Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week": Three Floyds' Black Sun Stout
By Chuck Sudo in Food on Feb 28, 2007 5:00PM
It wasn't our intention at the beginning of the month to feature three stouts in succession, although the timing, in hindsight, turned out to be fortuitous. Thick beers, particularly stouts, are a great way to keep one from freezing his ass off when the world around him is sent headfirst into a deep freeze. Besides, we're close enough to St. Patrick's Day to have our appetite whetted for a good pint of stout. Additonally, Goose Island Clybourn's annual "stoutfest" makes a perfect cap for a busy weekend on the go. We end February with a truly devastating selection from Munster, Indiana's supreme Kings of Hops.
Three Floyds Black Sun stout is everything the label says it is. Of the three stouts we've featured this month, Black Sun is the closest to a traditional Irish stout, albeit one with all the characteristics we've come to expect from Three Floyds. You want a lot of mouth-puckering hops? They're here. You want a sweet finish of caramel? It's here. You want a palate with layers upon layers of complex flavors? Again, it's here. Black Sun is all that and the proverbial bag of chips.
Flavors on the palate include dark coffee, smoke, black cherry, chocolate malt, and heavy roast barley malt. Head and carbonation on this beer is light, at best, with minimal lacing on the glass. The color of this beer — a Spinal Tap-ish none more black — literally swallows light whole (as the picture to the right attests: that's an LED mag lite we're holding up to the glass). Black Sun pairs well with beef stew, smoky chilis, corned beef, and Shepherd's pie, in case you still aren't properly lubricated for the Ides of March.
Three Floyds is commonplace enough in the area to find at your larger liquor stores, like Sam's, Binny's, Archer Liquors, and Kenwood Liquors. The flavors of Black Sun make us wonder how this would taste as part of a black-and-tan or half-and-half; any enterprising drinkers who've tried it in these methods should feel free to drop us a line. Black Sun also makes us eager for a road trip to Three Floyds' Munster pub for a glass of this and other selections. For now, we'll be content to simply name Three Floyds Black Sun stout Chicagoist's "beer of the week."