Skunk Black IPA - Three Heads Brewing

Not Rated.
Skunk Black IPASkunk Black IPA

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

146 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 146
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: 146 | Reviews: 65
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 brentk56
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Well, Three Heads would be about right as this beer pours "all head" with a slowly rising coffee liquid at the base.; of course, the retention is great - in fact, this head sticks to the top of the pint glass like a glacier

Smell: Roast, citrus peel and a hint of mint

Taste: Roasty, up front, with a burgeoning bitterness that adds some citrus peel, coffee grinds and a hint of mint, in the middle; after the swallow, the taste flattens out, bringing some earthy mineral tones, though the bitterness persists in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body (slightly thin) and overly fizzy

Overall: There are some promising elements to this beer both in the aromatics and some of the flavor elements but overall it seems to miss the mark

Photo of teromous
2.89/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: The body of the beer is dark brown, but not completely opaque. Even in dim lighting I am able to make out shadows through the glass. The head is off-white, very large, leaving very nice lacing on the glass.

S: There are very good aromatics. I get some sharp pine scents, then I'm hit immediately by a waft of malt and caramel scent. It immediately conjures images of how a barleywine smells.

T: Lots of roasted flavor, followed by loads of pine. Lots of bitterness. I mean the bitterness is huge in this beer, but there isn't enough hop flavor. There's some charcoal flavor mixed in there as well. I'll do my best to explain this, but there's too much malty sweetness and too much harsh bitterness. There is far to little hop flavor to counteract all of this.

M: The beer feels on the thin side while drinking, but it is so packed full of bitterness and malt flavor that it makes it very hard to drink.

O: Overall I was not a fan of this black ale, and I really can't recommend it. It's all over the place...it's somewhere in "Barleywine Land" without as much mouthfeel. It really needed more hop flavor. The bitterness was there. I get it, it's supposed to be hoppy...but there's more to hops than plain bitterness.

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe. No freshness date indicated.

A: Deep brown on the pour, nearly black. Three fingers of rocky beige head boast excellent retention. Sticky clumps of lacing cement themselves to the glass.

S: Tangerine, lemon peel, hemp seed, oily, herbal, floral. Big balancing roasty scents of soot and charcoal, caramel and bread crust.

T: Hop bitterness at the outset. Floral, oily, hemp seed, leafy and herbal, tangerine and lemon rind. Charcoal and soot take over the mid-palate. Hop bitterness comes to the forefront again and leaves a gripping herbal and grapefruity bitterness behind. Brief spike of alcohol and tropical esters. Finishes with hints of soot and a gripping hop bitterness of ruby red grapefruit and peppery/spicy tastes.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy. Moderate carbonation. Enamel scraping hop astringency, slight alcohol warmth.

O: Fairly average across the board if I'm being honest. The style is fairly new and still being defined, but everything I expected to encounter is here. It just doesn't do anything to set itself apart from the pack. Something tells me this could have been a little fresher too. Bottled-on dates are always a plus.

Photo of Brad007
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark reddish-brown color instead of the usual black. It at least has ruby undertones in the light. Thick head to boot.

Sweet with a mild touch of pine resin in the nose. This is going to err more on the malt side. I can see it.

Mellow and full of pine resin. Not much else of note on the tongue.

Lingering resin at the back. A "toasty" kind of feel.

Not bad. Not the hop bomb I was hoping for but then again, not all examples can be such a thing.

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 Chaney
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

My first Three Heads beer, served in a Port City tulip.

A: Poured a dark, grape juice color (or lack thereof), with a nice, robust, sticky off-white head that stuck around for a good while.

S: Faint scent of roasted, nearly burnt, barley, and a bit of citrusy hop character poking through under closer inspection.

T: Pretty bitter... to much to my liking even. The hop profile plays second fiddle to the char, roast, bitter quality that resemble the burnt on crust of a used griddle. Not a pleasant characteristic.

M: Like I stated, this was pretty bitter, but not in a pleasant way at all. The lacing was ridiculous and the carbonation was sufficient.

O: This sucker was just screaming for more citrus. I don't think I'll have this one again.

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 suspect
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Central Waters snifter.

A: Nice dark brown color. Aggressive pour leads to a rocky 1 finger latte colored head that fades relatively slowly and leaves nice consistent lacing.

S: Toasted chocolate malts mixed with a nice hop aroma leaves a nicely balanced Black IPA.

T: Follows the nose directly. Nice mix of flavor of toasted darker malts, some cocoa nibs and some interesting hop mixes to balance everything out.

M: Not as thin as I would have thought. Medium bodied, better than average feel. Perfectly carbonated.

O: Very solid Black IPA. This is my first go 'round with 3HB and so far, I like what I've had.

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with just over a fingers worth of tan head

S: Some citrus and floral hops along with roasted malts make up the majority of the nose. Get some light coffee and dark chocolate from the malts

T: Starts off with a wave of citrusy hops and then transitions into a solid bit of roasted malts. Definitely get both aspects quite clearly. Finishes quite bitter and dry

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A good black IPA with good aspects of both hops and roasted malts. A little lacking in complexity, but still has good flavors coming through. Easy to drink as well, at 6.5%. Recommended if you're just getting into the style or like extremely balanced black ales

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 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 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 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 Florida9
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Thin black in color; really more of a blackish-brown. A little translucent. Forms a decent sized light tan head that slowly reduces to a thin foam on top of the beer. Some very light lacing.

S: Aroma is of roasted malts and citrus hops.

T: Taste is lightly sweet, watered-down cola. Some roasted malts, but not a lot, a little chocolate, and a slight (rather out of place) vanilla flavor. Some citrus hops, but not nearly what I was expecting. Mild to moderate bitterness.

M: Body is on the thinner side of medium. Appropriate carbonation.

O: I'll admit I bought this one largely based on the label. Figured with a name like Skunk, this one would be loaded with some powerful dank hops. Unfortunately, it's really not loaded with anything with a flavor that is flat, minimal roasted malts, and limited quantities of hops which seem to clash with the malts more than accent them. Lighter body makes it drinkable.

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 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 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 Pahn
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle split two ways into tulips. Thanks to BA mmcgrath for giving me this bottle in a recent trade!

Appearance: Free pour yields a 1 inch offwhite head that leaves a wall of lacing. Pours dark brown / black and continues to decorate the glass with eternal lacing.

Smell: Grape, some bread, and a slight hint of coffee. Mainly grape and a suggestion of hops. Good, but could be more pungent.

Taste: Interesting... roasted malt as husky and nutty up front, then grape and orange-y hops in the middle along with a bit of sweetness, finishing with roasted malt as black coffee bitterness.

Tough to score. I want to drop it down to 3.5 for not being bold enough with west coast hops, and because I'm not in love with the flavor. However, I really like that it's IPA strength hops with prominent roasted malt; most black IPAs, even when successful, are sort of porters/IPAs with identity crises. This is a roasted malt plus IPA hops experiment that works.

Along with the interesting interplay of roasted malt and hops, the overall flavor impression is refreshing, with a nice dry finish. Could be a bit more complex, but in all it's a lot tastier than the usual black IPA.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Crisp dry finish. Good carbonation.

Overall: Unique beer, glad to have tried it. I would like some more pungent hops and overall more complex flavor, but I'm enjoying this regardless. The level of sweetness really calms down the assertive hop bitterness and roasted malt, while still allowing the beer to be crisp and refreshing. Piques my interest in this brewery...

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 rtaps
2.83/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

dark brown with an off white head leaving minimal lacing.

smells of citrus and pine hops with dark malts

taste kind of fallows the nose, dark malts and pine hops

mouth feel is medium bodied, overly carbonated.

overall it's an ok black IPA, that was a little to over carbonated and the flavors didnt blend all that great together IMO

Photo of PeterIngemi
3.32/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into my duvel tulip

A- pours deep brown, appears black, but on closer inspection is more dark brown. Little film of a head, and very little lacing,

S- floral hops mixed with crystal malts, smells good, almost perfumy

T- roasted up front developing into floral hops and finishing with a touch of pine.

M. Light with low carbonation, almost watery, could deffinatley use more body.

O- not a bad beer, the wateryness kinda makes it a bit sub par, although it is drinkable.... Not a bad smell or flavor, but it's missing a few important aspects that would
Make this decent beer great!

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to ehammond1 for sharing this one at MrVonzipper's tasting!

Pours a clear dark brown with a khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, citrus zest, and some herbal hops. Taste is of dark roasted malt and herbal hops. There is a weird chemical taste I am getting as well. This beer has a high level of carbonation which is too much for the style. Overall, this is an average beer that smells better than it tastes.

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.

Photo of SLeffler27
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black is right, however, there is a hint of red highlights. A big, creamy, coffee ice cream head quickly builds, lasting a long while as it leaves a coating of lace.

A rather simple, yet well-defined scent of fresh squeezed lime infuses the pint glass.

My first of this style, Skunk Black IPA definitely hits the mark between a dark roasted stout and a bitter IPA. The grapefruit is most prominent in a long bitter finish, however, there are some notes of caramel.

This one is very dry with a medium body, light astringency, and prickly carbonation.

A good occasional beer, however, the malt and hop bitterness make it difficult to enjoy more than one at a time. This is good on its own, but better with pasta and tomato sauce.

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Skunk Black IPA from Three Heads Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.