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Behemoth Barleywine | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Behemoth BarleywineBehemoth Barleywine
1,892 Ratings
Behemoth BarleywineBehemoth Barleywine

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
A huge, sweet Barley Wine 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,892 |  Reviews: 601
Reviews by zoso1967:
Photo of zoso1967
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Behemoth pours a burnt orange amber color with a shiny parchment head that has marathon staying power and leaves insane lace. The beer is slightly cloudy, but that just adds to the wonderful orange glow it is picking up as I let the surroundings soak in here at the FFF pub.

The aroma is amazingly sweet and very fruity. It smells a lot like a slightly boozy candied orange. Other notes include caramel, peppery grapefruit, some pine, apricot, flowers and pineapple.

The flavor is equally wonderful with a big sweetness that is balanced out by tingly hop bitterness. The hops taste a bit more tropical than they smelled and match up well with a sweetness that seems a bit less toffee and a bit more sugar cookie like than most barley wines. I also detect just a touch of toastiness that really sets all the flavors off. These flavors are all quite balanced and there is just a touch of alcohol that shows through. This is an amazing tasting barley wine.

Mouthfeel is medium and lighter than expected with a very nice finish that is hardly sticky at all. In fact, this beer strikes me as a barley wine that finishes like an IPA. This is something that I really enjoyed about the beer.

This was the first beer I imbibed at the brewpub after a long road trip from Traverse City, MI. It turned out to be a great first choice and I feel lucky we got to try it since they were sold out of bottles and the waitress said this was some of the last of this year's production. It really blew me away with its aromas, flavors and wonderful mouthfeel and found it to be quite drinkable. I really hope I can get my hands on some again next you to compare.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of gopens44
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
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 +7.6%
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.

 2,674 characters

Photo of gutbuster
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

 587 characters

Photo of rcjennings
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 435 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one poured a beautiful orangish-brown in color with a light, off-white head. The beer itself was crystal clear, which I thought was strange for a BW.

Smell – OMG! This is hoppier than most dry-hopped IPAs that I’ve had. The hop aroma is just like raw hops. I mean, pull the hops off the vine and hold them to your nose and this is the smell of this beer.

Taste – The hops are huge and raw at the taste as well. It tastes like Kim dry-hopped the bottle just before I arrived. There’s a good, strong winey base to this one as well, although it’s balanced towards hops for sure.

Mouthfeel – This is a big medium-bodied and very dry.

Drinkability – I enjoyed drinking this ale, but it was certainly unbalanced and would benefit from aging. For a big hop-infused alcohol rush though I haven’t found a better candidate.

Comments – Thanks to skyhand for popping this hop monster at the Second Annual Beer-o-ween party. It went great with Shaun of the Dead and my spicy enchiladas.

 1,016 characters

Photo of ricke
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage.

A: Reddish copper with a slight chill hazy. A small off-white head with yellow hues settles rather quickly and leaves some lacings.

S: Plenty of hops - big notes of grapefruit and small hints of strawberries. Grass, floral notes and a general fruitiness. Sweet malts with a slightly bready character, fudge, nutty aromas and brown sugar. Incredibly well balanced. Great smell.

T: A fantastic taste. Great balance between sweet malts and fresh hop aromas. Notes of grapefruit, strawberries, mango and cherries blend with pine-needles, floral notes and hop resins. A thick and very pleasant malty backbone with a somewhat toasty character - dark bread, nuts, chocolate and huge amount of sweet caramel. The finish is really bitter and contains fresh hop resins, a hint of tobacco, wood and gentle spices. The bitterness slowly fades away in a really long finish. A sweet taste of alcohol is noticeable, but it's really integrated with the rest of the flavors.

M: Full body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation.

D: Very good. It's almost unbelievable to think a beer as potent as this one can be so balanced, it's practically flawless. Rich, powerful and complex, it doesn't get much better than that.

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Photo of t2grogan
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed at the Three Floyds' brewpub on 2/18/11 after a morning trip down from Traverse City, MI with fellow BA zoso1967 and his wife (thanks for driving!).

Behemoth is served up dark copper with glints of gold into a small snifter. A 1.5 finger light khaki head swells on top of the body. The lacing is phenomenal and looks like paint thrown onto a wall from a flicked brush.

The initial smell announces aromas of sweet caramel malts and fresh hop juice. DAMN! This is a fresh, delicious, fruity smelling beer. Candied fruit, orange juice, tropical fruits (pineapple and honeydew melon) waft wonderfully out of the glass. Ah, Behemoth, you smell like a fresh spring morning in an orchard.

Wow, the taste is a fresh, fruity, layered treat. Orange, caramel, and pineapple combine to produce a wild, full taste. The hop presence seriously steps it up at the end of the sip with a resinous, grassy, grapefruit finish. It is quite amazing how the hops dry out such a sweet and full beer.

The mouthfeel is very full, hearty, and coating in the middle of the sip and very dry at the end. This is medium to full bodied for the style with medium carbonation that complements the body perfectly. The finish is puckeringly dry.

Wow, count me impressed by Behemoth. It is eminently drinkable for a huge beer. How is it so sweet at first, but so dry at the end? I could have a few of these (and probably hurt a lot afterward). This is perhaps the best Barleywine that I've had. I really love Three Floyds' beers.

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Photo of cjn40277
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Dabeel
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.69/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brand new September 30, 2005 release pink wax dipped bomber. After fighting through the wax the cap comes off and the Behemoth pours into my SN tulip a deep copper red that comes alive when held up to the light. A nice tan bubbly head leaves nice spotty lacing. Aromas of...WHOA...an intense cornucopia of luscious scents nearly overwhelm me. Further inspection leaves me with rich, deep caramel, sweet sugary molasses, fresh baked bread, dark fruits, cocoa and pine needles. Big grapefruity, pineapple, citric hops are bold, ripe and resinous. Literally intoxicating..your nose will keep coming back for more.

First sip brings a wall of deep caramelly maltiness with interwoven notes of molasses, dark fruits, cherries, melons and pine. Rich and fairly sweet initially. A bit nutty with a good helping of citrusy, grapefruity resinous hoppy bitterness on the way down. Hints of alcohol peek through as well and provide a nice belly warming sensation. Lingering notes of raisins and sweet candied bread. Quite an enjoyable, hoppy barleywine here. A beautiful blend of rich malts and hops. Yum.

Mouthfeel is dense with a nice creamy aspect and good stable carbonation. Chewy without going over the top. A nice sipper as each one packs an array of flavors. I wouldn't mind having a few of these on a cold day..but you have to watch out for that ABV. Paired nicely with some 3 year old cheddar. Well worth seeking out...I have a feeling that aging this a year or two will produce some good results. Still a bit overpriced in the grand scheme of things...but I guess one should not put a price on happiness...and right now I'm pretty damn happy.

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Photo of sabitu
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Afroman
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of DWolf
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of sponberg
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap, in a pint glass. Thankfully, I wasn't driving... They used all three Floyds in this one, and called in the cousins.

Deep amber with slight carbonation. Very fruity nose. The flavor starts out by attacking every tastebud in your mouth - primarily sweet malt, with a background bitterness and alcohol that sings its praises loudly. Caramelly mid-sip, with a floral citrusy hoppiness hiding at the end. The finish changes 3 times in 2 seconds, from hop to sweet to toffee. The main flavor is a sweet maltiness that is incredibly similar to my buddy's 1996 barleywine, so much so that I told him to haul his keester over to the bar because they kegged it for him. Huge. Wonderful.

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Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Dbrulet
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Snikwad1020
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of merlin48
4.82/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yellow wax coated bottle pours a mostly clear copper body. Attractive beige head is longlasting and leaves sticky lacing around the glass. Fabulous aroma is juicy fruity, lots of tropical fruit esters and invting hops. Pink grapefruit, orange marmelade, tangerine and papaya complimented by pine resin, brown sugar and caramel. Full medium body is thick and sticky. Adequate, but tame, carbonation. Taste begins with chewy caramel which quickly fades into an aggressive sticky hoppiness. Lots of oily resins segue into bitter waves of pine resin and grapefruit bitterness. Red apple and cherry notes float into the middle. Slight alcohol warming is a welcome addition to the grapefruit pulpiness. Very complex and delicious. Hop character is not unlike Dreadnaught but enveloped in a more substantial malt profile. An outstanding American barleywine!

 850 characters

Photo of warriorsoul
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

First was handed one of these by the man himself, Beerguy (Frank). This one comes from orbitalr0x...hand delivered all the way from IL...thanks brother.
Pours a clear ruby red with a half finger of light beige head...very little lacing.
Fantastic in the nose...definitely American as the juicy fruit hops hit me. Throw in citrus, dried cherries, touch of raisin and a gentle burn on the hairs.
Taste is splendid...if you don't mind the hopped up bw's, this one really delivers. So well balanced and I am glad to see it more sweet than bitter...strawberries mainly in the flavor, the alcohol shines thru a bit and the aftertaste is delicious.
Mouthfeel is thicker than medium and the carbonation is perfect.
At 12.5% I will not reach for anything beyond this 650ml...the night begins and ends with this one...no complaints here.

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Photo of aquazr1
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of badbeer
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared at Lava Lounge, thanks to hero27. Beer pours a very deep ruby red as described on the bottle, excellant lacing. This is very hoppy as you might expect from an American barley wine, but there is a strong pineapple aroma as well as plum and dark fruits. Taste is much like the aroma with a strong hop and pineapple presence paired with a nice bit of alcohol warmth. Did I say this is hoppy? Mouthfeel is very smooth. Drinkable, yes, but limit how much you have. I would definately like to see this beer after a year or two of aging, can't wait to see what else is in store for this, enjoy.

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Behemoth Barleywine from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 1,892 ratings