Muffin Top - Clown Shoes

Not Rated.
Muffin TopMuffin Top

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

637 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 637
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.12%
Wants: 49
Gots: 87 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Clown Shoes visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Reagan1984 on 09-02-2011

Muffin Top combines the attributes of a Belgian Tripel with a huge burst of American hops. Intense flavors from the Belgian yeast, reminiscent of candied fruits, mix with the hop bitterness and sweet orange peel to create a unique take on a Belgian-Style ale.
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Ratings: 637 | Reviews: 148
Reviews by Bighuge:
Photo of Bighuge
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden body with a fluffy off white head. Lace is minimal. Aroma brings bright citrus and bready belgian yeastiness. Some alcohol on the nose as well. Flavor is pretty good, but the heat is noticeable in this one. Also get the bready,cakiness and birght hop tones. This is definitely a Belgian IPA kicked up a notch. I actually prefer a straight Belgian their Tramp Stamp for instance, to a higher alcohol version like this. Good beer, but definitely a sipper.

More User Reviews:
Photo of AgentMunky
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tulip glass at Capitol Tap Room.

A: Great lacing. Golden hazy.

S: Citrus peel and floral sweetness.

T: Interesting and tasty! A little sweeter than I'd hoped; there are very citrusy hops amidst sweet malt and spicy-floral Belgian yeast. Aftertaste is obviously and pleasantly hoppy. Almost too much so.

M/O: Just a little thin and abrasive at times; then sugary sweet at others. Strange. I don't think I'd have another, but I'm glad I tried it.

Photo of tectactoe
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Thanks, Kevin. Orange-y orange body, like the flesh of a nectarine. A bruised, somewhat darker nectarine. Cloudy and muddled, not surprising for a Belgian-yeast including ale. A yellow tinted, soapy and lavish head spouts like it was part of a bubble bath, taking forever to sink and leaving behind generous amounts of lacing as it does so.

Hmmm... first whiff... the aroma is... peppery. Lots and lots and lots of white pepper spice, right in your face - no shame. Ashy hops, highly leafy with some minty bubblegum that leads way into the collage of Belgian yeast and applicable esters. Mildly earthy, some lightly sweet taffy, and a bit of clove and kitchen rack spices. Very, very influenced by the Belgian yeast - it basically has a stranglehold on the aroma and outshines the hops by quite a large margin.

The taste is quite minty and full of clove, and it's phenolic to the core... Lots of phenolic-like alcohol which isn't too appealing, really. The Belgian yeast is center-stage yet again; chunky and gummy wintergreen spice with some sharp, black pepper on the back-end. Ashy hops squander around and try to peak their head up above the flotsam, but the surface is covered up pretty well by the heft of the Belgian yeast.

Bitterness is prevalent, but so is a mild bready sweetness from the malt and the yeast, as well as a bit of a burn from the heavy alcohol character. It's a little too phenolic and medicinal in the finish for my liking. Medium bodied, not quite syrupy or sticky, but a little thicker and viscous than the first few sips reveal. Medium-high carbonation; not shocking, given the enormous head formation.

Eh, I really wasn't on board with this one. Just didn't fit my flavor preferences, I guess. I do like Belgian ales, and well made tripels, but something about this one just wasn't cutting it for me. Hope you like your Belgian ales spicy and minty, because that's what this one is all about. The almost-hot alcohol presence wasn't helping either. Not awful, but not a constant rotator, either.

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice-looking beer. In a tulip it was a hazy orange color with a medium-sized white head and a good deal of lace.

Yeasty, candy aroma. Orange. Spicy.

The taste was a little much for me. Started off with that candy taste. Coriander noted. The orange taste was very bitter, almost unpleasantly so. It was like they put the whole rind, and not just the zest, in.

Too bitter for me, and a little on the hot side.

One and done.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
2.96/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

A- Body is a uniformly hazy orangish yellow hue that pours with a 1-2 finger or so foamy white head. Head quickly fades to a moderate sized collar and some lacing is left behind in the glass. When held up to the light one can see that the translucency is non-uniform with a lot of sediment around.

S- The main character of the nose is belgian triple with apple, pear, peppery spice, and a lot of alcohol. There is also an over abundance of belgian candi sugar. Then there is something that seems a little off. There is a huge overtone of citrus and grapefruit with just a hint of pine and floral hops.

T- Upfront is alcohol, pear, citrus,pepper, and very minor floral hop overtones with a heavy belgian candi sugar background. Finish is very boozy, sweet, and hoppy. A lot of alcohol astringency, a lot of belgian candi sugar, and a lot of pine hops. Left to linger is hop bitterness, alcohol astringency, and a weird sweetness.

M- Medium carbonation with small bubbles and a slightly bready yet slightly dry, very astrigent body.

O- Clown shoes is theoretically a very good brewing company- and when executed correctly the "Belgian IPA" is my favorite style- but it is important to note that this is a belgian tripel/IPA which I perceive as a hybrid between american IPA and tripel...which is much different than an intensely hopped BSPA, saison, or tripel. There is way too much sugary sweetness to this brew...and the hop/belgian blend is just executed poorly. I was really looking forward to this brew but I am very disappointed.

Photo of MasterSki
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Greg (Reagan1984) for this one - hot off the presses, bottled August 2011. Served in a Cigar City tulip.

A - A thin white foam settles to an even thinner cap, thick collar, and no lace. Hazy peach body.

S - Smells like a tripel, but with some citrus and tropical hop influence. There are also the standard tripel notes - stone fruits, sugary malts, some phenolic yeast, and a touch of alcohol.

T - Taste is again a mix of sweets and spicy alcohol. The hop character fades to the periphery and leaves minimal bitterness in the finish. It's a bit sweet for my liking, either as a tripel or as a Belgian IPA.

M - Medium-full body, lower carbonation, smooth chewy texture. Some mild alcohol warmth.

D - Well - this beer delivers exactly what it promises, a blend of American hops and Belgian Tripel flavors. That being said, the alcohol is a bit harsh, the beer is too sweet, and I don't find this particular marriage of flavors all that appealing. That being said I can see others enjoying this quite a bit.

Photo of oberon
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large tulip glass a hazy peach infused lighter golden with a sticky large white head that settled slowly into a frothy mass.Yeasty phenols,overripe fruit,and citric/medicinal hop flavors,the yeast gave off quite spiced element.Again yeasty spiced flavors upfront with the hops giving off a sharp lemony note,sweet alcohol and more spiced phenols in the finish.This is a yeasty BIPA normally not my thing but this was decent,still not something I would search out again.

Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, $10.99 @ DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. No bottling date or best before date type info. to be considered.

Pours hazed darker tangarine, medium tan head, stays at the 1/8 inch level, then to a thin film and fine bits of lacing.

Tropical fruit nose, with some pungent hops added to the mix.

Flavorful and tasty take on a well liked style. Smooth honey notes abound. Smoke, lime, more tropical fruit and yeasty phenolics. Well done, likely the best I've had from Clown Shoes.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a yellow-orange color with a large white head. The aroma is quite floral and candy-like, with some pine and orange citrus notes, as well as some biscuit malt notes. The flavor is very similar. I get a lot of floral and orange notes from the hops, along with some pine, Belgian yeast and biscuit malt. Low bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of pat61
4.49/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: hazy gold to amber, 2” rocky off-white foam cap. Lacy. Smell: Traces of Hoegaarden over dark malts with and slight orange and banana and spice combined with grassy hops. Taste: Big flavors wrapped around a dark moist bran muffin – caramel, fruit, over ripe fruit, orange peel, big hop bitterness, toffee, candi sugar, cardamom, and dark dried fruit. Mouthfeel: Very creamy, fine soft natural carbonation, medium body.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a chalice with a deep slightly hazed body, big off white head flowing thick. Fine Belgian style lacing in this Belgian Style IPA from the folks at Clown Shoes. Aroma is full of spicy yeast character, citric notes from the big hops, hints of coriander and citrus peel as well. There's even hints of cotton candy, tropical fruit notes...think mango/papaya action, with big luscious bready malt layers. Flavor profile a hint of acidic notes from the citrus peel but a super sugary sweet experience, you better have your sweet tooth craving before cracking this decadent dessert like beer. Big flash hop profile, layers citrus fruits, tropical fruit especially mango/pineapple/papaya with a touch of black pepper and full on yeast phenol party. Hiding in the mix of all the flavors going on is a bruising 10% alcohol by volume, hard to believe there's absolutely no heat in the chest with each sip maybe a bit of warmth on the palate but it's well hidden. Mouthfeel is big chewy and on the edge of cloying, healthy dose of natural feeling carbonation saves all of the sweetness from becoming too much along with the hop bill of big alpha acids to dry the palate enough to achieve enough balance. Overall a big interesting beer that I'm glad I caught, by chance while out hunting for some 3F's Zombie Dust in a remote but well stocked beer store in south central Ohio.

Photo of Wh0IsMrX
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy copper with a good one-finger light tan head. Slight to moderate lacing throughout.

S: The nose is dominated by Belgian yeast, hops, and orange peel.

T: Wonderfuly complex. Muffin Top bills itself as a "Belgian-style Tripel IPA," and truthfully, I did not know what to expect as I poured this beer from a 22oz bottle into my favorite glass. Muffin Top had a spicy taste up front, but finished with a bitter splash of hops and citrus fruits. As it warmed, the bitterness started to mellow and the various fruit flavors really began to stand out on the tongue and in the finish.

M: Nothing to rave about, but good. The moderate carbonation suits the beer and does not overwhelm. Very drinkable and finishes smooth.

O: Very enjoyable. I'll admit that I'm not the biggest fan of Belgian-style IPAs, but Clown Shoe's Tramp Stamp had made me a believer in the style long ago. Muffin Top carries on the tradition by taking the style to new heights and I found everything about it to be very enjoyable. Muffin Top is a delicious, complex brew.

Photo of Brenden
4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer is that odd but often beautiful mix of bright and murky, ultimately colored gold but quite hazy. It has a large, firm yellow head that rests in place with strength, dense and craggy. It moves very slowly, leaving very nice lacing on the glass.
This beer offers a pretty big hit of grapefruit right up front that continues all the way through. it has some softer notes running alongside, with some light earthiness and a hint of must along with pale fruits flesh that adds soft sweetness and an almost tangy nip but gently. The grapefruit and citrus overtones are the main event all the way, mostly juice with some rind.
The light to medium body has a nice, even softness and fluffy smoothness all the way through without giving up its crispness at any point. It sort of skirts either style.

Photo of biboergosum
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle. What would be wrong about destroying muffin tops (either kind) in the interest of producing a good beer?

This beer pours a slightly hazy, bright medium bronzed amber colour, with three fat fingers of puffy, bubbly, and loosely foamy ecru head, which leaves a bit of sudsy caveman painting lace around the glass as it quickly hies it outta there.

It smells of dank pine resin, overripe orange and white grapefruit peel, bready, biscuity pale malt, earthy, yeasty banana chips, grape licorice vines, further white sugar notes, and leafy, floral hops. The taste is more musty, forest floor detritus pine/leaf flora, simple syrup, a mixed citrus rind bitterness, grainy and mildly creamy pale malt, peppery yeast, and a prominent spicy leafiness.

The carbonation is fairly active and frothy in its ministrations, the body a dense medium weight, mostly smooth, and perhaps a tad creamy, in an airy sense. It finishes generally sweet, the sugar, pale malt, and fruitiness all proving a steady counterpoint to all the potential pine bitterness and alcohol astringency that never was.

For a Belgian IPA, this is good. For an all around enjoyable brew, it's so-so, the faults inherent in the style exacerbated by the extra sugary notes introduced by the brewer. Whatevs, it goes down better than I would have thought, is hoppy and boozy, and those spicy-ass tacos (love ya, Mom, thanks for having put the 'life' in larger than life) cooking in my kitchen will make an excellent pairing for the rest of this, methinks.

Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pretty good marriage of Belgian and hops. Each sip was like manna, one can think Belgian or hoppy. Very good drinkability. Light coloured with lots of head. A bit aggressive carbonation, otherwise middling mouthfeel. Bottle from Winooski. Lemony, and yeasty. Pleasant.

Photo of tdm168
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hoyt for bringing this to the tasting.

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. Pours a hazy orangish amber with some noticeable yeast floating around. There's a big, soft, white head that has great retention. The nose has a typical Belgian yeast funk as well as some faint spice, bread, and fruit aromas. The taste is very similar to the nose; Belgian yeast first, faint bready malt, faint spice, and mild, bitter hop finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, warm, smooth, and a bit crisp.

This is a pretty good beer. It's definitely one of the better Belgian IPAs that I've had. It has balance. It's smooth and drinkable. It's not overly flavorful, but it doesn't disappoint either. I will probably have this again.

Photo of hreb
4.16/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into tapered glass. Beer pours relatively amber in color for an IPA, with a massive orange creamsicle colored head. Huge, tropical hop aroma is immediately evident. Pineapple, papaya. My sense of smell is not at 100% today but this really is one of the most fantastic smelling beers I've ever cracked (assuming you can abide the lack of citrus / pine cones). Flavor is similarly tropical. I think this might be the fruit punch of IPAs. And as promised, there's a good dose of Belgian yeasty goodness, throwing a well-placed curve ball into the brew. Orange peel and bitter orange soda mixed in there, too. I imagine this to be a really fresh brew. The flavors are strong and definitely unconventional, and I could easily see the flavor being divisive among connoisseurs. I commend Clown Shoes for the novel concept fabulously executed, but still I'll admit the flavor isn't exactly all beer, and I find it a bit tiresome after a while. Which is probably for the best given the well-masked 10.5% ABVs.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clown Shoes "Muffin Top"
22 oz. brown glass bottle, no apparent freshness dating.
$6.29 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes: Hazy deep gold-amber-copper. Massive head of frothy white. Excellent head retention. Very good lacing. Aroma of pine, chalky yeast, fruit (apple, apricot, tangerine, pineapple, peach, some red fruit, and some minor dark fruits), and sweetish straight-forward grainy malt as well as a subtle note of vanilla. Slight waft of alcohol. Medium body with a dextrinous edge. Flavor follows the aroma completely with a bit more depth but no real added components. Rich. Not overly malty, nor overly bitter. A very nice balance between American IPA and Belgian Tripel. One of the better ones I've tasted. Reminds me of La Chouffe.

Photo of cjgator3
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A- Poured into a tulip. Pours an orangish anger color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is fruity malts, spices, orange peel and citrusy hops. 

T- The taste like he aroma has a lot of citrusy flavors with some malt in the background. The finish is grapefruit, some alcohol and citrusy hops creating a nice amount of bitterness.

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, I love the label. The beer is pretty solid as well, definitely worth a try! 

Photo of Fatehunter
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured an inch of foamy head on a hazy, copper colored body. The aroma was a mixture of citrus and barnyard, pretty good though. The taste is moderately bitter with a mild sweetness and a mild bitter finish. The texture was soft with moderate carbonation. Easy drinking for the high ABV and tasty.

Photo of jmerloni
3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - muddy caramel coloration, somewhat hazy. Head isn't very large, retains poorly, and leaves no lacing.

S - Aroma is very malt-forward. Dark malts, cherries, plums, booze. Some spices in the aroma as well.

T - Malt-foward taste. Dark malts, cherries, plums, a tart sourness reminiscent of green apples, coriander, sage, lemon rind.

M - Medium to full bodied. Not overly balanced.

D - A good beer. In the middle between a Belgian IPA and a Tripel; I'd have preferred it more if Clown Shoes had committed to either one or the other.

Photo of tkelley
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured (twice) into a goblet glass. Bottled date of 08-2011.

A - copper body with a very light tan, almost white head. Kept a lot of good lacing, especially through the first pour. There was a little bit of yeast at the bottom of the second pour.

S - Hoppy, floral smell.

T - Spicy taste up front at first. Citrus and hops in the back of the mouth. As it warmed up it got more bready/biscuity in the front. Really good. Love the spice notes and the later fruit taste.

M - Nothing terribly special about the mouthfeel. Good though.

O - I really liked Muffin Top. I dont know what a "Belgian style tripel IPA" is supposed to taste like, but Muffin Top smells good, tastes good, and I could keep drinking it all night. It is REALLY strong though at 10%, so watch out.


Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep clear golden hue, craggy white head that clings to the glass. Sweet sugary, dried, fruits, apples and apricots, faint tropical fruit, clove and spices. Sweet slick full mouth feel. A little syrupy. Honey suckle, sweet breads, tropical fruits and citrus, with some yeasty undertones and a touch of bitterness. Sweetness overrides though and to call this an IPA or hoppy is far off. Booze is heavy in the finish and while some bitterness exists, it lends to a semi-dry finish, with a long lingering sweetness. As a big boozy belgian blonde, this beer has lots of complexity with well blended flavors and even has a bit of complimentary hop. To call is a belgian ipa or a hoppy belgian is a little off though. Good beer, just misleading

Photo of puboflyons
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on August 13, 2014.

The pour is a somewhat cloudy medium amber color leading up to a large, long-lasting off-white head.

All kinds of bright hoppy aromas on the nose mainly of pine, grapefruit, floral, and resin. These mingle delicately with the toasted Belgian biscuits one expects from a Tripel. For 10% the booze is not to be found.

Full body.

The taste is about what the aroma predicts it will be with a definite grapefruit citrus character, floral and pine, and a lesser malt sensation that almost tends to outlast the hops on the finish.

Photo of n2185
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A:pours murky orange with a finger of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: lots of caramel and orange aromas on the nose. There are some vanilla and tropical citrus aromas as well.

T: similar to the aroma, caramel malt and orange flavors dominate. There are piny hop notes toward the finish with a slight bitterness.

M: medium body with lowish carbonation, this beer is a little on the thickly sweet side for me.

O: a decent beer overall. I'd like a bit more hop presence and more carbonation.

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Muffin Top from Clown Shoes
86 out of 100 based on 637 ratings.