1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Crunkle Sam - Clown Shoes

Not Rated.
Crunkle SamCrunkle Sam

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

352 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 352
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 9.72%
Wants: 23
Gots: 49 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Clown Shoes visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 05-09-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 352 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pahn
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. The year/batch/version dry hopped with Chinook (if there's different versions).

Appearance: Free pour yields a 1.5 inch frothy white head that leaves a wide ring of lacing. Pours a hazy brownish red.

Smell: Caramel and brown sugar American barleywine malt aromas. No Chinook aroma, which is sad since Chinook is one of my favorite hops. Not really very complex, but a nice, persistent malty aroma. Would be great in the Winter.

Taste: Follows the nose, with a nice oily hop flavor and feel complementing the brown sugary malt. Bit too sweet for my taste, but a lot of great barleywine flavors. Enough hot alcohol to cut through the sugar and develop the malt flavor. Again, a good Wintery sipper.

Mouthfeel: Thick side of medium bodied. Slight dryness, moderate carbonation. Pretty hot, which works well.

Overall: If you like Old Ruffian style American barleywines (bitter, with a heavy caramel/brown sugar malt backbone and ample alcohol), you'll like this. If you bought the bottle because it says "Dry hopped with Chinook," you may be disappointed.

As a side note, I'm not sure if this is the base beer for Billionaire, but it would taste great barrel aged. Time, slow oxidation, and wood can only do good to a big flavorful beer like this.

Pahn, Jun 29, 2014
Photo of Acadia09
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Acadia09, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

clayrock81, Jun 25, 2014
Photo of timjr2500
4/5  rDev +2.3%

timjr2500, Jun 23, 2014
Photo of rdilauro
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
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

rdilauro, Jun 23, 2014
Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

wrightst, Jun 23, 2014
Photo of Johncnh
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Johncnh, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of my_knew_craft
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

my_knew_craft, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of Bertmnd_78521
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Bertmnd_78521, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of MonkeyBread
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

MonkeyBread, Jun 19, 2014
Photo of RyanCFriedrich
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

RyanCFriedrich, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of VeganUndead
4/5  rDev +2.3%

VeganUndead, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of RMoeNay
4/5  rDev +2.3%

RMoeNay, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of BEERMILER12
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled On 05/30/14

A: Pours a tawny amber/mahogany color with less than an inch of head that reduces to a fine layer of bubbles

S: Quite malty with big notes of fruity hops, sweet caramel, and estery alcohol. Nicely layered and complex

T: Starts off with a big malt presence, a bit of candied hops with some fruitiness, and some dark fruit notes as well. Goes into the caramel sweetness towards the end, which hides the alcohol very nicely. Some bitterness throughout, but it's overtaken by the maltiness and actual hop flavor. Finishes with some raisiny notes and more of the maltiness

M: Full bodied with low-moderate carbonation

O: A nice American barleywine that is good to sip on. The alcohol sneaks up on you, as it's barely detectable under all the maltiness. Pretty good price-point as well (relatively speaking), at $8.49. Certainly worth a try

BEERMILER12, Jun 16, 2014
Photo of hardy008
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy dark orange, with a 1/2 finger off white head, which fades to a small ring of foam, and leaves spotty lacing. The aroma has caramel, citrus, citrus zest, and toffee.

Tastes just like it smells with caramel, citrus, citrus zest, and toffee. Nicely balanced with plenty of hops, and sweet malt to provide balance. The alcohol is well hidden for an 11.00 % abv beer, and is not noticeable.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Has a citrus and caramel malt aftertaste. Easy to drink, and worth trying for sure.

hardy008, Jun 16, 2014
Photo of jhlosito75
4/5  rDev +2.3%

jhlosito75, Jun 16, 2014
Photo of mbeerdino21
4/5  rDev +2.3%

mbeerdino21, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of EGreen
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice raisin candied yam, and how I don't know.. You may think this is crazy... But ice cream. Maybe its because its hot outside... Anyway... Very malty caramels and toffee. Raisin, prune, blackberry, plum(yes prunes are dried plums but the flavors are different), and somewhat syruppy... Now, not the maple, but if you've ever made syrup at home and tasted before adding any flavorings... Yeah, that. Mild hops on the finish. Bigger bodied and very representative of the style

EGreen, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of dmachado
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

dmachado, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of Nick4444
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Nick4444, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of BB1313
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 5/8/14. This beer was originally dry-hopped with Citra, but this year it was dry-hopped with Chinook. 22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a dark glowing brown, lots of haze with a small tan head that fades and leaves nice retention and solid lacing. It has that classic barleywine aroma. The hops seem to take a backseat in the nose, but are slightly noticeable. Some fresh dough. Tons of toffee and butterscotch. Some chocolate. Lots of caramel malts. Some orange peel in the mix. The flavors seem to have alot going on. After a few sips, it's clear that this is a sipper and heavy beer. What else would you expect for the style though? Flavors are full of more of the usual suspects like caramel and toffee. Lots of chocolate notes. Some hints of citrus. Orange and lemon is definitely in the mix. Possibly some grapefruit along with some fresh berries. Fresh pine needles are there. This isn't boozy, but there's a noticeable warmth. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with active carbonation. Ultimately smooth. Robust brew, which once again makes for a great sipper.

This is a straight forward and very solid example of the style. Well crafted. It becomes redundant at times. I almost want to say it eventutally becomes a chore to drink, but that's simply not the case. Good stuff, but nothing mind blowing.

BB1313, Jun 12, 2014
Photo of mjc3151
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

mjc3151, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of admonster00
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

admonster00, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of JoeMans
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

JoeMans, Jun 07, 2014
Photo of muskiesman
4/5  rDev +2.3%

muskiesman, Jun 07, 2014
Crunkle Sam from Clown Shoes
88 out of 100 based on 352 ratings.