Popskull | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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178 Ratings

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

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 01-26-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 178 |  Reviews: 125
Reviews by bikencycle:
Photo of bikencycle
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a glass and the head is amazing! With the glass filled only half way the head occupied the rest of the glass. Coats the glass very well.

Has a great woody smell as well as nut, vanilla, and a hint of fruit.

You can taste a bit of chocolate, bourbon, nut, coffee

It is a medium thickness and leaves a pleasant taste in your mouth after you sip it.

Am very glad that I was able to try this excellent collaboration between Three Floyds and Dogfish Head. Luckily for me I will have the opportunity to try it again!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of ricke
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with a medium-sized off-white head. Some lacings.

S: Bready malts, spices and sweet vinous fruity aromas. Hints of toffee, bark and perhaps licorice. The alcohol makes an appearance every now and then.

T: Similar to the smell. Bready malts with lots of woody notes and vinous fruits. Notes of spicy hops, coffee powder, chocolate and brown sugar. The finish has some bitterness to it and notes of malts and warming alcohol.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation. Considering the high ABV and the malty profile, I was expecting a fuller body.

D: A good well done beer, but it's not fantastic.

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Photo of sgoodship
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Dark Lord Day. It was a nice bonus for standing in line for many hours.

A: Looks like a porter. Dark brown (close to black) with orangy gold highlights against the light. It has a thick, creamy coffee stained head like a stout. Lacing was instant but the lace and head retention didn't have staying power. Kept a dusting and a ring the whole time. Nice looking brew.

S: A really simple dry malt porter type smell. A little woody/nutty like you would expect a brown ale to be. I swear I can detect a hint of the Palo Santo. Overall, it is a very simple and understated smell.

T: Coffee, cocoa and the distinctive pal santo is what hit me on the first pass. It's a pretty smooth drink except there is a fruity tartness accompanied by hops that balances the experience. On closer inspection, I experience a smokey malt flavor up front which is taken over by a tangy, coffee, acidic fruit bite. There is a sweet chocoloate type malt backbone. It all finishes pretty dry. A nice transition to another sip. As the drink progressed, I got more of a bourbon type alcohol smell and flavor but it stayed under control and never became too dominant.

M: It's a medium body like a porter but feels more full because of the creamy mouth. There is medium carbonation that is gentle on the palet but in combination with the tanginess in the taste, the smoothness is balanced with an active mouth feel.

D: I thought this was a fantastic beer. I have to be honest, I am sick to death of the whole BIG thing. I know many would hope that a collaboration between DFH and 3F would produce a 25 ABV Triple Take-No-Prisoners Royal Double 500 Minute IPA but I for one am really pleased that they chose to go this route. I guess it is still pretty big as far as ABV is concerned but thanks to those guys for taking on the humble Brown Ale and showing how interesting and flavorful it can be. I think the Palo Santo flavor is not for everyone but I would be happy to drink this often if it was slightly lower in alcohol and was available all the time. I haven't opened my Dark Lord bottles yet but drinking this already made my wait in line at DLD well worth it. Thanks for a fantastic brew DFH and 3F!

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a brownish color with a tan head. The aroma is classic brown ale with a lot of toffee and caramel notes, as well as some grassy hops.

The flavor is more of the same. I get toffee, caramel, some nuttyness and some grassy hops. The beer is very well balanced between hop bitterness and malt sweetness. The alcohol is very well hidden.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown with some red highlights near the edge of the liquid, mild tan head to it, less than 1/2" deep, not much in the way of retention or lacing. Aroma of lots of brown malt and sugar. Molasses, wood, everything you can think of with the color brown, well, no wait, that's not true. Some vanilla.

Taste, like a mix of beer and coke. All the brown stuff in the aroma is still there on the tongue. My mind races back and forth as to whether this is a good complex beer, or one of those brown ales that is like a garage sale, everything must go, and does, into this batch. Some roastiness, some sweetness, not really much derived towards hoppiness, this beer has just about everything but that, including a viscious alcohol and oak aftertaste that brings the coriander with it.

Reminds me of that DFH beer that I wasn't a big fan of either. Brown malt and brown sugar just don't do it for me, even if you put it on wood and amp up the strength, throw in a bunch of spices etc. . .

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer pours a dense opaque brown body with a good carbonation of medium bubbles and a thin film of bubbly tan head that last for a good bit.

S- The smell of brown malt has a rich roasted quality with some aromatic wood hint that is slightly reminiscent of cedar or eucalyptus but very soft. There is a nice graham note that comes through as the beer warms.

T- The rich brown malt flavor has a resin woody note with a cream flavor and a creamy chocolate roasted malt taste. The chocolate malt becomes sweeter and more chocolate milk flavors as the beer warms and there is a slight tang to the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium light with a slightly slippery texture and no alcohol heat.

D- This beer has a rich creamy smooth complexity that has some nice subtle flavors come through but only when it is pretty warm.

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Photo of hughesm4
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours nearly pitch black with almost no head at all.
S. You get a hint of a malty and chocolate smell, but it is pretty faint.
T. It makes up in taste for what it lacks in smell. A very full bodied taste with a very sweet taste with a slight almost fruity aftertaste.
MD. Finishes very dry and leaves a slight lingering aftertaste in the mouth that I can't quite put my finger on. The initial smell and taste are more of a Porter that of a Brown Ale, but the aftertaste and mouthfeel are that of a Brown, sweet and a combination of brown sugar and malt taste.

This is the second bottle that I have tasted of this. I bought a couple at the same time. The first was very much like a porter, but it has mellowed out with 4-5 months of aging and i like it much better.

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Photo of degerbah
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

second time tasting, first time was at DLD, tasted a little raw so I'm re-rating. Poured pitch black with only a little bit of head. Completely opaque. It has become much more mild since I first had it. JUst a slight malty smell, nothing at all remarkable. The taste is slightly boozy and reminds much more of a porter than it does a brown ale. Lots of malt with a choclatey taste and some smokey taste as well. Tastes much more like a robust porter and unlike any brown. Might also be considered an american strong given the abv.

Extremelel thick on the tongue with an aftertaste that seems to coat my tongie for minutes at a time. Far better than it was when I originally tasted, I still think that it might be a little too pricey for a beer of this caliber. I really wish three floyd's would charge a little less for their large format bottles.

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Photo of otter20dt
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Was brought to a mini tasting.

A: Pours brown in color with a tan head, about one finger in height. Reduced to a small layer of foam on top, moderate lacing left behind.

S: Rich malt characteristics on the nose with some light roasted malts. Hints of wood and a little bit of cocoa and vanilla.

T: Similar to the aroma, heavy malt, nuts, some wood, and cocoa/chocolate. There is a little bit of caramel sweetness on the finish.

M: Medium bodied and somewhat chewy/thick. Alcohol is hidden well.

O: Pretty good, has held up pretty well. Glad is was brought to the tasting.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"A 3 fishheaded floyd dog production" sayeth the bottle. Dogfish Head and Three Floyds collaborate? Who's not psyched about that? And leave it to Three Floyds to come up with a stunning label design, even when playing on a motif as tired as the skull-n-crossbones. Thanks to brewdan for this one!

Deep dark-chocolate brown color shows fiery red highlights, and the head is modest and thins quickly. The head comes back, however, with any little shake of the glass, and a few splats and splotches of lace appear as well.

A cleaner, breezier aroma than expected from a high-test malt bomb, but the scents keep on the dark, sweet side: chocolate licorice whips, anise, toasted marshmallow, toffee, hazelnut.

Lots of milky chocolate sweetness in the flavor, with plenty of nuttiness and toasted character. Marshmallow and graham cracker come in, giving Popskull that great s'mores-factor that malt bombs of various sorts can have. With a coca-cola chaser, as this definitely has some of that cola nut vibe. An interesting, unidentifiable spiciness adds to its depth. Alcohol comes in only slightly; a remarkably stealthy 10-percent.

Just a little less gooey than expected. An excellent glide and medium body delivers the flavors front and center without a thick blob smothering the mouth.

Not quite the knockout punch one might expect, considering the big-ness and the brewers involved, but stick with it. It might be more subtle and low-key than expected, but over time its beauty reveals itself. I enjoyed the heck out of it once I "got it."

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Photo of prototypic
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Popskull pours a very dark mahogany brown color. It's not black. Light cutting through at the edges reveals dark burgundy highlights. A tan head stands about a finger and a half tall. It recedes relatively quickly and leaves very little lace behind. Too much abv? Perhaps.

The nose is all kinds of malty. Sweet caramel malt is very pronounced. There are hints of bittersweet chocolate malts, in addition. Molasses and maple syrup are secondary, but certainly add an interesting dimension. There's a bit of a roasted malt smell. It's a little earthy. I suspect a hop presence was much more pronounced when this was fresh. Today...there are remnants, but not much. Alcohol isn't all that noticeable surprisingly. I wouldn't have guessed anywhere near 10%. Overall, it smells good, but it doesn't smell special.

The flavor is more impressive. It's not so much better that it warrants a score bump, but it is a little better. It is incredibly malty. It features a sweet caramel malt base with some chocolate and roasted malts mixed in. Together, they create a pretty impressive flavor. It's complemented by molasses and a little maple syrup. It's a little earthy. I can taste the remnants of hop flavor. I would've loved to try this fresh. A strong hop flavor would really add an interesting element to the mix. There's a little alcohol, but not as much as you might expect. I still wouldn't guess anywhere near the 10% range. It finishes syrupy and malty.

Popskull has a medium body. It's a little too thin. Carbonation is a little too buzzy permit a smooth feel. Ultimately, it needs more body. That much is apparent. Drinkability is good. For a 10% beer, Popskull goes down surprisingly easy and never tastes or feels like such a big beer. It's impressive in that respect.

I had no idea this was a collaboration between Three Floyds and Dogfish Head until I got the bottle. The results are good. It isn't special by any means, but is a very solid beer. Given that Three Floyds was involved, I strongly suspect that the hops were much more prevalent when this was fresh. There is enough evidence remaining to suggest that's the case. It's still good beer, but I wish I had a crack at a fresh bottle. Today, it's just good beer. Not quite great.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to hans gruber !

pours deep cola brown with very light creamy head and very little retention and lacing.

big sour and funky scents, vinegar oak, and molasses.

you can easily taste the palo santo marron. sweet dark fruit, a bit of chocolate and vanilla. as it warmed, i got some dark cherries. quite sweet all around and very little bitterness at all.

light bite to it and fairly full. a bit dry at the finish

this was pretty damn good. not what i expected really from the "old braun". very good overall! not something if want every day but a great treat here and there. overall, this was my pleasure to drink.

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Photo of nickd717
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle via trade. It's not often that I get a beer from FFF that isn't awesome, and DFH is a pretty damn good brewery too. This offering, though, was only slightly above average overall.

Pours darkest brown with a large off-white head that lasts.

Aroma is sarsaparilla, roast, chocolate, and barrel.

Flavor is pretty sweet with chocolate malt, root beer, barrel notes, roast, and alcohol.

Medium-bodied with medium carbonation.

Not bad overall, but not too drinkable.

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Photo of LukeD23
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is the first release aged for one year.

Poured a nice Esspresso brown, no head

Aroma is Rich in chocolate and figs, subtle truffle and pepper notes.

Flavor is full for sure, great dried fruit flavors of raison and date, a bit spicy with loads of dark chocolate and solid bitterness. Very balanced even though it is so high in alcohol.

Mouthfeel is classic Dogfish big and robust with an off dry finish.

Overall, I like it, never had it fresh, but aged is very nice, I really enjoy the palo, it comes through and tastes similar to there Palo Santo Marron, just a bit smaller. Good stuff

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Photo of Kegatron
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of morimech
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with two fingers of tan head that had good retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Just a little spotty lacing is left on the glass. Has a complex aroma. I smell chocolate, vanilla, roasted nuts, and some dark fruit. I really enjoyed the flavor of this beer as well. For a beer packing 10% ABV, I did not detect any alcohol aroma or flavor. What I did taste is the nutty malt with some chocolate, vanilla, and a little fruitiness in the finish. I also get some ash or charcoal in the aftertaste. This is a really well put together brown ale. The body is on the lighter side of medium. The carbonation is well suited for the body. The only thing that hurts drinkability is the high ABV. I would like to have this again in the future.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

3Floyds Popskull pours up like a frothy root beer with a beigish-tan colored head that laces the glass nicely above the slightly hazy, deep ruby-dk. brown body. The aroma is filled with a plethora of pleasant aromatics of dark fruits (carmelized raisins, sugar dates & Fig Newtons), brown sugar, molasses, toasted graham cracker, milk chocolate, roasted nuts, sarsaparilla (possibly the Palo Santo Wood+Botanicals?) & vanilla bean all come to mind. The candy sweet, nougat-like maltiness dominates, but is complimented by just a hint of zesty spiciness from late hop kettle additions. The flavor starts off with some sugary, caramel sweetness upfront that fades ever-so slowly behind an unobtrusive roastiness that interplays well with the dried fruit character (e.g. apricots, dates, raisins) that eventually gives way to a controlled bitterness that combines with some subtle alcohol warmth to dry out the generous maltiness. This medium-full bodied American Strong Ale has a pleasant creaminess and makes for an enjoyable fireside sipper. This ain't your old grandpappy's Popskull, it's a 3fishheaded floyd dog production!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of alleykatking
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Came home tonight and the roommate wanted to open up his bottle from DLD. Had to say yes to spliting the bottle.

A- Poured into a pint glass. Nice deep dark brown color...almost black. Little 1/8 inch off white/tannish head that went away rather quickly. Left very little lacing around the sides of the glass.

S- Nice burnt malt smell. Alcohol lingers very faintly with this. There is also hints of spice, brown sugar, and a funky fruit smell. Almost like the fruit is a little past it's prime.

T- This is a great tasting beer. Has a nice malty backbone with crisp chocolate hint to it. Also, the fruits come through as this beer warms up. The wood is very faint at first but also becomes more apparent as you drink more and more. The ABV is very well hidden and this drinks like a nice brown ale for sure. Oh also, a nice hint of brown sugar.

M- Good clean mouthfeel to it. Medium body that coats the whole mouth very nicely. Nice carbination that doesn't over do it kind of dances over the tounge in a nice way.

D- I could drink this on a regualr basis if given the chance. Luckly there is 5 more bottles of it sitting at home. Nice change of pace from the IPA's and DIPA's that I usually drink.

Overall, I really enjoyed this FFF/Dogfish union. True it's nothing really over the top but at the same time...I like the idea of making a good beer that the masses will enjoy altogether. And I think these guys did a great job of doing just that.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.35/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into mini snifter.

Pours thin, brown, with no head, just the faintest of thin bubles line the rim of the glass.

The aroma is slightly malt, and a good bit of fig. There is zero alcohol in the nose, which blows my mind for any 10%, but especially here where the aroma is thin and there could easily be an overpowering heat.

Carob, fig, a bit of booze/sourness at the end, but not unpleasant. The aftertaste is quite obvious leaving a bit of chewness on the palate.

Very thin, but not obviously out of character for the style.

Solid-average and happy to have had the chance to split a bottle, but not my favorite offering in the style or from this brewer.


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Photo of leprakhan
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of charlesw
3.2/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Editorial: this is listed at 10% and as an American Brown. Whoever put it there is a fricking crack smoker. Duh.

Let's call it an impy porter or stout, shall we? In that context it has a nice, very deeply brown to black opaque color. Very low white head that's quickly and sadly gone.

Smell is overpoweringly... Some kind of thing. Hmm. I'll check the other reviews in a minute to clarify that. After I finish with my review. But there's ONE smell that is so strong in here it's almost like there's nothing else going on at all.

And, golly, if that isn't just the taste, too. Craziness. Chocolate licorice? Something like that. A bit chalky in the taste but not the mouthfeel.

In the mouth it's perfect. Right where it should be. Great. I still don't think I'd drink another. The flavor is just weird.

Aha! Someone else hit it right on! It smells and tastes exactly like tootsie rolls! Is that an off flavor? I suppose it depends on what you're looking for in a beer. Not my cup of tea.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got from ummagum - many thanks as always! Poured from a 22oz bomber with cool label into a pint glass. No dating info on bottle but this was a one time release at DLD time so know it's fresh enough. Should be interesting as both DFH and 3F do unique things with their beers. Was a dark brown color with reddish highlights. Not much visible carb. Sliding lace. It had a large tan head that slowly settled into a collar and some center whisps.

The aroma was really good. Lots of oak up front with cocoa and caramel in the back. Very sweet but not too sweet. Like the aroma better than the standard Palo Santo Marron. The taste followed the aroma and was also excellent. Nice and oaky with chocolate and sweet malt to balance it. The oak just pushes to the envelope of being too much and then starts to fade and then the chocolate hits to smooth it out for a great finish. Drank this one pretty fast as it was good. Mouthfeel had good carbonation but was a touch watery as most browns tend to be.

Overall, an excellent beer that I'm so glad that I got to try. Extremely drinkable, borderline session, which is scary considering the high ABV. Most highly recommend. Rotation: not available here but would be major player if it was.

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Popskull from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 178 ratings