Black Sun Stout | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Black Sun StoutBlack Sun Stout
842 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 842 |  Reviews: 464
Photo of battlekow
4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an imperial pint glass)

A- This beer pours an inky black body to dense to see any sign of carbonation. The head is a thick creamy dark tan color that starts to have big rocky bubbles form after a while but still stands strong.

S- The smell of fresh crushed green floral hops are bursting with a nice background of roasted dark coffee and dark malt coming through.

T- The taste of dark malt has some flavors of dark coffee with some slight sour earthy flavor. As it warms there is a soft dark chocolate note to the malt. The finish as a nice neutral hop bitterness that is not as strong as to balance with the hop smell. Notes of a pleasant chalky taste with hints of smoke are in the taste as it warms.

M- This is a medium body ale that has a nice creamy texture with no alcohol warmth or astringency.

D- With each sip that amazing smell of floral hops is wonderful but the taste doesn't follow through with the hops. The malt bill is very smooth and drinkable and the bitter hops do nicely in balancing the malt. Very smooth drinking beer but the aroma makes me want a hop monster.

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night, with a moderate head. Smells like 3FFFs. That is, piney, citric hops. I detect some roasted coffee malt as well.

Taste is excellent. The hops add to the vinous nature. Slight roasted and bitter character. Mouthfeel is great, as I would expect from 3FFFs. Low alcohol+great taste=highly drinkable.

I love the beers from FFFs, and pay top dollar for all of them. Some, like Dreadnaught, Dark Lord, Behemouth, etc., are worth it. At around $9 a bomber, this beer is unique enough to warrant the price tag.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.67/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

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

Pours a dark black brown as the name would indicate. Smells very hoppy with pine and citris notes.

Taste is chocolate and burnt grain but quickly over taken and overwhelmed by hops.

This is a stout IPA. Interesting, but not what I wanted in a stout. In a different category… Black IPA? I liked it, but I would go for it if I was in a hoppy mood and wanted a change from the standard IPA. Interesting, but a bit expensive. Storm King minus the alcohol and more hops... (not quite as good...)

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Photo of Bumpon10s
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours about as black as it gets with a large brown head. Leaves a fair amount of lacing and such much after the pour.

S - Damn you 3F, adding hops to everything. A nose of hops and plenty of roastiness to keep your nose guessing.

T - Not nearly as much hops as the nose lent you to guess. Lots more roasted coffee notes however, with that slightly sour finish you'll get in Irish Stouts.

M - Creamy, creamy and creamy. A very smooth beer to say the least. This is one of those beers, regardless of taste, many could go down just from the feel of this beer.

D - Very high, a beer this smooth, an with an ABV that isn't too deep at all, I wouldn't mind taking a few of these down. A very nice release from 3F that I would like to see as a regular brew.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.59/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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Photo of cubedbee
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber, first I'd ever seen it, the usual sweet art work that's expected from 3Fs, I had no choice but to pick it up. Pours an opaque black, no light coming through even on the bottom, with just a thing ring of beige head, some spotty lacing. Smell is strong green fresh hops, grapefruit and citrus, excellent green smell, with just a slight hint of chocolatety malt lurking around in the background. Taste is more of the same, a big juicy grapfruit hops, a slight mocha and roasted flavor, more green grassy hops lingering into the finish. Mediumbodied with a fairly low carbonation level, this is a really easy drinker. Like it's cousin the Alpha Klaus, this takes a traditional dark roasted beer and amps up the hops to a level of domination, and just like that beer I absolutely love it.

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Photo of nomad
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An enveloping darkness in a glass, this beer had a fluffy but full head, yet inconsistent lace. Its appearance held up decently - for me a stout should retain well.

Smelled of grapefruit and tons of it - sweet, round, hop-leafy, and overpowering any other scents. Taste was somewhat roasty with small mocha hints and lots of easy grapefruit flavor. Rounded and tasty, I was very impressed by how delectable the huge hop flavors are without bringing much bitterness. Unfortunately little stout character, this is mostly hop juice. Yet, the malt was undoubtedly strong and present, because of it wasn't this wouldn't have been so quaffable. Thin session mouthfeel.

Incredibly easy to drink, this is a stout only in color. A very extreme interpretation of the style, but damn if it ain’t tasty and inviting.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Bread Company in Urbana, IL. 3.25/pint.

Light-medium bodied, hop-intensive for a stout.

If you know Three Floyd's, this is actually an appropriate stout; otherwise, it might catch you off guard. There isn't a pure focus on malts as there is with many stouts. Oddly enough, the goal doesn't even seem to be carefully balancing roasted malts with hops. Instead, this is quite hop heavy for a beer.

The nose and palette are more than half hops and the light body further suggests that this isn't very malty or stout at all. It has a distinctive Three Floyd's taste and smell from its hops (American Cascade?). As the Web site says, "Three Floyds Brewing was founded in 1996 by Nick Floyd to satisfy his thirst for big, hoppy, honest beers." That hoppiness is characteristic and a part of everything 3F makes -- even their stout.

You have to appreciate the effort. It's a nice stout for a warm day; a summer stout if there is such a thing. Especially nice to get it at The Bread Company (if you're ever in town) where it's served at cellar temperature off a hand pump tap. Nice black pour with good head retention.

Surprising. If even Guinness Draught is too heavy for you (shame!) then this should be right up your alley. A good, very original dry Irish stout.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of cretemixer
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber

Pours pitch black upon first impression, but closer inspection reveals some deep garnet hues picked up along the edges. No light shines through. A thick, caramel colored head fades to a 1/4 inch layer leaving a complex lace.
Creamy, malty, and sweet on the nose. It reminds me of a "Black Cow" in aroma. The hops are there too, but in the background.
The taste is sweet and malty. Caramel notes with just a hint of bitterness. Mid-beer the hops begin to assert themselves a bit more and lend a good balance to the beer.
Rather dissapointing, thin body, but fitting carbonation.
A very drinkable stout.

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Photo of dwarbi
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark head. Smells hoppy! Also smells strong. It tastes very light for a stout. A little bitter and a little sweet. Does not taste strong - and it is not strong, all the hops must have thrown me. The beer feels like it scoots around my mouth. Not very drinkable, in my opinion.
(Tasted this beer at the Blind Tiger's Three Floyds event)

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Photo of Scooter77
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap at a local restaurant. Pours a dark jet-black color with a thick and creamy tan froth. Head retention is great, it lasted until the last drop, leaving a sticky lace on the glass. The aroma was full of dark roasted malt, hops, coffee, and dark chocolate. The taste is very well balanced. The hops are very apparent, as is the malt. There was just a perfect balance of coffee and chocolate at the end. This is an exceptionally smooth and easy drinking stout with moderately dry finish. Seek it, find it, drink it, love it…

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Photo of stirgy
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a jet black and had a nice foamy off white head.
I really liked the aroma of this stout – it was different. A strong floral hoppinees matched well with the roasted barley
And malt flavors. The smell of the hops reminded me of their Alpha King. The taste was good and it had a nice bitterness. Light to medium bodied. Not that heavy tasting. Very enjoyable and drinkable.

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Photo of Jarod
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When received at my end of the bar the first thing I noticed was how perfect this glass of beer looked. A small thick full and creamy head sitting on top of glass of black gold. The color of the beer was jet black where no light was able to penetrate. The head was (like I said above) thick, creamy, and tan in color, long lasting and slowly diminished with each sip that I took. The lace was more like a full rich, sticky blanket that was draped over the inside of the glass. The aromas that came from the insides were at first slightly perfumey in nature, but that left very fast, as the other aromas quickly took over. Smells of coffee, bitter chocolates, floral hops, ash, roasted malt and wood, charcoal, and hop leafs (raw, and dried) this smell was very dominant. The tastes were rich and mouth filling. They were of hop flowers/leafs, rich coffee, floral hops, some bitter chocolate, some ash, roasted malts and more hops. This beer left a hoppy dry finish in the mouth and across the tongue, kind of reminded me of having a little pinch of hops between the cheek and gums. Very rich and it is a good beer. Totally different then there other stout that I had, the Dark Lord. Another winner from the 3 Floyds.

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Photo of marcobrau
4.36/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big, roasty stout that (of course, being Three Floyds) has a very healthy amount of hops. A little more body than a Guinness stout, but not quite an Imperial-style stout either. Too thin for that designation. This is a stout for those beer drinkers who like their beer dark, roasty and very hoppy. Something akin to a Sierra Nevada Stout.

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Photo of zerk
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I keep telling myself... "they're not normal..." and this is not by any means a normal stout... It looks normal enough: opaque and black with a thin but persistent head, and a beautiful lace all the way down the glass. The aroma is the first clue that there is something different here. Chocolate, coffee, pine, and citrus… heavily hopped. The flavor begins with coffee, and finishes with pine… some notes of chocolate… quite a bit of bitterness. Very dry and smooth… but thin for a stout. The hops seem a little out of whack… it could use a little balance. Even though I love some of the beers that Three Floyds puts out, sometimes normal is ok.

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Black Sun Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 842 ratings