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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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-04-2002

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Reviews: 583 | Ratings: 1,802
Photo of billab914
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage with the yellow wax. Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. Poured a deep mahogany color with a bit of cherry red highlights. The head mostly clung to a small ring around the edges of the glass. It left some pretty decent lacing on the glass as I drank it as well.

The aroma has some nice malty, dark fruit, caramel, brown sugar tones to it. The dark fruit flavors have some nice plum, fig and a little cherry to it. It has a bit of citrus coming through which compliments the sweet maltiness pretty well. Not too much alcohol but enough to let you know it's a potent beer. Pretty nice and not overly sweet aroma to it.

The taste shows a lot of the caramel and dark fruit flavors that the nose had. It has a nice sweet malty flavor but it isn't cloyingly sweet. It has a bit of citrus that helps counter the sweetness a bit. It finishes with a warming alcohol flavor to it.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being moderately low. It has a bit of a silky and creamy feel to it as well. The drinkability is decent, it had some very nice malty flavors to it. The alcohol hurts the drinkability a bit but but not too bad. Overall I liked it a lot.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 6/2/10 notes. Had at a Three Floyds tasting at the Brickskeller in DC. 2010 Vintage.

a - Pours a reddish, dark amber color with a little bit of white head.

s - Smells faintly of citrus hops, as well as smooth caramel malts.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, little bit of bitter hops, and booze

m - Medium to heavy body and low carbonation.

d - Very drinkable for a high ABV barleywine. I thought the alcohol was hidden well and really enjoyed the smooth caramel malts. Would be interested to see how it ages as well.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage

A: The label art is outrageous and awesome, as is typical of any FFF beer. The beer appears mostly clear and is dark orange in color. The head is off-white and leaves a good amount of lacing upon the glass.

S: The aroma is potent and easily detected from a few feet away, with scents of hops, pine / pine resin, alcohol.

T: Behemoth is very hop forward, with a heavy alcohol and pine resin presence. The alcohol content is subdued to a certain degree by the huge hop aroma. Though the beer possesses a healthy malt bill, this barleywine is more hop forward than many other examples of the style.

M: The feel is medium-bodied with a lingering sticky pine aftertaste.

D: Best enjoyed in small quantities, this is a great bottle to share a few ways.

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

Amber color with beige head. Aroma is really hoppy for a barleywine, earthy and resiny. Taste starts slightly malty but overall it's really hoppy. Really fresh tasting barleywine.

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Photo of stakem
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft offering I assume the most recent vintage served in a half pint glass. The brew appears a copper color hazed with golden coloration around the edges. A finger of creamy tan head appears across the top and lasts with an off-white tinge.

The smell is hoppy with notes of fruity rinds and herbs. Some solvent alcohol makes itself known under the hop character aling with a little bit of mineral aspect. Some pine quality is noticed and lasts into the back of the nostrils long after a whiff of the brew is taken.

The taste is strong and hoppy with oily feel reminescent of the most brutal DIPA offerings. It is bitter and rindy with a toasty grain backing and strong solvent alcohol feel. It is pitty with fruity alcohol and zesty quakity of fresh hops. Quite a warming feel all the way down.

This is a medium boded brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is a bold sipper of a brew but overall is pretty well put together for an american style barleywine. Fans of brutal DIPAs will find love in this offering. Worth a try for sure.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a goblet. 2011 bottle.

Appearance - Clear amber body with a nice off-white head. Decent lacing. Nice retention. Good looking barleywine.

Smell - Very hop forward. Citrus hops and a caramel malt. The caramel malt is an afterthought to the hops.

Taste - Again, citrus hop forward. Dry hopped a lot, it seems. The middle flavors are sweet caramel and toffee. Just complex enough to keep it interesting. Bitter finish, but it mixes well with the caramel to create a nearly perfect balance.

Mouthfeel - As stated, a perfect balance, but it has an odd dry finish that is uncharacteristic. Missing the mouth-coating aspects of a huge barleywine. It's also pretty boozy.

Overall - Very nice, but missing some fine touches that would make it spectacular. I'd love to try this in a bourbon barrel.

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Photo of jwc215
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BuckeyeNation!

650 ml blue-waxed bottle, poured into tulip glass:

Pours orange amber with a head that forms then immediately descends to a bubbly, then creamy, cover. Strands of dotted lacing stick.

The smell is of citrus/grapefruit, pinenuts, FFF house character, and bready notes. A strong hop aroma is backed by caramel/toffee, nutty graininess.

The taste is sweet upfront. Sticky resin, caramel, rum-soaked grapefruit with raisin and cherries in the finish. Sweetness turns to sweet and bitter in the spicy drying finish. Alcohol shows, though incorporated well enough into the general taste.

It hits full-bodied. Sticky, though carbonation is enough to cut through to make it not cloying. Bitter, with some residual sweetness staying on the lips.

A complex, hoppy, though firm malty, barleywine with a distinct FFF character. One to sip as a long "nightcap".

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into squat Belgian snifter, ...dark mahogany/ burgundy blend fills the glass, out wafts the aroma, and I know I'll be spanked but good!

Little head here, though, it appears for a moment and disappears quickly.

Aroma screams brandy, cherries, hints of bourbon, port wine, licks of leather, spicy and slick...molasses, dark rum, brown sugar..liking it...

Now to taste: the Behemoth floods the mouth with fierce flavor and coats every inch with deliciousness, spreading tendrils of delight through every crack in the palate. And a thunder thuds above, as alcohol creeps along as well...boom, boom...hear his steps as he clods along the corridors of the brain...flavors detected in the nose reassert themselves on the tongue...l the slick sugary darkness, the caramel-y sweetness, the thick, resonant malt, the powerful potency. An aptly named brew, and it appears to be quite stronger than the last time I had it, on tap, nearly 4 years ago. It was 10% then, and a killer diller at that. Guess that envelope had to be pushed, eh, Floyd, Floyd, and Floyd?

Huge body, immense mouthfeel, long, slightly bitter, thick and resiny finish. A hell of a barleywine. But I want it in little bottles, not these monster servings. And I want it available in my home state, again. And I want a million dollars, and a pony, and a Rock'em, Sock'em robots, and Mommy and Daddy to get back together, and world peace, and no hunger, and, and, and...

Boom, boom, boom, I've barely gotten into it, and it's knocking at my frontal lobes...we're coming i-in...hide the ki-ids...here I am, wishing I'd saved this for a get-together with friends, and continue drinking it solo, and hoping I don't wake up wanting to kill myself tomorrow morning...afternoon...?

I really, really like this, but it's a serious sipper of a brew, one that should accompany a long evening with the works of Wordsworth at hand, Old Dog Tray at one's feet, a roaring fire beside, attired in a comfortable robe...you know the scene...

I'm drooling over the intense flavors as much as the goons on the label, but not drooling over Miss Behemoth as they are...I just don't find three chins very sexy.

(Also, confused by the name...nothing "blonde" about this beauty!)

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Photo of MasterSki
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle of the '09 release (blue wax). Served in my Surly pint glass.

A - Just terrific - three fingers of dirty white foam that dissipates slowly to a terrific lace pattern. Slightly hazy amber orange-red color with a few bubbles lazily rising to the top. This is pretty incredible for such a high gravity barleywine.

S - Hops! Shouldn't be surprised, considering it's a 3F brew, but it's full of grapefruit, pine, and floral scents. Lots of great caramel malty sweetness as well. It's not what I generally expect from the style, but it's terrific.

T - Much more malt in the taste - lots of caramel and brown sugar, but also some of the grapefruit hoppiness as well. It's a touch hot, but not offensively so. It's good, but not nearly as great as the smell.

M - Not as full-bodied as I expected. Lots of residual stickiness and surprisingly high carbonation. Very velvety and smooth to drink.

D - Pluses include great flavor and well hidden ABV. Negatives are high carbonation, high ABV, and price ($17!!). Drinking a bomber is no problem, but ponying up enough cash for a second one is less likely. I'd love to try the barrel-aged version again and review that.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage shared by the other Matt, thanks Huhzubendah.

Beer is surprisingly yellow (although upon closer examination it is called BLONDE, I'm not smart) with moderate to low carbonation and a thin white head of small and medium bubbles, not much lacing.

For a barelywine, it is quite hop forward, lots of resiny piny hop flavors in the nose...earthy at times too. I can pick up the malt but this is a hop bomb.

The leadoff here is alcohol and sweetness giving way in the midpalate to the pine hops. The hops are strong in flavor and force the palate to experience them, burying the alcohol significantly. I suppose this is one strategy to cover up alcohol, I wonder how this ages.

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

Vintage 2011 white wax bottle shared with Nick for purposes of a video review. Poured into a tulip/wine glass, transcribed from the footage.

A: Pale golden-brown with wonderful clarity, neither of which you normally see on a traditional Barleywine. Ah, that makes sense now with the "Blonde" moniker. A big billowy, fluffy off white head forms providing great retention and sticky lacing all down the glass.

S: Light citrus fruits, rich caramel malts, and a sugary sweetness on top of everything. No dark fruits, or dark malts like you'd expect from the style, though this obviously is a different take. Grapefruit, orange and mango drizzled with a sweet sugary mead aroma takes off to the end.

T: Much like the nose, the initial rich caramel malts lay the foundation for the beer. The citrus is mid-palate and takes focus with sweet mango and white grapefruit. Hints of vanilla and toffee are towards the back palate. This is incredibly well layer and complex, always changing and bursting with flavor.

M: Good carbonation while not being overdone, still leaving with a nice medium to full-bodied beer. It's remarkable how drinkable this is for 10.5% ABV. No detectable alcohol burn or heat, just very easy to drink.

This was a nice surprise from Three Floyds, and fortunately this doesn't suffer the sugar-overload that their other waxed creation, Dark Lord, exhibits fresh. A nice balance of malts, fruitiness and sweetness was achieved here, and putting the "Blonde" twist on the style was welcomed here.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fresh January 2012 edition poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Medium orange colour with a big glow. One finger of cream coloured head formed and slowly receded to a thin layer. Good lacing.

S - Huge citrus and tropical fruit aromas up front - grapefruit, orange zest, peach and pineapple. Smells like a fresh, juicy DIPA. A big bitterness accompanies the hop aroma along with some noticeable alcohol. Some sweet caramel malts in the background provide some sweetness but definitely take a back seat to the hop aromas.

T - Big bitterness up front with grapefruit, pine and peach flavours. A huge malt backbone provides sweet caramel and sticky candy flavours but the massive hop profile dominates.

M - Medium to full body with a massive chew. Sludgy. Lots of sticky, resiny, tongue-coating hop oils. Light carbonation.

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Photo of tempest
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage.

Thanks to crazynelson for the trade. Poured a slightly hazy reddish-amber with little to no head (which I think is ok for a beer of this strength). Like the other strong, amber beers I've had this one has a strong sweet white bread flavor. The aroma jumps out of the glass in a strong perfume of light carmel, grains, bread crust and honey. That honey continues in the strondy bready malt flavor, which is backed up by a strong spicy/hoppy finish. Thick mouthfeel, but a great beer to share. Certainly worth trying if you get a chance.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a burnt orangish brown in color with yellow highlights with a finger of good bubbly lacing that left plenty of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: citrus grapefruit was potent upfront on the aroma with lots of caramel sweetnes, hints of pineapple, and had a good amount of hop character as well.

T: the caramel was more dominant on the palate alongside citrus grapefruit and lemon zest but with a decent piney hop profile.

M: the brew was medium in body with good amount of carbonation which had a sweet citrusy, piney hoppy and oily finish.

O: definitely a solid barleywine and glad I've had different variations of this great brew

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Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

This is beer No. 1499. The beer pours red-amber with a medium off-white head. The aroma is caramel malt and citrus hops. The flavor is caramel malt with a nice mix of orange and piney hops. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. A very nice barleywine.

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Photo of aasher
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

To think that I've bought many bottles of this for others but this is my first. This bottle was shared with zep9865, '08 vintage, purple wax. It poured a cherry wood in color with a light off white head that laced the glass. The aromas are very sweet. There is a nice mixture of sweet malt, cherries, candied fruit, and it has a resinous hop aroma that I definitely dig. There is a light alcohol aroma present on the back end. The flavors are very sweet fruits initially. It's almost syrupy. It reminds me of toffee a toffee and citrus blend which is definitely interesting but still flavorful and tasty. That resinous factor comes into play again and the hops come alive. It is a little sweet but that should be expected of a barleywine that is roughly three years and three months old. It's a little sticky on the palate but is a fine drink. This is a top notch barleywine and a fun beer to try aged.

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

2005 release, Sampled December, 2005
Pours with a frothy, one finger thick (at most), pale tan colored head. The beer is brilliantly clear, ruby red color that has lots of bubbles rising slowly through the thick viscous body. The aroma is quite sweet and fruity up front; redolent of tropical fruit notes as well as peach, apricot, pineapple, mango, hints of kiwi. It is an odd mixture, almost like a tropical fruit cough syrup; though it is actually interesting and even nice. The aroma ends with a hit of spicy alcohol, which clears the sinuses a bit.

The taste is quite sweet as well, and at first does not seem quite so fruity as the aroma, but towards the end the tropical fruit notes really start to kick in. Peach, and apricot are prominent, but there are also notes of mango, definitely papaya, and hints of lychee. The finish is really where these tropical fruit notes start to get funky; they definitely remind me of some type of cough syrup, or perhaps even children's aspirin. The finish is solidly bitter of course, but it is also joined by that lingering, sweet medicinal note.

This is really quite a bit different than the last time I had this (in 2004), then it did not have the tropical fruit notes. My guess is that the hop bill changed on this. The tropical fruit notes are not bad, in fact they make the usual hop character quite interesting, but it is the medicinal notes in the finish that is a bit distracting. I do have this to say for it though, it is quite interesting!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

'08 22 received a long while back from Bobby91w ... Freaking incredible trade... Thanks Bobby.... Hope you're safe.

Opened tonight as part of my ongoing "I'm tired of being broke" cellar adventure.

Poured into my Delirium goblet.... 2 finger foamy head is sorta a lite tan that has a yellow tint... the brew is very clear orangey amber... nice lace for the entire glass.

Nose is just dripping with American hops.. tons of citrus and a bit less pine... caramel malts and a sorta bready element.

Taste is just huge too of course.. fairly bracing bitterness that melts with caramel and a bunch of toasty sorta biscuity maltiness.... then the hops come with a full frontal assault.. resinous pine and an oily citrus.... finish is a lingering caramel essence and a sorta pithy grapefruit bitterness... yummy.

The body is viscous, but not overly done.. the carbonation is perfect and really adds to the drinkability.

Thanks again Bobby. I still have a 3 year vertical of these from Czoch75.... I am itching to get the boys together for a night of debauchery.


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

2011 Yellow Wax (OH only)

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

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Photo of biegaman
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage, light purple wax.

Red radish with a coppery tinge; away from the light Behemoth Blonde is elegant and to the light dazzling. Absolute perfect clarity. Initially there were very promising signs of significant head. Once exposed to a little air, however, this patch of white bubbles quickly dismantled and, as it's bound to stand, the surface of the beer is left so unguarded that one can position themselves right above and peer directly down to the bottom of the glass.

If a list of the best smelling barleywines were compiled Behemoth would surely place near the top. Sticky sweet scents of dark caramel, scorched toffee, acidic citrus, spruce, pine and a whole whack load of dried fruits rehydrated in brandy. Even with a year in the bottle it's maintained the ultra-assertive hoppiness that graces all Three Floyds offerings.

The taste of dark and dried fruits combines with a sugary sweetness to resemble a port. That said, the hops impart so much citrus (especially grapefruit and orange) that a morning glass of juice might come to mind sooner than an evening nightcap. There's also a good deal of dried cherry, dark caramel, chocolate-covered spruce and coconut-dusted pine.

I'm a little let down in the mouthfeel department. With the hops a little subdued there is ultimately less to the beer. There's still a ton of grapefruit and pine but it's significantly mellowed and all the chewy malts I expected to come forth turn out to be frail and thin; this 12% seems to be held up on stilts. Fortunately, the warming is sensed in my belly but nowhere on the palate.

Behemoth is similar to a vintage Barolo: young, it's assertive and fruity, supple and lightly smokey. With a bit of age it becomes warm and mellow. Relative to experience and taste, it can be both dark and intense or soft and silky. It's ultimate appeal is that it can be both big and sophisticated at the same time. That is the beauty of this beer, and barleywines in general.

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Photo of KAF
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maybe I should have waited longer to try this. Not much head but off white almost vanilla in color. A large abundance of different flavors. Some fruit (apple, fig, orange), brown sugar and molasses in aroma. Quite malty. Hard to specify all the different flavors here. There are a bit more hops then I expected but that is not a bad thing at all.

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

Poured a slightly viscous reddish orange with a quite nice head that fades to a thin cap. Smells big and malty up-front, but with quite a bit of citrusy hop flavors on the end to balance it out. Aromas of grapefruit, brown sugar, and sweet bread are predominant. Tastes pretty mellow as far as the heat from the abv goes. More stiff malt with a big, dry minerally backbone, but overlayed by sweet brown sugar and pine and grapefruit flavors from the hops. Relatively mellow in intensity as well and quite smooth. The mouthfeel is mellow and quite creamy with nary a hint of sharp alcohol. A big beer, but smooth and enjoyable.

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Photo of John_M
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brick in DC the other night.

The beer pours a rich looking copper color with very good head retention and lacing. The nose surprisingly hoppy and bitter, but with considerable brown sugar and caramel as well. The latter goes well with the pepper and pine I get from the hops. Flavors replicate the nose pretty closely in this beer, although I didn't find the beer to be quite as complex. This beer is quite sweet (as you'd expect), and is dominated by brown sugar, caramel and light chocolate. On the ohter hand, the hoppy bitterness is pretty noticeable, especially on the finish with this well made beer. Mouthfeel is full, rich, soft and creamy... yet not at all heavy. In fact, given this beer's abv. and sweetness level, I was surprised by how drinkable and light on its feet the beer is. The alcohol is there, but the beer is not the least bit heavy or tiring. Amazing, really.

Would be curious to see how well this one ages. In any event, even as a baby, this is a very impressive and enjoyable beer.

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Behemoth Blonde Barleywine from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.2 out of 5 based on 1,802 ratings.
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