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 mwill7287
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 22oz bomber into a St. Vincent College imperial pint glass.

Appearance: A dark brew with an amber hue when held to the light. Two fingers of foamy tan head swiftly emerges after an over-eager pour. The body suggests this beer to be on the low end of carbonation. Bits of sticky foam linger on the glass as I quaff the brew away. 4

Smell: As always seems to be the case with Three Floyds, the first thing I get on the nose is a dose of piney American hops. Roasted chocolate and coffee follow and meld into the mix of hops. This is a nice scent but nothing particularly spectacular. 3.5

Taste: Strong, piney and grassy hops come first, followed by a mild roast of chocolate, just as the nose suggested. This beer is on the sweeter side of stouts. A mild bitterness near the end of the sip provides some dryness to complement the sweet malt. Early on the slightly spicy hoppiness overwhelms the sweet, but as the beer warms the two blend together quite nicely. The aftertaste is a pleasant sweetness with a bit of roast. This tastes similar to the Alpha Klaus Porter in the sense of malt-hop balance. 3.75

Mouthfeel: Body is of a medium thickness, appropriate for this style of stout. The dryness of this beer is just enough to move the mouth to desire another sip, without hindering drinkability. Low carbonation in this beer. 3.75

Overall: Three Floyds has a nice dry stout here, but nothing spectacular. It isn't particularly difficult to quaff, with a mild mouthfeel and relatively low ABV, but it also isn't something I'd go crazy to try and get. Good for a lazy Sunday evening. 3.5

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

Bomber poured into a pint glass

A- Black with a large 3 finger tan head.
S- A very interesting smell. Some coffee and other earthy element. A good wallop of pine. Somewhat smokey. A truly bizarre smell that is none like any other beer I have had.
T- A smoked coffee taste and feel up front. A burnt taste to it that I have never really come across before. A creaminess that actually reminds me of baleys or chocolate milk. Decent bitterness from the hops and piney burps. Barrel aged flavors even.
M- For a dry stout this has a very refreshing finish. Silky smooth and refreshing.
O- Like this bottle says, It's not normal. Its far from normal but in a good way. I really enjoyed this beer and will definitely be buying it again on next years release.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a 3F pub glass. This beer pours nearly black with a HUGE chunky tan head. It has a very pronounced nose of roasted malt and old dried wood.

Very smooth flavor and very dry. It's not the roastiest Irish-style stout I've ever had, but the roasted malt flavor is definitely there along with a faint sweetness. Finally, it wouldn't be a 3F beer if there wasn't a generous hop presence. Unfortunately, I think the hops tend to overpower the roasty flavors a bit. The result is a slight astringent note to the flavor. Mouthfeel is firm without being too oily or creamy and it complements the stye well.

This is not my favorite style of beer and I'm not a good judge of it. However, it's nice to see a brewer like 3F put their own personal stamp on a style and try to do something recognizable, yet still be distinct.

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Photo of falloutsnow
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Binny's in Algonquin.
No bottled-on date.
Poured into a standard US pint glass.

Summary: The Black Sun Stout is a fairly easy-drinking stout for those seeking a pine hop-forward, mild roasted malt flavored beer. The bottle mentions a coffee-like nose, but I didn't notice any of that. Despite its intentions, the stout is fairly limited as to what it explores, namely an emphasis on piney hops and less focus on roasted malt. While this was a good beer, I'm not sure it's fitting for a $10 per 650ml bottle, and I'll probably skip this in the future.

Pours a light brown to dark tan head composed of very fine, small bubbles, the head looking very soft and pillowy. As the head descends to a perpetual 0.5 cap atop the beer, it leaves significant lacing that is altered with each sip. The body itself is dark black with only slight traces of brown highlight when held to a light source. Totally opaque, no carbonation is visible.

Dominant aroma primarily of piney hops, quite resinous, very much like crushing some juniper needles and smelling them, or taking a whiff of a holiday wreath. Behind the hops there's a dark, roasted malt presence, but it's fairly well drowned out. While I enjoyed this, I thought it was rather single-focused as well.

Taste begins with some mild roasted and simultaneously sweet malt flavors on the forefront of the tongue. This is followed by robust piney hops flavor that lasts throughout the rest of the tasting, though joined by a bit more sweet and roasted malt flavors as well. At times, I'm reminded of unfermented wort that has roasted malts and pine hops as major components of the recipe. Aftertaste is of lightly roasted malts and residual pine-like hops.

The beer is medium-bodied with a gentle, moderate carbonation that allows a slight foaming up on the palate. The result is a very smooth, light, cloudlike mouthfeel. Really excellent for a stout.

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

a fantastic render of the style. Looks as it should. Black with a nice mocha head and some lace. Nose is coffee roast and american hops. A bit me citrus a bit me pine. Otherwise mineral note and bitter make this a beautifully dry beer. Coffee and jasmine note. Perfume and ash brightness on the tongue. Very simple but very well placed. A tad malty but dry like peanut butter.

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

Bottle has a little age on least a year or so.

Pours a deep opaque brown black with clear garnet highlights. A one finger deep tan dense head dissipates quickly into a slight film.

Aroma is roast malt, lots of chocolate, mocha. A hint of citrus and pine is evident.

Chocolate dominates the flavor, which is roast malt forward initially, and a huge punch of grapefruit sneaks in mid flavor to complement the acrid roast character well.

Body leans toward the heavy side of medium, with a moderate to low level of carbonation. There's a bit of roast malt stringency and alcohol warmth that aren't offensive.

I've had a fresh bottle in the past that showed a lot more hop presence. It's still a great beer, but obviously lacking in complexity. Also a bit sweet for the style, but I'm not complaining.

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

22oz bottle
Served in a pint glass

A - It pours dark with some garnet highlights. A generous three inches of mocha head sit on top.

S - The first thing I noticed was citrus which caught me off guard. But then I remembered that it was from Three Floyds so of course it's gonna have a major hop presence. I get some roasted coffee and chocolate as well.

T - Up front I get a lot of hops. I get grapefruit and pine. It finishes with roasted malt. I get some coffee and chocolate.

M - Full bodied

O - I've read some other reviews, and others don't seem to comment on the hops as much. I must have gotten a fresh bottle because this beer was loaded with citrus and pine flavors. It reminded me more of a black IPA than a stout.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into Three Floyds Pint glass. Had this one in the cellar for about a year.

A - Pours a dark brown with a dark tan head. Good retention, slowly moves to the edges.

S - Sweet malts, chocolate.

T - Sweet roasted malts, coffee and chocolate.

D - Lower to average carbonation, medium body. Pretty mild.

O - Nice base to DL, mild and a touch sweeter.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass- poured a black color with a two finger latte foam colored head. The head receded to a layer of foam covering the surface after a few minutes and had abundant lacing. The nose is subtle and mostly mocha. This stout tastes very much like dark chocolate with some hints of coffee. The head is luxuriously creamy and lighter tasting than the liquid form. The mouthfeel is totally unique to me- it is very light on the tongue with a tickle of carbonation towards the end; almost like a root beer float. This is yet another fantastic brew from Three Floyds.

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

Rocky clingy tan head over jet black body with ruby highlights. Crazy orange hard candy and roast nose - even a bit of acetone doesn't ruin it, but gives it a sexy polished leather tone.
Tan, 80% cocoa chocolate, roasty sweetness, some tart black malts and big pineapple rind and orange hops.
Earth and bark end and slight roasty dry finish. Light to medium, soft, round, oily and slightly chewy.

The darkest dark malts but with serious hop assertiveness, and all light and drinkable. The darnedest thing - never had a beer like it (after ~800 reviews). Compellingly tasty.

I hear this hop tang is the house style, in which case I'm loving 3F almost as much as Lagunitas. The only flaw I can think of is that maybe this should really be called a Black IPA.

Starting to get the fuss over this brewery.

Thanks to Adam from Indiana for sharing.

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

Pours black with red-brown undertones. Thick mocha head.

Initially i get cinnamon and similar autumn notes. Pine, roasted malt, chocolate, and a touch of coffee.

The taste is mostly roasted malt... But more deliciously roasted than I've ever had.  Also dark chocolate, and plenty of anise and maybe a touch of cinnamon.  Finishes with cocoa bitterness.  Yummy.

Body is perfect for the style; good carbonation.

Overall a very nice and drinkable stout.  Awesome, really.

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Photo of ahq514
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into an English pint glass.

Looks absolutely beautiful. Black with a light brown head of about a finger or so. Appears to have low to medium carbonation. Good lacing like most FFF beers.

Not surprised at all from FFF that the nose is dominated by hops. Smells like sticky, piney hops with a touch of citrus. There is also a decent amount of chocolate and coffee roast behind the hops.

Surprising taste as the hops aren't as dominant as they were in the aroma. Pretty much reminds me of a Black IPA/American Black ale/whatever else you call them. Roasted grains is the dominant flavor with a nice balance of chocolate and coffee. Has a certain dry element, but not overly so. Those same sticky, piney hops stand out, but not as much as I thought they would.

Medium body, lighter carbonation. Pretty drinkable, but a beer you can enjoy over a while too.

A good beer overall. What you would expect from FFF. A solid irish stout with a unique hoppiness that isn't really found in others of the style. I think I would have this again, but there are other beers from FFF I would much rather grab over this one.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown black body with a large frothy khaki head. Eventually subsides to a nice full skim. Substantial lacing left behind after each sip

S: Bright piney and citric hops are the first notes to hit the nose. Roasted malts, dark chocolate and traces of espresso are also present.

T: Like the nose, this is a rather hoppy stout but there is also a fair amount of roasted malts, chocolate and caramel malt.

M: Medium full mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, lively bitterness, long dry finish.

O: A tasty hoppy stout.

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Photo of CHickman
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black color with a huge foamy 2 finger brown/tan head that was full of bubbles and conformed into a cloud that barely moved, dissipating quite slowly, leaving great sticky lacing; as the beer poured into the glass a whiff of fresh piney hops hit my nose.

Even though it looks like a stout, it smells like an IPA up front but then gives way to chocolate malt, grains, toast, citrus hops, grapefruit and very light fruit and sweetness – there is a smoky element mixed with the fresh hop aroma which is really enjoyable.

Tastes like cocoa powder or chocolate up front, followed by sweet malt, caramel, toffee or syrup, roasted grains, burnt toast, burnt wood, tea leaf or herbs, citrus hops, grapefruit, pine cones/piney hops, flowers or cut grass, coffee and licorice. The flavor trails off sweet yet bitter, like the hops and malts are scraping across the tongue and leaving the best of both worlds. To me this is a great hoppy stout that is full of flavor, complex and very easy to drink. It is a hybrid beer, but delicious any way you look at it.

Mouthfeel is zesty and creamy at the same time, with medium carbonation, a body on the heavier side that’s dense yet flows down sort of watery, and the coffee and hoppy bitterness lingers after each swallow makes this very tasty and exceptionally smooth and enjoyable.

It may be classified as an Irish Dry Stout, and while dry it is much more flavorful than a Guinness, and I am a big Guinness fan. Thanks to Joey G for shipping out another winner from 3F which I highly recommend trying!

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Live review of a 22 oz bottle.
A: Opaque black with a tall creamy head and good lacing.
S: Very piney and cannabis fresh hops, strong espresso and dark chocolate, almost Irish cream, smokey yeast. Very strong aroma that is almost too intense.
T: Subdued hops compared to the nose, fudge malt that lingers like a brownie, but has a moderate balance of sweet and dry, with a significant hop flavor without the strong bitterness.
M: Very creamy with an almost nitrogen carbonation.
O: Pretty good with an intense aroma and flavor, but it is almost unbalanced and I probably won't get it again for a while.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a standard pint.

A. Black as night, half finger of light brown head with great retention. Very good lacing on the glass.

S. Loads of piney hops, so much so I thought it was a Black IPA. Some coffee roast and a little chocolate on the back end. A bit of spiciness suggests anise, licorice. Not the best smelling stout.

T. Hops are more refined on the palate as the coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt take center stage. A hoppy, dry finish suggests more anise. Good, not great.

M. Hops dominate the mouthfeel. Oddly light body that never really realizes the malty, roasted qualities of a stout.

O. An untraditional dry stout. Not bad, but would have been a better Black IPA. The anise finish is off-putting.

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Photo of Keffa
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Duvel tulip.

Live review.

A: Pours black with a 1 finger tan head, settles to a small cap, leaves light lacing that disappears pretty quick. No light gets through.

S: Wow, fantastic. Smells more like a Black IPA, piney and citrus like hop along with roast and coffee notes. Hints of chocolate and alcohol behind the main stars. Very, very good aroma.

T: Similar to the aroma, with a nice hop presence, roast, toast, chocolate, coffee, alcohol isn't nearly as present as in the aroma. Good.

M: Decent carbonation, chewy, and coats the palate quite well. Very nice.

O: Good, although it's definitely a hoppy stout. If you like hoppy stouts (Nightstalker, Storm King) you will love this one. Recommended.

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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 ChugginOil
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pretty damn black with cola edging. There is an inch of khaki colored head that leaves spotty lacing behind.

The nose is quite unusual and "not normal" as the brewery suggests. There is indeed some coffee and roasted malt but I am getting a ton of hopiness. Pine and a bit of citrus.

The taste is quite similar to the nose but bolder. The hops dominate but there is some roast, cocoa, and coffee hangin' in there. Very unusual as the hops are so prominant.

The mouthfeel is light-medium with a light amount of carbonation. Crisp and refreshing for a stout.

Overall, not sure if this is really a stout because of the hoppy overload but it's tasty regardless.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black, with a great looking mocha head. Very nice head retention, and a great amount of lace.

Roasted malt, some dark chocolate and a ton of citrusy hops. Maybe a bit of pine or herbal hops as well in the nose.

Roasty and dry. Notes of chocolate. Hop bitterness is not overwhelming, but certainly present. Very dry at the finish.

Fuller body, with a good amount of carbonation. Alcohol is not a factor here. The huge hop character kind of takes away from the beer for me. Still, a nice beer.

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Photo of DunkelDong
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured my double deuce into my WINKING LIZARD SPATEN OKTOBERFEST 1 liter Jug w/ a HANDLE. Pours non transparent color with khaki head, about 4 fingers of head atop my glass ( Hope its not a bad bottle! )

The Smell Arouses me ! Tons of Hoppy Citrus. Grapefruit, maybe some dark fruit and malt but the Citrus Dominates.

The Taste, Chocolate malt upfront with a tinge of acidy hop citrus on the back of my tongue, I like. My second jug lift brings more citrus than the first, and i can now tell this beer is very complex. Chocolate malt, sweet malts, citrus hops, and then dry finish with a hop linger is the rhythm of this beer.

The mouthfeel is chewy and is well carbonated which brings out the hop flavors more

Overall this is a Malted up Chocolate IPA, and its great ! You can tell it was dry hopped from the overwhelming smell of Simcoe hops, malt balanced nicely for my taste as i am an IPA fan. If you like Storm King Stout by Victory you gotta try this! I would love to try an Oak or Bourbon aged version. Im going to buy another Dub Deuce tomorrow and cellar-ize it.

Side note: bottle aging this beer will bring down the hop intensity if your not into hoppy beer

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Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft poured into a nonic pint glass

A: It's very opaque but not too thick. A thin tan head settles on top with medium sized bubbles.

S: Smells of roasted dark maltiness with just a little bit of metallic tinniness and even an aromatic bitterness.

T/M: One sip lets you know that bitterness is from the hops. It's earthy and potent, mixed up with chocolate and coffee.

This is almost a black IPA but not quite. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of vrbulldog22
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a thin beige head.
Smells of coffee, chocolate, malts & hops.
Taste largely follows the nose, hoppy for a stout (I'm still fairly new to 3 Floyd's, but I'm definitely noticing a trend here, and loving it).
The hops balance well with the coffee/chocolate taste, slightly sticky on the lips, smooth.
Overall, It's an interesting stout, fairly complex, very drinkable.

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Photo of Dotcubed
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An old one, as I'd bought this over two years ago!

Poured a black beer that is far darker than any other than I can remember! Very tight, fine thick pudding skin of foam.
Almost a 5, I think the thickness evenness of it detracts and the weak lace is still impressive for the age.

Nice dry aroma. Dusty.

Black licorice, carbon. Dry as hell. Light body is surprising since it looked so thick out of the bottle. Coco powder finish.
A delightful aged stout.
Almost like guiness but turned up to 11

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Photo of xnicknj
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into snifter - thanks to CarolinaKevin

Pours an opaque black with a crop of beige head on top, retains pretty well through the pour with some cloudy film, leaving a few spots of lacing on the glass.

Nice character of roasted malts in the nose with cocoa powder and coffee beans. Touches of nuttyness and sweetness with soft chocolate and molasses.

Soft hops up front quickly followed by cocoa and chocolate. Roasted malt notes with coffee beans. A bit nutty and sweet, but fairly balanced. Finishes dry and smooth.

Creamy medium body, decent carbonation, slick and smooth on the tongue. A really nice dry stout that delivers way more flavor than many others do.

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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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