Tag Archive: Three Floyds


Three Floyds Mikkeller Hvedegoop

Three Floyds: Mikkeller: Hvedegoop (USA: Barley Wine: 10.4% ABV)

Visual: Mahogany red. About half an inch of browned forth. Hazy body.

Nose: Cinnamon. Tangerine. Wheaty. Chocolate malt drinks. Toffee. Pineapple. Glacier cherries.

Body: Cherries. Malt drinks. Tangerine and white grapes. Light hop character. Light wheat thickness. Light bitterness. Some milky coffee. Lemon.

Finish: Moderate bitterness and hops. Toffee and malt drinks. Shredded wheat. Slight rocky touch. Light bitter coffee. Lemon touch.

Conclusion: Wheat wine. Sounds awesome. Unfortunately this is not quite the half way point between a hefeweizen and barley wine that those words call up. We could but hope.

Instead this is a fairly solid barley wine a like with a slightly thicker wheat influenced texture, though it does have slight lemon fresh characteristics like a good weisse.

The flavour leans towards the more hopped USA interpretations of a barley wine, almost all the expected elements of that are here – Bright citrus going from tart orange to grape and pineapple. beneath that is an oddly unsweet barley wine, more malt drinks or at times milky coffee rather than the more usual big syrup sweetness.

There is still some sweetness, but less than you would expect – possibly this is from the wheat, giving less residual sugar that a pure malted barley drink, but that is just a guess. I have no idea if that is how it works.

It’s a pretty solid beer, quite attenuated – the malt base tastes closer to the way I would expect an APA to be, with hop flavours closer to an IPA, and a texture like a weisse. It is an odd wee mix.

So, yes a solid barley (wheat) wine style. If this had more than just the lemon hints to the wheat then this could have been special, then again I don’t know if a true half hefe half barley wine is even possible. As is there are no regrets to drinking this beer, the attenuation is not my scene – and that is the main flaw to my mind, but overall it does not disappoint with big flavour and a lot to experience.

Background: The *goop series! A bunch of kind of barley wines, but brewed with a different adjunct. This one I did not think I would get hold of, a wheat wine from the early days of the series. I’m guessing they did another batch as it has started turning up again. The series has been pretty good so far, with some stand out entries, so I was looking forwards to this. Picked up from Independent Spirit. Drunk while listening to some Alanis Morissette – used to be a huge fan as a kid, still stands up in my old age – a bit more chilled than my usual far.

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Mikkeller Three Floyds Majsgoop

Mikkeller: Three Floyds: Majsgoop (Denmark: Barley Wine: 10.4% ABV)

Visual: Hazy dark gold. Medium off white head.

Nose: Peach. Digestives. Bubblegum. Milky. Soft hop bitterness. Soft lemon. Very evident from a distance.

Body: Peach and syrup. Lemon and cream. Very smooth. Malt chocolate and orange. Fudge, malt biscuits. Pineapple. Grapefruit. Kiwi.

Finish: Light bitterness and hops. Lemon curd. Peach syrup. The bitterness grows over time. Malt choc orange. Toffee and caramel. Orange, or maybe tangerine.

Conclusion: Damn. Normally I am wary about beers with adjuncts, they are usually the sign of someone trying to turn out a beer on the cheap. Then Three Floyds and Mikkeller do it.

Damn. Again. This reminds me of a halfway point between an IIPA and a barley wine. The hop flavour is absolutely huge, fruity, citrus, and such a range of flavours, but the actual bitterness is way down. The feel is much more towards a sweet smooth barley wine, with an emphasis on the sweet fudge like base.

The beer is so incredibly smooth – is this what corn is meant to do when it is not being used in a shoddy beer? Or is this just a show of the brewers amazing skill at their craft? This thing, at over 10% and while it tingles slightly, that is all you get from the alcohol – a tingle, not really much more than you would get from hop effects. You are aware of the alcohol but it never intrudes.

Yeah. Very impressive.

Frankly, at no point does this disappoint – The only thing I can hold against it is there have been similar, but just slightly better beers. Just slightly. Tiny amount. That is the worst criticism I can give.

Top notch.

Background: The firth big Mikkeller and Three Floyds *goop collaboration. Each one using a different extra ingredient, this time corn being the odd adjunct used. This is the version made by Mikkeller rather than the Three Floyds version as they both brewed a batch. The label on this is awesome – I will have to keep the bottle for a while. Drunk while listening to a bit of the Foo Fighters. Thankfully they seem to have given up denying HIV causes aids now, which put me off supporting them for a while

Mikkeller Three Floyds  Blå Spøgelse

Mikkeller: Three Floyds: Blå Spøgelse (Denmark: Sour Ale: 7.7% ABV0

Visual: Deep black cherry red. Massive cherry yogurt coloured head that leaves lace.

Nose: Oats. Horse blankets. Black cherry yogurt. Blueberry pie and sugar dusting. Rice crackers. Mashed blueberries and pips. Musky.

Body: Sour. Twigs. Charred oak. Tart blue berry. Apple cider. Black cherry yogurt. Acidic at back. Lemon.

Finish: Tart blue berry. Spirit touch, Oak. Drying. White wine. Cider. Dried blue berries.

Conclusion: So, is this a blue berry lambic or not? I mean, it tastes like one, looks like one, even occasionally is referred to as one online – but most places seem to just call it a blueberry sour ale. Which is a bit more varied category. Hmm, it is very lambic like so I will treat it as one, while admitting that it may not in fact be one. That seems a fair compromise.

It isn’t like a blue berry lambic is unheard of – fairly uncommon, and definitely not one of the standard fruit for it, but not unheard of. Anyway, the base of this tastes like a very typical, competent, if not exactly to my style, dry lambic base. It is quite dry, with some sort of dry charred oak harshness. Not my favourite style – it reminds me a bit of Girardin which I never quite took to, however it is more mellow here. It is generally a mix of the harsher elements – all the dryness, tartness and oak, but delivered in a softer manner that takes off the edge. While not exactly my style, it is very competent and I find myself unable to complain too much. I’m not quite sure it works, but it doesn’t exactly hurt – it delivers what you expect, a drying lambic. So, we get to the more important question. How well does it handle the fruit?

While it is loaded with blueberries, it actually has quite a black cherry yogurt thing going on, the influence of the base lambic seems to make the darker elements of the fruit come out, and the less sweet notes, but there is no denying that the fruit has a massive presence. You very rarely get high or light notes, though when you do they come as a welcome relief, you get more the drying and dark, until you swallow. Then, in the finish, you finally get the distinct blueberry character – more like dried blue berries that you get in cereal, much more concentrated and intense. that dry, fruity finish lasts long after the last sip.

Overall it is very interesting, you get a lot of depth, but the slight harsh dryness of the base keeps it as only an interesting beer. It never quite lets you just relax and enjoy it freely, there is always a note of discord for me. A pity as the use of fruit is very well done indeed.

So, not bad overall, very different, but it is an expensive one for such a mixed review. So I can’t recommend it in general, despite the interesting characteristics.

Background: I’m a big fan of Mikkeller, and of Three Floyds – so this collaboration blue berry and oak aged sour ale was a must grab when it turned up in Brewdog’s Guest beer section. Drunk after getting back from a weekend at Alton Towers, with a battered, tired and happy body. I put on some Offspring, Smash to be exact, during this. Not my favourite band anymore but still fun.

Hvedegoop

Mikkeller: Three Floyds: Hvedegoop: Malaga Wine Edition (Denmark: Barley Wine: 10.4% ABV)

Visual: Dark cherry red. Large beige froth.

Nose: Raisins. Malt loaf. Bitter. Wheat. Very milky coffee comes in lightly. Red wine. Cherries. Rum. Musky grapes.

Body: Quite bitter red wine. Raisins. Prunes. Cherries and malt loaf. Spicy. Chilli seeds and green peppers. Red grapes. Fruitcake.

Finish: Bitter red wine. Malt loaf. Wheat. Dry. Dried spices. Quite bitter. Chilli seeds. Alpen (Without milk). Plums.

Conclusion: How very odd, this thing is very much a musky red wine of a beer, bitter red wine and musky grapes along with an almost chilli seed spiciness.  I’m not a wine expert but from the barrel ageing chose I would have guessed something sweeter. Huh.  It is a very dry and bitter beer with a closed bitterness that hangs around long after you have stopped sipping.

Interesting, yes, but feels closed even though it has a range of flavours. Maybe the barrel ageing had a different effect than I expected, or the wheat used in making it, or maybe just the design of the beer itself, but the muskiness and dryness can feel almost moth ball like at times. The flavours never seem to be able to spread their wings. There is a lot of flavour there, but it doesn’t express itself well for my tastes.

I think it is the dried spices and chilli seed that pushes it too far, the elements stick too much with the beers texture and leave a curried feel along with the bitterness. A pity as the red grapes and raisin fruitiness within shows promise but is quickly overshadowed. It does better warmed up, more robust that way, but still leads to a finish that lets it down.

There is, for all my criticisms, a base of a solid beer underneath. Late on becoming more fruitcake, cherries and a solid texture. Unfortunately everything about that solid base seems to weaken it.

Not the best I’ve had from these two giants of brewing.

Background; Ok, technically it is a wheat wine but I’m not adding a new category for every * wine variant they come up with.  As you can guess this has been aged in Malaga wine casks, I never drank the original Hvedegoop but have enjoyed the various *goops that have been released over the years that I have tried. Drunk after watching “The Royal Tenenbaums” which I enjoyed and it put me in a good mood for reviewing.

CIMG2341

Mikkeller: Three Floyds: Risgoop (Denmark: Barley Wine: 10.4% ABV)

Visual: Tanned gold. Large off white loose bubbled head.

Nose: Resinous. Tangerine. Slight dry hoppiness. Quite clean. Dry spices.

Body: Slightly creamy. Moderate bitterness that rises. Clean and smooth. Cherry. Malt drink. Shortbread. Toffee. Pineapple. Dry apricot. Sticky rice. Lime. Slight toffee. Slightly musty up front.

Finish: Sake (Nihonshuu). Tangerine. Dry bitterness. White wine. Lime. Pineapple. Slightly tart. Champagne feel.

Conclusion: It is always hard to rule out some taste elements as being psychosomatic. I know this beer is made with rice syrup. Then I get a smoothness that is very sake like and I get elements like sticky rice. You can see why I would look twice and wonder if my mind is making stuff up.

Anyway, as mentioned it is a very clean textured beer, even with the slight creamy touch to the body. This smoothness gives an open field for the citrus flavours which is pushed forwards, very fresh pineapple and lime with a good bitterness rising up within. There is slight mustiness at times, but it goes out into a fresh champagne like finish.

Very rich, bright and fruity. The unusual ingredient gives a very different texture, you can see the alcohol within the beer but as a syrup booze feel rather than alcohol burn. Then the finish is very dry, giving a progression throughout the beer.

For a Barley (rice) wine the beer is not exceedingly sweet. The emphasis seems to be on the citrus hops, giving a very fresh and slightly tart set of notes. This does mean that there isn’t quiet as rounded and wide flavour as the “Boogoop” but is compensated for by the very different mouthfeel.

Overall very good. Not as big on complexity as it seems to lack balancing sweetness, but much cleaner and easier to drink.  A very good tart hop delivery system.

Background: Ingredients “vand, malt, ris, sirup, humle og gær.” I mention this as when I left language as detect automatically on the translate tool it translated that first word as “Hiking”. A BEER MADE WITH HIKING! When I picked Danish it turned out to be much more normal “water” which was a bit of a let down.

Anyway, the fifth collaboration between Mikkeller and Three Floyds. This year they have two versions, one at each brewery. This being Mikkeller’s (or more technically De Proefbrouwerij as Mikkeller don’t own a Brewery). This year’s special ingredient is “rice syrup”. Well I think so, either that or google translate is lying to me. Again. I really enjoyed the prior collaboration “Boogoop” so was looking forwards to this. Also Mikkeller and Three Floyds are both easily in my top ten breweries of all time.

Drunk while listening to “Rolo Tomassi: Astraea. A nice mix of melodic and growl metal as hell. Apparently the genre type is Mathcore. There exists something called mathcore. How cool is that?

During doing the tasting notes my friend Will who I was sharing the beer with asked “are you getting banana from this?” To which I could but reply “Well I bloody am now.” I’m not sure if it was psychosomatic so I just left the additional note here.

CIMG2266

Mikkeller: Three Floyds: Boogoop (Denmark: Barley Wine: 10.4% ABV)

Visual: Burnished cherry with massive mounds of froth with a  slight ginger hue. The head leaves a lot of lace.

Nose: Cherry and cinnamon. Caramel. Salted toffee. Dry ginger. Wheat. Pomegranate. Sulphur and a slightly soured tone.

Body: Port. Glacier cherry. Malt biscuits. Cinnamon. Rhubarb. Slightly funky sulphur. White grapes. Vanilla custard and jelly. Tangerine. Apples.

Finish: Malt biscuits. Nutmeg. Ginger. Dry and bitter. Cloves. Unsweetened rhubarb. Tangerine. Grapefruit. Apricot. Cinnamon.

Conclusion: It turns out that Buckwheat is related to rhubarb. I mention that as it explains a lot. Primarily why one of the notes I got while drinking this was rhubarb. I thought I was going mad.

Between that and the tangerine this is quite the fruity and tart beer. The odd thing is that despite that, it is quite dry. There’s a good chunk of spice that dries it out, cloves and ginger spice, especially in the finish. What is odder is that there is something just a bit funky going on, a sulphur like touch mixed with what feels like Belgium yeast effects. When you mix that all in with the usually barley wine sweetness with cherry and malt do we get something decent?

let’s find out.

The sweetness is there but a lot less sickly that a lot of barley wines, more grape in sweetness and with wine like elements, the tartness helps as well in keeping it fresh.  The funk and spice start out pretty heavy elements, and there the beer is slightly weaker in quality. The elements dominate too much. As you go on however they become background elements and just round out the base beer, like a cinnamon dusting on apples. Then the sweet wine undertones come out and really help out.

The base flavour range is huge in the fruit expressions, grapefruit, apricot , rhubarb, tart and sweet mixing together. The non fruit flavours, more rounding notes than anything else after the start, but still good.  If you like citrus this is excellent, well crafted and rounded with tart and unusual flavours.  I find the rhubarb touches a great quirk and really gives it a niche of its own.  If you think you will dig that then this is wonderful.

Background: Ok, the bottle says Buckwheat Wine, which I presume is just a barley wine made with buckwheat. Which is pretty cool. Shared with friends who helped with the tasting notes, the beer is the fourth collaboration between the awesome Mikkeller and the excellent Three Floyds. Needless to say I was pretty excited about this one.

Brewdog/Three Floyds: Bitch Please: Islay (Scotland: Barley Wine: 13.5% ABV)

Visual: Very dark to almost black cherry. Small loose bubbled head. The head doesn’t last long but can be easily called back with a quick swirl.

Nose: Smoke. Toffee. Iodine. Alcohol tingle Buttery shortbread. Malt loaf. Peat.

Body:  Smoke. Moss. Malt loaf and raisins. Salt. Cherries. Sea wettened rocks. Medicinal. Malt drinks.

Finish: Peat and barley. Medicinal air. Dry. Some chocolate. Buttery.

Conclusion: Damn. This is going to be a love or hate beer. Like the previous version it has very heavily absorbed the whisky character from it’s time in the oak.  In this case what you get is the highly smoke filled and medicinal character of that exceptional Laphroaig spirit.

The base beer has a sweetness that makes a valiant attempt to show itself through, and even occasionally succeeds, more often that not though the whisky elements overwhelm it.  It is harsh and does a familiar burn at the back of the throat, more with the medicinal nature than alcohol burn.  It, again like its predecessor it is like an expression of the whisky in beer form.  Marvellously forceful, and tongue drying in the finish.

I would say the base beer makes a better showing here than in the original though, which gives a more contrasted character. The beer provides fine texture, and the base flavours create an environment in which the whisky elements can shine.  It seems that the sweet flavours are marking points from which you can contrast and recognise the Islay character in counterpoint to.

With head spinning abv and punching flavour it is a beer you should savour slowly. As an Islay fan I love this beer, though with the note that I would prefer a touch more evidence of the base beer character.  A powerful beer and highly enjoyable, though I must concede it is more a lesson in how to create a beer to complement whisky ageing that an excellent beer in itself. Still with that not aside it is still a great flavourful and forceful beer.

Background: Original Bitch Please was a Barley Wine made with shortbread, toffee, peated malt and a whole lot of other weird stuff.  Aged in Jura casks if I remember rightly, it was heavily dominated by the cask ageing. At the time I commented about my dislike of the term “Bitch Please”.  This version is the same base beer but had been aged in Laphroaig casks for 18 months. Now I adore Laphroaig, and the original Bitch Please was pretty good so trying this was pretty much a sure thing.  Oh also, Yes I am not unbiased on Brewdog beers. Oh and Three Floyds rule!

 

Brewdog/Three Floyds: Bitch Please (Scotland: Barley Wine: 11.5% ABV)

Visual: A very dark rum red with light islands of brownish bubbles.

Nose: Sweet fudge, peat smoke and salt. Milk chocolate. Digestive biscuits. Almost a whisky tingle. Strawberry. Iodine and glacier cherries.

Body: Massive malt and smoke. Toffee sweet front. Creamy and milky chocolate. Shortbread. Salty. Red cherries. Smooth yet tingling texture.

Finish: Smoke. Charred barrels and bitter chocolate. Very dry.  Burnt newspaper ashes become very evident. Slight orange and strawberry crème. Salty again. Bailies.

Conclusion: Some beers are great, some beers are interesting, and some beers are just fucking mental. Of course it is possible to fit into more than one of those categories as well.

This beer is most definitely fucking mental, so lets check and see if it falls into either or both of the other two categories.

Well the beer feels like a Jura whisky that you can drink like an ale, or a chocolate malted drink with a shot of Laphroaig and toffee in it.  Or possibly what a barley wine made at Islay would taste like.  So with all that in mind it would be pretty hard to deny that it is interesting.

So we have established it is kind of whisky like, in fact often to such a degree that any of the other elements can be hidden below. A pity really as you can occasionally see the special ingredients (or at least flavours closely matching the special ingredients) poking through and adding a nice touch of complexity to it.

This possibly then could have done with less time in the oak, which may have made for a better range on the beer.  On the other hand, it’s basically a whisky beer, that is cool. Does feel like a missed opportunity though.

So to the last category, is it great? Eh, well no. If I had asked is it good, I could have come back with a whole hearted yes, but great? Not quite.  Still a hell of a fun beer, but without that complexity that marks out true greatness.

Very heavy duty, island character and all, not complex, not clever, but it is a hell of a lot of fun, interesting, and yes, fucking mental.

Background: I was a in a good mood when tasting noted this, I had just managed to successfully bring my PC back online after the PSU had blown out, the sort of thing that always helps cheeriness levels.  This collaboration beer is made with laphroaig peated malt, highland shortbread and toffee and aged in a Jura cask, also heavily  hoped with nelson sauvin. Apparently they forgot to include the kitchen sink.  The usual disclaimer, I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.   The connotations on the phrases “Bitch Please” always gets on my nerves slightly, a fact I tried to not let interfere with my enjoyment of the beer.

Three Floyds: Robert The Bruce (USA: Scottish Ale: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Darkened reddish brown hued with a browned bubbled head.

Nose: Treacle, milky coffee and toffee. Caramel chocolate bars. Liquorice and light aniseed. Very sweet with just a touch of citrus hidden underneath.

Body:  Bitter. Liquorice, a hint of sour grapes and lots of malt. Figgy pudding. Slightly fizzy feel. Lemon back. Lots of toffee and fudge. Black cherry. Lightest pineapple hinted at.

Finish:  The high roof of your mouth floats bitter chocolate, with fudge and cinnamon apples remaining on the tongue.  Figs and sometimes shortbread or chocolate digestives remain after a sip.  Slight oak and milk chocolate.

Conclusion: So a Scottish ale from am American craft brewery huh.  You know, I’ve been doing tasting notes for nearly two years now so these sorts of things should no longer amuse me. Notice the word should.

Another beer where the aroma just rolls out of the bottle as soon as you pop the cap. Always a good sign.  The toffee malt and chocolate that is predominant is really well done for the ABV (a side note, when did I start viewed 6.5% as low for this kind of beer?).

It is distinctly recognisable as its style, but everything is very well defined and separate. Each element is smooth crisp and distinct, something that I find rare with these beers, where often tastes can intermingle easily. Very sweet set of flavours, and very obviously malt dominated as it expected for the style.

Like many scotch ales however the heavy flavours can get sickly over time. More a beer you have the one of, though the tiniest citrus touch does manage to help rein that in, possibly a sign of the American styles influence.

A definitely heavy beer with a great nose, pretty good body and great finish.  It has its flaws, but they are ones I find common to most of the style, the sickliness and tendency towards an almost treacle like heaviness. Overall very well done.

As another side note, Three Floyds are doing a collaboration Scotch ale with actual shortbread and toffee. Considering how much those two flavours dominate this beer its going to be odd seeing what they add to the flavour. (Update: My mistake, the collaboration, “Bitch Please” was a barley wine. Brewdog are doing a scotch ale aged in whisky casks which may end up being an Abstrakt and I got the two mixed up)

Background:  Scottish ales are a style I find I rarely hate but rarely love, making often for solid heavy beers. Three Floyds have been earning their reputation with me, though still do not stand as high as their proponents would suggest.  I keep an eye out for their beers though, so they can’t have put me off.

Three Floyds: Alpha King (USA: American Pale Ale: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Clear amber brown, small off white head.

Nose:  Pineapple crumble and custard. Wheat, grapefruit. Sharp lemon and fragrant hops. Really fresh, like jiff lemon.  Malt and honeyed syrup ride sweetly under a cinnamon dusting. Malt drink with cherries under.

Body: Sweet, orange. Glazed cherries. Hops and pineapple. Again custard sweetness and a thick middle. Grapefruit.

Finish: Bitter hops, milk chocolate. Dry yet sweet, Settles to lasting bitterness and a slight orangeness.

Conclusion: Strange, after all the reputation of Dark Lord, this is the Three Floyds beer that finally gains my respect.

Delicate and graceful nose, the body a hairs breadth away from being an IPA, but straddles that edge magnificently.  Sweet and refreshing behind the hops. Its got all that American hop action you would expect, but brings a lot more to the table as well.

Nose and tongue stabbing fresh notes intermix with the hops, and a long but not aggressive finish.  Finally the custards sweetness is just what it needs to balance out.

Oddly it seems to share some tricks with Hair Of The Dogs barley wine, Fred.  Now it isn’t as good as that masterpiece, but frankly few are. A fantastic beer, and oh so easy to drink.

Background:  Three Floyds have possibly the most over the top reputation in the craft brew scene. Between their legendry “Dark Lord” day, and their amount of entries in rate beers top 50, to Brewdogs oft raving mentions it’s hard to miss the hype.  So far I’ve enjoyed their beers, but no prior have been showstopper standouts in the way, say Hair Of The Dog have been.  This beer was drunk whilst listening to various tunes throughout the Eels/.E’s career.

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