Behemoth Blonde Barleywine | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Behemoth Blonde BarleywineBehemoth Blonde 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 - Lime Green Metallic Wax

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-04-2002

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Reviews: 589 | Ratings: 1,822
Photo of MNishCT77
3.48/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle from a Sat., 12/20/2014 Better Beer Authority Bottle Share (thanks, Richard H..), 2013 vintage (orange wax), poured into a BBA snifter glass, drank over 15 minutes

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Photo of Jmoore50
3.51/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one kind of disappointed me. 2009 blue wax vintage.

The appearance is golden-amber heart with light edges. It pours with a white head that sticks around for a few minutes. It was a lighter looking barley wine, and I found out later it was just a lighter brew all together.

The smell was of piney hops, and a faint malt background. There was a bit of ABV present, but barely. Not a very strong scent, which was an omen for the tasting.

There are no strong malt flavors in this, all are very faint. Very hoppy, which is understanding of a fresh barley wine. Not a lot of malt backbone, but just enough to push out all the hops. I have a dream that in about two years this will taste better.

Mouthfeel was pretty carbonated and very hoppy. I don't know, I was thinking that this was going to be a very different beer. The ABV is barely noticeable at all, but there is too much hop flavor and not enough malt balance. This thing better age like a champ or I will be even more sad than I am now.


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Photo of Rifugium
3.52/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 vintage consumed in Jan. '14.

Hazy but still translucent copper-colored liquid, with a small off-white head that retained as a thick ringlet and dotted the glass with lacing. Aroma of thick sweet malts, and somewhat off-putting old resinous hop oils, some neutral alcohol. On the palate, caramel malts, brown sugar bubblegum, some candied fruit and more of the resinous notes detected in the aroma, hints of acetone. Hmm. Medium bodied with a bit more carbonation than expected. It was good, but not overall what I expect from a barleywine, and I wasn't really sold on it.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, 2008 vintage courtesy of bobsy via viggo who had it stored away. Finally getting around to a few more notes from what ended up being a hazy night.

Pours a rich blonde/caramel with a bit of head that manages to leave some light lacing down the glass.

Nose is heavy with sweet caramel, pretty clean, simple. Touch of brown sugar and toffee, hint of honey.

Taste mirrors the heavy, sticky sweetness found in the nose, just a faint grassy, floral hop presence left in the finish to attempt to pull this all together. Little complexity, overwhelming sweet caramel at this point, I just appreciate a bit of balance, something to counter-point.

Pillowy smooth mouthfeel silks round the mouth, ABV no where to be found which is impressive for a 12% beer. Still, can't imagine seeking this out again. Not a terrible or even a bad beer, just that there's other less-diabetes causing beers out there.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sorrowfully totally clear amber-orange pour atop which an initially honest off-white cover fades at a constant rhythm. Expressive aroma firstly disarming you through a blast of floral, piney, sprucey aromatic amarillos. The underlying malt is not to be neglected, highly candyish, like concentrated Jolly Rancher juice. Tons of residual sugar components, yet well developed fruitiness, rich with melon and perfumed berry notes. Quite boozy in mouth, if not necessarily harshly so thanks to the cognac-like nature of the alcohol, reminding of a concentrated wine. Thus very sweet and fittingly very hoppy, foresty, fruity, woody and throath-coating. Very malty spirit is betrayed by a rather syrupy palate, certainly fruity and alcoholic, but also rather oily and slick even, the carbonation being restrained to say the least. Far from a favourite among barleywines, just not very mature nor sagacious, it remains an experiment worth seeking out.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Orange wax, 2013 vintage. Tasted 24 May 2014.

Pours a rich rusty amber-brown. Half a finger of yellowish head, okay retention and good lacing.

Smell is big and beefy. Caramel malts, hops, and alcohol. Leathery, herbal, and biting. But all in a nice way.

Taste is bruisingly strong and bitter. I don't find much else in there, unfortunately, as the bitter of the hops and the alcohol mask any pleasant flavors the malts might bring. Tastes like a hopped-up barleywine, but not anythig I really want to drink all that much of.

Feel is good. Medium-heavy body, enough carbonation, lasting.

A decent hoppy barleywine. The big problem is that it's lacking anything particularly interesting. No flavors that really grab me, not particularly well balanced. It's what I'd expect, but nothing more.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle, 2008 vintage that I picked up at the brewery at DLD 08.

A beautiful copper colored pour with a dense, beige head that falls off to a disk leaving nice lacing, this is a particularly gorgeous barleywine. The nose is quite nice. Mildly hoppy with citrus and pine notes present and a big caramel malt backbone. Some mint and alcohol are noticeable too. Red delicious apple is noticeable as well. Quite nice!

The palate, however, falls rather flat. Heavy on the crystal malt, this is astringent without (thankfully!) too much sweetness. While the astringency does fade as the beer warms up and has time to breathe, it is initially rather unpleasant. This beer is pretty big and sweet. The hops have faded gracefully, leaving some mild pine bitterness and some citrus fruitiness. The mid-palate has plenty of fruit, with red delicious apples, a little grape, Alcohol does appear on the finish, mildly warming. Full in body, this is soft and lush on the palate. The finish has crystal malt and a mild bitterness. Decent stuff. The alcohol is rather well-hidden IMO. However, there just isn't enough malt complexity to keep this interesting on the palate, nor is it worthy of time in a cellar IMO.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle purchased at City Wide in Mishawaka, IN. Pours red brown with a thin filmy head. fruity and lupulin filled odor. lots of sweetness on the nose too. quite floral. Taste is very hoppy and grassy. Strong hops mask and meld with the strong ethanol flavors. Sugary with some cherry and strawberry notes. quite strong and not very well balanced. thick and syrupy. Surprizingly for 3 Floyds, this one is not "not normal" (double negative!). kind of a run of the mill big american barleywine. i was hoping with would be more mellow and delicious. oh well.

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Photo of bobsy
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Eric's wrong - this one actually had purple wax, which makes it a 2008 vintage. Thanks to viggo for leaving this at my house, and then giving me the opportunity to share it again on a crazy night of drinking that was fun but not repeatable.

Pours a rich orange with a compact off-white head that left some lace as it dropped to a film. Sweet nose, with lots of brown sugar and a hint of resinous hops. Loads of caramel in the flavour, with only a smattering of floral hopping. The hops seem to have completely died out at this point, making this one serious malt heavy brew. On the bright side, the alcohol is nicely integrated. Smooth chewy mouthfeel.

This one is probably better fresh. As it is, its not a bad beer, but some more complexity would be appreciated.

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Photo of chinchill
3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orange-waxed 2013 bottle pours deep red-amber with a decent head.
Attractive aroma is a bit too flowery, giving a hint of perfume.

Alcohol is partly hidden, but still drinks like 10% ABV.

Feel: a little hot on the tongue, this would no doubt benefit from some aging.
Medium body and carbonation.

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Photo of ohmybock
3.61/5  rDev -14%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 - Yellow wax edition 22oz bottle
Pours a very hazy deep amber color with just a faint hint/ring of a head. The aroma is mostly hops and is pleasant. The taste is sweet upfront with hop flavor and bitterness following quickly after, then the hops and the sweet malts battle each other in a long, drawn-out fight to the end. Carbonation is light and contributes to the heavy body and chewy mouthfeel of this brew. This beer is sweet, but it stops just short of being syrupy. To me, Behemoth tastes like a malty IIPA. That's not a bad thing, though. I really like IIPAs and barleywines, and sometimes the line between the two is blurry. Curiously, this brew tastes very much like Dreadnaught, but with a bigger malt bill. Both of those brews seem to use some Simcoe hops which is a variety I don't particularly like. Ultimately, if you like Dreadnaught, then you'll probably enjoy Behemoth as well.

After tasting this brew, I was left with one burning question...why on Earth is this stuff so expensive? This is a decent brew, but $18 for a bomber? There are comparable brews which are just as good (and better) that are 1/2 to 1/3 the price. I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this one, but I can't justify buying any more.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.62/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2013 Orange Wax

A- Pours a deep amber with ruby and orange accents coming through. Dense dirty white head that does everything it can not to fade. Terrific lacing

S- Caramel, toffee, toasted bread, and charred malts all come through amidst the fruity, floral notes. Delightful, yet not robust.

T- Some time has certainly helped smooth this one out. Flavor profile is similar to the nose in that it is tempered but becoming. Starts with the rich, charred malts before moving on to a layer of sweet, chewy caramel and tropical fruits

M- Probably the weakest aspect for me. While the booze is mild, the body is on the lighter side. A rather pathetic carbonation level. Sticky though.

O- Not bad. Everything seems to come together nicely, but nothing really "pops".

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Photo of JebBeerFish
3.62/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Caramel Brown

S: Malty, Hoppy, Bready.

T: Bitter hops come out early and stay strong. There is some sweetness in the background, but it is overwhelmed by the hoppy bitterness. Rather one dimensional taste.

F: Was perhaps a bit thin for a Barleywine.

O: I really didn't care for this one. I prefer English Barelywines over American Barleywines, and this is clearly an American Barleywine.

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Photo of Jaycase
3.63/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

a: cloudy amber

s: citrusy hops

t: juiciness with a strong hop accent. a slight bit of malts on the tail end. A vein of sweetness throughout.

m: very nice. low carbonation. medium body

d: fairly drinkable but the alcohol wins in the end by TKO.

My only other barleywine experience is Bigfoot so I still need to expand my experience in this category. The price would likely prevent me from partaking in this on a regular basis but glad I got a chance to try it. I recommend trying this at least once.

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Photo of squaremile
3.63/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

08 vintage poured at a recent BA tasting event. Pours a cloudy dark orange. Nose is very sweet, caramel, and a touch of pine hops. Taste is candy malts, brown sugar, caramel, and a nice resinous hop presence, more than Dreadnaught. Mouthfeel is sticky with a medium body, and a long lingering aftertaste. Solid.

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Photo of jale
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This review is based on a complete vertical tasting of this.

A: Pours medium amber with a finger of tan head.

S: Sweet roasted malt and grapefruit.

T: The taste changed from year to year, and not due to the aging. Big malt and little hop in some. Big grapefruit hops and less malt in others. Some drank more like an DIPA than a barley wine.

M: On the lighter side of thick. Sometimes cloying.

O: Decent but not my favorite

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Photo of PhiloPsych
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I had never heard of a blonde barleywine previously. It definitely looks and smells like a barleywine--though the color is a bit lighter, more yellow, and less red than other big barleywines like Bigfoot, Old Guardian, or Old Crustacean. The smell is very sweet and its syrupy viscosity is evident even as it pours from the bottle. The light head dissipates quickly leaving a ring of lace around the edge of the glass. Though I don't notice the hops in the aroma, hops are surprisingly pronounced--spicy and piney--in the front of the taste (less so in the middle and finish). The sweetness of the aroma becomes a candy, molasses syrup flavor. I like syrupy-mouthfeel beers, but this one is too much for me. I like big ol' barleywines, but this one is overwhelming. The bottle says "It's not normal," and that sums it up pretty well.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice cloudy dark golden orange in the glass with a bit of a white head that melts to a white ring that lasts forever.

Aromas of sweet, sweet, amber malts and bitter Pacific NW citrus peel hops.

Tastes of sweet amber malts are immediately assaulted by the bitter citrus peel hops. Not necessarily grapefruit or lemon...just bitter citrus peel. A balance of sorts is created by the two flavor sensations but not a perfect balance...there is no marriage here. The two flavors remain seperate although complimentary.

Aftertaste is bitter but doesn't linger...a nice cleaness prevails making you look for another sip.

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Photo of TK5150
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage - Purple Wax.

I had this vintage fairly fresh back in 2008, now I'm trying another bottle to see how it has changed since then. Let's see how 3+ years in the bottle has changed this BBW...

A- Pours a very nice dark amber/ruby with a one finger creamy beige head. Leaves some relatively nice lacing on the glass and recedes to a ring around the glass.

S- Funky caramel and estery pitted fruits. A unique/borderline weird nose that I remember from having this back in the day.

T- Heavy on the caramel, but this caramel is burnt and a bit funky (like in the nose). The esters follow with pitted fruits, citrus, and some unripe pear.

M- Fairly full bodied with a bit of a kick. Smooth at the beginning of the tongue and a quick shot of carbonation at the finish.

O- Overall this has not changed much in the past 3 years. It has mellowed a touch, but not TONS considering the amount of time. It is a very drinkable barleywine, especially for the alcohol content. It lacks the overall intensity and excitement I like to see in my barleywines. A bit boring. It does not have the complexity I like to see either. I would not pass this up if offered to me because it is a decent beer, but I would not SEEK this one out again. I liked this a little more fresh.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a glass (maybe a Delirium tulip?) on a date I don't remember. Whoops.

2011.5 "Dear Diary, From Chicago" vintage

Shared by MbpBugeye; get well soon, buddy.

Deep copper and dulled plum hues. Two finger head thins, leaving lots of tightly grouped lace. Very pretty.

Way hoppy nose - piney, earthy and a touch citrus peely. Toasted malts - bread, grain, caramel. Plum and apple. Tastes pretty good. Hops have a modest bitterness and a citric twinge (orange). Just as toasty as it smells with a fruit juicy middle. Bready and a dry caramel note. Medium-full body with appropriate carbonation. Residuals linger long. No booziness.

Very nice. An even-keeled critter. I'm looking forward to the vertical.

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Photo of kajerm
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep red-amber, almost brown with two fingers of massive, soap bubble off-white head and gobs of lacing. Slightly hazy.

The aroma is maltier than I expected-- maybe this is just the beers, or maybe it's because the bottle has been aged about 10 months. There is a sticky, toffeeish, almost English note of malts. Smells pretty alcoholic, which of course, it is.

Opens up with heavy malty sweetness, like an English barley wine, but this blends mid-palate into a nice, tacky bitterness from the hops (which apparently were there all along.) Not too much alcohol, although it does taste "heavy." If this didn't cost so much money, I'd love to taste it with fresh hops, but it's pretty damn good now.

The mouthfeel is heavy and stately, a classic barley wine.

Drinkable for the style for sure, but not a lawnmower beer by any means.

LATER: This is getting harder to drink. It's well-crafted-- it is FFF after all--but it's just a little too schizophrenic for me. I think in the high-ABV, hoppy barley wine-ish category, the 10th anniversary beer is a much better showing.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

orange wax edition, shared with friends, thank goodness. this beast pours a burnt orange color, with lots of yeast sediment and maybe an inch of just off white head. the nose is really sweet, English toffee, dark caramel, brown sugar, and beet sugars as well. there is also a lot of hops, not quite hog heaven level, but this is definitely an American barleywine, with some pine notes and even some tropical fruits emanating from the hopping. the taste is crisp for how sweet it is, and I think the hops do save this beer from being just a sugar bomb. the alcohol is piercing, and the flavors all combine to be like a really good bread pudding. sort of odd in a beer, but I enjoyed the flavors coming together as they did. the feel is a little sluggish. not quite bubbly enough, and the sweetness starts to take hold after half a glass or so. this beer becomes pretty punishing when its warm, but so do most barleywines. I know its the wrong time of year for this, so maybe that had something to do with my dislike of the mouthfeel, but this is a complex and enjoyable beer nevertheless. still waiting to be blown away by three floyds though.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bomber came from Adam. Big thanks! White wax which I think is a 2011, poured on 12/14/13. Pours a orange brown, a bit murky, with a small yellowish brown head. Aroma is caramel, toffee, orange peel, some more fruits, figs. Flavor is big time malts, toffee, caramel, lots of fig, some orange peel, still some semblance of hops with a little dankness, and more big malty notes. Lots of flavor, and very much on the sweet side. Mouthfeel is chewy but with plenty of carbonation despite the age. This is good stuff, but I don't think it lives up to its name for me unless it is better fresh.

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Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In a word, hoppy drinkable barleywine. Nicely hopped up but there have been other hoppy barleywines I have had that are more complex at a similar or lower price. Good head and hoppy aroma. Yellow wax 2007 that I should have aged, how did I know without a warning label.

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Photo of kevanb
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

650 ml bottle, 2013 vintage with orange wax, poured into a Three Floyds' Teku glass.

The beer pours a deep amber color with hues of red and burgundy. A 2 finger high, bone colored, soapy head rises from the beer with decent retention and nice lacing. The aroma is a bit muddled, piney, sticky hops hits the nose straight away but quickly lead to sweet brown sugar, rich dark malted grain, toffee and pitted fruit with a huge boozy kick. The balance is a bit awkward and the alcohol is quite harsh. The flavors are a bit smoother and more integrated. Bitter, pine forward hops rush out but are cut by sweet brown sugar, toffee, pitted fruit and super harsh alcohol at the finish with just a touch of smokey alcohol. The body is nice, coats the mouth well, a bit bubbly and lively for my tastes when it comes to a barleywine, but the finish is dry and bitter, plays nicely with the hops.

Verdict: A good but not great barleywine from Three Floyds. Best when super fresh and with some years on it, but the hops do feel a bit out of place in this brew. An interesting experiment in the American style, but doesn't match the smooth, rich complexity of an English style barleywine.

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Behemoth Blonde Barleywine from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.2 out of 5 based on 1,822 ratings.
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