Billionaire | Clown Shoes

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
637 Ratings

Brewed by:
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States

Style: British Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
English Barleywine aged in European Cognac barrels.

Added by StoutSnob40 on 11-12-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 637 |  Reviews: 76
Photo of Jhfinn
3.74/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2015 properly cellared bottle, poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a medium to dark red-orange with a fine, half finger khaki head with great retention and nice lacing. Aroma of mild caramel and biscuit malt, figs, dates, raisins, dried plums and slight oxidation. Flavor is caramel and dry biscuit malt, dates, figs, grapes, dried plums, light woody vanilla and fortified wine. Lingering woody biscuit malt with light oxidation notes. Nice medium body with moderate creaminess and a silky mouth feel. A wonderful example of the more biscuity malt style of English barleywine with malted milk, figs and dates as the dominant flavors. Light contribution by caramel, cognac (mostly as a vague fortified wine flavor) and woody vanilla from the barrel. This has aged very gracefully, becoming deeply malty with well integrated dark dried fruit. Nicely done, as is usual in Clown Shoes big ales. Sure wish they distributed to this area.

 938 characters

Photo of darktronica
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was the original barleywine that got me into barleywines, now one of my favorite styles. This bottle is now about three and a half years old, but it's still showing signs of life. Lots of cognac essence on the nose, with toffee, plum and cassia bark lurking not far behind. Showing a bit of oxidation on the palate, but not an unpleasing amount. Stonefruit, sherry and malt, with a heaping spoonful of good memories.

 421 characters

Photo of jaxon53
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

clown shoes does big beers super well, i always look for and enjoy their strong stuff, and this old school barleywine aged in cognac barrels is a slow sipper for sure, but a really nice glass of beer. supremely sturdy on the malt, this is sweet with toffee and nutty notes, some caramel and dried apple as well, very thick, bready, desserty, and hefty. i like the yeast in here, it adds a neat breadiness to an already baked malt vibe, but the yeast is no match for all this grain sugar, and as strong as it is, theres still a lot of sweetness here. the barrels are nice, they dont overtake the beer (im not sure anything could, this thing is a beast). the cognac is smooth and sweet and i get flashes of woody port wine in here with it, light vanilla, raisin, toffee. lots of length here too, this smoothes out as it warms and i taste it forever, slowly coursing its way through quite a lot of layers. the alcohol intensity here is astounding, this is quite hot, but its also relaxed feeling with the wood and the earthiness, so its not like poison or anything but there is a whole lot of beer in this glass. one that i am sure would age gracefully, clown shoes has done it to me again with one of their colossal brews. if you like barleywine, this is a faithful interpretation of an english one, with a really unique and complex barrel profile. delicious.

 1,357 characters

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bomber to snifter, the appearance was a hazy dark red color with a finger’s worth of white foamy head that quickly died off. Some light stringy lace. The aroma had some sweet caramel/toffee malts, light sweet cherry, some earthiness, some herbal qualities, light sweet wood, floral hop qualities, some dark chocolate, leather and a touch of tobacco leaf. The flavor blended all of the prior mentioned aromas fairly nice and semi-sweet and dry. Aftertaste was dry, sweet, woody and floral. Finish was quick, dry and semi-sweet. The palate was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it. Carbonation felt fine. ABV felt fine. Some smoothness, but not too much. Overall, pretty good English styled barleywine I could come back to.

 743 characters

Photo of msscott1973
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TGS
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of CoreyC
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date 4-10-14 so almost 3 years
A - dark brown nice tan head
S - super nice sweet caramel and toffee
T - outstanding with sweet toffee, caramel, and dark fruit. Very subtle barrel. Very smooth with absolutely no bitterness.
M - nice stickiness to go with the style
O - excellent

 286 characters

Photo of brpendergast85
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Treyliff
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a ruby brown color with a small foamy off-white head, short retention

S- smells of grainy malt, sweet caramel & toffee, cognac, dark grape skin

T- sweet and malty up front with notes of cognac barrel, dark grape mid-palate, caramel/toffee finish

M- medium body and carbonation, foamy mouthfeel and finish

O- cognac barely work well with the base beer

 398 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.84/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

At a bottle share event.

Pours a plummy, raspberry color with a thin ring of head.

Aromas of plums, alcohol soaked figs, and apricots.

Flavor is a little harsh, alcohol forward with yeast, fig, and bright fruits.

Feel is light bodied but super hot and lots of alcohol.

Overall, not a bad BW. I'd have it again.

 320 characters

Photo of Lucular
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Type: 10-oz. draft
Glass: Clear snifter class
From: World of Beers in Naperville, Ill.
Price: $9.00
Purchased: Sept. 16, 2016
Consumed: Sept. 16, 2016
Reviewed as: English Barleywine
Misc.: N/A

Had this on my want list on Beer Advocate and was excited to get to try it on my first trip to the area. Decided that I was going to have two of the three big boozy beers at WOB (3 Floyd’s Moloko and Clown Shoes Billionaire), only missing out on Dark Horse’s Plead the 5th. Was really looking forward to it.

Poured a reddish brown amber-to-light brown color with 1-to-2 fingers of khaki white frothy head. Good lacing. Above average retention. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled dry tobacco, red sherry wine, toffee, caramel, very oaky and boozy. The dry leathery tobacco really dominates here. (Smell - 4.00)

First thought on the taste was, “Holy shit this is good.” Thought Firestone Anniversary or Firestone Sucaba with the first taste. Earthy tobacco, toffee, red sherry wine, caramel, oaky woody barrels (must be Cognac), dry-hopped Nugget and very sweet. (Taste - 4.50)

Full body. Creamy-to-sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth, warming finish. (Feel - 4.75)

This was really good after a slow start. Really liked it a lot. The taste and mouthfeel were just fantastic. (Overall - 4.25)

4.33 | 96 | A

 1,315 characters

Photo of TomMorris
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jmikepool
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Drew26
3.99/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of lupercmda
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jadjunk
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

"There are 1011 Billionaires on planet Earth as of this writing. We guess that most of you, like all of us here at Clown Shoes, aren't even close to being on that list and yet dream every now and then, billionaire dreams. Our fourth anniversary beer was crafted to make you feel wealthy: a sweet, rich and heavily malted Barley Wine Ale brewed with English yeast then aged in European Cognac barrels." Brewed in the style of an English Barleywine Ale, available in limited release 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy frothed head of a creamy caramel tone over a moderately hazy dark caramel brown body with moderate haziness, abundant, relaxed carbonation. Retention is average and lacing is light and patchy. 4

(Smell) Toasted bread and syrupy malt body with some soft graininess, a puff of alcohol and dark fruit sugars. Nicely balanced, not very complex but soundly built. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) The flavors largely follow the suggestions of the aroma, with a nice balance of lightly sweetened bread malts and dark fruit notes counteracted with a breath of graininess and warming alcohol on the back end, noticeable but respectable. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is smooth, silky, mildly syrupy, lightly chewy, mildly dry. Carbonation is light, generating a mild frothiness and a moderately crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is nearly even sweetness to grains, esters and alcohol. Alcohol presence is modest and there are no off characters. 4.25

(Overall) A respectable and enjoyable English Barleywine that hits many of the right notes while keeping itself fairly pedestrian and not coloring outside the lines. The end result is satisfying but nothing too memorable. I am looking forward to see if barrel aging will have a positive impact on this beer's flavor (See Pierre Ferrand Billionare, upcoming). 4

Clown Shoes'
Billionaire English Style Barley Wine Ale

 2,004 characters

Photo of monty79_1997
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Caveworm
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Billionaire | Clown Shoes. Bottled on 5/20/15. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, the head is three fingers thick, with web-like lacing, and a clear medium-fading-into-dark brown body.

Smells like some earthy funk with an almost carrot cake type of scent. Not detecting the cognac very much at all.

I taste milk chocolate, strawberry licorice, and an overall cognac flavor that's not too overwhelming. The fact that this particular bottle has been aged over a year might have mellowed the booze. I'm guessing so anyways.

The mouthfeel here is medium with mild carbonation. I certainly can't tell this is 12% abv either.

Overall, I'll give Billionaire | Clown Shoes a 4.25. I was lucky to see this on a shelf, which was a totally random stop into the shop.

 805 characters

Photo of fearfactory
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jlang2012
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of 3-Ball
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Billionaire from Clown Shoes
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 637 ratings