Muffin Top - Clown Shoes

Not Rated.
Muffin TopMuffin Top

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

637 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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
Photo of NEhophead
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 fl oz brown bottle served in a snifter.

Murky dark peach in color beneath a foamy white head. The head fades to a semi-intact, whispy sheet which leaves thin lacing around the snifter.

Sweet candied sugar with notes of vanilla. The hop aroma is pretty hefty, not quite fresh, but filled with a nice Belgian yeast quality.

Intense hop flavor characterized by a stiff, musty citrus flavor. The sweet Belgian candied sugar adds an unexpected balance to the big hops. The alcohol flavor is warm and surprisingly kept in check by the rounded Belgian sweetness and tempered American hops.

Medium bodied; smooth, somewhat dry. The carbonation is really mellow, which is surprising for a 10% Belgian IPA.

This style can be pretty hit or miss in my experience. Fortunately, this one is well balanced in taste and texture, and it's flavors really shine especially for the alcohol content.

Photo of bens0n
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear caramelly color with copious amounts of creamy off-white head that leaves tons of lacing on the glass.

On the nose its slightly boozy and sweet. Has some caramelly notes, but theres not much hoppyness to it.

Flavor wise it starts out pretty sweet and subtle with a caramelly note that comes in towards the end and it finishes with a slight hoppy bite. Its not too boozy tasting but the bitter hops just coat your tongue inbetween sips.

Its a pretty thick and smooth beer, very low level of carbonation.

Photo of Ratman197
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured a cloudy gold with a lasting ivory head. Aromas of grapefruit, yeast, straw, candied orange, lemon zest, light mint and a hint of licorice. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and smooth with a dry finish. Flavors of yeast, straw, grapefruit, lemon zest, ligt candied orange and light mint with a smooth dry bitter lingering citrus finish.

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

Bomber poured into a tulip glass

Orangish gold color with a slight haze. Head is slightly off white and lingers.

Smell is Sugar with a hint of orange. Yeasty.

Heavy alcohol on the taste. Orange notes also come through. Not tasting the "IPA" part of the equation much, may have faded a bit.

An interesting beer that I might try and get fresher to see if the hops/IPA comes through.

Photo of brewcrew76
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 8/11

A - Hazy burnt orange with a thin white head and sticky islands of lace.

S - Candy sugar and sweet orange peel. I feel like I can pick up some sweet malt and hops but can't tell if that is just the sugar and orange peel.

T - Starts sweet with candy sugar, orange peel, citrus hops and some yeasty notes and then becomes bitter with more sugar and orange.

M - Medium body with some warming alcohol.

D - A little too sweet and a tad over spiced with orange peel.

Photo of DrJay
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gold/amber with some haze and a thin whitish cap. Decent head retention and lacing. Hops were apparent as soon as the bottle was opened. Fruit candy aroma, pineapple and citrus, dry malt and bread, hint of phenols and alcohol. Sweetness in the flavour was mostly caramel with some sugar and malt. Bitterness was more prominent in the finish, along with alcohol warmth and peppery spice. Grassy, citrus, a bit fruity. Full bodied, lowish carbonation, smooth, almost creamy texture. Not bad at all, but a little on the sweet side.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a light slightly orange gold color with a small 1/4" head of fizzy white bubbles that was quite active at first, but settled to a pretty substantial ring where the beer meets the glass, being maintained by lots of bubbles rising.

Aroma: Lots of clean American citrusy hops mixed with some light caramel notes that really reminds me of your good "typical" IPA. It is surprising that it has 10%ABV from the aroma as there is no heat in the nose of the cold beer at all. It is nice to be so concealed.

Taste: The flavor departs from the aroma of the cold beer quite a bit in that you can pick up the alcohol quickly as warming and spice and this is supported by a light bodied beer for being this strong. The finish has a good bit of carbonation, but the light body and high alcohol really make this beer dry on the finish. The bittering hops seem mild in comparrison to the rest of the ingredients, and this is a good thing as it would make the beer undrinkable if it was overly bitter too.

Opinion: Overall this is a pretty good beer, though the alcohol is so high that I am really drinking water to compensate. It dries you out a bit. Either way, this is good beer and if you are a big fan of American DIPA variations, you should definitely give this one a shot. That said, I wouldn't put it above Great Divide Hercules or DogFish 90Min, but still it is a good brew.

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is very dark yellowish orange in color. It poured with a thin white head that gradually died down, leaving lacing on the surface and down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of pale malts and citrusy hops in the nose along with some hints of cloves.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a slight amount of bitterness and flavors of spices in the finish.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and is also chewy with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer has a very interesting taste and has a much fuller bodied compared to other beers in the style.

Photo of Amalak
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is such a unique taste. There is a high alcohol taste and some wheat. There's a bite of watermelon. I'm tasting blueberry in there. The hops provide for a bitter after taste. Cotton candy taste. This is one of the most unique tasting beers I've had in a while. I can't drink too many, but it's uniqueness make it a must try.

Photo of TTAmod
4.62/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The label on this bottle is epic! This is the hardest Clown Shoes beer to find in my experiences. This is actually my first CS beer, so I'm fairly excited.

22 oz. poured into Chimay chalice.

A: Vigorous pour yields a hazy light brown liquid with a thick off-white head that leaves behind a very nice lace.

S: Whew...smell is very heavy hops. It also has a bit of a spicy clove-like radiance coming out of it. Also smells of heavy yeast.

T: Wow. Really heavy minty/piney hops up front. It's very brief, though, and then the spiciness and yeast of the tripel kick in. The front of the brew is DIPA and the latter half is tripel. This brew is very sweet and extremely tasty.

There is also bit of warming in the throat.

M: Pretty much exactly medium. The carbonation is really nice and what you'd get with a tripel.

O: Haven't had hops like these in awhile. These tasted very strongly of mint and pine; they had a very odd cooling effect, which offset the warming of the alcohol. Quite an interesting experience. Nice change of pace from the heavy grapefruit flavor that a lot of DIPAs have.

There is a lot of complexity here. The IPA they used is extremely interesting and the tripel was damn good. I hate to say it, but I think I like this one more than Le Freak, so I'll grade accordingly.

This is the first CS brew I've had, and it makes me want to try others. It is really an interesting take on the style, mostly because of the DIPA used. This is one of the harder-to-find CS brews, but it's definitely worth a shot for hopheads and pretty much any beer enthusiast.

Photo of OBTSkipper
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was expecting it to be darker with more sediment for a triple IPA. They must not roast their grains too much for it and they have to let it sit/filter it a bit to get it as clean looking as it is. It had moderate head retention, dissipating in about two minutes. You can definitely taste a lot of hops but not in such a way that tries to rip your tongue out. There is a slight fruity/citrus taste and it blends well with the hops for a very smooth mouthfeel. The aroma wasn't very potent and after the head dissipated I couldn't get much of any smell. Overall as a huge hop head I really am enjoying this beer and at the $9 I paid for it I may have to start stocking up on it. The 10% abv helps a lot as I am only a quarter of the way through the pint and I am feeling its strength. I would recommend this beer to anyone who enjoys good heavy hop beer.

(Initially it poured very clear but I shook it up some to see if there was any sediment in the bottle and on my second pour it was quite hazy just as other reviews claim. And it improved the taste as well!)

Photo of Immortale25
3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head and later an 1/8 inch head. Some lacing and sporadic bubbles on the surface.

S- Astringent hop aroma that's brought on, no doubt, by the ABV. Smells a bit piney and a tad spicy.

T- A strong, almost tart hop presence with not much Belgian yeast showing. It's there but is drowned out by the thick, sharp bitterness of the hops. Smooths out after a few sips which also provide a warming. After the initial hurdle of bitterness is overcome, it's easier to handle but still kind of a chore to drink.

M- Medium-high carbonation that's felt with every exhilarating sip. High alcohol and generous amounts of hop notes make this a rollercoaster ride of a beer that brings a prickly feel to the tongue. Some burn in the back of the throat but is fair game for a beer with such a high ABV.

O- Basically, a pretty extreme beer that didn't quite hit the mark. The alcohol is pretty well-masked but the hoppiness is a bit too much. I'll stick with the Tramp Stamp (as ridiculous as that may sound).

Photo of nycbeerfreak
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours quite hazy with a big, Belgian-esque head. The head is big with very cool lacing

S-Nice aroma. Fruity hops and yeast. The hops are so lively in the aroma. A bit of booze. Smells quite nice. Attractive, and it entices me to try.

T-Very tasty. Very powerful flavors of super fresh fruity hops. The hops for some reason really hit me as being unique and delicious. The yeast and malt plays well with the hops. I usually do not love Belgian IPAs, I usually leave that to the Americans. But this beer is pretty delicious.

M-Medium bodied. Nice carbonation. Enjoyable. Dry finish

D-Clown Shoes is very sweet to this guy !!! you will never think this is a 10% ABV beer ...amazing

Photo of corby112
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy dark golden orange color with a frothy two finger yellowish-beige head that slowly settles into a thick lasting ring. Large streaks and chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Floral hop aroma with a ton of citrus and tropical fruit along with estery light fruit notes and candy sugar. Huge grapefruit presence along with orange peel and pineapple. There's also some earthy, grassy pine needle before the pale malt and Belgian characteristics come through in the nose.

Medium bodied with a blast of dry, bitter hops up front that lingers over the sweeter and spicy notes into a dry, boozy finish. The hop profile isn't as complex as the aroma suggests with only faint fruit sweetness. Instead, it's mostly dominated by a dry, earthy presence with resinous oils and grassy pine. As it warms I'm picking up more citrus, notably orange zest but it's still subtle. The slickness from the hops are complimented by candy sugar. Other than that there aren't many Belgian qualities. Finishes with lots of sweet, boozy heat. The ABV is not well masked leaving lots of warmth in the chest.

Photo of ryanonline
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this beer pours a deep amber and cloudy with some seriously rocky off-white head that leaves some trace lacing.

smells very pineappley with some serious caramel and candy scent from the malt. it even has some decent heat.

whoa, the taste is much more piney and bitter, however the malts still bring quite a lot of sweet candy flavor also. super bitter finish though.

mouthfeel is somewhat dry with some heavy carbonation. somewhat thick too.

overall, I'm not super impressed. too much going on and not enough focus on what it wants to be.

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 Duhast500
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

The color is a cloudt yellow/orange with a finger of foamy white head and some slight lacing left on the glass.

The nose is pretty hoppy with some big pine aroma in the nose. There is a nice sweetness coming from the malts that seems to sway past the nose.

The taste is bitter at first thatslides across the tounge and gives a carbonated zing with a nice Belgian yeast flavor. The malt flavor comes out and is really sweet like frosting an a vienna finger.

The feel of this beer is big but not too heavy. It has a complex feel and flavor that keeps you alert. Is a pretty drinkable feel and is a wonderful smoothness.

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.

Cheers!

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 Daniellobo
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice DIPA with a strong Belgian twist...

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle. Illustration of an obese couple (with muffin tops...) walking on the beach towards a sunset where the Clown Shoes rest. Label framed by the Clown Shoes branding. Offers a small narrative talking about main characteristics, tongue in cheek remark about muffin tops. Shows 10% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Hazy pale to medium amber pour, rich and tall frothy head, good retention, nice surface memory, and lacing throughout.

S - Nose is hefty with caramel coated hops in a deep yeasty sense with a spicy touch...

T - Mouth follows with an assertive range… Malty sense, strong caramel… sweet backbone with a citric and orange peel hop range coated in an hefty yeast character, touches of pepper and resin… Booze permeating the range.

M - Medium-body+ with medium-low carbonation, oily hoppiness providing some sticky feel and an emerging booze.

O - It does not drink too badly but it is a touch too hot while maintaining a nice interest.

Notes: Another one aiming to define the range of a Belgian DIPA? Nice, quality, and provocative, I´m just not so sure this range is going to be much of a favorite of mine.

Photo of Gavage
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a short 1/4" head.

Smell: yeast, fruity sweetness, and hop bitterness creates a pleasant aroma.

Taste: big spicy yeast flavor with loads of malt and fruity sweetness. There is some honey or candy sweetness here too. Bitterness is hearty and nicely balancing. Alcohol is mildly noticeable.

Mouthfeel : medium bodied beer. Crisp from start to finish with some dryness arriving late. Long lasting spicy yeast flavors ride the tongue.

Overall: a nice Belgian IPA that hits the spot. Easy to quaff despite high ABV. Sip this one slowly and enjoy the flavors.

Photo of TenHornsProud
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orange with a huge white head that laces and lingers.

Smells of DMS/corn, sugar sweetness, some noble, floral, light fruit, hop notes, subdued outside of a sweet character.

Taste is up front sweet but dry with some spice/peppery character and small fruit notes that fades into a big bitter kick that is more on the astringent side. Simplistic taste overall and not very engaging. Warm alcohol is present but blends well.

Medium to light body with higher carbonation works well enough. Could dry out some but that would increase astringent character as well.

This one is a one hit wonder that fails to knock anything out of the park....it doesn't have much identity overall. The first real let down from Clown Shoes for me.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

eep golden, straw color coming forward right away. Nice two fingers of white foam quickly come up and over the top of the glass settling down with a nice amount of lacing that quickly takes over the glass. Very cloudy, even through the final pours. First thing I notice is the aroma of honey, lots of grains, bready malts and a noticeable amount of honey, whether intentional or not it is there. Grape skins start to come forward now as does a light touch of grass, nothing really bowling me over though. First sip is very smooth, rich and well carbonated the flavor is allowed to explore the palate quite nicely and really makes for a very full feel. Light grains, pears, peaches, apples, all seem to be well represented, but something seems to be missing with the depth here. Just not as full as I would have liked.

Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: golden orange yellow with 1 finger head

smell: sweet, malts, banana, clove,

taste: sweet, malts, booze,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: a nice blend between to styles of beer. This one went straight to my head. Wow only 10% and I'm wrecked. This one might make you sleep with a muffin top.

Cheers,
The CPJ

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

750-ml bottl poured into chalice on 10-29-11. I think it was bottled on 9-23-11, so less than a month in the bottle. Pours a healthy orange haze with a decent white head. Smell citrus, orange to be specific, hops and yeast. So, here is where things get weird...It says triple Belgian IPA...and it is. Its basically a crazy hopped brew with belgian yeast. I taste hops, yeast, and orange. Its good, but heavy. Not amazed by it, but it is a pretty interesting take. worth a try, especially since its new to NY. Nice label too...

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