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 Adam5150
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black pour with nearly zero head. Forms a wisp of a khaki ring of tight weak bubbles. Aroma is a sucker punch of hops, dark chocolate and smoky malts, and blackberries. The beer is surprisingly smooth and well-balanced. Reasonably thick stout with ideal carbonation.

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Photo of korguy123
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into snifter. Special thanks to Robbiemoy13 for this.

A- Jet black pour with not a speck of light shining through. Three finger super soapy beige head that hangs on for quite a while before deflating to a half inch cap. Lacing is super sticky, chunky and soapy.

S- Getting a lot of coffee and chocolate. There is a touch of vanilla but is shoved out of the way by pine and citrus hops. None of the aromas over power any others, they all just seem to work perfectly. It's as close to a Cascadian Dark Ale as you would like to get without crossing that line.

T- Coffee and bakers chocolate up front. There is a touch of vanilla and brown sugar. The hops are much more subdued and it really works. There is enough hop presence to keep you satisfied but not enough to kill your tastebuds and make the beer flavorless.

M- Medium bodied, slightly creamy with a slight juicy aftertaste from the hops.

O- This really is a treat. I've been wanting to get my hands on this for quite a while and it did not disappoint.

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Photo of n2185
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours dark brown with a finger of tan head that fades into a thin layer with a little lacing.

S: lots of dry roasted malt notes with aromas of smoke and peat. The finish is a little salty and chocolaty.

T: again, roasted malts at first with smoke and peat flavors. The finish is dry with some bitter cocoa notes.

M: medium-thick body with medium carbonation, this beer is slightly watery.

O: a good stout overall. Manages to be fairly light and drinkable for a stout.

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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 Brenden
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

More catching up from the site reconfiguration.

Black Sun is a beauty. It's completely black and forms a very large cap of heavy, dense, rocky brown head trailing a broken curtain of lacing to the bottom of the glass.
Pine is foremost in the aroma with maltier elements of light smoke, coffee grounds, and roast. Pine seems a bit heavy.
The flavor is likewise interesting as a hit of pine is first on the palate, clean and, for lack of a better word, "needly." Coming behind it are light smoke, roast and coffee grounds. While at first I'm thrown off by the pine, I do have to concede it adds quite a bit of dryness and helps it attain an adherence to style, even if a bit hoppy. It certainly adds a nice woody aspect.
The body is thick, robust and, as it should be, dry. In fact, this beer maintains an exceptional dryness without losing any smoothness or the very light crsipness that just keeps it active. While thick, the body is somehow still medium rather than being bigger or heavier than it should. Well done.

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Photo of pigc
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes a couple of days ago when the site was down...

A - Pours pitch black with three finger mocha colored head. Very nice lacing clings to side of the glass.

S - Some coffee right up front along with toffee and some mild hops in there as well.

T - Bold chocolate, coffee, some piney bitter hops show their presence as well.

M - A bit thin for a stout, a tad watery.

O - Above average stout but maybe not worth it for the price.

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Photo of Sudsanonymous
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Almost black when held up to the light, nearly no light shines through. When poured in a glass a nearly 2 inch copper colored head.. beautiful.

S- I first noticed a piny smell followed by hints of chocolate and coffee. Different than most stouts in that it doesn't have the hefty chocolate smell overpowering it.

T- Different than most stouts I am used to tasting. It has the typical coffee/chocolate flavor but theres much more, there is a definite hoppiness to it that I appreciate as, Im a serious hop head. This flavor seems more complex than most stouts.

M- Not bitter at all feels great the flavors meld very well together and the "stoutness" is not over powering.

O- Overall, I think this is a great beer. I don't normally gravitate towards stouts. I enjoy them now and then but, in this case I imagine that Ill be enjoying this beer again.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz Brown bomber bottle with an awesome FFF style artwork label. Poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - nearly pitch black with a touch of dark amberish-brown creeping through the edges when held toward the light. Fluffy and somewhat thick light Brown to tan head with lacing that provides a decent amount of stick to the glass.

S - good amount of floral hops giving a pine like aroma. Typical Three Floyds citrusy fruit character. A touch of sweet dark malt coming through just before a little spice and a faint coffee whiff in the back end.

T - layer upon layer of complexity in this dry stout. Flavors of coffee bean, black cherry, roasted barley along with a slight sweetness of chocolate malts. Smokey and roasted character. The big portion of hops as well as black coffee are the focus giving a Perfect bitter flavor with everything else creeping through from down deep. Dry finish with some sweet caramel in the very back.

M - medium bodied with a good mouthfeel that has some thickness to it making it enjoyable and easy to drink.

O - I enjoyed this stout. It's a very good stout that's by no means your everyday pasteurized and on every shelf dry stout. It's the best example of the Irish style dry stout I've had with it's complexity of flavors. For some reason I feel this was the way intended for this style of stout. Just remember it's not an American stout or an oatmeal stout or even one blasted with bourbon or sweet chocolate. Excellent stuff for me. Then again 'it's not normal'

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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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3.64/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber to Irish pint glass. Big thanks to Noa for this extra and a generous box altogether. Real time review.

A: Pours black. Dark amber-brown edges can be seen as the glass is tilted. The head slowly rises up to 3 fingers of light brown foam and takes quite some time to recede. As it does, thick strings of lace grab the glass in web-like fashion. 10 minutes into the pour and a thick film and chunky collar remain. Excellent look.

S & T: Before anything else, the pine aromas wafting from the glass are out of control. The intensity somehow rivals anything you'd ever experience in real life. Imagine smelling the center of a pine tree 100 years old...before it's been cut. That's what I'm doing right now.

Oddly enough, coffee is the first descriptor on the label and, honestly, I don't get it all that much. Whether it has faded or just drowned out by the hop presence is hard to tell. Altogether, the aroma and flavor is quite roasted. Light coffee flavor leads to a moderate astringency and roasted bitterness on the finish. Caramel malts add a little depth, especially to the flavor.

As the beer warms, some milk chocolate notes begin to show. And the accute pininess seems to have taken on more of a phenolic character, opening up to a smell reminiscent of pink eraser.

M: Medium-full body with a light astringent bite and a bitter dry finish. The texture is silky smooth, very light and creamy. The carbonation level matches the mouthfeel perfectly. Ample enough to keep the tongue clean, and drying enough to beg the next sip.

O: Very happy to have tried this beer. A little excessive but - from my experience with Three Floyds so far - I wouldn't expect anything less. Its always a great experience with these guys.

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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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Photo of CMB2012
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. Poured into nonic pint. Around 50 degrees at first pour and left to warm throughout the review.

A- Without any effort at all I easily produce three fingers of tan/brown head. Kinda fluffy and fairly dense. The beer is a very dark brown to black. Head dissipates slowly.

S- Hops are definitely in charge here. Grass, pine, mint, some alcohol, roasted coffee and cocoa powder.

T- More roast here than in the smell. Bitter chocolate and coffee, again some earthy hop characteristics which come off like mint. Finish is dry cocoa. (sounds weird, but over time the blend of hops and malt come together and remind me of ginger... so yeah.)

M- On the lighter side, but I could say medium without much discomfort. Has a mostly dry finish with some stick to the end from the hops.

O- Not my favorite 3Floyds brew. I think I like the aroma more than the taste here. The smell suggests a very hop forward stout, and relatively speaking it is, however I kinda wish there were more bittering hops, as most of what I get is in the aroma. I guess it's not normal, but I think they could improve this beer by taking a page from Left Hand's recent book and add nitrous to this thing. I think the addition of some some fluffy nitrogen could really turn this beer around.

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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 DarthKostrizer
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my buddy Ehammond1 for sharing this at a bottle share.

Look: Very dark brown almost black with a 1/4 inch tan head and ok retention

Smell: Some piney hops greet you right away with a touch of roasted malt and coffee notes in the background. Unique for a Irish dry stout but still nice

Taste: Starts the same was as the nose with the piney and citrus hops. The backend has a very nice chocolate and coffee note

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation and a bit dry

Overall: The beer was good but again not great nothing overall about the beer was overly impressive and for all the trouble it is to get this to California it is not worth it

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Photo of DAllspaw
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark chocolate ith 1.5" mocha head.

Smell is heavy on piney hop with some standard aromatic fruit of FFF. Very noticeable pine.

Taste is similar to alpha klaus with a more pronounced chocolate taste and a roasted finish that is perfectly balanced. Really a nice beer.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My next Three Floyds beer-of-the-month is one that’s interested me for quite some time: Black Sun. I love the Irish Dry Stout style, and FFF rocks dark beers like this. They blew me away with their interpretation of a Milk Stout, so I’m hoping for a similar “wow” factor with this style.

A: Light brown, erupting to a full four-fingers, this head is gorgeously foamy. It settles to a dim half-finger of darkened cream, with a raised ring of retention. It hangs over a body of shining black beauty, though it has a look of moderately-viscous oiliness. Great for the style.

S: Alright, we’re starting with a scent of bold hops: big citrus fruits and luscious pines. Underneath there’s something like Alpha Klaus, that chocolaty chalkiness that I’m not a huge fan of. It mixes in with a few unique aromas from the grains: grape, cherry, and lemon from fresh wheat, oatmeal, and toasted wheat bread. Biscuity on the end.

T: As roasty as the nose, and then some; dry and Irish to its core. Mainly burnt toast, biscuit dough, and spice cake, and with a hint of cinnamon oatmeal. Then there’s dark chocolate, along with the hops, in a moderate, orange-rind bitterness; they combine with some chalky sweets – mostly cherry – in a smooth transition to a more rounded fruit character. Ends on the high notes of dry cocoa, coffee, grass, and corn flakes. Very nice interpretation of a familiar palate.

M: Feels as foamy as the head appears; it’s smooth, but still substantial. I’m surprised it’s only 6.5%.

O: I like this style, especially when it’s done by a great brewer. Three Floyds is one of these select few that can really do stouts and, though this one has its faults, it comes out overall as a drinkable Irish Dry. Here’s to Irish brews – can’t wait for Brian Boru next month!

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Photo of gratefuld
3.61/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a dark black with a thick light brown head. Some small carbonation bubbles coming up from the bottom. Head is thick and foamy with nice lacing.

S: I get some hints of coffee with a pretty strong hop presence. Smells a little boozy and strong.

T: strong roasted malts with some coffee. There is some hops in the taste but not as much as I expected from the smell. Taste gets better as it warms. I get more of the hops and some citrus others talked about.

M: easy drinking. Drying.

O: not my typical type of beer or stout but not bad. Pretty easy to drink. Certainly helped get through a webcast on investment strategies on a Sunday afternoon!

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured a close to jet black, good amount of fluffy brown head

S - lots of hops (unexpected), sweet malts, chocolate/coffee hints

T - a very tasty stout with a very hoppy tone.. not familiar with the style of stout but if they are all like this then i may have chosen a new favorite beer style.

M - a very crisp, yet silky smooth creamy stout, dry finish

O - this may just have become my new favorite stout. i made a bad decision by splitting the bottle with a few friends and now i want more!

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Photo of ehammond1
3.62/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, dannyfrost!

Nearly black and somewhat thin looking, with a small light brown head that doesn't leave much stick the glass. Average, yet disappointing. I always expect the world from Three Floyds beers.

Simple and balanced aroma of roasted malt, a touch of coffee, and a bit of bright floral hops which seem to be in most FFF offerings. Simple and not at all overwhelming.

Easy drinking dry stout with the roasted malt playing the largest role in this beer's flavor with a complementary, piney hop presence. Low bitterness.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

A fine example of the style, but unexciting.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1051st Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22 oz

2011 Vintage

Thanks to Ehammond1 for sharing
Shared at MrHirschybars tasting

App- A good mix of blacks/browns in the glass with a bit of a small off white/khaki brown head. Maybe a couple lines of cling but thats about it. Not much here. Not all that much of a looker.

Smell- I picked up on more of the roasted notes and grains in this one versus the coffee. I got maybe a couple whisps of some big piney forest notes. Blends together nicely and neither really stands out to me.

Taste- Taste is very similar to the nose. The roast notes come in first with a little bit of bitterness and then moves along to some coffee. I'm still not sure how Three Floyds packs so much citrus into every beer (minus DL, they used Bacon) but they do. This was pretty good. Not overly amazing but pretty solid.

Mouth- A medium bodied beer with some very medium-high carbonation to it. The after taste is very roasty and bitter with espresso, coffee and citrus.

Drink- Eric, thanks for another offering to my collection of Three Floyds. Pretty good beer with some nice layering of flavors. I think not in a big tasting I would've enjoyed this more.

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

Review from notes, 20JAN12.

FFF Black Sun Stout, a generous part of my last trade with Steve, thanks man! Poured into a New Belgium Globe.

A: A slow deliberate pour produces an almost nitro-like two fingers of tight khaki colored head. Black opaque body, good lacing.

S: Surprised by the amount of resinous hops that jump out on the nose...there has got to be Bravo and Zeus in this one. Hints of a coffee bitterness, slight licorice.

T: Hop bitterness upfront but its not overwhelming, though its throwing me for a loop. Subtle roastiness, metallic grains and bread crust flavors follow. Hop bitterness, flavors and piney resin keep it interesting, finishing with bitter bakers chocolate and faint cold espresso.

More chocolate and roasted malts emerge as it warms.

MF: Medium to medium-full, good moderate body with creamy tones. Carbonation ends up being pretty light but it works.

O: Surprised by this one...not a typical Dry Irish Stout but it works. Enjoyable and drinkable.

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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 kawilliams81
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- pours black with a 2 finger light tan creamy head, and a 1 finger ring of lacing stays around the glass.

S- roasted malts, chocolate, some citrus hops (shocker!). At first whiff of this beer I thought of mint and/or windex.

T- citrus actually dominates here. Roasted malts come in towards the middle and end.

M- medium body and carbonation, slightly dry finish but not as dry as other Irish stouts.

O- good Irish stout. Would love to make some black and tans with this and zombie dust.

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

Serving Type - 22oz Bottle

Appearance - Dark black with a 2 inch thick foamy, creamy head, and thick clingy lacing, looks real nice.

Smell - Hmm, hops right up front. Some malts, Perfume, honey, pine, licorice, not really getting any type of standard stout aromas like coffee or chocolate. Smells good, but kinda odd.

Taste - Very hoppy at the start. Pine, apple and grapefruit are a main flavor. Im guessing anise and added cocoa also make up this beer. Very smooth but much more hoppy then id guess. Some coffee and chocolate come out at the very end.

MOuthfeel - Smooth, hoppy but not all that bitter. Tounge gets alot of the hops, some malts and sugars. Palette gets remaining hops, that tangy anise-like flavor and some sweet cocoa. Aftertaste is dry and mild.

Overall - Hmm, Great thing about 22oz's i can really get a feel for the beer with quite a few drinks. This is a unique beer, hoppy, dry and smooth. Not what i was expecting nor is it my favorite FFF beer. Still good, and i really like the hoppy presence. I just wish it had a little more roasted malt and coffee up front. Still worthy and id drink again.

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