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Very Angry Beast - Clown Shoes

Not Rated.
Very Angry BeastVery Angry Beast

Educational use only; do not reuse.

50 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 50
Hads: 379
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 8.71%
Wants: 80
Gots: 82 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Clown Shoes visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Neorebel on 08-05-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (43) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 50 | Hads: 379
Photo of TXBulldog
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

Aggressive pour yields a huge foamy head that leaves a good half a finger's worth once it settles down. Color is a deep pitch black.

Nose is really heavy on the bourbon, and all the sweet vanilla notes that suggests.

Bourbon carries through onto the palette. Rich toasted malt under the bourbon is the most dominant flavor. Dangerously drinkable given the ABV.

This one has a rich full mouthfeel. With the sweet notes this comes close to tasting like a milk stout.

Overall this is a great bourbon-barrel aged stout. The only thing that was a little bit of a disappointment was that none of the smokiness from the Vampire Slayer carried over.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours very dark. Hints of brown around the edge of he beer's body when held up to the light. Slim, tan head. Head isn't very thick but it. Leaves consistent speckled lacing all over the glass.

S-The aroma is like a deep, impending fog rolling into my nostrils. A mushroom cloud of boozy fudge. Roasty and Irish Coffee-like. You do get some bourbon but it's not as aggressive as some bourbon aged brews. It's more of a complement to the roast and fudgy chocolate.

T-The flavor is a liquified chocolate, fudgy, dark roast coffee medley with light bourbon accentuations. I get some tobacco which is cool. I'd like some more whiskey flavor here but VAB is a nice blend between the two base beers.

M-Plenty of body. Boozy and viscous. Just how it should be.

O/D-Clown Shoes makes some great beers. This one is very tasty and quite a giant beer. As for criticisms: 1) I'd like to see more bourbon in both the aroma and flavor. 2) the aroma was more impressive than the flavor. 3) Never happy when I spend over $12 for a bomber and am not blown away.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to the gang at Craftshack for this bottle!

It looks the part, a pitch black brew that brings a +1 finger head of tan foam. The lacing is good.

The smell hit me as soon as I popped the cap. Huge aroma of bourbon. Getting past that, which is difficult, roasted malt, toffee, chocolate, cocoa, yeah, I get 'em but again, that bourbon is almost overpowering. Did I mention alcohol? My bad if I didn't.

The taste seems to be another matter. The bourbon is there but it's nicely complimented by sweet chocolate and toffee an that cocoa, once it settles in is amazing. Holy crap, the alcohol is NOT hidden at all in this brew. 11.5% and I can feel every bit of it with each sip and swallow. This would make for an excellent nightcap, dontchyaknow.

Thick body with plenty of carbonation, the word chewy comes to mind.

A little less heat from the alcohol and I would do flips for Very Angry Beast but then again, they named it such for a very good reason, eh? Overall, a marvelous brew that despite its heat, won't get me out of the kitchen. Cheers to Clown Shoes.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Binny's - Lakeview. Served in a Fantôme snifter at Kan's place.

A - A thick collar and near-complete cap of tan foam tops a near-black body, with specks of lace dotting the sides of the glass.

S - Dark grains, dark chocolate, earthy bourbon, light oak, caramel, roasted malts, and perhaps a hint of tobacco to round things out. Not the most spirit-forward barrel-aged stout, but that's not necessarily a bad thing as I like the base beers.

T - The taste is quite similar to the aroma, with perhaps a bit more sugar cookie and caramel sweetness amid the darker and roastier flavors. Some nice elements of milk chocolate and vanilla, with less present barrel and bourbon notes. I'm guessing this brew didn't spend a ton of time in the barrels, but that's actually kind of refreshing with all the over-oaked and booze-heavy barrel-aged stouts out there.

M - Smooth medium-full body, pleasant lower carbonation, perhaps a bit thin for 11.5% but not offensively so. Booze is reasonably well-concealed. Quite nice on the whole.

D - I have to say that when Clown Shoes opened I was put off by the labels and the 'contract-brewing' stigma, but I'm becoming increasingly convinced that they have a successful model going here. Not quite as good as Porcine Unidragon, but nearly so. Love being able to buy a great beer without waiting in a line or chasing a truck.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split between three pint glasses. If there's a bottle code, I can't see it.

Pours black and smooth with a tiny ring of pale head. Slightly translucent around the edges, so not entirely opaque. Smell is chocolatey, pruney, licoricey, a little bit of alcohol.

Taste is smooth and well integrated, Starts out sweet and fruity and goes through some smokey chocolatey bittersweetness, roasty bitterness, and then maybe a hint of hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thick but dry. Overall, this is pretty good.

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Photo of gatornation
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

from 22 oz bottle

A-pours a semi-thick brown/ black color with a tan 1 finger head that recedes to a nice fresh collar
S- cocoa,coffee,bourbon,roasted malts some dark fruit
T- superb with cocoa/coffee and nice mellow bourbon rich with semi sweet chocolate a touch of fruit with light vanilla and oak many layers of flavor
M-superb creamy rich complex as this stout is very tasty
O-a great BB IS rich and robust a nice blend of CS brews that are BA good stuff

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Photo of tectactoe
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kevin for splitting his bottle with us. Pitch black body, pretty staunch and evil looking with a light tan colored head that rises up slowly but fades away much faster. Not much lacing is expected from a 11.5% ABV imperial stout, and not much is presented. After a few moments, the foam is all gone, leaving behind only the dark and oily brew.

Quite the aroma on this one; unabashed with lots of stuff going on... Bourbon, sweet dark fruits (think prunes and dates, borderline anise-like), big-time vanilla and coconut barrel induced aromas with a solid amount of roasted malt and a nice, wet oak finish. Not quite as "well put together" as some of the other big dogs out there, but extremely solid nonetheless.

Oak staves soaked in bourbon is the first thing that comes to mind with each sip, followed and lightened up by a sweeter inclusion of vanilla and semi-sweet baker's chocolate (and even some very lightly bitter dark cocoa). Dark prunes are prevalent throughout, without pushing the boundary of anise and black licorice too hard (thankfully... I'm not too fond of those flavors).

There's a touch of astringent cola on the very back on the tongue that I'm not really keen on, but it isn't robust enough to ruin the brew for me. A mild, back-end residual brown sugar finish sweetens things up, almost a la Dark Lord, only scaled down about 100:1. Bourbon-oak in the front, cocoa-vanilla in the middle, prune-sugar in the end... I can dig that.

One of my biggest gripes with Clown Shoes' stouts is the lack of a substantial mouth feel for the style they supposedly represent. Unfortunately, Very Angry Beast suffers the same way, feeling a little thin for being the boisterous stout that it really is. There's a nice creamy and slick feel to it, but it could use some beefing up. Ample carbonation helps the feel from being completely lost.

I'll be honest, I wasn't really expecting much, if anything, going into this one... Not sure why, really, as I have no problem with Clown Shoes. I guess I just haven't been overly impressed with the offerings I've tried thus far. I quite enjoyed this one though, and while it doesn't become a regular pick-up due to the price (15$/bomber), it's definitely worth a try once.

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Photo of t420o
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Clown Shoes Very Angry Beast

A- pour yields a 1-1/2 finger mocha head. Retention is below average. Beer is pitch black. Decent lacing. 3.5

S- big woody bourbon barrel notes, chocolate, cocoa, espresso, light vanilla. 4.25

T- this pretty much matches the nose with woody bourbon barrel up front and very nicely done. Dark chocolate, espresso, very nice roasted malts and some vanilla. Very well done. Hides the abv well. 4.5

M- nice and hefty body like a big beer like this should have. Medium carbonation. 4.5

O- a phenomenal barrel aged stout. Best at room temp, as are most beers. Love it. 4.75


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Photo of SawDog505
3.77/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 16 oz snifter, not sure when it was bottled. Pours a beautiful near black with a one inch mocha head, that settles fairly quickly into a thin layer of foam, with a collar of lace. Smell is bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, smoke, leather, and dark fruits. Taste is lots of bourbon and smoke from beginning to end, with the other flavors blended in and it is still very tasty, but if a bourbon smokyness isn't your thing you may not be ready for this. Body is medium, the amount of life is as expected for its heft, a touch dry, and a sipper for sure. This is very good, really a bourbon lovers stout.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: not quite motor oil black but more of a dark brown. a finger plus of a tan head that leaves a lacing on the edges. opaque

Smell: kinda weak for a big beer. chocolate, roasted malts, some bourbon some alcohol, hint of cocoa

Taste: starts of with strong roasted malts, mixed with chocolate. gives way to the backend with mixed amounts of cocoa, bourbon, wood and alcohol. quite complex

Mouthfeel: fairly bitter, very full bodied. good warmth

Overall: a great beer to crack and sip on for hours. strong complex and delicious.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black with a good sized tan head that persists for a while. Smells of fudge and chocolate with some caramel vanilla and a bit of woody oak. The flavor follows the aroma but the woody oak and a hint of alcohol are in the foreground while the chocolate caramel confections are an underlying base. Thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet silky mouthfeel. This is quite a nice stout I enjoyed sipping it for most of the night.

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Photo of Resuin
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. This was bottled on 07/18/13 which is a little over a month ago.

Appearance: Pours a nice, thick, very dark brown/black and leaves a finger of medium brown/coffee colored head, which fizzles out quickly to just a very thin layer, primarily around the rim of the glass.

Smell: Lots of cocoa, light coffee, light bourbon, figs, plums with a hint of caramel and vanilla. The cocoa and coffee are most prominent but the others give it a nice complex aroma.

Taste: Bitter coffee beans, lots and lots of oak, semi-sweet chocolate, malts, a hint of bourbon.

Mouth-feel: Nice creamy, thick body with a medium carbonation.

Overall: Definitely a quality imperial stout. Complex aroma and a nice flavor, but just a tad too much oak in this, and for me, not quite enough bourbon. Nice mouth-feel though.

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Photo of incogpraecox
4.51/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a deep brown/black with only a half finger head. there's a dark ruby color around the top edges when held to light. excellent lacing throughout.

S: big bourbon hits the nose, followed immediately by hints of chocolate, vanilla and a nice malty character.

T: starts off with a nice dark chocolate, followed by vanilla. The finish is bourbon; has a really nice bite to it. smoooottthhhh. when cold the chocolate is a bit more pronounced, and when warm the bourbon packs a really nice punch on the finish.

M: creamy with medium carbonation. A really nice heat going down as it warms.

O: this is a great beer. not boring and not obnoxiously complex. would love to see what this beer is like aged for a couple years.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled On 07/18/13

A: Pours a pitch black color with almost no head

S: Dark roasted malts, quite a bit of dark chocolate and bourbon, and some anise in the background. Get hints of vanilla and oak as well along with some booziness

T: Nice and complex. Starts off with the roasted malts, a hint of smoke, and dark chocolate. This is shortly followed up by bourbon, vanilla, oak, and light booze. Finishes with an unexpected bitterness and lightly roasted coffee

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy

O: A very nice example of a BBA imperial stout. The blend of the blaecorn and vampire slayer is great, combining a light hint of smoke from the vampire slayer with the boldness of the unidragon. A must-try if you can find it

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Photo of Jasonrm72
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Less bourbon than I was expecting considering Angry Beast.But this is solid.
I found much more chocolate in the flavor than bourbon. But the bourbon provided a nice softness that is rarely attributed to bourbon aged beers.
I wouldn't truly put this on the level of BCBS or KBS, but it is MUCH easier to get a hold of and tastes fantastic.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.58/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is my first clown shoes beer and I have passed them up for a couple months but I've been a sucker for barrel-aged stouts lately. I think this was $14 which I normally wouldn't pay sight unseen but I had read good reviews here. Appearance is standard for the style and while the head is short it lingers. First whiff off the bottle is chocolate. Subsequent sniffs at the glass are mostly subtle smoke. Flavor is a bit of candy and booze, easily stands out as barrel-aged. This is pretty decent but it is no BCBS or Parabola. I don;t think I would buy this again.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours pitch black with two fingers of dense tan foam. Good retention and lacing.

S: Malted milk balls, milk chocolate, and butterscotch are quite strong in this beer with a bit of roasted malts in the background.

T: Strong dark chocolate and sweet caramel dominate this beer with a nice amount of bourbon. Roasted malts and bitter hoppiness help balance this beer. Quite boozy.

M: On the thick side with moderate carbonation.

O: A very good beer. The aroma is decent, but the flavor is intense, complex, and quite tasty. Very enjoyable. I'd like to see what some age does with this beer. It's quite boozy.

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Photo of Dope
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I don't see a date but this was just released.

A: Pours a pitch black with a big dense medium brown head. Head fades out slowly, leaving pretty substantial and heavy lacework behind. Nice retention too with a mini island floating around.

S: Big bourbon notes. Burnt sugars and caramel abound. Marshmallow and just a hint of toasted coconut. Mild roasted malt pokes through with some sweet chocolate, but the barrel dominates here. Not too boozy or anything, just heavy and sweet bourbon notes. It reminds me a lot of a FiftyFifty Eclipse variant in fact.

T: Again with the bourbon but not as strong as the aroma. Heavy toasted marshmallow, caramel and decadent chocolate. Rich and heavy flavors. Smooth chocolate with just a hint of coffee in the finish. A little charred oak and lots of bittersweet chocolate lingers between sips. Wonderful, like a bourbon brownie masterpiece.

M: Heavy, smooth and viscous.

O: Wow, seriously good. Clown Shoes' best beer to date...by far. It really does remind me a lot of the FiftyFifty Eclipse series. Very similar. Probably the Bernheim one comes the closest. Very rich, decadent, sweet and smooth. Drinks wonderfully. No booze at all for 11.5%. Barrel character adds tons of complexity but does not overpower, just melds perfectly. It's like a half priced Eclipse basically. I don't know who would buy anything from FiftyFifty if this were readily available from them, that's for sure. Great job, Clown Shoes.

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Photo of davey101
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber into a tulip glass. Pours a pitch black body with a fingers worth of light mocha foam. Faint lacing with light retention. Seems a bit thin with some noticeable alcohol legs. I found that this one really needs a bit of time to open up to get the full effect.

S - Fudge brownie against a backdrop of rich bourbon notes of oak, char and vanilla. Lightly roasted but predominantly on the sweeter side of things. Large booze presence. Just excellent with a massive and inviting bourbon presence.

T - Dry cocoa powder, sweet vanilla, oak, sweet and decadent fudge brownie, and a lingering bourbon burn. Not as great as the nose but highly effective in capturing the stereotypical BA stout notes. The mouth feel is a bit too thin leaving all of the flavors to just sort of fall flat towards the end.

O - The first Clown Shoes beer to really impress me, which makes me happy considering this beer has zero hype and is somewhat reasonable at $12 for a bomber. The taste and mouth feel aren't perfect here, but damn is that aroma sexy.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a tulip pint.

Jet black with 1 finger of brown head that dissipates quickly.

Fudge, dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and raisin.

Chocolate fudge, dark chocolate and molasses. Nicely blended bourbon character with hints of vanilla and charred oak. Notes of espresso and raisin.

Medium bodied, smooth and warming.

Clown Shoes does some nice work with Barrel Aging. Highly recommended for fans of Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stouts.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.56/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from Hop City (Atlanta, GA). 10.99. Bottled 7/18/13. Served in a Founders snifter.

Pours jet black with a finger and a half tan head that fades to a thick halo and leaves beautiful lacing.

Sweet aromas of bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, coffee and caramel. Very inviting.

Taste delivers on the nose. Toasted oak, vanilla tinged bourbon, lightly smokey malt, bittersweet dark chocolate, creamed medium roast coffee, burnt caramel, licorice, brown sugar and a nice little kick of alcohol. So many great things going on in this. The booze isn't entirely lost but blends in well with the myriad of charred, roasty malts and barrel goodness.

Creamy and fairly heavy bidy with moderate carbonation, this lingers on the palate. Bourbon, cocoa and a little smoke in the finish.

I've gotta hand it to Clown Shoes for making fantastic stouts. I enjoy Vampire Slayer, I really like Blaecorn Unidragon and was a big fan of Angry Beast but this blows them all away. The melange of roasty, smokey, sweet malty goodness blended with bourbon and barrel character is excellent. This is right up there with Luchador En Fuego and I'm not sure which is my favorite that Clown Shoes has produced. I highly recommend giving this one a try.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Very dark brown. Nearly opaque, some ruby highlights when held to light. Nice mocha head and lacing. Looks like an imp stout ought too.
smell: Roasty chocolate. Hint of bourbon and dark fruity sweetness to match the roasty character.
taste: Much like the nose. The charred roastiness is more prominent than in the nose. Nicely balanced with bourbon sweetness.
overall: Quite mellow. A nice sipper.

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Photo of acevenom
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter glass. The beer pours black with a thin, tan head. The nose has a lot of bourbon along with some vanilla and dark chocolate. I also get some of that barrel character from the bourbon barrels. The flavor isn't as heavy on the bourbon or booze as the aroma would indicate, but it is there. It blends very well with the dark roasted malts. I get the vanilla and dark chocolate. I get some of that oakiness from the barrel and some mild sweetness. The body is full and smooth with moderate carbonation. The alcohol warms the back of the throat in the finish. This is an excellent beer that would get much better with age.

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Photo of boogercrack
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, into tulip

a: pours a super dark nearly black color, with a thin tan/khaki head that recedes quickly, to a ring with a few islands. standard pour vigor, not as much head as expected. ok lacing.

s: semi-sweet chocolate, barrel, faint vanilla, whiskey.

t: huge bitter/dark chocolate, the bourbon note is quite distinct, but only slightly hot. roasted malts on the finish, touch of coffee maybe? could be the roastyness playing tricks. as it warms, it definitely gets a lot hotter than at colder temps.

m: velvety consistency, plays with the chocolate well. while not chewy, is definitely not thin. carb is appropriate. coats the mouth with a subtle alcohol burn on the gums.

o: very solid offering by clown shoes, which i'm honestly usually somewhat let down by. definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Neorebel
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I'm super excited to be tasting Clown Shoes Very Angry Beast today, which is a mix of Vampire Slayer, and Blaecorn Unidragon, aged in Bourbon barrels. Two phenomenal beers in their own right, should be stellar as an aged blend. Let's go into the appearance: It's a deep, dark midnight hue, and although brown, it's indistinguishable from black. A power pour produces a ample tan head, between 1/2 and 1 inch tall. The froth eventually subsides a bit, but holds steady somewhere between 1/4" and 1/2". Great retention. The beer produces notable amounts of lacing on the glass as it's drank. A great look! One whiff indicates a very robust roasted malt profile, bittersweet chocolate, a hint of dark fruits, walnut, and vanilla and bourbon from the barrel. After a taste, I will say the flavor actually outmatches the aroma, as it's so pleasantly powerful, it's almost staggering! The bourbon aspect is dominant, which washes over the taste buds with a certain sharpness to it. Roasty and chocolatey are the malts, and there's a nice crispness of unknown origins happening here. Also a slight woodiness, similar to that which would be detected in a good neat glass of Scotch. What I like the best about this beer is the full, velvety mouth feel that is on par with something like Oskar Blues Ten Fidy. There aren't many beers that can produce this type of coating effect. That baker's chocolate taste is uniquely delicious as well- Its as if this beer is chocolate lava cake dipped in bourbon! This would seriously be great to stock up on and cellar too, if you have that kind of willpower... Anyway, big beer fans need to take notice! Indulge in this sublime libation and celebrate the good life!

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Very Angry Beast from Clown Shoes
93 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.