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Chocolate Sombrero - Clown Shoes

Chocolate SombreroChocolate Sombrero

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

750 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 750
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.21%

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:
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!

(Beer added by: rab53 on 02-26-2012)
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Ratings: 750 | Reviews: 166 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of EricCioe


2.48/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had at a chili beer tasting including Mexican Cake, Hunahpu's, Theobroma, Cocoa Mole, and Ghost Face Killah.

This pours deep brown with a little head. On the nose there is a foul mixture of hot chilis and roasted malt and chocolate. The best way I can think to describe it is as chili powder and chocolate powder. It just feels false. In the mouth the initial hit is very hot from the chili, with some chocolate and roast coming out after the attack, before settling into a long, hot and not altogether unpleasant finish. The body is medium.

Overall, I didn't care for this beer, and moreover, I found the quality to be lacking. I wasn't a fan of either of the three chili stouts at the tasting, but with the other two at least it seemed like the flavors just didn't sit well for me, whereas I can't picture people actually liking this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 18:14:37 | More by EricCioe
Photo of mrandypandy


2.55/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle purchased at Hop City in Atlanta. Split with my buddy, Brad.

A - Pours a thick, dark black/brown. Nice mocha head with decent lacing.
S - Semi-sweet chocolate and some more chocolate. A bit one-dimensional.
T - Even more one-dimensional than the nose. Chocolate dominates, followed by a burnt bitterness. I don't get any vanilla, chilies or cinnamon. Tastes like an imperial stout with Swiss Miss thrown in.
M - Medium to full body. Decent carbonation.
O - Disappointed. I was really hoping to get some complexities from the vanilla and cinnamon, and some heat from the chilies, but if those hadn't been in the description on the bottle I would never have known they were in there. Neither of us were impressed, and we did not finish the bottle between us.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2012 14:07:30 | More by mrandypandy
Photo of chocosushi


2.73/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Melbourne Bros. Stemmed Tulip
Tasted side by side with Cocoa Mole

A ~ Pours Black-Brown with a cocoa powder head with a thin layer of creamy white on top.

S ~ Milk chocolate, Chocolate candle, Vanilla extract, coconut oil, cinnamon. Not much pepper aroma.

T ~ Chocolate follows through with mild cinnamon. Chocolate & Brown Malts. Heavy cloy of vanilla extract that I absolutely hate. Ancho provides only mild spice on the finish. Vanilla just shouldn't be in the mix here. It makes the beer sing the same note every sip.

M ~ Chocolate malts are way too prevalent. I expected a bit of Dark Roasted Malt to balance things out, but it doesn't shine. Vanilla cloys, Cinnamon is awkward, & I have to dig for Ancho (one of my favorite peppers.)

D ~ One & Done. Wouldn't get again. Too broad of flavors. No focus. If they would've omitted the Vanilla & added more Roasted Malts than they would've gotten somewhere with this one. Not recommended. If you're looking for a Mexican Chocolate beer, then try Cocoa Mole.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2012 01:09:48 | More by chocosushi
Photo of beerhan


2.83/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I heard about this beer today and saw it was getting talked up. I went out and bought a bottle, now I regret it.

A-thin bodied. Very black from far but upon further inspection it is more of a dark brown. Thick two finger head that just won't leave.

S-Smells like burnt barbecue turkey? Cheap cinnamon and mexican hooker. I have no idea what the hell this should smell like but this can't be right.

T-I get a little pepper and some smokey roast notes. I can almost taste burnt cinnamon and maybe some vanilla blanketed by a hint of clove. Dead leaf aftertaste.

M-Really not a pleasant beer to drink. I just want the taste to leave but it goes down relatively smooth.

O-I've had worse but this is probably the least impressive beer I have had in a while. I feel like it tries to be many different styles of stout at once but ultimately is just weird and not that good.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2013 03:17:28 | More by beerhan
Photo of ShanePB


2.9/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle
Served into a tulip pint

A: Deep dark brown/black looking body with a bubbly and sudsy tan head atop. Sticky lacing and a nice retention cap are left behind giving it an overall good looking appearance.

S: Bitter dark chocolate, cocoa powder, roasted coffee, chocolate/dark malts and perhaps even a slight vegetal element. Pretty strange although it's a very generic smelling "chocolate" stout.

T: Good amounts of artificial chocolate up-front and as it turns out the focus of this beer. Chiles, cinnamon, vanilla extract? No, I don't really get any at all. There's plenty of heat but it's from the alcohol notes; creeping down the throat to the chest. Something about this tastes very "amateur" - perhaps not as refined or polished as I expected it to be.

M: Way too thin for an "Imperial Stout." Also, no real body here expect some fizziness on the palate. Oh well.

Well, Clown Shoes got me to at least buy this beer. The label was cool, it sounded really delicious and tasted nothing more than a mediocre stout with chocolate and plenty of booze.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 16:49:11 | More by ShanePB
Photo of coreyfmcdonald


2.95/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours pitch black with a finger and a half of thick dark tan foam. Retention is great.

S: Roasted malts dominate the aroma with light vanilla sweetness and a bit of chili pepper spiciness.

T: Roasted and burnt malts dominate the flavor with quite a bit of booziness. I get a bit of toffee sweetness, but burnt malts and booziness really dominate the flavor. I get a bit of cinnamon as the beer warms up, but not much.

M: On the light side with good carbonation.

O: The burnt malts really dominate this beer creating an acrid flavor that is not very pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2012 00:40:22 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of Beaver13


3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 05:05:56 | More by Beaver13
Photo of rdilauro


3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | 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

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 01:07:31 | More by rdilauro
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Bottled in 03/2012. Poured in to tulip.

A - Poured dark brown and settled black. One finger of medium brown head formed an immediately reduced to a ring around the glass.

S - Artificial vanilla aroma up front. Chocolate, chillies and a touch of roast. A very sweet overall nose.

T - Vanilla and chocolate are dominant and the vanilla is very artificial tasting. Some cinnamon and chilli spice and flavour show up in the finish. Extremely sweet.

M - Medium body, creamy. Light carbonation.

O - Too sweet for me. Was impossible to finish the bomber.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2013 01:31:13 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of LeRose


3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22 oz bottle, bottled on 8/13/12.

Appearance: typical dark brown to lack with a finger of beige head,minimal retention.

Aroma: alcohol seemed pretty prevalent for the age. Sweet chocolate, vanilla, slight whiff of the pepper. Did not find the cinnamon.

Taste: boozy even at the 9%, very nice bittersweet chocolate enhanced by the sweetness of vanilla. Decent flavor kick from the pepper on the finish. Moderately bitter, sweetness not overwhelming. Fail to find the cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: thought the feel was quite harsh up front, alcohol. Smooth n the middle with the sweetness balancing things, just a little tingle from the pepper.

Overall: I did not enjoy the harsh bite up front. I liked the silky chocolate and vanilla taste and feel in the middle and the hint of heat from the pepper at the end. Good beer, will drink again, but what I assume is a harshness from the alcohol up front leaves it wanting a bit in my estimation.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 00:35:14 | More by LeRose
Photo of mdaschaf


3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 05:04:28 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of jera1350


3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thinner black with a light brown head of foam on top.

The smell is very light and one dimensional. Chocolate malt is about all I get and again, it's very light.

Taste is pleasant. Overall, tastes like chocolate cake. Lots of chocolate, light on the vanilla and cinnamon and the chile is non-existent. Not much depth to the taste. It's nice, but more flavor please, especially the chile.

Thinner for the style, but still pretty smooth. I would call this medium bodied.

A decent beer overall, but lacks in several areas. I wouldn't buy this one again at the bomber price of $8.69.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2012 18:52:59 | More by jera1350
Photo of AlexFields


3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown, near black, a thin coffee tinted head.

Smells of moderately roasty chocolate, some chili pepper and spice, faint vanilla.

Taste is chocolate, faded pepper, hints of vanilla. As with many chili beers there's a faint vegetable taste in the finish but that's not really a bad thing. Pretty good but would really like some more pepper.

Mouthfeel is okay, fairly thick and creamy but a little under carbed.

A good stout, I love any stout with vanilla or chili, but this would really benefit from more pronounced flavors.


Serving type: bottle

02-06-2013 04:22:10 | More by AlexFields
Photo of Bendurgin


3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. This one pours black with a small dark tan head that fades quickly.

The aroma gives off a bit of milk chocolate and some strong char notes; Roasty with leathery notes and sweetness all trough. The pallet has a good rich chocolate flavor with leathery notes. The chili are only detectable slightly on the finish giving a little bit of after burn.

The body is full and silky with soft carbonation. Overall this one is tasty. My biggest qualm is there are so man ingredients on the label and only a handful come through.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2012 00:26:26 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of Rizalini


3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber, bottled 3/2012, into my Stone tulip...

A - Pours almost black, with a minimal 1/2 finger brown head. It really doesn't hang around that long at all.

S - The smell is extremely similar to their Vampire Slayer stout. Rich and creamy milk chocolate aroma. Not really picking up any of the cinnamon or ancho in the aroma.

T/M - The taste isn't as chocolate forward as the smell leads to. But the chocolate malt is definately there in the beginning, giving way to the smokey, earthy ancho chili. I am kinda drawing a blank on the cinnamon, and the heat tho. Medium mouthfeel, slightly undercarbonated.

O - Not my most favorite brew from Clown Shoes, but not their worst either. The flavor profile was just missing a few key elements for me to really love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2012 02:59:30 | More by Rizalini
Photo of womencantsail


3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown in color with a tan head. Heavy on the roasted malt with mild coffee and, despite the name, only a moderate chocolate aroma. The flavor is somewhat bitter, perhaps even astringent. There is some mild vanilla, a bit of chocolate and coffee, and quite a bit of roast. Another mediocre beer from Clown Shoes.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2012 21:35:25 | More by womencantsail
Photo of PicoPapa


3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle with Bottled 5/2012 on the side. Pours a dark black color with a half inch of frothy light brown head. Fair amount of lacing. Aroma is spicy with some cinnamon and chocolate. Roasted malts and hints of smoke. The taste has mostly chocolate upfront followed by the cinnamon and chiles. Spicy and tingly at the end. Odd mixture but it works. The more I drink it, the more heat I get from the chiles. Overall, its a decent beer that I couldnt drink all the time but would buy every once in a while.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2012 03:23:03 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of Lawl3ss


3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lightly chilled 22 oz. bomber into 33 cl tulips.

Look- Hazy brown, pretty light for a stout- or even a porter. Half a finger of dense beige head on the pour, falls quickly leaving no lace.

Smell- Spicy, milk chocolate, rum balls. Vaguely English-y malt presence, something nutty, but overwhelmingly smells of chocolate syrup and booze.

Taste- Loads of spice, cocoa, and booze with an interesting rich malt backbone. Kind of tastes like a snickers bar dusted with chili powder.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, minimal carbonation. Lighter than expected, but fairly boozy. Smooth on the sip, almost silky. Finishes warm and slightly powdery.

Overall- Well, the name sounds like something you'd look up on urbandictionary, and it comes off as a little boozy, but for a choco-holic's brew it's not bad. Certainly better than 90% of the chocolate stouts out there, but really, really suffers in the style and drinkability departments. Actually, I'm considering snagging another of these to sit for a few months- I've got a feeling it'd be spectacular. As it is, though, it's worth trying but not worth revisiting.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2013 03:49:39 | More by Lawl3ss
Photo of johnmichaelsen


3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled the other day at Matt's (slatetanks) birthday stout tasting.

The beer pours a darkish brown color with good head retention and lacing. I get a lot of coco krisp cereal on the nose, with a hint of underlying tobacco. The chocolate dominates and is pleasant. The flavor profile replicates the nose, but this really comes across as more of a brown ale, one that has had a great deal of nestle's quick added to it. There's also some light heat and bitterness on the finish, but it's pretty subtle. Alcohol is completely unnoticeable, and I was surprised to learn of the 9% abv.

A decent beer, but really nothing special either. I'm not a big brown ale fan, and that's what this comes across as... a brown ale that has had a considerable amount of chocolate added to it. I really did pick up much of the chili flavor at all.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2012 20:31:59 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of emerge077


3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 5/2012.

Pours black into a dimpled mug with a crown of lacing inside the glass. Foam subsides after the initial pour, fizzling a little bit. Surface has a creamy texture, and the skim breaks after the first sip or two.

Roasted malt aroma, basic and straightforward. Not picking up much ancho or vanilla yet.

Tastes alright but still not much in the way of complexity. Roasted malt and some light vanilla traces and a little earthy sweetness that could possibly be attributed to ancho chilies, but not for certain. Medium bodied and fairly smooth. A slight tingle in the aftertaste that points to ancho again, though chocolate dominates. A good stout overall.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2012 01:53:21 | More by emerge077
Photo of biggred1


3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to TheodorHerzel for this one,

Dark ebony with a small tan head that recedes to a film of different sized bubbles and scraps of lace on the glass. Semi sweet chocolate, cocoa and anise with faint vanilla, cinnamon and even fainter chiles in the aroma. Semi sweet chocolate and cinnamon with a touch of acidity and some detectable vanilla and mild chile heat. The flavors work well together overall. Medium bodied and slightly chalky with a little more carbonation than I prefer in an Impy Stout but I'm nit picking, this is a fine beer. A fine "Mexican-style" stout if that's what you're looking for.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2012 02:21:26 | More by biggred1
Photo of seand


3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark cola brown with a fair amount of tan head, which dissipates to a thin ring fairly quickly, but retains enough to leave decent lacing.

S: Strong roasted malt with a fair amount of sweet booze.

T: Strong and roasty, with a thick malt base, and more bitter towards the finish. The finish is wet and has a slightly acidic note towards the back.

M: Full body, medium carbonation.

Overall, decent, but not amazing. The balance doesn't seem quite right; it does change a fair amount at different temperatures, though, so perhaps this could be great if chilled just the right amount.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2013 06:03:45 | More by seand
Photo of far333


3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2014 03:54:11 | More by far333
Photo of Rifugium


3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Served in a snifter, a dark brown-black color with a thin chocolate brown head that receded to a ringlet within a minute or two. Mostly roasty dark malts in the aroma, and not much of anything else. Taste was roasty as predicted, dark malts, coffee bitterness and cocoa up front, with an underlying sweetness. I didn't like this very much at first, but with time and a bit of warming, the bitterness faded, and the mouthfeel became much smoother, some semi-sweet chocolate came out, though the flavor actually seemed to wane quite a bit. Still a decent brew overall and quite drinkable, but I probably won't revisit it any time soon.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2012 12:22:48 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Powderhornphil


3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

So much potential here but the execution falls a little flat.

Pours appealing black. Not extremely thick. Not much lacing to speak of.

Aroma of chocolate malt. Almost no ancho and slight cinnamon.

Taste is chocolate and roast. Almost a licorice note in there. Again ancho and cinnamon are barely present.

Lower carb. Medium mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 01:45:43 | More by Powderhornphil
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Chocolate Sombrero from Clown Shoes
87 out of 100 based on 750 ratings.