Bombay Berserker - Clown Shoes
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Ratings: 220 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
4.68/5 rDev +24.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Clown Shoes has been knocking it out of the park lately. I just enjoyed a bottle of 'Hammer of the Holy,' which is a triumph of a beer, aged in rum barrels. Now, I am on to something equally experimental - this time it's an Imperial Stout flavored with Chai tea, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla. I have grown to trust Clown Shoes when it comes to anything left of center, which is something I might be hard pressed to say in regards to even some of the breweries I have been drinking for years longer.
The Berserker is as black as they come, revealing only the slightest oily brown tint when held directly in front of the light. A light brown head forms initially around the height of 1/4" then it fades to a frothy ring with wispy remnants in the center. Great lacing on the glass, and it's difficult to judge any carbonation level present. Quite right for the style and ABV.
If the aroma is an accurate preview of how this stout will taste, I am in for a treat! I'm very pleased to notice immediately that the various unorthodox flavors added are blending in perfectly in balance with the stout. I am getting it all - the cinnamon and spice, ginger, jasmine, vanilla, and roasted coffee beans. There's also something in here that reminds me of a good whiff of some pumpkin stout.
Taste: Okay here it comes... I am completely floored. There's so much going on, so much that's right about all this. I am so glad I have the rest of the bomber left to drink after this review! Now, I'm going to use a metaphor for a sec that I find completely appropriate... I did not pick up a ton of chocolate in the aroma, but boy do I ever in the taste! In fact, I am picturing a chocolate truffle melting in my mouth right now. This brew has a soft mouth feel, like melting milk chocolate, yet after that initial flavor, we reach the smaller center which contains the spiced goodness. Things get crisp for a moment. For an instant, the flavors reminiscent of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger take center stage, then they fade blissfully into the chocolatey whole that is the foundation of this beer.
I kid you not, I am almost getting chills during the finish. Somehow, this gradual fade plays me a greatest hits of what I just tasted a few seconds ago. Velvety would be an understatement for the mouth feel... In no way feel like I am drinking a 10% ABV beer, yet it coats the mouth so fully. Be careful everyone! I have to bring up another comparison in this review: This beverage succeeds in the same manner as good Belgian stouts do. We all want the best of both worlds right? In the same way we enjoy smoky, roasty flavors coupled with sweet fruit esters and Belgian yeasts, I am currently enjoying a chocolate stout infused with spiced from India.
Overall - to those who shy away from anything like this: It's good, like the first time someone made you try chocolate covered pretzels. It just works. Trust me. Definitely a concoction I will be enjoying again and again!
Serving type: bottle
12-18-2013 05:56:50 | More by Neorebel
4.66/5 rDev +23.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Lightly chilled 22 oz bomber into 33 cl tulips.
Look- Deep brown, opaque. Finger and a half of graham cracker-colored head, falls quickly leaving a ring of khaki suds around the edge of the glass. Decent lacing for 10%.
Smell- Mocha and pepper, light lemon. Mace and cardamom...? Check the bottle and well, that teaches me. Didn't realize this was a spiced beer- way to read the label. Second take with that known, and the chai influence is unmistakable- a little nutty, savory spices, light sweetness. It works.
Taste- Mellow, savory, spices more apparent but not overbearing. Nice milk chocolate-chai flavor, some coffee, vanilla bean, nice roasty bite on the finish. Reminds me of a stout version of a dirty chai. Light sweetness, but balanced. Excellent.
Mouthfeel- Exceptionally creamy, medium-full body, soft carbonation. Full but not sticky, roasty finish with enough astringency from the booze and dark roasts to keep it in check. Speaking of booze, it's a big beer, but not abrasive or sharp at all. 10% definitely kept in check. Drinks like a mocha milkshake.
Overall- Very nice, and grows on me as I sip. The Chocolate Sombrero (which the bottle indicates was the precursor to this) was a bit aggressive for my tastes, but this one is spot-on. I must admit I am a big fan of chai in general, so perhaps I'm biased, but for a chai-spiced imperial stout this is spot on and I really can't imagine this getting much better. I'll definitely pick this up again if I see it.
Serving type: bottle
12-09-2013 06:45:13 | More by Lawl3ss
4.39/5 rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
Appearance -opaque black, a solid sticky finger of mocha foam. Good lacing all around.
Aroma - ginger and roasted malt are the first things I pick up, chai tea added in after some set up, making for some cola notes. Reminds me of the Anchor Christmas beers.
Taste - the roasted malts play out bigger than the smell lets on. A touch of char as the vanilla and chai blend in. The ginger supports the chai, not as prominent as I thought it might get. Good blend of flavors, complementing the basic stout flavor without trying to take it over. The swallow is a touch fruity from the chai and ginger, going dry and warming on the finish. Very tasty and easy drinking.
Mouthfeel - fluffy crispness, sturdy body, sticky in the mouth, making for a long finish.
Overall - excellent sipper, one to remember for a tasting.
Serving type: bottle
04-04-2014 01:40:49 | More by brewdlyhooked13
4.3/5 rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Don't know why its described as India style, a pretty bitter brew but definitely more imperial stout than black ipa. Pitch black with a brown head, aroma of chestnuts vanilla touches of spice box. The flavor itself is very rich with lots of dark cocoa flavor. Super creamy body with subtle notes of licorice vanilla and spice, some great from spicy hops on the back end, no astringencies or acidity. Well blended creamy flavors with a proper balance between sweet and bitter. A great beer with great flavors.
Serving type: bottle
02-14-2014 02:16:45 | More by jtierney89
Bombay Berserker from Clown Shoes
85 out of 100 based on 220 ratings.