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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
169 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 169 |  Reviews: 106
Photo of bashiba
4.59/5  rDev +13.9%
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 kzoobrew
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
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 Gueuzedude
3.64/5  rDev -9.7%
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 CharlesDarwin
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Originally reviewed August 23, 2007. Some mysterious older vintage. Possibly a 2001. Aroma erupts with caramel, raisin toast and older brown sugars. Light oxidation somehow lends maturity, then lean on some sweet fruit esters for a complex bouquet in the nose. Pours a clouded amber with tan fringes. No head. Flavor is a rich, dense fruit creamed malt with astounding richness and full flavor. Brandy, fruit compotes, more raisin bread, and a smack of Indian Curry spices. Rich and toasty. Still virile as an older bottle, with some heat, but really for 15% it’s damn near camouflage. Tingles the nostrils a little. Nice leafy noble hop smack and nips of light chocolate out the backdoor. Awesome.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
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 BlindPig
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured kind of hard and got a very thing tan head on a muddy lighter brown body.
S- Big citrus hops, alcohol that gives the nose a little zing, big caramel, pine, toast, cherries, and maybe some other fruits.
T- Huge alcohol flavor, blended with big hops, really nice big bitterness, cherries, pine, well it pretty much follows the aroma but the alcohol really does come in strong. Maybe a little to rough. The tongue is left numb with a assault of hops and alcohol. It gets very hot in back of throat. Other flavor do make it through but I would have to say they could of done a better job on hiding the alcohol.
M- Full body with low carbonation for a smooth drink. Almost oily.
D- I think it is tasty but the alcohol does get a little strong. Other than that I think it is a great beer. Would love to try one that's about 10%. Just since the alcohol can get overwhelming I have to give it a 3.5 for drinkability.

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Photo of beckje01
2.95/5  rDev -26.8%
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 aforbes10
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a re-review for me. The first time i reviewed this beer was back when i was getting into barleywines but not quite there yet. Still, i remember enjoying this beer but being a bit overwhelmed....so now that its out again, i thought i'd give it another try.

Pours red/brown and dark like a deep mahogany. Nice soft white head on it. Looks like a pillow. Odor is strong with very sweet maltiness. Hops also pronounced on the nose. Taste is super good. Sweet, rich molasses flavor. dry alcohol. Fruity to an extent....old strawberries and cherries. Sweetness might be a bit cloying and the whole thing is a bit unbalanced, oweing to it being such a new beer...but hey, its still tasty. Thick and rich and becomes hard to drink towards the end of the bottle as it warms and the bitterness grows, but that's ok. I bought a bottle to age for a year or so too so i'll probably hit this one up with a 3rd review one day.

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Photo of Shovelbum
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
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 Imstillthegman
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
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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3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
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 blitheringidiot
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
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 mentor
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wax-dipped bottle provided by trbeer during my most recent visit to Michigan (December 2005). Thanks buddy! Pours a one finger light brown head over a cloudy brown-orange liquid. Smells like strawberries during the pour. To the nose it's caramel, soured alcohol, fruity sweet. Light-colored raisins. A bit of dried hay.

Tastes sherry oxidized caramel, alcohol burn and sweet fruity esters. Nice caramel aftertaste held on the tongue by the thick mouthfeel. The caramel fights a dry alcohol that tries to roughen the back of the tongue. Touch of oranges. Creamy thick mouthfeel and modest carbonation. Enjoyable, although I suspect that aging would greatly decrease the alcohol presence and improve the balance of the beer to my personal preferences. 6 months in my cellar wasn't enough.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. wax capped bottle. Now I usually don't have issues with these wax dipped bottles, but this one was a pain in the ass to remove the cap from. Anywho, we're in. Pours without very much noticeable carbonation, a glowing ruby color. Nose of sweet, chocolate covered cherries...and booze. It doesn't hide. And then you taste it, and it's still not hiding. Sweet malt, plum skins dominate, riding the wave of alcohol booziness into the bittersweet, chewy finish. Lingering plum-cherry sweetness on the palate. Mild carbonation. A bit two-dimensional to go head to head with the best of American barleywines as it pales in complexity to some, but nonetheless a good enough nightcap. Weee....I'm sleeepy...

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Photo of Derek
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Murky copper-brown, off-white head, no retention, has a little leg.

S: Nice nose... raisin & alcohol is kind of sherry-like.

T: Slightly sweet up front, assertive alcohol, raisins, bread, brandy, slightly bitter aftertaste.

M: Moderately full body is a little acidic. Carbonation is moderate.

D: Good, but not exactly my 'cup of tea'.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big props to malty for the chance to sample this lovely MI brew.

Bottle inspection: No useful information and kind of a trippy lablel. Crimson red wax sealed cap...kind of cool.

Aroma: Dark dried fruits, estery, brown sugar notes, slightly metallic, a touch of warming alcohol, and sugar cookies.

Appearance: Dark copper color and clear. A low off-white cap. Good clarity with a few carbonation streams in the body. Sticky legs as the beer is swirled.

Flavor: Intense sweet carmel malt flavor balanced by a velvet hammer alcohol punch. Drying bitterness at the end that balances the carmel sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and chewy. Alcohol warmth dominates with low carbonation levels.

Overall impression: A sure fire winner. A sipper that goes great on a cool, cloudy, spring day. The lack of hops suggest more of an English Barleywine but it's still appropriate given the style. I'd definitely keep this around if I had access to it.

Thanks malty!

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Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a red toned amber with an off white head that slowly fades into a film. Nice amounts of scattered lacing left around the glass.
Smell is of apple, rum soaked raisins, alcohol infused toffee, syrup, brown sugar, and mild woody smokiness.
Taste is of a sugary version of the mentioned aromas.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, and sugary.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer was tasted at the michigan brewers guild winter beer fest.
from my notes i was served a deep copper sample with a slight head.
the aroma was malty and hopsack
the flavor was malty, hopsack, citrus.
the mouthfeel was very full coats the inside of your mouth as it goes down.

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Photo of Crosling
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rum soaked fruitcake, dark fruits, brandy like alcohol, brown sugar and very mild aroma hops in the nose. Dark copper color. Massive body of creamy and explosive flavors. An array of sugar coated grapes, dates and red plums initially, followed by melted caramel, vanilla and nougat, which leads into hints of madeira and booze.

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Photo of GreenWBush
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
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 nortmand
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper orange, slightly cloudy pour. About a centimeter of off white foam.

Raisins, alcohol in the smell. Incredible hop nose. Citrus resin.

Very sweet. Crisp bitterness at the back of the tongue. Deep down alcohol burn.

Huge bodied, lightly carbonated mouthfeel. Good, but not hugely drinkable.

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Photo of jp32
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful copper color with a nice yellowish off-white head that leaves quickly.

The aroma is loaded with ripe plums and other fruits. Also has a sugary smell.

The taste is very sweet. Fruity notes and some nut-like flavors. Reminds me of a belgian tripple but a little more sour in the finish.

Thick, heavy, syrupy mouthfeel. A bit oily. The drinkability is okay, but the alcohol/warmness creeps up on you in a hurry.

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Photo of HopHeadKen
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
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 blackie
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour produces a low, off white head. The beer is a slightly hazy, reddish copper color.

smell: The smell is very interesting. There is a considerable caramel character, but what really intrigues me are the fruity notes. There seems to be a high ester presence, which produces the distinct smell of raspberries in my nose. Ethanol presence on the nose is slight. Moderate hop aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is towards the higher end of the low range. The body is medium and a little slick.

taste: Fruity esters, some caramel, and a moderate bitterness. Alcohol presence is well hidden.

drinkability: a decent beer and pretty drinkable for having such a high ABV

Another sample courtesy of dirtylou during my stay in Madison.

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Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
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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Three Guy Off The Scale Barley Wine from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 169 ratings
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