Sunday, November 6, 2011

Clown Shoes Lubrication


Clown Shoes is a brewery out of Massachusetts that has been gaining a lot of popularity on the East Coast the last year or so - both for the quality of their beer and their label designs (I'll talk about that in another vlog). I waited way too long to review one of their beers, so I thought I'd pick up a four-pack and have previous guests Erik and Gina come help me review it. Plus, they brought their friend Mike who was visiting from New Jersey who is a fan of the show! That's the first time a fan of the show who I didn't know before has been a guest reviewer of mine. But is the beer itself any good? Watch the video to see what we thought.

MIKE:
http://twitter.com/#!/sirmikejeckel
http://www.youtube.com/mikeybrodeur

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (566) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 8, 2011
I poured a 12oz bottle into an oversize wine glass.

Appearance: Opaque black body, but with a huge, frothy, creamy khaki-colored head. It leaves gorgeous lacing on the glass and never dissipates.

Smell: Very hoppy aroma with west coast-style citrus notes and a sweet, almost crème-like scent of orange sherbet. Underneath it all is a stout-like smell of toasted malts and chocolate milk.

Taste: There’s a lot of debate raging in the craft beer world right now on what exactly the differences are between "Black IPA," "Cascadian Dark Ale" and "American Black Ale" are. Clown Shoes Lubrication could easily fit any of these categories, but I prefer Black IPA for brevity’s sake. It’s very hoppy and citrusy like an IPA, but finishes with that bittersweet roasted malt and chocolate flavor you’re used to in a stout or porter. The two halves of the palate, although quite different from each other, actually mesh quite well.

The palate begins hoppy and bitter and never really relinquishes this flavor throughout the drinking process. Some orange sherbet-like sweetness kicks in through the middle (the brewer’s website does describe the beer as being brewed with orangepeel). It’s strange, but pleasantly surprising how the bitter hops and earthy orangepeel sweetness work so well together (probably due to the citrusy nature of the hops). It finishes with a completely different flavor of iced coffee, roasted barley and milk chocolate. The aftertaste is bitter, but it’s a pleasant mixture of hops and dark chocolate. Very tasty and very interesting palate.

Mouthfeel: Perfectly medium-bodied with a good level of carbonation throughout, yet the CO2 never gets stuck in the throat.

Drinkability: For such a bitter beer, it’s actually quite amazing how easy it is to suck down a bottle of Clown Shoes Lubrication. The hops never overwhelm, and the body is smooth to make it easy to get down. It weighs in at 6% ABV, but has the flavor intensity of something stronger, but the actual weight of something smaller. A pretty impressive feat that deserves kudos.

Grade: 8/10