3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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American Barleywine
Ranked #12
Ranked #1,194
4.24 | pDev: 9.43%
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States
Notes: A huge, sweet barleywine with complex caramel malt notes, balanced by generous hopping and a high alcohol content. This fruity and malty beer is best enjoyed while keeping warm in the brutal winter months.

80 IBU

2005 Bottle release - Pink Wax
2007 Bottle release - Yellow Wax, hands not skull on flat finish label (Brewed in Nov 06)
2008 Bottle release - Purple Wax
2009 Bottle release - Blue Wax
2010 Bottle release - Green Wax
2011 Bottle release - White Wax
2011 Bottle release - Yellow Wax, glossy label, skull on label (Ohio only)
2012 Bottle release - Red Wax
2013 Bottle release - Orange Wax
2014 Bottle release - Blue Wax
2015 Bottle release - Purple Wax
2016 Bottle release - Black Metallic Wax
2017 Bottle release - Silver Wax
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Reviews: 610 | Ratings: 1,905
Reviews by BradtheGreat7:
Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

*2012 version(red wax)*

22 oz brown bomber bottle with interesting yet funny FFF style artwork on the label with the neck being dipped in beautiful red wax. Poured into a 12 oz beer sniffer.

A - light shade of copper with dashes of dark amberish brown mixed all over. Pretty light for a barleywine style. Good eggshell(slightly off-white) head that hangs around in a semi fluffy manner before residing to a nice ring of lace that does provide some decent stick to the glass.

S - very imperial IPA like aroma with heavy doses of both citrusy and piney hops. Lots of grapefruit with touches of lemon and orange. Pine whiffs join the smallest hint of fresh green grass. Malts are in the background and very light through the entire aroma.

T - knock you on your back citrus hops consisting of grapefruit and a little lemon. Malts are more noticeable in the mouth with a tasty caramel taste. Does a nice job balancing out the sturdy alcohol and hop bitterness. Almost grain like barley note that's in and out, but never there too long. Nice addition of spice toward the back before a somewhat heavy note of piney hops. Alcohol has some booziness to it, but still an excellent flavor.

M - almost, if not full bodied with a good creamy texture. This may be too big for some, but it's semi-stickiness allow for a good sipper on a cold winter night.

O - another solid brew from Three Floyds. I was expecting less hops however, but that's nearly crazy talk when thinking FFF. But hey, hops are great and so is this beer. I wouldn't say it's their best offering nor would I say it's the best the barleywine style has to offer. I'm looking forward for this one aged a year or so. Yes I couldn't resist not stashing one back in a cool, dark place. Bottles with wax just beg for some cellaring.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of gopens44
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 (White wax)

Thick beige head taunts as the beefy, opaque, angry plum colored body seeks to intimidate. Nose is a party that acts like it hasn't invited me to. The fragrance is not happy that I've arrived. Reluctantly, it imparts plum, dates, a hint of either coriander or celery and maybe a smidgen of vinous heat. Immediately upon taking a swig, the tart reactions take place on my tongue but quickly dissipates as raisin overwhelms for the time being. Let it linger for a moment and a mildly harsh tobacco makes its presence known. This is indeed a complex and angry beer, for real. The finish has a bit of heat and bitter fig on the way out with this medium bodied, and solidly carbonated beer. Whew, this is a great contemplative beer for certain. I'm probably not going to drink after this one!

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Photo of amano_h
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage (Blue Wax), consumed in 2017.

Much like Ken Griffey Jr., Allen Iverson, and the Oranje, Behemoth is the picture definition of a king without a crown; its class is undeniable, it has everything going for it that would set it apart from others of its genre, commands respect and reputation among admirers of its prowess, yet it's never quite gotten the credit or the adulation that it properly deserves.

Leave it up to the creators of the original "juicy" American Pale Ale (ISO, btw) to fabricate a Barleywine as dry, if not drier than the most highly bittered, hopped up (imperial) IPAs. People (and quite correctly, I might add) make the joke that at the tail end of an IPA's freshness spectrum, it ceases its brief flickering existence as an IPA and is reborn with a new identity as a "Barleywine." Hence, it would seem, that the characteristic that people seem to associate most with a Barleywine is the malt-inspired "sweetness" which may indeed feel overpowering, especially to those expecting something as bitter as crushed dandelions and endives.

Behemoth challenges that pre-conceived notion that Barleywines need to be "malty" or even "sweet" by being exactly that and not exactly that at the same time. It's like a poorly-formulated Schrödinger's Barleywine, assuming that a Nobel-prize winning physicist would have enjoyed the complex nuances of a malt-based ingredient in the early 20th century.

There's no point in writing separate aromatic/palatal descriptions for this beer as it seems pretty consistent on both fronts. The first impressions of the brew is as you'd expect of a malt-forward beer: mellowingly sweet sensations of coffee'n'creme, dry apple skins, and Werther's Original are the primary characteristics detectable on the nose and tongue.
The name "Behemoth" must be in reference to the hop bill that was involved in the production of this brew as there is a giant bite of grapefruit rinds and sharp resins which washes away the brief notion of sweetness that was previously introduced. Whereas the hop influx can be described as being akin to a "hop bite" it's benign enough to the point that it leaves behind a drying sensation on the palate, as opposed to the cloying astringency you feel in poorly hopped excuses of an ale -- and this is coming from a beer cellared for three years, I might add.
Medium-bodied, with gentle yet somewhat stinging carbonation; the mouthfeel is gorgeously creamy with each sip of the liquid lightly coating the tongue before traversing down the alveolar ridge and to the back of the throat. No signs of boozy heat during the drinking experience whatsoever.

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Photo of gutbuster
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a dark, murky reddish amber in color with a 1 inch thick white head that slowly fades to leave a nice thin coating across the top of the beer.

Smell- The nose is very hop forward with pine and citrus. Hints of dark fruit and a barely perceptible malt presence.

Taste- Starts off with toffee and graham crackers and rockets its way into orange zest, plums and pine. Finishes with a spicy heat.

Mouthfeel- Heavy body, medium carbonation and somewhat dry.

Overall- An exceptional representation of a barleywine in my opinion. FFF always seems to hit home runs for me.

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Photo of rcjennings
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - deep honey, hazy apple cider with loose carbonation. Rich, foamy, caramel colored head.

Aroma - Prominent citrus hops with bready malts. Very fruity.

Taste - the aroma matches up with the taste. Fruit, hops, malt. And alcohol on the back end; mild for the style - these guys know how to brew.

Feel - Bitter and sweet. Sweet and bitter. Feels so good.

Overall - great barley wine. Hoppy, fruity, dangerously strong.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into squat Belgian snifter, ...dark mahogany/ burgundy blend fills the glass, out wafts the aroma, and I know I'll be spanked but good!

Little head here, though, it appears for a moment and disappears quickly.

Aroma screams brandy, cherries, hints of bourbon, port wine, licks of leather, spicy and slick...molasses, dark rum, brown sugar..liking it...

Now to taste: the Behemoth floods the mouth with fierce flavor and coats every inch with deliciousness, spreading tendrils of delight through every crack in the palate. And a thunder thuds above, as alcohol creeps along as well...boom, boom...hear his steps as he clods along the corridors of the brain...flavors detected in the nose reassert themselves on the tongue...l the slick sugary darkness, the caramel-y sweetness, the thick, resonant malt, the powerful potency. An aptly named brew, and it appears to be quite stronger than the last time I had it, on tap, nearly 4 years ago. It was 10% then, and a killer diller at that. Guess that envelope had to be pushed, eh, Floyd, Floyd, and Floyd?

Huge body, immense mouthfeel, long, slightly bitter, thick and resiny finish. A hell of a barleywine. But I want it in little bottles, not these monster servings. And I want it available in my home state, again. And I want a million dollars, and a pony, and a Rock'em, Sock'em robots, and Mommy and Daddy to get back together, and world peace, and no hunger, and, and, and...

Boom, boom, boom, I've barely gotten into it, and it's knocking at my frontal lobes...we're coming i-in...hide the I am, wishing I'd saved this for a get-together with friends, and continue drinking it solo, and hoping I don't wake up wanting to kill myself tomorrow morning...afternoon...?

I really, really like this, but it's a serious sipper of a brew, one that should accompany a long evening with the works of Wordsworth at hand, Old Dog Tray at one's feet, a roaring fire beside, attired in a comfortable know the scene...

I'm drooling over the intense flavors as much as the goons on the label, but not drooling over Miss Behemoth as they are...I just don't find three chins very sexy.

(Also, confused by the name...nothing "blonde" about this beauty!)

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Photo of illidurit
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from free table at Woodshop 5.0. Pours a clear orange-gold with a thin off-white froth. Aromas of caramel and alcohol, raisins, fruity hops. Flavor is fruity with a lot of caramel and the a bitter homage to the hops that used to be in this beer (I'm guessing it was a vintage bottle). Very full body, sweet and thick and bitter. Good beer.

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Photo of oldvines
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Localdrinklax
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of jminch
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Jiatlas
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of nawpnawp
4.69/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a clear light brown with a finger of head that looks sticky and creamy. The smell is mostly caramel with a hint of lemony zest; a little unexpected for a barleywine, but in a good, refreshing way. The taste is must of the same - it has a huge caramel backbone that is finely balanced by the hops. This is not what I was expecting at all, but given that it's from FFF, it makes a ton of sense. I would never have guessed it was 80 IBUs. The sweetness perfectly complements the hops and malts. The mouthfeel is on the thin side, but that's a good thing.

It drinks more like a DIPA than a traditional barleywine, but like all of FFFs unique takes on beer styles, this one is a home run.

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Photo of SeattleBoB76
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of far333
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage
Complements of autumnaldave

Ruddy caramel colored with a half inch of frothy off-white foam that settles down slowly to a fine cap of dimpled peaks with oily sheets of lace rising up the sides of the glass.

Aroma of ripe pear, piney hops, and burnt caramel.

Rich flavors of caramel and toffee, overripe fruits, hint of cocoa and marshmallow, honey malt and an evenly balanced grapefruit and pine hop presence. Well balanced and complex beer.

Even mouthfeel, full with moderate carbonation. Very tasty beer, drinkable, but a sipper. Thanks to autumnaldave for this lovely beer from a years-gone-by trade.

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Photo of FLBeerGuy
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage - Pours a clear copper with a thin cream head the leaves good lacing.

Nose wackes you with strong citrus hops, some toffee and bready malts and sweet caramel.

Taste is like the nose, citrus hops are up front bready malts and sweet caramel on the finish. The sweetness is a little syrupy and almost too much, but it does hide the alcohol well.

An IPA barleywine, a nice twist on the barlywine style. Only complaint is a it's a little too sweet.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at FFFs. Dark orange in appearance. Citrus and carmel nose, a perfect mix of yummy goodness. Tastes just like it smells, carmel/citrus/hoppy. Medium on the mouth, very smooth. This beer is easy to drink but will sneak up on you if you're not careful. Always have a few bombers on-hand while they're available.

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Photo of FullObs
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of dfhhead25
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of Tanger112
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of kidzord
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of 29mikoyan
4.93/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

A spectacular Barley Wine! It does have a hoppy presence, but it is smooth and mellow like a fine brandy. Molasses, cherry, and vanilla are present in this brew. It has a nice malty mouth feel.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.08/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 650ml waxed bottle into a pint glass. Blue wax so 2009 vintage that my buddy picked up at the brewery in July. Was a hazy amber color. Plenty of carb streams and some lacing. It had a large foamy beige head that very slowly settled to a collar and wisps.

The aroma was very hoppy with grapefruit and pine but plenty of molasses and sweet caramel malt as well. No alcohol presence. Was surprised how sweet smelling this one was. The taste was extremely sweet and on the wrong side of the too sweet border at first. It got a little better as it warmed up but still way too sweet. The hops were never really a player which was shocking considering how much they were in the aroma. Very odd. Needs some hop balance to the sweet and aging. Just becomes too sweet halfway to really enjoy. My rating reflects a half bottle as any more than that isn't doable.

Overall, a major disappointment and a rare miss for me from 3F's. I've had a lot of barleywines in the past couple months and this one is bottom tier.

Rotation: one and done on fresh. Would try an aged one. Would try on-tap to see if it differs.

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Photo of MoonpieCCSD
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of DonDeDieulicious
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Prospero
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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Behemoth from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 1905 ratings