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Crunkle Sam - Clown Shoes

Not Rated.
Crunkle SamCrunkle Sam

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

76 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 76
Hads: 438
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 8.12%
Wants: 27
Gots: 77 | 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.
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Reviews: 76 | Hads: 438
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at Wowcoolman's tasting.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with brown sugar and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is a nice example of a citrus hop forward barleywine. (631 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
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 ChainGangGuy
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 ounce bottle - $8.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Glugs out an murky, opaque, dark amber body with a small, thin, beige head now matter how lively the pour. Though the head really never gets going, it also maintains that lil' thin head throughout the whole bottle.

Smell: Toasted biscuits, toasted sugars, and, given some minutes in the glass, you get rising, angrily wafting citrus zest and alcohol set against a scent of brewed black tea.

Taste: Toasty malts, sugars (for a bolt of sweetness), and biscuits, a little extra brown sugar, some small handful of golden raisins, with bright, juicy citrus components of Seville orange and lemon adjoined to the warming alcohol. As the bitterness hitches its wagon, there's a firm tea-like herbal hint like an over-steeped tea bag. As it warms, the alcohol and cumulative bitterness awaken, giving a singe of orange liqueur on the finish. Additional sweetness lands invariably, pre-finish, post-finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Not quite chewy.

Overall: It's not the most deft, diverse, or complex barleywine around. Still, it holds its own, giving one their daily recommended allowance of citrus, sweetness, and alcohol. (1,234 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clown Shoes "Crunkle Sam"
22 oz. brown glass bottle, "BOTTLED ON 06/12/13"
$8.99 @ Total Wine & More #901, Tampa, FL

Notes: Sampled at cellar temperature. Beautiful looking glass of beer: clear deep copper body with orange highlights beneath a massive head of frothy yellowish tan that slowly drops to a fairly thick, sudsy covering. Wide splashes and craggy, broken walls of lacing are left behind on the glass. Distinctly caramelish malt as expected in the nose with a bit of fruit (apricot, tangerine, nondescript citrus) as well, and some background raspy hops (or is that spiciness from the alcohol? Or a combination with the citrus edge?). As an "American" barley wine I would expect more hop aroma, but the very moderate amount that's there is OK. Medium-full in body... or should that be full-medium? Decidedly dextrinous and creamy with a very fine-bubbled moderate carbonation - thank goodness as too many barley wines are over-carbed these days, 'thinning' the malt and amping up the perceived bitterness with carbonic acid... this softer carbonation works really well to accentuate the malt. And malt is what it's about here, although there are more hops in the flavor, and some clear alcohol (which seems to be the only fault, with some higher alcohols). Rich, with a combination of golden and darker caramel notes that make me think of the color red, not that red is a flavor, but that's how I perceive it - I guess meaning that it's a midway point between the golden and the dark (?). The malt is the main component, but it's malt that's threaded through with hop flavor: dank, slightly resinous, and citrusy (clementine, lemon zest)- almost berry-like in a way (perhaps Simcoe?). But again, as an "American" barley wine it still seems a little light. The balance, however, is quite good; and overall it shines. Given the price of $8.99/22 oz. bottle (and I know you can find it cheaper) it's hard to argue against. (1,932 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice fluffy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly, decent lacing, esp for an 11% beer, fairly clear reddish maroon slight rosy colored beer.

Nose brings typical barleywine aromas, sweet candy malts, caramel, toffee, little nutty, candied apple, touch syrupy, with lots of reddish sweet malts, slight toasty, candy, various crystal malts, etc. with a touch of an earthy spicy hop, as well as light booze aroma and hint of esters.

Taste brings more sweet malts, reddish malts again, toasty, chewy like, with candy red malts, into the caramel, lots of toffee with a bit syrupy flavors, nutty even, more candied apple flavor, rock candy syrup, etc. That also brings plenty of booze, warming and tingly even, but mostly clean booze, just a touch of esters and eventually gets a little fusel, and an interesting fruitiness in there too, touch of raisin, little candied apple, touch fig, etc. Also in there is a med to milder bitterness wit light spicy earthy hops but not a lot. Finish is fairly bitter though as the hops finally ramp, more spicy chewy hops with a bit of pine and earth, more candied flavors sweet malts and semi dry finish, bit more tingly anesthesizing booze.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, bit syrupy, plenty of warming tingly booze, decent carb.

overall not bad, not sure how it would age but not bad as a basic barleywine, but doesn't do much to stand out or anything like that. (1,402 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

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 superspak
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 5/15/2013. Pours slightly hazy deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, orange peel, raisin, pear, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, floral, grass, light pine, and floral/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/earthy hops and dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, orange peel, raisin, pear, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, floral, grass, light pine, and floral/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange peel, raisin, pear, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, floral, grass, light pine, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of citrus/floral hop and dark/toasted malt flavors; with a great malt/hop balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth and fairly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice barleywine. All around good balance and complexity of citrus/floral hop and dark/toasted malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering. (1,458 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.72/5  rDev -5.6%
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 Stinkypuss
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a medium copper color with a silky smooth, creamy topping. The aroma has a bit of fruit, caramel, and toffee. The flavor has a lot more going on, with brown sugar, vanilla, citrus, and a hint of dark fruit. There is a slight earthy, woodsy hop flavor going along with the large malt and yeast notes. Really nice flavor for a barleywine and certainly a solid part of the clown shoes lineup. I would love to see how this would age after a few years, though it wasn't too hot with alcohol even fresh. (508 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chill hazed red colored beer with a remarkably tall tan colored head.

Smells is strong aged hop and strong syrupy, malt with a spicy scent somewhere between sandal wood and cinnamon. Molasses and hints of lemon pepper and ginger, smells a lot like Pfeffernüsse cookie.

Starts out malty and slightly fruity with a little sugar cookie to it. Bittersweet flavor with a hint of cinnamon. Alcohol is warming in the chest. Some strong tea but mostly toffee as a flavor. Alcohol not detected this one can sneak up on you.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a good fairly mild flavored Barleywine. (586 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

650ml bomber poured into tulip 12/7/14

A murky brownish amber, some slow moving bubbles floating up to a dense finger of tan foam that sits around for a couple sips leaving some random patches

S heaps of brown sugar, some Swedish berries, badly bruised sour apple, soft caramel, wet herbal tea bag, smells sweet and already aged

T a little citrus rind but for the most part its caramel apple and big brown sugar notes with a little dark bread

M chewy and syrupy, the booze is very well hidden, bubbles slowly cream it up, a little sticky on the lips, caramel apple with brown sugar on the finish

O Solid BW, already mellow drinking I'm sure age wont hinder its cause, no booze anywhere and malty as they come

Not the most complex BW I've had but well worth a try, that being said I doubt I'd buy another to age with its 13$ price tag (842 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 10 month old bottle shared with friends. Sampled on July 4, 2014.

The pour is reddish amber with a slight opaque quality to it. Looks the way a barleywine should.

It is nearly a year old and any booze has faded into the sunset. There is a big fruity and barley malt character in he aroma.

Medium body and comfortable on the palate.

The flavor is of sweet barley malts, lighter hops, and really no booze at all. I like my barleywines to mellow out a little before trying them and this one did. (503 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, bottled on 05/09/14. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours a brown/ruby red color with about an inch off-white head that stayed around a while. There's also a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like caramel, toffee, dark fruit, bready malt and some citrus peel. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like caramel, toffee, candied oranges, bready malt, dark fruit, and some citrusy and pine hops. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit syrupy and has moderate carbonation. And for the most part the 11% ABV is well hidden. I thought this was good, I wouldn't mind buying this again in the future. (619 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
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 clayrock81
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a ruby red body with brownish tints and minor head and lace. I pick up figs, booze (bourbon), wood, caramel, toffee and other sweet malts in the aroma along with hints of dark fruits. The body is thick, smooth, the booze does come out as there is a little heat. Malts are centerpiece as the sweetness from caramel and toffee, maybe figs, is prevalent but a good bit of balance from dry, citric hops gives this beer a varied taste profile. Maybe not a barleywine for everyone with extra hops and alcohol dialed back for style but it's pretty good. (553 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Crunkle pours a very dark brown hue. Thin tan head dies off to nearly nothing. Not a lot of lacing and the body is lightly hazed.

S-Big whiff of dank Citra dry-hopped goodness. Grapefruit and herby hops. Some deep caramel malt in the back but this smells like a huge, resinous DIPA.

T-Now Crunkle tastes more like a Barleywine. However, the Citra dry-hopping lends an astonishingly long and very bitter finish. I find Citra to be a very clearly defined flavor profile. This is just a danker take on that base Citra flavor. There is plenty of malty flesh to pair with the greens. Bitter, juicy fruit hops and loads of liquid caramel.

M-Fairly hearty. Bitter with a slight boozy sting. Softer carbonation.

O/D-Starts off smelling like a DIPA then it ends up showing its Barelywine roots. But be warned, Crunkle Sam is still a hoppy beast of a beer. Quite cool. One of Clown Shoes' better hoppy offerings. (909 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%

Even though I find most of their beers merely "good", which doesn't rate Clown Shoes price tags, I keep buying them. There's something wrong with me. I blame it on my mistress. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife.

Pour is a dark, clear, filtered red. Smells sweet. Two-year-old-sitcom-sweet, the kind that makes your hind-brain hurt. Then there's the corn-fructose-dipped fruit. Recommended by 9 out of 10 dentists. The other one's going broke.

Crunkle Sam lays the lie to the nose. Huge hoppy citrus punch up front is cut by the dark fruitiness that's so strong up the schnazz. Malty sweetness is tamed somewhat by the hops. Alcohol bites, leaves some lingering side effects. I'm slugging this far faster than is warranted.

Another 'merely good' CS brew. A rather routinely good, hopped-to-the-gills barleywine. I'll enjoy it for the few more seconds that it lasts. (870 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle. there is a spot for a date but it's not there

nice rusty orange glow, thin off-white head. nice agreesive hop aroma, a nice mix of fruity, piney, and earthy. taste starts with caramel malt flavors, long bitter hoppy finish. bold flavors. oily, mouth coating mouthfeel. lower carbonation.

overall - a decent barleywine, and not really boozey. (358 characters)

Photo of Pencible
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: This poured an opaque mahogany with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like sweet raisin and fig and molasses, with some copper and biscuit.
T: It tasted like candied oranges and caramel, with some copper and raisin. It had a clean but hot bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was thick with some carbonation. Nice big body.
D: This was more English than American, but still had a really nice scent and taste. The body was solid, but the finish was a little harsh, so it was better to sip. Would likely age well. Fresh is good, not great. (532 characters)

Photo of Rutager
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Appearance. Pours a hazy, deep amber-orange with a finger of lightly orange-tan tinted head.

Smell. Candied orange rinds, caramel, a little grapefruit, and some toasty sweet malts.

Taste. Orange, grapefruit and lemon rinds with some oily bitterness, some sweet caramel and lightly toasted malts. Very big and bold.

Mouthfeel. On the lower side of full bodied, below medium carbonation.

Overall. Nice hoppy bwine. (416 characters)

Photo of morimech
3.31/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky, dark amber with just over one finger of head that had good retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap with a lot of lacing being left down the glass.

Smell is of old hops, toffee, caramel, bread, and alcohol. No date on the bottle but it smells like the best part of the beer has already faded away.

Some citrus hops are tasted however. All the bitterness is still there and gives some balance to the huge malt bill. Probably would be a real good barleywine extremely fresh or well aged. I got it in the transitional phase and it is not as good as it should be. A lot of booze in the flavor covers up a lot of the subtle malt notes. Definitely hot in the finish.

Big and robust body. Expertly carbonated as well. Nice smooth, creamy soft feel.

Maybe Clown Shoes should bottle date their bottles so I would not give their beer mediocre scores. Would be an interesting experiment to see if the alcohol heat mellows out with time. (957 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 5-15-13

Pours a somewhat mahogany red, fairly opaque, with an off white head. Looks good, nice retention. The nose has plenty of citrus hops, with touches of floral and resiny hops, brown sugar, caramel, and dates. There's a stark, but somewhat mediated bitterness. It's got a punch to it, but its not wrecking. Plenty of citrus hoppiness, florals, caramel, maybe a slight toast character. It's got nice balance and full flavor. Mouthfeel is great. It's full bodied, without feeling ad all syrupy, or overly sticky. Drink smooth and easy.

There's definitely some blurry lines between this and an imperial ipa, but while nice and hoppy, still has a distinguishable American Barleywine feel, and its good. (713 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Clown Shoes Crunkle Sam a couple weeks ago for $11.29 at The Lager Mill. I was looking for something new and different to try and an American Barleywine brewed with Citra hops sounded pretty interesting and I thought I should give it a try, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks pretty good, what's not to like about a pimped out Uncle Sam and in typical Clown Shoes fashion it's definitely eye catching. It poured a pretty nice crimson/orange color that took on more of a ruby red color when held to the light with three fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left lots of spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty good looking beer, the color was nice and unique with the head and lacing being very good especially for an 11% Barleywine.

S- The aroma starts off with a pretty high amount of sweetness that reminded me of candied sugar and it's followed by lots of sweet and bready malts with some nice caramel and toffee aromas coming through. Up next comes the citra hops that impart that signature citrus fruit aromas that show up just enough and imparts some nice orange and pineapple like aromas with a light amount of spicy hop aromas in the background along with a little bit of noticeable alcohol. This beer has a pretty good aroma, it's true to style and citra hops seems to compliment the caramel and toffee like Barleywine aromas.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a very high amount of medium sweetness that bordered on a high amount of sweetness and was followed by loads of sweet malts imparting some nice caramel and toffee like flavors with a noticeable amount of alcohol that's slightly warming. Up next comes the citra hops that impart a nice orange rind like flavor with some spicy hops in the background and a higher amount of medium bitterness that borders on being highly bitter with some sweet caramel malt and citrus rind like flavors in the aftertaste. This is a pretty good tasting beer, but I think it would be even better if the citra hops showed up as much as they did in the aroma.

M- Fairly smooth for the style, chewy, filling, pretty sticky, rich, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a lower amount of medium carbonation. I thought the mouthfeel was pretty nice, it worked well with this beer, but I wish it was a little less sticky.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good beer and I thought it was a very nice example of an American Barleywine, it had all the aspects that I look for in the style and I thought the citra hops were a nice touch and they worked well with this beer, I even think more citra hops would make this beer even better, but it may make it more DIPA like and as it stands now it's pretty easy to tell this is an American Barleywine. This beer had good drinkability, especially for the style, the 11% didn't show up as much as I expected and even with the higher bitterness it still remained pretty drinkable and I think a bomber to myself would be a good amount and I can't say that about a lot of American Barleywines. What I like the most about this beer was the how true to style it was, this is a pretty nice example of what an American Barleywine is all about and I thought the drinkability was pretty good too. What I like the least about this beer was the mouthfeel, it wasn't bad and it was pretty true to style, but it was just a little too sticky for me. I would buy this beer again, since it's a little heavy on the hops I don't think this would be the type of beer I would cellar, but if I could find it fairly fresh and was in the mood for the style I'm pretty sure I would get it, but it is a little pricey. I would recommend this to anyone who likes hoppier Barleywines. All in all I was happy with this beer, I was on the fence about this brewery but the more of their big bottles i try the more I start to like this them. They had a good idea to add citra hops to Barleywine while keeping it recognizable as a Barleywine and not a DIPA. Good job guys, I'll have to be on the look out for more of your big bottles to try. (4,214 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 5/15/13.

A: Pours a dark red with a good sized and fizzy dark tan head. Head fades pretty slow with a nice island of foam remaining behind. Excellent thick streaks of lacing.

S: Sweet caramel malt with some decent hops up front. It's no IPA but you can't mistake that dank citra aroma up front. A bit of spicy alcohol. Probably doesn't make sense, but it kinda smells like a really big hoppy amber ale more than a barleywine. Kinda like a bigger nugget nectar or something.

T: Yup, definitely some citra up front. Spicy, resinous and dank. Sugary caramel malt. Burst of citra and a decent wave of bitterness on the back end too. Some spicy alcohol in there too but not overly boozy for 11% ABV.

M: Fairly heavy and sticky.

O: Decent hoppy barleywine. Hoppiness isn't overpowering due to the strength of the huge caramel malt base. Pretty simple overall, lots of caramel and citra. Not to say that it's bad at all. Big, bold and heavy flavors. Good booziness that's not overpowering, just adds more kick to the flavors. I enjoyed it. (1,047 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%

22 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a murky brown color. Yikes, this is ugly from the get go. The head is less than a finger high, and white in shade. Retention isn't very good, though a bit of lacing is left behind. A second pour yields a bigger, longer-lasting head, giving it some aesthetic redemption. (3)

Smell: On one hand, it smells well hopped - lots of tobacco, weed, and pine come through. On the other hand, the malts are massively rich and sweet, more similar to an English-style barleywine. From the malts, I get vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, and chocolate. A small spike of alcohol enters the nose; it's expected for 11%. The aroma is damn good, but it might end up tasting too big for its own good. (3.75)

Taste: It starts off, well, big. Rather than distinctly going from hop flavor to malt and vice versa, the initial taste melds the hops/malts instead. While there's a distinctive flavor of things like brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla, it also has a nice piny bite to it throughout. The malt sweetness fades away near the back end, being replaced by a boozy touch. There is a some depth to be found, though it's somewhat harsh at times. Still, it's a promising aging candidate. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: Big, sweet, and rich; but the back end is somewhat dry from the alcohol. Still, it's generally a soft and creamy feel. Syrupy, too - eh, it's 11%, I'll deal. Carbonation stays behind the full body, as it should (3.5)

Overall: Solid barleywine, but also too young. It could definitely use a year on it to mellow it out some - this could become genuinely fantastic aged. Or it could become an oxidized mess, too. Whatever. I'd definitely age one of these to find out. (3.5)

3.53/5: Good now...will likely get better with age, unlike 'Murica (1,774 characters)

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Crunkle Sam from Clown Shoes
88 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.