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Behemoth Blonde Barleywine | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

580 Reviews
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Behemoth Blonde BarleywineBehemoth Blonde Barleywine

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States | website

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: 580 | Ratings: 1,788
Photo of MaxSpang
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 "Ohio Edition" with Yellow Wax. Served about 2 months after bottling in a snifter.


This big baby pours a lovely copper-rust color. It was more translucent than expected, but was still pretty hazy. The head was about 2 fingers and khaki colored. Wow, the lacing on this beaut was incredible - it stuck around the whole time and created a lovely pattern in my snifter. There were lovely little bubbles coming up along the side, slowly rising until they collected at the base of the soapy head. This beer is a beauty, even though she may be a bit hefty.


At first sniff, the hops took over. It actually smells a lot like Dreadnaught or Arctic Panzer Wolf - lots of citrus, orange, and grapefruit coming from the hops. The alcohol comes through and blends with the hop aroma beautifully (I love the combination of alcohol and hops). There's a bit of the malty aroma as well as some dark fruits and perhaps a little spice. It's hard to get past the hops, though. Many would argue that a beer like this is not meant to be drank so fresh, and I think this is a reason why - the hop character is just way too intense (though still very pleasant), leaving little room for other aromas to come through. That being said, YUM this beer smells amazing.


Oh wow... I am typing this as I sip, so let me indulge myself for a moment... Ahhh. This is a lovely, lovely beer. Because it's so fresh, it's a little rocky on the tongue, but it's still excellent stuff. The first sip bombarded my tongue with hoppy goodness - TONS of orange and a whole lot of grapefruit. As it warms up, the lovely malt character comes out and shines. There are notes of caramel and dark fruits which is followed by an intense, but lovely, bitterness which lingers for a long time after you swallow. The bitterness is actually extremely high in this beer. The alcohol is most definitely present, making this beer a bit boozy. All of the flavors hit you in layer, which shows that this beer is still young. As I said, it is a bit rocky and the flavors or sort of mixed up rather than being smooth. Luckily, I bought two of these bottles so we'll see how the other one tastes after a year (or two!).


This is a barleywine called Behemoth - it's big. Tons of mouthfeel in this one. The front of the tongue is a big sweet malt bomb, but is quickly taken over with an almost overpowering bitterness that almost coats your mouth in hop resin - it's nice, but it gets a little bit much after awhile. The beer was pretty easy drinking at first, but after it warms up it turns into a sipper. This beer sort of reminds me of a bigger, fatter version of Dreadnaught. Even though the beer is pretty high in alcohol, it doesn't really give you a warming sensation as much as you'd think. You can definitely feel it, though! *hiccup


This beer is wonderful fresh, but I can tell it's the kind of beer you want to throw in the cellar and forget about for a year. At $16 per bottle (yikes!), you definitely want to get the most out of this brew. As I said before, the flavors are nice albeit a little divided - they almost seem to battle it out on my tongue after every sip. I will say this - after trying it fresh, I want to buy a few more bottles and let them sit for awhile, even at the outrageous price. The blonde woman on the label of this beer is draped in a "Miss Behemoth" sash while two surly looking fellows are ogling at her. I think she deserves this title, and I salut her for being so unafraid of her curvy physique. This Behemoth is of the kind that you wouldn't be ashamed waking up next to.


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Photo of BitterPachyderm
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2/22/09 had with pulled pork bbq sandwiches at lunchtime...

650ml bottle with no born on date to be found, gorgeous yellow wax sealed top, purchased 2/21/09 at Parti Pak liquors in Indianapolis...poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass (I need new glassware!)

appearance-pours a hazy amber/copper red with a one inch head and semi-quality lacing, however, head disipates quite quickly

aroma-at first, almost one dimensional-hops and pine, powerful and overwhelming, tones down as time passes opening into a boquet of candied malts, chocolates, and hints of alcohol, at times it seems medicinal and slightly musty

taste-massive pine and hop overtones that mellow out like the aroma does, huge alcohol aftertaste with peppery undertones

drinkability-definitely a sipper, could only do two in one sitting

mouthfeel-smooth with a gorgeous amount of hop bite-a shock to the tongue, a very warming brew

overall-this is a monster of a beer, not exactly my favorite american barley wine, party because at times it seemed more like an old ale, but definitely something i want in my weekly winter rotation

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Photo of jsapunor
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I've heard about this beer for years and now it's time to give it a try.

A beautiful pour with a nice off white head. Lots of bubbles and when held up to the light, a gorgeous gold.

The nose promises hops and caramel which is typical for the style but the taste delivers both of these and so much more. The label promises a lot and everything is delivered. At first, the cherries were very noticeable which is unusual for a barleywine. They fade later as the glass empties but take their place in a wonderful palette of flavors. The alcohol, which is prominent in so many offerngs of this style is gracefully hidden behind hops, malt, honey and cherries. This is one incredibly smooth barleywine.

I love American style barleywines like Old Guardian, Bigfoot, Old Ruffian, Mirror Mirror, Old Horizontal and Old Numbskull just to name a few. Behemoth is a world class addition to the list.

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Photo of DRyan
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Ranger Creek tulip, served at 50 degrees
2013 Orange wax

A: Beautifully dark orange/ruby red with a very creamy off-white head that slowly dissipates and leaves heavy lacing

S: I'm not getting a hole lot, but I'm a bit stuffed up so this whole review might be a bit biased. Some alcohol, some fruits, some toffee/malty bits.

T: Heavy on the alcohol but not a burn, certainly warms the stomach. Has some malty sweetness, has some odd other flavors. It's missing the toffee the caramel the richness that I was really expecting from it. This may all be because this is a 2013 and it's just too green... I have another bottle that will age for at least a year or more and I'll come back and re-do this review and see the differences/

M: Nicely thick but not cloying, smooth, velvety

D: Pretty easily drinkable for such a big beer. I think some time on it will do wonders... at least I hope so for the $16 a bottle I spent!

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Photo of MickeyBeer
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this out of the tap at Firkin, poured into a snifter

A- Pours a deep brownish color that is a beautiful red when held up to the light. A finger and a half of head that had nice retention.

S- Great floral aroma from the hops, malty with a hint of alcohol.

T- Taste is sweet with a little less hop presence than I had expected. Hint of alcohol as well, which is not surprising at over 10% ABV.

M- Mouthfeel is almost creamy for a barleywine. Carbonation is light and it has warming feel on the way down. Very sticky.

O- A very enjoyable barleywine, but could have used more hop bitterness in my opinion. All of the beers by three floyds are great, but this one might be a little better when aged in a bottle. I will have to purchase it at the store and give it another try to see how it compares.

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Photo of hughesm4
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a bomber poured into a perfect pint glass.

A. Very nice light brown color that is a little hazy and has a slight head that sticks slighty and then runs down the side of the glass.

S. Great smell. Very sweet smell with a slight hint of bitterness.

T. Good. Just about the same as the smell, but with a little more bitterness.

M. Fills the mouth with bitterness, but leaves a very sweet taste in the mouth.

D. Goes down great for the abv. Too sweet to drink quickly or a lot of. Very good barley wine

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

I enjoyed this beer. I had it on tap a winos depot in Kentucky. The color was an amber with a cream colored head.

Smell: Hop. Wonderfully refreshing. Mild caramel but the hop aromas quickly take over.

Taste: Very good flavor. Mild caramel tones and as expected hops. Wonderful hops.

Mouthfeel: Good but I lean on the thick and sticky. For the style this is good though. Little bit of stickyness.

Overall: Really a good beer. I enjoyed it. I have had it out of the bottle but on tap is just a bit better. I recommend it to anyone.

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Photo of nawpnawp
4.69/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours a clear light brown with a finger of head that looks sticky and creamy. The smell is mostly caramel with a hint of lemony zest; a little unexpected for a barleywine, but in a good, refreshing way. The taste is must of the same - it has a huge caramel backbone that is finely balanced by the hops. This is not what I was expecting at all, but given that it's from FFF, it makes a ton of sense. I would never have guessed it was 80 IBUs. The sweetness perfectly complements the hops and malts. The mouthfeel is on the thin side, but that's a good thing.

It drinks more like a DIPA than a traditional barleywine, but like all of FFFs unique takes on beer styles, this one is a home run.

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Photo of zep9865
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

08 bottle poured into new belgium snifter. Deep amber color with a half-finger white foam head. Sediment is minimal but each individual piece has significant size.

Smell is more on the malty side. I was hoping to detect some hops. Dark as well as candied fruit are evident.

Alcohol was noticeable the second the beer hit my palate. The hops i couldn't smell are definitely there without any insane citrus. The beer carries over into it's fruit maltiness.

The transition from the hops to the malt creates a great balance and feel for the palate. Carbonation isn't overbearing or lacking.

Loved this barleywine. I've had too many barleywines that I've felt are overly sweet. 17.99 is a little pricey for this bomber but definitely worth purchasing to treat a friend.

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Photo of satowns
2.76/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured a brownish orange color with a rocky foam cap.

Aromas of bread mold and alcohol. Apricots and a hint of medicinal alcohol. I get the sense of slight oxidation...kind of a wet cardboard stench.

Flavors of orange and other citrus. A little musty around the edges. Bitterness is there, but I don't really like the flavor of the hops, outside of the citrus.

Didn't want to finish my half of the bomber, pour it out. There could have been something wrong with this bottle; a bit light struck (although no skunk), maybe its old (but this beer should withstand a bit of age) or improper storage...

I will update my review as soon as i get another bottle.

Music enjoyed whilst sampling: none, just chatting with my neighbor who brought the beer back from a business trip to Chicago...

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Photo of crazybrody06
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a bomber into a mug.

Pours a ruby color with a creamy off white head. There is ton of lace made of tiny bubbles all the way down the glass.

Smell is of brown sugar, grapefruit, bread, nuts, malts

Taste isnt as sweet as the smell malts, brown sugar, hops, citrus, alcohol.

Mouthfeel is full not watery with good carbonation

I for sure couldnt drink more than a bomber.

Paid 20 dollars for a bomber, I dont know if this is really worth the price but its a good brew none the less.

The label, the wax, the price, its enough to make anyone curious.

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Photo of lionchow
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 release.

Pours orange-amber, thin white head, clear.

Aroma is an interesting mix of sweet malt and citrusy hops. It is really unique and enjoyable.

Flavor is of lightly sweet malt. Hop flavor is medium-strong citrus, pine, onion and garlic, with a pronounced bitterness. There is a bit of alcohol burn down the throat. Despite the nice hop flavor, I was underwhelmed but the flavor overall, especially after the excellent aroma.

Mouthfeel is thin but the alcohol burn gives a nice sensation.

Overall an excellent aroma but the flavor is just above average.

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Photo of cmadd
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 red wax

L: Clear red amber sticky spotty lacing with minimal head.

S: Characteristic 3F hopping with some Amarillo, some small back ground sweet nutty malt. Sweet tropical fruits, alcohol. Really nice.

T: Starts with light sweetness and fruity hop flavours, but goes rather quickly to a rough hop bitterness. The finish is hop bitterness with some lingering sweetness/sugar bitterness. Alcohol comes through slightly. I was definitely expecting more hops here.

M: Minimal carbonation, body is pleasantly creamy for a barleywine.

O: It's pretty straightforward American Barleywine (on the sweet side); more or less what I'd expect, but I usually look to 3F to defy expectations, so in that sense a little disappointing. Still, very glad I got to try it.

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Photo of CashMoneyVagrant
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

- White wax, 2011 vintage

Deep, rich amber in color with orangish highlights. Nice thick, creamy white head of foam that coats the glass. Very complex fruitiness going on in the nose. Tropical. Aromas of pineapple and mangos. Citrus as well, with fresh orange peels and pink grapefruit. Pine, tree sap, red delicious apples, sweet malt and toffee back up the fruit.

Moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy on the palate. A very soft and easy drinking
barleywine. Getting alot of the same fruit in the taste. Pineapple, pink grapefruit, melon. Like biting into a orange peel. Sweet, sticky on the lips. Good malt. Toffee, burnt or caramelized brown sugar, maple syrup. The hops hit you in the finish. Citrus, tree sap, pine-spruce, kinda woody hop character. Nice bitterness which lingers in the back of the palate. Sweet and piney brew that stays sticky on the lips. As the beer warms the hops and toffee malt characters become more pronounced.

This is a great barleywine fresh or with a couple years of age on it. For me a world class brew.

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

Had on tap at 3 Floyds 9/29/2011

The appearance is dark amber with a light tan head, nice microfoam on the head of this =)

Rich caramel scent, with some hoppy spice notes, spice was a vague cardamom/curry scent to my nose.

More caramel in the taste! Sweet caramel to more caramel - a medium body with a rich feel on the palate. No carbonation to speak of.

I enjoyed the caramel of this barleywine, this is everything that I enjoy about barleywines without the intense sweetness that some examples of this style have.

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Photo of 29mikoyan
4.93/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

A spectacular Barley Wine! It does have a hoppy presence, but it is smooth and mellow like a fine brandy. Molasses, cherry, and vanilla are present in this brew. It has a nice malty mouth feel.

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Photo of Seeker41184
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Date Drunk: 3/2/11

On tap at FFF BrewPub. Sweet malt with some citrus aftertaste. The alcohol really shows itself here in this beer. Beer is very smooth, needs to be sipped. Not the best barley wine i've had, but enjoyable. I have had the 2008 version, and it is better then the on tap one.

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Photo of lloyd83
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours ruby red with a touch of brown, almost like a cognac. Little bit of head that disipates quickly. Not a whole lot of lace develops in glass.

Smells super hoppy with a very noticeable whiff of alcohol that stings the nose a bit with a deep inhale.

Reminiscent of a lot of other FFF brews in that it's very, very hoppy. Significant alcohol up front that makes this one a sipper for sure. Nicely sweet on the front of the tongue though. Not pulling any of the caramel malts that the bottle promises, but maybe my palate just isn't refined enough :) Seriously reminds me of a DIPA with the big hop profile and then the bitterness that it finishes with.

Feels really good in the mouth...Honestly my favorite part about the beer. Nice and full bodied; really coats well.

Again, this is a sipper. Not really what I expected at all when I picked it up. Definitely going to cellar one for awhile and re-visit to see if some of the hops/alcohol fade a bit. Not my favorite, but not bad overall.

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Photo of muskabeatz
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage

A- clear amber, light brown. Decent head with a great, clingy lace.

S- hoppy, with brown sugar and a slightly floral presence. Also an alcohol undertone.

T- Good balance of malt and hops, with hops slightly taking the upper hand. Big presence of brown sugar, and I also found a bit of a nutty taste towards the finish, as well as some roasted barley. Very Complex.

F- Although it has a very rich feel, it is not overly heavy for the style.

D- Reasonably drinkable. It lets you know the alcohol is there, without being overbearing. A pleasure to put down, but it doesn't leave me calling for more, as some brews do.

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

Appearance: Pours a nice amber orange color with a medium amount of cloudiness. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of carbonation, but there is a very nice amount of creamy off white (nearly tan) head. The retention is quite nice in this beer. Occasional swirls of the glass will bring back two or three fingers worth of head. Lacing is also superb with that crystal-like quality from the sugars.

Smell: Smells just like a Barleywine should. There is a lot of caramel malt and a bit of pungency from the hop presence. You also get some of the characteristic fruits like figs, prunes, raisins, and dried apricots. The hops might not be as upfront as I'd like, but we'll see what they have to offer once I dig in to the glass. To be fair, I've started this one a bit colder than I probably should have. Give me a break -- it's a 22 ounce beer at 12% ABV so it's probably going to take me a while to finish.

Taste: Sadly there is not as much hops as I've come to expect from a Barleywine. And with as well as Three Floyds Dreadnaught is hopped, I'd think there'd be more here. However, that's certainly not a bad thing because the caramel quality of the malt is actually very nice and makes up for any lack of hops. The fruits translate very well from the nose to the palate and are accompanied by some very nice underlying floral components.

Mouthfeel: For a Barleywine I'd say the mouthfeel is one of its best elements. It's not attacking my mouth the way I thought it might, and the alcohol presence is low enough (figuratively speaking) that I don't get the burn I normally get from some of the higher ABV Barleywines.

Overall: At first I wasn't too fond of the lack of hops, but wow this really turned for the better after a few sips. The sweetness of the malt and the floral and fruit components are enough to carry this one as far as it will go. This is unquestionably one of the more drinkable Barleywines I've had. Once again, Three Floyds proves why so many people want their beers.

The Grand Ole Hopry

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

2010 vintage. Chilled, but let this one warm up a bit. Color is a mix of deep amber red mixed with apricot. Light carbonation with minimal head, but persists. Great earthy hop presence in the nose, a hallmark of 3 Floyds. Also dried fruit, toasted malts, but the hops do it for me. Full palate, like jello. Extremely well-rounded and smooth - dried fruit, toasted malt, and wood. Finishes dry with earthy/piney hops that linger. Some alcohol presence, but not in the taste. For me the hop presence definitely edges other barley wines I've tried. Now its time to pick up another bottle and let it sit for a few years!

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Photo of Gunslinger711
3.36/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Release (White Wax)

Poured into a goblet.

Pours a gorgeous dark amber red color. Little head retention, managed to leave some lacing in the glass.

Behemoth has a sweet, hoppy smell.

Juicy, wine taste at the front through the middle. A little bitter on the end.

Smooth mouthfeel for a 10.5% abv, more of that juiciness from the taste.

Drinkability: Goes down easy for a big barleywine.

Overall: Kind of disappointed, I feel like this is going to be a lot better if I let it age. I was expecting a little bit more complexity from this beer.

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Photo of session1979
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage – DFH Snifter

Appearance: Pours a brilliant clear burnt amber with minimal but clingy off-white head.

Smell: Sweet incredibly complex balanced aroma of light oily hops, warm malt, oak, caramel and spices.

Taste: Wow, finally a beer that tastes as good as it smells! The hops are now present but again well balanced. A taste sensation full of brown sugar, bready malts, maple and spices.

Mouthfeel: Wonderfully creamy and warming as it goes down. Just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: This is scary drinkable. As soon as you start to notice the alcohol, the sensation is gone and you just keep drinking.

Final Comments: I absolutely loved this barleywine and would put it as one of the best American barleywines I have had to date.

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Photo of JamesMcPolin
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

White-waxed bomber into a Stone’s BW Glass.

Nice appearance. Amber color with very light-tan head. Sticky lacing.

Crisp citrus smelling hops with sweet aromas. Pineapple, bananas, apple fruitiness.

Crisp, clean hops go really well with how fruity it is. But nothing too crazy here. Just a good solid barleywine with the 10.5 well hidden.

Slightly lighter than expected, but still at the bigger end of medium-bodied. Really smooth.

Highly drinkable. Overall, remarkably mellow brew for a 10.5% BW. Nothing here to scare away a barleywine newbi. Might be a good recommendation as a craft lovers first steps into the style.

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Photo of rpmetzler
2.8/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer isn't bad, I'm just not a fan of the hoppiness. As I figure out my tastes, I can easily say that strong citrus hops aren't my thing. As far as hippy beers go, this isn't awful.

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Behemoth Blonde Barleywine from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 580 ratings.
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