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Ride The Lion | Clown Shoes

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BA SCORE
4.05/5
Exceptional
473 Ratings
Ride The LionRide The Lion
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States
clownshoesbeer.com

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
67
Ratings:
473
pDev:
9.38%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
124
Trade:
15
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 473 |  Reviews: 67
Reviews by NorthSideSean:
Photo of NorthSideSean
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Smakawhat
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a wee heavy glass

Rusty brown body color, slightly muddy looking, with a real nice creamy tan four finger head. Nice creamed retention and whipped up as it falls nicely with some coating ring lacing. Settles to a thin puck.

Solid aroma. Mild amounts of caramel and a warm oaky toasted quality. Mild hints of boozy quality but not overpowering. Very subtle toffee notes. Real nice.

Palate is pretty solid. Nice creamy mouthfeel coating all in the palate. Slight nutty and phenolic clove action flavors in the aftertaste interestingly. Good mid palate of caramel which really hits nicely with the creamy feel. Warmth brings a bit of thin body and flavors getting toned down after some time.

The mouthfeel really seems to be something that really helps and gives the beer some better life as the brew seems to weaken shortly after opening. A solid though barrel aged wee heavy though.

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 6/19/2014. Pours hazy dark ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, raisin, plum, fig, apple, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, oak, light smoke/roast, light nuttiness, and yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and fruity/earthy yeast ester notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, raisin, plum, fig, apple, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, oak, light smoke/roast, light nuttiness, and yeast/aok earthiness on the finish for a while. Slight earthy/oaky bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, raisin, plum, fig, apple, vanilla, bourbon, oak, coconut, light smoke/roast, light nuttiness, nd yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible robustness and complexity of big dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and fruity yeast ester flavors; with a fantastic malt/barrel balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, fairly creamy, and lightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible barrel aged scotch ale! All around awesome complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and fruity yeast ester flavors; and extremely smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.91/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

BOTTLE: Purchased in Austin, TX. 1 pint 6 fl oz. Brown glass. Branded pry-off pressure cap. Generally appealing label art. 2014 vintage (bottled 06/18/14).

11% ABV. Served cold into a snifter and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Expectations are above average; I'm not usually very impressed with this brewery but the description makes it sound nice.

Reviewed live as a bourbon barrel wee heavy.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide. Pale khaki colour. Fairly thick and full, with nice creaminess. Could be softer looking and more supple. Retention is fair for the high ABV - about 2 minutes. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Orange-auburn. Doesn't really suit a wee heavy; darker would be better. Translucent, nontransparent. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it doesn't look like much of a wee heavy, but there's nothing egregiously wrong with it. It's just underwhelming.

AROMA: Fruit dominates, much to my shock. Raisin, grape, some sugarplum...maybe even dates and/or prunes. Caramel is huge here as well, and there's no doubt as to its sweetness. A hint of buttery diacetyl off-character makes an appearance, unfortunately, but the cream disguises it nicely.

The bourbon barrel character is disappointingly reticent. There's some vanilla, some barrel sugars, and I guess a hint of oak, but it doesn't have a very evocative bourbon character at all.

Aromatic intensity: moderate.

No hop character, yeasty notes, or booze is detectable.

Not good for a wee heavy, nor for a bourbon barrel beer of any style.

TASTE: That obnoxious fruit is more toned down than the aroma suggested, but there's some off-putting orange marmalade character that I despise, and it intensifies until the third act, where it dominates. A heavy caramalt sweetness is present throughout, veering this about as close towards cloying territory as you can get without quite reaching it. The vanilla tastes artificial, and the bourbon character is poorly integrated, failing even to evoke basic oak tones. The bourbon barrel doesn't feel married in any way whatsoever to the base beer, and fails to accentuate any individual constituent note from the flavour profile.

The fruit - while not apt in a wee heavy - is of some interest. As this warms, I pick up on the fruit from the aroma as well as fig and even apple. Odd indeed for a wee heavy.

The malts aren't dark enough and it has all these weird fruity notes, but it's not imbalanced and it's not a bad brew outside of style conventions. If I approach it as a strong ale, it makes more sense. I think they got lucky in that the flavour profile isn't the chaotic mess it could be, but the ingredients don't seem well chosen.

As it warms still more, some faint coconut emerges, the caramel opens up (grr...), and the booziness becomes obvious. The buttery diacetyl is fleeting but present, alongside a kiss of butterscotch - which is as boozy and disgusting as it sounds; it's a good thing its presence is minimal.

By no means a great build (regardless of style), and certainly not a subtly handled brew. But it boasts fair complexity and has a lot going on for what it is.

Depth of flavour: Average.
Flavour duration: Average.
Flavour intensity: Average.
Flavour amplitude: Below average.

TEXTURE: Creamy, fairly coating, smooth, wet, and ideally medium-bodied. Overcarbonated, unrefreshing, and aptly moderately thick. This texture doesn't elevate the beer, nor does it coax out additional nuance from the notes in the flavour profile, but it suits the taste decently. Could definitely use some fine-tuning and dialing in. Its lightly sticky and syrupy feel isn't doing it any favours.

Not oily, gushed, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy. It does have some alcohol warmth, but it's tolerable.

OVERALL: A sad attempt at a wee heavy (especially a bourbon barrel aged wee heavy), but a respectably average offering outside of style conventions. This is more mundane work from Clown Shoes and I won't be buying it again, but it could be far worse. I'm not sure what they were after with the bizarre orange marmalade emphasis and the absence of any interesting bourbon notes, but the result is wanting. I'll definitely finish this bottle alone (it's good enough for that) but I hoped for a more true-to-style offering. As a side-note, I'm not sure what the "natural flavor" mentioned on the label was, but it can't be helping this. Try taking the artificial crap out of your grain bill and then get back to us, Clown Shoes. And let's take down the caramel a good six or seven notches. I can't see this beer doing well in markets in which it competes with something like Founders Backwoods Bastard. Backwoods Bastard's infinitely higher quality aside, the price point comparison alone is sufficient reason for wee heavy fans never to buy this.

The best element is the vanilla, artificial though it tastes.

The butterscotch/diacetyl gets more obnoxious as it warms.

C

 4,979 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got this in the middle of summer, bottled 6/16/14, this was not a summer beer at all, so I waited for cooler weather, and here it is.

Pours a decent fizzy smaller head that fades pretty quickly, not too bad for a 9% beer though, thick legs, dark murky molasses mahogany brown dark colored beer.

Nose is wow bourbon, sweet candy caramel, lots of caramel, little toffee, nutty candy aromas, some caramelized brown sugar, pretty nutty with some vanilla oak, little buttery oak like, faint candy raisin like, and lots of bourbon barrel juice.

Taste brings sweetness, syrupy thick and creamy even, with lots of brown malts, candy, lots of caramel, caramelized brown sugar, little toffee, nutty and juicy, and more candied raisin fig like fruits and nuts. A nice creamy brown malt juice, and then into bourbon, not as much as the nose but a nice bourbon and some barrel juice, and a little vanilla toasty barrel. So much caramel, straight up caramel, caramel candies, caramel fudge, etc. Faint alcohol warmth, with a little alcohol flavor too, with a touch of earthy hop bitterness on the back end. Finish is semi sweet with sticky feel, thick mouth coating, mild booze lingering, touch of bitterness, mild barrel juice and bourbon, as well as more nutty toffee and caramel, lots of caramel, lingering.

Mouth is med to heavier bod, thick and a bit syrupy, caramel like rich smooth thick feel, little booze warmth, lighter carb.

Overall pretty nice, great bourbon nose, bourbon fell off a bit on the taste but still rounds off the beer nicely, with so much sweet characters but not too sweet in general, lots of caramel all over, nice nutty toffee presence, hint of bitterness on the back end, nice level of alcohol, pretty enjoyable but still a sipper.

 1,752 characters

Photo of philbe311
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Barrel Aged Scotch Ale - Yes Please! A cascading audibly fizzy pour yields slightly more than a fingers worth of tightly packed rich creamy khaki colored froth... Limited retention as this one quickly fades leaving a splotchy lacing and thin collar... The color is a slightly murky medium brown with some faint ruby highlights when back lit... A moderate bit of slightly sluggish carbonation rises towards the top of the glass... A subtle but very robust aroma... Notes of caramel and toffee ebb and flow with delicate barrel aged nuances... Hints of vanilla and brown sugar... Simple and straight forward, but deeply rich and satisfying at the same time... Lots of complexity lingers beneath the surface... The palate is a continuation of the nose... There is the addition of some peat... A light boozy presence on the finish... On the fuller side of medium bodied... Slightly dense and a bit chewy... Velvety smooth... Light to moderate carbonation... Sleek and slightly sticky... This an a world class brew... The barrel aging is as it should be... It's subtle and adds a ton of depth and complexity without taking away from the wonderful base beer that lies beneath... One of the smoothest barrel aged Scotch Ales that I've encountered... Highly enjoyable... High recommended... Grab one if you can still find it...

 1,343 characters

Photo of deford
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber dated 6/19/14 into a Firestone Walker snifter.

L- Pretty light with a nice little head that settles into a thick ring in the glass...looks good.

S- Malty sweetness at first...toffee, vanilla, prunes...caramel...something that makes me think of hops.

T- Burnt or charred caramel, toffee, vanilla...there's very little alcohol in the taste and it fades quickly.

F- Mouthfeel is sudsy and the flavors burst out at you....interesting.

O- Not bad at all...just a little light in the flavor dept. I'd rather have an Alesmith or Backwoods...something that stands out. This is fine...but just fine.

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

Photo of NonicPanic
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StoutHunter
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a bottle of Clown Shoes Ride The Lion a couple months ago for $13.99 at The Lager Mill. I did a comparison between my two favorite barrel aged wee heavys recently and I thought I would give this one a try while my memory is fresh so I can see how it stacks up, plus I wanted to open up a limited release for my 1,100th review, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks good, it goes good with the name and I think it's eye catching. It poured a muddy brown color that didn't really let much light come through and it took on a slight crimson color on the edges with two fingers worth of fizzy and bubbly tan head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left some spotty lacing behind. This was a pretty nice looking beer, but i wish the head had better retention and wasn't fizzy.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness with the malts being the first to show up and they impart some caramel malt, toffee, caramel and sweet malt like aromas and they are are quickly followed by the dark fruits with raisins seeming to stick out the most and it makes for a sherry like aroma. Up next comes the barrel which is on the lighter side and it imparts some vanilla and light oak aromas. This beer had a good aroma, the base beer has a nice aroma, but I wish the barrel showed up much more.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness with the malts still being the first to show up and it imparts the same aspects that it did in the aroma with caramel sticking out the most this time and it's followed by the dark fruits which impart a slightly more brighter dark fruit flavor with no single dark fruit sticking out the most. Up next comes the barrel which shows up more than it did in the aroma which is nice and it imparts a nice oaky, bourbon and vanilla like flavors with the oak and vanilla sticking out the most. On the finish comes just a slight alcohol flavor that's a little warming with pretty much not bitterness and it had some caramel, dark fruits and a good amount of barrel flavors showing up in the aftertaste. This is a very nice tasting beer, it was a little warming, but the flavors were very nice and they worked well with each other.

M- Fairly smooth, fairly sticky, a little silky, sticky, not too crisp, a little warming, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a higher amount of low carbonation. This beer had a pretty nice mouthfeel, but I wouldn't mind if it was a little less sticky and warming.

Overall I thought this was a very nice beer and I thought it was a very nice example of the style, it had pretty much all the aspects that I look for in the style, but I started to get a little worried when I got to the aroma and the barrel aspect was pretty light, but it made up for in the taste with more barrel flavors and some really nice balance. This beer had good drinkability, it was fairly smooth, fairly sticky, a little silky, not too crisp, a little warming, slightly filling and the taste did a good job of holing my attention, one glass might be the perfect amount for me, but I know I'll have no problem drinking the whole bottle by myself even though it is a little warming. What I liked the most about this beer was the taste, it was very nice and it was just what I expect from the style. What I like the least about this beer was the appearance and mouthfeel, they were pretty nice, but they still could have used just a little work. I would buy this beer again and I wish I had another bottle to cellar and see how it changes over time. I would recommend this to anyone who likes barrel aged scotch ales. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer and a little impressed, I started to doubt it a little, but when I got to the taste it really delivered and I ended up enjoying it. Since I did a comparison between Wulver Backwoods Bastard recently I'm confident in saying this is my third favorite of the style with Backwoods coming in second and wulver first, but they are all pretty close to being on the same level. Good job guys, this was a tasty barrel aged Scotch Ale, keep up the hard work.

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

Photo of mychalg9
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Jho3325
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of sendbeer
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of nkelley77
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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

Photo of South2NW
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of beerhan
3.05/5  rDev -24.7%

22oz bomber, $13.99, decanted into my Backwood's Bastard snifter.

A-Very light bodied, almost thought I grabbed the wrong beer. Light caramel color with a 1 finger light tan head. 3/5

S-Lots of vanilla, cheap bourbon, a little wood 2.5/5

T-Vanilla/toffee bomb with some very strong oak notes. Muddled caramel notes in there somewhere but reminds me a lot of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale 2.5/5

M-A bit acidic on the mouth. Sizzles on the tongue and is rather carbonated. Quite drinkable though, alcohol does not come out at all. 4/5

O-I would have never guessed the alcohol was around 11% and it was rather drinkable. That being said, this bomber is the same price as a 4 pack of Backwood's Bastard and a little more than the price of two bottles of Wulver. This like many of Clown Shoes offerings are completely hit or miss and I would never pay to drink this again. Release it as a 4 pack for the same price and I will consider it but this was a watery disappointment overall. 3/5

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Photo of dseanv
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of ToddGingerich
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of eawolff99
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of jawas
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of kscaldef
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Comes across much more like a BA quad than a wee heavy.

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Photo of Stu_Grimson
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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Ride The Lion from Clown Shoes
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 473 ratings