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Hammer Of The Holy - Clown Shoes

Hammer Of The HolyHammer Of The Holy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

132 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 132
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%

Brewed by:
Clown Shoes visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Hammer of the Holy, an American Imperial Stout aged in 40-year old Jamaican rum barrels, incorporates holy water, signature dark malts, and malt smoked with vampire killing stakes. Dear Undead, "Die, monsters, die!"

(Beer added by: jim_carignan on 11-23-2013)
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Ratings: 132 | Reviews: 19 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Neorebel:
Photo of Neorebel

New Jersey

4.84/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

HAMMER OF THE HOLY... is the latest innovation from Clown Shoes, and this may be the most excited I have ever been to try a beer. I am VERY partial to smoky beers, and I also am a bit of a rum connoisseur. Rums are so varied, and I have to say, beers aged in rum barrels can be very hit-or-miss. I am almost trembling in anticipation of what might be a rum BA beer done right! As an avid craft beer drinker, I have always appreciated Clown Shoes unique experimentation, which has never disappointed, nor crossed the line into unpleasantly strange territory.

Now, to get right into the appearance, we have a completely opaque, obsidian color. Pure darkness. If you look very closely, tiny bubbles can be seen shooting up to the surface. A thick, cappuccino-like head sits on top with a definitive stubbornness, which later leaves some gorgeous lacing on the inside of the glass.

As I'm drawing in the aroma, my initial impression is that there are primarily sweet scents coming in. Brown sugar, sweet cream, caramel, molasses, bittersweet chocolate, dark rum, toasty bread, and the tiniest hint of fresh coffee brewing. Call me crazy but are those a bit of hops that I detect as well?

I couldn't linger very long on just the enjoyment of the aroma. After a mouth filling gulp, I'm shocked how smooth this is, as it's smoked and 11% alcohol! A velvety wave of what reminds me of a high-end coffee beverage sweeps over my palate delicately. A moment later I became aware of the background, which has raisin notes and the slightest sharpness from the distinctive rum flavor. I have to emphasize how perfectly everything blends together in balance. The subtle smokiness is present throughout the experience. A warming sensation comes in late and is welcomed. The alcohol is precisely masked in this case. This finish is so pleasant and soothing, as the beer coating my mouth seems to remain for a moment.

Overall I must say this is in my top 5... no!... top 3 Clown Shoes beers...as well as one of my favorite Imperial Stouts I've tried to date! It's a shame it's a limited brew, but I'm sure there will be others. I wonder if there's really holy water in the brew? Either way I really feel *blessed* to have enjoyed this one! (corny I know)

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 03:27:00 | More by Neorebel
More User Reviews:
Photo of MattSweatshirt


4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good looking stout. Black body with a light brown head that leaves some lacing.

Smoke, chocolate, and rum barrel are all integrated really well in the aroma.

Chocolate, roasted malts, smoke, rum and wood on the taste. Slight heat from the rum.

Lighter carbonation with a medium body.

I like the rum addition here even though I'm not really a fan of the spirit. It works well with the smoky stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2014 23:17:49 | More by MattSweatshirt
Photo of StoutHunter


4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got a bottle of Clown Shoes Hammer Of the Holy that was sent to me by Sean, thanks a lot Sean! I thought I missed my chance to try this beer, but Sean gave me a second chance to give this one a try, so lets see how it goes. 2013 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice and it does a good job of matching with the name and it reminds me of a card you could draw in some fantasy card game. It poured a nice dark black color that that didn't let any light come through and it had two fingers worth of light mocha colored head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some spotty and patchy lacing behind. This is a very nice looking beer, I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly lower amount of high sweetness followed by the malts being the first to show up and they impart a nice dark roasted malt aromas with some roasted and chocolate aromas seeming to stick out the most along with just enough smoke coming through in the background. Up next comes the rum barrel which shows up nicely and is on the stronger side of medium, they impart some slightly woody, caramel, butterscotch, spices, and vanilla aroma with a slightly boozy aromas showing up in the background. This beer had a very good aroma, I really enjoy what the rum barrels added to the base of this beer.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness followed by the malts being the first to show up and they impart all the same aspects that they did in the aroma, but this times there's a little bit of dark fruit flavors that mix in with the roasted and chocolate flavors. Up next comes the smoke which is right about at medium and it's followed by the rum barrels which impart all of those great aspects that they did in the aroma and it seems to show up the same amount with those spicy, vanilla, and caramel flavors coming through the most. On the finish there's a lower amount of bitterness with a slightly boozy flavors and smokey, chocolate and light rum barrel like aftertaste. I thought this was a very good beer, the rum barrel showed up just enough and it worked great with the base beer.

M- Pretty smooth, a little rich, slightly crisp, velvety, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a slightly lighter amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was very good and it worked very well with this beer, I have no complaints.

Overall I thought this was a very good beer and a very good example of a barrel aged Imperial Stout, all the aspects from the base beer came through like they should and they worked really nice with the complex rum barrel aspects. This beer had pretty good drinkability, it was pretty smooth, a little rich, slightly crisp, velvety, not too filling and the taste did a good job at holding my attention, I don't think I would have a problem drinking a full bottle to myself, but I still think it's a nice beer to share and it's a great cold weather beer. What I liked the most about this beer was how well the 40 year old rum barrels worked with the smokey imperial stout base, they were a perfect match. What I liked the least about this beer was nothing, there wasn't anything that I disliked about this beer and there's isn't anything that I could think of to make it a better beer. I would for sure buy this beer, if I see it I will buy it as quickly as I can and I would recommend it to anyone who likes barrel aged imperial stouts, I think it's honestly a must try beer. All in all I really enjoyed this beer, I was a big fan of Vampire Slayer and I wasn't sure how the rum barrels would work with this beer, but that worked out really well and I think it's safe to say that I like this beer a little more than Vampire Slayer. I think it's my now my favorite Clown Shoes beers, it's my favorite rum barrel beer by a long shog and it's up there as one of the better barrel aged stouts I've had. Clown Shoes gave the base beer the right barrel treatment and it really payed off in the long run, they are becoming one of my favorite out of state breweries and I am they are continuing impressing me with there unique and creative beers. Great job guys, this was one awesome beer, keep up the great work. Thanks again Sean, you guys make some awesome beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2014 03:49:15 | More by StoutHunter
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4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

04-15-2014 22:12:21 | More by JimmyFlatRock
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4/5  rDev -4.5%

04-14-2014 05:12:27 | More by WolfsbaneBloom
Photo of Pahn

New York

3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into a Captain Lawrence tulip.

Appearance: Careful pour yields a huge frothy tan head that dissipates slowly. Pours black and leave a few streaks of lacing.

Smell: Some Special B like malt, with subtle undercurrents of vanilla and rum. Chocolate and roasted malt in the background. The aromas here... shouldn't be a 3.75, they should be 4.5 or so. The problem is the beer smells so muted.

Taste: First impression: Sweet, pruny. Overhopped for my taste. Good malt, good barrel. Rum very subtle. Bit too thin, bit too carbed, more than a bit too hot, but the flavor is right.

With time, things really open up. The beer remains strangely vinous, the well-constructed malt backbone comes to the fore, and the rum and oak are solid supporting players. This was definitely the right barrel for this beer; nothing overshadows anything else, all the elements play well together. The pleasant rum brings out the roasted malt and dark fruit flavors, while the soft oak influence gives an impression of sweetness and lightness.

If I wasn't told there was smoked malt in this, I wouldn't know it. Perhaps there's a hint of smokey molasses, but it's hard to discern alongside the few-steps-too-much alcohol heat. These flaws make me want to drop it below a 4.0 but the perfect barrel and malt marriage carries the day.

Mouthfeel: Too thin (light side of medium bodied), too carbonated. And yet... the dry finish accentuates the dark and roasted malts, as well as renders the overdone ABV heat more tolerable. Also, thin though it is, the feel serves as a good canvas for what is really a very well thought out pairing of barrel and beer.

Overall: This isn't world class by any stretch, but it's really good. It's also more interesting than a lot of "world class" or "flawless" beers. It's not endlessly complex, but the subtle flavors work so well together that I end up feeling like what complexity there is *goes further* (I know that barely makes sense). You could say that this beer has uncommonly *clean* flavors for a brash imperial stout.

It's like, some beers are a sprawling symphony (say, Bourbon County Stout); they're brilliant, replete with goodness. This beer is like a small ensemble or quartet, but their intonation is just right, and you're listening to them alone with you in an otherwise silent room.

Metaphor aside, the rum barrel was just a really good choice. Accentuates the base beer perfectly. I would buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 02:08:49 | More by Pahn
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4/5  rDev -4.5%

03-29-2014 02:10:00 | More by hinemk76
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4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

03-25-2014 15:14:58 | More by richj1970
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2.5/5  rDev -40.3%

03-25-2014 00:15:19 | More by chippo33
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North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

03-24-2014 12:21:12 | More by CraftEyeDoc
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New York

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

03-24-2014 01:29:02 | More by ironchefmiyagi13
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2/5  rDev -52.3%

03-23-2014 23:58:46 | More by chet4
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New Jersey

4/5  rDev -4.5%

03-23-2014 21:04:47 | More by djrn2
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4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

03-23-2014 19:16:45 | More by raulstotle12
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3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

03-23-2014 14:04:04 | More by Dave_Treat
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4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

03-23-2014 13:33:03 | More by jakea
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4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

03-22-2014 14:24:20 | More by BenjieK
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4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

03-22-2014 13:57:55 | More by BeerMusketeer
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4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

03-22-2014 02:29:26 | More by marlinsfan4
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5/5  rDev +19.3%

03-21-2014 22:24:51 | More by zep683
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3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

03-21-2014 22:19:58 | More by BostonBeerGal
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New York

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

03-20-2014 21:33:11 | More by Baab200
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4/5  rDev -4.5%

03-19-2014 06:48:32 | More by BKotch
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4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

03-18-2014 13:05:31 | More by ToadiesForCody
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4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

03-17-2014 14:59:06 | More by IrishGermanAmerican
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Hammer Of The Holy from Clown Shoes
93 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.