3 Floyds / Surly / Real Ale Blakkr | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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3 Floyds / Surly / Real Ale Blakkr3 Floyds / Surly / Real Ale Blakkr

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.99%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This double black as night IPA is too massive for just one brewery’s efforts. BLAKKR took the trinity of Real Ale Brewing Co., Surly Brewing Co. & Three Floyds Brewing Co. to actualize this crushing ale. Cheers.

This is the 22oz bottled 3 Floyds version, brewed in collaboration with Three Floyds / Surly / Real Ale.

Added by AMG55 on 03-24-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 511
Photo of Stevedore
2.23/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

22oz bottle of the FFF version of the collaboration. Thanks Randy. Poured into a Surly goblet today, 3/4/2014.

App- pitch black, fairly viscous, two finger mocha head with good retention and lacing. Looks like a regular stout.

Smell- lots of citrus hops, roast malts and... Bacon? What the hell is this?

Flavor- up front, grapefruit and passion fruit with a nice roasty malt character supplemented by some milk chocolate sweetness. If it stopped at this point this is a good black IPA. Alas, the last half of this beer is salty bacon. Super weird, not bad but really weird.

Mouthfeel- nice full bodied brew, nice carbonation and that's about it. Finish is... gross.

Overall- this is different but not in a good way.

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Photo of Halfbrother83
3.3/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bomber poured into a snifter.

A - Pours pitch black with a finger of khaki head that remains with good retention.

S - Big hops reminiscent of Alpha King up front, charred malt, even a little bit of bacon on the back end.

T - Roasted malts and chocolate, some deep earthiness, bitter hops towards the end.

M - Light-ish body, medium carb, sticky with a bitterness that lingers on the palate.

O - This is indeed a strange, yet drinkable beer. The combination of the flavors is a bit odd, and at the end, Blakkr really feels like a beer with an identity crisis: a stout that wants to be a pale ale. A fun experiment, but not one for repeating.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.59/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Usually if Raul saw a thee headed dragon coming at him he would run the other way. But Blakkr? Nah, he'd chill with it.

Thang has that roast game on like an outdoor BBQ, and it's mixed ok enough with those IPA elements.

As a whole, it's not bad, but it's also not exactly good. Like that Kardashian/Jenner experiment, Kylette (or whatever her name is) Raul wouldn't turn it down, but he's not exactly stoked.

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Photo of guityler83
3.6/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Dense three finger head, fine bubbles with a light mocha color. The foam receded quickly but it was so tall it took a while. When it rested, it left a honey comb style lacing on the edge of the snifter glass and a slim layer on top. The opaque beer is black with only a slight dark brown color coming through around the top edge.

S: Bright and spicy hop character, pine and subtle grapefruit. Light toasty and roast characteristic from the malt. Clean overall.

T: Moderate to strong spicey pine bitterness (chinook?) that flows consistently to the end. There are also some grapefruit and orange peel flavors in the hop department. A moderate milk chocolate and charred roastey character with toast and pie crust. The aftertaste leaves a mix of pine and chocolate. The balance is on the hop (75/25).

M: A creamy mouthfeel with higher levels of carbonation. Medium bodied and a somewhat crisp finish. No astringency

O: The creamy chocolate flavors really make this different then a lot of other IBA's I've had. The piney spicey bitterness keeps it in the IPA level. Still not a fan of the style.. why do I keep getting them then.. But 3Floyd's is figuring out how to make it more enjoyable..

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.64/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 3.19.14
Bottled 02/14/14

A - Pours a very dark brown with a creamy dark tan head with good retention.

S - Lots of hoppy pine and citrus.

T - Hoppy up front, then roasted chocolate malt, thena beef jerky - smoke finish.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body.

O - Nice hops. I didn't love the fake smoke finish.

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Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.71/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Doing a side by side with Blakkr made @ Surly

Appearance - very bland compared to the Surly version. dark black, but not much head or lacing at all.

Smell - I get a lot more malts out of this compared to the surly, but nothing over the top

Taste - A lot more sweet and malt on this one

Mouth - ends quite dry.

Overall - I really liked the Surly one better

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Photo of Florida9
3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Fully opaque black in color. Forms a large, very stable, dark tan colored head. Excellent retention. Moderate lacing.

S: Strong aroma consists of both heavily charred malts and lots of grapefruit and pine hops. Unfortunately there is a lot of alcohol in the mix as well.

T: Taste is anything but subtle. Lots of blackened malts. Char, smoke, and burnt malts. Then there are the hops. Bitter grapefruit and pine and lots of them. Alcoholic finish.

M: On the heavier side of medium. Fairly bitter - seemingly a combination of burnt malt bitterness and hoppy bitterness. Medium carbonation. Dry to the point of astringency. Alcoholic.

O: Well, this beer is like a punch to the face. What is there is potent and pungent and there is no hiding anything. That said, the beer tastes almost burnt and is quite alcoholic. Along with the big bitterness, it can be a bit much.

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Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

For this purposes of this review, I'm including my side-by-side notes for both the Three Floyds and Surly Blakkr iterations: half a twenty-two-ounce bomber in a Junkyard sixteen-ounce tulip, and half a sixteen-ounce can in a twelve-ounce Florida Beer IPA tulip.

Immediately, the Three Floyds smells a lot maltier, more chocolatey and burnt-toffee, and pours with a much more robust, bubbling, khaki-colored head. The Surly, meanwhile, boasts some authentically-detectable hop elements on the nose—a pleasant olfactory pulse for a beer as black as this (or, these two, more appropriately). Indeed, the more you snuff, the more the Surly measures: pine notes, some pretty intense citrus, surrounded with merely a hint of dark sugars and earthy petrichor.

The Surly is surprisingly dry, too, with light hop-candy notes and a pleasant hop-fused tartness that floats along the mellow, rich, smoldering-malt smoothness. In a lot of ways, the Surly is what I might have expected from the Three Floyds.

The Three Floyds, on the other hand, is much stouter: where the Surly is sort of a Black IPA suprême, the iteration from Munster, IN, leans much more heavily towards the “hoppy stout” spectrum. It's thicker; it expresses its abv much more strongly in the nose, especially, as well the flavor-profile; it billows with much more head, and lingers with much more substantial lacing; and its more deeply rich in its malt assertion. Cacao-forward, toffee'd, slightly smokey (almost ashy, in fact), and more bitter-hoppy than anything else, this is still a very good beer—clean for its heft, well-bodied and -balanced, and hoppy, if more narrowly so than the Surly—it nevertheless just feels less successful than the version of this collaboration brewed up in Minnesota.

Even though I do like Surly a lot, the results of this comparison were a definite shock to me—and it really forces one to consider more than just local elements (equipment; water), but the very substantial effect the bottling-vessel has on a beer, particularly as it ages. Indeed, I had Surley's effort on draught in Rochester, MN, but I think it's honestly better from its sixteen-ounce can. Moreover, the particular importance of pairings also further crystallize for me through this direct comparison, since I remember feeling more more positively about the Three Floyds version when I was drinking it off the tap at Owen & Engine, expertly poured alongside elk loin seared in brioche-ash and grains-of-paradise to bring out the strengths of 3F's offering.

So, it's certainly a good reminder: when a brew is delicate, and full of very deliberate effort, the smallest perturbations can truly create very different end-products.

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Photo of BrewThru_29
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Jet black. Nice dark brown head with good lace.

Smell: OK, I tried like hell to pick up a stout type aroma, but all I can smell is hops. Actually, this smells like Alpha King.

Taste: Big hops up front, looks nothing like it tastes. I am getting some of the stout malty backbone on the tail end. Interesting.

Moithfeel: Quite bitter. Actually a bit harsh. Mild alcohol presence is felt.

Overall: Nothing bad going on here. Just a bit of a weird flavor combo. Basically tastes like someone mixed a stout with Alpha King.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pour is dark cola brown with a fairly tight caramel head and a good bit of lacing. Nose is light dark malt taken over by resin and citrus hop. Taste has a bit more malt, fairly rich roasted malts and hints of dark chocolate. Strong citrus and resinous hops in back with virtually no unwanted bitterness. Body is smooth and well carbonated. Extremely well balanced and well put together. This black IPA is the easiest to drink I've had.

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Photo of barczar
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque deep brown with a frothy cappuccino head that dissipates somewhat quickly, leaving a sheet of lacing.

Resin, pine, and floral notes dominate, with a hint of citrus character adding complexity. Roast malt is subtle.

Chocolate dominates the initial flavor, with resin mixed with muted grapefruit taking over mid palate, accompanied by deeply roasted malt. Tropical fruit notes emerge in subsequent sips. The finish is roasty and hop bitter.

Body is on the light side, with moderate carbonation and significant alcohol heat.

Strange combination of flavors. I love the hop profile, and the chocolate is yummy, but I just don't care for the finish. The roast is a little too bitter for my liking.

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Photo of kevanb
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

650ml bottle, dated 2/14/14, poured into a Three Floyds Red-Orange Becker glass. Originally posted under the Surly entry by mistake, now under the correct entry. Reviewed March 5, 2014.

The beer pours a jet black color, soft hues of cola brown around the edges of the glass, but the beer has such a massive texture, even just looking at it in the glass, appears much a beer would straight from a nitro tap, and the head reflects that as well. Super thick, foamy and creamy, a touch over 2 fingers high, that has nice retention and leaves a fair amount of sticky lace behind. The aroma is quite hoppy, bitter pine, a bit of tangy grapefruit and citrus, but dominantly coniferous and resinous, a nice roast character is present, strong malted grain, a touch of chocolate and hints of coffee that come from the roast. It's bold, big and in your face, quite enticing. The flavors are spot on from the nose, super bitter, piney and earthy with a bit of tangy citrus, but quickly overridden with roasted malt, toasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate. It's aggressive and quite the experience on the palate, tasking at times, but yet, I found myself nearly done with the bomber in about 45 minutes. The body is crisp, very carbonated, astringently so, and lets down the beer a bit, for how rich and creamy it appeared, it's quite the prickly mess on the tongue. The finish is dry, kicking and leaves a lot of cottonmouth feel behind.

Verdict: A really nice BIPA from FFF and co. Not a surprise considering the quality of the collaborators, especially surly, that this would take no prisoners and push the limits of a hoppy beer. I really enjoyed the flavors and the drinkability but wish the body was softer and a bit easier.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Whole Foods. Served in my Alchemist glass.

A - Dark tan foam settles to a thick cap and sheets of lace. This is a legitimately 'black IPA' - the color is just a shade off-black, and it's opaque.

S - Hoppy, with some roast and cocoa, and light notes of smoke and anise. Hops are a mix of citrus, tropical, and perhaps a hint of floral character as well. Pretty nice mix of hops and darker malt flavors, without being harsh

T - Taste is pretty similar, with a bit more char and smoke than I tend to like from this style. A hint of nutty astringency, but fairly restrained hop bitterness, although it grows over time. Alcohol is really well-hidden; never would have guessed 10%.

M - Medium body, slightly roasty texture, some residual hop oils, perhaps a hit of warming alcohol. Pleasant carbonation; soft and creamy.

D - The flavor is a bit fatiguing with the bitterness, astringency, and charry flavors growing over the course of the bomber. Still - I had no problem putting down 22oz over the course of a few hours. I'm very wary of this style, but this is a good one.

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Photo of IPAGeorge
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip

A. Very dark brown. 95% opaque. Frothy cappuccino 2 finger head. Nice lacing around the glass.

S. Big chocolaty malts coming through. Caramel and toffee. Almost a peanut butter aroma.

T. Taste follows the nose. Roasted malts and coffee. Some toffee like presence. Almost taste like the malt you put in shakes to make a "malt". Grassy aftertaste.

M. Medium bodied. Quite carbonated. Slight dry aftertaste.

O. A very different beer. Being a black IPA although a different one it seems to pull notes from porter as well. Deep malt like a porter and carbonation like an IPA. Flavor is decent. Mouthfeel is different for the "style". Overall a decent collaboration.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely black, tan-brown head that had plenty of staying power and left good lacing.

Aroma and taste are excellent. Roasty and hoppy flavors blend nicely, somewhat reminiscent of a CDA but certainly believable as a black ale too.

It's bold and flavor-forward, and won't disappoint. I recall seeing it in an email from a buddy of mine who works at a big liquor store, and thinking I need to try this.

Definitely. Awesome. Beer.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. Twenty-two ounce bottle shared by Sasha - thanks.

A: Pours deep black with a relatively thin (1/4") mocha head which fades to the rim and leaves a few spots of lace.

N: Roast, citrusy, dark chocolate, sweetish malts.

T: Plenty of roasted and toasted grains/malts, hoppy citrus and piney notes, bitter coffee.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Finishes roasty and dry.

O: An interesting blend and well balanced.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle from IPAFan521 (thanks Justin!). Bottle date is a little smeared but appears to be 2/11/14. Served in a Three Floyds teku.

Pours near black, cola brown with a two and a half finger pillow of sandy tan head. Lingers. Nice lace.

The aroma balances the hops and malts well with pine, roast malt, citrus and burnt sugar.

A roasty, bitter bomb. Pine sap, charred wood, grapefruit peel, roasted malt, bitter cocoa, burnt sugar, smoked black pepper, caramel, floral hops and a little tickle of alcohol. Hoppy and roasty in the ways a black ale should be.

Body is on the heavy side of medium and the carbonation is quite peppy. A little oily and a hont of cooling alcohol on the palate. Finish lingers with bitter citrus rind dancing amongst charred malt.

One of the better black ales I've had and also a top notch collaboration. Worth tracking down if you're a fan of the style.

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Photo of chanokokoro
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Three Floyds Brewing Company branded teku glass

Pours darn near opaque black capped by a light tan two finger fluffy head. Great retention with plenty of lacing. Big citrus notes, grapefruit, passionfruit, and light cocoa powder on the nose. Bitter citrus notes again including grapefruit, passionfruit, light roasted malt midpalate. Bakers chocolate transitioning to medium roastiness combined with a dry hop-induced bitterness. Medium-bodied, hints of velvet on the palate, moderate carbonation. A very solid brew, especially for the style. I certainly wouldn't turn down another.

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Photo of mabermud
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The body is a deep brown and the head is mocha colored. The head appears creamy and is extremely persistent. Aroma = sweet-hoppy-malt. I don't know if my taste buds are weireded out, or if this bottle has been sitting in my reefer too long. I'm in different to the taste. I had high hopes, but I may have sabotaged the tasting by drinking an outstanding fresh hop and an Old Raspy on tap at the bar before having this. The feel of this beer in my mouth is fairly nice. Overall, I'm a little bit disappointed, but understand everything is askew because I didn't come into the game with a fresh palate or a fresh bottle. This is a strong beer!

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Photo of rlee1390
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-Blakk in the glass. But a clear amber around the edges and while pouring. One finger head that leaves nice lacing.

S-Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, earthy hops as well.

T-Starts with nice roasted malt with chocolate and slight coffee. Ends with nice bitterness with the hops coming through.

M-Medium bodied, rather creamy, nice carbonation as well.

O-A good beer, one of the better Black IPAs out there.

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Photo of Atlas1
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First of all, it's incredible that we even get this beer here in Texas, where Three Floyds and Surly are rare sightings. Thank you Real Ale, for collaborating on this.

Pours a dark black color. Not Dark Lord black, mind, you, but black enough. Tan head with decent lace. The nose is strong, bitter coffee, faint chocolate. Nutty and earthy. The taste is delicious. Deep and layered, there are notes of coffee, chocolate, faint vanilla, tree bark, oats and nuts. Maybe a hint of dark cherry. Nice hoppy bitter finish. Mouthfeel is firm.

I really like this beer. Not just because it's a great collaborative effort by some of my favorite breweries (although that is part of it), but because it's a damn fine beer. Kind of a silly can design and name, like most of Three Floyds stuff, but who cares 'cause it's mighty fine. More of this, please.

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into signature teku glass, bottled on 2/14/2014. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, papaya, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, light pine, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate roasted malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, papaya, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, pine, cocoa, roasted malt, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness. Good amount of pine/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, papaya, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, cocoa, roast, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and balance of big citrus/tropical hops and moderate roasted malt flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, moderately sticky, and fairly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome imperial black IPA. All around great balance and complexity of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate roasted malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Review taken from notes: late spring 2014.

Brown FFF style bomber with pretty cool label art. Black with a three headed monster sitting in a field of red flames. Poured into a nonic style pint glass.

A - pitch black in color with a huge dark tan to brown khaki head that after awhile settles into a clumpy ring of lace leaving superb stick.

S - big tropical fruit aromas up front of guava and pineapple. Resinous pine notes come on strong afterwards and the aroma is surprisingly dank given its color.
Rich dark malts balance the aroma with big black coffee, black bread, toffee, and a hint of darker fruits. Roasted chocolate lay the backbone to Blakkr's aroma.

T - more giant tropical fruit notes with a resinous pine coming just behind. Pineapple, dark fruits, dank pine give way to some real roastiness of dark malt, bitter black chocolates, black coffee with a mixture of bitter chocolate/roasted coffee and a smooth semi sweet toffee notes in the finish.

M - full bodied and a near perfect texture. It feels like a stout and looks like one too, but the impressive stuff inside this bottle was indeed on the black dipa end of things. Sticky coating mouthfeel and just ridiculously drinkable. A bit of alcohol as it warms but only adds to its intense flavors.

O - maybe one of the best Collabs I've had.. Though for me this is more FFF in style than anything. They didn't disappoint. Blakkr in the FFF bottling is some top shelf stuff. I'd buy it again without thinking twice.

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Photo of screamking
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into snifter.

Pours black with a thick mocha head. already the roasted notes are coming out. digging a little deeper the citrus starts coming out, slight orange and lemon. the taste is jacked full of roasted coffee, chocolate and a hint of orange. 3floyds really nailed this one, it is well above their average fair and a bit different then the things they normally put out.

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Photo of rangerred
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter out of a 22oz bomber.

Pours pitch black with a one finger dark tan head. Average head retention but very good lacing clinging to the sides of the glass.

Aroma of strong pine along with flowers combined with heavy roast and char. The pine and earth is stronger than the roast but it all is married together quite nicely.

The flavor strikes a wonderful balance between piny/earthy hops and roasted malt along with caramel. Pine is the dominating flavor but there is an extremely solid malt backbone and I love the roasted notes and touches of coffee and dark chocolate. High bitterness throughout along with a full mouthfeel. Finish is a bit sticky but the alcohol is very well hidden.

Overall, I really love this style of beer and this is one of the better examples I have had. Excellent body and the hops are incredible. I was very lucky to be able to score a bottle of this when I was in Cincinnati visiting family. I wish it was something I could get again.

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3 Floyds / Surly / Real Ale Blakkr from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.14 out of 5 based on 511 ratings.
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