Three Sheets Barleywine (Barrel Aged) | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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63 Ratings

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by scottoale on 01-31-2007

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 |  Reviews: 24
Reviews by Halcyondays:
Photo of Halcyondays
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours dark brown with a firm white head, excellent head retention with spots of lace.

S: Great malty nose, hint of wine and wood.

T: Dark malt Heaven off the bat. The barrels come in adding great notes of dark fruit/plum and caramel. I originally thought this was brandy barrel aged from the flavour and found out it was Syrah barrels so I was pretty close. Ballast Point is making great beers with these wine and brandy barrels, first Brandy Barrel Navigator, now this. Outstanding note of dark chocolate in the finish which I loved.

M: So smooth and easy to drink. Full-bodied, but silky.

D: I love it when CA brewers go back to the English style of barleywine. Barrel aged BW is where it's at for me right now. This is wonderful.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mctizzz
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of ehammond1
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Urge Gastropub
San Diego, CA

Dark auburn, nearly brown, with a thin khaki head that doesn't stay for long. Spotted lacing down the glass.

Huge bourbon, wood, and fruit aroma. The wood stands out with a deep earthy character, layered with vanilla and bourbon, and some sweet fruits like dates or figs.

The flavor is highly concentrated toward the bourbon and wood flavors, along with sweet toffee, some date sweetness, and a warm, alcoholic burn, though not nearly as much as I expected.

Thin to medium mouthfeel and incredibly drinkable for a barleywine this high in ABV.

A delicious barrel-aged barleywine and incredibly drinkable for the style. One of my favorite Ballast Point offerings to date.

 712 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.59/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft @ Ballast Point Linda Vista on 11/9/09 during their "Beer Meets Wood" event. Part of San Diego Beer Week. According to the board, this blend contained 2002 & 2007 Three Sheets, 2007 blend of Bourbon/Syrah barrel-aged Three Sheets, and 2008 blend of Bourbon/Syrah barrel-aged Three Sheets. Whew!

Pours a deep clear amber, with a thin covering of creamy burnt tan foam. Retention stays fairly robust, leaving some thickish lacing back. The aroma is surprisingly still very hoppy, along with a ton of vinous grape notes and woody character. Going deeper reveals fruity esters, cherries, toffee, cocoa powder, sweeter smelling Burbon notes and vanilla. Just a truckload of flavors going on here in the nose and it is all very smooth overall. Awesome!

Hops also surprise in the taste, tingling the tongue with bitterness. The tart grape character of the Syrah barrels is also very evident here, along with toffee, cocoa, and dark fruits. Sweet Bourbon and burnt woody notes mingle in effortlessly here, as the finish is dry and lingers with malt, roast, and more burnt tones. I was pleased to find that the deep I went into the profile, the more dark it got, and it played very nicely off of the barrel flavors. Fantastic stuff here. The mouthfeel is full bodied but posseses a great mellowness and ease from the aging that it has received, which really helps bring all of those big flavors in together. That 9-10% ABV is present but it is held in check, much more so than I initially thought. I could have probably sipped this down much faster than I did but the awesome flavors in this just begged to be savored more.

Wow, oh wow! This was by far one of thee best Barrel-Aged American Barleywine blends that I've ever had. I loved the way that the sweetness of the Bourbon bounced off of the more tart & fruity nature of the Syrah barrel, and the aggressive hop character and deep roasty maltiness of the Three Sheets underneath was nothing to sneeze at either. Just really tremendous stuff here, that I feel very fortunate to have been able to try.

 2,061 characters

Photo of HalfFull
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I write this review here as the beer was advertised at 9%, and not the 10% noted in the retired version. Though I don't think this was actually barrel aged, just a brew coming out of retirement for a winter batch.

Poured into a full pint glass, this brew pours a hazy orange chocolate in color and offers a thin, yet resilient, off white head. Smell is a bit still(cold), yet offers a decent caramel malt presence along with fresh shaved chocolate.

Taste is unique for a barleywine and in fact reminds me a bit of a stout. Chocolate and plums are present, yet not in such quantity to be slick and syrupy. Feel is effervescent, with more carbonation than expected. An easy drinking barleywine indeed, becoming more traditional towards the bottom of the glass as the carbonation settles.

 787 characters

Photo of ironchefkook
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of drone
2.26/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Photo of theminutemen
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of scottoale
4.7/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this at O'Brien's a few months back, at the Ballast Point 10th Anniversary party, the 10th Annual Strong Ale Fest and the last couple of days at the source. This particular batch was aged in a Syrah wine barrel for a few months at the original Ballast Point Brewery in Bay Park.

I pours a dark reddish-copper with an ivory cream head with solid retention and ample carbonation. Nice sticky lace clings to the glass as you down it.

Heavy on the nose are some sharp hops followed by some earthy malt it warms, the alcohol fumes come into play. A most excellent, rather hop-heavy aroma that just keeps on gettin better (and boozier) as the ale warms.

With the likes of Avery's Hog Heaven and Rogue's Old Crustacean, this is pretty much a hop-bomb of a barleywine at first. A few more sips reveal the mega malt backbone and then along with BA qualities come some oak, a tiny twang from the vino and onto a boozy melding of it all on the swallow.

Smooth and somewhat velvety, this full bodied brew starts reeling you in for flavor and the nice pleasant warming from the the not too strong 9.0% ABV. A truly tasty and well-crafted ale in one of my very favorite styles, definitely worth seeking out.

 1,231 characters

Photo of OregonGrown7
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at TJ's. Served in a 7-oz sampler glass.

The body is a hazy deep mahogany highlighted by garnet hues when held up to the light. Thick lace adorns my glass as I sip.

The nose is amazingly complex. Dominated by a dark fig and date fruitiness up front, the aroma gives way to caramel and a comforting aroma of syrupy malt sweetness that we all love in our barleywines. Unfortunately, there were no barrel-inspired characteristics in the aroma. Once the deep brown liquid hits my palate, cherries and raisins, previously undetected, make their presence known. These really round out the fruity profile of the beer. Vanilla, some light bourbon notes, and an accompanying booziness finish out the flavor. The finish leaves sticky caramel sweetness behind.

Very smooth and warming, this is better suited for a November evening than a late-June afternoon. Still a bit green, the texture was a bit overbearing and the alcohol was still very warm. Even so, the great flavor and the fruitiness of this beer make it very desirable.

 1,029 characters

Photo of 1424IpA
3.04/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of bca115
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of Kaiser81
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap on 1/14/10 @ the Ballast Point brewery - a full pint!

A - Very dark brown with slight ruby red highlights. there was a thin head (maybe 3-4mm) that left a nice ring on the top of the beer for a little bit. After that, it died to nothing.

S - BOURBON!!!...errr...WHISKEY!!! This stuff was aged in Jim Beam and wine barrels...well, the Jim Beam won. I really get nothing but whiskey smells. Maybe some sweetness, but lots of whiskey. Which does smell good, but doesn't really add to the depth of the beer.

T - The whiskey pretty much dominates. But you can tell the wine barrel addition lightens it up just a bit. There is a boozy aftertaste, but this is just down right tasty for my first barrel aged Barleywine.

M - Heavy and syrupy. But there is a good amount of carbonation; moreso than the regular 3 sheets.

D - Dangerously high. My softball performance in 2 hrs and 45 minutes may suffer a bit.

 919 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of irthesteve
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Sunset Bar & Grill in Boston, MA.

Pours a deep clear amber, with a thin covering of creamy burnt tan foam. Retention stays fairly robust, leaving some thickish lacing back.

Aromas begin with a ton of barrel and oaky wood character. Going deeper reveals fruity esters, toffee, cocoa powder, sweeter smelling Bourbon notes and vanilla. Just a boat ton of flavors going on here in the nose and it is all very smooth overall.

The flavors begin with toffee, cocoa and dark fruits. Sweet Bourbon and burnt woody notes join the party as the finish is dry and lingers with malt, roast and more burnt flavors. The flavor profile is quite barrel forward and oaky. Much less complex compared to an Abacus; more toasty and bready and the base beer doesn't quite hold up to the strong barrel.

The mouthfeel is full bodied but posseses a great mellowness and ease from the aging that it has received, which really helps bring all of those big flavors in together. The big ABV is present but it is held in check, much more so than I initially thought. I could have probably sipped this down much faster than I did but the awesome flavors in this just begged to be savored more.

Overall this was a very good BA barleywine. It is quite potent and flavorful with intense yet restrained barrel flavors. After sampling numerous barreled beers last night at the EBF Night of the Barrels, it is hard to consider this an "elite" beer, but it was quite good. Since it is only available on draft it is definitely worth sampling if you come across it because you may never see it again, but don't break your back to find it.

 1,614 characters

Photo of bsm80x
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of rbrefbeerman
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of jlindros
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tap at prezo

Pours a very light bubbly head covering, over a beer that is super dark, with bits of dark ruby mahogany colored light barely sneaking through.

Nose bursts with bourbon, nice sweet bourbon, light charred oak barrel with vanilla, then dark sweet malts, molasses, caramel, candy, hint of cocoa, candied plum and raisin, and touch of booze.

Taste starts with a bit of barrel, woody esters, light saw dust but none of those overpowering. Bourbon follows closely, as well as the vanilla. Bitter hops really make a presence with earthy hops and slight chewy spicy that bring a fair level of bitterness, like 75-80 ibu, level. Makes take more of a backseat surprisingly, but bring more candy sweetness, molasses, maple, caramel, toffee, etc. and more fruits with candied dates and raisins, and a slight candied walnut. Booze is there but hidden fairly well by the sweetness. Finish is quite bitter, drier and surprisingly not sticky or syrupy, lots of lingering spicy earthy hops, bit of bourbon and some barrel flavors, and a bit of candy and molasses.

Mouth is fuller bodied, decent carb, bit of warning but not tingly booze, not very syrupy either.

Overall pretty good. Out adds a nice bourbon and barrel flavor with some nice malty additions and sweeteners flavors, but stays drinkable and hides the booze well. My only gripe is that the spicy earthy hops cut through the beer a bit too much and the big bitterness clashes a bit with the bourbon and sweet malts. I bet aging this a year or two would be awesome.

 1,526 characters

Photo of WillCarrera
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Ballast Point's Old Grove location. Poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a murky brown color, thin brown head, spotty lacing.

S- Very bourbon forward, lots of bourbon, wood, and a hint of vanilla, also getting some caramel and dark fruit.

T- Follows the nose, lots of bourbon and wood up front, follows with lots of sweet toffee, burnt caramel and dark fruit, quite sweet and boozy overall.

M- Full-bodied, smooth feel, moderate booziness and lingering sweetness.

O- A pretty good barleywine, I had a small pour and was satisfied, probably not my favorite offering from Ballast Point.

 599 characters

Photo of The_Jerk
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of jeff1973
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of smcolw
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Little to no head, but there's sone streaky lace. Dark brown where light shines through.

Darker malt aroma. Not really toasted or chocolate, but true to style.

The flavor is high in alcohol, dark malt (without toast or chocolate), and mild hop. Strong alcohol swallow.

 272 characters

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Three Sheets Barleywine (Barrel Aged) from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 63 ratings
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