Skunk Black IPA | Three Heads Brewing - Tasting Room

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BA SCORE
83
good
65 Reviews
THE BROS
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Skunk Black IPASkunk Black IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Three Heads Brewing - Tasting Room
New York, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

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

Added by John on 12-05-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
65
Ratings:
147
Avg:
3.65
pDev:
13.42%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
15
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 147
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
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

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Photo of emerge077
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.98/5  rDev +9%
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

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Photo of smcolw
3.86/5  rDev +5.8%
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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Photo of johnnnniee
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Ale House in Vestal NY
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.

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Photo of tdm168
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of tempest
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a well balanced roasted malt and citrus hop nose. The taste is decent. It has a bone dry patent malt flavor; dry and earthy. It's light with lots of roasted malt character and a mild hop taste. The hop flavor is muted with the black malt flavor. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good beer. It could use a bit more hop flavor to balance the malt character.

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Photo of Gavage
3.91/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark brown almost black color with a fluffy 3" head that lasts. Nice lacing sticks to the glass.

Smell: light pine and grapefruit is all you can pull from the glass.

Taste: mild roasted malt flavors with some pine, grapefruit, prune sweetness, pears, and a decent but not overpowering bitterness. There is a bit spiciness that arrives late.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp from start to finish with a bit of dryness late.

Overall: a very quaffable black IPA. This one is not over the top, so it can be consumed a bit quicker than some others in the style.

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Photo of biegaman
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.31/5  rDev +18.1%
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!

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Photo of Brad007
3.25/5  rDev -11%
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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

An extra received in an in-person trade with starrdogg. Thanks, Matt! As a ticker in denial, I appreciate the opportunity to try a beer from a brewery that's new to me.

Pouring a very dark brown with reddish brown highlights, this beer has a dense, brown head that's creamy and long lasting, leaving nice lacing. The nose is nice as well. With a blend of pine resin, dark crystal malt and moderate roasted malt character, this smells good. The hops smell fresh and moderately herbal as well, with a mildly minty note. Some cocoa does appear as it warms up.

The palate, OTOH, is a bit of a disappointment. Astringent hops, moderately skunky (ha!) in that is tastes overly dank, this is pretty bitter up front with a blend of hop bitterness, grainy (a la black patent) bitterness and herbal astringency. Hop flavor is on the lower end of the spectrum here, with a mild pine and some mint character. The mid-palate is rather disappointingly thin, further hampered by the excessive carbonation that adds a seltzer-like feel and the scrubbing taste of carbonic acid. Drying and bitter on the finish with some grain and hops, and just a touch of chocolate, this beer is decent. It seems a little haphazard, but that's par for the course with a "new" style, I guess.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. a deep dark brown, almost black, with red highlights. with an off-white head. decent lacing.

aroma is a rich pungent hop aroma. mostly piney.

as advertised, porter-like dark malt flavor with very strong hop finish, almost oily. mouthfeel is typical of an IPA, thinner than a porter or stout. but smooth, drinks nice.

a bit too unbalanced for me to consider it super drinkable.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this several times before. Deep brown, almost black with a nicely formed off-white head that keeps a good cap on the beer. Pretty spots of lacing. I've never understood Black IPA's much. Most of them smell and taste like an IPA that has a bit of stout/porter mixed in it, or they taste like an overhopped stout/porter. This one in particular tasted like a roasty IPA. Lots of dankness and skunk here for sure but there is a smooth and non-overbearing roastiness and toastiness that adds a twist to it. Medium bodied with smooth carbonation. A nicely drinkable beer.

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Skunk Black IPA from Three Heads Brewing - Tasting Room
83 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.
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