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Vampire Slayer - Clown Shoes

Vampire SlayerVampire Slayer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,061 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1061
Reviews: 265
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 9.73%

Brewed by:
Clown Shoes visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
In a world full of uncertainty, hardship, and people trying to hold us back, do we need Vampires, too? Clown Shoes says, “No! Die, monsters, die!”

Our second anniversary ale incorporates signature dark malts, holy water, and malt smoked locally with hickory, ash, and vampire killing stakes.

(Beer added by: Gushue3 on 12-31-2011)
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Ratings: 1,061 | Reviews: 265 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of 57md


3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance is a dark brown to black color with a finger of beige head. There is a slight roastiness to the nose. The flavor profile leads and finishes with healthy roast and the finish has a sweet quality to it. The body is robust and substantial, but this offering is not quite as big as the best double stouts around.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2014 04:29:50 | More by 57md
Photo of thecheapies


4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pretty dark-looking brew. Looks about black. Head is a thin disc of microbubbles.

Dark chocolate liqueur, licorice, dark roast, light smokiness, and hints of dark fruits. Delicious aroma.

Boozy, yes... tasty, absolutely. Dark chocolate and licorice with an immense roast character, despite easy semi-sweetness. Still smoky and slightly caramelly, in a dark way. Reminscent of black cherry, raisin, and oakwood. Fantastic stuff.

The body is rather hefty, but remarkably drinkable. The carb is of token strength. Really appropriate feel, if not surprisingly so.

I love partially smoky imperial stouts. This one is no exception. And, all the other components are 'plus'. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2013 03:53:27 | More by thecheapies
Photo of CrazyDavros


4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with a large dark tan head.
Nose shows vanilla, roasted malt, spicy hops, oatmeal and milk chocolate.
Flavours include a strong sweetness, vanilla, spicy hops, alcohol, chocolate liqueur and hazelnuts. Good stuff.
Nice moderate carbonation and syrupy body.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2013 04:24:30 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of BreakfastStout


4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Found this tasty brew on tap at 7 Monks in Traverse City.

Appearance: Very dark brown, nearly black pour. Thin amber head with minimal lacing.

Smell: Smoky woodsy charred smell.

Taste: Alcohol comes through right away but not overpowering. Followed by hops, chocolate, and coffee. Like most beers in this category, it gets tastier as it warms.

Mouhfeel: A bit thin, but not a significant amount.

Overall: I loved this beer. I would have had another but the bar had 46 different beers on tap, plus I promised my wife a color tour. I'll have to look for this baby in the bottle at the local brew store.

I just managed to pick up a 22 oz bottle from the local distributor. It's just as delicious out of the bottle. I also just heard that some Tool Bags out of California think they should litigate to to preserve the vampire name. F them...

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2013 23:18:32 | More by BreakfastStout
Photo of CharlesRamsey


3.15/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Like Kim Kardasian, looks are deceiving. A full body apperance, with a trunk full of junk. That is a little too harsh as i know how well reviewed this offering is, but you get my point. Flavor complexities that still need to be worked out, with high points of coffee grinds, burnt chocolate but a thin, syrupy mouthfeel that missed the richness of some others. The dark, thin head stayed, with low carbonation that needed more balance for me to want to try it again.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2013 02:00:37 | More by CharlesRamsey
Photo of SweetBrown


3.18/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I don't always drink stout, but when I do, it will most likely not be another Vampire Slayer. The color was a mix of dark raspberry and dark roast coffee beans, with a thin layer of foam, which on looks alone, seemed very promising. However, upon first sip, I found it somewhat syrupy and not as smooth as its looks, with taste notes that was a cross between black licorice and soy sauce. This was not a thirst quencher, but more like a meal. For these same reasons, it's probably a great drink for those who appreciate a good hearty imperial stout. As a fan of True Blood, glad I tried it, but may have been too big of a bite for this IPA-er.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2013 01:45:50 | More by SweetBrown
Photo of Halcyondays


3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a deep dark black with a medium slightly off-white head, not as dark as Unidragon. Some spotty lace, nice look.

S: 80% dark cocoa count chocolate bar to a T. One-dimensional, but it does it well.

T: More classic on the flavour profile. Roasted malt, some dark bread, notes of dark chocolate with a hint of espresso.

M: Creamy, smooth, medium/full-bodied, easy drinking for its size.

O: Not as interesting as the Unidragon, but a solid effort nonetheless. I enjoyed trying this one from Clown Shoes, don't know why their bombers have to be so expensive.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2013 23:38:05 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of socon67

New York

4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn

A - Jet black pour with a nice brown cola colored foam. Macing was impressive in rings on the glass.

S - smells of licorice, berries, dark fruits, and chocolate hit the nose. Very complex mix of scents, and extremely pleasant.

T - Flavors match the smell. There is many complex notes that just seem to come together well. Sweet blackberries and currants (or figs) combine with milk chocolate and a touch of anise in the finish. Maybe this was a good keg but this was really tasty.

M - Very rich and became more of a sipper over time. While not syrupy thick this was a rich beer that left its mark. One glass shouls be enough unless you have time to kill.

O - I'd buy a bottle of this. And if I did I'd let it sit for a while to see how it mellowed.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2013 20:40:52 | More by socon67
Photo of AgentMunky


3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass at World of Beer.

A: Darkest brown and totally opaque.

S: Creamy bitter-sweet.

T: Fruity, sweetish, and molasses. Heavy cream; quite rich. Flavor is only moderate and not unexpected.

M: Rich.

O: Good imperial stout, but fairly plain. Wouldn't recommend it, but it's definitely serviceable.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2012 02:44:27 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of jera1350


4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Happy Gnome.

Served in a tulip, solid black, minimal head of dark colored foam. Sweet and mildly roasted malt nose. The flavor has a nice medium sweetness to it. Light chocolate, coffee, roasted malts with a hint of smoked malt. Very smooth and feels lighter than 10%. Surely would not have guessed this to be that high of an abv because the alcohol is not detected at all. Overall a very nice imperial stout that drinks quite easily.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2012 18:58:51 | More by jera1350
Photo of woosterbill


4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Cask Republic, served in an oversized snifter.

A: PItch black body with clear crimson highlights around only the very edges when held up to direct light; on top lies a half-inch of dense light-brown head that settles into a thin cap and solid ring, leaving spotty lace. Quite nice.

S: Intense, roasty, and smoky. Lots of wood smoke, dark chocolate, coffee, and molasses. Some earthy hop notes, too. Really well-integrated and impressive.

T: Opens with bitter coffee and smoke, followed by burnt molasses, bakers chocolate, and a relatively bitter finish that combines hoppiness and brownie batter. Some hints of dark fruit dance in the background, but this is mainly about the smoke, roast, and hops. Impressively devoid of booze. I'm really, really enjoying it.

M: No thicker than medium-bodied, but with plenty of creamy mouth-filling carbonation. All right.

O: I've been generally underwhelmed by Clown Shoes offerings since they came into CT, but thought I'd give this a shot given its solid reviews. I wasn't disappointed - it's an extremely good imperial stout.


Serving type: on-tap

12-05-2012 21:41:17 | More by woosterbill
Photo of rodlavers


4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on draft, poured into a narrow tulip. About a finger of tan head recedes after a few minutes leaving pleanty of cling, but nothing else. Looks awesome. Blacker than coffee. I don't really smell anything -- chocolate and maybe some light malt/molasses, but not much (smell increases over time to incorporate warm chocolate and booze). Taste is awesome. Chocolate, coffee, molasses and a bit of smoke and tobacco, yum. Mouthfeel is very nice, smooth with prefect amount of bitterness. Overall this is a great beer, wish it smelled a bit more intense, would love to have this agian. Cheers.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2012 21:26:54 | More by rodlavers
Photo of johnmichaelsen


3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at TJ's the other day.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose prototypical RIS goodness, with considerable dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla and licorice. The licorice is a bit more prominent than usual for a RIS, and that's even more the case on the palate. The beer is a bit on the sweet side, which seemed to bring out all the more the licorice I'm picking up in this beer. Mouthfeel was a bit on the thin side, which surprised me given the abv. in this beer. Otherwise, the finish was long, sweet and licorice filled.

Was excited to try this beer when I saw it on the menu at TJ's. However, I can't say I was exactly bowled over by the beer, though it was decent. Oh well...

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2012 16:34:35 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of Knapp85


3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a deep black color. It had a thin brown colored head on top. The smell of the beer gave off some nice roasted malt aromas along with some interesting chocolate and coffee note. The taste was roasted with a light sweetness up front along with some bitter coffee notes finishing it off. The mouthfeel had a good amount of body to it, there were some light bubbles in there to break up the oily texture just a bit. Overall it's a good beer and I would enjoy having it again some day.

Serving type: on-tap

03-24-2012 02:33:09 | More by Knapp85
Photo of BARFLYB


3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at Blue Dog.

Vampire Slayer goes in the glass looking black like a stout. Black as night with a tannish head up above with splotches. Nice retention. Smell is Very roasted malt forward. A pungent scent ala Storm King. Some old world character,dark fruit with some coffee and licorice and bakers chocolate. Tasting this, It's apparent this is a big ass stout. Chocolate, coffee, licorice, cocco nibs, a hint of alcohol. One thing about these clown Shoes beers is that the alcohol is hidden very well in most offerings. Feel is full, carb is there, goes down smooth with a bit of warming. Glad I had it on tap because 22oz's of this would of been a chore.

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2012 06:05:14 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Jacob Wirth's
Pours a solid black color with a creamy white head that shows great retention and lace. Smells of chocolate, coffee, and roast mostly. A modest earthy hop provides little balance. Tastes is roasty and chocolatey as advertised in the aroma. Creamy smooth silky mouthfeel. medium body with a moderate level of carbonation. Nice stout, like a creamy mocha shake, I need to find some bottles of this.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2012 17:19:39 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of cbutova


4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black pour with a dark mocha head of about a finger in size. Good retention and a nice coat of creamy lace.

S- Dark roast malts and cocoa chocolate chip up front. Slight amount of dark fruit and alcohol.

T- Follows the nose with more of a cherry and spice presence. Nice straight up RIS with chocolate, roast malt and caramel grain notes.

MF- Lower end carbonaton in a creamy moderately thick body. Finishes warm and roast bitter.

Nice drinkable RIS with good cocoa and fruit notes. Not sure about the holy water but its a good beer for sure. Maybe ill spontaneously combust once finished.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2012 23:42:35 | More by cbutova
Photo of vickersspitfire


4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark body, almost pitch black, in fact all light seems to get trapped in its inner core much like a black hole. The head is a nice thick and fluffy tan organism that reminds me of the sirens of old, singing to me as if to draw me in just to feed on me.
The aroma dark and sweet, heavy with coffee and chocolate, mild figs and light raisin. The alcohol is nicely drawn out.
A strong coffee and chocolate flavor dominates the palate, sweetness completely envelopes your tongue.
This is a full bodied ale, thick and warming to the drink
Smooth, relaxing and fun to drink, this is a good stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2014 02:33:57 | More by vickersspitfire
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

While the pour yields over three fingers of foam, it is almost all big, delicate bubbles which are able to sustain longer than you’d think, surface looks like the top of a milkshake, the glass sides are all but fully covered in lacing, as if spray painted. Completely black liquid, no sign of any other color, no way you can see any bubbles, solid. The nose slowly builds, not aiming to knock you out with one blow, milk chocolate toffee, vanilla layers itself like a thick cake, plum, black cherry fruit, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts, there’s a grainy bite and a sweet smokiness too, does kind of lurch as it dissolves but the alcohol isn’t vicious, just clumsy. Full-bodied, dense and making it slow to react. The plum, cherry fruit sweeter here, like a fruit cake. Not to downplay the milk chocolate, coconut, caramel, oatmeal notes. The carbonation starts to lend it creaminess then oddly stops. Very light citrus and flower accents, has a tea leaf to tobacco leaf smokiness. Its weakest point might be its lack of flow and thirst quenching capability, both of which seem within its reach. Enjoy how the sweetness trails off through the finish, making it fresher and potentially more food friendly.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2014 00:59:15 | More by farrago
Photo of Thehuntmaster

South Africa

4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle 10,0% Abv.
Served chilled and split between a wine glass and a snifter.
Bottled: 02/2012

Appearance: Vampire Slayer appears pitch black in the glass, with a back light revealing only a sliver of deep red along the edge of the glass. A rough pour yields a large darker tan coloured head that lasts fairly well and leaves a few small patches of lacing as it recedes.

Smell: Based on the description on the bottle I was expecting a smoke / roasted malt centered beer, however my first few sniffs indicate that this will not be the case. Rich dark chocolate and sweet creamy caramel dominate the nose with roasted malt, smoke and dark fruits present in smaller quantities.

Taste: The flavour isn't quite as sweet as the nose suggested, however it still leans towards the sweet chocolatey side as opposed to roasted and smokey. Notes include: Dark chocolate, sweet caramel, some brown sugar, roasted malt and a little smoke. The finish is lightly bitter and there is no trace of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with a medium-high level of fantastically smooth carbonation.

Overall: I haven't had Vampire slayer fresh, but this bottle was absolutely delicious so I can't imagine the age did anything but improve it! I will have to get a hold of a fresh bottle to see if this is indeed the case.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 11:52:38 | More by Thehuntmaster
Photo of beergoot


3.74/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark, nearly black body with a lasting yet somewhat thin head. Plums, figs, and booze comprise the aroma; cocoa and some coffee. Taste closely mirrors the aroma. Body comes across medium-heavy, a little bubbly, somewhat sugary.

Overall, a pretty good imperial stout with most components playing nicely with each other yet with a slightly disjointed feel. Still, the beer is rich and flavorful, keeps the ABV reined in nicely, and generally fits the bill for the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 02:26:10 | More by beergoot
Photo of tmm313


4.59/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pitch black. Poured a nice, creamy 1 finger head. Awesome lacing, trailing, and legs.

S- Dark fruits: plum and dark cherry. Caramel, toffee, coffee, dark chocolate, booze and some smoke. Smell's like there's some oatmeal in there, too. Just a touch of band-aid, but in a good way.

T- Plums, cherry, smoke, and caramel, followed by decadent bittersweet dark chocolate, toffee, and a nice balance of booze. Nice smokey aftertaste.

M- Thickish, creamy, slightly syrupy. Taste melds with the mouthfeel beautifully! Drying and oily. Smokiness lingers a bit.

O- This was an awesome beer! I usually drink half of a bomber before sitting down to review, but this time, I only had about a cup left before it even crossed my mind. I loved how the mouthfeel complimented the flavors. I can't really explain how it did, but they went together wonderfully to me! I would drink this again in a heartbeat!

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 19:57:58 | More by tmm313
Photo of TheSixthRing


3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours jet black with a tan, finger width head. Good retention leads to a thin, but consistent layer of suds across the surface. Lacing is small, spotty and all over the glass, showing excellent stick.

Smell - Smokey roasted malt is the most pungent quality. Woodiness. Raisin and distant milk chocolate. Light astringency.

Taste - Dark fruits hit first, with prominent of raisin and fig. Touches of char and some mild roast. Chocolate is in there somewhere. Finishes with more sweet dark fruit character and a faint mocha quality.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied with a bit of syrupy feel. Low carbonation, but delivers a light tingle. Goes down fair enough, with a light alcohol bite.

Overall - Nice beer, but for the price I'd sooner grab a 4 pack of Grand Teton Black Cauldron for my smokey impy fix. More roasted depth would've been nice. Likley a one and done for me due to the high price tag.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 08:52:52 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of OneEye78


4.39/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a wide mouth pint glass. Was a deep black with little transparency around the edges, and very little head. Smelled of chocolate, a hint of coffee and smokey alcohol. Taste was led with a dark chocolate flavor, followed by a mix of smoke and coffee with a tart cherry and cranberry finish. Really liked the complexity of the taste, which really came out as it warmed up. There was a little bit of carbonation in the mouth, but was still substantial. I really enjoyed this beer. It was balanced, yet complex. A very satisfying stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2014 04:59:49 | More by OneEye78
Photo of alphagnome


4.91/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Notes: Bottled 11/09/12. Serving at 40 degrees in a brandy snifter.

Pitch black body allows zero light to penetrate its walls. Head is a bit disappointing - started with a finger-thick, beige head that disappears quickly but managed to leave a bit of lacing behind. When tilting the glass reveals some nice legs.

An elegant array of smoked wood and toasty malts. Upfront you're greeted with a smoked hickory character that blends beautifully with a rich cocoa character. Bold coffee notes

A lot of what was found in the nose can be found in the taste - bursting full of character, this one is! Vibrant cocoa laced with light, tart cherries hits right up front with a bitter bite that is spot on for the style. It's a bit sweet but it's not overkill. Plenty of peat on the finish and in the aftertaste. It's hard to believe this is 10% ABV as their is only the slightest burn on the tail end. Wow.

Full bodied with light carbonation. Stupidly smooth - seriously, how can this be 10%? Semi-sweet finish is laced with rainbows and puppies. Joking aside, this is perfect!

If there is such thing as the perfect imperial stout, in my eyes, this is it! This beer truly left me in awe. This bottle made it's way to my cellar from Alabama over a year ago when Clown Shoes wasn't available here in Iowa - oh how things change. Clown Shoes is now readily available here and if this beer is any indication of the quality they're capable of producing, consider me a fan for life. This is art, no question about it. With a few small tweaks to encourage head retention, this would be perfect! Do yourself a favor and grab this if you see it - you will not be disappointed!

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 23:17:55 | More by alphagnome
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Vampire Slayer from Clown Shoes
92 out of 100 based on 1,061 ratings.