Three Guy Off The Scale Barley Wine | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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Three Guy Off The Scale Barley WineThree Guy Off The Scale Barley Wine

Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 15.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by scottoale on 01-25-2009

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Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 169
Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served ice cold out of a chiller @ Lunar brewing, while waiting for a guitar preformance from the owner of Lagunitas.

A - Dark mahagony with two fingers of off white head, that laces with good retention.

S - Very nice and sweet, vanilla, mellon, brown sugar, very rich and bourbon-y.

T - Starts out with lots of cherry and fig fruitiness. Tannin like oakyness and a very nice driness that balences out the dark desertlike malty sweetness in the midpalate. The hops and alcohol have a perfect balence that dries out the finish, and leaves a medicinal quality that does not seem out of place at all in the beer. Cherry and oak linger forever in the finish.

M - Syrupy, thick, silky, perfect.

D - This is one of those beers I would love to drink with any wine drinker who has yet to discover what craft beer is. A crowning acheavement for American brewers. Balenced, focused, complex, just a great beer!

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Photo of scottoale
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I must say that this brew is, what it the scale!!! 12oz. brown long-neck bottle with a single glossy, half-wrap art-sy colorful label and the cap covered in a reddish-brown wax.

It pours into my Duvel tulip a slightly murky, deep coppery red with nearly a finger of sticky beige head. A fine looking hefty ale.

The smell is just awesome, with a huge malty slap to the nostrils, followed by a boat load of alcohol...make that a ship load of alcohol. Sweet rich malty big ass beautiful nose to this ale.

The taste bigger than the smell, with a huge malt bill that explodes with flavor. Chewy thick raw sweet malt with carmel, raisen, molasses, fig, plum, candi sugar and enough alcohol to run the 1/4 mile in a Top-Fuel Dragster. This is one of the best tasting barleywines I've ever had, and I've tasted many. I don't know the vintage on this one, but it can't get any better in my book, even if the brewery claims it will. Truly impressed with this brew.

Full body with perfect carbonation, smooth and chewy in the mouth, 15% ABV and a flavor that I wish would never end...awesomely drinkable, too say the least. I can't thank hoppymeal enough for throwing this in on a trade...IOU bigtime!

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Photo of brdc
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
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 GuyFawkes
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
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 Blakaeris
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours cloudy caramel brown with a slight head that quickly becomes a thin ring.

Aroma is sweet dark fruit soaked in alcohol, brown sugar, slightly woody, with juicy citrus hop.

Taste is sweet candied sugar up front. Tons of caramel malt and brown sugar. Amazingly smooth. Resinous citrus hop and a pleasant dry vanilla oakiness. Finish is smooth citrus and warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Smooth and slick.

This is a tasty treat. The flavor is quite smooth and understated. I expected a monstrously big beer for the ABV, but this is so smooth and dangerously drinkable it's scary.

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Photo of GreenWBush
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

All the previous reviews i've read seem to imply that this beer is a booze-bomb. I strongly disagree, citing the possibilities that:

1) I got a well-aged, well-tended bottle.
2) I drink so many hot beers this one seemed mellow by comparison.

Anyways, this beer evacuates into my goblet a near Kool-Aid electric scarlett. Sizable head for the style, and great wispy clouds of lace on the sides of the glass...progress rings.

Nose is full of liquefied raisins. Toffee, nuts, pinecones, figs, alco-hop tincture. Gumballs, and hugely malty English Barleywine lovin'.

Taste is amazing. Oaky, gooey glue, heavenly malt-meat that climbs through a hop-molasses jungle. Raisins and chocolate intermingled. YUM. Amazingly balanced between heavy caramel sweetness and boozy hop-burn.

Mouthfeel falls in the DH profile of being softly carbonated, almost cask-like. This really brings out the flavors, unlike say BF's carbonation which washes them out. Great.

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Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My favorite barleywine.

Pours dark amber. Head leaves a nice ring with decent lacing. Smells of raisins, grapes, and a sweet alcohol undertone. Tastes of brown sugar, rum, pine, plums and alcohol with the amazingly good yet rough bitterness that I've only seen in Dark Horse's bigger offerings. Low but balanced carbonation, it's great with this beer.

I'll be sad when my stash runs out.

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Photo of bashiba
4.59/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice dark brown with some light ruby highlights, a light thin ring of head.

Huge smell, sweet molasses, brown sugar and raisons to go along with a touch of cedar and oak.

Flavor is surprisingly smooth after the huge smell. A nice bit of toffee, molasses, chocolate, and dark fruits at first then a huge blast of juniper hops takes over leaving a long lasting lingering bit of pine and a touch of sweet alcohol.

Mouthfeel is thick and oily with a nice bit of carbonation zip and a ton of warmth.

Drinkablity is scary for a beer this big! The Dark horse site lists this beer at 15%, its almost hard to believe as easy as it is to drink.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.59/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one is a deep, dark brown color. Kind of murky looking. It doesn't really look black, but not much light gets through. A very slight brown head recedes to a thin rimming in seconds. Sparse lace is left. Very nice aroma of resinous hops and sweet carmelized malts. And wafts of cherry and dough accent to perfection. There's an obvious presence of ethanol upon first sipping. But after further sips, it becomes obvious that within the context of this beer, it fits in just fine. There's a rummy and raisiny character throughout. Sweet caramel malts and brown sugar blend to form a sweet backbone for the hops and alcohol spice to work. The hops not only balance, but provide some resiny, piney tones to the mix. Fruity tones of cherry, plum and melon complete this portfolio. And a very nice one at that. The mouthfeel is low on carbonation, but appropriate. The body's about medium.

Thanks for the great Old Ale/Barleywine Marburg.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Liquid spills a wickedly dark blood in the shadows. Headless to the point of only bubbles squirting from the neck. Windy and scrapy splattered lace is left on the windows.

The stick and stink of the days' heat still slumbers here as the nightly cloaked mist of darkened fruit intangles plum and black cherry heat, fleeced and rising from the ashes of a heavy cigar recently smoked to the ring; filling an alumnium can that has the top torn off...Freshly lacquered pine tar persists from the area as the rooftops nearby are still drying after a long summers' day work.

Bold clues to the violation insight the heat may have had something to do with it. Heavy and thick dark caramel sit on a tar stained chair. Smoke still clings to the ceiling. Pine resin tried to escape the area but never got far as it was far too heavy and bitterly soaked with dark plummy deposits. Massive amounts of residue lead to more tar and pine thats been soaked through to the surface.

The air sits thick and rich with smoke. Heat still remains from the day. Smooth currents of air breeze by, but you still need to remove your hat to let some short soothing time aid you until you finally wipe the salty, full, dark fruits from your brow as you examine more of the "why". But that doesn't help, as the beads continue to break and the heat just won't cool off this night. Unforgiving to the point of swimming in over your very own thoughts. Succulant pine tar dances into the mind with thick finger prints left on the palate.

The pieces finally come together when you find empty, big brown bottles along the window sill. It seems as if 3 guys were enjoying themselves with conversation and ribbing when the heat finally consumed them and sent them out looking for more of the passionate heat that drove them to empty those exact same bottles.

More clues arise as the liquid found was not as it seemed. Someone of the 3 had spilled the very treat they were enjoying and left without haste to supply the demand needed to forget the very woes of working on the rooftops that day.

Your "mentor" was helpful enough to provide some of the adequate evidence to proclude that the 3 guys were only off the scale from the apparent lack of thirst and supply of said liquid needed to get by... until the next day.

This kind of event will make the old seem young and young seem old. A twist of life, a fleeting moment; memory, ...will I remember... Will anybody?

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a bright red-mahogany color with a quarter inch beige head.

Aroma of caramel malts, raisins, and a bit of booze.

A big taste of sweet caramel malts smacks the palate with the first sip. Brown sugar, raisins, and the warm hug of alcohol follows.

Full bodied, rich and syrupy, with a light carbonation.

A damned nice barleywine from Dark Horse. Almost perfect - a tad too hot with the booze is my only pick.

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Photo of DoctorDog
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Big thanks to beveritt for sharing this extraordinary little treasure.

A- Very deep copper to mahogany color, and translucent. Sturdy pour produces only a flash of tan head, which fades quickly into nothing more than some oily streaks. No lacing noted.

S- Very sweet and fruity....raisins and dark fruits abound. Caramel / brandy notes. Moderate amount of booziness present, but not overpowering at all when considering the 15% ABV.

T- A rush of sweetness dominates at first. Fruity and lightly syrupy, with molasses and raisins pushing to the top of the list, caramel hints roll around the back of the mouth. Moderate/high bitterness. Alcohol is quite present, as expected, but is still well integrated. Pretty impressive.

M- Moderate-low carbonation. Fairly body. Slightly syrupy, but does not seem to detract. Smooth. Moderate alcohol warming presence.

D- Considering the 15% ABV, absolutely extraordinary. I know this should be a slow sipper, but it is going down quite pleasantly and easy....If I had more than one of these, it could be an early lights out...

Future outlook: Hmmm, this beer will definitely be one to cross the border into Indiana to get...
This was quite and extraordinary high ABV barleywine, and I hope to get my hands on it again.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
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 erosier
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
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 garbercury
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
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 woosterbill
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
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 beveritt
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a large snifter. Label is a blur of colors, your guess is as good as mine as to what it is. Picked this up while visiting Indiana a few months ago. Surprised that only 6 people have reviewed it. No freshness date that I can see, but this one really doesn't need one.

Appearance: Pours with just shy of 1 finger of medium tan head. This settles to a ring around the glass and an ever refreshing island of foam above the nucleation site. Very little lacing. The beer itself is a very dark mahogany, dark enough to make it opaque. Some sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Very strong aroma, the kind you can smell while it is sitting on the desk. Dark fruits like raisins and figs dominate. Hints of soy sauce show up too.

Taste: Sweet malt upfront, very caramely with hints of toffee and cherries. Long,lingering raw sugar sweetness with a medium hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is very good.

Drinkability: I know it is the middle of summer, but I have been craving barleywines lately. Maybe I am just yearning for the end of the heat and the cool crisp days of fall. This one is a hot and I look forward to more Dark Horse stuff showing up in Ohio, but unfortunately our ridiculous ABV cap will keep this one out.

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Photo of gford217
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to James for this one, a 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

This one pours clear amber with hints of red, though not quite copper, with a smallish tan head that recedes quickly to a bubbly collar and a small swirl of bubbles in the middle. Lacing is minimal though the beer leaves some legs after each sip.

The aroma is wonderful on this one. it's certainly more in the English BW vicinity as there aren't any hops to speak of in the nose. What there is loads of is deep, sweet caramel malts with tons of dark fruits, raisins especially. There's some brown sugar as well which leaves this super rich and sweet in the nose.

The taste doesn't let me down at all and follows the aroma fairly closely. The sweetness is completely dominant with caramel malts, toffee and loads of sugar-coated fruits. The booze makes its presence felt in the finish, as it's tough to hide the entirety of the 12.2% ABV.

The mouthfeel is slick and fairly full-bodied with low, soft carbonation and almost gets cloying, but not quite.

Well, this is certainly not an American Barleywine, but it's one hell of a beer and I'm thoroughly impressed. It's much more an English BW with the huge caramel malt backbone with little in the way of hops and heavy on the sweetness. A great dessert sipper.

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Photo of domtronzero
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
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 GbVDave
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a cloudy rusty-brown/blood orange color. Capping this is a bubbly, light khaki colored wafer of foam that leaves some random spots of lace.

S: Huge sweet caramel-y malt aroma. Also noticed were scents of tobacco, caramel apples, raisin, and hot boozy alcohol.

T: See above. Sweet, juicy, and rich homemade caramel flavors with some fruity hops, raisin, molassas, the aforementioned apple, tobacco, and alcohol flavors.

M: Very sweet, sticky, and smooth through most of the mouthfeel. Towards the end of the middle and through the finish does this wait to dry out and begin to get boozy.

D: Considering that this baby is packing 15% I thought the drinkability was excellent. Mind you, I don't think I could do much more than one in a session, but that one sure goes down easy!

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Photo of SaucyA
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Rich, dark brown body with a quickly dissapating off white head. Still has a nice layer of foam til the last sip. Slight lacing down my giant snifter. Looks like a damned tasty malty beast.

S - Dark red fruits, sundried fruits, alcohol, brandy, yeast. Underlying caramel malts dance about.

T - This is such a wonderful tasting brew. Tons of toffee, caramel, alcohol, nicely hopped finish. Reminds me slightly of 4th Dementia but actually with more complexities.

M - Creamy, thick body, with ample carbonation.

D - Big ol' ABV on this puppy, but I can't stop knocking these back. I'm on my third since the release and they keep getting better.

Notes: Really glad they released 3 Guys this year. There were talks of it not making it to shelves, and quite frankly, it was a lot of work getting any sort of substantial amount of it. The work of the brewers paid off with a fantastic beer... just not a whole lot of it.

Another note: The wax they use on these bottles is pretty hardcore. Be prepared.

Third note: This has a really ugly label. Seriously, CrookedMike, what the hell is it?

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Photo of Gehrig
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lush caramel brown-ruby body with a thin tan patch of foam that quickly clears the way. Dense malty aroma filled with molasses, raisin, fig and plum--an excellent barleywine smell. More malty than hopped, the fruit emerges more strongly in the taste--fig, raisin, a bit of citrus--intertwined with molasses. 3 Guys has a good sweet-and-sour interchange that's easy to like.

The mouthfeel is a bit more difficult for me to judge, not because I don't like it but rather because I'm not sure how much I like it. It is here that I am reminded how much I enjoy a strong, dense hopped mouthfeel and with that 3 Guys would have complemented the splendid malt component with a bit more hops. They're there, but to me more hops would take this barleywine from very good to outstanding. As it is, coating the tongue with its dense malt is certainly a good thing and quite enjoyable. I may be nitpicking, and others may find this to be just right. Nonetheless, I think 4.5 for the mouthfeel is just right. The drinkability is rated as such not because it's difficult to enjoy, but rather the very high ABV (12.2%) certainly catches up in the second half of this very good beer.

One of the better beers I've had lately without question, 3 Guys is a very good barleywine--rich, smooth, somewhat complex, and very strong. Dark Horse has become one of my very favorite breweries, yet again producing an impressive beer that is more than worth stocking up on.

Terrific stuff.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
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 BigMcLargeHuge
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 vintage courtesy of RB's own footbalm. Bomber pours clear copper with thin head. The aroma is rich creamy and yummy. I get creamy candy caramel, some dark fruity esters, some alcohol and a bit of vanilla. Amazing and interesting. The taste is the same as the aroma with chewy sticky maltiness, a bit of pine flavor non hop bitterness, caramel goodness and a nice warming sensation. This brew has aged greacefully. Wonderful stuff.

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Photo of benmiliron
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gift from Rob. Thanks Rob. Trying this one on the coldest day of the year so far. It's 1:30 pm and only 5 degrees outside.

Waxed cap was irritating. Had to melt some of it off with a lighter. Thick pour. Not much head to speak of but not too vigorous a pour. Color is nice - Deep orange with a lot of bright red. Big bubble streaming through. Way too cold right now to do a proper taste. Will wait a few...

Wow. Complex but not overwhelming barleywine. Very sweet, grapes, alcohol, raisins, some sourness, some heat from the alcohol. Good hop balancing the sweetness. Nice beer. Very nice beer.

Mouthfeel is a little hot from the alcohol but the gravity is nice and the carbonation not biting at all.

This is a great barleywine.

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Three Guy Off The Scale Barley Wine from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 169 ratings.
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