Style: Smoked Imperial Stout
Brewer’s Note: “In a world full of uncertainty, hardship, and people trying to hold us back, do we need Vampires, too? Clown Shoes says, “No! Die, monsters, die!” / Our second anniversary ale incorporates signature dark malts, holy water, and malt smoked locally with hickory, ash, and vampire killing stakes.”
(As a brief side note, this is my review from stout day, I just haven’t been able to get the review up for a myriad of reasons…)
Clown Shoes has some very quirky labels in their repertoire, and I am not always a fan, but with this bottle I think they did it well. I love the classic horror movie feel of the label and the slight reference to the company through the “Stake Stabber” wearing clown shoes. The bruised purple coloring is neat and works nicely with the white highlights and the darks and blues that are found in the label. The fonts are cool and pretty uniform, which I appreciate, though they are not my favorite. The yellow coloring of the beer’s style name is also a little out of place with the rest of the bottle. It would work if the rest of the bottle played off of yellow highlights, but this label just doesn’t do that. The Clown Shoes logo and cap are also still some of my favorites in the craft beer world. Overall, this is a great bottle from Clown Shoes that is wholly worthy of your shelf or scrap book.
The beer pours a rouge black near to midnight with a light tan quarter fingers width head that is surprising for the beer’s alcohol percentage. It sits in the glass completely opaque, which is quite enticing. Lacing is thin and splotchy along the sides of the glass. On the nose the beer smells soft, but carries a mélange of different things. Slight roasted malt sits alongside dark chocolate, coffee, a damp bready smell, and the faintest hint of citrus hops and an even fainter hint of sweet alcohol.
This beer tastes rich and creamy with great splashes of coffee, chocolate, and the faintest hint of smoked malts and woods. The beer begins as sweet cream and slight alcohol before opening into cream and coffee with chocolate side notes and a lingering faint bitter note of citrus, pine, and smoky campfire. This beer feels fantastic of on the mouth. Thick and creamy with a soft carbonation that caresses the tongue in a beautiful embrace. This beer has a light chewiness to it as well, and leaves the mouth slightly wet, but the tongue feels dry with coffee and smoke. Overall this is a great success from Clown Shoes. The mouthfeel is succulent and smooth, and this beer is delicious for sipping. It has a very nice complexity, and great full flavors. This beer is worth drinking for sure!