Black Sun Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Black Sun StoutBlack Sun Stout

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

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
6.5% ABV, 50 IBUs - Black Sun has a nose of coffee, roasted malts and piney hops. This medium bodied stout has a broad depth of maltiness and a clean dry finish. December release.

Added by zerk on 12-16-2002

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Reviews: 464 | Ratings: 838
Photo of badbeer
4.95/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured deep black color with a brown head that left excellant lacing. Smell is incredible, piney hops come right through, paired with some roastiness and cocoa. I wouldn't normally expect so much hoppyness in a dry stout, but it paired wonderfully. Taste of coffee and cocoa paired with a wonderful piney hoppyness. Mouthfeel had medium carbonation and medium body, very dry finish. I love this, and even with the steep price tag, I will and did pick up more. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
4.92/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The lacing is thick and holds very well, the colour of the head is 2mm from the top of the beer and the the color is almost jet black, but has a very thin line of brown at the edges when held up to the light.

The smell has a lot of hops, the seemingly are mixed: cascade and some other hops. I get a good balance of dark roasted malts that are present and they're slightly molasess in flavor that compliments the body nicely with a mellow flavor.

The tart coffee malts are the main body that goes great with the hops that are very strong, but still compliments the body nicely with a mellow flavor.

The mouthfeel is slightly carbonated, but smooth and slightly watery.

I gave it a 5, nuff said.

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Photo of westweasel
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber bottle that was stored in the fridge for about 6 months.

The beer poured out a mysterious, jet-black with about 1/4 inch of khaki-tan foam head. Lots of belgian lace all along the glass. The aroma is wonderful - coffee and vanilla dominate, some chocolate in there too.

The taste is excellent. Strong roasted malt flavors - definitely coffee, vanilla, carmel, and chocolate. This beer is an excellent balance of sweet and roasted malt flavors and notable hop bitterness - but the bitterness is not overpowering.
The mouthfeel is very full and creamy. It has a nice dry, slightly bitter finish.

The drinkability of this beer is very high. With the subdued bitterness, this won't
overpower the taste buds. You can easily enjoy a couple of pints, but the beer
is filling. If you were to pair this with food, I think that it would go well with a
chocolate raspberry dessert.

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Photo of mynie
4.82/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Deep dark blackness like an overused metaphor involving a troubled soul. Opaqueness breaks only at the very bottom of the glass, only when held against a lamp. Sorry--I got tough standards when it comes to stout pours. No five for you!

The scent, however, is stout dry stout perfection. HOPS. Roasted malt. Dear god this is bittersweet tastiness all perfectly cooked and melted down.

Taste transfers over. Yummy yum yum. Big warm hops welcome you in, very dry, backed up by almost-as-strong dry, roasted bitter stout malts. These give way to a very smoky middle, but it's a unique smoke. Not meaty or chessy. It tastes like stout grains being smoked. Wonderful. All this ends on an inexplicably sweet malt finish.

This is one of my very favorite beers. I'm sorry, Rogue, but 3 Floyds is now my favorite brewery. Grab this if you can find it. It makes life worth living.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Looks like an espresso in a snifter. When I first smelled this beer I said "oh wow" out loud to myself. Wonderful coffee aromas but there's a fruitiness that really sets this beer apart from other Irish Dry Stouts or any other stout for what it's worth. The aroma is only an appatizer for the flavor. How did they make such a wonderfully complex beer and make it so sessionable at the same time? Lot's of roasted flavors, coffee, caramel much like other stouts but only better. But what really makes this beer special is the hops. I don't understand how 3 Floyds seems to make the perfect hoppy beer everytime. They manage to pack lot's of hoppy flavor in their beers without making it a hop bomb. This beer is no exception to the 3 Floyds rule. The mouthfeel is wonderful and somehow is both creamy and dry. This is a fantastic beer and it's thin enough in body and 5% abv to make it the perfect session ale. Thanks to Brewcrew76 for this beer.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.79/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is without a doubt the most full flavored and complex Irish Dry Stout I've tried. I'm very impressed. Three Floyds has once again shown me why they are my favorite brewery. Thanks to jpm30 for the bottle.

Pours to a jet black color with a nice chocolatey head. Nice curtainy lace. Looks good.

The smell is amazingly hoppy. Something I've never been able to smell in other dry stouts. Probably not exactly "to style," but phenomenal nonetheless. Also some rich chocolatey malt and a light smoke. Reminds me of a well rounded Gonzo Porter from Flying Dog.

The taste is a nice continuation of the nose. Very smooth. Even though it is very hoppy, it doesn't overpower the rich malty goodness of the stout. If it were any less dry, I would consider this a 5.25% Imperial Stout.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. Awesome. Very insanely drinkable. I've been craving a beer with such a massive ass kicking flavor without the massive ass kicking alcohol buzz. Thanks again Three Floyds and jpm30.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - nice black pour, conservative but attractive mocha cover. A wavy line of hills and valley lacing at the top of the glass, mostly clean below that.

Aroma - rather feisty bouquet of hops for an irish dry. A nice supporting malt roastiness, I like. Smells like a dark IPA rather than an Irish dry though.

Taste - very similar to the aroma. The floral hops make a bigger impression with their citrusy footprint, but the malt roast that follows is delicious in its own right. Not all that different from the Alpha Klaus, perhaps a lighter profile in general. A decent drying bite on the swallow and into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - lightly crisp, the smoothness is more noticeable, adding to a good stoutly body,if that's a word...

Drinkability - excellent brew, one of the finest I've had this holiday season. Here's to FFF's return to the area!
4/3/06 (4.20)
Appearance - pours an opaque black with a thin mocha head. Not much retention but some good lacing. 4.0
Aroma - all Amarillo hops at first, some smoky espresso comes through as it settles. Great blend. 5.0
Taste - sweet Amarillo hops followed by smoky charcoal flavor. Some burnt espresso eventually is picked up, mixing with the citrusy hop flavor. The long finish includes bitter chocolate, roasted coffee, and more smokiness.4.0
Mouthfeel - sturdy, well-carbonated, right on the money. 5.0
Drinkability - a little too smoky for my tastes, but an enjoyable beer.3.0

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


A - Pours a solid black , black as midnight, with a thin tan head.

S - Strong roasted malt (almost burnt but in a good way), black coffee, bitter hops with a hint of citrus.

T - Fresh roasted coffee (reminds me of walking past the coffee grinder at an upscale grocery store), dark chocolate, hints of citrus hops.

M - Medium bodied and creamy with light carbonation. Could be just a bit heavier.

D - One of the best stouts I have ever had. At 5.25% ABV could be an everyday drinkerif it wasn't so pricey.

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Photo of litheum94
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle. No dates.

Onyx body with a one finger, tan head that settles out to a thin cover.

Tons of smoke on the nose, like a summer BBQ. Some chocolate and hop aromas. Woody.

Meaty, charred, BBQ flavors. Kind of briney. Dark, bitter chocolate. Pine hops on the finish, with a grapefruit twinge. Succulent, yet dry, on the finish.

This is a dry Irish stout? Wow. I wish they all tasted like this. I wouldn't say this is brewed to style, but this beer is absolutely wonderful. I love all the smoke it has. One of my favorite stouts, no matter what style.

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Photo of markman
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Three Floyds Black Sun Stout:

Wow, a treat for the eyes and nose right out of the gate…shades of things to come? Nose is big dark chocolate and roasted malt. This eyeful of ebony is truly a thing to behold. Very complex on the pallet…a mélange of dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and hops provide a singularly seamless torrent of flavors. An excellent stout…I don’t know why, but I’m a little surprised at this offering from FFF. I guess I tend to think of big aggressive beers when I think of FFF…think again, this one is flavorful and about as drinkable as they come. I’ll buy a but-load next time in the Biggest Little.


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Photo of tapman
4.74/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this one last on New Year's Eve at a friends house and decided to just sit back and experience it without reviewing on notes. Now, however, its back to business and I'm very excited.

Pours opaque black with a rich, creamy espresso foam head that is retained decently enough throughout the brew. I miss a little cascading carbonation with this one. I know one shouldn't expect a Guinness pour without a nitro-widget, but I've seen stouts that come very close without artificial help.

Mmmm... coffee, caramel, a little chocolate, non-astringent roasted barley. Hops are English smelling, sweet and bready, perhaps with some earthier or spicier American hops (opposed to grassy Cascade-type ones). This brew smells so fresh. It honestly smells like stouts I make before bottling. That's what does it for me, familiar flavors that are just brighter than the average brew of this style. D-licious...maybe even E-licious...and this is just the aroma. Fresher than any beer I've ever smelled.

All of the above, but with more chocolate, baker's, dark, and a hint of milk. Hops also come out more. Challenger, or Pearle perhaps? Either way (or neither way as the case may be) spicy and earthy and compliment the darker malts balancing them very well. Once again, it tastes so fresh that I just can't get over it, or enough of it. I'm not really getting the fruit as the label suggests, perhaps a cherry tartness without the cherry flavor, which if your a homebrewer who has used cherries or raspberries from a can will know what I'm talking about. Still, quite excellent.

Mouth is reasonable. Smooth, satisfying, refreshing, not too thick or too anything. I don't even want it to be thicker, this is perfect for the style (if you don't use the nitro).

If I found this at a bar, there would be none others as far as I'm concerned. Take 5 Guiness, boil them down to its essence, do the same to 5 Beamishes and 5Murphys', and then bottle them, and you may get close to this one. Highly drinkable and fantastic!

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Photo of adamette
4.74/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Live review. Poured from the 22 oz. bomber that I bought months ago at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor for $8.99 into a clean, clear glass.

A Very black body but when held up in front of direct light the edges feature a dark mahogany color. 2 inch head takes its time receeding to a ½ inch layer with good lacing on the inside of the glass. Fine look. 3.5

S Dark roast malt but also a great dark chocolate smell as well. Really intriguing smell which inspires me. 4.5

T World class taste of dark roast malt, chocolate notes which rival some of my favorite stouts. I cannot imagine improving it. These people at Three Floyds really know what they are doing! 5.0

M There is a smoothness that is not common in Stouts. Really the mouthfeel is exceptional and makes the beer. Bravo! 4.5

D/O Drinkability is great with the welcomed smoothness, interesting tastes. Overall this is a world class Stout. 5.0

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.67/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Definitely not what I expected on first whiff. On pouring it smelled like it just opened a bag of fresh hops. Not that citrusy/piney IPA hop smell, but just fresh hops. There isn't much else in the mild aroma; possibly a bit burnt toast, but that's about it. Poured a small, dense, chestnut colored head that fades slowly leaving some nice lace. Pitch black beer allows a few ruby rays to escape. The interesting hoppyness carries over into the flavor balancing out the cocoa, coffee, and dark malt flavors. I don't know the hop variety, but I definitely like this one. I'd say it's an American Dry Stout, and pass me another.

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Photo of battlekow
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Comparing this directly to 3F's Alpha Klaus Porter, as they're fairly similar and I wanted to get a feel for the subtle differences.

Black Sun's head is just a bit darker, but the bodies of both beers are equally impenetrable. Black Sun smells and tastes more one-dimensionally hoppy than Alpha Klaus; it has some roastedness and cocoa, but they're relatively toned down, though this is to style. In short, I really like the way the beer smells and tastes, but it's one-and-done hops, while Alpha Klaus has a bit more body to it. Alpha Klaus can't touch Black Sun on the mouthfeel though, as 3F really nailed the creamy dry stout texture well.

Personally, I think I prefer the Alpha Klaus, but only by a hair's breadth. My friend murrayswine likes his beers to be hoppy and unbalanced, and so prefers the Black Sun. Either way, though, you can't really go wrong. Two damn fine beers.

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Photo of sleazo
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours a jet black, opague, zero light getting through this black hole. A lucious foamy coffee coloured head starts out at about three fingers and settles into a nice dense cap. Beautiful to look at.

S_Smells like chicory coffee. A good vegetable hoppiness is evident as well. Very strong aroma.

T_The first thing that grabs the tastebuds is a mellow sweetness. Chocolate and coffee notes abound as is typical in stouts. There is a sort of smokey, charred ash thing going on too which I surprisingly like. Vague hoppiness creeps out in the end which puts a nice bitter end note.

M-Thick, creamy full bodied yet with a fairly tight stream of carbonation.

D_This is one tasty and delicious brew. It has a quality to it that screams Three Floyds and that does not dissapoint. Well rounded and delicious. Not sure if this really falls into the Dry Irish Stout category though.

Thanks to UncleJedi for the opportunity to try this sucker.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark, opaque, an inch or so of chocolatey head (head only came with a vigorous pour). Laces nicely. Looks like a quality stout to me.

S- Hoppy, wow. Wasn't expecting that much hop--citrusy, floral. Finishes with a hint of coffee/chocolate.

T- Wow... tastes great. Starts with piney and citrusy hops, moves to roasty and chocolatey malts, some coffee, finishes a little sweet with some fruit and caramel. Not as dry as some suggest (IMO), but finishes a little dry. There's a lot there.

M- More carbonated than most, but it's got a lot of body to it too. Nice.

D- Goes down great. Wish it were cheaper, I'd get this all the time.

Overall very well balanced and enjoyable. Definitely recommended, although it won't be what you expect.

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Photo of tburus
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Super dark liquid with a half finger tan head. Black hole might also be an appropriate name after seeing just how dark this beers is. Lace stayed around throughout the session.

Smell: Super complex. Initially pick up caramel and roasted malt, maybe a little hoppiness. Then as it warms a touch of coffee and yeast appear as well.

Taste: This is what I was looking for! Nice roasted malt flavor without being too bitter or watered down like another famous Irish stout can be. I've heard the phrase "like bread in a glass" used before and I think this is the most applicable brew I have ever had for that description.

Mouthfeel: Nice lingering malty bitterness with a note of coffee. Enjoyable and not something I am wanting to cover up between drinks.

Drinkability: This bomber was gone before I even knew it. This beer was incredibly drinkable, but more than that was a pleasure to drink. Nice because it didn't try to do too much by cranking up the ABV, just let the beer style speak for itself. The only downside is that I have no idea why this beer cost so much? I would love to keep it in supply all the time, but the cost is prohibitive of that in my opinion.

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Photo of nickfl
4.61/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with almost no foam just a tiny ring clinging to the wall of the glass, less than I have seen on any other beer (including really high alcohol brews from Dogfish and Avery). Dark, opaque black; I could see just a hint of brown when I was pouring it.

S - Coffee, caramel, toffee, and a roasty, charcoal like smell. Dark fruit: Rasins, tangarenes, dates, plums. Some cinnamon and oddly coconut, I think. There are hops there, but they blend in very well with the other smells. I know the label says 5%, but I swear I can smell some alcohol. Spectacular aroma, spicy, perfumey, like incense.

T - Begins smooth and malty (which surprised me), followed by chocolate notes and light, fruity flavor that I have a hard time naming. Finishes with a roasty, lingering bitterness.

M - Quite light and smooth. Really nailed the Irish stout style here.

D - I was very impressed with this beer overall. Hits the style perfectly, tastes great, and the aroma characteristics were stunning. I have only been able to try a couple of 3F beers before, and based on those I expected them to go way too far and crush this style with hops and alcohol, but I was totally wrong. Great, great beer, and at 5.25% easy to take down a few of them.

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Photo of papat444
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to MasterSki for getting me this beer.

Shared with my wife last night with supper (home-made chicken & bean enchiladas).

Poured from a 20oz. bomber.

Appearance: Nice cola-colored body with massive light brown head and a nice cascading effect.

Smell: As i was pouring, aroma was already all around. Dried fruits but the major coffee and cocoa kicks in. Smell a little like fresh-brewed coffee but more roasted than bitter. Some hops in there for good measure.

Taste: Sweet chocolate, very strong taste. Not as roasted as the smell, more on the malt side. A good hop presence near the middle to the end. Coffee in there also. Very good balance between sweet & bitter. Quite harmonious.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth & milky. Rather low carbonation but very good body (medium). Literally wants to stay in my mouth.

Drinkability: Love drinking it. The taste keeps me coming back and i could easily have had the bomber to myself.

Overall: An outstanding and incredibly balanced brew that is way too tasty. 2 in 2 for Three Floyds so far. The hype on them is definitely warranted.

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Photo of SRFeldman79
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured this out of a bomber on a lazy Sunday afternoon and quickly wished I'd had more than one bottle.

The beer pours an opaque dark brown, almost black, with a nice tan head that falls back into the beer eventually. Immediately hit with an aroma of roasted barley and hops, maybe a touch of chocolate and coffee as well. There's definitely a balanced flavor here, of hops, roasted barley, chocolate. The mouthfeel is good, not too bitter, with an aftertaste that mirrors the flavors and aromas. Also an exceptionally drinkable beer. Smooth, velvety stout that you can definitely have a few of; no stout drinker could be satisfied with just one.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.59/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Black Sun Stout pours from the wickedly wonderfully labeled bomber a thick, viscous deep onyx black with a nice quarter inch of foamy dark tan head on top that leaves spots of lacing all over the glass. Aromas of burnt roasted coffee beans entangled with a hefty helping of lovely fresh grapefruity hoppiness that tingles the nose. A touch of smoky, burnt caramel sweetness with some vanilla bean as well. The interplay between the dark, roasty malts and the intense green citric hoppiness is divine. Wow...such an aroma that it's hard to put down the glass.

First sip brings a big, burnt, smoky dark maltiness upfront with notes of charred coffee and chocolate. Big, citrusy grapefruity hops work their way in, but they don't overpower the brew at the same time. A touch of vanilla and some dark fruits show up as the brew ends fairly dry with a nice bitter finish and lingering notes of roasted malt. An incredibly enjoyable hoppy stout that balances itself with an equally hefty maltiness. I sampled this on nitro the other night at the brewpub and the creaminess and drinkability was outstanding. Seek it out if you stop by the brewery.

Mouthfeel is big, nice and chewy with a good amount of carbonation. I find myself working through this one at quite a fast pace. It's just so damn tasty it's hard to put the glass down. I would have no problem drinking this all night long. Very glad to see this one finally bottled in bombers again. This is a must try brew and another winner from the Floyds. Picked this up at the brewpub for $8/bomber.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Man, I absolutely loved this stout. Without a doubt, the hoppiest stout that I've ever had.

Jet black with a small head but some awesome lacing.

Smells hoppy, hoppy, hoppy for a stout. There is an underlying smokiness to it but this is really hoppy for a stout. Wasn't expecting this at all and it's really nice.

Holy cow, this has a wonderful taste to it. Hoppy on the start and fades into a nice smooth maltiness then finishes with a nice hop bitterness. I like the fact that it is a sessionable stout as well. I could drink these one right after the other.

Another incredible brew from FFF. How do these guys do it?

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Photo of ppoitras
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head fades gradually down to an uneven layer of bubbles, with ample brown lacing. Aroma is fresh green hops with a blackstrap bitter malt tinge. Taste is upfront with the piney hops, quickly almost balanced by the hearty dark malts and their totally different bitterness. All flavors linger in the mouth long after the swallow. Mouthfeel and drinkability both superb, so much flavor and only 5.25abv? Excellent!

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Photo of BacklitAvenger
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: A Big Bad Three Floyds Bomber. Poured the whole pint into a pint.25 size stein.

A - I don't know if it was just my shitty pour although I was very carefull in doing so or what, but the head exploded out of the stein. Other than that the foam has good retention, the color of the foam on top of my morning espresso.

S - Roastedness, malts than smell like they're substantially bodied, Maybe a citrus or floral note here or there, see hop flavor at the Taste section.

T - Roastyness, caramel, coacoa, chocolate. These are the dominating keys here. There are additional notes like molasses, toffee, some licorice or vanilla. Roasted malts Round out the drink in the body, carrying it along. At the start a clean sweet vibe, and then for the finale the hops leap onstage like lions in heat. Love me a stout with hops. Cirtrusy, piney, juicy, bitter, even floral. The hops run the gamut. Sweet malty roasty toaty hopped up good! Mmmmm.! Nice dry aftertaste characteristic of most stouts.

M - The mouthfeel is thik. Not Three Floyds Dark Lord think, but more viscous than most oatmel stouts even, although this is listed as an Irish dry...

D - I love it. Could drink this bomber and another after no doubt.

At five something a bomber I'm ona stock up before winter comes to a close

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Photo of aleyeast
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

OK, it's not an irish dry, more likely to be called an American Dry Stout. served in a stone imperial stout goblet out of 22oz bottle

color is black, small tan head
aroma is big hops followed by roast, lovely smell
taste is caramel on the end, aromatic hops are ever present, roast in background
mouthfeel is very drinkable and addictive

I like this beer, but I like most of their beers

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Black Sun Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 838 ratings.
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