3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Barleywine
Ranked #12
Ranked #1,195
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
Reviews: 610 | Ratings: 1,905
Photo of yamar68
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to cfances33 for this bottle!
(2013 vintage, reviewed 3/13)

That murky sort of copper / honey gold color that I remember with a sexy ass thin finger of off-white head that paints lace all over the place. A bit of oily booze legs and a surprising amount of beading. Thick bubbles border the glass to form a stubborn collar from start to finish.

Oh mommy. This smells incredible. I'm getting that awesome Dreadnaught type of hop profile on the nose layered with caramel cake and raw honey. I like where this is headed...

Boom. Massive waves of tropical and citric hop flavors. Juicy... Salt n Peppa and Heavy D up in the limousine... if you catch my drift. So fucking tasty. You gotta have this stuff fresh. Hoppy goodness.

Thanks bro man!

Poured from bomber to snifter, big thanks to mordormongo for this!
(2012 vintage, reviewed 6/12)

Blonde? Maybe a real dirty blonde. Pours a bright amber - pretty much exactly the color of the amber that the mosquito was preserved in from the first Jurassic Park movie. Nice finger of silky off-white head that fades out to a thick collar with some spotty bits retaining in the middle. Very nice to look at.

Smells massive... boozy resinous hops, caramel, butterSCOTCH... I could keep my nostrils shoved down in there for a good while, and even as it sits in front of me on the table I can smell how pungent it is.

Definitely a substantial hop presence... hops, then some malty bits, then a booze burn that dries things up. In my mind, the taste of this thing borders a big old IIPA. Enough hops to satisfy a non-barleywine drinker I think.

The feel is rather low as the booze is really pretty harsh. I don't mind that one bit myself but it does affect drinkability.

Extremely pleased with this one. Thanks very much Scott!

 1,782 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 650 ml waxed bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. 2013 vintage with orange wax.

Appearance: Pours a very deep and hazy brownish amber orange with a lot of bubbles sticking to the glass. About one finger of off white head which fades into a patchy layer. Leaves a lot of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A big and rich aroma of fruity hops, sweet malts, and booze. Big mix of hops upfront with hints of citrus orange, grapefruit, mango, pineapple, apricot, papaya, lemon, and peach. Earthy grass and some spicy pine. Strong malt backbone with hints of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, and yeast. Also some candied sugar sweetness. Scent of alcohol is fairly strong as expected. A really good aroma. Almost like a West Coast IPA with the hop presence.

Taste: Follows the nose with a big taste of citrus and earthy hops with sweet caramel malts. Big hop taste with notes of citrus grapefruit, orange peel, mango, pineapple, apricot, lemon, papaya, and peach. Herbal hops and spicy pine resin along with some grass. Some candy like sugar. Big malt presence with notes of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, toast, and yeast. Some alcohol taste is in the mix as well. A really good hop forward taste that is well backed by the malts.

Mouthfeel: Very full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy, chewy, and somewhat sticky. Alcohol heat is felt as expected but it isn't overwhelming.

Overall: A really great American style Barleywine. Huge hop taste with some really nice citrus esters. IPA like with the hops but a big enough boozy malt presence to remind you that it is a Barleywine. One of the best in the style.

 1,640 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

an amber pour, cloudy, with a finger of creme colored head. smells of heavy booze, lots of sweet bready malt, spicy herbal hop profile. a sweet but subtle malty flavor. lots of sugary sweetness, a bit of banana, lots of booze flavor. full body with low carbonation, very heavy warmth.

this is a decent barleywine, a little bit different from what i was expecting - and VERY booze forward. not bad, and i wouldn't mind seeing how last year's bottle held up.

 458 characters

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

This barley wine just flat out kicks butt! what an awesome brew! for the style this is the best that I have had and would seek it out again. FFF does it again with a high quality beer. Pours a small head, it's a little thick but the mouth feel is good. The ABV is hidden well and it has a hidden hop character to it.

Bottom Line: Exceptional barley wine beer!

 360 characters

Photo of weonfire
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Orange wax (2013 Version)

A - Brown/Red in color. semi opaque- a bit hazy. white cream head- finger thick, lots of lacing.

S - Good amount of hops. carmel, dried fruit. scent of an IPA.

T - Hoppy. If your expected the english style - haha....certainly not that. Carmel malt sweetness. initially real sweet but bitter as it goes down. wine + IPA?

M - viscosity is high but froth level is a bit unimpressive - med/low. covers the mouth decently tho.

O - I honestly would not know this was a barleywine. Yes, I understand it was the American version. But it really tastes and feels like a Imperial IPA with a small amount of sweet red wine added. Whatever you wanna call it, it did enjoy it - while very sweet, I would recommend it.

 735 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle from zrab11 (thanks man!). January 2013 release, but no printed bottling info. Served in an Ommegang tulip snifter.

Pours ruby tinged brown with one and a half fingers sandy pale head that leaves a good bit of head.

Nice citrusy hop nose with sweet caramel and brown sugar in the background.

Grapefruit and orangey hop flavor dominate the flavor initially. Then brown sugar, caramel, a little earth and a healthy dose of booze. Really quite tasty with many more sweet and hoppy layers that present as it reaches room temperature. My description doesn't really do justice to the complexity of the malty hoppy goodness of Behemoth.

Nice syrupy medium thick body with a refreshingly subtle light carbonation. Goes down much easier/smoother than the 10.5% abv might imply. Great, lasting sweet but hoppy finish.

It drinks almost like an imperial IPA, which is perhaps why I like this so much. I'm really torn between saving the other I have and drinking it soon. Hopefully I can get more so both will be an option! Another win from Three Floyds in my book and certainly worth a try if you can get it.

 1,118 characters

Photo of nsh221
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Bottling

A: Nothing amazing, but solid all around. Amber-brown color, nice head and solid lacing.

S: Awesome. Lots of that distinctive FFF hop aromas(plenty of citrus and pine). And then super candy sweetness behind it. Not sickly sweet, but rich.

T: Follows the nose. I may be a bit partial to this as I sometimes find ipas and iipas too one dimensional, but it tastes to me like an iipa but with an amazing malty rich quality and sweetness to balance the hops bitterness. Though I will cellar a couple, part of me wants to drink them all fresh.

M: Thick and rich, nice level of carbonation. Despite it being fresh, I didn't notice the alcohol as much in the taste as in the way this and other high abv beers tend to coat your tongue. Very rich.

O: I can see why some people who have specific ideas of what a barleywine should be may find this a bit off, but overall, it is still an exceptional beer. Again, will let a couple sit and see, when the hops recede, what other flavors may emerge. Really interesting, well balanced and approachable beer.

 1,060 characters

Photo of vic21234
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber poured into a snifter. 2013 Vintage with orange wax.

A- Pours a clear yet slightly hazy copper color. A finger's worth of off-white head sticks around for while and helps to form some lacing along the sides of the glass.

S- The smell is sweet overall. I get citrusy fruits, some pine, and a caramel backbone. Some alcohol sting is noted in the smell as well.

T- Initial taste is of some nice hop characters. The citrus notes in the smell do not seem to carry over in the taste, as the hop notes are mostly pine and grassy for me. I get an overall sweetness from the malts and caramel flavors. A kind of acidic (not bad but can't think of another word to use) fruitiness is also apparent.

M- Hoppy, bitter, fruity, sweet, dry finish. Drinks hot, and the flavors develop more as the beer warms.

I love a good barleywine, and this one does well. Nice job to FFF.

 880 characters

Photo of KFBR392
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Hits all the checkpoints that a classic barley wine should. About a finger of slightly off white head formed on the pour. The creamy head provided some very solid lacing on the glass. Head was prevalent on the outside of the glass during enjoying this brew. Some nice carbonation bubbled throughout the edges of the glass. This really made my mouth water.

Smell: Once I broke the seal on the bottle the wonderful aroma blasted out of the bottle. The front of the aroma is a ton of hops. More hops then I would have expected but was very pleasant. Mixed well with the hops is full bodied caramel and malt. Some sweet with the sour of the hops goes a long way.

Taste: What you would probably expect from the aroma but also throws in a few odd twists and turns. This beer definitely got more delicious as it got closer to room temperature. A lot of hop bitterness bites throughout this beer. The front is smooth then the hops jumps all over the palette. Creamy awesome barley accents provide a dry and wonderful finish to this brew. Very impressive how the complex layers have distinguished themselves but at the same time come together to make a really awesome barley wine.

Mouthfeel: I could use a little more here. The creamy accents are very noticable in the taste but not the mouthfeel. Kind of the hallow hop bitterness hangs around without much else.

Overall: I am not surpirsed Three Floyds would bring the heavy hops in their barley wine. This is my favorite style and I probably prefer the creamy barley over bitter hops but no doubt this is a great representation of the style, just with the classic Three Floyds taste. I've got another bottle that I look forward to sitting on for a while and revisiting this brew in about a year.

 1,757 characters

Photo of JamesMN
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Red wax---2012 release.

Appearance: Completely opaque dark orange color with a modest frothy off-white head.

Aroma: Tons of caramel malt and some orange citrus with pine. Once it warms a bit you get apricot and a definite alcohol note. Pretty nice balance in the aroma but nothing that gets me all that excited.

Taste: They weren't joking about the sweetness in this beer. A big helping of caramel and sugar crusted barley flavor throughout. A nice dose of hops in this one as well giving tangerine and pine characteristics to the flavor as well as a moderate bitterness on the back end. Slightly crisp finish that transforms into a nice heat from the 10.5% ABV. The flavor is a bit one dimensional but there are hints of greatness. Overall the picture that comes to mind when drinking this beer is a whiskey soaked orange dripping with syrup.

Mouthfeel: As full and robust as the thickest of them. Smooth carbonation and an ease of drinkability for such a big beer.

Final Thoughts: The Barleywine style is one that I've recently started seeking out and I've become something of a connoisseur. What you have here is a very good beer and an interesting take on the style. A hop head who has a sweet tooth would definitely enjoy this one. The sheer body of this beer is enough to make any craft beer enthusiast content. If you have access to it and like DIPAs or Barleywines then pull the trigger. Would I drink it again? Yes, I'd age one.

 1,442 characters

Photo of DocJitsu
4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly opaque murky amber color with a big, fat head light caramel head. Mild, sweet toffee on the nose. A bit of dried fruit as well. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium-bodied. Almost creamy. A lot of dried fruit in the flavor. A little bit of alcohol and some bitterness at the finish. Decent. Not great.

 310 characters

Photo of JohnnyMc
4.84/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Orange wax for 2013 and super fresh!

Pours out a deep amber/slightly burnt orange with reddish highlights and a finger of off-white head.

The aroma is very, very hoppy. Tons of citrus and tropical fruit notes like mango, grapefruit, papaya, pineapple and orange. This is followed by some sweet malt notes with toffee and caramel.

The taste is also extremely hop-forward. A lot of mango, grapefruit, pineapple and apricot along with some slightly piney hop notes too. There are the sweeter malt notes near the end with toffee and caramel and it's fairly balanced between sweet and bitter with all the hops added in.

The mouthfeel is creamy and the body is full. There isn't much of an alcohol aroma, but there is some slightly in the taste and a small warming sensation as it goes down.

Very easy to drink and one of the hoppiest Barleywines I have ever had. It reminds me slightly of Avery Hog Heaven actually. If you can find this pick it up, but it is kinda expensive at $19/bomber.

 992 characters

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

Orange Wax

Appearance - A nice, mystifying cloudy amber. Piqued my curiosity about this beer even further.

Smell - Sweet, floral, fruity, and citrusy. Beautiful.

Taste - Not as fruity as expected based on the smell. Great balance of hops, malt and alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Smooth with a sticky finish on my lips.

Overall - Hard to believe it's 10.5% ABV. Everything is blended so well. I can't imagine the time and energy it takes to perfect something like this. A very solid brew, but easy to understand why it's a seasonal. I look forward to getting it again next year, and I definitely want to try one of the barrel aged versions at some point.

 657 characters

Photo of zrbeer1579
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 Orange Wax

Poured into a snifter

Appearance: Deep ruby with brownish hues. A half finger tan head that dissipated quickly.

Aroma: Fruity, mostly tropical fruits. Slight pine and floral. Caramel malts and slight hints of alcohol.

Taste: Tropical fruity flavors. Some citrus and earthiness. A touch of pine and floral. Big smooth caramel with some toffee notes. Some vanilla and/or honey like sweetness as well. Some bitterness. Alcohol is noticeable but it is not as strong.

Mouthfeel: Thick with carbonation under median. Very smooth. A bit sticky and oily but cloak the mouth nicely. Bitterness is not as aggressive as I thought it was going to be. It does lingers, but it's light.

Overall: Despite being more of an Imperial IPA, it has rich malts flavors that balance well with the hops. Happy I grabbed a bottle of this. I'm not sure how an aged Behemoth(regular Behemoth) would be. Wish I could try the barrel aged versions.

 940 characters

Photo of rlee1390
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Cloudy ruby orange, one finger head with some lacing.

S-Hops. Good deal of the actually, more than I was expecting for a Barleywine. Citrus, grass and caramel round it out.

T-More like an IPA. This is really an American Barleywine. Hop forward. Notes of grass, caramel and molasses round it out. Nice bitterness as well.

M-Medium bodied, well carbonated

O-One of the few barleywines I had fresh and really liked. Not sure if aging would do this any good.

 460 characters

Photo of MickeyBeer
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this out of the tap at Firkin, poured into a snifter

A- Pours a deep brownish color that is a beautiful red when held up to the light. A finger and a half of head that had nice retention.

S- Great floral aroma from the hops, malty with a hint of alcohol.

T- Taste is sweet with a little less hop presence than I had expected. Hint of alcohol as well, which is not surprising at over 10% ABV.

M- Mouthfeel is almost creamy for a barleywine. Carbonation is light and it has warming feel on the way down. Very sticky.

O- A very enjoyable barleywine, but could have used more hop bitterness in my opinion. All of the beers by three floyds are great, but this one might be a little better when aged in a bottle. I will have to purchase it at the store and give it another try to see how it compares.

 803 characters

Photo of NickyPogs
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I don't think many people know what a barley wine style beer is, and very few I talked to like this style of beer. Well, if you ever want to convince someone of a barley wine, give them one drink of Behemoth! Typically I am a huge IPA fan, but this may be one of my most favorite beers ever.

It's has a lot of IBU's but is definitely not overly bitter. It has a nice smooth quality to it as well but still boasts a high alcohol content. A perfect balance of citrus type hops/malt/honey gives this beer a special quality.

This is a beer aficionado's must try.

 560 characters

Photo of overnightstorms
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 Barley wine from Three Floyds

Poured in a wine glass (best glass available)

A- clear whiskey amber brown. Nice head, with fine lacing

S- earthy and floral with sweet alcoholic notes. Burnt sugar. 

T- rich and flavorful, sweet, hoppy, alcohol stings the nose, caramel, fruity wine notes

F- feels like wine, so rich it's chewy. 

O- I love this beer. It's really fueled my barley wine obsession. Always look forward to when the beer comes out. Love the artwork and of course the wax. 

 495 characters

Photo of SerialHiker
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a slightly deep, caramel brown…mildly transparent, I can see some sediment floating about inside…about a finger width, off white head formed and remained and sticks together nicely…tons of life when I swirl it around…looks fantastic…(4.25/5)

Smell: Sweet caramel malts, some alcohol heat, pale malts, citrus (lemon, pineapple) hops, earthy bitterness…its got a little lemony disinfectant spray aroma…very balanced, plenty of pale, sweet, caramel malts mixed with citrus and earthy hops…(4.5/5)

Taste: Yum! Rich caramel malts balanced nicely by zesty lemon/pineapple citrus hops…there’s definitely an earthy/damp forest hops resin flavor happening here as well…very balanced…its sweet, robust, full flavored and hinted nicely by alcohol and citrus bitterness…not a totally unique flavor, but when it’s done right, you can taste it, and it’s done right here…(4.25/5)

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium to full carbonation…fluffs up nicely bringing sweet caramel malts all over the palate…chewy, fresh, zesty…citrus/earthy bitterness shows in the after taste…(4/5)

Overall: This beer is really good…the guy at the brew pub said this was one of their more sought after beers and I can see why…Three Floyds do a fantastic job with their citrus hops flavored beers and here they’ve got them playing so nicely with sweet, caramel malts…a hint of the higher ABV, but that’s to be expected from this style and it does add to the overall flavor…it’s superbly drinkable and wonderfully flavored, my only knock is the price tag…I paid $15 for a bomber (total splurge I bought at wholesale, I’m not sure what they’d charge at a store) and while it’s good, I have a hard time recommending anything that expensive…is it good, YEAH…is it worth $15, maybe…but if your like me and occasionally spend for beers typically out of your price range, this is a good experimental choice…(4.25/5)

 1,963 characters

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

A- a beautiful amber to ruby red hue. A slightly off white head.

S- a malt sweetness with a citrus hop aroma that doesn't overpower.

T- the sweet malts balance beautifully with the citrus and spicy hops, I personally can't put into words how well thought out these flavors are.

M- sticky and slightly thick. We're in barley wine country here.

This is my favorite beer by 3 Floyd's. I wish more people appreciated this brew like I do.

 439 characters

Photo of JakeMorgan13
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is a dark amber color. the smell is really fruity. It tastes fruity as well,but you can tell their is a good amount of alcohol in it. Not a real hoppy one, if any at all. nicely carbonated. overall I would and will drink this one again.

 251 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 (white) wax vintage. Review from notes

Poured deep gold, almost a tangerine-ish hue adorned with a huge, fluffy white cap, which took forever to diminish. Smell is a jumble of sweetness, like a rich honey type mixed with biscuit and orange blossom. Hugely hoppy towards the back of the palate. Much bitterness with a semi-citrusy/herbal/sprucey quality. Boozy finish. Nicely carbonated.

 392 characters

Photo of ruckus232
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 Ounce brown bottle with red wax over the top poured into a tulip glass

Appearance: Brown opaque in color with a whole bunch of really foamy off white head

Smell: There is an earthy floral scent with a nice hint of hoppiness

Taste: At first it has the floral hoppy bitterness that is similar to an IPA but then it is followed by a sweet almost malty flavor that is really a nice compliment. It finishes with a slight bitterness that is a cross between a roasted and hoppy bitter.

 484 characters

Photo of Rutager
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle. Thanks SourNotes.

Appearance. pours a cloudy light brown with a little amber and a thin, light tan head.

Smell. Brown sugar and a bunch of fruit. Mainly apple, pear, orange, peaches and pineapple. There's also a touch of floral pine.

Taste. Caramel, piney hops, not nearly as much fruit as the smell would lend, but there is some orange in there for sure. Alcohol is pretty well hidden

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body, medium-low carbonation. Just a little warmth from the alcohol.

Overall. A nice barleywine, but to be honest I was expecting a little more based on what I've had from these guys. I'd like to try a fresh one some time.

 649 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Bottle sealed with red wax.

A- Pours a dark, reddish amber color with a 3/4 inch off-white head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a thin sheet of surface foam plus a patch of bubbles right in the center. Full sheets of resilient lacing.

S- Wonderful aroma of citrusy hops and a fair amount of caramel sweetness from the malt. Smells juicy with not much alcohol detected.

T- Certainly a hop-forward flavor but there's a toasty, bready malt backbone that's undeniable. Alcohol is very subdued to the point that I wouldn't think for a second that it was anywhere above 9% if I didn't know otherwise. Notes of grapefruit, wet grass and even some dark fruit like black cherry and raisin, especially in the aftertaste.

M- Semi-creamy with lots of snap from the hops and a bit of alcohol heat. Medium carbonation and a solid body.

O- This is a potentially dangerous brew since the alcohol content is concealed so well. I could see myself going overboard with this if it were readily available to me. If I ever find this on tap, it's all over. Endless thanks to IrishHockey for hooking this one up!

 1,166 characters

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