Chocolate Sombrero - Clown Shoes

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Chocolate SombreroChocolate Sombrero

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very good

256 Reviews
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Reviews: 256
Hads: 1,464
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 10%
Wants: 68
Gots: 302 | 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: 256 | Hads: 1,464
Photo of kaufmaal
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
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 -18.7%
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 +0.8%
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 -11.3%
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 -6.2%
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 +2.6%
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 +0.5%
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... (1,154 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.31/5  rDev -15.1%
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 +2.6%
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 +0.5%
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 -9.5%
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 +1.3%
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 +4.4%
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 +6.4%
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 +3.3%
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 +7.7%
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 +9.5%
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 +5.6%
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 +8.7%
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)

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a very dark brown (almost black) with two fingers of frothy, densely bubbled tan head that lasts for about three minutes and leaves behind some nice loops of lacing. Medium-heavy body and medium-light carbonation, the texture has some minor creaminess that appears at room temperature.

Smells of that faint musty zest that dried ancho chiles have over a more recognizable roasted malt aroma with just a touch of chocolate. It could have benefited from a slightly stronger chocolate nose IMO. However, there is lots more chocolate to be found in the flavor than the nose promises. The chile heat is only presented as a faintly rising warmth in the finish accented by cinnamon dust. The cinnamon and chile heat needs to be amplified by about 20% to help counterbalance the chocolate sweetness of the malt better. The ABV is rather well hidden, though. Pretty good, but not amazingly good. (897 characters)

Photo of rdilauro
3.05/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was getting excited. Stout, no question how much I love them. Then add some heat from chiles. Now we are talking, I hove hot chiles
The pour was getting good. Typical stout with a nice semi dark head.
I didnt get much out of the aroma. In fact, I felt it was a bit on the slight side.

Then the first sip. Full like I wanted a stout to be, but bit off with the chiles. It had almost a bitter aftertaste. On my second and third sops, I kike the little heat, but still the chiles used were not some of my favorites (514 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

We pour a tootsie roll colored brew. It holds a transient espresso colored head, showing almost no retention, and leaving aggregates of bubbles across the top of the liquid. Lacing is spotty, but minimal throughout. Carbonation appears moderate, as you can see some steam, bubbling right off the surface. This helps the swirl actually put up more of a head than the pour, which does show a bit more retention and color. No haze is noted, but bits of sediment line the bottoms of our glasses. The nose is all about the malts. These are dark, chocolatey, steely with coffee, and a deep roast bordering on char. Booze comes out with some light cooling vanilla sweetness. The hot chilies, metallics, and spice of cinnamon and black pepper come out more with warmth, and ride against the malts, deepening them. Our first impression is that the heavy roast to the malts imparts more bitterness, whereas more sweetness was expected. As we sip into it, the flavoring opens with souring, bittering grain. This is in the form of char-roasted coffee beans and raw cacao. There is a spicy bite of booze, and what appears to be some frank heat off of those anchos. We peak with sweeter malts, highlighted by some of that cooling vanilla, as in the nose. This, again, is added to by some lighter malts, adding richer, milk chocolate flavoring to the mix. The finish moves with more of the latter, along with a sting of booze. The roast really comes through here as well, balancing out the sweetness nicely, and allowing the fusel alcohols to shine a bit more. The aftertaste shows char, raw dark chocolate, espresso beans, vanilla, black pepper, and booze. The body is medium, and a bit syrupy, while the carbonation is high, lightly stinging the tongue and palate. The mouth is left with an initial chalky coating, eventually drying to a fine astringent finish. There is decent slurp, smack, cream, and pop. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the aroma. The nose is hit with smooth vanilla, hot chilies, depth of malts, and added chocolate sweetness, all at once. It gave the drinker a lot to amalgamate, as each component was so strong on their own, but in the end things were nicely balanced. The flavoring came nicely to follow, but we found it more bland than we were hoping for, particularly in the way of obvious chili pepper spice. This lacked, as did the look, placing this hombre somewhere in the middle for the style. (2,482 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black with brown hues around the edges and a thin tan head.

S - Roasted malts, semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and a light touch chile pepper. Reminds me of a fresh chocolate brownie.

T - Mostly semi-sweet chocolate with some roasted malts and vanilla. Light chile spice that is more noticeable in a touch of heat then in flavor. Some cinnamon as it warms and the chile pepper becomes more noticeable.

M - Medium body with lighter carbonation and the lightest touch of heat from the ancho.

D - Very well balanced and tasty. (540 characters)

Photo of BrownNut
3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clown shoes chocolate sombrero

March 2012 bottling. Served cool in a tulip.

A - 4.0 - Dark brown. On the pour, it's not quite that viscous motor oil thickness you see in some thick imperials, but there's some of that. Creamy, textured tan head that endures for a good while

S - 3.5 - The head itself is almost tropical fruity, or maybe some kind of fresh fruity herb, which I so did not expect in a beer like this. There's a mild coffee note and an undertone of chocolate. The notable fruit thing seems to fade away with the head. Kind of don't want that in there. It doesn't seem to belong.

T - 4.0 - That fruity note comes through on the palate. Again, not expected. It's much less noticeable midway through the beer, with the chocolate supplanting it. Can't say I taste the ancho chile but perhaps that added some kind of fruity note. Chocolate of the right sort can also sometimes impart a fruit note, so maybe that helped. The aftertaste has a faint bit of heat finally and a pleasing chocolate syrup note in the back corners of the mouth, the kind you'd use to make chocolate milk. Overall it comes across fairly mild. I'd give it a 3.9 if I could.

M - 3.75 - Medium, leaning thicker. Soft and tame.

O - 4.0 - I got this because Clown Shoes had yet to disappoint and I can say it still hasn't. This is an interesting beer and I haven't had one quite like it. I also got it because I thought it might be the closest I could come to a Hunaphu's due to the chile, chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla. So it's nice to get a hint of that chile in the end. I'd give it just under 4 in this category if I could. (1,614 characters)

Photo of yamar68
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8/12 vintage

Pours like a carbonated glass of black coffee... deep and dark, dense khaki head that sinks down to a thin collar and whispy retention floating around the center of the glass.

Pleasant spicing - spicy cinnamon and peppery nutmeg, smooth bitter chocolate, sweet syrup, no discernible alcohol presence.

Not quite an unusual as the grocery list of ingredients would suggest... barely bitter chocolate, mild pepper heat presence, faint cinnamon, chocolate milk... given all the ingredients, this is actually a bit tame. Still pretty tasty though.

I'd give it a go if you're curious. (595 characters)

Chocolate Sombrero from Clown Shoes
87 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.