Skunk Black IPA | Three Heads Brewing

BA SCORE
83
good
148 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good
Read the review
Skunk Black IPASkunk Black IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Three Heads Brewing
New York, United States
threeheadsbrewing.com

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
Ratings:
148
Reviews:
65
Avg:
3.64
pDev:
13.46%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
16
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 148 |  Reviews: 65
Photo of hockenbeer
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of jrpapajcik
3.75/5  rDev +3%

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.

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Photo of pgofman
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of server222
5/5  rDev +37.4%

Photo of marshmeli
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

Photo of prisdefer
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of alemiester
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of Yabev15
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of jsh420
3/5  rDev -17.6%

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

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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...

 1,575 characters

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.

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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

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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!

 616 characters

Photo of MrVonzipper
3/5  rDev -17.6%

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.

 514 characters

Photo of groetman
1/5  rDev -72.5%

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.

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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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Photo of biegaman
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 1,691 characters

Skunk Black IPA from Three Heads Brewing
3.64 out of 5 based on 148 ratings.
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