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: 590 | Ratings: 1,831
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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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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

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

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

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Photo of 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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Behemoth Blonde Barleywine from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.2 out of 5 based on 1,831 ratings.
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