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Behemoth Blonde Barleywine - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Behemoth Blonde BarleywineBehemoth Blonde Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,574 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,574
Reviews: 549
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 556
Gots: 537 | FT: 37
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: 1,574 | Reviews: 549 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wcudwight
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yellow wax. 2007. Dark brown with some caramel coloring when held up to the light. 1/2" cream colored head with some yellow in it. Kind of looks like the wax on the bottle. Smells of raisins, toast and just the faintest hint of pine. Rich and complex flavors of raisin bread, caramel, touch of alcohol, molassas, and piney hops. Kind of has a spicy finish. I really like how this beers flavors just linger awhile. Thick mouthfeel with some kick yet still smooth. For a barleywine this is incredibily drinkable. Nice to sit and sip at the fireplace while watching a good movie.

Photo of HoboAGoGo
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very dark copper with a tannish head on top that chilled out for a while there. Carbonation was apparent, in the opaque body. Smelled of pine, grapefruit, cherry, malty maltiness. Taste was of a warm alcohol bite, some sweet brown sugar, pine needles, juniper, grapefruit, plum, some whiskey notes and a very sweet finish with the hops bouncing around the tongue. This stuff was too drinkable for how strong it was. As I already drink beer pretty fast, I drank this one WAY too fast. Dangerous but delicious.

Photo of tar
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the 22 oz. bottle a dark copper color with a thinish (one finger with a moderately hard pour), off-white head. The head quickly fades to a small ring of lacing around the glass and a very thin skim of tiny bubbles. Smells strongly of grapefruit, citrus, and piney hop aromas with a distinct spiciness as well. A great inviting aroma overall. Sweet sticky citrus and piney flavors explode in the mouth with a strong hop bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is full, sticky, and smooth. While a bit unbalanced this is an outstanding beer which I've enjoyed many times on-tap in the past and hope to many times in the future.

Photo of IBUnit63
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 hand-waxed courtesy of hero27 and his bountiful BIF bludgeonry - thanks dude! Have wanted to re-review from my early pathetic attempt, so here goes. Original at bottom...

Cloudy, caramel bourbon color. Dry ginger head shows for a few minutes and is off. Lacing is moderate with a few sediment lines.

Wow - smells like hoppy French toast! Maple syrup, caramel, salt, vanilla - hops have some subdued citrus and maybe a little grass. Bitterness is profound even though traditional hop elements may be tempered. With warmth hop character becomes more lightly floral absent any perfume.

This is a cinder block to the head. Creamy caramel - even a little buttery (diacetyl?) but not offensive. Boozy floral/grass hopy...all in abundance. Stewy and soup with even a little broccoli in there. Crazy.

Tight mouth at first. With warmth of course this opens up nicely. Almost salty soup with stew over abundant malt. Boozy to an extent but oh so comfortably warming.

Admittedly this is a sentimental favorite - this was the one that started it all - the first uber-hopped barleywine I ever came across, courtesy of the Floyd blokes at the 1999 GABF. Several years later it's still boozy, heavy and hoppy as all hell...and it works! A great pleasure to savor and contemplate the rare times I get a chance to enjoy this one.

Text of original (1/30/2008) review...4/4.5/5/4/4.5 = 4.55

The first overly-hoppy barleywine I ever had. Typical appearance and mellow head for a barleywine. Bushel-load of hops and malt meet to provide a powerful, enjoyable aroma. These work in perfect tandem to provide your tastebuds with one of the most pleasant bludgeonings they probably can hope for. Awesome, powerful stuff! Very balanced mouthfeel - not too thick. Be careful, it's very very very easy to drink like a less-potent style - dangerously good!

Photo of BarleyBoz
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This Barley wine is characteristically different, mostly because it has a very hoppy nose. This is a beer that is very enjoyable and definitely a conversation piece. Immediately by its nose, one would not think of it as a Barley Wine but a sweet hoppy pale ale or high abv IPA. The color is darker than a standard Blonde but carries with it a much lighter complexion than a standard Barley Wine. The nose is sweet and full of aroma. The taste and mouth feel are thick and full of robust sweetness and hops. The finish is strong but there is not much length but it leaves you with wanting more. This is a Beer that is enjoyable and surprising to the taste buds.

Photo of Yesac
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to jwinship83 for trading me this one and making it my 200th brew to review.

2007 bottle.

A- Dark caramel brown mahogandy in color. Not much for head. A generous ring around the glass to start but fades to a thing ring. No lacing. My standards for looks arent to high for this style anyhow.

S- Caramel, toffee and sweet brown sugar nose with a malt backbone. Boozy tones as well.

T- Welcoming sweetness on the nose that primes the palate with for a base coat of complexity to follow. Following the arom,a caramel and brown sugar up front, spicy middle followed by a piney hop finish. The complexity and sweetness is well balanced here. The ABV is well hidden by creamy overtones. Great job FFF.

M- Somewhat creamy on the palate. Not to dry or sticky like most others in this style. I'm impressed. low carbonation. thick bodied.

D- What an enjoyable barleywine. The complexity of the taste is surly one of the best I've had of this style. Its so easy drinking and smooth. It's not overly sweet or boozy tasting as the case with many others in this style. I like the approach to the palate.

Photo of emmasdad
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Poured a nice burnished copper color with a nice collar of off white foam.

Sweet aromas of grapefruit, honey and green apples.

The flavor of this one is an incredible mixture of honey, bubble gum, peaches and canned pears, all of which combine to almost completely hide the loads of alcohol contained within, before finally leading to a nice bitter, drying finish.

I traded for this one as an afterthought in a big trade, and I am very glad I did. A very nicely balanced barley wine, easy to drink and thoroughly enjoyable.

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from The Noble Grape in Chicago, IL for $15.99. 2011 Vintage. Fresh. Poured from bottle into two La Fin du Monde tulips. No bottled on date.

Appearance: Pours a reddish copper color, yielding a creaming 2 finger head. Lots of carbonation.

Smell: Very sweet berried nose, caramel notes. Good amount of hops follow up the sweet front...really a nice balance has been struck here.

Taste: Very mild and impressive. Good amount of hop spice bring waves of fruit, pineapple, orange, sweet clementines. The malt backbone gives it a really nice balance.

Mouth: Resinous and lively. Good level of carbonation. This is a fun drinking barley wine, one of the better I've had.

Drink and Overall: Very drinkable. Like I previously mentioned, one of the best straight barley wine styles I have encountered. Highly drinkable, not overly sticky, and the ABV is not overly present.

Photo of amneziak
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a nice amber orange color with a medium amount of cloudiness. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of carbonation, but there is a very nice amount of creamy off white (nearly tan) head. The retention is quite nice in this beer. Occasional swirls of the glass will bring back two or three fingers worth of head. Lacing is also superb with that crystal-like quality from the sugars.

Smell: Smells just like a Barleywine should. There is a lot of caramel malt and a bit of pungency from the hop presence. You also get some of the characteristic fruits like figs, prunes, raisins, and dried apricots. The hops might not be as upfront as I'd like, but we'll see what they have to offer once I dig in to the glass. To be fair, I've started this one a bit colder than I probably should have. Give me a break -- it's a 22 ounce beer at 12% ABV so it's probably going to take me a while to finish.

Taste: Sadly there is not as much hops as I've come to expect from a Barleywine. And with as well as Three Floyds Dreadnaught is hopped, I'd think there'd be more here. However, that's certainly not a bad thing because the caramel quality of the malt is actually very nice and makes up for any lack of hops. The fruits translate very well from the nose to the palate and are accompanied by some very nice underlying floral components.

Mouthfeel: For a Barleywine I'd say the mouthfeel is one of its best elements. It's not attacking my mouth the way I thought it might, and the alcohol presence is low enough (figuratively speaking) that I don't get the burn I normally get from some of the higher ABV Barleywines.

Overall: At first I wasn't too fond of the lack of hops, but wow this really turned for the better after a few sips. The sweetness of the malt and the floral and fruit components are enough to carry this one as far as it will go. This is unquestionably one of the more drinkable Barleywines I've had. Once again, Three Floyds proves why so many people want their beers.

The Grand Ole Hopry

Photo of Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured as a really pretty amber color, nice lacing, thin white head. Candied sugar and hops on the nose, makes this beer smell great! Taste of sweet malts and lots of hops. Nicely balanced barley wine. Dry mouthfeel not overly heavy which is surprising for the amount of flavor this has. Overall this was probably my favorite beer I had while I was visiting the brewpub there.

Photo of francisweizen
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wax dipped 22 oz brown glass bomber consumed in chi-town right after the initial release. Dark slightly muddy/orangey liquid with a nice skull cap of white froth. Aromas of juicy FFF hop blend (amarillo and others) and juciy malts. Another FFF fruit punch beer as I call them, like a kicked up dreadnaught with less hops and more fruit juice/sucre. mouthfeel is clean and this mix of hops and sugar that would scare any diabetic does not get cloying anywhere along the route. Drinkability is scarily good. Another achievment.

Photo of jlh8643
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This year's vintage poured into a cognac glass. A slight creamy white tan head, which faded fast, topped the dark copper/garnet body. Citrus hops with a load of sweet malts rush out of the glass. The hops are just in front of the malts in the initial swallow. Dark fruits combine with the hops nicely. The beer is more attenuated than in previous years so the finish is a bit dryer which is more to my liking rather than the liquid fruit cake it used to be. The alcohol is somewhat obvious so drink with caution.

Photo of PorterPirate
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this out of a 22 oz. bomber into a Nitty birthday mug.

A: Lots of lacing, poured a big, hearty head that died down after a couple minutes. Cloudy light brown and golden color. Very beery.

S: You can definitely smell the caramel maltiness, and hints of grapefruit. Slight hints of hops in the smell, but you can taste the hops far more than you can smell them. As me mate says, "It's good."

T: Liquid art in a bottle. The hops really come through with a nice burst of citrus on the tongue. The caramel flavor comes through nicely with the maltiness. Slightly bitter/sour aftertaste, a mix of grapefruit and spruce essence.

M: Pretty light bodied, not surprising given the alcohol content. Slightly dry aftertaste, lingers slightly but that is likely due to the alcohol.

D: Quite drinkable, this beer hides the high alcohol content very well, I could drink a number of these and get smashed before I knew it. The only problem lies with the price: at $20 a bomber, I can only drink these when student loans come in the mail. But gosh, would that I could drink these all the time.

Photo of yamar68
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to cfances33 for this bottle!
(2013 vintage, reviewed 3/13)

That murky sort of copper / honey gold color that I remember with a sexy ass thin finger of off-white head that paints lace all over the place. A bit of oily booze legs and a surprising amount of beading. Thick bubbles border the glass to form a stubborn collar from start to finish.

Oh mommy. This smells incredible. I'm getting that awesome Dreadnaught type of hop profile on the nose layered with caramel cake and raw honey. I like where this is headed...

Boom. Massive waves of tropical and citric hop flavors. Juicy... Salt n Peppa and Heavy D up in the limousine... if you catch my drift. So fucking tasty. You gotta have this stuff fresh. Hoppy goodness.

Thanks bro man!

Poured from bomber to snifter, big thanks to mordormongo for this!
(2012 vintage, reviewed 6/12)

Blonde? Maybe a real dirty blonde. Pours a bright amber - pretty much exactly the color of the amber that the mosquito was preserved in from the first Jurassic Park movie. Nice finger of silky off-white head that fades out to a thick collar with some spotty bits retaining in the middle. Very nice to look at.

Smells massive... boozy resinous hops, caramel, butterSCOTCH... I could keep my nostrils shoved down in there for a good while, and even as it sits in front of me on the table I can smell how pungent it is.

Definitely a substantial hop presence... hops, then some malty bits, then a booze burn that dries things up. In my mind, the taste of this thing borders a big old IIPA. Enough hops to satisfy a non-barleywine drinker I think.

The feel is rather low as the booze is really pretty harsh. I don't mind that one bit myself but it does affect drinkability.

Extremely pleased with this one. Thanks very much Scott!

Photo of rsyberg01
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My 100th review, and what a beer to review.

S - Picked this lady up at DLD '07. How lucky I am.

A - Deep garnet pour, light creamy caramel head, looks damn good.

S - Caramel aromas, hop scent, heat, smells like its going to be hot. This beer is like camping--in tents. (term courtesy of my pal rysky)

T - malt and hops dance together like no one is watching, good great betsy this shit be kickin'. not as much heat as I thought would be and not nearly as vicious either. subtle fruits entangle themselves within this freakin' masterpiece, herbal notes. What the hell.

M - Creamy and smooth 'nuff said.

D - Quite easy to drink, but be careful this bitch will sneak right up on your heels. Took me about 2 hours to polish off a bomber. Great beer.

Photo of Phatz
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is again a style bender from Three Floyds Brewing Co. Boozy and sweet I don't know what to compare it to. Gumball head with more port wine, maybe closest.

Appearance: Pours a copper amber into my tasting snifter. Small white head.

Smell: Sweet and fruity aroma with port cherries and pine hops.

Taste: Sugary sweet rum, fruit, raisins and pine and bubblegum hops.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer. Warming alcohol.

Drinkability: It is definitely a strong Barley wine and a sipping beer but itt is as drinkable as any big beer. Very enjoyable.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to gkatsoris for this gem.

Poured from the bottle a murky copper color almost like tea, with a smooth cream colored head.

Rich aroma of caramel, pine, and citrus. Very nice.

The taste is much like the aroma and nicely balanced. Huge taste of caramel malts, piney hops, and apricots. The alcohol is surprisingly well hidden.

Creamy mouthfeel, smooth, and moderately carbonated.

This barleywine from FFF has so much going for it. Perfectly balanced, rich and creamy, easy to drink, and so damn tastey. You'd never guess it was 12.5% ABV.

Photo of thydarkprevails
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle in a duvel glass.

Nice deep amber/copper color. One inch head that lingers and never quite completely goes away. Nice lacing.

The aroma is fruity. I picked up pineapple, plum, citrus, and mild alcohol. This beer is well hopped.

The flavor is instantly sweet with a great hop burst. There are dark fruit flavors that mix with a slight toffee flavor and strong malt body. The alcohol is more apparent as the beer warms.

Overall this is an awesome barley wine and I will drink again and again. Probably my second favorite winter beer.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle (green wax). Poured from a bomber into a dimpled mug. Deep, slightly hazed amber pour with a thin and creamy beige cap. The aroma drips with fruitiness - from mango, to peaches, to apricot, to pear. Also in the nose, bready caramel malts some alcohol, and a massive amount of hops. But it is the tropical fruit note that makes this really special! Taste includes loads of fresh tropical fruit like mango, melon, and other fruits, piney bitter hops balance perfectly, and lead to sweet caramel towards the finish, with the alcohol not all that detectable. Chewy, resiny finish with loads of tropical fruit and lingering bitterness. Creamy full body with soft carbonation throughout. Probably one of the best American barleywines I ever had as I am not a fan of the style. This beer was yet another Three Floyds hallmark in terms of flavor - great aroma, body, use of "sugar" in taste, and finish.

Photo of ckeegan04
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Caramel in color and very hazy. A thin off-white head caps the beer and quickly fades to an even thinner ring around the edge. Leaves a nice thin sheet of lace on the glass though.

S - Big sweet caramel and brandy notes. Very boozy. A citrus hoppiness is present as well. Everything in the nose is big but it all seems to play off each other well.

T - Light caramel sweetness quickly overcome by a taste of alcohol soaked fruits. An interesting mix of raisins, peach, and a little citrus. The alcohol is very present throughout with a nice warming feel to it. An excellent mix of tastes.

M/D - Medium bodied with a sticky, resinous feel. For the sttle, this is very high on the drinkability scale. Quite the sipper.

Photo of Brez07
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing from notes. 2009 version (blue wax) poured into a snifter

A: Pours a dark ruby, somewhat cloudy. Initially there is a 1/2 fingers worth of head. Decent retention of a thin layer

S: Pretty much what a barleywine should smell like. Notes of caramel malt, an occasional whiff of coconut and hints of bread, citrus and candied sugar (or brown, as the bottle would indicate). Hops leave a trace to let you know they were there at some point

T: Very similar to the nose. The caramel, bread and sugar mixed wonderfully. Citrus and slight hop bitterness provide the finish

M: Very smooth, creamy. Full bodied. Touch of bitterness briefly lingers on the tongue after each sip

D: Damn fine barleywine in my book. I've never had this fresh, but after 1+ years of aging it tastes delicious. Alcohol was not much of an issue, but I did split the bottle

Photo of doughanson78
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 yellow wax Ohio vintage. Huge thanks to bhollas for this.

A: Medium amber with a yellowish orange tint, I'm guessing from the blonde. Two finger light tan head with awesome retention and great lacing.

S: That big citrus hop astringency. Grapefruit and pine. Some deep toasted toffee and caramel malts come through. Typical barleywine aromas but nice and solid.

T: Caramel and toffee dominate this one. Not a lot of age on it but the earthy citrusy hops have meshed well with the sweet caramel and toffee flavors. Very nice. Alcohol comes through slightly in the finish.

M: Medium light body. Lower carbonation. Medium creaminess. Alcohol burn in the throat.

O: Very good barleywine. Seems like it has age well in the year its had. Would love to have this with a few years on it.

Photo of ChadQuest
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a Yellow Wax bottle, making it 4 years, 3 months old at time of drinking.

A-Pours a hazy dark copper color with a quickly disapating finger of head. some lacing.

S&T-sweet caramel, floral, apricot mango and dark fruits, The citrus and piney hops have faded to but a gentle whisper that melds everything together. unbelieveable. Light kiss of alcohol...and this is 12.5%.

M- Insanely smooth, creamy and buttery palate wrapping sensation.

D- it only saddens me to think i can't regularly consume 2 bombers of this often. I think i could. at 12.5...i just can't believe it.

I haven't had this beer fresh yet,now i need to so i have a compareson for this aged one. I'm so glad i have another Yellow Seal in the Cellar! I can't speak for this beer fresh, but go buy some and forget about them for a while.

Photo of degerbah
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Mike for helping me out with this one. The smell is a tremendous amount of hops woth a sweet malt undertone. Pours cloudy and thick with almost no head. This beer just screams high abv. This is an extremely drinkable barleywine for something so strong. Slightly over-sweet but this is a very slight trait and I'm diggong to find something I don't like. It might be a little overpriced for a beer. But at 12.5% it's a party starter that will do. I'd buy it if it were available without me having to drive a few hours.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 release, acquired from brewcrew76, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a murky light brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, brown sugar, citrus, hops and a little alcohol.

T: The taste is malty but not overly sweet with flavors of brown sugar, caramel, citrus and other fruits. It might have lost some of the hops edge but there's still enough of it to provide a good balance, especially for such a high-octane beer. There are a lot of flavors rotating around harmoniously which keeps the beer quite intriguing. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, deceptive and very strong kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent high-gravity beer to drink for as long as you are able.

Behemoth Blonde Barleywine from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,574 ratings.