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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

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Reviews: 269
Hads: 1,530
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 25.96%
Wants: 74
Gots: 317 | 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: 269 | Hads: 1,530
Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pitch black brew, no colored halo with a decent sized tan head, about 2-3 inches tall. Aroma is roasted yet quite sweet, chocolate sauce, light roast coffee, ample vanilla bean, mellow brown spice, and a hint of earthy hops. Palate is similarly sweet, spicy, and earthy, chocolate cake, coffee, cola, and strong vanilla with a slight bell pepper fruitiness, dried raisins and currants, wood char, black licorice, caramel, and a noticeably (for the style) assertive hop bite in the finish. Quite thick and the carbonation is on the low side, although something in the brew prevents things from being disturbingly sweet and syrupy even if this is on the sweet side for my liking. Quite smooth on the palate. Very slight detectable spicy heat either from the chillies or the hops (probably the former). Alcohol is very well-concealed. A rather solid dessert beer that doesn't taste gimmicky.

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Photo of Roxie_B
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle
Appearance: Some lacing, tiny collar, pitch black and opaque.
Smell: Chocolate, pepper and vanilla.
Taste: Bright spicy small punch of hops. Coffee. In the middle a strong taste of chocolate. Mild burn. Strong alcohol presence. A bit of earthiness.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy.
Overall: Would drink again. Wish this one was a little spicier but it’s certainly fun.

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Photo of fitrock2112
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured Chocolate Sombrero into a snifter.

A - Pours black as midnight with a finger of mocha head.

S - Dark roasted malts fill the nose. Chocolate on second sniff.

T - Different for sure. A spicy roasted malt hits the palate initially. Mid palate getting more spiciness from the peppers with heavy chocolate. Finally, on the finish getting some coffee and more spicy malt. Wow!

M - Medium to heavy on the mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

O - Pleasantly surprised! Love the different flavors that shine on this brew. Highly recommended! Cheers!!

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Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice dark brown black with a decent head that dissipates quickly. Smells ok and tastes like a typical dark stout. Can't detect much chocolate, ancho chiles or cinammon at all. Slightly sweet at the end. Goes down well but I am not that impressed for a beer that touts all these different ingredients, it has a very generic taste.

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

Undated bottle at 45 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, and chilies (weak)
Head small (2 cm), light brown, creamy, slowly diminishing to 2 mm ring and partial layer
Lacing OK – narrow rings of small bubbles
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor of roasted malt, chocolate, and faint cinnamon with a nice chili bite
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

This is a very drinkable well-made stout containing chilies. The chili and cinnamon compliment the chocolate, with the ancho chilies being mild enough to taste without burning my taste buds out. I’ll definitely buy this again.

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

22oz bottle. The marketing blurb performs well enough in its description of its own label, that I don't really have to riff on anything here #softlysobbinginthecorner.

This beer pours a solid, near light-destroying black, with the barest of cola syrup basal edges, and two fingers of restrained in its puffiness, tightly foamy, and verily creamy chocolate milk head, which leaves some violently cleaving iceberg profile lace around the glass as it lazily sinks away.

It smells of bittersweet cocoa powder, spicy salted pretzels (in the chili garlic paste sense - fuck that weak-ass Sriracha stuff), slightly smoked pale and caramel malts, vanilla crackers, metallic cinnamon, and some indistinct vegetal and bitter leafy astringencies. The taste is rather dry chocolate, pleasantly toasted chili peppers, grainy, bready caramel malt, a waning salted licorice character, diluted brown sugar, more increasingly metallic cinnamon spice, boozy fake vanilla, and a continuing vegetal note, that may be hop, may be pepper - just too hard to say, pendejo!

The carbonation is tame, but supportive enough for the task at hand, the body a genial medium weight, with a plucky attempt at smoothness, which is admirable, given the circling spicy vectors. It finishes off-dry, the chocolate sweetness doing well to assert itself, as the salty, smoky, and uber alles, spicy pepper character reloads and comes back atcha for more.

Disjointed (I'm certain that I've used this word in relation to this brewery of late - just sayin'), engaging, furtive, and frustrating - those are the associations I have with this offering. More specifically - chocolate, chili spice, vegetation, bread, and in the end, sweet alcohol. Curtains for that wack Mexican clown wrestler, and curtains for me.

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Photo of slackattack
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured down the middle from bomber to tulip. Not pitch black by any means.
Achieved a rich, tan two finger head that dissipates quickly. Nose is bitter coffee, dark chocolate, tobacco, and roasted malt. First taste strikes me as very complex and not necessarily in a good way. The tastes of cinnamon, dark chocolate, and bitter roastyness are all there, but they run together to give a cardboard-like taste and there's really no order to what's going on. The aftertaste is lingering and by far the highlight of the beer for me, this is where the BS goes away and a nice lingering bitter chocolate dominates. Nice mouthfeel, just a little carbonation which is good. Not a stellar offering from Clown Shoes. To be fair as the beer warmed it was considerably more palatable and at room temperature was not unlike chocolate milk.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.2/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this beer is pretty sloppy, i dont think all the interesting flavors are particularly well integrated or balanced, but the base stout is quite large and tasty, i just dont think it needed all they did to it here. comes across confused. dark as night, thick and viscous, heady too. the nose is a weird mix of dry and sweet dark chocolate, as well as cinnamon spice and chili pepper, all very muddled. the complexity and richness of the base stout is lost with all these additives i think. chocolate is robust in the flavor all the way through, and the peppers come out mostly just in the finish. they arent super hot, but there is a warming sensation for sure. combined with the hotly alcoholic thickness of this beer, its tough to drink very much of. maybe something to try again in colder weather, but the promise of something interesting and unique here gave way to a lackluster brew bogged down by mediocre use of strange ingredients. not worth what they ask for it.

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Photo of bleedsblu
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Poured from an ice cold bottle into a glass. Very dark with some carbonation. It had a very small head with an aggressive pour.

Smells of chocolate and vanilla, fruity. It has a thick mouth feel with some bitterness and some smoky notes.

The taste is another winner for Clown shoes, love it the colder the better this is a nice Sunday sipper.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed with ancho chiles, cinnamon, vanilla extract
9% ABV. $5.99 for a 22oz bomber at Total Wine
Pours out to a deep walnut, near black, forming a modest light tan head with good retention and lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The nose is of black walnut, cinnamon, vanilla, carob, and strawberries. The mouthfeel is slick, mildly acidic, and full bodied. The taste is a recap of the aroma. The strawberry is an interesting note. A touch of soy sauce. The cinnamon is rather subdued, as is the chili. Not much heat...very very mild. There is subtle oxidation towards the finish. Overall on the sweeter side. Bitterness is very very mild, as is the roast character.

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Photo of utfiero
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Color- black chocolate with light brown head.

Aroma- sweet chocolate with strong alcohol esters.

Taste0 A strong imperial stout. Starts roasty and smokey in the middle, roasted peppers make an appearance in the middle, and finishing with dry coffee and dark bitter chocolate notes. The high alcohol is not masked at all and my rating reflects that fact.

Poured from 650 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted on 8/24/2013.

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Photo of Roguer
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Huge, light brown head with fantastic retention and leaving thick lacing down the glass. Motor oil-black brew.

Huge dark fruit aroma, plums and prunes swimming in a ton of roasted barley. Hint of vanilla, maybe a tiny bit of peppery chile, and dark cacao in the background.

Interesting mix of flavors. Sweet overripe dark fruit up front, spiced with the barest hint of chile, and flavored with a touch of vanilla and cacao. Finishes with a massive dose of roasted barley.

Surprisingly light body. No foaming, no sting. Not very lively, but smooth.

This is a tasty beer, but it doesn't seem to hit any of the wickets I really anticipated and wanted. It's both thin and too fruity for a stout, and the chiles are too much in the background. That said, it's still a good beer, and worth trying out if you can get it at a decent price.

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Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured nice and dark into a snifter with a half-finger, dark tan head. Not the most impressive smelling stout I've ever had, but I feel like the ancho chile is lingering there somewhere. Taste is all right. Maybe I just prefer my stouts to be a bit more chocolatey or coffee-ey. This one is pretty solid, though. I do get a spicy bite at the back end, which is cool.

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Photo of rawfish
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cola brown but sits a shade lighter than black in the glass. Forms a loose and rocky mocha head of three fingers but with poor retention and spotty lacing.

Solid amount of toasted malt and pure milk chocolate sweetness. I get cinnamon and some vegetative and peppery spice in the finish from the chile.

The dark cocoa and caramel sweetness from the malts is very dominant. Warming cinnamon and subtle vanilla appears near the end and without much chile presence. Very mellow flavors overall without the diversity yet it's pleasant and works.

A medium bodied stout, less carbonation than the pour indicated which might have brought out more complexity or pop to this beer. Pretty clean for a dark beer with moderate alcohol stoking the barely breathing heat of the chile and cinnamon.

On paper I was expecting something pretty great with the cinnamon, chile and especially vanilla extract in this chocolate heavy stout but the dark malts are overpowering and the beer just lies there, flat on the palate. The upside is that Clown Shoes is constantly evolving and tweaking so I'm sure this will get even better in subsequent years.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.83/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - big dark brew, a mocha cap that is a little watery but fairly resilient. Irregular lacing on the glass.

Aroma - light roast with a slightly sweet edge, indistinguishable at first, but some vanilla and cinnamon push through after a minute. Not sure I would have picked it up...well, maybe I would have. Actually gets stronger as it sits.

Taste - malts up front, cinnamon and vanilla mid-palate make a fantastic blend of chocolatey, Mexican cocoa flavor. The anchos have a perfect, subtle undertone of heat, letting you know they're there, warming the belly, but not adding any unwanted heat to the mix. Ends easily, with bittersweet chocolate, fading vanilla and a lingering cinnamon. Even the exhale breath is exotic. Nice beer!

Mouthfeel - smooth, big-bodied, lower carbonation, I like the levels where the flavor is unhindered by the bubbles but can ride the body.

Overall - a very well-done spin of an American Double. Fireside beer for sure. A fine beer to toast the Kentucky Wildcats and the Uconn Huskies on their championship run. No dog in the hunt either way but an excellent game, men. Cheers!

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Black color. One finger of frothy tan head. Retention is what you'd expect from a beer this big and just a wisp of lacing is left.

4.0 S: The first thing I noticed is the chiles in this. Big ancho aroma going on. Malt profile in this is of the big roasty variety. Tons of roasted malts, chocolate underneath, molasses, and caramel. Cinnamon and vanilla play a smaller role in this, but complement the beer well.

3.5 T: Big roasty flavors in the taste, but balanced by rich chocolate and molasses notes. Degrees of caramel with a touch of char. Chiles are less prominent in the taste and the vanilla and cinnamon only add a touch of flavor.

4.0 M: Heavier body. Good moderate carbonation. Moderately creamy and smooth.

3.75 D: Pretty good beer overall. I wish the chiles and spices played a bigger role in this, but it's good enough to try once.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light black in color and somewhat penetrate lee to light. Just a trace of light brown foam covers a small part of the top of the beer. Brussels lacing. I get chocolate,roasted barley,and cinnamon in the nose. The mouth is silky smooth and viscous. I get roasted barley, cinnamon,and fig throughout the palate. This is a very sweet finish after a bitter start.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No apparent date on bottle.

Beer is black with a small tan head that fades fairly quickly, leaving some bubble.

Nose contains chocolate and vanilla.

Chocolate is the dominant flavour. The chile is there, but not overstated - it's a nice level, providing a bit of additional flavour but not taking the focus. I would say the same for the cinnamon - actually, it is not easy for me to distinguish the chile powder from the cinnamon. The vanilla is stronger than the chile and cinnamon, but also not overpowering. All in all, quite easy drinking and (unsurprisingly) firmly on the sweet side.

Full bodied, low to moderate carbonation, very creamy and smooth.

Overall, a nice beer. Very much a dessert beer.

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Photo of far333
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours out dark brown and opaque, with a light brown thick and frothy head that settles out slowly. Inviting aroma of cocoa and cabernet, some cherries.

Rich flavor upfront, chocolate milk, dark bread, honey and cherries, tending toward more of a sweet or milk stout rather than an imperial. Subtle peppery spice, but I was really expecting a nice smokey peppery kick from the description on the label. No hop flavors, and low bitterness. Alcohol strength is well hidden.

Mouthfeel is watery, a tad slick. Overall an okay beer, but it advertises better than it performs, and it's a little too pricey to not be too special.

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Photo of TruePerception
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clown Shoes' Chocolate Sombrero, a Mexican-style chocolate stout. 9% ABV.

A: About half a finger's lopsided, tan head. Black in the glass. Deep red/cola in the light, and pours cola. A dot, here and there, of lacing.

S: Dark cocoa dominates the nose. Slight chile. The faintest hint of cinnamon, in the background.

T/MF: Nicely creamy feeling! Very dark cocoa flavor, bordering on coffee. A sharp sweetness along the sides of the tongue, near the back (where acidity is usually more noticeable). The flavors don't really pop, though. Actually, it's a very mellow beer. Probably a good gateway into darker beers! It's very easy drinking.

I'm a little conflicted. It has plenty of character, and tastes good, but doesn't have that wow factor. I'll have to mull it over as I finish the bottle...

I feel like this would work really well with food, but I couldn't say which. I picture Mexican food, in my head: Spicy, shredded beef, and Spanish/Mexican rice (the heavily seasoned red stuff that usually has little bits of peppers mixed in). Not sure if the flavors would compliment, though.

I can't wait to try the Luchador En Fuego, based on the nose, alone! I thing the bourbon barrel aging will work well with the base flavors. Hopefully I find it soon!

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Petrus chalice.

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Photo of mechamifune
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I got this to try to stave off my craving for more Huna, as that has become a hard to get and expensive drink for me in North Carolina. I've had Luchador En Fuego and wasn't too impressed, so I was hesitant to get this one, but for $8 a bomber, I figured what the hell.

Bottom line is this is a solid Chili Imperial Stout. The body is there, which I didn't feel it was in the BA version of this. The cinnamon and vanilla flavors don't pop the same way they do in Huna, but they at least have a presence. The spiciness if there too, just to the right level where it doesn't linger too long or become abrasive.

This is an all around solid beer and a nice easy to get example for a style that generally is hard to get and comes at a huge price point. On a blind tasting I have no doubt this would fall underneath Huna, Mexican Cake, and Abraxas, but I don't think the gap is as wide as one might think. Check this out for sure if you are a fan of the style.

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Photo of SmashPants
4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: a big solid 650mL brown bottle with a pretty awesome craft label.

Appearance: pours a solid, thick black with a two-finger tan head that drops to a creamy finger. Decent lacing too. A nice looking beer.

Aroma: a strong aroma of roasted malts with chocolate and spices - cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste: the palate is predominantly chocolate with roast coffee malt, a hint of biscuit malt and caramels. Such a pleasant combination of malts makes for an easy-drinking sessional. I could have plenty of these.

Aftertaste: a pleasant sweet chocolate flavour on the finish, nice and crisp.

Mouth feel: wonderfully thick and full thanks to an intense fine sediment that lingers throughout the profile.

Overall: this is one of those fantastic top-end beers that one has only every so often. A great chocolate stout that's well worth the expense. At approx AU$20 a bottle, I won't be able to afford this all too often, but I'll definitely have to make it as regular as possible.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz.

Pours jet black, quarter inch of tan head is fine and retains well.

Smells of cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla, and toasted biscuit malts.

Tastes of cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla, oak, and a slight chile spiciness.

Full body with a stinging carbonation on the tongue, combined with a bit of spice sting.

A pretty good stout, nice flavor and great body. The chile is just there enough to add some spice but doesn't really come through in the flavor. Enjoyable and worth trying.

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Photo of IronLover
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown to black in color. Poured with a thick, dark beige foam that slowly reduced to a wispy cap. Sweet, powdery chocolate malt aromas are dominant with roasted malts in tow. Vanilla and ground cinnamon aromas in the background with funky roasted hot pepper expanding as this warmed. Nice complexity in the aroma. Full bodied with rich carbonation and a chewy feel up front and a tangy bite in the middle. Chocolate and roasted malt flavors up front followed by hop bitterness into the middle. Hop bitterness transitions to tangy, hot chili presence to the end. Finished with roasted malt aftertaste along with hop bitterness and a touch chili heat. An interesting variety of aromas and flavors that work very well together. Thoroughly enjoyed this.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle purchased at Wines and More in Mansfield, MA. Shared with my father and grandfather. Poured into tulips.

Pours dark brown, almost but not quite black. Good sized, fluffy brown head.

Smells like strong dark malt. A bit of chocolate comes thru as well.

Tastes awesome. Strong dark chocolate and cocoa flavors, creamy vanilla, bit of cinnamon, with a awesome chili pepper twang at the back end of each sip.

Slightly thin for an imperial stout, but nice enough anyway. Creamy mouthfeel. Well carbonated.

Love some of these Clown Shoes stouts. This is a great effort.

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