Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Behemoth Blonde Barleywine | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
583 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-04-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 583 | Ratings: 1,803
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.

 725 characters

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.

 715 characters

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.

 841 characters

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.

 943 characters

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.

 759 characters

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.

 664 characters

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.

 713 characters

Photo of ndekke39
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a bomber of this with three good friends. Bottle says that some yeast was added for bottle conditioning. Drank from over-sized wine glasses. Pours a caramel/cider color. Small head, nice lacing. Hazy. Smells of sweet, piny hops, red grapes, lots of pineapple. The taste is a complex interplay between sweet malt and hops. I really love how it bounces around. Finishes hoppy. Medium thickness to it, bright fizz on the front of the tongue. An awesome example of barleywine. We drank this one fresh, but you could definitely cellar it for a while. Highly recommended.

 571 characters

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

A: Rust colored. Thin white head that dissipated quickly.

S: Piny hops, and grapefruit. Malt backbone with caramel and nuts.

T: Hoppy up front, fades to very heavy and carmely malt and molasses. Alcohol comes through on finish and gives a nice depth to the beer. Hops reappear on finish and take over.

M: Heavy and thick with little carbonation.

D: Good for high abv.

 379 characters

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

Originally reviewed on 12/23/06. 22 Oz Bottle. Yeast fruit bread aroma, glazed with brown sugar and tangy light floral perfumes. Some unique foreign spice in the nose, even edges of agave plants and toasted smokey char crust. Nips of musty hop spice. Light apples and tawny pineapple. Pour of cherry-hued cloud, orange fringed. RIm of whitish. Flavor is a piquant, bold bright mid-fruit, yeasty and touched with warm cream. Bites of exotic fruit show through in Horned Melon, Lechee, and Prickly Pear. Sneaking edges of smoke, planty with touches of burning juniper and aloe vera. Hops muddle in pine and resin, with lots of mixed spicy fruits. Pakistani. Lots of Loblolly brances and Georgia pine sap. Leaves a crisp lemony smack, in Goldings. Higher alcohols alight in the front of the mouth and tip of the nose. Beautifully, balanced, unique and all around tasty, however it is fairly muddled and it’s hard to pull out individual characters. Thanks Andy!

 958 characters

Photo of JDK
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark copper color with a 1/2" head that lingers for quite a while. Lacing really clings to the sides for quite a while. Smells of grapefruit and other citrus hops and the alcohol is very suttle even with 12.5%. (The buzz will creep up on you so be careful!)
The flaver is very complex with a wonderful mouthfeel.
This beer is absolutely wonderful but at $19.95 for a bomber, this may be my last one for a while although this was worth it for a Super Bowl beer!
My son, who's favorite beer is Miller Lite, enjoyed a glass of this and was quickly picking up the different flavors and smells much to his amazement!

 625 characters

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into 2 10oz bowtie glasses. 2006 Version, pink wax sealed, purchased from the brewery. Thanks to Killer for the assist!

A: Pours the color of dark amber honey. Khaki colored head that retains about 1/2 finger for quite awhile. Sticky, khaki colored head that leaves some sticky lace. Rather low carbonation.

S: Big aromas of grapefruit, peaches, sweet pineapple, freshly mown grass, and a trace of alcohol.

T: Grapefruit coupled with sweet caramel malt, and grassy hops. The sweetness drops off, right before it overstays it's welcome, and the finish turns bitter and hoppy. Wonderful flavors of pine sap and grass clippings in the finish.

M: Soft, oily, smooth, and very full.

D: Excellent balance! The sweet fruit and malt flavors are balanced expertly by the massive hoppiness. I agree with Mcallister, this is more like a DIPA. This is not a beer to be trifled with!

 911 characters

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.

 1,245 characters

Photo of Phatz
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is again a style bender from Three Floyds Brewing Co. Boozy and sweet I don't know what to compare it to. Gumball head with more port wine, maybe closest.

Appearance: Pours a copper amber into my tasting snifter. Small white head.

Smell: Sweet and fruity aroma with port cherries and pine hops.

Taste: Sugary sweet rum, fruit, raisins and pine and bubblegum hops.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer. Warming alcohol.

Drinkability: It is definitely a strong Barley wine and a sipping beer but itt is as drinkable as any big beer. Very enjoyable.

Hope this is helpful.

 593 characters

Photo of jjayjaye
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First, I've gotta state that American Barley Wine rocks!!!
No interpretation required.

Poured a ruby tangerine and developed better than a full finger off white head that resisted fading when poured into a snifter. The smell was nothing short of amazing. It demonstrated a very aggressive bouquet of fruity citrus. I was overwhelmed by the Imperial IPA-like hoppiness while I enjoyed the fundamentally smooth yet malt caramel flavor that I look for in my favorite barley wine. Some lacing was evident. Medium mouth; lingering after taste of hops. Hallelujah! ! I can think of nothing more satisfying than to open another, but that would be over the top.

Thank you Randy from Archers! The line forms behind me.

 717 characters

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.3/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a small head with an OK lacing and a dark ruby color that's a little hazy. The smell is so very hoppy with fruit smell of grapefruit flavor. That's all I taste is grapefruity hops with a hint of grassy hops near the finish. The mouthfeel was fine, but had a little bite to it. Overall I will have this again after aging it for a while.

 341 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I sampled this brew courtesy of Qarre. Thanks!
Split the beer with Stopper adn poured at room temp into a snifter.
The beer pours a chestnut color with ruby highlights.
A thin beige head forms and fades quickly after about 1/2 inch.
Aroma is dark fruit and rum with a hint of citrusy hops as well.
First sip reveals a thinner body than expected, with very fine tingly carbonation.
Flavor is sweet fruit for a second but rolls to hot boozy and peppery alcohol. No hops to be found. This is a big sippin beer, dont try to have multiple pints of this, cause it will end your nite!

 583 characters

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

Nearly opaque scarlet/amber/mahagony depending on which way the light hits it. Head is rich and creamy and hold up well considering the alcohol. Leaves a very fine lace in it's wake.

Well what too say. This is a very nice smelling beer but too me it's much more similar too a DIPA. A huge burst of grapefruit with every whiff. Smells very good but I prefer my barleywines with more of a caramel, toffee malt aroma at the forefront. We shall see how this transpires to the taste. There are caramel, and toffee however but it seems dominated by the hops.

Good amount of alcohol in the mouth yet very balanced. This is one fruity barley wine. Grapefruit, peach, and floral hop dominate the mouth. But there is a significant underlying of caramel, and sweet toffee malt. Big and complex but in an odd way because of the fruitiness. Nicely carbonated which lends hand too the immense hop. This one may be hard to quit drinking.

Mouth is big and creamy and rich. Long dry finish seems sweet but it's the fruity hop that deceives.

I love beer.

 1,048 characters

Photo of malcontent
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 version.
Muddy brownish cranberry color with very little head to speak of. Looks fairly average.

Brown sugar is up front with dried currants, plums, buttery notes, hops (3F's, imagine that...) and a slight alcohol taste.

Brown sugar again on the tongue, almost (I said almost) artificial in its taste with peppery/clove accents. Meyers dark rum also comes to mind. Huge and restrained at the same time (does that even make sense?), I suspect aging has mellowed this some. An unexpected bitterness ligers at the end. So good.

Mouthfeel is thick with a nice bite of carbonation and a touch of alcohol sting. Although it has mellowed, this is still only a sipper.

Thanks to kmpitz2 for splitting this with me.

 724 characters

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Sephiroth for this bomber I received as part of the Great BIF Race 2006. I have been sitting on this one for about seven months.

Pours a deep, dark reddish copper with a thin tan head that fades to a ring. No lacing is visible.

The aroma is rather strong and complex. Sweet bready malts, bubblegum, grapefruit and pine hops, alcohol, caramel, and dark fruits (figs, plums, raisins) all stirred together in a big pot. As soon as I worked my way through the wax and popped the top off the smells quickly hit my nose over two feet away...impressive.

The taste is good, but still a bit harsh. Piney hops, alcohol, fruity sweetness, doughy malt, alcohol, caramel, some light floral flavors dance in and out as well. I put the alcohol in there twice, because I feel it's still about twice as strong as it needs to be. As I get further through the glass, though, it isn't as dominant as it was at the beginning....or I am just getting used to it.

Barely carbonated, creamy mouthfeel with some astringent bitterness upon swallowing. That and the higher abv lowers the drinkability somewhat for me.

 1,111 characters

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

22oz bomber, shared with expatsteve and golden2wenty1

appearance: poured into house glass at expatsteves, dark amber body, light cream head...standard

smell: bubblegum, packed to the brim with hops eventhough this was traded for a year or so ago...sticky pine hops, smooth caramel, noticeable booze. very potent on the nose, this should be good

taste: bursting with hop flavours - bubbleyum, juicy citrus, pine needles...sugary, gummybears, caramel malt balance, very sticky and resiny, booze bomb for sure. This FFF brew does not dissapoint if you can track some down

mouthfeel: high bitterness, sticky and juicy, boozy

drinkability: good

 654 characters

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of Dirtylou, shared with myself and expatsteve on a mini-Barley Wine sesh.

Pour: ruby, mahogany, auburn brown under a thin skim of khaki cream fizzling to a coating.

Nose: sweet strawberry bubble gum, aromatic herbs, gasoline, pine resin, stinging fumes.

Taste: rich caramel malt, strawberry concentrate, pine sap, herb and spice, flaming alcohol

Feel: thinned by the alcohol, yet still substantial, bubbly

Drinkability/Overall: even with an older bottle, the hops are still kickin' strong, yet balanced by a rich malty backbone. Alcohol is a little harsh yet, but this is a behemoth indeed

 614 characters

Photo of BlindPig
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Thin light tan head on a cloudy light brownish body.
S- Strong alcohol, big malts some light fruits, some grass and pine hops, maybe some light spices too?
T- Big alcohol comes in first with some malts backing it up. Leaves a big warming also. A nice helping of hops too. Gives a nice balance. Big dry bitterness from the piney hops with a bit of grass hops too. Very sweet, caramel comes through pretty well too. I think it may be quite young and I think with age it would calm down and blend together better. Almost very harsh now.
M- Full body but maybe a tad on the medium side. Low carbonation.
D- I think its to young but is still good. Bit harsh overall. It is nice but not what I have come to expect from Three Floyds. Wish I could try a 2003 or 2002.

 767 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to whoever i traded with for this, if it is you, let me know and I can recognize it.

Appearance: Brilliant red body, small off-white head doesn't form very full, but lingers long.

Smell: A malt and hop masterpiece. Both are instense and balanced, but distinguishable. The malt is sweet and sugary, the hops are raw and pungent, a little fruity.

Taste: The abv is very noticable, and it drowns out some of the flavors, but overall it is good. The malt is rich and sweet, the hops shine through the alcohol burn and make for one aggressive beer.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy and thick, good for the style, necessitated by the ABV.

Drinkability: A damn fine barleywine. I would like to have a several year old bottle of thsi, i think it would age superbly.

 764 characters

Photo of BlackAngus
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is brown, with a tan head that disappears within a short time. I love the label and the wax wrapper...extra half-point. :-)

Smell is dark fruits, pine, alcohol, citrus, molasses. Very nice.

Taste is fruity, malty, with a nice hop balance and alcohol noticeable.

Very chewy mouthfeel, very low carbonation. Aftertaste is a little cloying.

Not real drinkable, I don't think I could finish a bomber of this. But I won't turn the stuff down...I just wouldn't have it often.

 492 characters

Behemoth Blonde Barleywine from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.2 out of 5 based on 1,803 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!