Sunday, February 5, 2012

Beer Review: 2011 Behemoth Blonde Barleywine (1 year old)

Reviewing the Behemoth Blonde Barleywine from Three Floyds Brewing Company. This is the 2011 white wax vintage.
Score: 91

2011 vintage bottle (white wax) served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 02/05/12 (the official halftime drink of the Superbowl).

Appearance: Pours a translucent brown/orange/amber color with a finger-plus of creamy off-white/tan-colored head that settles into a ring around the glass. Excellent lacing -- oily residue is left behind with some frothy head that clings to the glass. 4/5

Smell: Fresh, tropical IPA-like citrus-and-pine aroma. Grapefruit/mango/lemon, caramel malt, and a little piney resin. Reminds me a lot of the New Glarus Thumbprint Barleywine in the nose. 4/5

Taste: Wow. Starts like an IPA and finishes like a malty barleywine. Some IPA-like citrus (grapefruit/mango/tangerine/pineapple) upfront with a sweet caramel malt finish. Citrus, a little residual "spice" and a hint of brown sugar in the linger. Malty caramel sweetness grows in the finish as the beer warms and layers. ABV is essentially hidden. Very drinkable. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Full-medium bodied, light carbonation. Smooth, slightly creamy mouthfeel that gets a little "syrupy" as it warms and layers. Slight cotton-mouthing effect on the palate. Finishes slightly sweet and kinda dry. 4.5/5

Overall: Not your average barleywine, courtesy of Three Floyds' signature citrus hoppiness, but this one drinks great. This one is not very cheap, at $15-20 per bottle, but it is certainly a barleywine worth seeking out. I will absolutely buy this one again. Drinks more like an IPA when fresher.

Recommendation: If you like IPA's and hoppy beers, seek this one out. I imagine that this turns into more of a traditional barleywine over time as the hops begin to fade.

Pairings: Hamburgers.

Cost: $16.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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