Popskull | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

125 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 178
Photo of Thorpe429
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very deep, nutty brown. Not quite the color of Palo Santo, likely more toward the color of DFH Indian Brown.

S: Lots of brown malt going into this one, with a little bit of the wood coming through in the nose. There is some caramel, toffee, hints of wood, brown sugar, and some dried fruits. Overall, a mild sweetness lingers and awaits my lips.

T: Very similar to the smell with a touch more of the wood. The flavor profile is a bit muted at fridge temperature, and everything melds together much better as this one warms up, and it seems to get a little bit sweeter. Also, the bottle of this that I had in September was much better than the bottle some friends and I cracked during the Dark Lord festivities. One more bottle waiting in the cellar.

M: Fairly full bodied especially with the wood flavors becoming more prevalent. The alcohol is there, but definitely not overpowering.

D: Not as drinkable as it could be, but with the Palo aging, I wasn't expecting a bastion of drinkability.

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Photo of jlindros
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this interesting gem in a second good trade with paco1029384756. The more 3F I get the better, and a collaboration with DFH, WOW!

A: Pours a big 2 finger head that rises slowly, and then fades slowly. It has a nice dark chocolate brown color with no light coming through.

N: Some nice dark rich malt aromas. Slight creamy fruits. A little roast and creamy dark chocolate malts. Some dark fruits, some plum juice almost. Some nice light hops as well grace the beer.

T: Starts slightly sweet with lots of creamy dark malts, a good roast quality. Some fruits as well, quite a bit of fruit juice, but nothing specific. Some chocolate malts, almost milk chocolate. A nice light hoppy flavor as well, mostly earthy and fruity hops. I almost want to chew the beer. It has some dark malts, slight cereal, and some barleywine effectual flavors, and a slightly sour mash flavor, almost as if they soured it slightly.

M: THick and juicy, creamy, pretty heavy, decent carbonation.

F: Semi dry on the finish as the sweetness quells a bit. The barleywine like flavors seem to stay a bit, as well as the roast and chocolate flavors. Some bitterness as well, with some spicy earthy hops, finish it nicely. I would almost call this beer a cross between a barleywine, porter, and brown ale, and its great! I would love to get more of this beer, especially to age it.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains maple, chocolate, caramel, roasted malts, nuts a touch of fruit and a bit of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, maple and some chocolate followed by a hearty roasted malt character. There are touches of smokiness and nuts in the background and the balance is pretty good for a somewhat heavy beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, very well-disguised 10.00% ABV kick, very good high-powered representation of style, I was unsure what to expect from this beer and was very pleasantly surprised such an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Popskull (noun): a term coined in the Prohibition era, used to describe really bad or cheap moonshine whiskey that would result in such a hangover that you thought your brain was going to swell up and pop your skull open."

--Urban Dictionary

Roasted pecan brown with black cherry trim. Backlighting proves that the beer is actually dark garnet red and not quite opaque. The coffee milkshake colored crown looks like... a coffee milkshake. The foam is soft and creamy, with just enough stickiness to result in scattered sheets of sudsy lace.

The nose is definitely interesting, but then that's to be expected when Dogfish Head is in the house. This collaborative effort smells like a big brown ale with a generous amount of assorted herbs and spices. Too bad they don't tell us what was used. This one could go in either direction on the palate, depending on the aggressiveness and flavor quality of the botanicals.

Popskull is definitely not over-the-top. It might veer out toward the edges of the brewing envelope, but it doesn't push on those edges at all. That fact makes it more accessible, at least from a flavor standpoint. A limited release beer that probably wasn't distributed more than a few miles from the brewery, and probably cost an arm and a leg, is not accessible in the usual sense of the word.

The flavor is classic American brown... with a botanical twist. Coriander is the only guess I'll make. The spicy pumpernickel and cocoa-coffee character is growing on me with each passing ounce. Hop bitterness easily keeps pace with malt sweetness, resulting in loads of drinkability. Thankfully, herbs and spices remain major accents rather than major players, which means that palate fatigue in the final few ounces won't be an issue.

It's clear that age (9 months or so, as of today) has taken a little something out of the mouthfeel. It still deserves a good score because it makes a remarkable comeback with warming. A lush creaminess has set in at this point and shows signs of improving even more.

On paper at least, Three Floyds Popskull is similar to Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron. The Indiana beer isn't quite as good as the Delaware beer, but it's still delicious. If you like big browns that bring something different to the table, seek this one out. It should still be good through the first half of 2010, if not longer.

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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 mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So I never was able to track down one of these after the release, but thanks to the kindness of Monsone, I am able to type this one today. Twenty Two ounce bottle was served chilled and poured a few too many times into a 6 ounce snifter. Consumed on 1/07/2010.

The pour was about what I expected, nice brown color with a smooth even head of tan hat graced the top of the glass for a good long bit before finally settling down and ringing the inside of the glass with rich, tan foam. Aroma is odd at first, Rich and warming it took on the character of a Belgian dark at first, but then the chocolate like smoothness of the malts kicked and rounded it out very nicely. Hints of vanilla perhaps showing themselves as it starts to warm now, so it had to be time to take the first sip. Warm rush of alcohol hits the tongue and immediately I know this is a monster. Rich warming malts then collide over the tongue, hints of buttery notes dancing around a base filled with chocolate and dark fruit. Really quite deep and full of flavor. Hot though as the abv is not well hidden at all here and it distracts some from the complexity that it could have had. Moving forward though I have to admit I was impressed with the medium body here. Really well done with a rich carbonation that kept it from becoming too light. Still though it really came across quite well, and with a year maybe would mellow enough to become outstanding.

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Photo of billab914
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured dark brown in color, not that far away from black actually. It started with a very thin head and it retreated to the edges of the glass pretty quickly. It left a bit of lacing as I drank it but not much.

The aroma shows some nice milk chocolate, brown sugar and caramel flavors to it. A roasted nutty flavor seems to come through as well. Just a bit of alcohol but not bad at all for the abv.

The taste shows a lot of the milk chocolaty, roasty, almost porter like qualities to it. Some of the nutty, brown sugar, caramel flavors come through and add a good amount of sweetness that lasts through the finish. A bit of a roasty bitterness keeps it from being cloyingly sweet though. Alcohol is barely noticeable which is nice.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a little below average carbonation. Drinkability was good, it had a lot of great flavors to it and was a very easy drinking beer considering the abv. I didn't get the chance to try this fresh but I really enjoyed it aged for a while.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Big thanks to the Central PA group of the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

What's a tasting without a sorta-rare, retired Three Floyds brew? This one pours a very dark garnet-brown topped by a finger of off-tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, dark chocolate, light balsa, and light molasses. The taste does not feel the need to change anything from this recipe. Fair enough, especially considering I enjoy the recipe to begin with. The body is a straight medium, with a rather light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a pretty nice big brown, though things fall just short of great for me. That doesn't mean I wouldn't really like getting my hands on another bottle (I so would), of course...

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Photo of mdfb79
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 08/26/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a dark brown with one inch of off white head.

s - Smells of caramel malts and dark fruits. Also some roasted malts, nuts, and bready malts.

t - Tastes of chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, dark fruit, and bready malts.

m - Medium body and low carbonation; very easy to drink, especially for 10% ABV.

d - A pretty good brown ale. I enjoyed the taste a lot and thought it was very easy to drink. Would like to try again.

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Photo of stakem
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Bomber into a matching FFF teku. The brew appears a very dark brown color with a finger of khaki head. Rising bubbles of carbonation maintain a thin film across the top of the brew. As the cap fades, it leaves some spots of lacing effect on the glass. A swirl revives about a finger back to the surface. When held to the light, the brew shows a brilliant color of ruby clarity through the body.

The aroma is a bit nutty blending with a grainy quality and a suggestion of chocolate covered raisins. There is almost a lactose sort of milky sweetness across the backend of the nose that fades into a faint oxidized touch. As it warms up, a bit more focus on dark fruity aspects emerge (plum, dates, more raisins) but it never smells like it is the listed 10% abv.

The taste pretty much reiterates the aromatics. Chocolate covered raisins, a hint of coffee bitterness blends into almost a milk chocolate sweetness. Some raisins, plums, prunes and dates. Some nutty grain flavoring persists into the aftertaste. Each time I take a sip, there is a hint of fruity alcohol flavoring but it never comes out in a way that suggests it is as strong as the label lists.

This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It is pretty darn easy drinking for 10% but is lacking a bit in character. I am surprised by how linear this brew is. Pretty much just a strong brown ale with not much else to offer. I dont know how I let this much time slip by before opening this, perhaps it was better when fresh?

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, creamy, cocoa/tan head.
Doesn't leave lace on the glass, but dots...

Sweet-ish, malty nose, chocolate & caramel malt, with a decidedly hoppy twist.

Rich and sweet on the tongue, ...very sweet, yummy, but very sweet.

What did they put in this? What are these botanicals? What makes it "Popskull"?
So many questions... where are the answers?
All I know is it's good.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brought this to share at the August Goose Island BA meet-up. Figured I should finally get around to opening a bottle after buying a few at Dark Lord '09. I have had this on-tap, so I know what it tastes like fresh. A hefty pour into a pint-shaped taster glass.

A - Pours with a finger of ecru foam that eventually settles to a thick collar and sparse filmy haze, leaving behind some spotty lace. The body is a dark brown color with hints of red and transparency at the fringes when held to the light.

S - Roasted malt, dark fruits, brown sugar, sarsaparilla, milk chocolate, and very faint wood. Very sweet, with no obvious alcohol.

T - The taste is a little understated - it's not as sweet as the nose, but it's nowhere near as intense in general. There's a little more earthiness and grain character present. It's pleasant, but a bit bland. Clean finish, and thankfully little alcohol flavor.

M - Lip-tingling carbonation that is otherwise soft. Medium-light body that seems woefully inadequate for a 10% beer. Finishes sticky and tooth-coating. No obvious heat.

D - This is surprisingly easy to drink. I was shocked when I went to enter my review and found it to be 10% - was almost certain it was in the 6-8% range. I'd have a bigger pour of this again in the future, although I wish the Palo Santo wood was more present, as it was one of the selling features.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First, I rarely comment on a label but this beer is really cool. Poured into a snifter. Beer is brown and hazy. Minimal head and lacing. Carbonation is moderate to low.

Aroma is overall subdued but I can detect malt and some sweetness in there as well. A slight roast but not coffee character comes up at the end. Smells pretty good.

Beer is pretty sweet. There is some bitterness in the back, some roasty qualities from grains. Finishes nicely and completely. Good mouthfeel, drinkability high.

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Photo of Duff27
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown body, short light beige head that leaves a collar. Nice lacing left behind.

Almost a hazelnut aroma. Slight oxidation on the nose.

Malty sweet, roasty. Potpourri-like concoction of floral notes, but better tasting than that sounds. Low hop profile, again with the "aged" flavor. Well hidden alcohol for 10%abv

Smooth mouthfeel, lower but adequate carbonation.

Everyone enjoyed it. Dont know if you'd want to hang on to Popskull any longer though. Shared with two huge FFF and DFH fans.

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Photo of aasher
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I'd been wanting to try this for a long time. A big thanks to Mayorquimby for hooking me up with this, thanks Scott! This beer pours the darkest of browns with a one finger medium khaki head which quickly dissipated and laced the glass. The aromas are interesting, partially because they aren't very strong. It has a rich but light toffee sweetness with a moderate amount of alcohol. I'd say it has some woody, oaky notes as well. The taste is superb for a brown ale. It features oak, molasses, maybe some light chocolate. I really like it. It drinks exceptionally smooth, I'd assume partially aided by the age, but it's a plus nonetheless! I love this beer and I'm so glad that I was able to try it.

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

Thanks goes out to stonequarrywest for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some chocolate/toffee. The taste is sweet, malty, with chocolate/toffee notes. Nice little vanilla note, with some slight roastyness. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a sipper for sure, very tasty.

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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 JohnGalt1
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ditmier hosted a very nice tasting last weekend and pulled out something I wasn't expecting.. thanks Eric!!

I liked this one a bunch.. continuously poured into my small La Trappe goblet.

Deeep walnut brown... pretty cloudy even on the first pour..

Nose just smells "brown".. mostly everything brown when we think of beer... dark dried fruits.. toffee... cocoa.. alot of stuff going on... and some yeasty fruitiness smack dab all throughout ... seems out of place.

Flavor mirrors the nose with more toasty components.. "woody" is what I'm thinking with the brown malts.. makes me think of nutty English Brown ales.. dried cherries.. more chocolate and American hops show up as it warms.. I'm having a hard time with this one... big and "brown" and seems to be striving for an identity..

"Imperial Brown Ales" are tough for me... there is just too much pushing to the top.

Eric... I appreciate the chance to try this one sorta fresh... but if I get one... It's going away for a bit... Let's see what a year or two does.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Torry for this. Pours nearly black with a small white head.

The aroma is of roasted malt, earthiness, oak, some chocolate, and a little toasted caramel. The flavor is sweet initially, with a low-medium level of bitterness and a strong roasted character. There's just a little coffee in the flavor. The flavor seems to cut off rather abruptly, leaving my palate confused. A low level of alcohol is present.

The beer is medium bodied with low-medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is rather thin and watery.

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Photo of weeare138
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TomDecapolis for sharing...
Appears a dark brown with a chestnut hue when held up to the light. The small, off-white head slowly fades into a mild cap.
Smell is of cocoa nibs, nuts, vanilla, molasses, oak, and ripe fruit.
Taste is of oaky wood, citrus, cocoa, vanilla, nougat, and molasses.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, semi-dry, smooth, and digestible.

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Photo of corby112
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle received in a recent trade with GbVDave. Thanks again, man!

Pours a deep dark mahogany color out of the bottle but appears pitch black and completely opaque in the glass with only the slightest hint of mahogany edges when held up to a light source.
One finger light beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring.

Slightly earthy chocolate malt aroma with subtle oaky vanilla, vinous dark fruit and cherry cola notes. The palo santo wood is subtly integrated into the aroma but doesn't overpower the other scents.

Slightly vinous, chewy medium body with lots of silky dark malt, tart dark fruit and subtle earthy oak character. Lots of sweet dark chocolate, caramel, toffee and vinous dark fruit. Hints of grape and sour black cherry adds a sweet balance to the dark malts and although the wood presence is subtle there is a prominent vanilla character that smooths things out nicely. The high ABV is excellently masked, making this beer kind of dangerous. Complex and fairly quaffable. I'm glad I got a chance to try it.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep brown with a small dirty white head. Nose is milk chocolate, wood, palo santo wood. Taste is nice and nutty, milk chocolate, palo santo wood, booze but very light, toffee. Mouthfeel is lighter than I thought it would be, sweet milk chocolate, dry, wood. Drinkability os very good and very tasty.

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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 rodbeermunch
3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Brown and red towards the edge, beige head under half an inch. Retaining the head or providing the lace didn't go so well for this one. Aroma was sweet, syrup, woody, spice rack, vanilla.

Taste was kind of a mess. A hodgepodge beer, throw a bunch of shit in that doesn't jive, brown malt, spice rack, cardamom, cumin, coriander, whatever. Too boozy. Too much dark fruit. Has the DFH hallmarks all over it.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at the infamous DLD for $12 a bottle.
Like the artwork.

Pours a nice rim of light tan head that recedes to nothing. Cola brown with tight bubbles by the inside wall of the glass. The aroma has an earthy yet faitly funky herbal note with a roasted, sweet malt backbone. The roasted character transfer to the front of the palate and maintains as the backbone of flavor throughout. The middle brings some herbal spice, but then finishes with chcolatey and roasted coffee beans, mixed with funky baked wood. Very complex brown ale. Can't taste the 10% abv, very well integrated to give this smooth, complex mouthfeel a lovely warmth. Very slow, but there.

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Popskull from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.02 out of 5 based on 178 ratings.
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