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 bigfnjoe
1.89/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured from a bomber into a perfect pint

A- pours jet black with a one and a half finger tan colored head. Head sticks around for awhile, lacing is awesome.

S- smells almost perfumey...a little weird for a stout. Maybe some pine, and maybe a little almost smells infected? Not really sure, but it's not the most typical smell for a stout

T- oh dear god, it doesn't taste like a stout AT ALL. Very the point where I'm not sure if I can drink this. It tastes like someone sprayed something in my mouth, and this is coming from someone who loves IPAs. Infection?

M- can't get past the flavor...gross

D- I'm gagging with each sip. Drain pour. Hugely disappointing

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Photo of biglite351
2.17/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pitch black with a rootbeer like head

S - Old shoe leather, malt and rotting fruit

T - Roasted malts, dark fruit, slight sour hint and leather

M - to the thinner side. Slight tingle on sides of tongue and back of throat

O - better than any "big box' beer but a pass other wise.

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Photo of bkilpatr
2.53/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. 03/17/08

The bottle says "it's not normal" and after opening it I can understand why. Massive hop aromas hit as soon as I pop the cap.

It pours black with huge tan head, almost 4 fingers. I didn't pour that vigorously either. The head stays with it, and leaves good lacing around the glass. Smells mostly of grassy hops, with some chocolate also. Doesn't really smell like a stout to me, with all the hops.

Taste is similar to the smell. Very hoppy with bits of chocolate and roasted coffee. Nothing in the taste really says stout to me - the hops way overpower the malts. Very dry and bitter. Full bodied with medium carbonation. I couldn't drink more than one of these if I wanted to - the hoppiness is too much for me (for a stout).

Definitely 'not normal', the oddest Irish stout I've had. Hoppier than I am used to for a stout. I'm not sure I'll be visiting this one again.

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Photo of Cresant
2.58/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a British pint glass. No date on the label, but I have had this bottle over a year. A vigorous pour created two fingers of chocolate malt colored head. The body was solid brown with only the faintest root-beer colored highlights.

Smell was molasses. There was a slight sour rag aroma as well as roof tar and grains.

Taste was mild all around. Lightly tangy and chocolate-like.

Mouthfeel was thin to medium with light carbonation. Very similar to many Irish Dry Stouts. I probably made a mistake cellaring this one. I believed this to be a higher alcohol/heavier stout.

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Photo of KDawg
2.83/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bomber into a pint glass. Pours a straight black color with a foamy head

the hop aromas are a bit odd along with more expected aromas of roasted coffee beans, malts and hot caramel

The flavors were a complete mess. The hops really dominated and left a bitter aftertaste. The feel was pretty good, but it didn't make up for how bad the hop flavor was on this

Very disappointing. The hops completely overpowered the other flavors when tasting it while they were pulled back a bit with the aromas. Not one of the better beers on the day

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Photo of Crosling
2.89/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

You really have to chew the hell out of this beer to get any sort of complex malt character and even then, there is hardly a hint of goodness. It’s outrageously hoppy in both the aroma and flavor. It’s unbalanced for me, way too hoppy and i like hoppy beers. Not enjoyable, but finishable.

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Photo of ChadQuest
2.95/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A year old bottle. I try to let the hops fade in stouts at least a little bit.

light looking body with a head that is about a finger or more, loose and dissipates.
Nose is roast forward with strong hops batting second, hint of coffee in the roast.
Flavors are roasty and dry chocolate for most. hops brighten this up somewhat in a citrus sort of manor.
Mouthfeel is thinner and more carbonated then i prefer for the style.

Decent beer, but out of my price range for what it is, but maybe there just isn't enough going on besides the hops. When i age other hoppy beers like Expo or Yeti they turn out great, this one, not so much.

3/c = Average

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Photo of Oxymoron
2.96/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Soundgarden was here? Pours a midnight shade of black. Some red hues around the edge. A good pour left a good sized light tan head. Ok retention but limited lacing.

The nose has a nice malt and a hoppy aroma, a bit odd. To start the malt has a nice chocolate vs roast battle going on. At first there is a nice dark chocolate noses but if you swirl it the roast comes out more. As it warms the roast is more prominent as well. There is a floral and citrus hop note that really comes out as well. Distracts from the malt a bit and really doesn't fit.

The taste has the same problem with the hops but not as bad as the nose. The malt comes out more with a more chocolate note with some astringency in the back end. There is a lactic quality that is similar to oats. Some citrus notes that distract in the finish. Somewhat hides some oxidation and phenolic notes. The aftertaste is bit mixed/muddled.

The body is moderate. Would have liked a much drier finish and crispness for style. Overall the beer is not bad but the hop is a bit much and some off notes in the nose and taste really distract.

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Photo of ncvbc
2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This's not normal. This beer isn't either. Quite the interesting take on an Irish Dry

Pours nearly inky black. Good light tan head and some sticky lacing on the glass. Smell is pretty good but odd. A little roasted coffee up front. Light cherry mixed with big vanilla scents. I keep thinking I smell coconut. It reminds me of Malibu rum or suntan lotion...I don't know. Rich chocolate in there too with a hint of hop presence. Sweet taste at first, followed by some roast and then bitter finish from the hops. The hops aren't so up front at first but they get stronger the more of this I drink and come through more in the smell also. Despite this, the mouthfeel is solid and fairly creamy with a nice dry finish. I don't know what it is about this one, but I'm not really liking it. Struggled through the bomber. Doesn't remind me much of what it should. Lots of flavor but it's not really right or in check. Seems true to the FFF style of brews, though. Assertive with the hops and definitely an interesting take. Not at all what I expected.

Thanks to lightindarkness for the chance to try this

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Photo of coldmeat23
2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Pours black, like it should with that name. A little more than a finger of fizzy, loose, brown foam sits on top. This looks like black soda pop, seriously. The bubbles are clinging to the inside of the glass. The head dissipates fairly quickly and doesn't even leave a ring behind. There is no lacing, but there is a light oiliness on the sides of the glass.

The first scent that I get is hops. I expect this from 3Floyds, but I don't expect it from a stout, so I'm a little torn, as to whether I like it or not. There is a big, dark roasted malt presence behind it. The grapefruit and pine needles are really throwing me off.

The big dark, roasty malts are out front. There are some very minor notes of vanilla and toasted caramel coming through, but they get crushed by the bitter hops finish. The finish is dry and somewhat like roasted pine needles.

Medium-bodied and overly carbonated are not a good combination to have, especially in a stout.

No more for me, thanks. I do NOT like big hops notes in my stouts. If I had anymore, I'd give them away. It's a well-made beer, but it's not for me.

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Photo of jakester
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought this as a single at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. I drank it in a goblet.

Pours an inky jet black with a 1/2 finger head of brown foam. The head falls to tiny spots and a ring, with minimal lacing.

The aroma is really different. Strong chocolate and coffee yes, but strong vanilla as well. Dark dried fruits, (really dark). Hop aroma is very piney/floral. Not real sure this is going to work.

Flavor is coffee and chocolate, with strong vanilla. Hop flavor is very piney. I have never tasted a beer like this. Hop bitterness is high. Dark fruits like prunes, raisins and cherries. There is an odd flavor here I'm not sure I like. Aftertaste is black coffee and pine needles.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a very soft carbonation, bordering on watery. Coffee and hop combination are slightly puckering. Dark malts and hops feel oily on the tongue. Finish dries out nicely.

I usually love everything from 3 F's, but this just doesn't work for me. I think this choice of chocolate, coffee, and piney flavoring hops isn't a good combination. Something is really odd in this beer. I probably would not get it again.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mild hops, but let's be real, this is a malt bomb. Big, chewy thick, black with no head. Nose was very mild - really couldnt get anything out of it, which is somehwat how i found hte taste as well. A little bit of licorice and maybe some cream sensation (oatmeal perhaps?) but there is very little to this beer.

Not at all what I expect from Three Floyds. Just no character whatsoever.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into cervoise.

A - Pours a dark brown with lighter brown edging. Small, light brown head which left little lacing

S - Lots of piney, grassy hops on the nose. Accompanied by some light chocolate roast malts and toffee

T - The light roastiness of the coffee and chocolate on the nose were very faint in the taste and quite watered down. The pine grass hops were present at the front. A weak oatmeal like flavour on the back palate.

M - Thin, slightly dry

O - Not very impressed with this "stout". It was almost like a borderline black IPA. Weak flavour characteristics turned this beer into a confusing drinking experience...

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.14/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I never saw this stuff before today, and just had to try it. I've liked just about everything I've tried in the past from Three Floyds. But this stuff wasn't at all what was advertised on the bottle. It says there is coffee and cocoa, cherries and so on. Bullsh1t, all I can say for sure is that there were lots of hops involved. The trademark hops they use in Alpha Klaus. In fact I'd swear this stuff WAS Alpha Klaus if I didn't see the bottle.

Very disappointed, I paid $8.99 for the bottle and I want my money back.

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Photo of brystmar
3.16/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big fan of Three Floyds, but not the biggest fan of this particular brew. This is my second bottle (thanks funkyaudio!) -- the first was a soapy mess and utterly undrinkable. Happy to report this one is better, yet still unimpressive.

Coffee, roasty malts, and the obligatory FFF hops are pleasant in the nose, but a touch of soapiness makes me wary. Flavor profile follows suit initially with tasty stout flavors and a bone-dry finish. Hoppy bitterness lingers in my throat but fades to a soapy aftertaste. Would love to try a super fresh bottle, though I'm still unsure it would change things enough to matter.

Still <3 FFF, but won't be trading for this one again.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.2/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


2007 vintage opened by Paul.

A: Dark brown bordering on black with a small creamy dark brown head.

S: Molasses, anise, dark and milk chocolate, upper moderate roast. No evident alcohol.  Dash of vanilla. On the whole, a restrained aroma.

T: Somewhat muted flavor. Dark chocolate, molasses, anise...light alcohol. 

M: Creamy. Full body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: An okay beer, probably was better earlier on in its life.

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Photo of jegross2
3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the Black Sun Stout, an Irish Dry Stout from Three Floyds Brewing Company.
Score: 80

December 2011 vintage bottle served in an oversized brandy snifter and enjoyed on 01/22/12.

Appearance: Pours a dark black/brown color with a finger of tan head that settles into a thin film of head atop the glass. Pretty solid lacing. Totally opaque with light caramel/brown highlights atop the glass. 4/5

Smell: Sweet chocolate, roasted malts, and a little creamer. Loads of citrus hoppiness towards the back end of the aroma. Normally citrus would seem out of place, but Three Floyds is the champion of putting citrus and hops in every beer. 3.5/5

Taste: First impression is that this is a very milky/creamy citrus-loaded stout. I prominently detect grapefruit, pine, and orange hoppiness. Even for Three Floyds, I am surprised at how much citrus is in the flavor of this style of beer. Behind the citrus are nuances of smooth chocolate, light amounts of coffee and some roasted malts. The hops characteristics also have an earthy quality to them. Tastes a lot like an over-hopped (over IPA blended) black and tan. Very un-stout like. 3/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied and on the lower end of medium carbonation. Finish is slightly bitter, citrusy and a bit savory. Mouthfeel is very milky. 2.5/5

Overall: While Black Sun Stout is not a bad beer, it is not one that I can say I really enjoyed. Innovate beers do not have to fit the style, but this honestly just tastes like a super hopped Guinness. Maybe if it was billed as a black and tan my reception of the beer would be different.

Recommendation: This is a beer you can safely skip on your beer journey, but it's certainly drinkable and not bad.

Pairings: Sea salt bagel chips.

Cost: $9.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks to me like a nice thick stout, poured into a pint glass, with a dark brown head, doesn't last too long, some nice spotty lacing. The aroma is a hoppy version of stoutdom to be sure, but definitely has the malty balls to back it up, nice chocolate tones.

The taste is pretty nice, good roasted malts and chocolate, awfully bitter, can feel the hops coming through, but the thinner body fails on this beer, and then it dries up too much. And thats where it fails me. I was hoping for a bit more out of this beer, oh well.

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Photo of JamesS
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is the hoppiest stout I have ever had. Honestly, as a stout, it doesn't follow the style very well, but although I will never get this again, if you're a hop head who wants to try a stout, this may be the beer for you.

Pours a nice dark, opaque color with good head and good lacing. It has a nice burnt grain taste, although there is a distinctive floral/hoppy aroma with it. It also has a decent stout taste, which again is almost overcome by the hops. It does go down smooth.

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Photo of HimerMan
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber, served in my Murphy's pint glass, many thanks to weare138 for the trade.

Poured a nice black, perfect stout quality, with a medium coffee 1 finger head that was fairly light at first. The head seemed to darken at warmer temperatures.

Smell was pretty intense with hops. The hops did not dim, from the start (which was cold) to the finish which was just a bit below room temperature (a little too warm) was hops with an incredible aftertaste.

After each sip the beer had a nice malty/chocolate flavor with a bit of coffee and porter-style feel. To me, the aftertaste was better than the overly used hops in the front of this brew.

Overall, this is perhaps an irish dry stout meant for the hop-lovers. I will drink these again, as I've acquired many of them. Give this a shot, but be cautious of the hops - very strong flavor, also as a note - it is not overpowering pine/floral like some other stouts.

Definitely worth a shot, perhaps a bit over-rated, in my opinion.


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Photo of Vierenner
3.29/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first Three Floyds product. The brew store was holding their stash behind the counter and restricting sales to one per customer ... so I was expecting something very special. Instead I was a little disappointed. The pine/evergreen smell/taste is much too strong and drowns out any other scents/flavors hiding underneath. I commend the brewery for creating a unique product, but they've taken the "It's not Normal" philosophy a bit too far.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - It looks like a thinner Stout, about the color of soy sauce, and is capped with an IPA-like head and lace.

S - Stout? Not Stout. This is an American Barleywine or Cascadian Dark Ale; it is so hopped out, it is insane. I don't care what they are calling it; the IBUs must be through the roof here. This is as humulin-infused as it gets, really. Big green pine cone and overripe citrus wafts copiously, coupled with a caramel maltiness, and again I am thinking CDA or ABW.

T - The taste is the same as the nose. Big citrus and evergreen hops dominate, and the malt flavor is caramel-pale despite the brew's hue. CDA, if you ask me, as it is lacking Stout roastiness, depth of malt, and has too much of everything else.

M - IPA. Stout? Oh yeah, I got the memo...

D - I don't find this to be very drinkable. It is too harsh. The alcohol is apparent (and it is only 5.3%) and the hop is overloaded.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.36/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(22oz bottle courtesy of Lil'o boy). Pours black with creamy tan head. Some lacing and small carbonation bubbles. Aroma of nuts, cocoa, pine/wood, and something earthy. Taste is sweet with a bitter, roasty finish. Thin/medium bodied with a creamy texture. Bitter finish. There's an off-taste (band-aid) in this that is distracting. Not my favorite.

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Photo of neorunner
3.37/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

4th blind bottle (actually 3rd bomber contrary to my previous post).

Poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip, solid black in color with fizzy carbonation that goes away almost instantly leaving a mirror finish on top of the beer. Aroma is a faint chocolate and a touch of dark fruit. Body is light and slightly refreshing from the carbonation. Bitter chocolate and burnt sugar/molasses are the predominant flavors. The hops are lingering in the background but very subdued, willamette (sp?) maybe?

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Photo of AdamBear
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-dark black with a thick dark tan head. no cascade effect like many dry irish stouts.

S-smells similar to a black IPA. nose is definitely hoppy and piney. has a faint coffee backbone to it. some spices as well.

T-comes in with an odd flavor of creamy hops, spices, and some coffee along with some mint possibly. taste like a black IPA to be honest. the hops flavor stays and becomes the after-taste.

M-medium bitter carbonation with a dry finish

O-well i wouldn't call this a good stout. i really don't even know how this beer is considered a stout. as a beer, its just alright, nothing special, its probably better than most black IPAs that i've had though i'm not a big fan of black IPAs. probably the worst FFF beer i've had. definitely wouldn't bother buying this again.

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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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