Billionaire - Clown Shoes

Not Rated.
BillionaireBillionaire

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

552 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 552
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 107
Gots: 158 | FT: 29
Brewed by:
Clown Shoes visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dwagner003 on 11-12-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

English Barleywine aged in European Cognac barrels.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 552 | Reviews: 59
Reviews by ohiobeer29:
More User Reviews:
Photo of pat61
4.66/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Reddish chestnut with a slight, tan tinted foam cap and slight legs. Smell: some cognac on the nose with faint sherry Taste: Attacks creamy sweet follwed by a charge of sherry and malts with a growing bitterness wrapped in cognac. The flavor profile is wonderful. There is some fruit in there but the intensity of the cognac, malt, alcohol, and hops make it hard to pull out the fruit. Has an aspect of drinking a bourbon or a congac with the malt and alcohol – very creamy. Mouthfeel: Very creamy and chewy, with some slight warming.

Photo of rdilauro
3.69/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This one poured like a dark full stout minus the head. The first thing I noticed was that there was nothing in terms of nose or bouquet. I tried as hard as I could, getting my nose deep down into the glass, but , I came away with nothing... No malt, no hops, no alochol, nothing.

The first sip was as if someone just slammed dunked my head and it hurt! Seriously, this beer was BIG, BIG, no BIGGG. It was full round and BIG.

Again, no distinct aromas, but I did have a feeling of a big stout without the chocolate and coffee. If I didn't know this was a barley wine, I would have figured it to be a stout.

It detected wood on the flavor, not signaling out cognac, not as pronounced as some of the bourbon beers, but still it was woody. For the amount of alcohol, this really didn't have a typical alcohol burn

Everything was going ok until the finish. There was some taste, some odor, something that did not fit in with the beer, in fact it detracted from the overall quality of this beer.

I am glad I had this one, will I have it again? Probably not.

Photo of Roguer
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown ale, very dark purple hues in the glass. Big frothy foamy head, with a very good retention, and thick, sticky lacing.

Strong sweet aroma, featuring prunes and nuts, tobacco, toffee, and a woody, vanilla barrel. Barest hint of alcohol.

Aroma all comes together in the taste, with very sweet flavors of dark fruit, nuts, caramel, vanilla, coffee, and English yeast. There is an earthy and green, dry bitterness. Oak and alcohol finish.

Medium overall feel, sticky retention with a semi dry finish. Lively with no staying, with a warm finish.

This is an extremely tasty beer. The port barrels come through quite well without being overpowering. Very sweet, very full flavored, and very nice big beer.

Photo of spacecake9
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish Head IPA glass.
A - Pours a muddy amber brown with a thick head that settles quickly.
S - The aroma is of dried fruit like plums or raisins.
T - Sweet flavor of raisins with the alcohol noticeable on finish.
M - Medium mouth feel with low carbonation.
O - I really enjoyed this big, boozy Barleywine. Here's hoping Clown shoes brings it back next year so I can buy more. Next time I'll get an extra bottle for aging.

Photo of beerhan
2.92/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-Pours a viscous ruby brown with a thin light beige head.

S-Smells like cognac, old malts, and old laundry

T-Not quite sure what they were looking for here...cognac overpowers, some dark fruit, plum, raisin, artificial grape, maple syrup

M-medium carbonation, goes down smooth except for the flavor.

O-A very below average barleywine. The barrel characteristics were too overpowering for such a thin beer and the flavors mash up poorly. Way too sweet with nothing to balance out the sweetness.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Murky, muddy brown with a brief head.

It's has a sweet but weak aroma. Caramel, raisins, and dates.

What it lacks in aroma picks up in flavor. Sweet and woody. Super heavy with the caramel, figs, plum, raisins. Slightly boozy yet smooth.

Low carbonation adds to the smooth mouthfeel. Hefty body. Great support for the flavor.

One of the smoother barrel aged barleywines I've had. Definitely a sipper, but the sweet flavors and wood give it a nice balance.

Photo of morimech
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Caramel color that has dark reddish tint sitting in the glass. Just over one finger of head forms and quickly collapses to a thin cap. Some sticky lacing is left down the glass. Looks pretty attractive for a big barleywine.

Pick up the cognac right out at first whiff. Really nice fruity and caramel notes. Hints of brown sugar, candied sugar, dates, figs, and toffee. Slightly boozy which is not surprising.

Cognac really works well with this beer. Just another layer on top of the caramel and toffee barleywine. Nice dark fruit and rum like sugar notes. A faint hint of vanilla before the alcohol flavor wipes the palate of all but caramel which lasts on the palate for a long time.

Big robust body with low carbonation that pairs well with this slightly boozy, heavy beer. Well done.

Might need the robot butler pictured on the label to drag me to bed while I am dreaming of riding a magic carpet that looks like a billion dollar bill after consuming this bottle. Probably best shared. It also might get a bit overwhelming by the time I finish the bottle.

Photo of Jjski
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Wow, I went to a lot of effort to obtain 2 bottles if this. The first was not impressive. I adore English Barleywine, little puppies, and my wife in a tight white tee shirt

I planned to age the second, but tonight while organizing the climate controlled, deep subterranean beer bunker, the unthinkable happened: I dropped the second Billionaire and the cap began to spit foam.

Protocol alpha was immediately implemented. The Hangar 24 Hammerhead Barleywine was returned to isolation, glass ware was chilled, and the movie was started.

Monthy Python and the Holy Grail, recently obtained by covert negotiation with an anonymous arms and DVD broker from Modesto ( code name netFlix), was loaded and played.

As this ruptured vessel of Billionaire was was enjoyed, I confirmed my initial impression: Double DBA and Insanity are better. Is Billionaire very good ? Yes. Great? Maybe not.

Photo of antott0523
3.79/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

I was excited to find a few of these in the bottom shelf of the cooler alongside a few other Clown Shoes beers at Berkeley Wine Company, in Berkeley Heights, NJ. I picked up two bottles for $14.99 each.

Drinking this one the day of purchase, and saving one for later.

A: Pours a translucent bronze with a thick, guinness-like light brown head that quickly disappears. A thin ring of foam remains around the edge of the goblet. The color ranges from amber at the edge of the glass to burnt sienna at the center. There is no visible carbonation. 3.75

S: The Cognac aging comes through with sweet notes of cognac soaked pears and bread notes of panettone. For a 12% beer the booze is present, but by no means overpowering. 4

T: Subtly sweet with dried papaya, banana chips. raisins and pears. Sesame seed brittle. Unfortunately these attractive elements slip away as the beer takes a turn toward an unrefined ale with a relatively bitter finish including burnt sugar and a hint of astringent ethyl. 3.5

M: Moderate body that is extremely smooth and airy. Like a pillow on the tongue. Very minimal carbonation. Pleasant warmth from the alcohol. 4.5

D: This beer is a good Barrel Aged Barleywine. I enjoy this style and compared to the recent ones I've had it falls at the less sweet end of the spectrum. This is not my preferred flavor profile for the style, but there is something to be said for achieving subtlety with such a big beer. Unfortunately, for such a big beer there is a lack of complexity, which allows the booze to shine through in an unpleasant manner partially on the nose and predominately on the palate. I hope this beer mellows over time taking it from the level of a good beer to a very good beer. Overall this beer is a 3.75

Photo of KYGunner
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The body was tawny brown to almost maroon in color the head was a quick receding mass of brown bubbles.

The nose has barley and wine notes, which makes sense. I get some brownie batter, fudge, light raisin and date with the presence of sharp alcohol.

The flavor is tempered with a barley malt, oak barrel, toffee, brown sugar and some chocolate malt. Absent, it would seem, is the cognac and as a Big fan of cognac I'm left a bit disappointed.

The feels is sharp and a bit abrasive with alcohol heat and probably needs some age.

I walk away from this thinking it probably needs some time to mature, level off the abrasive alcohol qualities and maybe the distilled grape flavor can come out.

Photo of Mightykingmalard
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: translucent amber-brown. Light head that doesn't linger hardly at all.

S: smells awesome. Very malty and very smooth.

T: Tastes awesome. Incredible smooth and almost no alcohol bite. A small amount of barrel is there.

M: nice and chewy. Taste lingers for a while.

O: I thought this was a great beer. The release forum definitely got the hype going and it lived up. I hope to get a couple more.

Photo of smakawhat
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

Comes out a little wet and watery, with a murky light brown body. Fills the glass with hints of Indian red and muddy brown. Virtually no head formation, but leaves and manages a simple tan collar, on a slick oil top puck.

Nose is quite light for barrel aging. Minimal fruit, hints of toffee and peanut like brittle sweetness. Some slight booze and warmth but feels dumbed down a bit. Small hints of grape like aromas come out with some time. Some faint toasty notes also.

Palate is quite light bodied for barrel aging. Bit of a wet feel, almost oily thin and slick on the palate. Malt action comes with a bit of the toffee but hardly and filling round character. Slightly quenching fruit and light bodied wetness. Quite a dry finish on this as well, but very fleeting palate aftertaste. Some boozy stomach warmth let's you know it's still a big beer.

It's very light and quite thin, but drinks amazingly easy for the high abv. It almost comes off as a light bodied Belgian Strong Amber Ale or something strangely is what it reminds me of.

Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is hazy reddish brown in color. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that quickly died down, leaving a few patches of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of toffee and caramel malts are present in the nose. Cognac starts to become apparent once the beer warms up, and eventually dominates most of the smell.
T: The taste has light flavors of cognac, which become stronger as the beer warms up and then start to overshadow the underlying notes of malts.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount if carbonation. Bits of warming from the alcohol are noticeable in the finish.
O: You need to let this beer warm up because this will allow the cognac barrel aging to shine through. It is deceptively drinkable for its strength and manages to hide all of the alcohol (except for the cognac) from the taste.

Photo of ThickNStout
4.51/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from Tower Wine (Atlanta, GA). 13.79. Bottled 3/19/14. Served in a Clown Shoes snifter.

Pours a barely transparent, ruddy red hued brown with almost two fingers of beige head that slowly recedes to a modest cap. A sheet of milky haze and a defined halo remain throughout but leaves very little lace.

Sweet aromas of fruity cognac, toffee, caramel, butterscotch and vanilla. It smells nice to begin with and gets more robust as it draws closer to room temperature.

Flavors are bold, earthy and bittersweet with a persistent, hearty booze heat. Butterscotch, cognac, caramel, dark cherry preserves, toffee, brown sugar, woodsy vanilla, faint mildly bitter flower petals, grainy malt and leather. As in the nose, the flavors really open up nicely as it warms. The alcohol vacillates between coming on strong and fitting the big, rich taste outstandingly well. It's a sipper for sure but drinkable enough that I was able to finish the bottle myself over a couple enjoyable hours.

Syrupy, moderately heavy feel with restrained carbonation. Rich, subtly boozy finish with dark fruit jam, caramel, toffee and butterscotch.

Happy fourth anniversary to Clown Shoes (and to us)! They've created another killer big beer to celebrate the occasion. A solid English barleywine that is enhanced in all the right ways by the richness from cognac barrel aging. Simply outstanding. There will be more of these in my future, hopefully including multiples for the cellar.

Photo of StoutHunter
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%

I picked up a bottle of Clown Shoes Billionaire a few months ago for $15.99 at The Lager Mill. Well It looks like this will be my 1,000th beer review, I always try and choose something a little different for these milestones and I thought a Cognac barrel aged Barelywine would fit the bill nicely, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, in typical clown shoes fashion it's a little weird and it goes with the name, plus it's pretty eye catching. It poured a nice caramel brown color that took on more of a ruby hue when held to the light with a finger and a half of creamy light tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is a very good looking beer, I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness with the fruits being the first to show up and they impart a nice dark fruit aroma that has a nice juicy aspect that reminds me of some dark cherry juice with a good amount of a raisin aromas also coming through. Up next comes the malts which impart a sweet malt, caramel malt, light toffee and light butterscotch aromas. Up next comes the cognac barrels which impart a light woody, light vanilla and sherry like aromas. This beer had a really good aroma, it was fairly complex and I think the cognac barrel added a nice touch.

T- The taste seems to be very similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of sweetness that has a light brown sugar like flavor to it and it's followed by the dark fruits still being the first to show up and they are a little lighter this time and it's the raisin that seems to stick out the most. Up next comes the malts which impart all those nice aspects that it did in the aroma, but this time they show up just a little more. Up next comes the alcohol which is noticeable, but not overly strong and it's a little warming and it's followed by the barrel which imparts a light oak, vanilla and a flavor that's a little sherry like, but it does remind me a little of some of the Cognac I had in my younger days. This beer tasted very good, it had the same complexity as the aroma and all the aspect worked well together.

M- Fairly smooth, the alcohol was hidden decently, just under being cloying, a little sticky, velvety, not too crisp, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a higher amount of low carbonation. This beer had a very good mouthfeel, the carbonation was at just the right level.

Overall I thought this was a very good beer and I thought it was a very good example of a Barrel Aged Barleywine, the Cognac barrels worked nicely and it seems like the flavors that they imparted complemented the caramel, toffee, and dark fruit base flavors of the Barleywine. This beer had nice drinkability, it was fairly smooth, the alcohol was decently hidden, just under being cloying, a little stick, velvety, not too crisp, a little filling and the taste did a great job of holding my attention, this is a great sipping beer and I think I wouldn't mind drinking the whole bottle to myself, but that would be my limit. What I like the most about this beer was the complexity and how well the cognac barrels worked with the barleywine base, those were the highlights to me. What I liked the least about this beer was nothing, there wasn't a single thing I would change about this beer it's great just the way it is. I would buy this beer again if I saw it, it's a little pricey, but it's worth it and I would recommend it to any barleywine or barrel aged beer fan. All in all I was very happy with this beer and a little impressed, I haven't had Cognac in years and I was never a big fan of it, but I thought the barrel really worked nicely with this beer and I think the flavors blended just as well with the base as Bourbon barrels do. So far it's up there as one of my favorite Clown Shoes beers and one of my favorite Barrel aged Barleywines. This beer made for a great beer to celebrate my 1,000th review with, it took me about four and half years for me to get this far, Cheers to a 1,000 more. Great job guys, this was a fantastic beer, keep up the hard work.

Photo of gatornation
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a cloudy rusty color with a small tan head and nice sticky lacing
S-caramel and toffee with dark fruit notes raisins and vanilla
T-hops and ripe dark fruit up front plum and raisins with caramel and toffee notes some spice touch of vanilla
M-thick and chewy and sweet the cognac BA is lighter than i wanted ABV is well hidden
O-good brew from CS a big robust barleywine would have liked a touch more BA

Photo of PicoPapa
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle. Pours a murky, muddy brown with a thin layer of head. Almost no lacing. The aroma is malts, dark fruits, caramel, toffee, vanilla, wood, and cognac. The taste is dark cherries, caramel, toffee, earth, vanilla, and cognac. Hints of tobacco and raisins. Lots of cognac flavor at the end with a nice woody finish. The alcohol is very present but isn't too hot and it works well. Medium bodied. Big malt presence, as expected. I was looking for this beer for a while and I'm glad I finally tracked one down. I think this is the first cognac barrel aged beer I have had and I'll be looking for more now. Overall, complex and tasty. A bit pricey but Clown Shoes does a solid job with big beers. Worth grabbing.

Photo of jlindros
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yay new Clown Shoes beer, plus it's a Barleywine which I love, AND cognac barrel aged... the only reason I'm drinking this now is to see how many I should buy to lay in the cellar.

Pours very small fizzy head that disappears quite quickly, like it didn't even want to be ther ein the first place, but at 12% abv I don't blame it at all... whoa 12%... I'm in for a long night. The beer is a very dark murky molasses brown colored beer with no real light getting through aside from the faintest murky light at the very bottom thin part.

Nose pretty much just what I hoped for... so much awesome! Great malts to start, sweet candy like malts, little toffee and plenty of caramel, caramelized brown sugar, even a hint of candied creme brulee like. Then quickly into fruity notes, some stone fruit, fresh apple and generic stone fruit with a nice cognac, very strong cognac actually, almost brandy like, perhaps apples soaked and flambe in cognac. Just a touch of a buttery vanilla oak. That hint of buttery oak adds tothe sweetness for a nice butterscotch sugar daddy like candy note, and more creme brulee, as well as some candy toasty reddish malts, and even a bit of a raisiny brandy soaked raisins. No real booze either surprisingly.

Taste is tight at first, needs to open a bit, but when it does, it's just pure wicked. Booze comes walloping out like it's riding on the back of a noble steed! Big booze warmth and tingle with it's own mild fusel note, and some esters. That rides in on the back of the malts though, big sweet malts without being overly sweet, candy galore, caramel and more caramel, toffee, molasses, etc, and a big creme brulee. Again a mild buttery oak in the background with touch of vanilla, leads to more butterscotch and sugar daddy like characters, but not much. Plenty of candy in this with warming booze layering it. Cognac is soft but very fruity, well maybe not soft as I'm sure the booze cuts in there too. Nice stone fruit again, not as much apple as more generic stone fruit, but it turns to apple cider on the back end, a huge flash of apple cider that quickly turns to straight up cognac, then back into malts like it never existed, quite interesting. A mild brandy soaked raisin note as well sneaks in there, as well as a little herbal grassy hop note, with mild bitterness. Finish is sticky and a bit syrupy but not nearly as sticky or sweet as I expected, more toffee and caramel lingering, little caramelized brown sugar and plenty of creme brulee lingering, touch more apple and cognac with a touch of hot booze tingle lingering that gets buried by the sweetness.

Mouth is big, not super heavy but a bit syrupy and full, light carbonation maybe it could have used a bit more carb, some hot booze though, and a little syrupy.

Overall, I had high expectations and.... it easily met them and more. Not sure why this has such a low r-avg, it delivered exactly what it should have, great English barleywine with nice sweet candy malts, creme brulee, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, etc, very little hops enough to let it age well; Also awesome cognac, much more presence than I expected, although the barrel was a bit light, but cognac barrel is probably third fill or maybe more, but the apple and fruity cognac is awesome. Just a bit hot in overall booze, but that's to be expected for 12%. I'm not sure how well it will age, I know the beer itself will age nicely, but the cognac can't get any better.... but I'll still grab a couple to age and see how they do after a year.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sampling a cellar temp 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours a rich dark chocolate hue with a little bit of ruby highlights on the edges of the glass. A slightly frothy yet densely packed beige head of 2 cm foams up and fades to a wispy surface layer that leaves some lattice on the glass after each sip.
Aroma is boozy and malty, with molasses, brown sugar and maybe some black licorice. Definitely malt forward on the nose.
First sip reveals a thicker body with some stickiness on my palate with each sip. I also note very fine carbonation. All the physical traits make this a very drinkable beer
Flavor is similar to the nose, all malt and booze, some deep molasses hits and brown sugar, generally sweet and boozy. Maybe a little vanilla in the background, but I dont get any realy barrel aged wood profile from this bottle. I also dont get a lot if any hop profile on this beer. This is a sipper, but I also dont have much problem finishing the bomber solo in short time.
A very drinkable high octane brew that I would gladly drink again if I find another bottle.

Photo of Neorebel
4.77/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

As the label reads... Billionaire, a beer crafted to make you feel wealthy, I decided to save this affordable luxury until I could enjoy it in the proper setting with some friends and fellow beer enthusiasts. She pours a deep, cloudy burnt sienna that barely lets the light through. A thin ring of suds for a head, it looks entirely appropriate for the style.

To my nostrils the aroma's decadently sweet and contained some fine wine-like characteristics. Fruits such as apple, plum, and mixed berry are prevalent, as well as molasses, flan, and brown sugar notes. As far as the cognac is concerned, it seems to be the sweeter 'Remy Martin' type that this resembles. Perfect, as this suits my preferences nicely. That subtle woody vanilla essence from the barrel is present too, as it should be. Overall the nose on this one is absolutely sublime!

And now, for the taste itself, it's very sweet and malt-forward, with a pleasing tartness at the peak of the flavor. Earth dark fruits come through in a big way and a very subtle inclusion of sweet citrusy hops round things out. Altogether things are very much in balance. Very surprisingly, for a 12% ABV beer it does not feel very boozy whatsoever. The mouth feel is only moderate, and the brew leaves a wonderful black cherry aftertaste lingering on the tastebuds.

Overall, my friends and I could not stop raving about it and agreed we had never had anything quite like this, each having been enjoying craft for 10+ years. Billionaire also can appeal to many different tastes as this is just not your standard Barleywine one might expect.

Photo of justintcoons
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance
Deep, dark chestnut brown with 1 finger of tan head that dissipates immediately. Somewhat murky looking but still remains badass.

Nose
Caramelized brown sugar, toffee, cherry, fig, date, and red wine.

Taste
Loaded with caramel, toffee, and caramelized brown sugar. Tobacco and leather. Has a juicy red wine grapiness to it. Smooth vanilla flavors with hints of chocolate fudge. Slight oaken character. Suggestions of dark fruit (cherry, date, and fig).

Mouthfeel
Medium-plus bodied, silky, creamy, smooth, sweet, and warming.

Overall
Superb Barleywine. The Cognac barrels are a unique treat. The 12% abv is hidden extremely well. Impressive!

Photo of WesMantooth
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 Bomber from my Founder's snifter that has been graced with KBS, Black Note, and now this fantastic beer this spring.

Pours a deep reddish brown color with very little head.

Smells great, like a fine wine with some malt, syrup, and vanilla/carmel/toffee.

Taste is sweet dark fruits, toffee, and cognac really comes through. Just a hair on the sweet side and has a little heat and burn at close to room temp, but those are really the only bad things I can say. It is a fantastic version of an english style. No bitterness/noticeable hops, very smooth, and full of flavor. The cognac barrel really works well.

I think it holds it's own against many other barrel aged barleywines. It is very rich, and defiantly a sipper. A must try if you are a fan of the style. Well done Clown Shoes, and kudos for the forum interaction regarding this beer and it's distribution.

Photo of TheBrewo
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

So with this review we’re going to try rating a little bit differently. We’ll try giving more of the discussion that we’re having while drinking the beer, rather than a rigidly objective, play-by-play, admittedly dry assessment of it. Let us know what you think, or if this is just a terrible idea.

With that, we dive into the highly coveted Billionaire. Before that, actually, we’ve got to give a nod to the label art. This is the first taste we’ve had of their label rebranding, and it’s pretty awesome. Wow, the cognac off the nose, before we even pour into our snifters, is intense. Very rich and sticky, with a touch of orange fruitiness. The color is actually a bit darker than expected, running a rich tawny maroon, with a sturdier caramel colored head than most English Barleywines. Where to start?! As it warms the nose becomes so cloyingly sweet. It’s funny because, although you know to expect sweet cognac, you do end up asking yourself where the bourbon is. That said, on the sip, and throughout the rest of the nose, you get a beautiful and unique tone to the featured spirit. This adds so much complexity to what is otherwise a biscuity, caramel malt bomb. To go even further there is a strawy, gritty sourdough breadiness to it, along with booze-soaked cherries, strawberries, and blueberries, and a decent buttery diacetyl contained within both the aroma and flavor. For a 12% beer the abv is kept relatively at bay, but slows you enough to comfortably classify this one as a sipper. The feel is thick and chewy, as expected, but doesn’t linger or crystalize on the lips as some of the sweeter beers do. Given all the hype surrounding this beer, we were extremely excited to get a taste of the Billionaire lifestyle. While we weren’t disappointed, we felt it to be a bit straight forward. There was complexity, yes, from the odd barreling, but it didn’t produce something, in our minds, worthy of such ridiculous praise. Don’t get us wrong, this is a fantastically rich, cloying, buttery, fruity, heavily malted, woody beverage, but it doesn’t sit among the bourbon beasts in our book.

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sweet and malty. Dark fruits. The cognac influence is very subtle at best, difficult to detect its presence at times. A solid interpretation of the English Barleywine style. Would have preferred the cognac to be more pronounced / distinctive, though.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clown Shoes : Billionaire
American Barleywine Aged in Cognac Barrels

Pours a deep brown color with a white head and some scattered lacing. Hazed in its nature with good retention of the tiny carbonated bubbles.

The aroma is full of brown sugar and dark fruits, namely prune, date and raisin.

In the taste, more of the vinous qualities and dark fruits, accompanied by brown sugar, oaky tannins, and vanilla. Citrus flavors roll off the edges into the raisin and caramelized sugars. There really is hardly any hints of alcohol, and given the strength that is just a compliment to the balance.

The feel is medium bodied with a medium low carbonation. After taste has more great dark fruit, date and raisin flavor.

OVERALL: This is a hell of a beer, and it did not take a Billion dollars to feel like a Billionaire. Great barley wine with the Cognac barrels adding a good element to the overall beverage. Sweeter than some examples of the style, but still a great beer.

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Billionaire from Clown Shoes
92 out of 100 based on 552 ratings.