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Muffin Top - Clown Shoes

Not Rated.
Muffin TopMuffin Top

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

149 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 149
Hads: 661
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 27.2%
Wants: 56
Gots: 102 | 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.
View: Beers (47) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 149 | Hads: 661
Photo of Bighuge
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of martyl1000
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
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".

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of ncfranklin
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into my Ommegang tulip (quickly becoming my favorite glass). Date of 08/2012.

A: A hazy sunshine yellow to orange with a very nice, frothy white head. Really nice looking. Lacing is excellent.

S: All Belgian yeast and hops. Bready, fruity zest, honey, spice with some citrus and grassy. Aromatics are potent.

T: Aggressive. Starts off big and bready with lots of malty sweetness before caving to a strong, peppery flavor with a hop load behind it of grapefruit citrus and grass.

M: Surprisingly light an dry for the ABV. Still has the slick and buttery feel of a tripel but finishes nice with a burst of carbonation.

O: I liked it. I liked it alot. As if someone took a pretty good tripel and tossed some hops in. It's got complexity, but remains really scary in drinkability for the ABV. Good job Clown Shoes.

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Photo of chefhatt
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at pardise by the slice
Served in a snifter glass
It has a nice light copper body with a minual amout of head that lays down quickly. The smell had a nice citrus and belgium yeast aroma to it. The taste was kinda citrus and sweet up front then the hop bit came in around the middle to back of the tongue. The mouth feel was great, nice an smooth and overall this is another great belgium ipa.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour is dark reddish copper, rather hazy with a tan bubbly head. Nose is a bit of stale rye bread with a faint spice to it. The hops are green and earthy but very light. The taste is bigger and the hops come through more. There is sticky malt and notes of caramel underneath. Hops are citrusy and herbal with faint bitterness. There is a bit of grain underneath with a slightly syrupy body, moderate carbonation, and prickly on the tongue.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 6/2012

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden copper color with a fingers worth of head that settles down to a nice cap of bubbles

S: A good bit of fruitiness from the yeast is really all you get form the aroma. Light alcohol too, but nothing reminiscent of the 10%. Definitely more tripel-like than IPA in the nose

T: Really nice. Starts off sweet with the fruit and then goes into the alcohol and hop mix, with the hops imparting nice citrus notes. Get the orange peel as well. The sweetness is the main focus here, with the bitterness appearing only slightly in the finish

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly cloying from the sweetness

O: The tripel style is really the main focus of this beer, with a nice addition of hops that barely justifies the IPA part of the label simply because of the large influence of the malts and Belgian yeast. Unlike most American Belgian-style IPAs, this one actually focuses much more on the Belgian aspect. Definitely respectable. If you're really looking for an American Belgian-style IPA from this brewery, go with Tramp Stamp. This one leans more on the Belgian side. Very nicely done

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Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of liamt07
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from Sammy, 650ml into a tulip

Hazy darker orange, dense offwhite head - thick lacing and fantastic creamy retention. Nose has lots of citrus/orange zest, candied malt flavours and big dry, Belgian yeast qualities. Hint of spice/clove but the American hopping and the yeast (moreso) is right at the forefront. Taste has dry yeast qualities upfront, some melon, subtle spice and bitter/herbal and citrus hop qualities. Touch of raw banana. Full feel, no alcohol (just barely) and drying. A big yeasty beer all round, fairly enjoyable.

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Photo of oberon
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a cloudy caramel amber, nice fine two finger white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, pine hops and Belgian spicing, smells good. Flavor is very malt forward, caramel malt, strong bittering hops and mild Belgian spices. Flavor is understated but well integrated. Finish Is malt with very strong bittering hops that seem to concentrate on the back of the tongue where there is no real herbal hop flavor, but a lingering hop bite. Interesting subtle flavor to start, but the finish is a bit on the astringent side. Medium bodied with pleasant creaminess; good mouth feel. A well made imperial IPA that tastes good but could use some more herbal hop flavors and a bit more flavor in the finish to balance the hop bitterness.

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Photo of jmerloni
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a caramel color with a 2" white head. Trails of lacing remain on the glass.

S- honey, lemon and spices

T- caramel, citrus and spices with pine bitterness. Has a citrus, acetic flavor I am no enjoying.

M- medium body and carbonation. Drinkability saves this beer. Would never know this is 10%.

O- not a bad beer but not one I would revisit.

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Photo of Kromes
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A hazy orange color with a thick off white head that sticks to the glass.

S: There's a strong Belgain yeast aroma with some barnyard funk. A bit sour and a touch of earthy hop.

T: Continuing from the aroma, it is a bit sour at first with a noticable alcohol flavor. The funk joins in with an earthy and herbal hop. The finish is warm, bitter, clove spice and peppery from the alcohol.

M: Oily and medium bodied. Finish is dry.

O: A good Belgian IPA. The flavors are very strong and upfront. It has some good depth to it.

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Photo of ChrisPratz
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very nice cloudy brownish golden amber color pours to 3 fingers of thick foamy had that dissipates to a half finger of light and airy foam that clings all the way down. This is what beer should look like right out of the bottle.

S: Some citrus and spices mixed with the belgian yeast. Picking up some banana esthers and sour/tart. Very enjoyable.

T: Some nice orange citrus and tart at the start with the yeast flavor coming thru. Bready biscuit malt sweetness leading to a floral hoppyness that has minimal bitterness and ends with a mild alcohol flavor.. Very well balanced all around, i'm really enjoying this. Flavors seem to blend and mellow as it warms.

M: Minimal carbonation, the biscuit malty flavors lead to a creamyness that coats your mouth and lets the mild tones and after taste linger. Slight dryness from the higher ABV but it doesn't take away from the enjoyment at all.

O: Very impressive beer. Everything balances well, with the flavors flowing into each other and mellowing out as the brew warms. Really impressed, Clown Shoes is becoming one of my favorite new breweries.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear golden orange to copper in color. The beer has a finger tall creamy light beige head that reduces slightly but has great retention properties - the head eventually reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer, a couple of thick patches, and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There are aromas of citrus hops, pale malts, spice/clove, and Belgian yeast which are moderately strong. I like the smell of this beer and it entices me to want to try the beer.

T: The flavors of this beer are similar to the smell. The taste starts out slightly sweet with the pale malts and hints of caramel. That is followed by the citrus hops which are primarily bitter orange rind flavors. There are also some light citrus notes and the finish has the Belgian yeast notes and the clove/spice.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Chewy.

O: This is a very interesting styled beer, not quite what I expected from the Belgian IPA - more like a Belgian tripel merged with an IPA. I enjoyed the flavors and found the beer pretty easy to drink. I think the flavor is quite refreshing and one I would be happy to have again.

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Photo of alk3kenny
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange color head is white and creamy looks like a nice beer overall... Smell is of a very sweet fruit maybe a sugary orange??? I expect a certain level of sweetness in a belgian but this is somewhat surprising. Not off putting overall but surprising... no hops on the nose... Taste is slightly sweet not nearly the sweetness you get in the nose and there are definitely hops present. Very interesting indeed... ooo and there is the 10% alcohol on the back of the tongue leaving a boozy mouthfeel... In the second sip getting a little more of the orange I picked up in the nose and you can definitely taste that beer has some alcohol in it... again not off-putting just very obvious but I don't mind tasting my alcohol a little bit... Overall a good beer would drink again on tap to give that a try.

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Photo of katan
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz into a pint

A - Pours a deep golden color, light amount of carbonation. Head formation is pearly white, quite a bit of lacing.

S - Strange fruity nose - quite a bit of orange and almost sour notes. There is a deeper darker fruit in the background. Not much for hops or alcohol.

T - Starts off with a light sweetness, nothing IPA like, just a simple malt. Mid-stream gets more hoppy and spicy at the same time. The white pepper from the yeast finally comes through, but there is a strong citrus like hops there as well. Finishes clean, little alcohol.

M - Moderate to low carbonation, but a strong and full body. Finishes clingy, but not sticky sweet. Not much alcohol warmth.

O/D - A very interesting beer of little style designation. I thought perhaps this would be a tripel, but it clearly pulls through the hops. However there isn't enough yeast notes to make me think Belgian IPA. The result however is pretty tasty - reminds me of some japaneese beers surprisingly.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of BeerT3ch
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great tasting beer. Plenty of Belgium and American pride mixed in a bottle. Full Mouth, citrus, earthy flavor. Consistence Drink from the front to the back end. ABV is obvious! 10% +.... Very good Pour. I was hesitant to try the new Clown Shoes Brewery, but I'm glad I did. Vampire Slayer's next. Cheers!

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had an amber color and a cloudy consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A very sharp aroma of citrus - oranges especially - and hops.

T: Tasted of hops (a moderate amount), orange, malt and a bit of yeast thrown in. At first the flavor was a bit harsh and overbearing, but it gradually grew on me. .

M: A good amount of carbonation with a crisp, smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A solidly made, drinkable brew.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 4/11/2012 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruity citrus, Belgian yeast, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts with a complex combo of spices, citrus, caramel and Belgian yeast up front that stays predominantly sweet. There’s a hearty malt character and a slightly alcohol sting. There’s a decent hops presence that brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it’s certainly not as good as the regular version and is proof that “Imperial” doesn’t always make a better.

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Photo of oline73
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with two finger of thick, off white head that leaves some nice lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell: The smell is quite herbal with some malt and hops. I'm also getting some alcohol with a fruity malt sweetness.

Taste: There is a much stronger hop presence here than there was in the smell. The hops hit your tongue hard up front, and then the Belgian yeast kicks in. The middle and end of each sip have some herbal yeast and fruity malt notes joining the hops. The finish is bitter and herbal.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: The dueling tastes in this beer were a bit distracting. The herbal notes and the hops were a bit extreme, and that resulted in a slightly confusing taste. Not my favorite, but still pretty good.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep honey amber, with the color spectrum leaning more towards oranges than reds. There is very little head, but what does appear is a thing off-white ring around the edges.

S: The nose is floral with hints of citrus. I'm also picking up slight banana, and a bit of funk. I wouldn't say that it has brett in it, but there is a twangy bite to it. It's nice.

T: The beer starts off slightly sweet, with a big lemony citrus note coming through. It gets a bit tart in the finish, with that banana funk. There is a solid alcohol kick in the finish, but it's not overwhelming.

M: Light bodied beer, even for a 10% triple. It's way easier to drink than I would have imagined. It starts out sweet but not coating. The finish is dry.

O: I'm pleasantly surprised by this beer. It's a big beer, but the flavors are solid, and it's really drinkable. I don't know if I'd want more than one bomber in a sitting, but I'd buy this beer again if I was in the mood.

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Photo of tdm168
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Muffin Top from Clown Shoes
87 out of 100 based on 149 ratings.