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: 840
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark black with a bubbly head, and lace. Very hoppy, with bittersweet chocolate. Significant burnt coffee and sour characteristics, all caramel malted down.
Bottle courtesy of Shintriad. A bold Irish dry stout, and certainly good regular American stout.
Had another bottle 2.5 years later, jason's, and it was a little oily side hampered drinkability.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ehammond1 for sharing this one at MrHirschybar's place!

Pours a semi-clear dark brown-black with a tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, slight cocoa, and some slight fruity aromas. Taste is of the same. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good stout but the mouthfeel slightly kills the overall enjoyment in my opinion.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was another brew send to me from Billakowski, thanks again man! This brew poured out as a deep looking black color with a brown colored head on top. The smell of the beer is hopped and has some coffee and roasted malt aromas on the nose. The taste of the beer is bitter with the chocolate, coffee and hops all working together to make a fairly nice complex brew. The mouthfeel of the beer was smooth with a lighter body than I expected it to have. Overall it's a another good brew from a great brewery.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yep, it's dry all right. Upon the first few sips, I began caughing up suit. But that does not mean that it's bad. In fact, it's an amazing Dry Stout. The look is an expected nearly-opaques burned amber brown with a light and airy foamstand, slightly tan in nature. Smells strongly roasted (coffee-like) without any burned or ashy aromas. Sweetness is light and a fermentation yeastiness persists in the nose. Tastes boldly of roasted grains, cocoa, and campfire-like. Sweetness really takes a back seat to the rosted grains and offers only a balance to the roastedness. Hop detection is nil, relying majorily on the roasted grain for bittering. Lightened in body for an easy drinking beer. Could handle a bit more creaminess. The finish is very dry and powdery (charcoal-ish). Quite clean despite the roasted grain bitterness. A huge success for FFF.

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Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a tar black color with a big brown head that firms up nicely and leaves all matter of splotchy lace behind

Smell: Dark chocolate and grapefruit pith; plenty of char

Taste: Opens with a mouthful of char and chocolate that grows progressively fruity by mid-palate, with bitter, citrusy flavors developing as well: after the swallow, the chocolate and citrus flavors take over the stage and provide and nicely balanced and long-lasting finish; licorice at the end, as well

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: With the Floyds, I should have known this would have a hoppy kick and this one has plenty of fruit to boot

Thanks, Wadsey, for the second chance (with a fresh bottle, this time)

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a small foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of medium bitter hops with some roasted malt. Texture is quite oily with some medium carbonation. Taste is a complex mix between some bitter roasted malt, some light chocolate notes as well as vanilla with some light bitter hops at the end. I very much enjoyed that one and I was glad that they didn’t rely only on hops.

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Photo of zeff80
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Poured out an opaque, dark black color with no head. It looked like a port and left some soapy residue.

S - It smelled of dark chocolate, molasses, and toffee.

T - This was an excellent tasting stout. It was chocolately and malty sweet with a fruity/cherry flavor. It was sweet and delicious with a mild grassy bitterness.

M - It was soft, smooth and creamy with a surprisingly dry finish. A medium bodied beer.

D - Quite possibly the best Irish Dry Stout that I've had. Great flavors!

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this bottle up over Christmas back in the Midwest. Served in a wine glass.

Pours near black with a big tan-mocha head. Quite creamy and sticks around for a good period of time before falling into a nice cap and leaving some spotty lacing. The nose is pretty underwhelming with some roasted notes and a bit of coffee. The taste amps things up a bit with some stronger roast and espresso notes plus a bit of dark chocolate. Body is medium without any noticeable alcohol and has a fairly-dry finish. Pretty drinkable and one of the better versions of this style that I've had, but nothing earth-shattering.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into pint glass; no bottle dating but it is from this year. Pours a clear very dark brown color with a nice 2-3 finger fairly dense tan head with great retention that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some nice spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big roasted malt, toast, chocolate, biscuit, coffee, pine, and herbal hops. Nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of chocolate, toast, roasted malt, caramel, coffee, herbal hops, pine, biscuit, and a touch of molasses. Good amount of herbal/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, coffee, caramel, herbal hops, and pine on the finish for a while. Good hop to roasted malt flavor balance. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish. Overall this is a very nice and interesting dry stout style. Definitely a bit off the wall with the hoppy flavors; but it is nicely balanced and still has a good roasted character. Enjoyed this one.

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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 oberon
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured nitro at Cole's yesterday,a beautiful pour to this ink black with a cascading mocha colored head that settled into a two finger creamy top giving off a creamy mustache after every drink.Light earthy,leafy tones in the nose along with some dark roast coffee with a hint of smoke,this is a dry stout I could quaff all day with the nitro giving it the creamy texture man its dangerously drinkable.Healthy dose of hops to this dry stout earthy and herbal with hints of toasted nuts and strong coffee with a lingering lightly smoked woody elemant in the finish.My new favorite dry stout this would be dangerous on ST. Pattys day,man that is good stuff.

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Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's a cold, rainy, windy, autumn afternoon, despite being in the middle of August, so I figured it would be suiting to crack this beer. Got this thanks to one of the various great traders, Noslenwerd, rjacklin, GratefulBeerHead.

It pours a dark chocolate brown colored head that rises to about 1/2 a finger and fades semi quickly to a light head covering, over black hole pitched black beer. It doesn't leave a lacing with head, but leaves long slow flowing legs down the sides of the glass.

Nose is very rich, with lots of roasted barley, coffee, dark malts, a little dark and bakers chocolate, touch of vanilla, caramel, and some spicy and earthy hops.

The taste follows suit, leading with lots of rich malts, tons of roast specifically, some coffee, a little chocolate (dark), chewy malts, slightly creamy but not a lot. I get some bitter and earthy hops that add some bitterness too, which combine with a little bitterness from the earthy charred malts, but that bitterness (from the charred malts with minerality) is surprisingly subdued. The hops add a touch of pine with the earthy and spicy flavors too. For some reason I get a slight hint of a spicy rye like flavor, but very light, possibly the acidity or something else from the charred malt flavors. It has a slight dry bready like quality too.

It has a heavier body, but not very thick, slightly creamy, with decent carbonation.

It finishes pretty dry, just a hint of a lingering syrupy flavor with a little caramel, but it's very dry and finishes off the palate quickly, for the most part. More lingering roast and coffee flavors, the bitterness also dials in on the finish, taking advantage of the dryness and the dulled down dark malt flavors. The hops bring more pine and earthy qualities, as well as that spicy flavor still.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours black with a near finger of rich looking dark mocha head. This settles down into a thin creamy foaminess, which skims the surface, leaving back a robust cascade of lacing that quickly descends down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of cocoa powder, roasted coffee, and some green citric hops. A splash of sweet caramel lightens things up a bit across the back. Just a touch of light warmth is present here as well.

The taste is full of dark roasted (and slightly acrid) coffee character which gives way to a tangy flush of chocolate, caramel, and earthy fruit. A bit of a gritty bitterness comes out across the back before segueing into a finish of lingering roast and dry cocoa powder. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a little fuller, with a prickly creaminess which intertwines with an oily slickness that keeps this smooth despite the bigger feel.

A Dry Stout wasn't the first thing that popped into my mind as I was imbibing this but it doesn't matter. This is a well done American Stout with a robustness and fuller feel that belies its lower ABV. This was a dark and tasty treat.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from phisig137 so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a thin brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thin but dense lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malt and good amount of hops for a stout.

T: The flavor is rich and creamy with flavors of dark chocolate & dark fruits taking the forefront. The complimentary flavors of roasted coffee, caramel and a good hops bite give this beer a very complex taste, which I found to be the signature of Three Floyds.

M: Very smooth and crisp, heavy body, light carbonation, finish is dry and a little sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, it’s a little bit filling though. I made short work of the bomber that I had, but I’m thinking that after a second bomber I’d feel to full to drinking much more, especially if I were eating something with it. Overall, I think this is an excellent beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a black-brown body with a tan-colored head.

Smell: Rich chocolate malt aroma with notes of light, roasted coffee and smoke. The nose has an intense floral hoppiness to it, too. That much I assure you.

Taste: Flavors of dark chocolate and vanilla creme upfront that are quickly overcome bitterness. Hmm. Well, this beer certainly took an (unexpected?) detour into rather bitter territories. Herbaceous, piney bitterness continues to last through the dry, chalky finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, but this beer has a remarkabe viscousness to it.

Drinkability: Pretty good beer, all things considered. It could've used more chocolatiness, though.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Onyx with a glimmer of garnet at the margins. Black Sun may be the darkest Irish dry stout in existence. Atop the beer sits a two finger cap of tight-bubbled foam that is golden sandstone in color. The minutely pocked surface isn't the least bit rocky as it falls (it's too creamy for that) and deposits a fair amount of lace as it does so.

This is what a beer of this style should smell like... period. Roasted malt leads the way, with bittersweet chocolate and coffee following willingly in its wake. The thing that sets it apart, however, is the hops... still kickin' after several months (at least) in the bottle. This brewery doesn't usually disappoint when it comes to hops, and if the nose is any guide, they haven't done so here. Perhaps I should have added 'if you're a hophead' to the first sentence of this paragraph.

Leave it to Three Floyds to brew a relatively low-ABV, relatively light-bodied stout that is so chock full of fantastic flavor that it doesn't seem possible given the laws of... hell, I don't know... alchemy? Sometimes I wonder if these guys aren't more mad genius brew wizards than simply crafters of fine ales. Their not so secret ingredient is hops, so if you think too many brewers overuse hops in an attempt to cover up... yadda, yadda, yadda... shut the hell up and drink something else.

As far as I'm concerned, Black Sun is a near perfect marriage of roasted malt and citric, pine sap-soaked hops. It isn't the completely insane, hopped-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life beer that fresh Alpha Klaus is, but it shares the same basic blueprint. This beer has a charred black malt flavor that all Irish Drys should emulate and that should be considered the new benchmark for the style.

How on earth Three Floyds is able get their beer to taste so freshly, greenly, hop leaf hoppy without losing the basic Stout, Porter, American Wheat, etc. character is a head scratcher. I don't really care, I'm just glad that they're able to pull it off and that I'm able to enjoy the fruits of their labors. Warming brings about no real improvements, but the beer was hella good to begin with.

The flavor lingers as long as possible given the fact that the beer is pretty intensely dry. Hops easily outlast everything malt-related. No surprise there. I much prefer bigger bodies on my stouts, but I've come around over the years to a grudging acceptance of the lighter bodies on Irish dry stouts. This one was surprisingly light to begin with, but has firmed up considerably in the second half of the bomber.

Black Sun Stout hits every one its marks and is, therefore, the best version of this style that I can imagine. If you don't love hops above all else, you're unlikely to feel the same. There can't be too many beers of any style that combine this amount of taste bud saturating flavor with this degree of sessionability. Three Floyds hits another one out of the park. So what else is new?

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Photo of billab914
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Pours black with a thin tan head. The head settled down to a few spots on the surface before virtually disappearing. It left a little lacing at first but not much overall.

Aroma has roasted coffee and bitter chocolate. There is a little bit of sweet malt coming through but I would say it leans more towards the roasty side then anything else.

The taste is also roasty with bitter chocolate and coffee. There is some caramel sweetness to it that helps balance it out. It has a slight dark fruit flavor to it as well.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with moderate to low carbonation. I usually like my stouts a little thicker but for the dry Irish stout style it fits pretty well. It also makes it a little more drinkable as well.

Overall a pretty good Irish stout, I definitely liked it better then some of the classic examples. It had a lot of nice roasty flavors that really worked well for it. My only criticism is I would have liked a little more head retention and lacing. Both pretty much disappeared a few minutes after the pour.

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Photo of russpowell
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to infextation for this one

Pours an effervescent chestnut tinged mahogany with 3+ fingers of brown rocky head. really murks up at the end, zero head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit with roasty malt

T: Roasty malt, chocolate, leafy hops & a touch dryness up front. Fruittyness & iron dominates as this warms, plus more leafy & minty hops. Finishes dry & fruitty (cherry pits & apricots) with a touch of booze

MF: Fairly smooth, medium bodied, fairly noticeable carbonation & starts to thin a bit once warm

Drinks easy, sessionable enough, but quite frankly, I was somewhat underwhelmed with this one. Loves me some FFF, but this one just misses

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired this one in a BIF earlier in the year and had been sitting on it waiting for a while. A 2006 vintage bottle, I decided to crack this one open last night for a nice cap. Served at cellar temperature and poured into a snifter. This was consumed on 09/03/2008.

Poured this one out into the glass, and the impenetrable black abyss was formed. Huge tan head, maybe three inches high capped the top of it and only gradually settled down, leaving behind a thin veil across the top and loads of sticky brown lace. Very day, essentially black with no light shining through at all.

The aroma was loaded with roasted malts, though not as heavy as one would expect given the big look of it. Light hope notes were also noticed in here, with a small plum or raisin like note, almost like some dark Belgian yeast was used. As it warmed some light cocoa started to show as well. The flavor was more of the same. Started out with a nice bit of roasted malts, which then careened off into a slightly hoppy finish. Lots of cocoa and light licorice hints swirling around in the background, giving it some nice depth. Very nice feel, rich, full bodied, with good carbonation that led to never a dull moment, and something that would be best categorized as not very dry at all. Easy sipper, but at the same time with such a rich taste, and low ABV it was an easy drinking nightcap for sure.

Overall not a bad stout here I have to admit. A smooth drinking, nice session able beer from them, which was a welcome treat. Not sure what the age has done to it as it was still mighty fresh in flavor and vibrant in life. Overall I thought this was excellent and would go here again for sure.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

thanks to foofaa for sharing this bomber. Poured chilled into a sampler glass.

A - Deep black opaque appearance w/ light caramel hue at the base. The cap is pale tan w/ tiny beading and wavy lace patterns form and hold.

S - Vegetal upfront, mild smokiness and cocoa, w/ dark toast and sweetened black iced coffee

M - Thick vinous and citrus acidity w/ an acrid malt feel, moderately high carbonation and astringent bitter finish w/ high roastiness.

T - The biscuit and dark malt roast greets the palate right off and mild caramel notes w/ french roast coffee's smokiness follow. The taste of citrus flavored hops which have grapefruity tinges and black coffee/burnt toast notes round things out

D - Great tasting and quaffable, perhaps the best dry stout I ever had, so drinkable and flavorful at the same time, a great beer.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Gabriel.

A: The beer pours a dark brown color with some reddish highlights and a creamy tan head.

S: A really surprising amount of hops on the nose. Lots of pine and probably even more grapefruit. A little bit of rubber, but otherwise a nice roasted malt aroma and perhaps some dark fruits.

T: The grapefruit flavor is bountiful and the pine provides a light bitterness. Toffee and roasted malts give this beer some feeling of a stout. However, the flavor seems a bit watered down.

M: Sort of watery on the tongue with a moderate carbonation.

D: Not like any Irish stout I've had before. Quite hoppy, which was nice, but the watery nature of the flavor and mouthfeel was a let down.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip. Received in the Birthday BIF from fear 025; thanks Jay!

a - Pours a very dark brown color, almost black, with one finger of tan head and and moderate carbonation evident. One inch of fluffy tan head lasts throughout the drink and leaves a little bit of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of citrus hops, roasted malts chocolate, coffee, light vanilla or cream, and light coconut. Also some pine hops. An interesting combination, as the citrus hops and the roasted malts are both prominent in the front of the smell. It works though and it's pretty nice.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, coffee, citrus hops, coconuts, light chocolate, and vanilla. More vanilla than the smell and again, the citrus hops and roasted malts make a nice and interesting combination.

m - Light to medium body and light to moderate carbonation. Pretty light body for a stout, and a bit dry at the end.

d - An interesting, very dry stout. It has some nice pine and citrus hops, as well as chocolate and roasted malts mixing together in the smell and taste. Would have again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Big thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this bottle!

I almost had a Soundgarden song stuck in my head thanks to this beer. It pours a sleek black-brown topped by over a finger of light tan foam. The nose comprises chocolate, kinda light roasted malts, barley husks, and toffee. Honestly, it's as though I'm sniffing my malt bag on the way home from the homebrew store, en route to my own sweet stout. Delightful! The taste holds notes of light chocolate, roasted malts, toasted oats, and a light bit of anise in the back. The body is a svelte medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a damn fine Irish stout. Straight up. Get some!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared at my tasting on May 29, 2010. Thanks Jonathan!

This beer appears a near black, with an average sized head and adequate lacing. The aroma definitely smells like a foreign stout. The beer is decent tasting, with a slight alcoholic warming note in the finish. The carbonation level feels a bit low, which is in line with the style. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. A pretty decent beer, but nothing leaps out. A fairly normal beer from a brewery that makes beers that are "not normal".

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Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, w/o freshness indication. Pours dark muddy brown, fine and slight dark tan head, leaves very fine lacing. Milk chocolate nose, lots of chocolate, coffee, burnt grains, some smoke, dried fruits. Tasty, thick, complex and gooey stuff. Grainy hops late. Lucious, silky and smooth mouthfeel. Yum

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Black Sun Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 840 ratings.
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