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Chocolate Sombrero - Clown Shoes

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Chocolate SombreroChocolate Sombrero

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BA SCORE
87
very good

1,348 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,348
Reviews: 255
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 62
Gots: 274 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Clown Shoes visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rab53 on 02-26-2012

Roasted dark malts plus extra chocolate malts plus ancho chile plus cinnamon plus organic vanilla extract plus a chocolate eating, beer drinking, Clown Shoes wearing, multi limbed, gorgeous and glorious Mexican wrestler on the label. That’s the recipe for a Chocolate Sombrero!
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,348 | Reviews: 255
Reviews by smcolw:
Photo of smcolw
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Modest beige head, slow to fade, leaves plenty of spotty lace on the glass. The liquid is near black--no light passes.

The smell reminds me of baker's chocolate with whole milk added. It doesn't smell like milk chocolate, though. It is also not chalky like some.

Rich cocoa and dark chocolate flavors. The swallow has a nice spicy hop along with some warming alcohol bite. The body is rich with an elevated level of carbonation. Not very sweet. An easy-to-drink stout. Taste-wise, it's hard to believe its an Imperial styled one.

More User Reviews:
Photo of beerdrifter
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. Pitch black pour with a nice two finger caramel-colored head with good retention and great lacing. Roasty, chocolaty nose with hints of cinnamon, cocoa, licorice, espresso, and vanilla. The taste follows suit with big roasty chocolate fudge notes with hints of cinnamon, espresso, cocoa, licorice, and as it warms, the chilies finally emerge but don't overpower. The mouthfeel is maybe a little thin for a stout, with a mouth-coating finish and a subtle burn from the chilies. Overall, this is a really flavorful and extremely drinkable chocolate stout.

Photo of Brad007
4.71/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, another example of this style from Clown Shoes. I'm starting to warm up to their lineup.

Pours a wicked black with a one-finger brown head into my glass. Reminds me of chocolate milk.

Roasty, spicy, creamy with good interplay between the ancho chile and vanilla extract.

Mmmmm. Dark, roasty malt that's creamy with a mixture of spicy chile, cinnamon and vanilla flavors. There's plenty of balance as-is to keep any one flavor from dominating, etc.

Carbonation is ok and helps keep it from being a cloying mess. I can see this aging very well though to where the flavors come out better.

Very good! I'm buying another bottle for aging purposes.

Photo of CTbrew32
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Color is black with a tan head. Produces pretty much no head even on a aggressive pour. Aroma has lots of roasted malt and sweet chocolate. The taste has roasted malts upfront followed by vanilla and sweet chocolate in the middle. Very mild cinnamon and pepper show up in the finish with roasted malt for a somewhat bitter finish. Full bodied, creamy texture to this, no booze at 9%, and very little carbonation. Overall, a very well balanced stout with the roastiness/pepper/cinnamon evenly matched with chocolate/vanilla flavors. Only complaint is I wish the peppers were more prominent, but this is still a great, flavorful stout at a great price too.

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured jet black into my imperial nonic,a thinner deep beige colored head atop.Alot of vanilla and chocolate in the nose,as it sat more the alcohol sweetness along with some dark fruit came into play,not much ancho presence.Flavors of vanilla and bakers chocolate were nice but the ancho chilli flavors were very light wich I was hoping to get more of,nicely roasted in the finish.It's a double stout with rich flavors just lacking the chilli flavors wich was the main reason I bought the beer.

Photo of tectactoe
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

So Clown Shoes finally decided to start distributing their beers to Michigan, and their stuff has been showing up everywhere. Naturally, the cocoa, chile, cinnamon, vanilla stout is the one I must try first. Chocolate Sombrero pours the deepest possible shade of brown with some very faint, dark ruby trim. The thick, tan, micro-bubble head shows great retention and leaves some webbed lacing all around the top of the glass.

The aroma is an excited boxer bouncing in the corner; it comes out and hits you with a chocolate uppercut, comes back with a roasted malt left hook, cheap shots you with a vanilla knee in the abdomen, then teabags you on the ground with a sack of light cinnamon and even lighter chilies. Order of strength follows that schedule: chocolate, roast, vanilla, cinnamon, and lastly, chile. A nice aromatic balance of roasty and sweet with a touch of spice to mix things up.

A good, roasted malt backbone solidifies itself right off the bat with some sweet cocoa nib flavors that come steadily creeping in before long. A strong note of vanilla extract pulls through shortly thereafter; it's slightly disheartening to say I can actually "taste the extract", but you can tell it doesn't have the pure vanilla bean flavor. Still good, but maybe a touch too syrupy and sweet if it's not blended in perfect proportion.

Cinnamon comes out about halfway through each sip, and gets stronger over the course of the brew, adding a nice layered effect to the flavor. Basically no chilies with the first sip. Or the second. Or third. Not until nearly the last quarter of the glass do I notice a slight tingle on the back of my tongue with and insanely faint chile flavor. I think I prefer the fact that the chilies aren't overpowering... Or powering at all.

The one thing where this beer differs from other cocoa-vanilla-cinnamon-chile beers, like Mexican Cake or Hunahpu's, is the mouth feel. It's depressingly thin compared to the other two beers I mentioned, and overall just very vapid and thin for a stout in general. Carbonation is on the low side, which is okay, but I would prefer some kind of creamy, silky, and sexy-smooth body to accompany these flavors.

Hmm... Well, color me a little bit impressed. Good balance of flavors, and Chocolate Sombrero abides by the one (personal) rule I have when it comes to chile beers: do not overuse the chile peppers! Though the mouth feel can't compare to some of the big name stouts out there, it's nice to know that I can tide over my Mexican Cake and Hunahpu's cravings with a bomber of this stuff from my local store.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was black in color with a tiny light brown head.

The aroma was mostly chocolate, with a bit of spice, all with a background of roasted malt.

The taste was also mostly chocolate, but there was a noticeable chile undercurrent, as well as a bit of cinnamon.

Despite the disparate ingredients, this beer worked well. The chile taste began in a subtle fashion, and intensified as the beer was sipped. Very enjoyable, and a nice change of pace.

Photo of Beaver13
3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Pours brown-black with a medium frothy tan head that goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is subdued - roasted grains with a little cinnamon and chile.

The flavor is sweet chocolate malts with a little spice and some heat from the chile in the finish with some residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, an OK stout. It's pretty subdued, and there are better alternatives.

Photo of tigg924
3.21/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A slightly above average imperial stout that delivers the expected flavors of dark chocolate, light cocoa, Bosco chocolate syrup, roasted malt, and cream. I was expecting the chocolate to overpower the roastiness but that was not the case. Worth a try, but I have other favorites in the style.

Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.36/5  rDev +12.7%

I got to say that this is a great stout.Nice chocolate taste and at 9.0 abv you have to try it.Looked at the ratings and i have to say i think it`s a bit low.Not much of a head but the smell is a fantastic chocolate.I love what this beer did for me.Shitting out on the porch listening to led zeppelin and i really liked what i was tasting.Give this a try and you will not be disappointed.Would i drink this again.Yes and again and again.

Photo of Mora2000
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very dark brown to black color with a tan head. The first thing I get in the aroma is a ton of chocolate, with a little bit of roasted malt. I also get some nice cinnamon notes in the aroma. The flavor is a little more complex. The chocolate notes go very well with some nice heat and flavor from the peppers. There is also a little cinnamon, but it is stronger in the aroma than the flavor. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice beer, glad I got to try it.

Photo of jondeelee
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Chocolate Sombrero opens to a rich, chocolate aroma that brings instant comparisons to artisan milk and dark chocolate bars, but touched with hints of spice from the ancho chilies, which add a mild green pepper and very light red pepper flake overtone. Though the chocolate is the dominant aroma, there are still very large touches of brown sugar, molasses, caramel, vanilla, coffee cream, and even toffee in here, as well as orange, berry, and even a hint of banana fruit esters. Thick brown breads and toast crust underlie all of this, as well as light ash and tobacco, the darker notes here a nice counterpoint to the chocolates and mild chili pepper spice. As a whole, the nose is very nice, heavily sugary with just enough ash and tobacco to balance things out, and the anchos, while adding their own spicy note, aren’t overpowering, and at least on the nose don’t give any hint of dominating or detracting from the underlying stout.

On the tongue, the beer is far more ashy than the nose let on, with tobacco and ash washing immediately across the tongue, the sugars somewhat struggling to keep up. There are a good number of sugars in here to counter the ash, including a very strong heavy cream note, as well as milk and dark chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, and vanilla. Fruit esters are harder to locate here, but touches of fig and date seem to be the most present, the strange banana notes from the nose thankfully absent. The ancho chilies do come through nicely, adding not so much a flavor as a burning sensation on the tongue and soft palate, the way delicately spiced food still tastes much the same, but has a slightly larger peppery burn. The aftertaste is heavy on ash and tobacco, with some remaining heavy cream and chocolate, as well as a mild spice afterburn, and lingers on the tongue for a good while. Mouthfeel is a strange medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, there are some good notes in here, and they’re nicely balanced and flavorful, but what the beer ultimately needed was simply a bit more oomph from the sugars, the medium-range 9% ABV simply not enough to create the full mouthfeel and flavor power of a good-quality stout. The ancho chilies were, however, an excellent choice, and very nicely play off of the chocolates and dark breads.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light black in color and somewhat penetrate lee to light. Just a trace of light brown foam covers a small part of the top of the beer. Brussels lacing. I get chocolate,roasted barley,and cinnamon in the nose. The mouth is silky smooth and viscous. I get roasted barley, cinnamon,and fig throughout the palate. This is a very sweet finish after a bitter start.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. bottled 3/2012.

pours out a nice deep opaque black color with a big creamy 2 fingers of tan, light mocha colored head, lots of good retention and some pretty good lacing left on the glass. tight, creamy bubbles in the head.

lots of vanilla extract and cocoa, lots of sweet toasted malt as well, also a bit of roast. as it warms, a touch of alcohol shows up, definatly nothing offensive. im having a real hard time picking out any chilies of cinnamon however.

again, the vanilla, chocolate, and some sweet toasted malt are at the forefront. also some roastiness. as this warms, a bit of welcomed booze comes in, just a touch solvent like and maybe some hints of cinnamon. again, i cant really tell that chilies were used here, but still a tasty beer.

heavier side of medium bodied, just the right creamy carbonation for this beer.

a pretty tasty beer, you really have to let it warm to bring out some of those hidden flavors. i was a little disappointed in that there was really no chilie pepper flavor, as i was looking forward to that the most after i read the label. also after reading the label, i couldnt help but think that maybe they got influenced by hunapus a bit, but this definatly reminded me way more of victory at sea.

Photo of MattyG85
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass. Bottled in 5/2012.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of tan head that fades away into a few tiny side patches. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A big dark and sweet aroma. Roasted malts with big hints of dark chocolate, cocoa powder, toasted bread, burnt caramel, toffee, vanilla, and coffee. A fair amount of burnt sugar and molasses. Spicing is fairly subtle but there are some noticeable hints of chili, cinnamon, nutmeg, and anise. Subtle hints of dark fruit in the background along with a slight earthy hop hint. A pretty good dark aroma.

Taste: Roasty and chocolate driven like the aroma hints. Roasted malts with a big taste of cocoa and dark chocolate. Burnt caramel, toast, toffee, coffee, and some vanilla. Anise licorice and burnt molasses. Light taste of spices including chili peppers, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Light undertones of dark raisins and fig. Subtle presence of hops giving a earthy taste. A nice tasting stout.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and pretty smooth. A little lighter than expected for an imperial stout. Alcohol is hidden well.

Overall: A nice tasting imperial stout. Good roasty chocolate flavors. The spicing could of been a little stronger. Good overall.

Photo of far333
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours out dark brown and opaque, with a light brown thick and frothy head that settles out slowly. Inviting aroma of cocoa and cabernet, some cherries.

Rich flavor upfront, chocolate milk, dark bread, honey and cherries, tending toward more of a sweet or milk stout rather than an imperial. Subtle peppery spice, but I was really expecting a nice smokey peppery kick from the description on the label. No hop flavors, and low bitterness. Alcohol strength is well hidden.

Mouthfeel is watery, a tad slick. Overall an okay beer, but it advertises better than it performs, and it's a little too pricey to not be too special.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Midnight oil is burning as we speak, I'm working hard on drinking this high quality Mexican American hybrid, it's a beautiful beer that more folks need to get to know! An intimate combination of black patent, chocolate malts with mole' esque experience serving the vanilla/cinnamon/ancho chile experience in a glass. This beer is new to Ohio and Pittsburgh markets, I'm blessed to have options of good beer. These Clown Shoes folks are dark beer specialists, thus far if it's dark and it's from Ipswich, MA the beer can do no wrong for me. Dark bountiful body with a tan head forming froth fully above the rim of my chalice, leaving behind layered intricate lacing patterns. Aromatics offer up dark chocolate notes, hints of vanilla and smoked chiles, cinnamon spice combo that works so well together. Flavors bring the dark chocolate and adjuncts together to form somewhat of a liquid mole' suauce, I'm in love. Mouthfeel is amazing silky smooth even flowing carbonation big medium to full bodied perfect finish. Overall buy this beer and share it with good beer drinking friends and admire the beauty!!!

Photo of chinchill
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small snifter filled from a large bottle.
Hazy brown body is nearly opaque; topped with a weak head.
Full body with light carbonation.

Flavor and Aroma: rich with ample dark chocolate. Starts mildly sweet but ends mildly bitter. High ABV is partly evident in both the taste and feel.

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Thick, oily inky black, this beer definitely looks to show off a robust body from the start. The head is a medium brown one just less than one finger's thickness with good stay and stick.
It shows off the chocolate for sure, syrupy (not in the feel) and sweet with dry, powdered cocoa highlights. The chili is a little understated but not devoid of notice, just slightly building up very little heat in the back. A little vanilla sweetness is in there under lots of roast and some obviously cinnamon spicing. A touch of leafy bitterness, lingering underneath the roasted malt and sweetness, speaks to a light balance from hops.
The body is thick but not heavy, full but not as much as it would have you think initially. A bit of crispness cuts through without detracting from the smoothness.
This is very good; I think what keeps it from the upper echelons is the timidity of the peppers (not looking to get destroyed, but a little more) as well as vanilla not quite putting itself out there. A little more teamwork and it's up there with the best.

Photo of rdilauro
3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was getting excited. Stout, no question how much I love them. Then add some heat from chiles. Now we are talking, I hove hot chiles
The pour was getting good. Typical stout with a nice semi dark head.
I didnt get much out of the aroma. In fact, I felt it was a bit on the slight side.

Then the first sip. Full like I wanted a stout to be, but bit off with the chiles. It had almost a bitter aftertaste. On my second and third sops, I kike the little heat, but still the chiles used were not some of my favorites

Photo of biboergosum
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle. The marketing blurb performs well enough in its description of its own label, that I don't really have to riff on anything here #softlysobbinginthecorner.

This beer pours a solid, near light-destroying black, with the barest of cola syrup basal edges, and two fingers of restrained in its puffiness, tightly foamy, and verily creamy chocolate milk head, which leaves some violently cleaving iceberg profile lace around the glass as it lazily sinks away.

It smells of bittersweet cocoa powder, spicy salted pretzels (in the chili garlic paste sense - fuck that weak-ass Sriracha stuff), slightly smoked pale and caramel malts, vanilla crackers, metallic cinnamon, and some indistinct vegetal and bitter leafy astringencies. The taste is rather dry chocolate, pleasantly toasted chili peppers, grainy, bready caramel malt, a waning salted licorice character, diluted brown sugar, more increasingly metallic cinnamon spice, boozy fake vanilla, and a continuing vegetal note, that may be hop, may be pepper - just too hard to say, pendejo!

The carbonation is tame, but supportive enough for the task at hand, the body a genial medium weight, with a plucky attempt at smoothness, which is admirable, given the circling spicy vectors. It finishes off-dry, the chocolate sweetness doing well to assert itself, as the salty, smoky, and uber alles, spicy pepper character reloads and comes back atcha for more.

Disjointed (I'm certain that I've used this word in relation to this brewery of late - just sayin'), engaging, furtive, and frustrating - those are the associations I have with this offering. More specifically - chocolate, chili spice, vegetation, bread, and in the end, sweet alcohol. Curtains for that wack Mexican clown wrestler, and curtains for me.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.31/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to Cuzco for this one!

A: Pours a nice black with a little tan colored head on top which dissipated rather quickly. No lacing to speak of either.

S: Definitely some chocolate and a bit of roasted malt. The chile and cinnamon are there, but are rather faint. Was hoping for a bit of a stronger aroma here.

T: The flavor profile was a bit more subdued, some dark chocolate and a little roast, but where was the peppers and cinnamon? Extremely faint, and only there because I was expecting it to be there probably.

M: Medium bodied, rather smooth, with moderate carbonation.

O: Was hoping for a bit more with this one. Probably a pass for me.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours black with cola brown edging where light can penetrate. The tan head builds and peaks at a finger's width before dying down in fair time, revealing a near-barren surface and a razor thin line of suds around the edge of the glass.Leaves no lacing.

Smell - Big chocolate aroma with lesser notes of vanilla, smoke and roasted malt. Faint traces of spice.

Taste - Follows the nose to an extent; big milk chocolate flavor dominates at the forefront. Vanilla kicks in with fair presence shortly thereafter, then a bit of cinnamon and spice toward the back end. Light earth, smoke and coffee character hit in the finish which help to deliver a balanced, bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full in body with low and slightly tingly carbonation. Silky smooth and easy finish.

Overall - Really good. A bit more spice would've been nice, because it's fairly buried and therefore doesn't quite deliver on the promise of the label. Regardless, this is a nice, easy drinking Impy Stout with loads of chocolate. Unfortunately for the price, I'm probably one and done. I expect more out of a $10 bomber.

Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick black pour, with small retained head. Chocolate and sweet spicy aroma. A quality chocolate in liquid form, with spiciness and some heat. Fuller mouthfeel.Good drinkability, but woe to the one who drinks it all, a la me. I was burping up the chile and Cinnamon eight hours later.

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Hoyt for sharing this bomber

A - pitch black with a big, thick cap of brown, chocolaty head that has great retention

S - cinnamon, chocolate, faint coffee, roasted malts

T - roasted malts, coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, big rich chocolate throughout

M - full bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a really smooth stout with tremendous flavor. The spices blend nicely with the rich chocolate base. The coffee and roasted notes play nicely throughout. This was a really enjoyable stout. It's definitely worth trying.

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Chocolate Sombrero from Clown Shoes
87 out of 100 based on 1,348 ratings.