Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Chocolate Sombrero - Clown Shoes

Not Rated.
Chocolate SombreroChocolate Sombrero

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

269 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 269
Hads: 1,527
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 25.96%
Wants: 74
Gots: 316 | FT: 8
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!
View: Beers (43) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 269 | Hads: 1,527
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

 284 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle I brought to share at jmgrub's birthday tasting.

Bottled 12/20/12.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, and cinnamon. Taste is much the same a cocoa flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness and chile heat on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some interesting aromas and flavors.

 614 characters

Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Distillery, Savannah, GA

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with wispy tan bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of dark chocolate are present in the nose.
T: The taste has mostly flavors of chocolate along with notes of vanilla and roasted malts. A light amount of bitterness is present. Hints of spiciness from the chili peppers are noticeable towards the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: If you really like dark chocolate malts, this is a nice stout that is 't too bitter or toasty. The chili peppers are very subtle and are only noticeable in the finish.

 700 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.2/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this beer is pretty sloppy, i dont think all the interesting flavors are particularly well integrated or balanced, but the base stout is quite large and tasty, i just dont think it needed all they did to it here. comes across confused. dark as night, thick and viscous, heady too. the nose is a weird mix of dry and sweet dark chocolate, as well as cinnamon spice and chili pepper, all very muddled. the complexity and richness of the base stout is lost with all these additives i think. chocolate is robust in the flavor all the way through, and the peppers come out mostly just in the finish. they arent super hot, but there is a warming sensation for sure. combined with the hotly alcoholic thickness of this beer, its tough to drink very much of. maybe something to try again in colder weather, but the promise of something interesting and unique here gave way to a lackluster brew bogged down by mediocre use of strange ingredients. not worth what they ask for it.

 969 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

 1,772 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

 669 characters

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

 494 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.5/5  rDev -10%
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.

 316 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle - $7.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia. Bottled 5/2012.

Appearance: Pours out an unassuming black body with a couple inches of mocha-toned foam. Only a bit of lacing present.

Smell: Cinnamon dusted and chocolate glazed chiles yielding some earnest promises of spice and a slight vegetal undertone, plus vanilla and a fair amount of roastiness throughout.

Taste: Roasty, chocolaty malts and plenty of them served with a chilled shot of vanilla-infused coffee. Also, a generous dose of ground cinnamon corralling the moderate amount of sweetness present. Ancho chiles are present, but, at least a few sips in, it isn't knocking me over with any heat. On the latter half of the bottle, the heat still isn't manifesting itself into anything overblown. Chocolate, spicy finish with little hints of lingering heat, spice, and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I dug it! I do enjoy cinnamon, and I do enjoy some chile heat, but, at some point, both can get summarily ghastly quickly. Thankfully, I found the levels of both to be pleasant and well-incorporated within the rest of the beer.

 1,146 characters

Photo of oline73
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into my Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours an almost opaque dark brown color with a nice looking half finger of tan head. The head leaves a ring around the edge of the cup with just a hint of lacing on the glass.

Smell: The smell is full of chocolate and roasted malt. I'm getting some dark fruit and a mild hint of smoked chilis. There is a sweetness from the malt that shows up as well.

Taste: Not nearly as much sweet chocolate as in the smell. The chili peppers are there, but I'm not getting much burn at all. Some mild cinnamon and roast in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fairly smooth carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: I would have liked some more heat in this beer. Not a ton, just enough to know that the pepper are there. Not bad, but not mind blowing.

 803 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at Firkin.

This seems like a good companion to my spicy pork sandwich... It pours a straight onyx topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, cocoa, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a hint of vanilla bean. The taste brings in more of the same, though here the spices take a back seat to the stronger contingents of cocoa and roast. There ain't any peppers to be seen, though... The body is a hefty-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a very nice spiced stout, but the lack of any chile character leaves me wanting a bit. Still, good times.

 617 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Clown Shoes, excited!

Pours a darker but not very dark colored head of about a finger, fluffy head fades slowly with nice lacing, over pitch black thicker colored beer.

Nose starts with chalky powdered chocolate, cocoa, a candy fluffy chocolate like that soft creamy chocolate whip, a light roasted malt and coffee, hint of caramel, a biscuity malt and nutty and a cinnamon like spice aroma, a light creamy milk chocolate, and a hint of a chili like aroma.

Taste starts with more chocolate malt, chalky powdered cocoa, a cocoa butter like or chocolate oil that went bad a bit and maybe slightly curdled. Creamy milk chocolate, blended with a hint of soft candy chocolate. Nutty flavors again, with a light biscuit malt, and hints of cinnamon and chili pepper again. Then caramel, vanilla, and a light bitter earthy like hop taste, light spicy hops and earthy almost herbal, and light roasted malt with a bit of coffee and bitterness. A bit of booze kicks in, with a warmth and touch of tingle. Finish is creamy with more milk chocolate that went slightly bad, and cocoa butter, light spices and nutty malts, a bit of booze, and bitter hops linger.

Mouth is fuller bodied, decent carb, some booze.

Overall not bad, interesting malts and chocolate flavors, but a bit of a bad spoiled chocolate like flavor, bit of hops, bit of booze, somewhat drinkable.

 1,360 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a thin light brown head that fades very quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains black coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, cinnamon, vanilla and touches of chili pepper and hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of coffee, chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon that are quickly followed by a burst of chili pepper heat. The heat fades quickly though. The malt character is hearty but on the thin side for the style. The hops presence is mild but brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and retains a little bit of the chili pepper heat.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, there are definitely better “chili stouts” out there that are better than this one.

 974 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep and dark in the tall Petrus tulip. Decent head with a tan tint. Not the most carbonated beer. Great aroma of spice cake and cocoa with cinnamon.

I think of chocolate gingerbread cake. I can't think of much else to say. Lots of cinnamon mixed with a strong cocoa flavor. Possibly some hops to give it a little edge. The Copper Kettle brewpub in Denver makes a highly-rated Mexican Chocolate Stout which this reminds me of. The Sombrero is a little stronger, and the chocolate and spice seems to work as a RIS. Dark burnt malt but a lot of sugar.

From the 22 oz bottle purchased from Food and Friends in Philadelphia. Thoroughly pleasant, and highly sippable, but hardly worth the freight for my wallet.

 708 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dr G. for sharing this on my birthday -enjoyed chilled in a cervoise.

The color is an opaque black shade with thin tap cap and average sized bead with decent retention and little lace. The smell is very strong with cocoa in the nose and lots of sweet roasted notes with earthy ester from the yeast however the spice is there and low alcohol aroma. The feel is good with sweet, creamy and moderately carbonated and light alcohol tinge with warming from both the spice and a mild bitterness is present in the finish.

Taste of the chocolate malt is high in this stout with cocoa presence and slight creamy spicy flavor with vanilla and noticeable heat with pepper and cinnamon coming through. The alcohol is noticeable but the cinnamon flavor is pleasant when blended with the cocoa and pepper. The strong toasted flavors create a backdrop for the slight cocoa lingering in the finish. Overall this is a pretty good beer all in all it is mild in spice though which is better than going overboard most of the time. I would drink this again since it has a nice amount of cocoa flavor and is quaffable, even if not the best of the style.

 1,146 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

[Forced to write notes due to an outlier rating.]

This stout lacks the roasted barley core it needs, and has an odd imbalance of overly sweet malted milk balls/whoppers, bitter baker's chocolate, and chili powder. Its uneven lumpy chewy feel on the palate doesn't help, and there's no harmony of texture to taste. Unrefreshing and overcarbonated, with fair drinkability.

I find none of the ostensible vanilla flavour, though I suppose that's a good thing as it'd be artificial anyway.

A shallow, plain beer with low intricacy for the style, and little to no subtlety or nuance.


 584 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

 671 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
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!!!

 1,105 characters

Photo of smcolw
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

 531 characters

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

Got in a trade with icetrauma. 22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 10/22/2012. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of milk chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, coffee, vanilla, dark bread, light cinnamon/chile, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted and chocolate, notes; with good strength. Taste of milk chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, vanilla, dark bread, light coffee, light cinnamon/chile, and roasted earthiness. Slight touch of chile heat on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, vanilla, dark bread, light coffee, light cinnamon, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of roasted/dark malt and vanilla flavors; cinnamon/chile notes must have diminished over age. Great flavor robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and moderately slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice imperial stout. All around good balance and complexity of roasted/dark malt and vanilla flavors; and very smooth to sip on. May have to pick up a fresh bottle to see if the chile/cinnamon is more pronounced; but it was still very enjoyable offering otherwise.

 1,502 characters

Photo of chinchill
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Small snifter filled from a large bottle (in 2013), and 12 oz bottle in August 2015.

Full body with light but appropriate carbonation. Very smooth. High ABV evident but not harsh.

Flavor & Aroma: Some dark fruit, coffee peppers along with a good bit of dark chocolate. Lasting, rich aftertaste. Alcohol evident but not objectionable.

 339 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.31/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

 655 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with very dark amber and dark brown highlights as well as some light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall creamy dark tan head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of chocolate and roasted malts with cinnamon and chilis. Light hints of vanilla.

T: Moderate flavors of roasted and chocolate malts upfront with an interesting combination of chocolate, ancho chili peppers, vanilla, and cinnamon that follows. Light amounts of sweetness and not too much bitterness though just a touch of chili heat.

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

O: I probably enjoyed the chilis in this beer (it being a big stout) a lot more than I have in some of the others I have tried. I found this beer to be interesting - a lot of the different flavors of a mole but not combined in quite the same fashion. Added it to a chipotle citrus pork that slow cooked for tacos and enjoyed them together - a very nice combination.

 1,192 characters

Photo of ShanePB
2.91/5  rDev -25.2%
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.

 1,070 characters

Photo of stakem
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a couple of pints. The brew appears a dark brown with lighter brown clarity seen around the edges. A mocha head sitd atop with a finger strength and patchy to stringy lace sticks to the glass.

The smell is roasty with chocolate and char. A bit of fruity accent with earth and tobacco. As it warms up, the earthen aspect becomes familiar to other stouts that have peppers added.

The taste is bitter with roast. Unsweetned chocolate, coffee and tangy alcohol mix with mild peppery spice that gives a light warmth from a combo of alcohol and pepper. As it warms up, there is some mild cinnamon and more pepper flavor than spicy quality.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is smooth and easy drinking with a nice mix of flavor. Its worth a try and nice balance without the pepper inclusion being too dominating.

 863 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Chocolate Sombrero from Clown Shoes
87 out of 100 based on 269 ratings.