3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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American Barleywine
Ranked #12
Ranked #1,197
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
Photo of beertunes
3.24/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle, 2016 version, courtesy of @NWer. Poured into 11oz tulip. Poured a cloudy, bordering on murky, dark brown color, with a fair amount of chunks. There was 3/4 inch of off-white head that had good retention and light lacing.

The aroma was typical for the style: lots of sweet malt, and a noticeable alcohol hit.

Same on the tongue, fairly well average for the style.

The body was full and smooth, again, fairly typical for the style.

Drinkability was fine, no issues popped up.

Overall, a pretty average version of the style. Worth trying if you see it, not really worth any effort to obtain.

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Photo of beersampler6
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Solid beer. Not usually my go-to style but I can still appreciate how well crafted this one is. Unsure of the year - wax appeared dark red in color. Nice darker amber color with a little fluffy white head and spotty lingering lacing. Smells of some ripe fruit - raisin and fig - as well as caramel, toast, nuttiness and vanilla. Maybe a little malt. Taste follows the nose, good amount of warming alcohol as the beer warmed. Can feel that higher ABV. Smooth, sticky, luscious mouthfeel that coated the palate. Very nicely done by the always amazing 3 Floyds.

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Photo of larryi86
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thank you bstyle for this
22 oz bottle, 2018, poured into a teku

A- A slightly hazy/murky reddish amber with a three finger off-white head.

S- Piney, caramel, some citrus, some stone fruits, orange peels, toasted malts.

T- Piney, toasted and caramel malts, stone fruits, raisins, some citrus/orange peels, a little herbal.

M- Smooth, medium to full body, a little creamy.

O- A really nice Barelywine, definitely has that big piney hop flavor you find in American Barelywines. Tasty and nicely balanced.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pulled from the depths of my cellar, a 2014 blue wax bottle with 5 years on it.

A - Dark hazy bronze-brown color, not much light getting through, with a minimal light tan head that disappears, and no real lacing to speak of.

S - A nose full of pine and lemon hop notes, with a core of sweet caramel, and a big note of booze over all.

T - Following the nose, the core is a caramel and bread malt flavor, raisins and dark fruit, but the hops come through in a variety of ways, from the pine and lemon that came through in the nose, to a strongly brewed tea aspect. Alcohol and woodiness are there too, but they recede before the sweet and bitter.

M - Minimal carbonation is not surprising after a long run in my basement, but the feel is moderately weighty given its name, not burdensome, with a brisk alcohol warmth on the finish that cleans the bit of stickiness in the open right off.

O - I am not a fan of the style, but this is a well-built rendition, and with 3 Floyds it naturally loads up with hop notes and flavors. I cannot say I'd buy another bottle, as it is all a bit too much for my tastes, but I am glad I had this one.

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Photo of jrc1093
3.79/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2018 bottling

Pours a cloudy, deep auburn-ruby hue topped with a consistent two fingers of off-white, fluffy foam; excellent retention recedes slowly to a spotty cap and dense collar of froth; comprehensive walling of thick lacing paints the glass.

Aroma shows slight but apparent notes of citrus upfront, with orange peel leading the way before a dense bit of subtle pine accompanied by a small dosing of grapefruit zest enters the fold; dried caramel malt presence has a subtle influence on the entirety of the bouquet.

Taste brings a steady combination of floral pine, oaky caramel malt, sticky grapefruit peel, and airy citrus/tangerine fading toward a finish with a minor vanilla edge.

Mouthfeel shows a creamy medium body with an equally fluffy carbonation through the mid-palate that fades to an airy hop prickle spread thinly to the finish; drying, boozy edge is subtle but definitely present.

A big, boozy American barleywine that still manages a strong semblance of balance; it’s well-composed in all the right places, but what booziness is still apparent is aggressive enough to mute the nuance that’s surely bring this to the next level. A solid, very well-made barleywine nonetheless.

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Photo of Buck89
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. A clear dark amber color with a thick tan head. Great looking beer. Aroma was definitely American BW with citrus/piney hops, caramel, and brown bread. A hint of booze gave away that this wasn't an IPA. On the palate, a rush of caramel and bready malt hit me first, followed quickly by bitter grapefruit, pine, and earthy notes. As they faded, caramel and toffee reappeared, along with candied oranges and a steady but gentle warming from the alcohol. Off-dry finish with a full body. Overall an outstanding American Barleywine. Not as bitter as Bigfoot, which is a good thing for me.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a hazy deep amber with a one finger creamy white head. Tons of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is orange, tangerine, grapefruit and piney hops.

T - The taste orange peel, grapefruit, caramel, brown sugar and big piney hops.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a crisp dry finish.

O - This is an excellent Barleywine. Perfect mix of sweet malts, citrus and resinous hops. Highly recommended.

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Photo of TheGent
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Three Floyds Behemoth

Purple Wax

Bottled 12/5/2018

This beers pours a hazy, translucent, orange /brown color with a fluffy, two finger, off-white head that settles to a half finger while streaking the glass with tons of lace. A few bubbles here and there rising up from the glass. 3/4 an hour in and there is just a thin layer of foam across the top of the beer and a thick ring around the glass. Specks of foam dot the glass. Very attractive.

The aroma is sweet, bready, dried stone fruit including apricot and prune, offset with orange/lemon citrus and piney hops. I get a lot of orange citrus. Candied rind, and zest. Combined with the alcohol it evokes Old Fashioned. Giving it some swirls I get Panettone. More of that sweet bread and raisin aspect. There is a sweet woodiness as the beer warms up, which reminds me of the burst of tobacco and cedar when I open my cigar box. I’m even getting some hints of holiday spice here as the beer really warms up: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom. Around Christmas my wife sticks oranges with whole cloves and hangs them around the house. The aroma reminds me of that. 10.5% ABV is definitely present and complements nicely fruitiness and spiciness of the beer

Sweet, bready, caramel and toffee malt up front combined with earthy and spicy hops. Spice throws me for a loop here. Could be the hops, but it reminds me of rye. Chewy malt profile. Dried fruit including brown raisin, apricot, prune and date. The bitterness pricks the tongue and slowly begins to envelope the entire palate, eventually taking over. A complementary flavor to the huge malt profile. Alcoholic warmth follows on the tongue and in the pipes. The beer is piney and lemon pithy. Candied orange note on the palate too. Also getting some holiday spice including nutmeg and cardamom. This beer is all English Barleywine malt profile up front, followed by the Americanization of the style that comes through as a classic West Coast DIPA.

Low carbonation. Super smooth and finishes with a long, drawn out bitterness. The 10.5% shows up on the feel as it warms my palate and pipes. I like that though. This beer is not ashamed of itself, like the lady on the label. And why should it be? The sticky, sweet malt profile coats my lips, like a big, boozy, English Barleywine.

This beer perfectly blends the English and American Barleywine. A chewy, sweet, malt profile blended with piney, lemony, orangey and pithy hop bitterness. The label makes me think of sex. This beer is like the offspring of a big, bold, unabashed threesome among a classic American Barleywine, a malty, bitter, American DIPA and an English Barleywine.

Thinking about this beer after the one an two year bourbon barrel aged beers: This one has more heat and more bitterness. It seems the barrel tempers these two aspects.

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Photo of 2beerdogs
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to FFFjunkie for this Hoosier gem. 2017 release.
Pours a beautiful amber, holding a bit of golden sunset within. Frothy off-white head bounces 2+ fingers high before receding to a milky pond scum-(not in color)-like layer. Moderate lacing.
Smell begins with a complex waltz of caramel like sweetness and piney/citrusy/floral hops. A lot going on here. A bit of damp malt notes, reminds me of a cereal I liked as a kid, Buckwheats.
Tongue is working. Picking up an initial caramel meets bourbon sweetness that is instantly tamed by some floral citrus, earthy pine notes, and a hint of spice. Warming. Smooth date notes, rich and chewy. Medjool style. This seems to blur the line between a traditional English Barleywine and her 'Merican cousin. The hops really do tame the sweetness, and also add their own dimensions here. Smoothly and lightly boozy.
Mouthfeel is full enough for style. No shrinking violet here. Mild carbonation.
Overall, I like this a lot. Can;t wait to try the BA version.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2015 Vintage
22oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep ruby-amber color with a one finger creamy off-white head that has good retention and leaves some lacing behind

S- spicy citrus rind up front on the nose, along with orange marmalade. Caramel malty sweetness with brown sugar, candied dark fruit and alcohol close it out

T- spicy and resinous citrus zest and rind up front, along with some piney hop notes. Mid-palate gives malty sweet notes of caramel, brown sugar and dark bread. The finish gives more zesty orange, along with caramel malt and a hint of booze

M- medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues into a creamy, warming finish

O- holds up well to aging with plenty of citrusy hop notes still coming through

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Photo of bl00
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber color, copius head remains for a significant time. Nose is spicy, some notes remind me of cured meat (wife says dry dog food), dried dark fruit, slight boozy heat on the back. Taste is grapes, raisin, spicy, wood. Lingers into classic barleywine funk. Mouth feel is medium but full. Nice carb remains, very smooth. Overall I dig this quite a bit. Manages to highlight the distinctive barleywine profile while also being very approachable

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Photo of Ri0
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 22oz bottle into chalice. Vintage 2016. Light amber/orange color with a 2.5 finger off white head. Great retention that slowly fades into a collar. Thick webs of lacing coat the glass. Rich aromas of caramel and toffee make up the sweetness. Dark fruit with hops that are earthy and piney. It is pleasant because of the caramel and toffee flavors mixed with some dark fruit. A bit of bitterness and spice to it along with some alcohol. Medium body with soft carbonation. A bit warming. A delicious BW, but kind of pricey at $17.

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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 AyatollahGold
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2018 bottle. Silver wax.
Beautiful color of almost burgundy/rose/mahogany mix. Nice thin light tan head.
Smell is sweet. Maybe some caramel sweetness.
Taste is pretty much the same. Sweetness, some caramel & slight hop presence.
Feel is very smooth going through. Soft.
Overall, this was very good. A lot better than the 17 I had. I'm glad.

4.75 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25

2019 bottle. Magenta wax.
Pouring this from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip glass, this beer pours out copper and dark wood in color. It forms one finger worth of tightly packed, tingy yellow, well held crown. Leaves some lacing. 4.75

The nose is dank with notes of burnt sugar, toasted caramel, earthy notes that almost resemble peat character and some bitter hops in the back. The burnt aspect plays a really big part. 4.5

The taste comes in with hop notes of light fruit, apricot like, and pine as well. Toasted malts and burnt sugars behind the hops. That peat character turns into more of a piney resin instead. Sweet notes of caramel and toffee showing. 4.5

Bittering hops on the mouthfeel. It’s dry, medium-full bodied and well carbonated. Finishes a little sharp, from the ABV sitting at 12.5%. 4.25

Overall, I end up liking this a little more each year. It’s a unique, Behemoth of a brew. 4.5

4.75 4.5 4.5 4.25 4.5

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Photo of Kbret
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first one I had this year the hops hit me very strong. I'm getting more of the carnal in the second. Has a red huge to it. Nice sweet smelling with a Carmel aftertone. This is a blonde Brarleywine... from what I understand has an American spin on the style. I really enjoy this one and will seek it out each year. Three Floyd's never disappoints me....

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Photo of SomethingClever
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz waxed bottle poured into tulip glass

A: Small soap off white head that laces the glass nicely. Body is a murky copper almost reddish hue.

S: Lots of sharp resiny hops. Burnt sugars, almost smells like it's going to be strong. A little bit of an oak smell as well.

T: Lots of resiny, floral, hops with a nice tangy bitterness then a little sweetness. Finishes a little smoother with a linger malty bitterness.

M: Medium bodied lighter carbonation almost a little thin.

O: This isn't bad but it isn't anything extraordinary. The mouthfeel us a little surprising I would have thought it was going to be almost cloying but it really isn't the beer finishes somewhat smoothly.

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Photo of REVZEB
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very warm right off the smell and into the taste. Almost like a hot oatmeal cookie off the foretaste, turning boozy, with plenty of barley, molasses, toffee and dark fruit. Smell is deep and complex, with plenty of dark and bright aromas.

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Photo of phreak1983
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark copper with an impressive head for a barleywine.

Smell: Sweet malt and grapefruit rind hops

Taste: Pineapple, malt, alcohol is barely noticeable.

Feel: Smooth and juicy.

It's like a juicy IPA style barleywine! It's tasty and dangerously easy to drink!

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Photo of jvgoor3786
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm reviewing the 2016 version, but prager62 was generous enough to send me both the 2016 and 2017. The beer pours a deep, opaque amber color with a one-finger tan head that's thick enough to coat the sides of the glass. The smell is complex. There's some bright, citrus hops on there, some dark fruits, and some caramel malts. The taste is equally as complex. The hops hit first briefly then the dark fruits come through very strongly. As it fades the caramel and maltiness lingers through to the end. The is a little smell and taste of alcohol also. The mouthfeel is thick and smooth. Overall this is very good and very complex. I would definitely get a could each year to drink and to age, if I had access to it.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bakker for sending this particular bottle! Reviewed from notes. This was a 2013 vintage bottle, consumed on 10/30/16. Poured from a wax-sealed 22 oz. bottle into an El Catador Barrel-Aged glass.

A: Hazy to turbid brown. A low amount of visible carbonation, but still manages to form a half-finger of off-white head. This fades fairly quickly to spotty foam.

S: Caramel, toffee, and some mildly faded citrus rind and resin hops. Mild brown sugar sweetness along with the sweet malts. Some bourbon-like sweet notes as well, though this is not the barrel-aged version. Some candied fruits and raisins as well. A nice enough nose, though nothing crazy.

T: Toffee and caramel up front again. Citrus hops and oily hop resin. Sweet malts, boozy ethanol sweetness. Lesser notes of brown sugar with mild fruity yeast esters. Light hop bitter oils persist with the sweet maltiness in the hang.

M: A medium body for style, with low carbonation sensation. The alcohol presence is fairly restrained for a barleywine, though it's still fairly hefty.

O: This was an enjoyable barleywine. Definitely boozy (despite no barreling), and definitely toffee forward. I think the hops have held up remarkably well - though there's not a big bitterness, there are still the citrus and resin flavors. Reasonably good overall, though I'm not sure I'd actively seek out another.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

1 PINT 6 FL OZ bottle
Served in a Three Floyds teku glass

This beer pours a deep amber color with blood orange highlights. It is topped with an inch of tan head that leaves decent lacing.

Even though this beer is almost five years old I can still smell some hops which give is light citrus notes to compliment the caramel base.

The hop flavor of this beer reminds me of Gumballhead. It has light citrus character with a bold caramel backbone. There are enough hops to linger into the finish leaving a citrus aftertaste.

Full, syrupy mouthfeel

I am quite impressed with this beer. I was expecting it to be more hype than flavor. I am wrong. It is a very enjoyable beer. I need to find a fresh one the next time it comes around. It is great with four plus years on it.

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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 GuyFawkes
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 1/7/15; drank 2/6/15 @ Yuss Haus.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Cloudy orange/red rust appearance.

Off-white head; strong lace.

Grapefruit & orange citrus nose.

Medium thick, flat mouthfeel.

Grapefruit, orange citrus & mild caramel flavors. Tastes like an above average DIPA to me. Good.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in February 2016.
A - Pours an opaque dark amber color with one finger of white-ish head. Lots of lacing.
S - Aroma is caramel and malt.
T - Very nice caramel flavor with a fair amount of bitterness. Alcohol is barely noticeable.
M - Mouth feel is wonderfully creamy.
O - This is outstanding. Incredibly tasty and drinkable, so creamy and smooth. Everything is well balanced. I will buy every time I see it on the shelf.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Yellow Wax (OH only)

Pours a light orange color with a white head and lace. Fruity ale yeast, caramel and piney hop in the nose. In the taste, a smooth balance of caramel and still viable hop resins. Alcohol is dialed in to just a small warmth. Drinkable barleywine style beer with a solid hoppy bitterness. Good beer here.

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