Muffin Top | Clown Shoes

very good
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Muffin TopMuffin Top

Brewed by:
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Reagan1984 on 09-02-2011

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Reviews: 153 | Ratings: 693
Photo of Mosstrooper
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 22oz bottle into 250ml Delirium Tremens tulip

Appearance: Hazy golden-amber color with a large orange-tinted white head that dissipates slowly and leaves behind a nice ring of lace.

Smell: Melons, grape, and candy aromas dominate with some floral hints.

Taste: Begins with melon and grape flavors, rounding out to sweet Belgian-style candy flavors. Finish is yeasty with a slight herbal bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy slick body with an even slicker finish.

Overall: Not necessarily the most memorable beer, but very good overall. Could do with a touch more bitterness, but maybe I say that because I have never been the biggest fan of candy flavor in beer.

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Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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

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Photo of mick303
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bomber into a tulip glass. Produced a plentiful creamy white head, really solid lacing and retention. Colour is a orange amber, quite hazy with a hint of red. 4
S- light and floral, candied lemon, banana, some sweet berry notes, apple/pear, subtle fermentation esters, flowery and quite rich, with some biscuitiness to it, good rounded character, little bitterness. 3.75
T- biscuit, sweet lemon citrus and some tropical berry notes, papaya? Then a bit more pepperiness, guava, a touch of spicey rye and caked yeast. The yeast brings some nice spiciness to it, cranberry and earthy forest a bit, and then leaves a lingering yeasty peppery aftertaste. Quite interesting and tasty, very fruity and spicey.
M- quite a nice body and prickle to it, especially for the strength which glides smoothly across the palate raising an alcohol-hop tingle. Moderate carbonation.
Not what I would say to be typical of the other BIPAs Ive tried, this kicks up the spiciness and a lot of strong citrus hoppiness to it. The finish in particular was not all that dry and mostly spicey. Certainly a flavourful beer, the high strength makes it a bit of a different profile and its not all that sessionable really, but the spiciness and yeast character are quite pronounced. My first from Clown Shoes, wasn’t a knockout but I would be interested in trying some others by them.

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Photo of Ohmmygawd
3.31/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance- Belgian IPA thickness that should only be sipped. Beautiful head and carbonation.

Smell- Fruity and malty. A little less fruit than the typical belgium beer.

Taste- Great depth of fruit on the back with a big bite.

Mouthfeel- I love savoring this beer because the bite is strong but the rush of flavor feels great.

Overall- I love a good Belgium beer but at 10% ABV the alcohol takes too much of the taste. The fruitiness is lost behind the bite.

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Photo of Brenden
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Muffin Top does indeed look like a thick beer; there's enough sediment at the bottom that the last couple ounces come out viscous as syrup - it felt like I was pouring from a bottle of Aunt Jemima. The golden complexion, as result, is obviously sludgy. Its head doesn't exactly spill over the sides of the glass, but it is rather plump.

The aroma is brimming with notes of tangerine and has a bitter 'green' quality; it smells something like an Asian salad. Or at least it would if not for the yeast - Belgian yeasts can pack quite a wallop of spice and this particular strain is driven by mace-like spice and hints of other things you might put in a pumpkin pie.

The malts have an almost pancake-like flavour, or maybe I'm just thinking that because the hops provide such an abundance of syrupy tree resins that it puts maple on the brain (birch and pine too). The citrus notes are again appreciated, and plump, ripe orange wedges again lead the way. (The label twice states "flavors added". I assume orange is said flavor.)

Hops and alcohol combine for a piercing, thinning mouthfeel; the lemony acidity and booze make it feel as though the beer was cut with a cleaning product. Luckily malts come to the rescue with a spongy texture that reminds one of a soft, fresh-baked loaf of white bread (or, you know, sponge cake). The impression of orange creamsickle never goes away either.

Top of the Muffin to You! The exclamation mark is definitely needed. Muffin Top is an excellent Belgian-style IPA that has bold elements of both Belgian yeast and American hops. Ironically enough, Clown Shoes don't joke around - don't let the names and labels fool you, many of their beers deserve serious consideration as being top examples of their respective styles.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
2.78/5  rDev -28.2%
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.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

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Photo of CMoPink
4.41/5  rDev +14%
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...

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.83/5  rDev -1%
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,

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Photo of stephens101
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of Jree261
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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

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Photo of SHODriver
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of dalahodson
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of Zorro
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of ADZA
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Muffin Top from Clown Shoes
87 out of 100 based on 153 ratings.