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Skunk Black IPA - Three Heads Brewing

Not Rated.
Skunk Black IPASkunk Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

145 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 145
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 13
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Three Heads Brewing visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: John on 12-05-2010

Yes, Skunk Black IPA. Big hop aromas hover over this perfectly balanced, dark beauty. Who knew a skunk could smell so good? Discover why a hint of roasted malt is the perfect complement to big hop flavor. Get Skunked!
6.5% Alc/vol. 75 IBUs
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 145 | Reviews: 65
Reviews by perrymarcus:
Photo of perrymarcus
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a pint glass.

pours a dark though translucent cola-brown while yielding a large, frothy 2" tan head. solid retention and sticky lacing all over the place. pretty much spot-on, appearance-wise.

nose packs a good blend of citric / pine hops and roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate. again, more or less exactly what you'd expect from a black IPA; not extremely aromatic, however.

flavor follows the nose almost exactly. all the hoppy / stout-like notes pull through. citrus, pine, roastiness, coffee, dark chocolate... tasty. bitter in the finish. on the lighter side of medium bodied, medium carbonation.

overall, i'm enjoying this. would absolutely be up for more.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial nonic a deep dark cola color with a thinner but well retained beige head,aromas are full of piney hops and roasy/earthy tones,easily the best attribute of this beer in my opinion.Dry and heavily roasted on the palate,just alot of earth and roast,the hops come thu in a piney way in the finish but the beer is almost bitter in its dryness.I like dryer more bitter beers but this was just a bit to intense in its earthiness for me,for those who like the intense in you face kinda "rawness," this is for them.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #50 (March 2011):

Bring on the darkness ... and hops! Have not seen such great head retention for a good while ... we were tempted to float stuff on it, but we’d hate to taint this brew. Yup, it is black. Sweet oily hoppiness has mild hints of tangerine juice and fresh mint, with a faint edge of char in the nose and palate. Brown malt, faint dryness of charred malt, some chocolate graham cracker and a raisin component deep within. Hoppiness leads on far into the aftertaste. Mild burnt raisin and delicate alcohol warmth meet in the semi-roasted bitter finish. A pleasure to come by, an easy drink.

Photo of generallee
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1pt. 6oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: It builds a two and a half inch medium tan head over a very dark reddish brown body. Inside the body there is some carbonation streaming up to the head which has nice retention and makes for some nice lace patterns on the glass.

Smell: Right away I am greeted with firm herbal and leafy hop notes. Behind the hops are notes of caramel and fresh bready malts that also offer a light toasted nuance as well.

Taste/Palate: The flavor is full of herbal, piney and resin like hop bitterness up front alone with toasted/roasted malty notes. There is a slight fruity note in the background like unripe mango. It finishes with lots of hop bitterness and heavily toasted almost burnt malt notes slowly fading off the tongue.

Notes: Overall it is an average Black IPA. It brings lots of bitterness and some complexity to the table but not full harmony of its flavors.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle split with a friend. around fridge temp poured into a pint glass. no freshness info.

looks very nice. pours out a dark brown with some rubiness in the light. great retention and wonderful sticky lace with a light tan colored head.

smells almost entirely of hops. hardly any malt detectable. mostly pine.

the taste is similar. resinous pine, earthiness, grassy, with some citrus which is more of an afterthought. some malt is there, but nothing really roasty. lots of sharp bitterness. something not quite right with the mouthfeel, really attacks all of your mouth.

kind of a decieving brew. tasty, but tasted more of a really sharp piney ipa, rather than a black ipa. i didnt get much of the dark malts.

Photo of ehammond1
3.12/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle

Acquired via trade
Thanks, MrHirschybar!

More brown than black IPA with a moderately sized brown head that eventually leaves dots of lace down the glass.

Floral and grassy aroma with a bit of earth and roast. Simple, almost like perfume.

Simple and mild flavors--not at all overly hopped. The roast component is mild as well. There simply isn't a lot here, though it's not anything bad or off-putting.

Medium bodied with high carbonation.

An acceptable, average version of the style. No need to seek this one out again.

Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Decent though not my best ever black IPA. The name had scared me but in fact the aroma was a little hoppy. On tap at Pizza Plant. A good mouthfeel. A blackbier with a bitter charge in the finish.Dark not much head.My first from this new brewery contracting somewhere where I expected it would not be as well executed.

Photo of tdm168
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hoyt for bringing me this bottle.

A - dark brown with reddish hues; thin, soft cap of off-white, brownish head that fades after a few seconds

S - citrus, coffee, faint chocolate

T - roasted malts, faint coffee, big citrus, a bit sweet, some faint chocolate, piney, intensely bitter finish

M - medium bodied, crisp, well carbonated

This is a nice, easy-to-drink, complex beer. The hops and the malts are each complex on their own but impressively come together to create a balanced beer. The finish is intensely bitter which does wreak havoc on the palate after a while, but without the boldness of the hops the sweetness of the malts would become cloying. This isn't the best black IPA on the market but it's better than most. I'm very glad that I tried it.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a surprisingly clear dark brown with ruby highlights when held to light. Creamy off white head shows moderate retention. Smells of pine and cirtus with hints of chocolate and coffee. Not quite porter like in the nose but the roast is definitely there. Pine and resinous taste mixed with a hint of chocolate and roasted grains. Medium body and carbonation level with a resiuos creamy mouthfeel. I really liked this one. Great Black IPA that almost ordered another one to my table.

Photo of tempest
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber for $6.50 at Brilbeck's on Tip Hill in Syracuse. The aroma has a surprising maple syrup note in the aroma, along with a mix of cocoa and grapefruit. The flavor is balanced between the smooth chocolate barley (though it's mild) and citrus rind that really builds in the finish. I'd want more flavor up front, but the big, biting finish makes up for it. The body is lighter and more drinkable for the style. Overall, a worthy take on the black IPA.

Photo of russpowell
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from indiapaleale, as part of my Fantasy Football BIF pay off! Brave name for a beer, the skunk on the label looks similar to a few I dodged on the way home the other night...Cheers Russ!

Pours an effervescent cola/black with a finger of mocha colored head. Very good lacing & above average head retention

S: Piney & herbal hops, faint chocolate notes & stronger caramel once warm

T: Follows the nose, wet charred grain, some baker's chocolate up front. Dark chocolate & a touch of vanilla hides behind herbal & lemon rind hops, there also a touch of mint that makes me think "Girl Scout mint cookies" then some more forceful woody hops. Finishes with woody & herbal hops, dark chocolate, a touch of coffee & dryness

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, great balance

Drinks pretty easy, a nice take on the style

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into an IPA flute.

Pours black, maybe a darker brown, topped with a couple fingers of foamy mocha colored head. This retains with a rich ¾ finger cap, which drenches the sides of the glass with a good bit of creamy sticky lacing. The aroma is a combo of floral and herbal tones, which sits on top of a layer of fresh citric grapefruit flavor. This is softened in the nose some by the presence of chocolate malts, while notes of smoky roast sit underneath and slowly rise up to encapsulate the other flavors.

The taste has some green citric hop flavor to it, which is well balanced by the chocolate and caramel sweetness of the malts. I think that the roast mostly takes the lead here though; adhering to those hops to help give this a fresh burnt bitter flavor that mostly trails a strong dry pithiness into the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a mostly softer silky creaminess to the carbonation that sees a good bit of oiliness to it on the edges. This does however leave just enough of a prickle on the tongue though to call this crisp. The alcohol is well hid here, with just a smidge of warmth on the tail end of the swallow.

This was another well done hoppy offering from Three Heads that seemed to find just the right mix of roast, sweetness, and hops to it, while a super easy feeling body kept this drinking very nicely for the size. The CBC seems to be doing right by these guys and the beers that they are putting out there. I’ve been impressed by these offerings from them so far.

Photo of emerge077
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle has a code printed on the bottom "271 11 A1P 1812".

Poured into a small tulip this beer has a dense tan head and a veil of copious lacing around the edges. Lasting head retention, skim remains after awhile, after a few sips. Black body, duh.

Something grassy and green but indistinct hop wise, the aroma is colored by an odd swampy mix of soggy wet grains and vegetal notes.

Earthy dry bitterness works well with the roasty malt flavors, lingering resiny hop notes hang around for a few seconds. Some unsweetened bakers chocolate and green chlorophyll laden grasses. Medium bodied, dry feel and pretty drinkable.

Hope they send fresh stuff next time, this just arrived in the market and seems a little faded much like the Kind IPA I had a few weeks ago.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.31/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler procured from the brewery.

Pours a dark black, with a khaki one inch head. Sheets of lacing on the glass.

Smells include resinous pine needles and sap, roasted malt, and citrus.

Very similar flavor. The pine is dank, resinous and bitter, and plays of the roasted malt very well. This is not one of the roastiest black IPAs I've ever had- this is definitely more of a Black IPA than a hoppy porter, or something along those lines. Some mint and citrus are noted as well. Lingering hop bitterness stays on the palate as well.

Full, creamy body, dry finish, crisp mouthfeel. Insanely drinkable.

A dank Black IPA, hence the name. Lots of great piney hop flavors in this one. Don't be afraid of skunks in this case!

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: not exactly black but close, more of a cola. Decent tan head on the pour that mostly dissipates.
Smell: some light hops in the nose, no really distinguishing characteristics. Some light malt.
Taste: a bit more here. Some pleasing hop bite with a light malt in the background.
Overall: I think we're spoiled these days with all the amazing beers. This one ain't amazing but it's a decent brew.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.66/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Ehammond1 for sharing this beer. I really enjoy this style so I was excited to try this

Look: Black with brown rings around the edges and a 1/4 inch head and no retention

Smell: Citrus and piney hops mixed with chocolate malt which for me creates a fruit pepples nose

Taste: Same as the nose

Mouthfeel: Thin body and medium carbonation

Overall: This in my opinion is one of the worst examples of the style. Avoid Avoid Avoid

Photo of PBoegel
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber into a Sam Adams perfect pint no freshness date on the bottle.

Very dark nearly black, head is beach sand tan tinted. Nice and rocky shows good lace as it drinks.

Smell, a bit too roasty for my taste, orange peel, mango and candied apple. Chocolate and cracked coffee beans.

Very roasty upfront in the flavor followed by citrus orange and lime tangy hops and then some raspberry. Roastiness lingers in the finish.

Good mouthfeel, touch of astringency, semi dry finish.

Not bad, this style is hit or miss for me. I really liked Alpine Black from Otter Creek, but for my taste the hops have to dominate like an IPA they need to be very fruity and citrus in tone with an underlying touch of chocolate and roast. I have to state to be honest though had this after "The Kind" and the hops were really fresh and upfront on that.

Photo of mendonjoebeer
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown with thin light brown head. I have not had many American Black Ales before.

Smell of hops and slight roasted malt- not much else

Taste is hops and much more bitterness than The Kind IPA. There is some roasted taste and some malt finish

Feels lighter than it looks. The look makes you think heavy, but it is not

A little too bitter for me to have more than a couple, but still a good brew.

I enjoyed this beer, but prefer the regular IPA. This seemed more like a Rochester beer to me than The Kind. That is not a bad thing, just not my favorite.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 4/25/2012 at British Beer Company, in Walpole, MA served in a weizen glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short dense beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a very thick on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains roasted malts, floral hops, citrus and chocolate.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty roasted malt character and sweet flavors of chocolate and citrus. Then a strong but not over-powering hops presence comes in to provide a good balance in a style where it seems rare to achieve. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sweet.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a long time if you’re in the mood for the style.

Photo of josefnewsong
4.39/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the tap and mallet last night...

a - dark black in color (go figure) with red hues and a very thin rim of tannish head
s - huuge skunky smell with hops everywhere. almost overwhelming and definitely unique...smells dank :)
t - hops and skunk all over the place with roasty characteristics to back it all up. my first thought was this is a ballsy beer for the east coast. I love it. It's not too often that a beer can be so dominantly hop-flavored and still remain this complex and interesting.
m - medium-bodied, some nice carbonation, just all around good
d - may not want too many of these, but considering the bitterness going on here this is very drinkable indeed

I must say I was slightly skeptical - but I'm a fan. I look forward to trying more from Three Heads.

Photo of BostonHops
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a pint glass.

pours a dark though translucent cola-brown while yielding a large, frothy 2" tan head. solid retention and sticky lacing all over the place. pretty much spot-on, appearance-wise.

nose packs a good blend of citric / pine hops and roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate. again, more or less exactly what you'd expect from a black IPA; not extremely aromatic, however.

flavor follows the nose almost exactly. all the hoppy / stout-like notes pull through. citrus, pine, roastiness, coffee, dark chocolate... tasty. bitter in the finish. on the lighter side of medium bodied, medium carbonation.

overall, i'm enjoying this, it brings some tasty elements to the table. would absolutely be up for more.

(originally reviewed: 01-17-2012)

Photo of KELPAK
3.07/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

smelt of hops and grapefruit when i originaly opened the bottle but quickly faded away.

pours a dark brown with just a filmy head, very little corbonation.

The taste is surprising in the sense that it lacks flavor. I was expecting a heartier beer but it is somewhat light and there is just a hint of bitterness. It's very drinkable but i don't believe i'll be going out of my way for more in the future.

Photo of jdhilt
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three-finger khaki head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is grapefruit hops and flavor is grapefruit with some caramel, lingering grapefruit aftertaste. Forced to buy this because of name - it isn't skunky, not a bad black IPA. $7.99 for a 22oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

Photo of BobCS
2.35/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A - dark brown and clear (the liquid portion is very much like coca-cola in appearance), with a fine beige head

S - some citrus hops peak out in the aroma, but not as strongly as I was expecting given some reports

T - clean and aggressive hop character is there but completely overwhelmed by oxidation in the sample I am tasting. There is no freshness date on the 22 oz brown bottle, this was a relatively new addition to package store I bought it from, and I know this store typically handles it's stock with reasonable care. This sample is not light struck, but I believe it is heavily oxidized resulting in a tongue-coating wet cardboard that overwhelms the flavor and dominates the aftertaste before becoming filmy and soapy. The brewery hasn't been open long (just a few months) so it can't be too old, which suggests to me they have a packaging problem to work out.

D - This is definitely a drain pour I am afraid. I was looking forward to trying some Three Heads beers, since they are relatively local to me and relatively new. I will try again and re-review!

Photo of smcolw
3.86/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bountiful, rich head. The liquid is very dark, near black color. Light shines through but indirectly--it makes the beer glow. Spotty lace.

Mostly roasted malts to the nose. Although this is a black IPA, there is very little hop.

In the taste, the rolls reverse. The hop is more pronounced while the malt takes a back seat. There's a touch of burnt toast. The bitterness shows up in the swallow, but overall this beer is decently balanced. The beer is relatively thin. Carbonation is on the low side.

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Skunk Black IPA from Three Heads Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.