Three Guy Off The Scale Barley Wine
Dark Horse Brewing Company

Three Guy Off The Scale Barley WineThree Guy Off The Scale Barley Wine
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American Barleywine
Ranked #57
Ranked #5,085
4.07 | pDev: 12.29%
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Three Guy Off The Scale Barley WineThree Guy Off The Scale Barley Wine
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Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 169
Photo of GuyFawkes
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2008 vintage; drank 11/5/15 @ Sheffield's.

Muddy brown/purple appearance.

Almost no khaki head; no lace.

Raisin, leather & plum notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Raisin, plum & leather flavors up front; smooth caramel notes on the finish. Incredibly, no booze heat. This has aged into a complementary melange of strong flavors. Delicious!

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.59/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pour is dark copper with red notes and a thin light tan head. Nose is strong caramel, brown sugar, notes of apple skin and a hint of darker malt. Taste is more malt forward, a little bit more depth. Some apple skin sweetness with a hint of heat in the finish. Medium body with strong carbonation and a prickly feel.

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Photo of Dope
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 756 of 1440, batch # 1826

A: Pours a dark, murky reddish-brown. Pour is flat so zero head and zero lacing. Just a tiny smattering of bubbles on the surface from the pour itself.

S: Big stinging boozy aroma. Rum-like spices with lots of caramel and raisin. Kinda reminds me of a big brandy or something. Just stinging sweet dark fruits all the way through.

T: Whew, this is a big one. Thick syrupy caramel and toffee. Super sweet candied dark fruits. Primarily raisin but fig is quite strong too. Not super sour but there is a bit of that element in the middle with a brief hit of tart dark fruits. Aroma is boozy but the taste is not, oddly enough. You can tell it's a big one but there's no alcohol sting anywhere. Mildly tart dark fruits linger between sips.

M: Thick and heavy. Borderline syrup. No carbonation enhances the effect. Not sure if it's a positive or a negative to be honest.

O: One of the most unique brews I've had. Maybe only the third intentionally flat beer I've ever tried, and this one is a sour barleywine/old ale to boot. The aroma was a bit frightening but it's 90% a big, super sweet english barleywine that's also uncarbonated. A little hard to drink, mainly a sipper for sure (thankfully this is only in a 16.9 ounce bottle but I think even 12 would be too much). Very unique, very complex, very strong, quite tasty I will say.

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Photo of CruisaC
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this in a trade. Thanks Totoropanda

Pours relatively flat, but some bubbles make their way up to form some carbonation. Dark, dark amber in color.

Booze soaked raisins. What I expect when I sniff a barleywine.

Dark fruit, raisins, malts, toffee. Delicious.

Mouthfeel shines. Thick, but goes down easy. I don't say this much, but NO booze on this guy. Other than my face getting a little warm, you'd never know this thing packs a punch.

Dark Horse, please brew this again. If you put it in a barrel I don't know what I'd do. Glad to have tried this one.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone 15th Anniversary glass on 5/15/12

Not sure what vintage this is; I bought in in 2009.

Pours a dull brown, but takes a pretty ruby hue once in the glass. The one thumb head disappears at a moderate rate, leaving behind a large island of bubbles, collar retention and lots of lace.

The nose is all over the place; various aromatics come and go. Some highlights are notes of prune, raisin, fig, plum, caramel, butter toffee, mildly spiced bread, tomato paste, oxidation, leather, overtones of booze, and stray hints of fruits, a la blackberry and dark cherry.

The flavor takes a lean toward the sweet side, but doubles back for a drier finish. Hints of candied fruits quickly meld with the sugary flavors of fig, prune, raisin, toffee, caramel and sweet bread. The middle is fleshed out before tapering off with residual, earthy hop decay. Hints of rum as the beer warms up. The progression from sweet to dry is very enjoyable.

The feel is medium-full with a penchant for alcohol slickness. Indeed, this beer isn't shy of booziness; it has a warming feel that begins early on and builds throughout. Carbonation is low, making for a rather smooth sipping experience.

I bought three bottles of this at the end of a brief stop at Dark Horse while traveling from Ferndale, MI (by way of Waterford) to Chicago, IL for back-to-back Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 shows. If I recall correctly, I bought the last three bottles they had for sale; enjoyed one shortly thereafter and was sitting on the other two... until tonight. Check it out, and pick up a copy of Goodnight Oslo while you're at it.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to whoever opened this one (Tony?).

A: Slightly hazy chestnut body with a wispy tan head. Standard, but good.

S: Sweet, in both malty and hoppy ways. Some tropical hops accent the cakey, toffeeish malt. Very rich, and only lightly boozy. Great.

T: Follows the nose - fruity hops up front, rich toffee and caramel malt thereafter. Very sweet, very rich, very good.

M: Creamy, medium-full body with plenty of soft carbonation. Great.

O: Wow, I had no idea until just now (typing up my handwritten review) that this beer was 15% - it drank like 10%! Amazing Barleywine. I continue to be impressed by Dark Horse.


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Photo of Gushue3
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

long time want poured into Hill Farmstead bulb.

A Very small head forms and quickly dissipates leaving no lacing and a few bubbles around the rim of the glass. Body is a cherry red, mahogany color and looks nice.

S gigantic sweet malt and dark fruits take off in the nose. sweeter almost bubblegum scent come through. Theres a hearty bready malt. Really sweet scent that has a ton goin on.

T Big time sweetness that carries from the front to the back. sweeter dark fruits like figs and plums poke their heads out toward the middle as well as some lighter mandarin orange. The finish is slightly bittersweet, heavier on the sweet. Nice flavors

M Absolutely flat with a thicker feel on the tongue and leaves my mouth feeling sticky.

O Nice stuff going on inside this bottle, wish I had another one. I also with there was a date on the bottle to know how old it was. No hop presence whatsoever and the flavors tasted awesome for an aged American BW. ISO 3GOTSBW

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ruby colored, almost candy like reddish amber color being presented in front of me. There was a touch of haze to it, but not as much as I expected. Some light carbonation could be seen struggling up to reach the surface. T

Some tobacco was clearly evident, giving it a musky sort of aroma, light hints of alcohol, candied sugar and apples coming through. As it warmed some hints of an oaky sort came out. The flavor was really well done I have to admit. Super smooth, with just the lightest of carbonation, it struggled not to tip too far into the syrup side of things, but
may have in fact landed there in the end. Very sweet, with hardly any alcohol being noticed in here, I was quite impressed. Rich candied apple notes were abound in here, with hints of caramel and honey as well. Some light floral notes in the finish, and that musky tobacco like taste, that I could almost construe to be a weird type of spice to be honest. As it warmed any trace of the alcohol was gone, and it became a syrup laden sweet candied treat

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Scoobydank for hooking me up with this gem.
A: Poured a deep reddish-orange color with a small white head and good carbonation.

S: Nose is sweet with caramel, big hops, alcohol and floral notes.

T: Taste is thick, lighlty boozy but not as big as the ABV would let on. Lots dark fruits,caramel and sugar sweetness here with floral hop notes.

M: Motuhfeel is big, chewy and very coating.
Vintage 2009

A: This beer has turned into a deep mahogany with little carbonation

S: Sweet caramel, toffee, faded hops and booze

T: Big does of once faded once killer floral hops, sweet caramel, toffee, dark fruit element is light, perhaps some once upon a time apricots. Booze has calmed down but a sticky, sweet element remains, some Earthiness.

M: Big body and well done

O: Most excellent! Better now rthan it was in 2009.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to AleWatcher for this one. It's slipped by me a couple times so I'm glad to finally have one.

Drank in two parts, poured in a small Mikkeller flute. I'm not sure of the age on this one, or when it was last brewed, but something tells me that this bottle has at least a few years on it.

If I'm honest, this beer is an ogre. Its a murky, rust water reddish brown. It pours out looking really thick, and once its in the glass, leaves thick coating and legs. The head is ample for a thick, 15% abv barleywine but eventually fades all the way to nothing as spots of lace slide back down the glass.

Very interesting and much more tame than I expected. I had my self braced for a walloping of alcohol and booze soaked caramel and perhaps a truck load of hops. But things are very well integrated and tame. The alcohol is a DAMN shy of smelling like the 15% mark. This bottle has to be old. The main smells come together and smell a lot like bread pudding. Raisins, rum, cinnamon, figs, cherries and a light whiff of alcohol. At one point I was pulling out a very minty aroma which was interesting and quite pleasant. Caramel apples and toffee ride though the aroma all the while.

Very dense and rich on notes of fruitcake and rum soaked figs, raisins, plums and cherries. The booze is very, very tame. I expected to be breathing fire after sipping this stuff. In fact, I blew out the candle that was lit next to me for fear of igniting my breath. But instead my throat was greeted by a very well integrated, softened beer. There are lots of the caramel apple notes that were so prevalent in the aroma. On my second glass I was getting a few flavors of oxidation. I'm not sure why they waited till the second half of the bottle to peak out, perhaps it was temperature or maybe it had something to do with the dregs of the beer. At any rate, this oxidation wasn't extreme and nearly added to the flavor profile of the beer.

Not very hot, given the huge ABV. It stayed very reserved and smooth. Its a very thick beer with a long, densely sweet finish.

This bottle had been aged for some time and it had been aged properly. Everything came together well here. The only hint of the ABV was how I felt after this bottle. Big thanks Jeff!

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Photo of HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


2008 batch received as an extra in a trade with OHLRangers in early 2009. Thank you Ed! This has been cold stored at about 45 degrees since I received it. Poured into a snifter.

A: A hard pour reveals a deep maroonish brown body with a modest creamy beige head. Nice color.

S: Dates, toffee, bready malt, plum, brown sugar, and prune. There's a bit of earthiness, and booze is pretty tame for the strength. There's a faint citrus presence that's redolent of orange and grapefruit, and pine is subtle. Just a dash of oxidation is apparent. Smells very nice.

T: Flavor opens brown sugary sweet with toffee and caramel notes. Bitterness is at a lower moderate level and lends some balance to the sweetness. The beer is pretty boozy, but it fits well with the theme and isn't detracting. Dark fruit notes are of plum and prune, and there's a bit of date and fig in there as well. Finish is boozy and brown sugary sweet with a restrained bitterness and ample warming.

M: Upper medium - lower end of full in body with an upper low carbonation. Mouthfeel is silky, smooth, and sticky.

Overall: A hefty but nice American Barleywine. A sweet sipper.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark Horse 3 Guy Off The Scale (Barley Wine) pours up with a light effervescence that creates a wafer-thin, Irish cream colored head that just rings the bright, deep mahogany-rufous colored body. The head retention is most certainly retarded by the alcohol! This one even shows a few legs that cling to the side of the glass. The bold, complex aromatics reveal an intense caramel maltiness supplemented by a pleasant fruitiness (citrus salad, dried apricots, orange marmalade) and a vinous strength as it warms. The bold flavor starts off a bit cloying with plenty of upfront caramel (buttered toffee, muscovado sugar) & honey (buckwheat) notes underscored by a touch of toasty nuttiness (roasted cashews, peanut brittle) which layers into the overall malt complexity before a commanding bitterness takes over to drive this one home to a slightly spicy, rich, lingering bittersweet, powerful warming finish that's dominated by the wallop! This full bodied American barleywine could use a touch more carbonation, but otherwise is a perfect companion to sip by the hearthside. This Dark Horse barleywine is certainly "Off the Scale!"

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of sweemzander
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. I believe this is from 2008.

(A)- Pours a cloudy reddish brown with orange highlights. Produced some off-white froth that dissipated down to bubbles, but at 15%ABV, I wasnt expecting alot in that regard. A beautiful color to it.

(S)- A rich yet delicate profile. Mountains of toffee, fig, cherry, caramel, prune, and a honeyed finish. A treasure trove of malty pleasures. Only a minor/subtle boozy warmth.

(T)- Just like the smell in just about every way. A rich, yet smooth and complex malty paradise full of toffee, fig, cherry, caramel, prune, and a honeyed aftertaste. A bit of a more pronounced boozy warmth, but is still restrained well.

(M)- A good carbonation level, that, is lower than most, but it fits. A great balance of sweet and rich flavors with almost no bitterness or bite to it except in the mild boozy bite that is really integrated well into the body of the beer.

(D)- A great barleywine that has would continue to stand the test of time. Still though, a very strong beer that demands sipping for maximum enjoyment. It took me awhile to finish my glass, but it was a great journey through it. Dark Horse needs to brew a new batch of this pronto, cause it has been awhile since they have!

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Photo of garbercury
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage, lets party...

A--Reddish brown, with minimal lacing...

S--Wow, this smells great, so great, raisins, cherries, tobacco, chocolate, etc...superior.

T--Same lines as above, a "little" boozy, but so tasty.

M--Smooth, good MF

D--15% how drinkable is it? VERY! YEAH!

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Photo of gordavidson
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this bottle as a gift from my local beer retailer over a year ago.

A- A deep ruby orange liquid that is nearly clear. The head is very thin and lacy. A bit on the dead-looking side.

S- Caramel, with a touch of cotton candy and ketchup (not in a bad way). Very subdued for the style and especially for the ABV.

T- Very sweet and rich caramel malt, cherries, cranberries, and figs. Cotton candy on the finish. There is some alcohol presence, but not nearly as much as I would have expected considering the alcohol content.

M- Sticky and think with a carbonation presence that is only noticeable on the finish. There are some strong residual flavors as well. The alcohol warmth is noticeable, but not unpleasant.

D- A very well done take on the style. Beast-like, but very agreeable. One of the more memorable and enjoyable barleywines I have had the pleasure to indulge in.

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Photo of domtronzero
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - clear dark ruby brown. Red highlites on the edges. Small, long lasting, creamy tannish head. Tons of lacing.

S - Huge sweet malts, caramel, dark ripe fruits. Raisins and plums, nice alcoholic booze aroma. Smells really good.

F/M - Again, huge malt complexity. Sweet with caramel and bready malts with a light toast crusty flavor. Ripe dark fruits and sweet appley fruity esters. Medium bitterness with moderate piny hops. Full bodied oily and slick with a moderate carbonation. Pleasant alcoholic dry finish, without being astringent. Lingering candy sweetness.

D - This is a superb barleywine Definitely going back on my Wants list. Smooth and huge, boozy but delicious. Pretty easy drinking and nice and full. World class.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.77/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a snifter. Color is a moderate caramel-copper color with some orange notes. Small white head that quickly dissipates into nothing. Nose is pretty strong booze with good notes of caramel, sweet malt, and fruit. The taste is a bit boozy, though not terribly so given the ABV. Good fruit presence. The feel is where the booze gets it, as it's hot even for its alcohol level. Drinks fairly well, but probably needs to rest for a long time.

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Photo of erosier
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a nice caramel brown color with hints of some red with a short but medium bodied tan colored head that fades quickly to a ring around the beer with little lacing left behind.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, some caramelized malts, vinous fruits and more dark fruits.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted and caramelized malts, then a big vinous and dark fruit taste to it: plums, raisins, cherry. Finishes up with a touch of hops.
M: Very full flavored, not as thick as expected, very high abv but was not very detectable.
D: Very drinkable especially for its gravity.

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Photo of mothman
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle with red wax on it. Not sure of the vintage.

Poured into Old Guardian snifter.

Pours 1/2 finger of fizzy tan head. Fades down to a ring. Light lace left. Color is a very hazed copper brown with an extreme ruby hue to it. Very nice color.

Aroma: Cherry/ sherry flavors. Sweet and malty. Some caramel malt. Has some light booze and oak flavors.Has some dark dried fruits. Plums, raisins. This one is smelling very good.

Taste: A lot more booze here than the nose would suggest. The high abv shows here quite a bit. Sweet, rich, and malty. Lots of dark dried fruit flavors. Plums, cherries, and raisins all present. Caramel malt with some oak flavors and heat. Pretty solid bwine.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, rich, and warming. Reminds me a bit of an old ale. Full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation, but alright for the beer. Ends very malty with some booze.

Overall, this is a pretty solid bwine. It has a lot of great flavors, shows a little heat, and seems to fit the style well while going over the top for the abv. Really glad I had a chance to try this one. Decently drinkable.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the cellar that I never marked - so really no idea of the age on this one. Pours into my glass a deep garnet with a wisp of khaki bubbles on top that fades away. Good bubbly carbonation still. Aromas kick off with a bold mix of caramel, sherry and deep dark fruits. Raisins and figs with a touch of chocolate as well. Big malt sweetness.

First sip is a cornucopia of maltiness. Caramel, cherry, sherry and a wealth of dark fruit flavors roll across the palate. A touch of fig, raisin and chocolate as it flows down along with a bitter hop kick. Sweetness is quite present here and I'm not the biggest fan of that, however overall this is a bold, flavor packed barleywine. ABV makes itself known as well!

Mouthfeel is rather viscous and a bit syrupy as well. Good carbonation. A little bit heavy on the sweet side for me personally. Overall, a pretty solid barleywine and definitely a heavy hitter on the ABV. Good sipper for the evening. This could have easily aged another 5 to 10 years.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz waxed bottle. Last part of the Dark Horse tasting...pulled out of the cellar for enjoyment by all.

A- Pours a lightly hazed amberish brown color. Light tan head about half a finger came and went pretty quickly. Some light lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Sweet caramel malts with dark fruits come rushing though the aroma. Some brandy like notes in the middle of the aroma. Someone said there was a little port quality to this that once I thought of I had to agree.

T- This drinks more like a English Barleywine right off the bat. Big sweet caramel malts and raisins in the front end of this. Big alcohol in the backend of this along with a toffee like taste. Caramelized sugars in the middle of this. Some darker fruits in the middle to ending of this as well. Overall a great English Style taste.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is low and goes well with this style. Syrupy in the mouth. Big darker fruits in the front and left on the palate with the alcohol buring in the aftertaste. Very drying but not in an annoying way.

D- A very nice drinking barelywine. I can't remember how old this bottle is...a couple of years and it did this beer nicely. I have a couple more that I'm glad I didn't drink yet.

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Photo of kirok1999
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear copper with no apparent head or lace. Still as night. Some nice sweetness in the nose along with a mild spice. Taste is sweet and smooth, much more like an English barleywine than an American. Mild spice makes it very interesting. Very long lasting finish, just a bit of hops. Nicely sweet and creamy, very smooth and easy to sip.

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Photo of brdc
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks OHLrangers for this one. Spent almost one year in my cellar, unsure how old it was before.

Small capped bottle, poured into a snifter. Reddish brown in color, small but long lasting tan head (more than expected for 15%), and good lacing throughout the glass.
This one smells and drinks like a powerful old ale, reminiscent of the best ones from Hair of the Dog. Malty and sweetish, caramel, molasses, brandy, port wine at times.
Thick and sirupy, with warming alcohol, lots of dark fruits, caramelized sugar, nuts.
Very impressive, never cloying, always satisfying.
Only problem is I did not see the 15% mark, and that one got me over the edge quite quickly, as it tastes like 10%
I had never been impressed with Dark Horse, but this one is an awesome sipper, great by the fire nightcap. Would love to get a few more. Barleywine or old ale, it is great either way.

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Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at cellar temp into a tulip glass.

Pretty sure this is the same "3 guys" as the Old Ale, just different text on the label. This bottle is a year and a half old at least. Review #1200

Gorgeous bright crimson copper color, a finger or so of tan foam tops it off with a vigorous pour. Awhile later its a bare crescent tracing the edge of the glass.

Sweet malty aroma, raisins and dates with a little brown sugar.

Flavor is big, syrupy and rich with toffee and raisin notes. Apple and cotton candy. A touch of bitterness in the back, amazingly the 15% is subdued by the aging. There are still traces of heat but it's well integrated. Dry aftertaste, lingering multigrain bread and caramel flavors.

Smooth sipper, perfect for the oncoming snow in the forecast :(

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Photo of slaintemhor
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got to try a bottle of this last summer. Maybe not the best time for barley wine, but.... The colour was a cloudy amber with no head at all. The aroma was quite hoppy (piney hops) with loads of caramel. On the palate, ultra sweet! Quite malty as well with loads of hops caramel, toffee, creme brulee and a delightfully loooong finish that lasts and lasts!

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Three Guy Off The Scale Barley Wine from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 169 ratings