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.DocLock (10970) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 25, 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.
A gigantic note of thanks to Wisconsin’s greatest trader, JPDIPSO, for this one. First of all, you have to love the pink wax seal and the fact that they put a blonde haired version of my wife on the label. The pour is hazy ruby copper (Nick must have been reading my color ratings when he made this label) with minimal khaki head. The aroma is very hoppy, tropical fruity, with mango, pineapple, tangerine, caramel malt, peaty bourbon, pine, licorice, and chardonnay notes. The aroma is a hall-of-famer. The flavor....wow, immense, complex, with a rich malty and fruity front, leading to mid and back palate action including tropical fruit, such as mango, tangerine, honeydew, pineapple, big hops, peaty malt, and a nice oaky bourbon element in the finish. The palate is amazingly complex, and amazingly smooth, with rich layers of intermingling flavors. I would gladly pay a premium price for this beer any day of the week. I’ve been waiting over a year for it, and it was worth the wait! Get ya some, and sell your mother down the river if you have to!!! bodhijah (8) - Kent, Ohio, USA - APR 18, 2007 does not count
the most intense beer i have ever had the pleasure of drinking! i have drank only a sum total of 4 bottles in my brief beer history(all but one of them shared in good company...and no taps, alas, though i have tried to coax the local distributor to indulge my hedonism!)...the first 2 came from the 2004/2005? pink wax topped batch(although i believe they were brewed in 2004 i purchased them locally in the fall of 2005)...intense aromas of pine, flowers and multifarious malts encrusted with molasses were indeed present and nearly overwhelming in intensity...flavors were chameleon-like in their depth and fleeting essence---every sip revealed a new degree of flavor and minor changes in temperature altered the overall flavor profile noticeably---long, lingering caramel malts encircled a deep, piney hop center (as if Dreadnaught had been coated with some ambrosial, malt nectar)...2 bottles from the 2006/2007 batch were sampled prematurely, but showed much promise...one awaits in my beer fridge, whilst three others stand by in my beer ’cellar’(aka a three floyds bomber box occupied by several other late-blooming, tasty ales)...acquire and/or horde if at all possible... marton504 (10) - USA - MAR 2, 2008
Just had this on tap at FFF, this could possibly be the best beer I have ever had in my entire life. This almost tastes more similar to a Double IPA with huge body than a barleywine due to the immense hops. Wonderful fresh hop tastes with no bitterness. Not enought can be said about this beer --- PERFECT! 2008 release/purple wax PolakPorter (83) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 15, 2008
This is it, the one. My only perfect score. I am a fan of the barley wine, and FFF nailed it. The bomber was an 08’. Poured nice and thick into cool goblet like glass after taking bottle out of fridge and left outside for a good twenty minutes. Enough citrussy, floral, fruity hop scent to fill a gym. On first taste (still a little cold) it reminds me of the Dreadnaught. Very nice. As I continued on, the behemoth warmed up. This is where it shines. Every sip was an adventure bringing forth more and more distinct flavors. Incredibly well-balanced. This puts all other barley wines (maybe beers too) to shame. God bless Three Floyds!
SanfordBrewer (1608) - Sanford, Florida, USA - APR 21, 2010
very sweet, rich complex malt, lots of citrusy hops (especially for a barleywine - the hoppiest barleywine i’ve had (@500)). a deffinite "wow" beer, but not because it’s crazy and mean, just because it’s big and wonderful. way too easy to drink, considering the 12% side-effects. Luckyhank (32) - California, USA - DEC 20, 2010
Thank you drfabulous for this one. And wow. This is the 2008 release, aged two years. By far the best Barleywine I’ve ever had. The citrus and caramel intermingle perfectly in the aroma. The taste is perfectly balanced and it is incredibly smooth. The beer also somehow manages to be both light and substantive at the same time. Savor this one if you can get your hands on it. jlanning215 (363) - Peoria, Illinois, USA - FEB 21, 2011
This has to be one of my favorite brews. Sweet, hoppy, malty. A perfect balance. The palate and finish is perfect. The nose is pine. Amazing. The taste is outragious. Crisp and perefect carbonation. My favorite barley wine. ekleintop (8) - - AUG 1, 2012 does not count
Extremely well balanced. Perfect balance of hop and classic barley wine flavors. Not overpowering on any front.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone Nlwestergreen (1) - - FEB 8, 2013 does not count
Hearty, full body. Good caramel malt, and conditioning. I loved this beer! I could taste the mango and orange flavors, my favorite fruits!! First time rating a beer, I’ll I can say is wow!! Can’t wait to try all of three Floyd’s variety