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Chocolate Sombrero - Clown Shoes

Not Rated.
Chocolate SombreroChocolate Sombrero

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

262 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 262
Hads: 1,499
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 68
Gots: 313 | 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!
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 262 | Hads: 1,499
Photo of JackieTH
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown-black with garnet translucence around the edges. Mocha brown foam persists and leaves curtains of lace. Smell is roasted malt, cinnamon, figs and chocolate. Tastes of cocoa powder, green chilies, roast malt, lightly sour dark cherries, fig newtons, and just a trace of cinnamon. Mouthfeel is slick and velvety with a medium heft. Carbonation is just right. Pretty decent. It's not spicy, the chilies have no heat. The first couple of swallows I wasn't super impressed, however this one has grown on me. Another well made stout from Clown Shoes. (561 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly thin looking black color with a nice one finger khaki colored head. Leaves some nice lace down the glass.

S: Some nice mexican chocolate aromas right away. Dried ancho chile, cinnamon, some roasted malt, vanilla and just a bit of chocolate covered banana. A touch of marshmallow as well. Smell is a bit weak, but the powdery cocoa aroma in really nice.

T: Opens on a roasted malt note, then progresses to a drying ancho flavor mixed with bittersweet chocolate. The finish is just a touch watery and brings a touch of milk chocolate and cinnamon. The flavors are good, but the mouthfeel is just a bit too light for me. Still a solid beer. (659 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear but dark brown colored beer with a small brown head that fades.

Wow this is a serious chocolate beer. STRONG chocolate. Fruity chile smell along with a little nasal itch. Smells like there is a dose of Kahlua added to it. The chocolate, cinnamon and chile scent is a fair approximation of Mexican Hot Chocolate.

Starts out with a big chocolate and fruit taste. Chocolate and patent malt fairly bittersweet in flavor. On the sweet side, there is some cinnamon and vanilla but this really is a chocolate beer.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a pretty tasty beer. (565 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
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 UCLABrewN84
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
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 gueuzeonhigh
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours and looks like an Imperial stout.
Head didn't last too long... it ended with a minor ring around the inside circumference of my glass.

Not much of a nose-- nothing to comment about.

Flavor- do I consider what the brewer printed on the label or do I comment on the beer as it stands? Why do I say this? Because this beer is evidently a "adjunct" or "fortified" beer-- that is flavor enhanced with added flavorings. If I forget the hype on the label-- and consider the beer as is, it's a "light-weight" imperial stout-- (compared to Clown Shoes' Vampire Slayer or Blaecorn stouts). Although this beer is without question an imperial. I'm left wondering what all the added flavor ingredients were supposed to do. I can perceive them in there-- but this beer's flavor is just not as complex or as heavyweight as Clown Shoes other offerings.Perhaps that was how it is to be.

Nevertheless it's still a very fine beer and worth your consideration. I won't hesitate to grab another bottle from the shelf.

Mouthfeel-- cordial-- nice long finish with a vibrant lifespan on the palate.

Overall-- I like this beer-- I'd rate it "third" in Clown Shoes RIS line-up of RIS beers. Don't let them trick you-- where they got the idea of "Sombrero" is still a mystery (to me). (1,269 characters)

Photo of kaufmaal
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very deep brown with some amber color along the edges. Not too much carbonation, and the 1/2, dark-tan head quickly goes down to a thin layer. Sweet smell - for me, lots of vanilla and malt, no chocolate whatsoever; some booze on the nose, which is kind of expected but becomes too noticeable as it warms. Very sweet-tasting; again, more vanilla than chocolate, some banana, and there's a slight sourness in the aftertaste that I associate with vanilla extract. I am not sure what makes this beer a "Mexican" chocolate stout. I was expecting some cinnamon - either its scent or its taste - as it is almost always present in Mexican chocolate or hot chocolate, and the cinnamon's just not there. Very fine carbonation, which works well for me, but the syrupy sweetness just coats everything initially, and the sour after-taste gets a little unpleasant. (859 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.17/5  rDev -18.9%
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. (555 characters)

Photo of vickersspitfire
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, the body is almost pitch black, just a few hints a dark amber come through when you shine an extremely bright light through it. The head is thick, almost bullet proof I swear, creamy and is a light tan color. As for the carbonation, I’m sure it’s there I just can’t see it. The aroma is purely roasted malts, coffee and chocolate, maybe a slight hint of caramel and butter. The lacing is as tight as virgin’s ass and covers every inch of the glass. The mouth feel is thick and creamy, and the beer simply envelopes your tongue with roasted malt flavors, mild chocolate comes through in the aftertaste. This is right out of the fridge, but as it warms up more flavors breakthrough, caramel, and vanilla. It is a bit bitter overall, but the alcohol is well hidden. Another good beer from Clown Shoes… (831 characters)

Photo of AlexFields
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

6.8/10 (552 characters)

Photo of morimech
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 5/2012

Dark brown color with a massive three finger+ head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Glass is coated by lacing.

Aroma is not as complex as I was anticipating. A little chocolate and earthiness. A little bit of chile in the background. Alcohol is a well hidden.

Flavor is interesting but the malt is not as deep or complex as I like in big stouts. This beer is relying more on its added ingredients such as chile and cinnamon. A little bit of heat from the alcohol and chile which makes this somewhat interesting.

For a 9% ABV beer, the body is not very big. The carbonation is nice. Not too much but lively.

Interesting beer that relies too much on its non-traditional ingredients. The base beer does not bring enough to the show. (772 characters)

Photo of Scotchboy
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chocolate Sombrero (thanks to my trading partners!) split with my brother and poured into tulips.

A: Dark opaque brown pour, with a tan head that doesn't retain very well (likely because of the adjuncts used).

S: Big chocolate and milk chocolate-like sweetness bordering on caramel, hefty spice note that is recognizable as primarily cinnamon. There is a hint of peppery heat, as well as the slightest hint of vanilla. Roasty, sweet, and spicy, but well-integrated and inviting.

T: Follows the nose, moderate chocolate without being overly sweet; caramel and faint vanilla sweetness again, plenty of cinnamon start-to-finish, and a faint peppery sensation, especially on my lips as I drink. Its not distracting, its actually barely noticeable, but it brings out the 'Mexican' side of this chocolate stout.

MF: Pretty creamy, medium-to-full bodied, and with everything going on in this beer I can't detect any alcohol presence.

O: A good beer, well executed. Peppers are NOT overwhelming, neither is the cinnamon though it is definitely prominent. (1,051 characters)

Photo of KajII
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

[Suggested Glassware: Snifter]

The pour was a very dark muddy brown with an average (1-2 finger) tan creamy head that had great retention, reducing slightly to a small cap and possessed excellent sheeting of lacing that coated the entire glass.

The aroma was of a burnt chocolate malt, light resin hops and an earthy yeast with notes of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, vanilla, chili peppers, a hint of smoke and a moderate alcohol presence.

The taste was good and roasty with a nice malty-sweetness and a touch of chocolate throughout, progressing slightly with a mild bitter charred flavor with notes of coffee, a spicy chili bite and a hint of cinnamon ate the end. The flavor lasted an average time following the swallow, with a spicy alcohol warming sensation and a nice roastiness left behind.

Mouthfeel was almost full in body with a creamy, oily texture and a somewhat medium carbonation.

Overall this was a brew with a very nice complexity derived from all the flavors converging upon one another, which as it turned out created a really tasty and well balanced Stout with a superb drinkability...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews (1,154 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.31/5  rDev -15.3%
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 bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, label says bottled 5/2012. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like roasted malt, chocolate, and some chilies and vanilla. Taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, but the chilies are more noticeable now, along with the addition of a bit of cinnamon. The chilies aren't hot at all, but the mild chile flavor works well with this brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit creamy and slick with moderate carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew, although I do wish the chilies would have been hotter. But with that being said, it's worth trying and I would buy this again in the future. (718 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
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 biggred1
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
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. (608 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A solid beer, where the chocolate and spice comes through nicely. Quite light in body, which is both good and bad. It's relatively easy to drink, and the alcohol,is well hidden, but it may be a tad too light- a little more body and sweetness would help the heat and chocolate to shine more. I do like the ancho flavor- it's mild enough not to dominate and just add an accent, but not so light you can't notice it for what it is, and it marries very well with the chocolate. Some cinnamon and vanilla flavors round it out a bit, but those could be deeper. All in all I definitely enjoyed it. (590 characters)

Photo of Ranz
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Jet-black, this stout only created about a millimeter of head which dissipated a bit too quickly for my liking. It leaves a nice, consistent lacing, which maintains its thick ring around the glass nicely.

S: Mmmmm, those ancho chiles spice up the joint immediately, and there's a nice subtle malt backbone to it all. Dark chocolate also is definitely present, too: there's a lot going on here.

T: Roasted malt, carmelized figs, dark chocolate mousse, and there's even a hint of the vanilla extract the bottle promises. For the finish, there's a nice dryness with the spicy chiles to add some character. Nice.

M: There's a nice prickly carbonation with a medium-bodied profile. I usually like my imperials to have a more chewy texture than this, but it makes it rather drinkable.

O: This is definitely a good buy for under $10, but I wouldn't go much over. It's a fun and unique take on one of my favorite styles. It's worth a shot if you find it. (954 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

And....Clown Shoes comes to Minnesota. In a marketplace that's growing more crowded by the nanosecond, I passed on their IPAs because they've already been sitting around for months. But a tasty-sounding stout? I'll try that. 22 ounces split with my wife.

Pour is routine black. routine carbonation: indeed, it looks stoutish. The Sombrero smells really nice, chile, chocolate, sweet malt melded together nicely. No hairs, no sweat. That's good.

Chocolate Sombrero tastes like something I can't quite put my pinky on, but what it reminds me of is what coffee would taste like, if it tasted good. What there is, is a pleasing number of layers to this brew. Surprisingly roasty, given that I could detect no roast in the aroma. The chiles lend a backdrop of spiciness without generating heat. The chocolate that shows is bitter & angry, lashing the mid-palate; the bitterness, either chocolate or light hopping, sticks. Finish is more roast that rolls smooth through the chiles. Advertised vanilla was not noted in this bottle. But I do believe I've finished half my half in about six minutes, so that's, well, good drinking.

One of the better new stouts I've had lately that I'd never even heard of. This concoction works, period, & I'll be out to grab another bottle. Excellent beer. (1,288 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle was poured into a imperial pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a huge mocha color head that has reduced and left some nice lacing. It is a pitch black color with no clarity or vision of carbonation.

Smell: Roasted coffee, mocha, boozy alcohol, some vanilla, and can't wait to try it out.

Taste: Same as above aromas with some creaminess to it. Nice warming boozy alcohol on this cold winter night.

Mouthfeel: creamy, boozy, warming, low carbonation, full bodied, and delicious.

Overall: Pretty solid beer here. Seen it for some time, bought, now waiting only a month to enjoy it. Should of bought it sooner. (630 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into perfect pint glass on 11/28 (from notes)

Pours very dark black - not remotely brown. Fast acting brown foam atop the darkness. Nose is dark chocolate, espresso. Taste is a rich roasted coffee/malt, which fades into a very subtle hot pepper/jalapeno. Ever so slight kick to close. Zing! Really blends well with the chocolately malt deep flavor. Really like this one. (390 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
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. (1,389 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a very dark brown in color with brown highlights and a nice half finger of fluffy head that left some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: nice chocolatey aroma upfront in the aroma that was powder like with hints of ancho chiles, a little vanilla, noticeable caramel and brown sweetness, slight roasty malts but with mild oat grain notes.

T: of course the chocolate character was more dominate on the palate like the aroma and the label suggest alongside brown sugar caramel sweetness, mild roastiness, vanilla accents a touch of ancho chiles and signs of toffee flavor as well.

M: the brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a chocolatey, sweet, slightly oat grainy, mild bitter and creamy finish.

O: pretty good imperial stout, definitely like the chocolate character and the fact it had a little spiciness to it as well. (867 characters)

Photo of Quincey
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into wine glass.
No head.
Smell very mild.
Taste exceptional.
Texture is very smooth with a slighlty bitter after taste.
I do not taste the cinnamon, vanilla is very slight but the chocolate is very obvious.
This is my first time drinking it and I fell in love with the first sip and definately recomned to anyone who drinks stouts. (343 characters)

Chocolate Sombrero from Clown Shoes
88 out of 100 based on 262 ratings.