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: 591 | Ratings: 1,835
Photo of Raymond69
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Bottling, Yellow Wax
22oz poured into pint glass cold. Small head , no lacing. Cloudy brown.

Smell is slightly fruity , some citrus, and slight caramel nose.

Taste is a nice balance of hops and malt. Slightly less hoppy than I'd expected but a nice tasting barley wine.

Mouthfeel is thick , a little sweet, about what I'd expect. Maybe slightly under-carbonated.

Overall this is a nice representation, the alcohol is well hidden. I look froward to trying this one with some age on it.

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Photo of lindenboy
2.75/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Started with a frosty pint glass, and the recollection that this beer when I first saw it at the liquor store a year ago (2006 Summer) cost almost 19$ a bottle!!! "It better be good!" I told the owner.

Almost a year later, and armed with more money than sense, I happened upon the barleywine again, at a different store, and the price had been dropped to $15 a bottle. I figured "what the hell?" and went for it.

This bottle has been cellared for a month -- I just couldn't wait any longer (and was out of beer otherwise).

Appearance - Carbonation is non-existent. Head retention lackluster (probably because of the former). It's probably good for the style not to be over done, but it could use a bit more effervescence in the glass. Looks very crisp, almost a reddish brown...good color for the style I think.

Smell - Somewhat malty, but lacking that "Three Floyds" hop crazyness. What gives on this one with the lack of aroma hops? Everything 3F makes, even an out-of-style stout, is hoppy as hell. Then you get to the barleywine, the one beer that absolutley kills for the hop balance, and that trademark crazy hoppyness vanishes. Like their previous brewer? This beer reeks of plain old pale malt. It's a muddy, malty mess. Least they could've done was pump up the sugar to dry this thing out.

Taste - Balance is all off. Hop bitterness is there, but aromas are missing. Maltyness is there, but it's mostly of a muddy, pale malt range. No biscuity flavors, nothing complex, just plain old malt. And it's deeply unbalanced. The sweetness is too much...too syrupy. This beer needs to be a bit drier to really balance well. It's hard to slurp down. My lips are sticky with sweetness after a glass.

Mouthfeel - This beer is chewy and sticky.

Drinkability - Not very. One 22 oz. bomber is MORE than enough for this evening.

I'd buy a heckuva lot of different singles before this one again, unless some major improvements came along. I would simplify the malt bill, add a little basic sugar (maybe even brown for character) to dry it out, and add some trademark aroma hops -- this beer is made for that!

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Photo of Vancer
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a brew, sent by orbitalr0x in a nice trade. Thanks mucho!

The yellow wax dipped bottle pours like the double digit alcohol bomb that it is….. hazy amber but just a minimal of head trying to rise up. What little lace there is sticks to the side of the snifter like gorilla glue.

Aroma reminds me of a cross between a west coast DIPA and a classic barleywine with the strong cirtus hops and caramel malts dueling it out.
Again, very strong citrus, orange and syrup bodied brew. Would have guessed DIPA in a blind tasting.

Oily and hoppy BW, you know the alcohol is there, but it doesn’t distract from a fine frosty. Nice rosey cheeks after just one glass.

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

Obtained in a trade with hero27.

After I pour this into a glass I wonder why they call this a blonde Barleywine. This is a dark amber color at the very least. I see in the glass a slightly chill hazed reddish brown colored ale with no real lasting head formation.

The smell is sweet hop candy. Caramel syrup and citrus hops make up most of the scent. Scents of oranges and eucalyptus cough drop and a little rum.

The taste begins sweet thick and strongly melon flavor with a vanilla after taste. The flavor stays mostly melon but after a bit the char flavor of patent malt comes out.

Mouthfeel is quite thick.

Nice Barleywine but this really is a hopheads brew. Nice and mellow as they go it could be more complex but I wouldn't exactly be unhappy drinking this often.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to beerbeing for this via trade. No idea how old this bottle was but it definitely came across smooth and rich as if it's aged for more than a year!

A - Thick golden amber color, small off-white head
S - Wonderful rich malts, raisins, plums, and caramel.
T - similar to the aroma but such complex interweaving of flavors as it rolls across the tongue.
M - full bodied, rich and sweet.
D - one is enough but oh the wait to have another.

I'd stock up on these in the beer cellar if it was in my market. A must try!

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Photo of taez555
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a light tan/brownish body with a small white head that died quickly.

Nose has a musty, mildly woody and acidic fruit smell. Big aged malts, some dirty somewhat rotting grapefruit, lime or orange peel. A little bit of hop resin and touches of sugar.

Taste is full bodied with an initial big caramel malt flavor followed by a wave of huge compact resinny hops and a huge hop bitterness. The hops are mixture of citrus fruits and rotting medicinal citrus peel with very mild touches of pepper. Very sugary sweet leaving an almost film on the lips after a couple sips. Touches of fruit juice, honey and even mild raisins. A big alcohol warmth that really shows it's colors as it warms but at the same time doesn't hint at a beer over 12%.

The hops are a little overwhelming and this is definitely a beer that could use some, but at the same time was probably intended for, aging. But honestly the more it warms it seems to balance itself a bit better. Stills seems a but unbalanced to me, but still a very nice beer. I'd like to pick up another and let it sit for a couple years.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! Everything I'd hope from Three Floyds in a Barleywine pours out just as I should have expected. Thick and vicious! Looks like caramel milk when pouring. The glass accepts the contents quickly and as it turns about in heavy thick scarvings of yellow ochre swirls and light brown whirls. It builds a lightly thick capping of foam lightly with large billowing bubbles which soap up slowly to dwindle down to its frothy middling level before finally fading to a thick whispy skim always sitting. The color finally settles a dark rusty brown with a flash of dark orange within. Fuckin' Beautiful !

Aroma is a nice mix of highly present caramel goo mixed with a perfumed tight little sent of deep orange, deeper lemon, deepest pineapple, and some tattered pine sap thrown in. Clean, robust, and boastfully delightful on the nose.

But oh my the taste, the taste!...remarkable delicious! Holy fuck! ...Yum! Need I say more?

OK maybe I should try. Ummm.... how 'bout; Thick, sugary sweet laden caramel flavors are big and twisted upon a piney citrus juiced, flowery palate of goodness! Yet delicately woven with one melange of fun hoppiness that plants a bunch of fun and long lasting durations of slightly pithy bitterness interwoven within the thick juicy pulp of each fruit I might be able to summon in the ideas of tropical treats and freshness. Peach, nectarine, pineapple, orange, mango, lemon, tangerine, apple, red grapefruit, and a flinting of green grape. Yum! No banana I'm afraid. But the the caramel sweetened firmness more than enough makes up for it. Believe me. It's Heavenly!

The feel is thick and slippery, with a girth that stands on it own with a big, tall standing malt body made of caramel goodness and plastered with a hoppy touch of bite and bitterness that eludes the parching areas and goes right for the easy going goodness of juicy balance and alcohol. Why, because the 12.5 % is no where to be found until it hits the inside the head quickly after dispersing most of the contents of the bottle to the glass and then to the lips. No doubt. Creamy and lush, full and balanced; this stuff rocks with unbelievable drinkable ease and too much, so much so, I'm uncomprehensible to the point of utmost uncomprehensiblity?! I can't handle it, but love it! Great stuff!

Thanks to mjgardner for the trade!!

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Photo of mynie
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yellow wax capped bottle.

Pours like a very thick APA. Dark brown and red, like finished wood, and it glugs out of the bottle like milk.

Smells like a cluster of hops that I cannot place.

Tastes like a clust of hops that I cannot place, giant mapel syrup, broken down sugary thick bittersweet malt. Everything condense down into its purest form. Thick and intense.

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Photo of jaxon53
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served slightly chilled in a snifter from a twenty two ounce yellow waxed bottle. Poured a beautiful dark amber brown color. About a finger and a half of rich off-white head formed. Head hung around for a few minutes and slowly faded into a thin layer in the glass. Left some sticky lace on the glass. The smell of this beer made my mouth water. Short hoppy bursts, dark fruits including fig, plums, rum soaked cherries and raisins, and a musty yeasty aroma. Had a nice full flavor to it. More hops , cherry, wood, plum raisin, and fig. Hints of well hidden alcohol, but not boozy. Nice hoppy kick smoothed out by a nice crisp malt character. Full bodied and almost thick in the mouth. Awesome drinkability for a 12.5 % barleywine.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to NucularGeorge for the brew.

22oz. Yellow Waxed Bomber

Poured into a chalice a cloudy amberish color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head which lasted awhile, some islands and sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is malty, slightly hoppy, raisins, plums, and caramel. The taste is malty, slight tangyness, and lots of caramel. The ABV on this brew has got to be hidden the best on a barleywine. Medium body. Very drinkable, a truly awesome barleywine, highly recommended.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one looks a golden peach with a dark glow of strawberry in the middle. The head is an irregular off-white film.

Smells of powdered sugar and honey with an electric buzz of hops that reminds me of Simcoe with a more subtle pine behind it.

Tastes of a huge load of sweet barley and a slightly charred caramel that carries an under-ripe pear with a bunch of tingly, electric hops that remind me of the sweeter aspects of lemon zest that then fades more towards cedar. Finishes pleasantly with a woody pine smeared across my entire mouth.

Feels medium bodied and clean with a tiny, energetic carbonation.

This is a very slick and easy barley wine that’s fantastically balanced.

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Photo of rsyberg01
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My 100th review, and what a beer to review.

S - Picked this lady up at DLD '07. How lucky I am.

A - Deep garnet pour, light creamy caramel head, looks damn good.

S - Caramel aromas, hop scent, heat, smells like its going to be hot. This beer is like camping--in tents. (term courtesy of my pal rysky)

T - malt and hops dance together like no one is watching, good great betsy this shit be kickin'. not as much heat as I thought would be and not nearly as vicious either. subtle fruits entangle themselves within this freakin' masterpiece, herbal notes. What the hell.

M - Creamy and smooth 'nuff said.

D - Quite easy to drink, but be careful this bitch will sneak right up on your heels. Took me about 2 hours to polish off a bomber. Great beer.

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Photo of kundabuffer
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A fabulous, albeit overpriced beer. This is really the only reason for the drinkability score. It hides its ABV very well, and I certainly feel I could easily drink a great deal of it otherwise. What others have said about the complexity of the flavor is definitely true. It's kind of tastes quite sweet initally and its only when the aftertaste comes does one realize how hoppy it is. The aftertaste is pleasantly long. Serving it not-too-cold definitely improves the flavor.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle that was pretty expensive to me at $15. Poured this into a snifter. The color was dark ruby red with a decent off-white head. The smell was sweet, a little hoppy with caramel notes. The taste was amazing. Citrus, caramel, pine, syrup. This was like nectar! This may be the best barleywine I have ever had just barely beating the Old Ruffian on cask. Alcohol was well masked but the mouthfeel had a little astringency. Not an every day beer but for my birthday it was perfect.

1/13/08 2007 vintage was not as good as it was fresh (see above) syrupy and still had a nice fruitiness but makes me wonder about how this beer will do with age....

05/01/08 2007 vintage delicious, thick, syrupy, delicious this will age well and should be shared to mitigate how hardcore it is.

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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 MrMcGibblets
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

served on-tap at 3f pub, this was a rich blond in color with decent clarity. nose was more complex than i am able to do justice, i can say that it was dominated by the loads of sweet 2 row malts: bready, doughy, honeyish, floral, and citrusy. taste was balanced more towards the sweet with typically big 3f's hops to provide balance. alcohol is slightly noticeable at the end of the long, complex finish. obviously a big-bodied beer and very viscous mouthfeel. drinkability suffers due to the abv in a barleywine. i wish my liver could process about 5 of these at a sitting.

update:had this via a bomber and it was quite different. darker, tawny color. rum and dark tropical fruits, preserved fruits in the aroma and taste. alcohol more noticeable.

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Photo of Viggo
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pink wax, 2005 vintage. DrJay and I held on to a bottle to check how it ages.

Pours a hazy red/brown, very thick off white head, nice lacing, great retention. Smell is very sweet, lots of toffee, tons of malt, lots of grapefruit, pine and citrus, nice balance now. Taste is similar, very sweet and malty, but with a ton of hops to keep it in check, very nice balance between the flavours. Mouthfeel is full bodied, syrupy and thick, low carbonation. This aged very well, only difference is the big aroma and flavour hops dropped out a bit, but I think the malts came forward and balanced it out a little bit more. Not sure which one I like more, the fresh or aged, but both are world class.

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Photo of merlin48
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
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!

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Photo of cameraman
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep amber color with a thick, cream colored head; the color of the beer darkens towards the bottom of the glass. The aroma has grapefruit and braed scents, with a touch of sugery sweetness and malty fragrance; there is alot going on in there. This must be one of the sweetest tasting barley wines I have ever had, sweet malt, carmel and spices, with of sweet fruit flavors. Then at the end a hard smack of bitterness levels the playing field. A thick and sticky feel, with it almost wanting stick to the palate, then as it reaches the back of the throat the warming sensation of alchol hits the throat. Wow, this is damn good barley wine, drink it slowly though. Grab one of these and sit by a fire on cold winter evening.

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Photo of grub
4.89/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

DrJay and Viggo contributed this bottle. big thanks to both jay and eric for this exceptional barleywine.

22oz bottle topped with pink wax. 2005 vintage.

pours deep ruby red with a hint of very very fine white head.

aroma is great. alcohol. tons of caramel and malt. grapefruit and pine, suprising for a beer with this much age. biscuit and other malt. hint of smoke.

taste is great. tons of malt. caramel and biscuit malt. alcohol. grapefruit and pine. bit of tangerine sweetness. hint of almost musty smokeyness. very good.

mouthfeel is great. nice med-low carbonation level. great body.

drinkability is excellent. very well balanced and excellent barleywine that has held up very well with age.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass the Behemoth pours a copper/caramel color with a half inch tan head. Head retention is low, but the lacing is very good. The main aroma I can pick up is citrus (grapefruit) hops, with some floral hops and caramel too, but hops is the main thing I can smell. The taste is very citrusy and pine hops, but it has some sweetness to it as well. Great combination of sweet and bitterness in this beer. Some alcohol shows up in the taste as the beer warms a bit, but it's not overwhelming. Mouthfeel is medium/heavy, it's oily and a bit syrupy. Drinkability is good too, the beer goes down smooth and it's easier to drink than you'd think it would be, considering the ABV. At $20 a bomber, it's a once a year purchase for me (if it was cheaper I'd buy it more often). But it's worth it just to try it, a pretty good beer IMO.

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Photo of prototypic
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, deep reddish brown color. A thick, creamy two finger heads sits on top and left beautiful lacing.

Smell: There's a great blend here. It's smells primarily of piney hops, citrus (grapefruit, pineapple, mango, and orange). But, there's a nice balance of malt and a bit of a roasted nut aroma. Very complex and enticing.

Taste: Wow. This has a sweet taste and the citrus flavors really come through well. But, not in an overbearing way. The blend of malt and hops is fantastic and the hops give it a nice bitter bite.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It has a bit of a syrupy feel to it. But, it goes down really nice. The alcohol is masked extremely well at 12.5%. But, I think the level of alcohol limits its drinkability. Overall, this is a fantastic beer. Highly recommended. The only drawback to this beer is the price. I paid twenty bucks for this bomber. I don't think I'll be drinking many more, if any at all.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber. Leaves one finger of a tan colored head that does not have much retention, yet does yield some spotty lacing. Body is a hazy, brownish amber.

Smell - classic 3F hop bouquet- citrus and pine resin. Malt contributing caramel and toffee. Well hidden alcohol. Very simple and straightfoward, and utterly mouthwatering !

Taste - as the nose promises, pine resin and citrus with caramel and toffee. Ripe cherries and medicinal alcohol become evident as the ale warms. As in the nose, the alcohol is quite well hidden. Citrus dominates on the finish.

Mouthfeel - full bodied, smooth, and much hop oil slickness.

Drinkability - this is excellent ale, it's hearty, robust and mouthwatering. The high abv limits sessionability.

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Photo of bashiba
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a hazy deep mahogony brown color with light orange highlights, a bit of thin off white head, decent lacing.

Smell is like that of a freshly cut up grapefruit, full of yummy citrusy hops.

The flavor is outstanding, shockingly balanced. A nice big sweet caramel malt backbone yields to the strong citrusy hops. Leaves a great combination of sweet and bitter flavors in your mouth.

Mouthfeel is incredilbly thick, leaving a long lasting coating on your tongue and a huge warmth.

Unbeleivabley drinkable, while the alcohol is noticeable its not distracting. Shockingly smooth for a beer this big and of this style, espicially since its fairly fresh.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Talk about a difference between smell and taste!! Smelled like a hop bomb....huge grapefruit, brown sugar, massive hops. Yet in the taste it was so smooth and mellow I was amazed. For the price, $20, it is quite the investment. How can they charge that much when Dark Lord is less expensive and less available. Someone needs to explain supply and demand to 3F. Still, I will buy a few more as this is an astounding example of a barleywine. English or American?? Personally I think it is bordering on an English style as the hops are not that prominent. It is so complex with grapefruit, brown sugar, nuts, caramel, super sweet and creamy. Probably my favorite barleywine right now. Spend the $20 and try this one.

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Behemoth Blonde Barleywine from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.2 out of 5 based on 1,835 ratings.
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