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Skunk Black IPA - Three Heads Brewing

Not Rated.
Skunk Black IPASkunk Black IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

137 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 137
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 14.01%
Wants: 11
Gots: 14 | 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:
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 added by: John on 12-05-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Skunk Black IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 137 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alemiester
3/5  rDev -17.6%

alemiester, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of Yabev15
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Yabev15, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of jsh420
3/5  rDev -17.6%

jsh420, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.65/5  rDev -27.2%
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

DarthKostrizer, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of Pahn
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
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...

Pahn, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of ehammond1
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


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.

ehammond1, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of rtaps
2.85/5  rDev -21.7%
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

rtaps, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of PeterIngemi
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
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!

PeterIngemi, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of MrVonzipper
3/5  rDev -17.6%

MrVonzipper, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.13/5  rDev -14%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of groetman
1/5  rDev -72.5%

groetman, Jan 29, 2012
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.

perrymarcus, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of SLeffler27
3.63/5  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.

SLeffler27, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of biegaman
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Skunk Black IPA might at first blush appear black but a closer inspection to the light reveals a spotlessly clear beer that is more pecan-colored than anything. Its head has a sparkly sheen, like the unpolished side of a marble block, and crisscrosses the surface in an apple pie-like order. Its lacing looks like neatly folded blankets.

The bouquet is a bit soft but is successfully checkered with roasty malt and piny hops. There's equal notes of nutty milk chocolate and tree bark. It's a really unique combination and is truly 'Cascadian' in character (despite that this was brewed in upstate New York). The hoppiness is adequate enough even to emulate cedar and spruce too.

The leafy, vine-y, herbal flavour continues onto the palate. Despite all the hydroponics, however, toasty crystal malts do succeed in making a clean break and actually dominate the finish, leaving a pleasantly sweet and nutty aftertaste. It tastes something like creme brulee (done with a little Grand Marnier, or perhaps even green tea).

In a totally zoomed out view you can find tiny shreds of citrus zest as well as coffee-and-cream flavor. That's what you want: a solid dichotomy of hop and malt. Just when you start to notice one feature, the other shoe drops. This delivers on both fronts and, at a moderate 6 and a half percent, it won't leave you 'drunk as a skunk'!

I'm not only on the Three Heads Brewing bandwagon, I want to drive it. All the beers they've released since coming on the scene have been solid, perhaps simple, but satisfying offerings that commandeer their respective styles and represent great value for the buck. Let's hope they continue to do exactly what they've been doing.

biegaman, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of mattk614
4/5  rDev +9.9%

mattk614, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of polishkaz
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

polishkaz, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of Turbodog666
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Turbodog666, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of StJamesGate
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruby-tinged black with Irish stout-style clingy off-white head that leaves great lace. Bit of roast chocolate and herbal hops on the nose.
Chocolate and soil but malts are pretty quiet; herbal, leafy hops and roasty acidity to follow.
Oily espresso finish and big tongue-scrapping bitter linger. Medium, dry, crisp.

Where’s the malt? A bit too lean, but roast and hops combine for a nice punch. On the hoppy porter end of the style.

StJamesGate, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of keithmurray
3/5  rDev -17.6%

keithmurray, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of Ratman197
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured a clear reddisah brown with a lasting tan head. Aromas of roastiness, earthiness, skunk buyd, grapefruit and pine. Palate was medium bodied and smooth. Flavors of roastiness, earthiness, light grapefruit asnd a hint of pine with a smooth moderatly bitter roasty finish.

Ratman197, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of generallee
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

generallee, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of nh2032
4/5  rDev +9.9%

nh2032, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of scottfrie
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into Portsmouth snifter. Thanks for this one, Shawn.

A: Pours black with a thin dark tan head that faded into a bubbly color that left a sheet of tight lace down the glass.
S: Hoppy notes of pine dominant over sweeter notes of roasted malt. I do get a touch of something medicinal as well.
T: Hoppy flavors of pine and grass with a touch of sweet citrus. The hops fade into flavors of sweet malt and a bit of roasted grains. The aftertaste is lightly bitter and a bit minty.
M: Medium body, slick mouthfeel that is a tad oily and volatile. Carbonation is soft but ample.
O: A solid black ipa but nothing I would really want to drink that often. Worth a shot if you’re a fan of the style though. Thanks again, Shawn.

scottfrie, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +9.9%

tclapper, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of KELPAK
3.05/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

KELPAK, Nov 17, 2011
Skunk Black IPA from Three Heads Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.