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Chocolate Sombrero | Clown Shoes

very good
308 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

View: Beers | Events
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Reviews: 308 | Ratings: 1,715
Photo of Catracho5
4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pitch black with a creamy tan head, head lots of bubbles streaming up the glass's side, head vanished after a few minutes, poured like motor oil.

A: Chocolate, chiles, cinnamon, roasted malts, lots of aromas, really pungent, no alcohol on the nose.

T: Chocolate, cinnamon, slight heat from the chiles, dark roasted malts, coffee notes, a little heat from the chiles in the aftertastes, slight alcohol burn, really dry.

M: Thinner than it looks, about a medium mouthfeel, finishes very dry.

O: Well done, love all the flavors in this stout, chocolate, cinnamon, heat from some chiles, a little thin, but overall an outstanding stout, definitely pick up another bottle if I see it again.

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Photo of stompilator
4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter.

A - Poured jet black, thin, beige head.

S - Booze, chocolate, and chili spice.

T - An intense plethora of chocolate malts hit right up front, giving a multi-faceted chocolate flavor. The vanilla swims around subtly, and the chilis simmer up mid-to-late-palate, giving a slightly juicy flavor, but mostly provide a light sting that hangs in the aftertaste.

M - Nice and thick, light carbonation. The chilis leave a nice sizzle.

O - Wonderfully chocolatey stout. Uses hot peppers better than any other beer I've had.

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Photo of Chris-MOC9
4.79/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I like the chocolate that comes through from the malts as well the cinnamon and peppers.Good balance on the spice. Great black color and nice smell of spice and malts.

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Photo of willic
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is one crazy beer. Original. Fun. Very hard to describe, but I will gladly drink another! There is a lot going on in this super dark stout! Great creativity!

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Photo of Edman5P
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out really thick and dark brown with a nice chocolate looking head.. Dark coffee scent.. Dark roasted malt, chocolate taste with a thick consistency

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Photo of Cheeseboo
4.85/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A nice chocolate flavor with just a hint of spice. Great beer experience. There is a lot of interesting flavor happening in this beer. I only wish it was a little smoother.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark and frothy with a tan head that is a luxury watch fall and then bubble up around the glass with each tip. Nose is sweet chocolate, caramel and a wafting bit of vanilla. Pepper and the dry scent of pepper. Some cinnamon that seems red hot but sweet like breath. Taste is smooth sweet caramel and creamy. A little heat from that earthy pepper. Good full mouthfeel and an all around bright flavor. Some sexy warmth from alcohol in the dry finish. Finishes a bit bittier from hops and bitter roast to linger very earthy.

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Photo of PGD120
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle Poured into a tulip...

Appearance: dark brown, thin 1 finger tan head, not much visible carbonation, but more than I usually see with a stout

Aroma: sort of lacking considering it's description. Lots if chocolate and roasted malt. Tiny bit of cinnamon

Taste: definitlly makes up for the lack of aroma. Upfront it's lots of chocolate and dark roasted malt. Chocolate malt. Burnt caramel, cinnamon comes in a bit later with a tiny bit of vanilla. Finishes off with a bit of heat from the chili.

Mouthfeel: medium full bodied, would have liked it to have a bit more body. But it's pretty dry for a stout which was njce.

Overall. It's no hunaphu or mexican brunch or xocoveza but it's not bad at all. Nice easy to get mexican style Chocolate stout.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up a few weeks back in Totowa, having never had this before. This sounded interesting and it turned out to be that way, as this was a Stout that had quite a kick to it. It wasn't so much the alcohol that gave it punch, but the burn in the flavor that slowly built up as this beer warmed. While it wasn't enough to make me break out into a sweat, this was a Stout that stood out from others because of the tenacity that the bite had!

Good pour to this as it came out nice and chocolate with a moderate tan head that quickly faded away. Only a ring of lacing after my first sip was visible on the side of my pint glass and the aroma never fully kicked in on this either. Once I gave this a sip, the character of this beer fully kicked in. Lots of spicy chocolate and cinnamon up front that faded beautifully into a chocolate-chili pepper flavor. Somewhat bitter, a bit dry, and creamy, the texture of this beer was wonderful and the medium carbonation kept this from getting too heavy or spicy. Couldn't feel the vanilla extract in this and the roasted malt was recessed too, but the balance was certainly here from start to finish.

This was strong but the alcohol complemented the flavors nicely and it never stood out in opposition to them. Having more than one of these would be easy until the buzz kicked in but as it was, this was more than enough for a session. Can't say that I've ever had a beer like this before and with a bowl of chili, a dessert of Mexican chocolate and maybe some Kahlua, this would pair nicely with them. One of Clown Shoes stronger offerings that broke the mold of what a Stout could be. Just as fun as what the label hints at!

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a quarter of a finger of caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved away into almost no head what-so-ever, except a few wispy clouds of foam.

Aroma: Not much in the aroma department, either that or I’m stuff up. I get some faint notes of roasted malt, and some notes of dark chocolate and spices, but every aroma is very subtle.

Taste: Wow! Nothing subtle in the flavors though! There’s tons of roasted malt up front, followed by lots of brown sugar-like sweetness, lots of dark chocolate, and lots of spices such as cinnamon, cumin, cayenne pepper, and chipotle and adobo. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and nicely carbonated which really sets off the spices. With an ABV of 9.0%, there is a subtle, alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is a nice stout. Spicy, malty, and sweet. Not outstanding, but really, really nice. Definitely worth a drink and a repeat visit!

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Photo of cbutova
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks Master Cheeksalot for the bottle. Thought I had reviewed this at some point, surprise!

A- Black bodied pour into a goblet with a one finger tan head. The frothy cap dies down fairly quickly to a ring at the edges and a few small islands. Sparse lacing.

S- For the style and ABV not one of the most pungent examples I have had with milk chocolate, fudge, vanilla and coffee coming to mind; all wrapped together by roast barley.

T- Starts off with moderately sweet malts bringing notes of milk chocolate, brownies, slight char, roastiness and some toasted nuts. The sweetness melds with the vanilla and the peppers come out late in the game, but only a tiny bit. Cinnamon seems to float in and out and reminds me of the Mexican bark pieces.

MF- Substantially creamy texture to the heavy overall body. Carbonation comes in at a medium level and it finishes slightly warm and roasty bitter. Decadent feel.

As good if not better than I remember from the first time I had this. The authentic cinnamon flavor becomes the key later on as it seems to really link the chocolate, roast grains and peppers. I wish I had some Mexican chocolate to eat along with this.

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Photo of hardysf
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black with a caramel colored head that dissipates pretty quickly. Leaves light lacing.

Smells of chocolate and coffee. I can't detect much if any peppers. Maybe a touch of cinnamon.

Taste is of chocolate and vanilla. The peppers meekly come through if you let the beer sit on the palate for a bit.

Thick mouthfeel which is appropriate for the style. Smooth drinking.

Wife approves too.

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Photo of sherlin
4.34/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very solid stout. Has a tad too much going on to give it a perfect score. The anchor peppers are noticeable but mainly hidden by notes of cinnamon.
Very nice aroma and body. Better than average stout gentleman.

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Photo of fscottkey
2.83/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A: [4.50] Dark black beer. Forms about 1/2 finger of tan head. The head recedes down to a thin covering. The beer still leaves lacing on the glass after the head diminishes. The bottle is clearly marked bottled on 04/08/2015. The ABV is listed at 9%.

S: [2.75] The nose is not bold. Mostly getting mild dark fruits. No chocolate, vanilla, etc. Maybe a hint of alcohol smell too.

T: [2.75] Very mild chocolate. Sweetness late. Like a milk stout. That is really it.

M: [2.50] The body is a little light. There is just no weight to the beer.

O: [2.75] Big disappointment. This beer was just a flop for me. The smell, taste and mouthfeel were all totally lacking. I let it warm for a bit and still nothing popped on the flavor or taste. Would not buy again. Would not drink again,

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Photo of uvachief
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Draft. Pours pitch black with little to no head. Minimal lacing throughout. Smells of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and cinnamon. Taste is watery and disappointing. Very thin. Little spice detected. Decent but not what I expected. It's not bad just not Heir Apparent or Huna. Not close.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.08/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

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

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

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

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


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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

A - 4.5 - Pours an incredibly dark brown with ruby tinges, appears pitch black, gotta hold this one to the light to see any color. Formed up a finger and a half of extremely dark tan colored head. Medium head potential, medium/low head retention. Decent lacing.
S - 4.5 - Lots of roasted malt, medium-sweet chocolate, vanilla, and light hints of pepper and cinnamon.
T - 3.75 - Medium sweet malt and chocolate with a fair amount of coffee. Vanilla, lactose sugar creaminess, and a whisper of cinnamon and pepper.
F - 4.75 - Nice creamy mouthfeel.
O - 4 - This is a good representation of the pepper stout style, not great but not just okay, its good. There could definitely be more pepper and cinnamon, probably twice to thrice the amount, but the heat is definitely felt and is lightly tasted. All in all, a pretty good beer.

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Photo of Shade1951
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I was hesitant about trying this beer. "Mexican" suggests hot chilies, and while I **love** hot chilies in food, I have had very bad experiences with them in beer - such as that Cave Cove or whatever puke.

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. The smell and taste are robust enough, but not overwhelming. Nothing is cloying. Nothing burns the tongue or throat. This is a very nice stout - and it packs a nice ABV punch as well!

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Photo of bassfishingguy
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This one was very similar IMO to Blaecorn Unidragon with one major difference; spices. I could definitely smell some cinnamon/peppers on this one, and taste both the flavors as well. Both flavors could have been more pronounced, but either way, I definitely enjoyed this one. I'm starting to like Clown Shoes' beers more and more.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delicious! Pours inky black, light brown head with strong lacing. Dark malt, chocOlate bouquet. Smooth, malty, nice coffee, cocoa flavor with just the barest heat. Well hidden abv, very smooth and easily quaffable. I enjoyed and another solid clown shoes beer.

update: every time I drink this beer, I find another layer of its complexity. Incredible beer - and definitely one to stock up on -

update update: its fall again and this incredible beer has appeared on local shelves in VA - hello old friend - a tasty and complex winter warmer - not spicy, but the heat from the ancho chiles and the vanilla provide an pleasant counterpoint to the malt and chocolate. solid, well balanced stout. . .

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Photo of stephens101
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shiny and black with one-finger of tan froth.

Smells of milk chocolate and bitter dark fruits.

Tastes of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, roasted nuts, a hint of espresso and oatmeal.

Goes down mostly thick and creamy. Thins as it warms. Has a fairly potent, lingering chili and alcohol heat.

I could get to this one again without a doubt.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A- Pours just as you would expect it with a dark, almost black body, and a small chocolatey brown head. The little bit of head retains pretty well and laces adequately.

S- Huge fudge and chocolate notes are the first scents on the nose. Some cinnamon spiciness and ancho chilis kick in next with subtle, but still noticeable, additions to the smell. Lingering scent is a touch sweet, but mostly roasted malts.

T- Burnt malts lead off the sip with chocolate and spices coming next. The cinnamon is less prominent on the tongue than the nose, but the anchos ramp up their flavor component in the taste when compared to the scent. Burnt malts kick back up towards the end of the drink with a good dose of bitterness that linger on the tongue.

M- This beer isn't overly thick or smooth, but has just enough weight to hold up the strong flavors of the beer. It really hides its ABV well.

Overall, this is a poor man's version of Abraxas. It is solid in all flavor aspects, from the chocolate and cinnamon, to the chili and vanilla sweetness. This is a solid beer.

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Photo of themind
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is like the poor mans Prairie Bomb! it's a decent beer and I enjoyed it. Not very hot, a good amount of chocolate and hidden ABV.

Bottom Line: Good brew.

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Photo of jgido759
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Was looking forward to trying this for a while. Finally found it and was not disappointed.

Pours dark brown/black, almost like a cola, with about a 3/4" foamy head that hangs around for a bit. Very subtle chocolate flavor up front with a slight cinnamon/chile burn at the finish.

While it didn't "wow" me, I would buy this again.

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Photo of Sleepy_Conscience
3.56/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tastes decent but leaves a strange aftertaste that I'm not too fond of. Can't really taste the chili pepper, at least not in a way that I was expecting to. It's okay, but I was a little underwhelmed and disappointed, especially considering they're the company that brought me Undead Party Crasher, one of my favorite stouts.

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Chocolate Sombrero from Clown Shoes
87 out of 100 based on 308 ratings.