Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 1157   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.07   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 360   ABV: 12%
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Huge sweet body, big flavors and high alcohol levels, this beer is best enjoyed by a raging fire. Complex caramel sweetness is well balanced by generous hopping, delivering an intense, smooth drinking experience. Intense fruity caramel malts, citrus hops, and alcohol notes waft up to tickle your senses.
2005 Bottle release - Pink Wax
2007 Bottle release - Yellow Wax (Brewed in Nov 06)
2008 Bottle release - Purple Wax
2009 Bottle release - Blue Wax
2010 Bottle release - Green Wax
2011 Bottle release - White Wax
2012 Bottle release - Red Wax
2013 Bottle release - Orange Wax

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - OCT 16, 2005
2005 22oz wax cap. Pours a deep dark copper/amber/red color with a nice white head. Nose is big three floyds grapefruit, piney hopps. Alot og them. A touch of yeast and malt is mixed in. Taste is those great big hopps again, a bit overpowering and the bread and malt flavors are left behind. Finishes with a nice bitterness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
JoshuaB (475) - Detroit, Michigan, USA - OCT 16, 2005
Overrated and overpriced. I wanted to liek this beer so much, but it just doesnt live up to the hype. Perhaps the best thing about this beer is the pour, a deep brownish garnet. Nose is typical massive Floydís hops, piney, citrusy, and almost bubblegum like. Lots of hops that are not really well balanced with the malt counterpart. Pretty one dimensional, sweet fruity hops. Alcohol not well hidden. When you charge this much for a beer, I have greater expectations. Perhaps I will rerate in a year or two after this ages a while.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JPDIPSO (4956) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 16, 2005
Now for a brew I have been longing for for some time and hopefully worthy of a victory brew. Yes, the Badgers were "lucky", but they still won. From first sniff this is a hoppy barley wine beyond the likes I think I have tried. Bright dark copper color with a diminished ecru head. Smells like sweet ruby red grapefruit juice. Perhaps I should have this for breakfast. Iím sure it would be an eye opener. Some mild hints of pie crust malt, peaches and watermelon bubblegum. I would likely put the aroma higher if this wasnít a barley wine, as I really want more malt in this style. Just my preference. In a year or so Iím sure my rating would go up significantly. Holy lactating, agrarian, bovine mammal batman, this is a hops monster, that I am at a near loss of words. Lots of sweet malt, but more than a boat load of hops. The malt flavors are not that well defined but the sweetness is there to balance all the alphas and betas coursing through my palate. Smooth, lightly silky in feel. Flavors of light fruit, with raisins, and plums. Floral and a touch of pine and grapefruit hops flavors. A sweet laffy taffy middle, with melon and mild berry. Malt come back in the linger, but yet the hops acidity still stings the tongue. Call this an american strong and this is near the top of my list As a barley wine, this will need to sit a year or five to be in my tops per style. I wish I could let one set that long. Great brew. I hate getting caught up in the style thing on this one. This truly is a Behemoth!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
OldGrowth (2790) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - OCT 14, 2005
Bottle, from trade with JCW. 2005 vintage. Great nose, sweet. Tangerine, pineapple, peach. Clean orangy red color. Small head that faded to nothing. Sweet bitter flavors, like aroma with grapefruit creepin in. Thick body, creamy mouthfeel, Sticky sweet finish. ABV heat shows up. FíN great, I can see why some might not like the ABV right now, but itísa damn near perfect beer for me. Ihad this at the Blind Tiger a couple years back. I didnít take noted of it at the time though. I seem to remember it being more carmelly, than the fruity i get now. Still WOW. Thanks again JCW.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Odeed (1795) - Bakersfield, California, USA - OCT 13, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 11, 2005 (2005 bottle poured into a stone r.i.s. glass.i could smell the hops right after popping the top)the behemoth poured a clear crimson red with tiny little bubbles floating to the top.what little head i got was white and soon swam to the sides of the glass.the aroma was dominated by grapefruit/pine hops with some brown sugar and molasses to follow.the first sip was SUPER thick and slid down the back of my throat.talk about a mouthfeel!the flavor was again dominated by grapefruit/pine hops.what followed was sweet candy,molasses,and scotch.as far as mouthfeel and "hopness" its all there.its just a little one-sided.maybe some age would bring the malts out a bit.as this is a barleywine and not a double i.p.a.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
1FastSTi (3341) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 9, 2005
Poured from a 2005 vintage bomber, I decided to undertake one of these myself. As I uncapped the bottle, all I could think was "Holy grapefruit hops, Batman!" I then began by pouring some into my snifter. I am delighted by the dark ruby red body. A thin white head tops the beer but quickly diminishes to a near nothingness. A nice lacing adorns the glass. So, I dip my nose inside the rim of the snifter to get a full dose of the aroma. Citrus, sweet spruce, oranges, ever-so-light cheesecake, caramel, and light brown sugar make up the majority of the aroma. So, I decide to jump into tasting. Iím met by a superbly balanced hop/malt. Trying to start with the flavor was a mistake because all I can think of is the palate. It is very smooth, creamy, velvety, medium-full body with a clean refreshing feel. So, back to the flavor. I am enticed with a similarity to strawberry wine. Now, imagine that doused with hops. Citrus, grapefruit mostly with thoughts of pineapple sits atop the tons of what I suspect is amarillo hops making the strawberry flavor. Thereís a nice caramel sweetness that fills out the flavor. More on the palate... after drinking more of this, it comes off as dry. I would love a massive dose of Maris Otter malts in this. I think thatíd have the potential to make this truly "great".

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
TheEnemy (562) - Chicago, USA - OCT 8, 2005
UPDATED: JUL 1, 2006 22oz bottle, 2005 vintage.
Dark ruby copper liquid forms an off-white head on pour that doesnít 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 wasnít. 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 donít 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 wasnít sure if a Three Floyds barleywine wouldnít 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>

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
heemer77 (5129) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - OCT 7, 2005
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 Floydís. 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
temporrari (385) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - OCT 3, 2005
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. Iíve had so many better tasting barley wines. Unbalanced, doesnít even taste like a barley wine. I know the style itself is fairly broad, but still. The mouthfeel is certainly not thin, but itís not chewy and juicy, and thatís 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 isnít worth $15 a bottle by any stretch. Not even close. Iíll 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 letís 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. Itís lost most of itís hops and sweetened right up. So, if you have a bottle of a newer batch, quit wasting time and open it. I wish Iíd just done that with my bottles.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 3, 2005
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 couldnít form a more symbiotic relationship. Finishes like a raspberry cream cheese danish and almond butter laden with juniper berries, free from all jovial qualities. Iíll 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 couldnít be more harmonious - in fact, itís 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.

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