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 Bendurgin
4.39/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing your beer Andy! Poured into a tulip. The body is very dark brown, borderline black with a thin light tan head that doesn't leave much for lace. The aroma is right up front with chocolate, and a bit of toffee sweetness. Behind all that is aromas of wood, charred coffee, brown sugar and just a bit of bitter nuttiness. The taste is slightly bitter with espresso finish and chocolate body. Wood and nuttiness coat the pallet with rich toffee undertones. This is honestly the best brown ale I've ever had. The mouthfeel is pretty much as expected. Nice carbonation, a bit of a heavy body and flavors that linger on the pallet. The drinkability is great, a bit heavy but the knock out flavors make this tough to put down.

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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 jrallen34
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle thanks to Alex, into a Bells glass...First off, that is one cool as bottle, one of the best labels ever...Pours a light brown color, light tan head, nothing of note...The aroma is only the lighter side, roasty nuts and alcohol are about all I get. The taste is not good, maybe this was better fresh, but the 10% just shines through, a very harsh woody beer, lack of nuttiness that I want in a brown.

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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 iuhophead87
3.3/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So I've let this beer age over a year (16 months) and hope it is better the second time around!

Pour from a chilled bomber to my favorite New Belgium tulip glass.

A- The beer looks like an ordinary brown ale with an off white head. The head stays longer than most and leaves small dots on the side of the glass. Not quiet lacing, but
residue is still on the glass.
S- The first smell gives me roasty malt and wood that would come from a classic brown ale. On further review an unidentified spice fills the nose. I can't put my finger on it, but the spice plus the hops separate Popskull from the ordinary brown. A sour wild-ale yeast funk is also there.
T- A little tart and funky at first. I thought this beer had aged badly and was a drain pour. I let the beer warm a little and the flavor became more intriguing. If you can get passed the funk you can taste chocolate, dark malt, and molasses.
M- Very thin and not much carbonation. I think that is from the 16 months. Leaves the mouth a little dry, but the second sip does not put out the dry feeling.
D-An average sipping beer. I could not drink this beer all of the time. In fact I am glad that I only had two bottles of this concoction. I was expecting more from Dogfish Head and Three Floyds. His beer is a let-down for sure. I like both breweries, but this beer is a let down. I hope these two collaborate again and produce something more on the hoppy IPA side!

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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 Lukafer
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to Laddie for this one, reviewed from notes:

Pours a very dark brown, finger worth of tan head that stays, smells of caramel malts, nutty and slightly boozey, which is a surprise as this beer was released a year ago. Taste is caramel malts, some yeast and alcohol at the finish, very good. Mouthfeel is sticky sweet, a bit thin but decent overall. Drinkability is good, I could definitely drink a few of these!

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. Review from written notes.

A: Color is a dark brown fading to amber along the edges. Poured with a small light tan head than faded quickly, leaving some faint lacing.

S: On first smell, getting some faintly sour dark fruits, raisins, prunes, cherries. Very earthy and musty with some woody notes. Some chocolate and lightly roasted malts give the smell some backbone.

T: Leads off with more tart dark fruits. Continues to be quite earthy with a stronger wood presence. Cocoa with some faint cinnamon notes show up mid taste. Finish has a slight warmth to it.

M: Medium body with medium to high carbonation.

D: This was an interesting beer, but not necessarily something I would hunt out again. The wood imparted some flavors to the beer that weren't bad and seemed to become more tolerable throughout the tasting, but also not great.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle tried 31 Dec 2009. Thanks to P for this one!

Poured in a 0.4 L Kur Pils snifter. Smallish brown head. Well carbonated. Very dark brown, opaque. Smells of sweet dried fruits, plums, peaches. Also some chocolate and light coffee roastiness. Boozy, warming and roasty. Dark chocolate, bittersweet. Woodsy leather finish and herby rosemary aftertaste. Fizzy body.

Nice collaboration.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane for bringing this one back for me from DLD '09. Uncapped and poured into my trusty tulip glass. The ale appears a dark chestnut color with barely a finger of quickly disappearing tan foam. Nose and flavors consist of caramel, brown sugar, milk chocolate, chocolate cake, sweet raisin, earthy hops, a bit of sour coffee, wood, molasses. Medium to full bodied with ample carbonation and a noticeably mild alcohol burn in the finish. Thanks again D!

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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 emmasdad
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Very nice dark brown color, with ruby red highlights and a suggestion of dirty white head. A little bit of funk in the nose, along with brown sugar, caramel and toffee. I immediately feel a nice bite of carbonation, along with rich milk chocolate, molasses and oak. Not as enjoyable as the Palo Santo, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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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 srandycarter
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - As expected, medium to dark brown, not much head nor lace. Only few suds on surface.

S - Nice waft of chocolate chip cookies. Powdery cocoa underneath.

T - Chocolate milk, slight heat, but not as near as ABV would indicate. Nice malty center.

M - Creamy, thick, good carb and good coating. Finishes pretty neutral.

D - For the style and the ABV, pretty darned "Give me another".

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Photo of Gtreid
3.11/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. Bomber, shared by urwitdave. Poured into a cigar city snifter.

A: Looks pretty impressive. Rich, deep brown color, with mahogany highlights. A quarter of slightly tan, white head appears, recedes to a thick rim and leaves some streaky lace.

A: Smells of sweet chocolate and roasted malts. Some fruity sugars, and wood also play through. Earthy, but I think this is more from the wood than the hops. Infact ,there is not much hop profile at all here. I also get a little sour dried fruit, cherries I think.

T: Surprisingly tart up front, followed by a nice sweet malt profile. Notes of raisin, dark chocolate, and molasses. Again not much hop profile here, the earthiness is definitely coming from the wood. I think this one may be a little past it's prime.

M: Thin for the style. This one needs a little more umph. High carbonation, medium body.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is not all that good for me. The chocolate doesn't meld very well with the tartness of the brew. Overall, I was not very impressed by this. It looked great, but was unfortunately all down hill from there. I would have liked to try this fresh to see if it would've made a difference. Skal.

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Photo of illidurit
3.42/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark clear brown color with a brownish-beige head. Big woody aroma, bringing to mind cedar, with coffee, dark fruit, and cocoa accents. Flavor is raisiny and chocolatey with a firm woodiness. DFH makes a big deal out of how exotic this Palo Santo wood is but you know what? It tastes like popsicle sticks. I guess they semi-acknowledge this with a beer called "popskull" (too close "popsicle" to be a coincidence) but I don't find it very compelling in the flavor profile. I don't want to be reminded of finishing a popsicle and then boredly gnawing at the stick like a rodent, as we all did when we were kids. Short, light finish. Not terribly impressed.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A deep, dark brown bordering on black. The splotchy, mocha head has some decent retention.

S- Smells of cocoa powder, malted milk powder, coffee, anise, and the beginnings of a nice aged quality. Very intriguing.

T- Sweet coffee, anise, cocoa powder, and a warming alcohol presence. The hops have faded a bit, but this is turning into something else.

M- The carbonation makes this very creamy. Maybe a bit on the thin side, but for the ABV and style, this is not a problem.

D- A unique, tasty brown ale. Once I became acclimatized to the beer, the alcohol presence diminishes.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a slightly murky dark brown color. A pretty nice head, not a whole lot of retention and leaves some nice layered lacing.

S- Smells of molasses and dark chocolate. A nice bread note is in there as well. Some herbal hops as well.

T- Loads of molasses and chocolate up front, not too sweet. The middle boasts some bread and some lingering bitter chocolate. The finish has some grassy hops with some chocolate and a little bit of coffee.

M- Dry, well carbonated, crisp, medium bodied.

D- I really enjoyed this one for sure. I hope this one comes back around sometime.

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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 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 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 JoeyBeerBelly
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this brew from tburkhart for winning SNF Squares Week 13, Thanks Tim!

22oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

Very dark brown, almost black except for some red highlights. Thin off-white head that got even thinner. Left a few spots of lacing.
Aroma is chocolate malt, dark fruits and molases sweetness.
Taste is all that the smell is with just the slightest hint of bitterness before a warm, sweet finish.
Medium bodied, smooth and it went down pretty easy.

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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 skinny0ne
4.72/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A joint brew by Dogfish Head of Delaware and 3 Floyd's in Indiana. They've combined for a special "braun" ale that's aged on pala santo wood with botanicals.

The brew is a very dark brown with almost no light through it. On top is a thick, creamy, and chocolate head. It leaves a bit of lacing, but not much. The aroma is fully chocolate and roasted coffee. The carbonation sizzles on the tongue. A good amount of roasted black coffee and chocolate come through. A bit of caramel as well. It tastes "spiced" although I can't pinpoint anything specific. In the back is a moderate amount of alcohol although the label doesn't indicate it's strength. It leaves a good bit of flavor in the finish.

Overall, even with a lot of flavors, it doesn't overpower. An excellent brown ale worthy of the collaboration between the breweries.

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

22oz. bomber procured at the FFF brewpub. Enjoyed on 1/1/10.

A - Poured a very deep onyx-colored, stout-like body with a slim beige head that settled into a patchy film and bubbly ring of retention, leaving behind thin strands of lace.

S - Slight smokey and woody notes up front, followed by a hint of meatiness and soy sauce tang, then slight licorice and chocolate notes. Extremely complex nose for a brown ale. Coffee notes even become apparent after the liquid warmed up a bit, as well as leafy, earthy hops.

T - FFF and DFH seem to have a penchant for wood, because Popskull is chock-full of it. While the wood is at the forefront, there's plenty more happening around the periphery, including mild smoke, licorice, chocolate and coffee. Finishes with an earthy hop character and a hint of medicinal herbs amidst moderate alcohol heat.

M - Medium bodied with subtle carbonation and a pretty creamy, robust texture. Moderate alcohol notes warm up the palate a bit. Finish is on the dry, bitter side with a hint of astringency on the palate.

D - Popskull is one of the better collaboration beers I've had. This is a complex brown ale that actually feels more like a porter or stout, and there's plenty to keep you interested until the last drop.

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