Beer: Barrel Aged Behemoth
Brewery: 3 Floyds Brewing (Munster, IN)
Style: Barleywine – American
13.5% ABV / 45 IBU
The coroner’s report from my own autopsy isn’t available yet, but I’m pretty sure that when they take a look at my pickled liver, all signs will point to the one bottle of 3 Floyds Barrel Aged Behemoth I knocked back on a Saturday afternoon When I say “knocked back,” of course what I really mean is sipped slowly, because adopting a marathon pace is the proper approach to any bareleywine. And this particular barleywine? I’m not even sure it’s street legal. It’s definitely strong, and not accompanied by the typical warning signs of super-hoppy beers beckoning you to slow down.
But it’s a legitimately delicious American style barleywine and a great reminder of how elite 3 Floyds can be outside of the context of its core line-up of IPAs and pale ales. Barrel Aged Behemoth is basically the Dark Lord of barleywines and a base this rich could stand up to different types of barrel aging, even if the bourbon barrel aging here tends to paint Behemoth’s vanilla and caramel notes in the best possible light. Confidential to 3 Floyds: Behemoth would be killer aged in rum barrels, too.
The mouthfeel of a beer like Barrel Aged Behemoth is great, too. Given the malt-forward nature of barleywines, the style can be—quite literally—hard to swallow for the uninitiated. Barrel Aged Behemoth has great viscosity; it’s not too think and it’s completely free from sediment. What’s left is a righteously well-balanced brew where you can experience the character of the malt and the hops and the bourbon barrel aging. Some beers are fungible when it comes to serving styles, but this one should be poured into a tumbler or a snifter in order to get the incredible peat smell on the nose and taste the spicy notes from the barrel aging. Drink, drank, drunk.
For more info on 3 Floyds, please head here.