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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 Derek
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Cellared ~15 months.

A: I was expecting something more Blond! Hazy chestnut with a light tan head, very little retention but some nice leg/lace.

S: Pine, booze, beer nuts, cotton candy.

T: Very boozy, but pleasantly smooth (not too hot). Pine, apricot, caramel, cotton candy and grapefruit citrus. Plenty of bitterness to offset all that sweet malt.

M: I know this is big, but there just way too much residual sugar here.

D: The alcohol is strong, but its the sugar that makes this a little rough.

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

Poured a deep orange, maybe even copper color with a nice tannish head. Nose is sticky with caramel, brown sugar and fruits. Taste follows the nose pretty closely. Mine had an oxidized taste, I believe it was taking a turn for the worst. I did notice dried fruits, caramel, molasses, tobacco. Mouthfeel was nice. The ABV was very well hidden!

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

(Served in a snifter)

A-This beer pours a deep reddish brown body with a strong carbonation and a thin creamy light tan head, that quickly fades to a thin ring around the edge.

S- The smell of fresh green hops is bold to day the least. Fresh grapefruit, cat pee (in a good way), pine trees and some more grapefruit in the finish.

T- This beer taste like fresh citrus hops with flavors of grapefruit, tangerine and a hint of lemon. There is a hint of pine and some light brown sugar notes also. The finish is a nice bold alcohol warmth.

M-medium mouthfeel with a faint astringency and good alcohol warmth in that hoppy finish.

D-Wow this beer has a good balance of big juicy hops and a powerful alcohol warmth. It would be nice to have a little more complexity in the malt flavor. I think this beer is young, bottled ~2 weeks ago, so as it ages it should get better and better.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this in a trade with joe1510. Thanks Joe!

This one pours a clear(from first pour to last) deep amber/copper with about a 1" head of foam.(somewhat vigorous pour)
Lots of nice sticky lacing to be had here.

The smell is nice and powerful with notes of caramel, citrus, and pine. It *smells* balanced for the style.

The taste is, again, nicely balanced with a bold caramel hop character that's offset by equally bold hops, but it's not overpowering in any way. Nice citrus up front, pine shows up about mid palate and shares finishing duty with the malt. Yummy. Not much alcohol apparent other than some slight warming after the swallow. The mouthfeel is medium full and it's pretty lightly carbonated. Wow. I really like this BWSA and it, to me, is *so* easy to drink that I know this bomber isn't going to last as long as it should. Oh well, maybe I can get my hands on some more. ;^) It's one of those brews that hits the spot, if you know what I mean.

The aftertaste is very long lasting...the mix of pine and caramel just keeps on keeping on and that's a great way to end each sip. Another winner from Three Floyds. No doubt about it.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml yellow waxed bomber poured into tulip 17/6/13 alpineclimber hooked me up cheers dude.
Had to do some research but this one has the hands logo and not the skull logo on the label so it would be the yellow wax from 2007

A glows ruby red with a few slow bubbles that produce two fingers of dark tan head that doesn't have the best retention but manages to leave 4 pencil thin rings of lace

S lots of brown sugar and burnt caramels, some spiced rum raisin cake,cotton candy, honey, and just a little pine and citrus with just a hint of tobacco leaf, earthy notes as it warms, smells sweet but sexy

T small step back from the nose, still has some pine resin but its mostly malty caramel and brown sugar at this point, quite nice with the booze being very well hidden

M silky upon entry leaning towards full and a little syrupy and very sticky on the lips, no heat and a little pine resin and on the finish and some grit left behind, about what I look for from the style

O I love a big sweet BW and this one delivers just that, not lacking in any areas and excelling in a few, well worth looking for

very well executed and its holding up well, still has some faint hops shining through and I can only imagine how much enamel this peel off your teeth fresh. Something I'd definitely keep my eye out for in the future both fresh and aged

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

22oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity... Cap sealed with pink wax.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" tan head over the dark copper brew. Head holds nicely for the style, with slow-fading lacing. Aroma is super fruity hops, with ample malt character and alcohol whiffs. Flavor is bubble gum hops, with the malt sweetness up to the supporting role, and substantial alcohol warming in the fade-out. Have to admit it doesn't seem like 12.5abv. Mouthfeel and drinkability are incredible for what this beer "weighs" in at. One of the most drinkable heavy beers I've encountered. Scary stuff.

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Photo of barczar
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber copper color with a tiny light cream head that dissipates very quickly.

Grapefruit, orange pith, and caramel malts, toasted bread are evident initially in the aroma. Alcohol is present if you search for it. Resiny pine surfaces late.

Grapefruit, slightly sweet toasted malt, peppery alcohol comprise the flavor initially, leaving the finish slightly bitter and hot. As it warms, tangerine and orange join the party. An herbal hop flavor lingers.

Body is medium light due to high alcohol content, with fairly low carbonation. An alcohol warmth rounds out the taste. Prickly pepper won't go away.

Overall, a good beer, but needs some time for the alcohol to mellow. I've enjoyed less expensive barleywines more. I was hoping for more complexity.

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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 Immortale25
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Bottle sealed with red wax.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber ruby hue. A less than one finger head comes after the pour, leaing a littl foam throughout all 22 ounces. Fresh cherries soaked in some brandy with some honey drizzled over toasted malts. Starts malty and somewhat sweet. Syrupy light ruits, toasted bread grain soaking in a sort of brandy style malt sangria hits the front to middle of taste. The finish highlights the citrus and mint bitterness that slowly pushes the malt and fruity booze out of the way. The palate is boozey somewhat syrupy and a slow interchange of bitter and fruity.

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Photo of DrJay
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage, enjoyed quite fresh.
It poured a clear red/orange topped by a slightly coarse tan head that thinned quickly to a ring. It did leave behind some lacing though. Pink grapefruit aroma and pine resin hops were quite strong, but caramel and toffee malts, as well as ripe fruit/raisin and faint alcohol, added some complexity and provided balance. There was a big malt backbone with a bit of alcohol that attempted to balance out the intense hop bitterness and huge hop flavour. Caramel and toffee malt provided lots of sweetness, and pine, grapefruit, and orange hop flavours produced a pleasant counterpoint. Lingering bitterness and resiny grapefruit in the finish. Plenty of alcohol warmth, which became a little hot in the finish after a while. Moderately low carbonation, fine bubbles, slightly syrupy. Pretty good overall, there's a lot of potential for this one as it matures. Thanks Viggo!

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Photo of Stevedore
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Tipsy Cow in Madison, WI. 10oz poured into a tulip glass today, 3/25/2014.

App- dark brown body with a one finger white head, decent lacing nothing special

Smell- citrus, grapefruit, orange, and some caramel. No mistake though this is hoppy as hell and not close to being true to the style.

Flavour- super hoppy, dank and bitter with a lot of grapefruit qualities and a fairly minimal caramel toffee contribution. This is not subtle at all.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, good carbonation, nothing special. Fairly bitter nothing much else and very sweet here. Dry and sweet finish.

Overall- not that special of an American barleywine. Overly hopped as you'd expect from a Three Floyds beer.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle. Pours a bright and mostly clear orange tinted brown, minimal cap of off white froth gone quickly. Even after a year, the scent is dominated by hops, muted pine and mildly bright citrus lead, backbone brings notes of buttery toffee, light caramel and whiskey. When poured at about 40-45 degrees, the flavor still had a decent hop profile, while the sweetness was light and the malts did not provide much character. As it approached room temperature, flavor blossomed with nice toffee and whiskey notes found in scent, hops still lead the overall profile though. While carbonation was at a nice level, the beer felt a little too light for the style, lacking any sticky or coating texture or even smoothness. Great scent and taste from this hop centric barleywine, body lacking compared to many other true barleywines.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wax sealed 22oz. bottled poured into a tulip glass. No bottled date found. I am guessing that this is a 2009 vintage. . .

(A)- Pours a thick and cloudy reddish amber color that produced a 1-finger sized off-white to yellow head that is fairly thick and is sticking around for awhile. Tiny bits of lacing present.

(S)- Dry yet massively malty caramel, butterscotch, honey, and toffee.

(T)- Crazily dry hops up front that disappear within seconds into layers upon layers of malty goodness. Caramel, honey, butterscotch, brown sugar, and toffee just for a start. Its even lightly floral with a delicate lemon citrus on the finish. Superbly complex yet bold and sweet.

(M)- Great carbonation level amidst this malt monster. The hops are really potent, but are overshadowed by how symphonic the malts & barley are. In the end, this creates a harmonious balance and complexity together. The alcohol is definitely present, but integrated very well.

(D)- A superb to fantastic barleywine that fits the style perfectly. Perhaps one of the best I have tasted? Malty as hell, but supplements it with massive hop and alcohol parts creating a very dynamic beer for sure!
A definite sipper though; a 22oz. will kick you to the floor! If it werent for the abv, drinking this would not be hard at all. In fact, I was surprised when I polished it off in less than an hour; its that good.
I suspect that this would/could age incredibly well! I plan to get my hands on some more of this! **update** In my opinion, this does not age well at all; best consumed fresh!

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.58/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle, 2008 vintage that I picked up at the brewery at DLD 08.

A beautiful copper colored pour with a dense, beige head that falls off to a disk leaving nice lacing, this is a particularly gorgeous barleywine. The nose is quite nice. Mildly hoppy with citrus and pine notes present and a big caramel malt backbone. Some mint and alcohol are noticeable too. Red delicious apple is noticeable as well. Quite nice!

The palate, however, falls rather flat. Heavy on the crystal malt, this is astringent without (thankfully!) too much sweetness. While the astringency does fade as the beer warms up and has time to breathe, it is initially rather unpleasant. This beer is pretty big and sweet. The hops have faded gracefully, leaving some mild pine bitterness and some citrus fruitiness. The mid-palate has plenty of fruit, with red delicious apples, a little grape, Alcohol does appear on the finish, mildly warming. Full in body, this is soft and lush on the palate. The finish has crystal malt and a mild bitterness. Decent stuff. The alcohol is rather well-hidden IMO. However, there just isn't enough malt complexity to keep this interesting on the palate, nor is it worthy of time in a cellar IMO.

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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 Bighuge
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Green Wax. 2010. 10.5%.

Murky looking toffee colored body. Creamy off white head leaves its mark as I drink. The malt sweetness on the nose is nice and rounded. Caramel based and speckled with cane sugar goodness. Just the slightest bit of alcohol and tropical fruitiness. Palate brings more of the same. Subtle caramel base with fruity complexities and a little warmth. Rich and quite smooth for the strength. Though there is some alcohol that lingers afterwards. It's a malt forward barleywine, which is surprising given the breweries history with hops. Good though. And hops do provide some balance.

Had my eye on this one for about 8-9 years now. Patience pays off. It showed up at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee so I nabbed a bottle. Worth the wait.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.01/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 12.22.13
2012 Red Wax

A - Pours a cloudy caramel brown with fluffy light tan head with good retention.

S - Bitter, malty, caramel.

T - Toasted brown sugar, sweet malts, caramel, vanilla.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Sweet and not bitter as the nose would suggest. Good beer.

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Photo of drpimento
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Latest ( green wax 2010 ) edition. Poured with a fine, smallish, light tan to cream colored head and a little lace. Color is a clear, copper amber. Aroma isn't too complex - massively malty and hoppy. Flavor is similar which is aka bittersweet. Good body and fine carbonation. Fairly long finish that is like flavor. Despite massiveness and strength (don't really pick up much alcohol) of this beer, could almost qualify it as a session.

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Photo of jrallen34
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

The beer pours a light copper with a great two finger thicke light tan head. There is little carbonation, lacing is think but disappates quickly.

The beer smells hoppy with citrus, maybe banana, and some spice.

It tastes very smooth, light hoppy taste, smooth light bitter finsih.

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

Adding 2010 Green Wax version:
Pour an aromas are very similar with a slightly more hop forward presence than I remember. Pineapple and tropical sticky aromas
The tastes are also quite similar but with more hop flavors as well, more tropical fruits highlighted by pineapple and grapefruit citrus. Hop flavors are balanced by the thick heavy caramel and toffee maltiness in the background just as I remember.
The mouthfeel is more bitter, dry and lingering which is neither a plus or a minus from what I remember, just different.
Overall I think I like this version a little more than the aged version because the hops are top quality and really balance the thick maltiness here. Two years seems to be the right time/balance for most American Barleywines and this is no different.

2008 Purple Wax. Big thanks to WhiteHouse50 for offering this in a trade.
Pours a hazy amber orange, with a small amount of beige head. Decent lacing with nice retention.
Aromas are fairly surprising to be honest. Loads of dark caramel malts and burnt brown sugar. Sweet toffee and alcohol emerge as this gets a little warmer. Piney and mild citrus hops are detectable but you really have to dig to get them.
The tastes begins once again with waves of dark caramel and butterscotch maltiness with some brown sugar and slight dark fruitiness (plum & figs) on the back end as this warms more toward room temperature. I can detect more of the pine hop flavors initially and then as I dig deeper I get some more floral and citrus hop flavors as well. Quite complex despite the 3+ years of aging.
The mouthfeel is quite full with ample/appropriate carbonation for the style. Sticky resinous hops lightly detectable and prevalent throughout consumption. The finish is mildly sticky and sweet but not cloying or resiny.
Overall, this is a really good beer; not the best barleywine I have ever had but extremely complex and delicious despite the 3+ years of age. I usually only like a year or 2 max on this style but this is still more than acceptable; no deterioration/oxidation what-so-ever. Recommended to sample at least once in your beer drinking lifetime; one fresh/one aged. I have had the aged one now so now I have to have acquire/sample one fresh.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage shared by Dave Guay - I've been wanting to try this one for a while. Pours the color and clarity of cider - no volume to the head; just a soapy skim and a thin band around the shoulders. Aromas of malt, prunes, bready, sugared fruit and ethanol comprise the nose. Taste follows nose with the addition of a little medicinal bitterness towards the finish. All and all - not as sweet as suggested by the nose. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with an easy carbonation and a trace of acidity at the finish. Overall, this beer is really quite solid, but I do think it has a great deal more aging potential. I'd love to see this with another three years on it.

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

650mL of this costs about $19.99 in Ohio, absurdly overpriced. I saw it on sale at DLD for $18 at the brewery (still high), but finally broke down and bought it when I saw it for $14.99 in Indianapolis. God, why was it so much? Maybe it's the gorgeous bottle, with the colorful label and the yellow dripping wax. The bottle states Behemoth Barley Wine, no mention of "Blonde" to be found except the picture of the blonde pig with the "Miss Behemoth" model label.

The color is NOT blonde, it is in fact copper colored with a thin tan head, more clear than murky. The aroma is pretty good for a barley wine, my final frontier of beers (and not one I appreciate so much yet). It smells kind of similar to Hair of the Dog beers, I wonder if it's similar yeast or fermentation process? Very sweet smelling, kind of like a dark fruit cake. The flavor is rich with sweet malts, grapefruity hops, and alcohol. The aftertaste is bitter, a little too tart for my tastes. Very thick mouthfeel, goes down slow. Difficult to rate drinkability high compared to, say a kolsch, but nicely drinkable for a barleywine.

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

reviewed from notes, On draft at Holy Grale, poured into a Snifter, 2011 Vintage

A: pours a slightly hazy amber with a 2 finger cream colored head c good retention and leaves an intricate lacing pattern

S: floral hops, caramel malt, sweet tropical fruits and honey

T: very similar to smell, floral and citrus hops, tropical fruit - mango and pineapple, caramel malt and a touch of honey

MF: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, crisp yet smooth

O: at this point I feel that 3 Floyds can do no wrong, a nice barleywine with 3 Floyds trademark hoppy flavor, would like to try different vintages and see how this changes with age

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Photo of glid02
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried a 2007 vintage courtesy of ATLbeerDog - much obliged!

Pours a hazy honey-copper color with a thin tan head that quickly recedes into a wispy layer of bubbles on top. Not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells of malt, malt, and more malt. Sweet caramel malt is joined by hints of toffee. Not a very complex aroma, but very nice nonetheless.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Huge malt flavors are joined shortly by caramel and toffee. This is just below the point of being too sweet, and as it is it's very tasty. The ending is mildly bitter, but still manages to leave a sweet film on my lips. The alcohol is noticeable, but it doesn't do much to detract from anything.

Mouthfeel is good. A syrupy thickness is augmented by good-sized bubbles that bring out the flavor.

Drinkability is good, very good in fact for such a big beer. This goes down way too easily - I'd be thankful I didn't have an entire bottle to myself if it weren't so good.

Overall this is one of the better malty barleywines I remember having. Definitely worth a shot.

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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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