Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Crunkle Sam - Clown Shoes

Not Rated.
Crunkle SamCrunkle Sam

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

76 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 76
Hads: 446
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 22.65%
Wants: 26
Gots: 78 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Clown Shoes visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 05-09-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (47) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 76 | Hads: 446
Reviews by Jeffo:
Photo of Jeffo
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bomber into a snifter
Barleywine dry hopped with citra

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking, fluffy, off-white head with good retention. Clear burnt orange in color with almost no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full, creamy cap and sticks to the sides of the glass, continuing to fade to a good wisp. A ring and swirly wisp remain until the end leaving some good lacing down the glass. Class stuff.

SMELL: Caramel, toffee, light honey and honeydew melon initially. Some grassy and piney hops with citrus notes as well. A hint of butterscotch as well. Good stuff.

TASTE: Toffee, caramel, honey and sweet malts up front with some nice spicy and piney hops at the swallow. Bolder finish is sweet with plenty of bitter hops, citrus flavors, spicy and piney hops, as well as honey sweetness lingering on the palate.

PALATE: Slightly thinner body and lighter on the palate. Semi-creamy, a touch prickly perhaps, goes down fine and finishes slightly mouth-coating.

OVERALL: Solid stuff. The feel is a little sub-par here, being a touch thin and prickly perhaps, but the rest was solid and lead to an enjoyable drink. Good sweet malt base with a nice hop profile bringing a lot of character to the beer. Good looking brew too. All in all, this is another solid Clown Shoes beer that's well worth checking out if you get the chance. Cheers.

 1,412 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of tbryan5
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of SuomiHobbit
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fine example of the style.

26 characters

Photo of Ben7773
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of DaftPatrick
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of StoutFox
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of rsquared59
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: brilliant chestnut to garnet mahagony with a finely bubbled, lacy off white foam cap. Smell: Citrusy hoppy nose. Taste: rich, malty, some caramel, bread, cardamom to cola finishing with a big bitter hop finish balanced by the malt and alcohol. Mouthfeel: Very creamy, big and chewy, slight warming. Overall: Reminds me of a mixed drink.

 349 characters

Photo of Moo5152
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Bottled on 6/4/14 found a 2nd to last bottle at South Hills Giant Eagle Market District...pours into a chalice with a cloudy deep muddled ruby amber body. Creamy textured tan head intricate lacing.

Dry hopped with Chinooks those are basically muted after 6 months of age in the bottle, the aroma comes of with deep pine earthy dankness, big under current of caramelized malts and bread...dark fruit a bit of sherry or cognac.

Flavor way too smooth I'm getting the last bottle to age even longer, dark chocolate in the middle over ripened fruits some apricot and raisin very juicy notes. Big earthy pine accented hops with a big creamy malt finish caramelized sugars a hint of caramel and bourbon esque finish even though this has never touched a barrel.

Mouthfeel is full bodied chewy beer this is Crunkle Sam and I'm really enjoying the beer a star of the base beers I've had from Clown Shoes...really well done to style American Barleywine I'm burping up hops and the booze is way too well hidden one could not tell this is 11% abv.

Overall, world class barleywine this would win most blind tastings out there, can't wait to grab another bottle to store away in the cellar.

 1,185 characters

Photo of kwkdmk
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of chinchill
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz shared bottle.
Hazy dark brown body with an excellent head.
Sweet aroma with well hidden alcohol.
The alcohol is more obvious in tasting but blends nicely with the sweet malts.

 186 characters

Photo of navband
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

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

Photo of chuckgietzen
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of rdilauro
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Ok, I admit, Clown Shoes beers have not been one of my favorites. I keep on trying them, my co-workers love them and I respect their beer knowledge and tastes.
I have liked most of the Clown shoe brews I have tasted, but the one thing that keeps me in the drak is the aftertaste. I cant put my finger on it, but its just something I do not like.

Crunkle Sam was an good overall Barley Wine. It had all the major ingredients into which a good beer should be. It had a nice nose, the mouthful was big, in fact very big, there was a nice balance between malt and alcohol,

But still in the end there was something I just did not like Its not been with just one clown shoes but most of those I have tasted

 702 characters

Photo of JamesStreet
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Belgian tulip.

A beautiful, cushion-like, fluffy head forms with the pour, creamy in color. The liquid is cloudy, unfiltered looking and light copper and brown in color. Sticky lace remains all around the glass.

There's some pleasant smells here, particularly sweet, pungent malt blending with peppery spice. The hops are slightly piney and resinous and are a bit buried, but still present on the aroma.

Not a lot of variation from nose to taste, with the sweetness of the malt emerging first, then some hoppy bite and slight bitterness.

The beer drinks very sweetly, with a creamy and thick quality and little carbonation. The finish is dry but some sweetness lingers with the bitter hops to leave a pleasant aftertaste.

Overall, a great barleywine and one that's easy to enjoy. I could drink plenty of these, especially as it was fairly cheap.

 864 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, with another crazily busy label, this time illustrating a fireworks-directing, Grand Canyon-adjacent maestro, one who reminds me somewhat of the Hondo Ohnaka pirate character (maybe blended with Lyle Lanley from the Simpsons) of the Clone Wars cartoons that I've been catching up on lately - with my toddler son, of course!

This beer pours a muddy, darkly illustrious red-brick amber colour, with a tower of puffy, tightly foamy, and sort of bubbly beige head, which leaves some encrypted Republic transmission character lace around the glass as it slowly bleeds off into near-space.

It smells of sweet, nougaty caramel malt, flecked with more than a few toffee, demerara sugar, and treacle turbo injections, sharp pine resin, orange, lemon, and white grapefruit citrus rind astringencies, a pleasantly apparent, untethered mustiness, further tart black fruit notes, and a barely restrained, bristling, and, let's just say, threatening booziness. The taste is, well the taste is another incarnation of those gag-inducing first contact sort of deals - the swirling alcohol esters hit my high palate straight away, choking it before I can immediately appreciate the lazy followup of besotted bready caramel malt, hard toffee, sassy pine needles, bitter leafiness, real vanilla, syrupy brown sugar, earthy mustiness, and mixed and matched dark orchard fruit.

The carbonation is fairly involved, with a prominent, but yet soft frothiness, the body a stolid medium-heavy weight, and fairly smooth, once you get past that good ol' 'merican hop onslaught, and creamy with no such interference. It finishes on the sweet side, just, as the waning of the hops only slightly exceeds that of the malt - we're talking minimal amounts here, people, but a delta is a delta, so say the Greeks.

Not the most complex of barleywines, be they new or old world in origin or style, but that doesn't seem to be the aim here. Instead, what we get is an alcoholic paean to a, let's say complicated malt, the DIPA hop schedule that loves it, and lip service paid in full to that old-seeming musty difference maker. A slow sipper, to be sure, as duly noted already, but once past that simple physical limitation, all bets are off.

 2,220 characters

Photo of dmachado
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap @ Capitol Beer and Taproom in Sacramento, CA

Appearance - This American barleywine is a hazy, deep orange rust color served in a 12 oz snifter with a sandstone, half finger head that settles to a broken layer surface suds. Streaky, spotty lacing down the sides of the glass with fair stick.

Smell - Moderate aroma, touching on notes of earth, grass, floral character and a caramel undertone.

Taste - Follows the nose, with lots of earthy hop notes throughout. Floral and grassy, with touches of pine. Malts are in the back, with a bit of toasted bread and caramel. Finish is a strong punch of earth high-pitched grassy bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Lighter in body than expected, with medium feel. Sticky texture, but goes down with exquisite smoothness. Slight warmth from the alcohol.

Overall - Certainly one of the more unique barleywines I've had, though far from the best. High focus on the hop profile while the malts seem fairly generic and simple, so questionable as to how this one might age. I enjoyed it for what it was, but likely wouldn't seek it out again.

 1,083 characters

Photo of TheRealtor
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Crunkle Sam from Clown Shoes
88 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.