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Chocolate Sombrero | Clown Shoes

very good
304 Reviews
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Chocolate SombreroChocolate Sombrero

Brewed by:
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

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!

Added by rab53 on 02-26-2012

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Reviews: 304 | Ratings: 1,698
Photo of DrDemento456
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - I expected a bit thicker for an imperial stout but it is quite dark very pitch in black. Very good 1/2 inch of head that settles to a good lace ring. Mocha in color.
S - Mild pepper spice, good level of roast, some bittering hops, and some dark chocolate.
T - Well it's no "Chocolate Yeti" but it does have its perks. Mild pepper heat is masked pretty well never really getting overbearing. Chocolate bitter, hops equally, and the roast is overbearing at first but balances out pretty good. Slight skunked twang in the finish reminds me of a Mexican lager.
M - Medium bodied not chewy but ABV isn't too outrageous. Bitter and abrasive.

Overall I don't think I will get this again I like my stouts sweet and this one is peppery, skunky, and bitter with overbearing roasts. Curious to see what age would do to this but frankly I really don't care. Pass

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

Pours a dark brown with khaki colored head. Spice, chocolate, and roasted malt on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with spice and sweetness.

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Photo of Dorrin
4/5  rDev +2.8%

I bought this beer mostly because I was curious but I will buy it again. I thought they found a good balance of flavors in this beer. Nice chocolate flavor with just a hint of spice.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Chocolate Sombrero pours a black color with a small lacing head. There is a big roasted aroma with big hints of vanilla. The taste is roasted, noticeable vanilla notes, the smallest hint of chili peppers. Good flavors, comes together nicely, but very flat body. Overall its very tasty, easy to drink, but flat.

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Photo of richj1970
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 22 oz bomber into snifter. Bottle dated 6/6/2014.

A: Pours dark black with two finger dense mocha head. Lasting retention and plenty of sticky lacing.

S: Sweet milk chocolate and vanilla extract. Subtle cinnamon.

T: Reminds me a bit of drinking a thick chocolate milk with hot fudge sauce on top. Vanilla and cinnamon come through nicely especially as it warmed, but almost no chilli spice.

M: Thick and creamy. Pleasantly carbonated for a stout.

O: Easy drinking and tasty stout. I wish the spices were more prominent but this is one I would grab again.

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Photo of ZebraCakez
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

I really love this beer every time I have it.

A: This beer is super dark. It pours with a large head for suck a dark beer, but that dissipates soon to leave a wonderful layer of foam that sits gracefully on the surface. Beautiful.

S: It starts with an initial chocolate punch that is just fantastic. In the back is a sweet sugary-cinnamon aroma, and it all finishes with a subtle chili heat.

T: It starts with dark chocolate, and lots of it. The taste of good - quality coffee accompanies it. The cinnamon is still there, along with a very tiny alcohol note. The chili is always present, possibly getting slightly more prominent as the beer warms up a bit.

F: I would love to give this beer a five, but I can't, based on this category. This beer is not light in feel, but I just wish it stuck around in your mouth a touch longer so the chili could really shine. The carbonation is on point, but I wish it were just a touch thicker.

O: I love this beer....period. If you find it, buy it, then drink it. You'll enjoy it. Or you won't. Either way, you'll agree it's a freakin' trip.....and one worth taking (at least once).

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Photo of ZAP
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A quite enjoyable beer. Heavy dark chocolate syrup like flavor...a little coffee....a little black licorice....the ancho peppers are very subtle on the finish. Nothing real peppery about this. Not noting much vanilla. I do get some light cinnamon on the aroma but not much on the taste.

Full bodied and highly drinkable. Falls short in the body compared to the top Imperial Stouts but I like the way this drinks to be honest.

Overall a beer I find interesting and very drinkable. I love all the chocolate notes...not bitter dark cocoa and not sweet rich milk chocolate.....kind of in between...

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Photo of illpass78
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Libby stout glass.

Appearance: Pours a jet black with a short tan head. A little bit of brown/garnet visible when held to the light.

Aroma: This beer has a huge array of aromas - a bouquet, as it were. Dark chocolate, cocoa, chiles, dark fruits, even a bit of cinnamon. Also lots of dark malts.

Taste: Happy to say the taste follows the nose. This is a big, chocolatey stout with a burn of alcohol and chilis on the finish. There's also notes of spices and coffee. Really tasty.

Mouthfeel: This is a sipper, but it's surprisingly approachable for a big stout. It's a good dessert-type beer; a good beer to enjoy after having a thick stew or some other thick, hearty meal.

Overall: This rules. The goofy cartoon on the label made me balk a bit, but this is a top-notch chocolate stout. Get into it.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip pint.

Black with 1+ finger of fluffy, khaki head.

Chile pepper, cinnamon, roasted barley, and fruity alcohol.

Roasted barley, raisin, chile pepper, and fruity alcohol. Chocolate syrup, bitter cocoa nib, and earthy roast. Hints of cinnamon.

Medium bodied, oily, and smooth with plenty of alcohol warmth.

Lacking the depth of an Imperial Stout in exchange for the chile and cinnamon spiciness.

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Photo of Zach136
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pitch black, tan head, great lacing.

Aroma/Flavor: Milk chocolate and light roast, with the slightest touches of cinnamon and chile pepper on the nose. Both come out more on the palate. Chile pepper more so than the cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: Rich velvety chocolate stout with a touch of chile pepper sting on the finish and lasting down the back of your throat.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

A good beer and a style of stout that I can get quite use to.
A lot of roasted malt in this one with considerable amount of char. There are hints of chocolate, coffee intermingling with a smooth creamy feeling vanilla. I didn't notice any pepper any where.

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Photo of AirBob
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Notes from 11/9/14

A- About 1 finger of hot chocolate colored, dense head. Nice lacing but poor retention.

S - Roasty, milk chocolate. Fresh pepper (not the spic).

T - Dark Mexican chocolate. Pepper. A little roasted coffee, cinnamon, Slightly bitter finish.

M - Lower carbonation. A little thin in the start and middle. Thicker finish that leaves a nice coating on the tongue.

O - Veg. and spice add some nice layers of flavor but the underlying stout isn't anything exceptional. Still tasty though. Great value at a $9 4-pack.

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Photo of RodneyHolt
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero pours a dark color almost black. It has a dark tan head and leaves nice lacing around the glass. the aroma is of chocolate and coffee. It has a slight scent of chili pepper and vanilla. The flavor is chocolaty with some coffee. The vanilla and the Ancho chili is subtle. There is no heat to the pepper in the beer. The mouthfeel is smooth and fairly creamy. Overall a good stout.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, mostly opaque, minimal head, mild lacing.

S - Slightly soy, spicy, roast notes.

T - Chocolate, dark fruit, slight hints of savory soy, and a moderate bitter bite in the close.

M - Fairly thin, slick and slightly crunchy. A bit of drying.

O - Punchy and tasty. Perhaps a bit blunt, but rich enough to be enjoyable.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.85/5  rDev -1%

Pours a very dark brown with a khaki head that laces the glass. The smell is full of all kinds of flavors such as the vanilla and chocolate which is full force, but also some coffee scents and a little bit of pepper. The taste was heavily layered with a lot of great flavors. The spice was an interesting tingle instead of being too hot, and it melded well with the chocolate and other heavy flavors to give the beer a nice personality. Liked this one a lot.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a fairly thin black with a small tan head. Kind of fizzy, but it leaves a thin ring.

Smells mainly like roasted malts and chocolate. Just a hint of spice.

It tastes much better. A decent amount of vanilla is a nice balance to the bitterness and pairs well with the milk chocolate flavors. Tons of roasted malt. Nice ashy finish after being very sweet initially. There is just a kiss of chili pepper, but no heat, just in flavor. I really don't notice any cinnamon.

The body is much better than I expected. Figured it would be a little on the light side. Pretty smooth.

Overall, this is a very good stout. I feel like it has a lot more potential. The base beer is solid, and it can handle some stronger accents. At $9/4 pack I would not hesitate to try it though. No need to be weary of this one if you are timid on spiced beers.

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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.

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Photo of Mikus
3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This was a big want, and I have been holding off o the $12-13 bomber. Glad to find a $3 12 ounce to share with the wife. Split into 2 stemless wineglasses. Poured a deep, dark, dank brown no head to speak of (expected though). Aromas of roasted coffee, chocolate, deep malty goodness, and a hint of chile (which became more pronounced as the warming progressed). Nice roasted malt on the palate, hint of chocolate... things were a bit muddled together... and some mild chile on the aftertaste (again picking up some steam, and a bit of the promised cinnamon, as the glass warmed up). Slightly watery mouthfeel for a big 9% stout, but a good aftertaste. Nothing exceptional, but it was good. I definitely have more preferred go-to stouts... however, I am glad I tried this if only for the exceptional label on the bottle, and creativity of Clown Shoes.

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Photo of KYGunner
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Chocolate Sombrero succeeds in its simplicity. Soft, light feel with nearly identical aroma and flavor. This is disguised as a mocha stout with charred malt and lactose properties. Dry chocolate, cinnamon and an ancho chile kick it's an enjoyable and easy drinking ride.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed out of a 22 oz brown bomber with a bottling date of 7/18/14 stamped on the neck in yellow ink. Poured into a 33 oz oversized snifter glass.

Appearance (4.0) - So far so good, with the liquid coming out of the bottle an oily, viscous walnut bark brown that borders on straight black. No light is able to pass through, so I don't even get any lighter shades when held up to the light. Atop the body is a finger of frothy mocha tan head that holds its shape for a few minutes before melting into the black liquid, leaving just a few pockets of film across the surface and only a couple spots of light lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell (3.75) - Predominantly notes of rich bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt char make up the overall aroma, with perhaps just the faintest hint of the spice from the ancho chilis, but it's ethereal, almost like it isn't there. There are some nice sweet notes of vanilla as well that play well with the bitter notes of baker's chocolate and roasted malt. However, I'm disappointed that there really is no cinnamon to be found, seeing as how that's one of my favorite components of these so-called "Mexican" imperial stouts. Especially when it comes the aroma.

Taste (3.5) - Much like the smell, my favorite elements of the style seem to be conspicuously absent. I still don't get any cinnamon, only getting just the faintest suggestion of the spice as the beer warms, and the faint chili that I picked up in the aroma doesn't seem to provide even the lightest of kicks in the aroma. All that said, the taste does have the makings of a nice chocolate stout, with bittersweet cocoa and light char from the roasted malt providing a nice, if one-dimensional flavor profile.

Feel (4.0) - Medium-to-full bodied, with moderate carbonation and a slightly viscous feel to provide some heft on the tongue.

Overall (3.75), this is a fine beer in its own right, but I can't help but be a bit disappointed by the failure to deliver on the spiced portion of this stout. The cinnamon was all but nonexistent and the vanilla was barely detectible, making it a decent, but not particularly remarkable chocolate stout. I'd drink it again if it were readily available in my area, but as it stands I have to get all my Clown Shoes through the mail, so I'm not likely to drink this one again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%

Shared by AZ brother. Thanks bro.

Near black appearance with a beige cap. Chocolate, roast, laugh spice aroma. Chocolate dominates the flavor. Chili heat is mild. A touch of vanilla, cacao, distant coffee. Sweetness throughout, perhaps a little much. This was ok, but could certainly stand a few improvements.

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Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +2.8%

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.

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Photo of kfh227
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Smell immediately reminded me need of saranacs chocolate beer.

Tastes god but is no Brooklyn brewery chocolate stout. Still good though.

Would try again in a 6 pack but I have only seen bombers.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.36/5  rDev +12.1%

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.

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Chocolate Sombrero from Clown Shoes
87 out of 100 based on 304 ratings.