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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!
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Reviews: 269 | Hads: 1,527
Photo of take_it_sleazy
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from pint bottle into hill farmstead pint glass.

A: deep deep coffee color, almost black. pretty lively head that mellows out as soon as its poured. No real carbonation visible.

S: mild smokiness and not much else. Similar smell to otter creek's smokehouse porter, maybe not quite as strong.

T: a lot more pungent than the nose on this puppy. After an initial hit of chocolate, malty goodness, the chiles and vanilla make an appearance a bit later and mix extremely well with the malt to finish it off. Dont really get too much cinnamon coming through in this one. Overall, the flavor isn't too overpowering. A bit boozy at the end, which doesn't hurt.

M: pretty standard, but still great. Characteristic stout taste lingers on the tounge for a while, and isn't too thick. Very enjoyable and suprisigly drinkable stout at nearly 10 percent.

O: would recommend if it's available. Picked her up at a local beverage warehouse for 3 bucks and change. A nice, rich stout when enjoyed at an appropriate age. The rich cocoa is really the feature of this beer while chiles and vanilla sing in the background.

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Photo of jimmah120
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber with a freshness date that I really can't remember.

look is dark, almost black, brown with a creamy mocha head that lasts and lasts. smell is dark, roasty, malted leather oak (?). taste starts big and black an malty, with an almost coffee like bite. finish is straight up Mexican chocolate cake. I can almost taste the cheap sprinkles.

super tasty stuff

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Photo of Pinknuggets
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to Worthy Burger Sniffer

A: dark brown like black coffee with little to no head there is some brown foam but it goes away quickly with no lacing. It pours thick like motor oil and is opaque as can be with no light coming through.

S: There is some smoked malt in there but it is not a really much power behind it. There really aren't many other smells I really can't take much else out there is some vanilla maybe but the chilies are not there at all.

T: Fortunately this is nothing like the nose, there is a nice chocolate flavor upfront that mixes with the spice of the chilies that has a nice presence that is not too overpowering in fact it is just right. The vanilla then starts to come through with a smooth creamy sweet taste that blends in well with the spice of the chilies. There is a bit of smokiness in background with a little hints of cinnamon.

M: The feel is smooth but actually pretty thin considering the style it does go down pretty easy but that is definitely helped by the low abv. You can also definitely feel the spice but it does not effect the smoothness which is impressive, but it is kind of watered down for a stout.

O: In total other then the smell and the sort of lacking feel this is a pretty impressive beer. The taste is well balanced with a whole bunch of different flavors. Its like a super ultra baby version of hunapu's but its definitely worth a try I recommend it.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 10/23/12. I thought I was getting something fresh, but alas, I didn't.

Pours from a 22oz bottle into a Gordon Biersch half liter pint glass. Pours pitch black and topped with a cuban coffee colored head. Quite frothy and creamy, looks nice.

Aroma is filled with dark chocolate nibs and roasted coffee. Really nice. The malts and chocolate are about the only thing that hits the nose, but although this beer is six months old, the aromas seem to be rather fresh.

I love the dark chocolate flavors present, almost like eating bakers chocolate. I know this may sound heretical, but this one is kind of close to what Sexual Chocolate used to be like. Heavy, dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, Caramel malts, light hoppiness, slight bitterness.

Silky smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Perhaps a little more body and chewiness would put this one in the upper echelon.

I was really surprised by this one. Despite the age, this one is really delicious. If you like dark chocolate and a bitter roastiness, this beer is for you. Very enjoyable.

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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.

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Photo of LeRose
3.27/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Zorro
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
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).

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Photo of kaufmaal
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.17/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.93/5  rDev +1%
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…

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Photo of AlexFields
3.46/5  rDev -11.1%
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.


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Photo of morimech
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of KajII
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
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...


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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.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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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.

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Photo of biggred1
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Chocolate Sombrero from Clown Shoes
87 out of 100 based on 269 ratings.