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 beckje01
2.95/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Starts with a very fruity smell great nose really. Lots of heat when drinking this one, no age to find on the bottle. But ok balance, the rest tastes like its good but hard to tell with all the booze coming through somewhat overwhelming. My guess is this beer is still to hot and needs more time to age. I'm just not sure how old this bottle is this could be a very nice beer in a few years.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is definitely one of the malty barley-wines, versus those that carry a lot of hop heft. Appearance is a bit of a murky brown with some scummy tan head. Aroma is very malty with some mercaptan defect and flavor is that of a very bread-y, malty, liqueur. As I drank it, the mercaptan aroma I got built in my mouth, which was unflattering. Mouthfeel is dry and alcohol-astringent, and while my throat and chest are not my mouth, I'll mention in this part of the review that they burned a bit with each sip.

A little more cereal-y than I would've liked, and there is no hiding the alcohol in this one. If it were more liquor-like, I think I would enjoy it, or if it were hoppier, I think I would like it to. However it's sort of a bread-dough-bomb, and that I'm not a huge fan of.

I bought this bottle at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.02/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pour: what one would expect for the style, dirty brown, not much in the way of head. Clouded. The smell is both floral and malty, and very intense. Dark fruit...figs. Sugar. Appealing.

Taste, wow...aggressive to say the least. Very sweet, but also extremely malty with a hoppy edge that is almost pushing it over the top. Astringent almost, a very vinegar like aspect at spots. The finish is wildly hoppy and alcohol laced, extremely intense, probably the least shielded alcohol flavour I've ever had in a big beer and is probably too much. I like what they were trying to do with this beer, but I think it's too much for my mouth.

The mouthfeel on this one is thinner than I would have expected given the style and alchol content. Still, not below average because it delivers a lot of hop action. Drinkability is harsh though, this beer is absolutely huge and a thorough sipper.

I think this beer is just too young right now, and, like Rogue's Old Crusty, is additionally appealing to someone who likes hops more than I do. I imagine laying one of these down for a few years would bring things into better balance, but straight out of the bottle in its vintage year this one was too harsh for my prefs.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

After busting out my Swiss army knife to scrape off the dark red wax, this old ale introduces itself with a fuzzy dim maroon countenance topped with a handsome fluffy ivory dense bowl shaped cover that paints the glass with with a coating of foam.

Tart lemon meets a pancake malt nose with a twist of orange. Fruity sugesstions overall.

First swigs: Fruity melifluous mix of Christmas fruitcake. Seems to be a take it or leave it blend. Some lemon cake and a crispy pastry.

Feel is medium bodied dry that leaves a citrus linger.

Last swigs: Reviewed from 2 bottles snaggled-toothed at Three Floyds Dark Lord 4/29 and reviewed recently. Seems to miss the mark by a hair. Solid A for effort but didn't do it.

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Photo of kzoobrew
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up bottle at Tiffany's in Kalamazoo. UPC on bottle matched up to this years run. Dark Horse site showing this years offering at 15%.

Pours a red brown color with fluffy white head.

Smells of malts yeast and fruit.

This is a big flavor and definitely alot to handle. Thick and sweet. The alcohol is definitely warming. Very bready and yeasty. Carmel malt. Slight fruit behind all the other big flavors.

Everything about this brew is big. Mouthfeel is no exception. Big thick and chewy. Not at all harsh just alot to take in.

This is a one and done brew. If I pick up another bottle, it will be sitting down for a couple years. This brew may be at its best given time to rest. Will re-review this one when I can find a vintage.

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Photo of kohoutek
3.35/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A warm, brown, root beer barrel candy colored beer. A bit cloudy, is that wheat I smell? The head pours a yellowish white tempest, settling back into electron micrographers dreams. By the time the beer was gone the head was only the most faint white ring of tenacious, "I will not recede into the night", detriti-foam.

Aromas: carmelized sugar, honey, lots of banana and booze! Did I say, "lots of booze!"?

Flavors: booze, carmelized sugar, clover honey, butterscotch, currants, banana esters, slight diacetyl butter, slight papery oxidation, light malt. Nice clean bitterness - in balance. Perhaps this beers saviour.

Mouthfeel: lacking in integration. Incredibly pronounced flavors and aromas, but they are very singularly represented. Drink up quick, I believe the oxidation and diacetyl are likely to increase.

This beer is like a war being fought on multiple fronts with no communication. A retreat, in flavors, is likely.

I love Dark Horse beers! Did this one have fermentation/finishing issues?

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Photo of 0110x011
3.49/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this as an extra in a trade from... someone. can't actually remember. If you read this, speak up!

Pours dark ruby red into a snifter. Light, surprisingly spritzy head lasts about 15 seconds and fades away. Super thin collar left over. nose is very english-style barleywine. Caramel, toffee, sweet dark fruits, and butterscotch play heavily. Some tobacco and earth, along with piney hops add to the mix. A notable alcohol sting in there too. Serious fruit & sugar on the palate, mostly caramel, fig and plum. Some earthyness and hop presence in there, but it's mostly dominated by sweet malts. Boozy as well. It wears the 12% on its sleeve, for sure. Full mouthfeel, bordering on syrupy.

A tasty barleywine, but I'd like a bit more hop presence for balance, and the booze hurts drinkability. Good, but not something I'd actively seek out.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish-orange color with a tan coating of bubbles for a head. Light, spotty lacing is speckled on the glass. Nothing eyecatching in the looks department.

The smell coming out of the bottle is totally different from the one coming out of the glass. In the bottle, it had a sweet fruity aroma...which I thought was odd for an American barley wine. In the glass the smell is much maltier. Caramel, sweet bread, citrus and alcohol.

The taste is stronger on the alcohol, which at over 12% can be expected. Bready malts, sweet caramel, lemon zest, and some other sweet fruit I just can't peg (berries?) wrapped in the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is a creamy medium with average carbonation. Alcohol tingle remains on the back of the tongue. Not sure if it needed more aging, but it was a bit harsh overall. I would not hesitate to aquire another bottle of this, but I would leave it in the cellar longer next time.

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Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with a modest head that leaves a few splotches here and there

Smell: Alcohol laden dark fruits, including raisins and dates

Taste: Rum-soaked raisins, brown sugar and a piney bitterness on the front end with a growing presence of alcohol after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation

Drinkability: Can't say this was my favorite barleywine; maybe in a couple of years it will be better but right now it is just too boozy

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 07/12/2009. Bottle. Pours a dark brown with barely any head. Aroma of booze, sweet malt, raisin. Flavor is a massive sweet malt bomb with some booze, caramel, and raisin. Very heavy, obviously. It's alright although I can't drink much of it.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.59/5  rDev -11.1%
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 Gueuzedude
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2005 release, Sampled December 2007
A somewhat vigorous pour only produces a scant, quarter-finger thick, tan colored head. The beer is a brilliantly clear, cherry red color when held up to the light, but otherwise is a very red tinged, deep amber color. Aromas of aged hops and aged malts produces aromatic components of berries, caramelized citrus notes, light sherry, concentrated, caramelized malt and a super malt character that is almost umami like in its richness. Heady alcohol aromatics provide similarities to Brandy and even Scotch aromas.

Sweet, thick and extremely chewy, there is a ton of residual malt sugar left in this brew. The mix is rich enough that the sweetness is not cloying, but man is this a viscous brew. Toasted malt flavors, richly caramelized sugars, richly nutty dark malts and a warming alcohol note in the finish. This is a huge beer, it even tastes a bit like not quite diluted malt extract. I am glad this is only a 12oz bottle, but I could easily see this being one of the few beers deserving of a nip bottle sized serving. Fruit flavors of raisins and prunes combine with the alcohol to give this beer a sort of brandy-like finish. But I keep coming back to how thick and viscous this brew is; it sits on my tongue like it weighs a ton, and it almost seems like I have to work to cram, even a small sip down my throat. Underneath all of this malt, the beer is actually quite hoppy too; it plays a secondary role here and can sometimes get lost in the malt, but I do taste a herbal, sweet citrus character that is clearly hop derived.

While this beer is tasty and complex, it is just a bit too much. The amount of residual, unfermented sugars left in this beer is crazy; it is just so thick and so viscous that it makes it hard to even swallow. This beer is not bad, but it just ends up being too much. Perhaps another ten or twenty years of age would make this more drinkable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a pretty good beer that suffers from schizophrenia. A new, Old Ale. All the ingredients are well-represented, however in disjointed fashion -- so you know that this beer would be great in a year or two. The beer pours with a mildly hazy rusty brown color with great head formation and staying power. The malt profile picks up a lot of deep, dehydrated fruits (figs, prunes, plumbs, dates, and raisons) and are quite evident in the nose, flavor, and finish. An accompanying syrup-sweet maltiness forms a nice pillow for the fruits and hop character to come. The hop profile remains citrusy and pine throughout the aroma and flavor, but contribute a lot of balancing bitterness and then some. The hop dryness kicks in with the finish and makes the beer a bit difficult to consume. Alcohol strength is high, leaving the beer quite fusal and harsh -- finishing a lot like caugh syrup. These flavors are rough edges will smoothen and mellow, but for now I should have kept it in the cellar. Thanks Clvand0

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Photo of HopHeadKen
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I found the last sixer in stock at Payless Liquors on 96th Street in Indianapolis; and wanted to try it just because I have enjoyed almost everything I have tasted from this brewery.

It poured clear rich copper amber with a thin ivory head. This is a very nice color.

The smell is distinctly malty with fruity overtones and a clear alcohol background.

The taste is slightly sweet with hints of raisins & plums but the alcohol is not far behind. I really don't notice much hop profile or bitterness.

The mouthfeel is full and viscous. I like this in a beer, not fizzy beers.
There is some definite alcohol sharpness to the mouthfeel.

This beer is drinkable now, but I plan to cellar the rest of the sixpack for about a year to see how it changes. I am hoping that the alcohol sharpness smooths out.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours caramel candy apple color with a faint twist of tan head visible. No lack of carbonation though.
Aroma of musty, deep citrus fruit esters along with a thick caramel base and some nuttiness.
Flavor is orangey with depp caramel malt undertones and a strong resinous and pine hop finish. Some grain notes in the middle.
Mouthfeel is semi-sweet to start, abruptly switching to a slightly roasty feel before moving to a heavily resined and gritty finished.
Drinkability is solid, not really great but a solid overal brew.

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Photo of Shovelbum
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle cellared 1+ year.

Pours a faint trace of a head over a glowing, fairly clear, crimson body. Tiny bubbles drift to the surface. Aromas of cherries and dark berries, caramel, and a hint of spicy hops. Flavors of sweet caramel and dark fruit up front. Develops a more medicinal/ cough syrup-like character toward the finish. Hop spiciness provides balance, but is in not way overwhelming in that tongue-numbing of some barleywines. The alchol is noticable, but not to its full extent. Sweet and smooth. Full bodied.

I’ve never tried this ale fresh, as I stuck this single away in my cellar last year. I’d be interested to see if the same medicinal character is present in younger versions of this beer. I didn’t so much mind that cpart of the flavor, but wasn’t exactly enamored with it either. All in all a nice, warming, cold weather sipping beer.

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Photo of kkipple
3.74/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Split a bottle of this with a good buddy. Good thing too, 'cause at 3am you don't need much of a 12.20% brew...

Pours a clear thick caramel-orange, small barely-there head really doesn't stick around. Still. Pretty basic for the style.

The nose really took me aback here, this may be the sweetest, most complex caramel smelling beer this side of JW Lee's. Massive rich, roasted toasted flamed toffee-sugar-caramel wallops the senses, and underneath it all is fusel booze booze booze and bitter, senseless hop aggression. It's all stupidly big and intense; sweet and heavy. In a nutshell: brown sugar, hot alcohol and bitter hops.

Taste is much what you'd expect after the nose-beatdown. This is out of bounds, very sweet and very alcoholic.
Dark Horse pulls no punches here, everything is up front and exposed. The sugary, syrupy malt that brims with juicy, bitter and medicinal hops, the intense, fusal, scorching alcohol, the dense, syrupy mouthfeel... it's all in your face and quite American. Maybe a bit too brash... but at least you know what you're in for from the first sip.

Mouthfeel is dense, thick, and lowly carbonated... but you weren't expecting anything else. It's tough to drink 6 ounces of this, let alone a whole bottle.

Three Guys is ultimately a victim of its own success... this is simply too big, bold, and boozy to hit the top ranks of American barleywines... proving, I suppose, that while off the scale is ok, balance also counts for something.

Try this if you can to see what unrestrained American brewers are doing these days. Yikes.

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Photo of Sephiroth
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I completely inverted the 12oz. bottle as I poured, and still most of the yeast stayed at the bottom of the bottle. The bottle is undated and dipped in wax. The body is a clear amber. Aroma of cherry and pineapple. Hops contribute some citrus and pine. Oh, and lots of alcohol.

Taste is fruity and alcoholic. Think cherries, pineapples, raisins, and maybe some dates, soaked in various rums and Everclear. Perhaps more hops would balance this somewhat. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, coating too. Drinkability is not so good. I won't have another tonight, but I have 11 more to drink later on. Maybe some age will calm the alcohol.

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3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Body is a hazy copper color, slightly reddish when held up to light. Head is a tan quick fading inch of fuzz. A fiery spicey fruit filled nose, Sweet creamy notes with maybe a bit of malt. Sweet alchol syrupy fuzzieness enters the mouth, this is folowed by a slightly soured mouthfeel. The finish is a soft malty hue. Alchol really warms the belly very well. As this one warms it gets smoother and better balanced. Mouthfeel is very thick and lingering. It only takes one of these to do the job. Nice feel but watch out!

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark ruby brown in color. Whatever amount of head that forms on the pour is quickly gone before I can take my seat.
Smell is alcohol, malt, and some dark fruit. Just smelling this beer you know it's going to hurt.
This is big. This is going to hurt, and this is one big ass beer. Malty, alcohol bomb. Hot, some light fruit trying to shine through, but this is a alco-pop. This could definitely benefit from some time in the cellar. A lot of time.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
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 akorsak
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing this 12 oz bottle.

A: The barleywine is a maple syrup brown color, nearly as viscous too. The ale is translucent, nearly opaque, with no head whatsoever.

S: The nose is wickedly malty, full of caramel and booze. Hops are nonexistent in this treacly brew.

T: While not quite as complex as J.W. Lee's, this is one big barleywine. Malts are through the roof, concentrated with caramel and molasses. Dark fruits arise out of the maltiness too, complex and rich. The finish is formidable, a bold barleywine even without a standout hop profile.

M: The mouthfeel is heavy, as you'd expect from such a heavy ale. The sweet maltiness is incredibly decadent.

D: At 15%, this is a good beer to share with multiple people. I enjoyed sipping my way through it.

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Photo of kirok1999
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
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 Dope
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
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 largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark amber with great clarity. Not much head retention, but at 15% ABV that comes as no surprise.

Smell: Incredibly intense and sweet - dates, ripe figs, prunes and caramel, though surprisingly no alcohol.

Taste & mouthfeel: Just as the nose suggests, this is sweet and fruity to the extreme. Flavors of brown sugar meet fruity notes of date and fig with an undercurrent of molasses. Impressive smoothness for such a big beer - there's no heat and no astringency. The finish remains fairly sweet, though it doesn't linger long and isn't cloying.

Drinkability: I doubt I could drink a bottle of this by myself. Shared amongst 3 people it took about 45 minutes to drink 12 oz.

Notes: Got this one as an extra from bgramer. Thank you!

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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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