TheEnemy (562) - Chicago, USA - OCT 8, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 1, 2006 22oz bottle, 2005 vintage.
Dark ruby copper liquid forms an off-white head on pour that doesn’t last long save for the tiny rim of bubbles that remain. Rather straight-forward, unsubtle aroma of Northwest hops like a double IPA: very piney, citrusy, spicy and a bit tart. Would have liked some malt in the aroma. After sniffing it I feared this beer would basically be Cascade and/or Centennial hops reduced to liquid form. Thankfully it wasn’t. While the NW hops play a prominent role in the flavor with an abundance of their characteristic bitter, spicy, floral and citrus attributes, they are well balanced by lots of sweet caramel malt. Exceptionally smooth palate for a beer this sweet -- not sticky at all. I don’t care much for the liberal use of Cascade/Centennial hops for this style of beer but Three Floyds does it better than anyone else. This is a loving tribute to its British forbears while giving it a distinctly American flavor. Nice stuff that should probably be revisited after some aging. Agreed with heemer that the cost is not justified but 3F knows they can charge a left testicle (which is precisely what they do in this case) and people will still line up. The free market will do its thing, rational or not..<P>RE-RATE July 2006: Wow, what a difference a few months makes. This stuff is aging phenomenally well. The rough alcohol and sharp bitterness have both settled down, providing a smooth warming alcohol presence and a suave tobbaco-leaf spicy bitternes. I wasn’t sure if a Three Floyds barleywine wouldn’t be too aggressive when I first tried this stuff; now I know that a mere bit of patience is all that is required to bring out the best in this brew and make it a fine barleywine.
<P>Original Rating: Aroma: 6; Appearance: 4; Flavor 8; Palate: 5; Overall Impression: 16; Score: 3.9<P>
heemer77 (5075) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - OCT 7, 2005
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: APR 25, 2008 From a 2005 release bottle one week later. Very dark ruby body with a thin slightly yellowish head. The aroma is obviously Three Floyd’s. There is orange peel, pine and flowers. Also notes of caramel. This a massive beer. There is also some tart leathery character here. The taste is caramel with massive cola and pine. There are also cherries and some some subtle vanilla. You get an after taste of grapefruit. As I drink more and it warms, it irritates me. I am burping up pine resin and some funky nasty tree bark. Not my thing. I think that this big bad boy would benefit from a few years of aging. It is only ok now. but a little too in your face. How is this beer worth $15? I am still not sure what others are seeing in this brew.
temporrari (379) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - OCT 3, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAY 22, 2009 2005 Bottle. This beer is one of 3 things; A) Not the same beer as the draft version that propelled it to the top 20. B) Too young to be drinking now. C) Just crazy over-rated. Pours a brilliant copper color. Aroma is very hoppy, real floral piney and citrus. All the 3F characteristics are here. Flavor is hoppy at first, becoming quite sweet once you really get into it. I’ve had so many better tasting barley wines. Unbalanced, doesn’t even taste like a barley wine. I know the style itself is fairly broad, but still. The mouthfeel is certainly not thin, but it’s not chewy and juicy, and that’s how I expect a BW to be. Alcohol is present, never overpowering but definately there especially when it warms up. Nothing to rave about at all. I would normally not mention the price as part of a rating, and it does not affect my numbers, but this isn’t worth $15 a bottle by any stretch. Not even close. I’ll check back in a year or two and see how this has aged. I think with some years, the flavors will probably come together, but who knows. They may not.
Well, after 4 years in the bottle let’s see what has happened. Not quite as bad as I expected. You have to give it to 3F, they do make some quality products. However, this beer was built to be consumed fresh. It’s lost most of it’s hops and sweetened right up. So, if you have a bottle of a newer batch, quit wasting time and open it. I wish I’d just done that with my bottles.
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 3, 2005
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: JAN 9, 2006 2001 batch on tap at the Three Floyds brewpub, January 2006.
Hazy, safire and caramel brown in color with a creamy, tan bubble pocked bowtie formation for the head. Aroma is a tale of subtle glory. Matured black cherries, raspberry fig chews, rosebuds, red and black currant mix, deep amaretto, black raspberry seeds, boysenberries and a tiny hint of alcohol. Lord is this flavor smooth. The epitome of an aged barleywine, upstaging Third Coast Old Ale and Old Horizontal. Ripe cream cheese qualities allude to raspberry cheesecake. More chewy than the fresh bottled batch. My wife would be revolted by my palate chomping. Patronizes the notion of a balanced equilibrium. Sticky malts and a supportive hop backdrop couldn’t form a more symbiotic relationship. Finishes like a raspberry cream cheese danish and almond butter laden with juniper berries, free from all jovial qualities. I’ll be damned.
This was the Dr. Jekyll; the bomber was Mr. Hyde.
2005 bomber all to myself - fresh, October 2005.
Semi-syrupy pour to a translucent brass color, seemingly filtered, but with good reason. Dusty tan bubbles for the head and sexy legs on the side of my snifter throughout all 22-ounces of bliss. This is one hell of a nose: lavender, strawberries, grapefruit, star fruit, cherry cheesecake, amarillo and brown sugar. Flavor is a wham-bam bitch slap, and I turn the other cheek. Amaretto, cherry juice and liquefied brown sugar register first. My taste buds play host to a citric floral conference (pineapple, grapefruit and papaya.) Throw in a touch of cooking sherry for good measure and now the complexities are innumerable. Bitterness resounds while a caramel cadence drums up the malt support. Vinous, oozing and dehydrating, making me reach for more more more. The balancing act couldn’t be more harmonious - in fact, it’s perfect. Bitter and comprehensive finish spurring an aftertaste of raspberry crepes basking in maple syrup. Worth every penny, mile and minute to obtain. God bless.
Pailhead (4356) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - OCT 2, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: Courtesy of temporrari and JCW. Very hoppy aroma. Smells like an IIPA. Aroma is loaded with citrus hops. Pours a transparent reddish-orange with an insignificant white head that only forms a ring around the edge of the glass. Like the aroma, tastes just like a IIPA. Quick initial sweet orange flavor is almost instantly dominated by a huge citrus hop finish. Very good, but needs some aging in order to resemble a Barley Wine as opposed to a IIPA.
RAYBOY01 (2012) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 1, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Multi-dimensional sweet caramel malts, tempered expertly by both a generous dose of bitter hops and pervasive alcohol fumes...really too young to rate properly yet. Talk to me in a year.
Cornfield (5321) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - OCT 1, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
At the brewery’s 2005 release: The only "flaw" that I could find with this barleywine is that it was so young, so I picked up enough bottles to be rerating this as they age, starting with Nick Floyd’s recommended six month mark. It poured a near headless golden brown. The aroma is a sweet caramel/toffee malt, somewhat fruity, with a trace of alcohol and a light citric and pine hop scent. This is thick and warm in the mouth, a pleasure to savor before swallowing. The flavor remains fruity (plums, cherries...) with caramel and butterscotch and alcohol and just a touch of hop bitterness. The hops come forward more in the finish, but the sticky (and alcohol laden) malt sweetness dominates. This is great stuff and it will be difficult to resist drinking some of the bottles that I intend to age.
<font size=-4><a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Floyds Brewing Company, Munster, IN<font size=-1>
DrnkMcDermott (2735) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - MAR 7, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 10, 2006 Now that I’ve had the 2001 Behemoth that the Floyds "found" in the cooler and put on tap at the brewpub, I can discount my description below (and save my bottle of 2005 to age for a while). The draft pour is a deep cloudy brown, with a thin barleywine head. Bigass malts prevail in this one, with a bit of taffy apple-caramel sweetness. Alcohol is not heady or overpowering… at first, but sneaks up big time toward the end. There’s a touch brandy, with a swirl of strawberry, prune and cherry. Very thick and chewy.
Bottled off kegging line by 3F’s employee. My rating is tempered by the fact that the sample was bottled 4 years ago and not counter-pressure filled. But I expect to have some fresher stuff when the bottles finally come out this summer. This sample was slightly cloudy. Not as hoppy as most 3F’s, just the remains of a fine hop bouquet. This is, yes, slightly oxidized, but also sweet and somewhat fruity, with a hint of raspberry.
DYCSoccer17 (3204) - Woodland, California, USA - JUN 12, 2004
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draft at Clark’s Ale House in Syracuse...WHAT A FIND! Fruity, malty aroma with hints of spice and citrus. Moderately hazy amber color with a small light tan head. Mmmm creamy maltiness hits the tongue to start...bam. Fruity citrus ethanol burn follows with a nice little hop kick in the ass as this one goes down. Gorgeous lacing too, I might add.
jsquire (3293) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - MAR 16, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Draft at the brewery. I think it was the end of last years keg. Murky orange with a creamy tan head and a sharp hop nose (like all Three Floyds beers). Caramel, butterscotch, plum liquer. Very green hop finish. Thick, syrupy mouthfeel. Just plain delicious.