BlastBeats
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this one on tap at the Three Floyds brewpub.. served in an unorthodox looking snifter.

Appearance: bright blonde/orange color with an eggshell white head that formed formed layers on the glass that reminded me of a geological observation.

Smell: hop resin, faint citrus, and other aromas reminiscent of an India pale ale despite this being a barleywine.

Taste: sweetened, caramelized malt united with an abundance of hops. Some sweet fruit flavors in the background as well.

Mouthfeel: not as thick as I expected a beer that goes by the name "Behemoth" to be.. certainly not airy though. Medium/full body with just the right amount of carbonation lead to very pleasant drinking.

Overall: another exceptional beer by Three Floyds. I'm not sure how true to the style this one is, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I'm certainly going to pick up a bottle if I happen to spot this on the shelves somewhere.

Photo of mattboyer182
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out of a fresh bottle. The beer is an amber color and a tan head with good lacing.

S - There definitely a bitter hop and sweet sugars and roasted malts.

T - Super, super hoppy. Very bitter at first. Sweet malts but very over powered by the hops and leaves an insanely bitter after taste.

M - Heavy bodied with light to medium carbonation.

O - Overall very powerful brew. I prefer this one with some age on it.

Photo of Treebs
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at FFF Brewpub. Served in a snifter.

A: Pours a clear mahogany with dark amber hues around the edges where the light hits it. One finger, off-white head forms on the pour and leaves some great lacing on the way down.

S: I'm picking up some tropical fruits and some candied sugars. Very sweet. There is a slight sweet toffee malt as well floating in the background.

T: Sweet sugars up front with a light caramel malt backbone. The hops pop back up again, but this time they give a little bit of bitterness to counter the sweetness. There is a little alcohol presence on the finish with a slight warming on the way down. This definitely tastes more like a huge DIPA with more malt.

M: Feels creamy on the way in and leaves with a dryness that brings you back for more. The bitter hops leave a slight profile on the tongue and the carbonation is nice.

O: This is very hopped up and very sweet, but it is still good and I enjoyed it a lot more than I remember.

Photo of eclipse54
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bottle sealed with purple wax, suggesting a 2008 vintage. Big thanks to kruthar for this overly generous extra! Review is from notes taken on my birthday back in May 2011.

The body is a hazy copper to the point of being opaque with orange hues around the edges of the glass. About an inch of foamy, tan head grows before receding quickly to a patch of bubbles that remains throughout the drink. Smells of hazelnut, caramel, malt, faint wheat and rye, and dark fruits. Tastes similar, with an emphasis on the hazelnut, malts, wheat, and an almost woody taste; initial thoughts suggest a gin barrel, as there are some piney/juniper undertones. Sugar and straw flavors finish this beer. Mouth is smooth and crisp, held together by a dry caramel finish. Overall, a great beer with just the right amount of age on it; I would love to have this again.

Photo of Auracom
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

About 6 months before I got into micro's, I tried Behemoth with some friends from another hobby. I don't think I liked much at the time. I = asshole.

Got another crack at it on August 7th, 2011 thanks to my friend Dan who brought the bottle as part of our Lollapalooza partying. Bomber into wine glass.

Love the label on this one coupled with the white wax. Toffee or medium-brown coloring with minimal head. Solid lacing and legs. Fairly murky.

Aroma consists of caramel malts, figs, and various zesty fruit (I'm fairly certain of grapefruit and not-so-certain of orange). No alcohol on the nose. Seriously, the hop profile on this beer, similar to all FFF offerings is instantly recognizable and balances well with the heavier, sweeter aromas.

Zealous taste here. Initial caramel and toffee followed by fruity sweetness. Leads into hops at the backend combined with spices. Subtle herbal tone adds complexity. Nice aftertaste, slight bitter and dry finish.

Feel is smooth and mellow. Carbonation is adequate, ditto for the medium-thick body. 'Tis was I expects.

Really very little alcohol heat in this one, contrary to its name. Slightly warming in the drink's backend. I've got no beef with drinking this one during the summer, and in particular on a day when I was outside for 10 hours and couldn't stand to be more than 10 feet from the AC afterwards. I guess that's a positive note for a barleywine.

Wish the BA version wasn't complete unobtanium.

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Behemoth Blonde Barleywine from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,632 ratings.