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Muffin Top - Clown Shoes

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Muffin TopMuffin Top

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

146 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 146
Hads: 646
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 10.31%
Wants: 50
Gots: 94 | 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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Reviews: 146 | Hads: 646
Photo of SportsandJorts
2.78/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: a good looking tripel. a nice golden orange color. perfect clarity and a off white head that leaves a lacing

Smell: not what I was expecting. a spiciness, hops and alcohol

Taste: opens up with spiciness and some belgian yeast. strong hops and an intense alcohol. I found it difficult to drink

Mouthfeel: intense heat and a strong bitterness.

Overall: I know they were going for a more americanized version of the classic style but I don't think it worked out well. (480 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
3.3/5  rDev -14.9%
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. (2,028 characters)

Photo of CMoPink
4.41/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very delicious! Didn't have the hops flavor I expected, but I tend to like less hoppy beers. Don't know how they made a belgian trippel IPA, but I like it! Tried Clown Shoes at a beer festival recently, and can't wait to try more of what they have to offer. Haven't been disappointed by any of their beers so far... (315 characters)

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 6/3/2013. Pours lightly cloudy bright orange amber color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy cream colored head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of orange zest, lemon zest, grapefruit, tangerine, pear, banana, clove, floral, grass, pepper, pine, honey, light caramel, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop, malt, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of orange zest, grapefruit, lemon zest, tangerine, pear, banana, clove, floral, grass, pepper, light pine, honey, light caramel, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, light fruit, banana, clove, pepper, floral, grass, honey, light caramel, light pine, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and balance of hop, malt, and yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/spiciness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a lightly slick and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice imperial Belgian IPA. All around nice balance and complexity of hop, malt ,and yeast ester notes; and very smooth to sip on for 10%. A very enjoyable offering. (1,476 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Clown Shoes Muffin Top last week for $9.99 at The Lager Mill. I'm in the mood for something hoppy tonight so I thought I would check out an offering from Clown shoes since they just started showing up in Michigan and I have been meaning to try more of their beers lately, so lets see how it goes. No Visible bottling date, but it just showed up so I think it's fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label sure is interesting, it isn't the most appealing label I have seen, but it sure is eye catching, the combination of the name and the label make it stick out on the shelf. It poured a nice looking orange color that took on a nice bright orange color when held to the light with three fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left lots of patchy lacing behind. This a very good looking beer, the color, head and lacing were all very good.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by the hops showing up first which impart a pretty nice citrus and fruity aroma with some nice orange rind, mango, and pineapple like aroma sticking out with a slight bit of floral hops showing up in the background. Up next comes the Belgian yeast which imparts some nice clove, banana, and slight bubble gum like aromas that seem to go very well with the hop profile. I really like the aroma of this beer, it's full of fresh and juicy fruit aromas that blend very well with the Belgian yeast.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but not nearly as intense and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with a higher amount of bitterness up front followed by some citrus hops with grapefruit and a slight bit of pineapple sticking out the most with a slight floral hop flavor in the background. Up next comes the yeast which imparts a banana and clove flavor and there's a little bit of warming alcohol. On the finish there's some more sweetness which is a little candied sugar like and there was a sweet, bitter and grapefruit like aftertaste. The taste was nice, but I wish it was as intense as the aroma, the sweetness and bitterness seemed to show up more than the yeast and hop flavors.

M- Not that smooth, slightly cloying, a little sticky, a little warming, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a lower amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice, but I thought it was a little rough around the edges.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer, and decent example of the style, the Belgian yeast worked nicely with the hop profile, they seemed to complement each other, but the sweetness and bitterness seemed to overpower those when it came to the flavor and that made this beer a little rough around the edges. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, it wasn't too smooth, fairly filling, and the 10% was apparent, but the flavors did an ok job at holding my attention, but I wouldn't want another one and I think this would be a good beer to split since it may become a choir for me to drink a whole bomber. What I liked the most about this beer was the aroma and appearance, they were both very good and the highlight of this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was the taste and drinkability, they were just a little rough around the edges. I don't think I would buy this beer again, there's a few other Belgian DIPA's that I would rather have and I don't think I would really recommend this beer. All in all I thought this beer was decent, there were some aspects I like, but there were some that I didn't, it's defiantly not my favorite of the style, but it's not a bad beer, it just needs to be cleaned up a little. Tramp Stamp is still my favorite beer from Clown Shoes, but there's still many more of their beers left for me to try, (3,840 characters)

Photo of stephens101
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Has a flourishing off-white head that sticks to it like a champ. Hazy golden orange and pretty. A sharp resinous aroma hits the nose and we're off to the races, followed by notes of caramel, orange peel and grapefruit. Fine and dandy so far. The bitterness loses a length at the tongue and the sweet and tangy notes catch up, evening thing out to the end. Not as in-your-face as the label would like you to believe (surely a craft brewer wouldn't hype on a label for marketing purposes) but fortunately this one kicks it out on all fronts and ends up being a very well-balanced and tasty brew despite itself. (608 characters)

Photo of Jree261
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance-Translucent burnt orange to golden drown with light eggshell foam.

Smell-Faint strawberries. I'm not getting much out of the glass on this one

Taste-Strawberries and red fruit. Citrus tangy flavor on the finish. Not overwhelming but nice bitterness.

Mouthfeel-Lighter than I expected but still packs a punch alcohol-wise.

Overall-Not bad, the scorchy bitterness throws me off a bit but still worthwhile all in all. (430 characters)

Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass, amber colored with a huge foamy off-white head that lingers leaving good lacing, cloudy

S: very yeasty up front, notes of banana, corriander, clove, spice, slight lemony hop

T: bitter up front, grapefruit, immediately changes to a wheat beeresque yeasty banana flavor, finish is quite sweet

M: fullier bodied, alcohol completely hidden

O: an odd hybrid brew, flavors are more belgian strong ale that IPA (456 characters)

Photo of SHODriver
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on: 3/21/13

A: poured into a duvel tulip to a hazy and cloudy brass hue with a finger of slightly off white dense head that retains well
S: fruity esters and spicy yeast do battle with the hop aromas of pine and citrus
T: a good bitter grapefruit rind hop kick is followed by some fruity esters and spicy yeast with a slight pine toward the back end. slight caramel sweetness from the malt throughout but just enough to play a supporting role. swallow brings a bit of alcohol and some oily and citrusy hop flavor that lingers for some time with whispers of fruity esters
M: upper side of medium on the palate with carb that is slow to build but becomes apparent over time and is slightly prickly. slightly dry on the finish
O: very good but I'd trade a lower ABV for better disguised alcohol. nice complexity and flavors with a solid hop kick. (852 characters)

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

March 2013 bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a golden yellow with an inviting 2 finger fluffy white head.

S: Hops come through surrounded by the belgian sweetness. Getting a nice bready aroma along with sweet fruits and banana. Hoppy resin as well. Pretty hoppy aroma.

T: Sweet fruit followed by the hoppy bite. Very very slight peppery feel for added spice.

M: Sweetness coats the mouth and leaves with a bitter tingly feeling. Medium body with carbonation evident.

O: A very solid and unique beer. Surprisinglu the belgian tripel and IPA mesh well IMO. Only knock is that it is sweet and it stays sweet. Might be too much for some. (648 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a hazy light orange with a medium white head with good retention, some spotty lace.

S: Definite peppery yeast with grapefruit pith.

T: Lots of bitter melon and orange, white grapefruit with white pepper. An interesting flavour, but never gets really good.

M: Medium-bodied, a big beer in a way, resiny with a long aftertaste.

O: A solid big Belgian IPA. I have no reason why a bomber of this costs 13 bucks, a $5.50 pint at Happy Hour is much more reasonable. (496 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (297 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

On-tap poured into a shaker pint.

Cloudy burnt amber with 1 finger of white head.

Grapefruit, honey and pine.

Grapefruit juice and resinous pine sap along with touches of lemon zest. Big malt backbone consisting of honey, touches of toffee and toasted bread. The hops kick up in the end leaving residual pine on the tongue.

Medium bodied, oily, smooth and sticky.

Well balanced but has a noticeable alcohol kick. I wasn’t totally into the flavor profile; Loads of honey and loads of grapefruit juice. (547 characters)

Photo of dalahodson
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

cloudy yellow in color, small cream color head that turns to a nice lace on top. The smell is of malt, hops and a citrus background. Not to bitter. Nice mouth feel with the taste just like it smells. At 10% you would expect a stronger alcohol flavor, but it is pleasantly missing. Very easy to drink. (300 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Yard House in Northridge, CA.

Pours a murky honey orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, yeast, spices, and some candied fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with yeast and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some solid aromas and flavors. (582 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Chill hazed reddish amber colored beer with a tall white colored head.

Smells strongly malty and hoppy. Strong honeysuckle with tropical hop aromas. Pine and papaya with some pineapple and passion fruit. Coriander and a little cinnamon bark. An unusual aroma for the beer style.

Starts out sweet and a little sharp hop hit. The flavor takes a little time to settle in on the tongue. One of the more hopped up Belgian IPAs I have yet sampled. Strong wood and tea flavor. The flavor doesn't really deliver what the scent promised. Mostly this is sweet and bitter, everything else is overwhelmed.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is a pity the smell is so good but not the taste. Need fewer IBUs to allow the other flavors to be sensed. (736 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle from the Potsdam NY IGA for 8$

Appearance - Clear light copper colour with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, caramel, yeast, banana, apricots

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel and hops. There is also some grapefruit, bananas, and apricots. There is also a bit of a yeasty spiciness and it ends with a hoppy aftertaste.

Overall – It tastes better than it smells. My bottle is from Feb 2012, so maybe this would be better fresh. Still good, just not great. (673 characters)

Photo of ADZA
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden hue with a creamy three finger head and similar lacing,the smell is bready belgian yeast,a slight tartness,bananna muffins,grassy hops and a touch of sherbet,the mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and has tastes of lemon sherbet,a touch of funk,belgian bready yeast,peaches,boiled candy and finished with a grassy herbal bitterness and overall its nice and very drinkable but no standout cheers. (428 characters)

Photo of SlothB77
4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 4 oz tasting glass from 750 ML bottle.

A: Pours dark golden yellow with a fluffy white cloud head two widths of my thumb that dissipates slowly

S: lots of citrus and bitters and acid. I am already excited. honeydew, apple and pear. Floral aromas as well.

T: Nice bitter taste I love. Again the citrus fruit. Definitely a lot more tobacco in the taste than the smell. Some pine.

M: Medium-bodied, medium carbonation. Bitters aftertaste that finishes quickly, clean and dry.

O: If you don't like a lot of bitters, this may be too strong for you. A good spring or fall beer. (590 characters)

4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clown Shoes Muffin Top

Appearance: My first experience with Clown Shoes of Ipswich, Massachusetts pours a dark, rusty orange, which is crowned with a slightly off-white finger of head. The head has little retention, but it sticks around in a nice crust atop the beer. There is nice lacing, but it is somewhat limited in its staying power as well. There is evident carbonation that can just be seen through the cloudy haze of the beer. It is an interesting looking beer, while also being impressive.

Aroma: Bubblegum and medicinal aromas come through strongly, along with a grassy, piney hop character. The yeast definitely dominates, but the hops are there, just not as strongly as one would expect from an India pale ale, even one of Belgian persuasion. There is also a bit of sourness/tartness in the forefront of the taste. For comparison’s sake, it smells like a cross between Three Floyd’s Gumballhead and Alpha King, which is definitely high praise.

Taste: The taste is similar to the aroma, but the hops and malt (which was completely absent in the aroma) come through and match the strong, Belgian yeast qualities. The bubblegum is still the star of the show, but it is followed by nice, bitter hops, florals and fruitiness (in the form of mangoes, bananas, and slight grapefruit), and finishes with just a touch of astringency and malty sweetness. Black pepper is a lingering taste here, which is really pleasant to have until the next drink. The beer is a lot more well-rounded than the aroma would have the drinker believe. It is also a great example of the style, another good deviation from the aroma.

Mouthfeel: The viscosity is medium, with a slightly creamy mouthfeel and nice carbonation. More malt would be nice to give it a slight syrupiness that this reviewer finds desirable in IPAs. The qualities of a tripel are definitely here as well, but somewhat, unfortunately, muted. Still, there are really no faults to be had here, just things that could be improved.

Overall: This is my first taste of a triple style hybrid (no pun intended). It is really interesting, and quite balanced, but the niceties of the styles are lost amongst all the complexity. The alcohol (10% ABV) is notable nowhere in the drink, which is a victory for what is already a very refreshing beverage. It is unfortunate that I am drinking it in the middle of winter, as it would really fit better as a summer beer. Clown Shoes did great with the idea, though there is definitely room for improvement. Pick this one up if you see it on the shelves; it is more than worth the chance. 16/20 (2,588 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very cloudy, golden orange color with a medium-large white head that goes down slowly. Scent is somewhat floral at first with Belgian yeast and fruity esters. Banana with a hint of clove, orange peel, orange juice, and grass. Not as hoppy as I was expecting this one to smell. Hops are pretty mellow, whereas the floral and Belgian yeast aromas dominate. Taste is just as it smells. The Belgian profile definitely overpowers the hoppiness this beer is supposed to have. Not necessarily a bad thing. Flowers, yeast, hops, spices... Pretty spicy. Pepper and clove. Hoppy bitterness with a ton of citrus... like drinking some hoppy orange juice. Mouthfeel is full bodied and thick...almost juice-like. Alcohol is well-hidden. Drinkability is fairly high. Overall, this is a pretty tasty beer. Great option for Belgian beer lovers who are merging into the hoppier stuff. (874 characters)

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a cloudy golden color with two fingers of cream-colored foam on top that lasts for about two minutes. Medium-heavy body and carbonation levels.

Smells and tastes like candied orange peel with a side order of peach preserves and medium amounts of yeasty phenols and booze. Actually, the nose is a bit hotter with booze than it seems to present to the tongue, and the nose has more coriander than the flavor does. It's really sweet in an odd way, however, more akin to a Tripel than the bottle's claims of Belgian IPA-ness. In fact, overall, it presents as a mediocre tripel *because* of the overly citric hopping and as a poor IPA for the same reason. This beer is good evidence for why three-way mixing of styles tends to be risky business, the most common result is mediocrity. (789 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
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 IPA....like their Tramp Stamp for instance, to a higher alcohol version like this. Good beer, but definitely a sipper. (477 characters)

Photo of martyl1000
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Mason lounge (Madison). It's a nice-looking pour into a goblet, a brownish rouge, with a single finger tan head, and fairly sticky lacing on the glass.

The aroma is far out: massive floral citrus, with a subversive Bready malt.

In the mouth the citrusy hops become steel bright, with a scaffolding of zucchini bread malt. Hence, the name, "Muffin Top". (364 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: quite hazy, almost peach in color. Decent swath of off white creamy head.
Smell: a hint of sour, mostly citrus. Pleasant though nothing outstanding.
Taste: very nice full, yeasty and citrus.
Overall: full bodied.the high abv adds nice depth. Nicely balanced citrus, malt and sour. (293 characters)

Muffin Top from Clown Shoes
87 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.