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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Very Good
25 Ratings

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by nickd717 on 02-21-2010

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 25 |  Reviews: 12
Photo of The_Jerk
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of Hotrod88
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of mattmarka1
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of seangibbs60
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of AlexChillton
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of mactrail
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Local Habit in San Diego for Barrel Aged Beer Day and I see it's on the Stone Oakquinox tap list so it should be around for a while. Listed at 10% now. Big vanilla and winey aroma. Great sweet taste of caramel and grapes to start. Such a deep malty flavor with fig fruity mellowness. Tart and spritzy on the tongue.

Not much foam in the glass. Color is like a Tawny Port in the snifter. Woody with a taste of cedar, tart cherries, and cranberries. I am borrowing from someone who mentioned a Flanders Red Ale taste, and that's exactly right. There is an endless sharp edge that is a pleasant foil to the winey, woody taste.

Warm malt keeps some sweetness going. So grapey, and the tartness seems to intensify. It seems to be on the way to being a fabulous sour. A strong tasting, raisiny brew with a surprising acidity.

 832 characters

Photo of jeff1973
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Tom-Peters
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of dksl16
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Oakquinox

The pour is a dark amber color with an off-white head. The wine gives the beer a very fruity aroma. Lots of grape and red fruit notes with plenty of oak, too. Very sweet from all the wine as well as the natural sweetness of the brown sugar, caramel, and toffee notes. The flavor is slightly oxidized with a hint of chocolate. Good caramel and brown sugar and tons of red wine and red grape flavor.

 418 characters

Photo of Phelps
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a snifter at Tops.

Deep purple-brown, made opaque through darkness. Half a finger of light tan, fizzy head quickly becomes a thin ring.

Ooh. Very sweet nose, loaded with toffee, buttery oak, fig, red grapes and a little vanilla. Dark fruits are so burly as to lend the beer something nearing sourness. Lots of caramel as well.

More toffee and butterscotch in the flavor, along with a touch of overripe oranges, caramel and red wine. Big, sweet bourbon flavor — very sweet. Maybe even some peach and apple. Things dry out a little at the swallow, but overall it’s rich and sweet throughout. Bitterness on sides of tongue.

Moderate, poking carbonation in a creamy, syrupy medium-full body. Alcohol comes through the nose a bit and gets the tongue numb.

Three Sheets is very tasty. Sweet, with good use of the barrels. And because it's sweet, it's drinkable for its strength.

 893 characters

Photo of John11486
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of NFMSKRS
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of nanobrew
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of NickMunford
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled March 2011
The beer pours with a thin, wispy, tan colored head that sits on top of a lightly hazed, dark amber-brown colored beer. This smells quite oaky up front, but definitely smooth. The oak spiciness is accentuated by some warming alcohol aromatics and there is even a little smokiness here. There is an almost cactus like spiciness here and the beer has a touch of saltiness in the notes as well as some fruity berry notes, caramelized malt character and toasted grain aromatics. There are some hints of toasted coconut and vanillin notes from the Barrel influence and oxidation seems to have contributed a nuttiness as well as some sherry like aromatics. This is really quite woody, it smells of fresh cut oak, with a light buttery character and some spicy oak notes.

The beer tastes lightly sweet and almost has a tequila like flavor to it. It finishes with a bit of tin in the aftertaste too. This is actually fairly dry in the finish; this is brought out by an astringency from the oak, a tannic structure, some peppery spice notes and a Bourbon-like finish that is accentuated by an alcoholic heat. There is a dark fruitiness to this beer and there is also quite a bit of tartness here as well. Rich oxidation notes add a nutty note to the finish and boost the malt complexity a bit. This has a suggestion of salt and a smokiness that also add to the complexity. This is fairly light bodied, but it does have some texture (the oak and tannins certainly add a boost) to it such that it sticks a bit to the palate. The sourness becomes more prominent as the beer warms up; there was definitely some sort of wild bug involved here. This is very interesting, between the tartness and the fact that I can’t shake wanting to describe a cactus / tequila like spiciness.

 1,784 characters

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Frikin' Alex scores a growler of this, damn. Thanks buddy. Pours mahogany with tan head. The aroma is oak then dry oak and then moving toward bourbon, some vanilla, and a light amount of dark fruitiness, caramel and then more oak along with a touch of wine. The taste is sweet with dark fruity goodness, aged oak, vanilla and then some wine and caramel notes mixed together. A growing oak note is noticed off in the background as it approaches the finish. Yummy stuff.

 468 characters

Photo of DIM
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: This was a very dark brown, pretty close to black for a b-wine. It was served to me with a thin, tan film.

s: Vinous is the first word that comes to mind. The wine aromas really come through. I also found oaky tannins, toffee, and chocolate all blanketed by a decent amount of heat. Never smelled anything like this.

t: Very nice combination of vinous warmth, toffee, tobacco, and a surprisingly strong chocolate flavor. More wine than barleywine for sure, but it works well enough.

m: Bigger bodied than many barrel aged beers, but it lacked the heft I appreciate in barleywines. The carbonation was gentle and unobtrusive.

d: It might just be for noveltys sake, but I really enjoyed this. Not all that well balanced, but so what?

 738 characters

Photo of augustgarage
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood, 5/20/2010. Served in a Coronado snifter.

Opaque, heavy, rusty, bistre complexion with a small head of large bubbles that ercedes to a beige bubble-wrap collar and a small island.

Intoxicating aroma - a massive blend of fruit (prunes, figs, plums, currants, orange-peel), spice (anise, cloves), tobacco, brown sugar, and more.

The flavors are as beguiling as the nose, but remain well integrated even though each sip seems to re-orient the profile around a new set of tastes. In addition to flavors corresponding to the aforementioned smells, the oak adds a superior complexity to the mid-palate, introducing vanilla and a mild red-wine quality balanced by a moderate touch of hops. Finishes very malty, but not particularly roasted.

Full-bodied, but with lively carbonation and a pleasaing tannic quality on the gums.

The best barrel-aged beer I've tried from Ballast-Point; often the barrel and alcohol overwhelm the base ingredients (e.g. Sea Monster), but that is certainly not the case here.

On the other hand, looking over the other reviews, I think it is safe to say you can expect some batch variation, not always for the better...

 1,194 characters

Photo of callmescraps
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Intrigued, so I went for it at the Goat.

Appearance- Deep amber, a chestnut beer with a tan cap. Some ruby hues. Nice.

Smell- Raisins, stone fruit, cherries. The wine characteristics come through, a nice fruitiness.

Taste- Starts nicely. Some good cherry, and rich chocolate. Then it comes with a very dry, sweet syrah. Lightens it up. Thins it up. Plenty of tannins. Like a bad red wine.

Mouthfeel- Too thin, the wine is stealing the body.

Drinkability- Comes up pretty strong, one and done, especially with those tannins.

Eh. They made a pretty decent barleywine worse. Barrels are not always the answer.

 615 characters

Photo of emmasdad
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, with a bit of tan colored head. Tons of stuff going on with the aroma here; Initially I get some huge fruit aromas--red grapes, blackberries, some cherry--along with red wine. As it warms, the oak and vanilla begin to peak through. Flavors of dark fruits (plums, blackberry, grape, currant), vanilla and oak, along with a alcohol and a sourness that became more pronounced as it warmed. Not sure how much of this I'd want to drink over the course of a night, but the amount I drank was wonderful.

 514 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
2.48/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On-Tap at The Sidecar Bar in Philly in a 10oz serving or so. Excited to try this one, I wonder if it was brewed for the TV show?

A- Three Sheets BW is a reddish mahagony with a medium deep brown color flowing throughout. No head to speak of off the tap, just some small patches of small islands on the surface, no stickage to the glass.

S- The Syrah barrel comes through up front with red wine scents and a bunch of black/ purpleish grapes. Getting a bit of blueberry in here as well. Some slight pepper notes as well as a dash of lingering chocolate. It really does not smell like a barleywine, it seems a bit tame for that. Hops are not an issue in this aged version, some caramel sweetness from a nice malt dosing.

T- Wow, This really does not hit the mark at all. For a barleywine, this seems more like a bad attempt at a fruit/ herbed spiced beer. It's not strong enough in taste to be called a barleywine, IMO, not enough ummph, no hops to speak of, no strong alcohol in the mix a la Bigfoot. Perhaps if this was not aged so much some hops would have shown and not made this so bland. Flavors include grapes, berries (black & blue), slight tannins and a bit of black pepper which is much appriciated. A small amount of bready yeast at the end.

M- This really was a bland one in feel, nothing that would remind me of a true BW. Not sure how long this was aged, but whatever the age it totally killed any hops this had going for it. Three Sheets is medium in build with a smoooth ride but a very bland taste and aftertaste consisting mostly of Syrah grapes. Dead in the water, the carb is almost non existant.

D- I did not finish my glass, I did not want to and I hate wasting beer but it was necessary here. This barleywine is very much one sided leaning towards the red wine qualities, a bit more complex flavor would have boosted this a few notches, but as it stands now, I'm more interested in seeing what the original three sheets BW tastes like, this was a miss.

 1,977 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
2.49/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On tap at the Rose & Crown. Served in a snifter.

Delivered with a generous beige-colored head that threatened to overflow the snifter and took about a minute to die down. Very surprising for a barrel-aged barleywine. The body itself was a garnet color, seemingly opaque in the thickest regions, revealing itself to be a ruby brown as it receded in the glass.

S: Rich syrah grape aromas supplemented by not insubstantial oak characteristics. Some caramel and brown sugar.... But to be honest, the barrel pretty much overwhelmed the base beer, here.

T: Same as the nose: lots of syrah barrel influence with just the lightest hint of whatever the 3 Sheets originally tastes like. Plenty of grape, berry, and pepper. It remains firmly sweet and rich (lightly tart), with strong tannic influence that overwhelms the hints of caramel and brown sugar that pop up from time to time. As far as barrel-aged barleywines go, this is pretty one-dimensional.

M: Medium-full body. Astringent and tannic in the finish. Low carbonation. Not too hot.

D: This isn't a bad barrel-aged beer, but it's middling. Ballast Point can do a lot better, as their Navigator shows.

 1,160 characters

Photo of nickd717
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Rose & Crown, served in a snifter.

Pours dark reddish-brown with a small off-white head.

Aroma is caramel, brown sugar, wood, bourbon, and red wine. A little tartness even.

Flavor has quite a bit of syrah character, as well as some bourbon. Also caramel, toffee, mild roast, and a little booze.

Medium-full body with low carbonation. Very tannic, and even a little astringent. Not terribly boozy, although you can feel the ABV.

Drinkability is pretty good. A very solid beer overall, really interesting.

 528 characters

Three Sheets Barleywine (Syrah Barrel Aged) from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 25 ratings