Clown Shoes

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - American Imperial
4.02 | pDev: 9.45%
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Clown Shoes Albino Cetaceous Release #1
Sometimes there are many words. Other times there are no words. We aged Chocolate Sombrero in Cognac barrels, making less than 100 cases of beer. For this we could only find one word. Millonario! Millonario! Millonario!
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 108 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

3.1/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle 2014. Bitter dark chocolate, vanilla, port, oak and cherry skins. There is a twang from the cognac. Super dry. Overall, on the bland side. Unfortunately, I think this is past its prime. Maybe it wasn't good to begin with.

Jun 21, 2016
Photo of darktronica
darktronica from Indiana

4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled June 2014, enjoyed January 2016. Millonario pours nearly pitch black, with half a finger of tan brown head that leaves attractive lacing on the glass. The cognac influence is still prominent, as the nose is full of apple, pear, and dark stone fruit, alongside dark chocolate, birch bark, and yatsuhashi crackers. Still full-bodied and a luxurious sipper, but the flavors are a bit muddled; once the beer hits my tongue, I lose the suggestion of cinnamon and can barely detect the vanilla extract, even as it warms. The dominant impression upon taking a swig is of a fondue red delicious apple dipped in bittersweet dark chocolate, with the addition of roasted malt and the other components of any thick, high-alcohol stout.

The finish is surprisingly short for a beer with such complexity in its making. I'm not sure if the cognac barrel is working in opposition to the underlying spiced chocolate stout, or if the bottle is simply aged past its prime. In any case, the end result at this point in time is still a classic cognac barrel-aged stout in the grand tradition of Clown Shoes' barrel program, but it's as if the beer has been put on mute. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, as I am still enjoying the heck out of it, but for anyone still looking to sample the full range of state-limited Clown Shoes releases, be aware that this one is no longer as intense and bursting with flavor as it likely once was.

Jan 09, 2016
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson from Virginia

3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a snifter, the beer is a dark, muddled, brownish-black coloring with a filmy, low profile, clingy, cream colored head. Nose of bittersweet chocolate, tangy vanilla, boozy brandy, subtle coffee bitterness, and woody highlights. Flavors are boozy brandy forward, heavy on apple, raisin, and booze, followed by bittersweet Mexican chocolate in the backbone, subtle mocha notes, and a slightly astringent highlight into the boozy and chocolate aftertaste. Smooth, layered body that gets very dry and slightly astringent at the end. Boozy and sweet linger through the slick, dry finish. Started promising, but fell off a bit towards the end.

Dec 13, 2015
Photo of WanderingFool
WanderingFool from Massachusetts

4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

a black beer with a small light tan head. The aroma has notes of peppers, conac, and chocolate. This medium bodied beer is creamy with moderate carbonation. The flavor has lots of character from the conac barrel. Oak, conac, chocolate, lime, pepper, and fig are present. The conac really comes through as the beer warms. Overall, a tasty beer with unique, complex flavors.

Jan 17, 2015
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Love the artwork on most of their bottles, but this one is especially awesome. Usually when a brewery just focuses on artwork and fun names their beer sucks. But in Clown Shoes case they really do a good job on both, especially their stouts are awesome. Let's see how they do with Cognac barrels this time. Batch #1, bottled 6/23/14.

Pours a darker fizzy bubbly 1/2 finger head that attempts to get creamy but mostly bubbles and fizzy, not bad for 10% abv, nice lacing notched on the glass, and great legs, over a completely pitch black beer with no light getting through.

Nose is very interesting... a mix of different hard to pin point aromas, but not what I expected for stout aromas... it does have some roast in there, black malts, maybe some cocoa but hard to tell. Now I'm really starting to get it all, and it's loaded with sweet nectar and under aged cognac, like a green like fruity cognac and barrel, some toasted barrel and vanilla, raw toasted oak, surprisingly tequila like. Some creamy dark chocolate in the background, mild fudge and big cocoa nib like, little wafer cookie, all really hard to pull out behind the barrel notes.

Taste brings more dark malts, coming out stronger this time, wafer cookie as well, dark chocolate and cocoa nibs, little fudgey and rich creamy dark malts, a little black malt like roasty acrid note, and char. That's still over powered by the barrel notes, toasted oak, charred barrel and oak staves, a little vanilla, etc, with big sweet green underaged cognac again, a green fruit based spirit at least, not quite a big cognac flavor, and again an agave nectar like flavor almost tequila. Then hot alcohol washes over, tingles the tongue, warming the soul, and even brings a little alcohol flavor. The thick syrupy fudgey flavor lingers late, coats the mouth, and leaves the alcohol a bit as well, little bitterness and more tequila like green fruit based spirit that I could possibly call a cheap not so great cognac.

Mouth is fuller bod, a bit rich and creamy, decent carb, hot booze.

Overall, well, it's mixed. Base beer is good but gets overpowered by the cheap tasting cognac, the barrel comes through a lot, and it's quite hot with booze, but the big spirit flavor that comes through is not great, green under aged fruit based spirit brings even more heat and is not as enjoyable as I hoped. But still a decent beer.

Oct 12, 2014
Photo of rjp217
rjp217 from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -0.5%

A little less than two months from the bottle date......

Jet black color with excellent lace and retention. The nose is full of cognac and that transfers to the taste as well. Added layers of smoke, chocolate and a hint of cinnamon. The cognac just really takes over the base beer. I unfortunately don't get much in the way of chilies as the heat is really non-existent. Mouthfeel is thin. The ABV hides really well. Even as the beer warmed it would be hard to detect that this was 10%. Overall a very interesting concept, I just would have liked to see a thicker, fuller stout. The cognac barrel is really unique. I think with more vanilla and chilies this would be amazing. As it warms though, it balances together well. A nice overall offering from CS!

Aug 17, 2014
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout from Georgia

4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle from benbking (thanks for hookin me up!). Bottled 6/23/14. Served in a Clown Shoes snifter.

Pours an almost-black, dark chocolate brown with a two finger cap of deep tan froth. The head slowly fades to a modest halo but leaves small islands of lace all the way down.

Aromas of cocoa, woodsy barrel, caramel, chilli pepper, mild coffee and faint vanilla. Sweet, smooth and inviting.

Cognac and chocolate battle for dominance in the flavor and I'm the clear winner! Tastes a bit like a cognac-infused brownie with notes of flavorful (as supposed to hot) chilli peppers, vanilla, caramel, oak, coffee, brown sugar, mild fruit skins and a healthy dollop of alcohol. The cognac adds a pleasant almost fruity quality along with the barrel sweetness. Everything blends quite well and despite the ocassional bite of booze this goes down smooth.

Frothy, creamy, medium full body with carbonation that comes across as ample but not distracting. Coats the tongue well to produce a long finish with fudge, cognac, fruit skins, peppers and vanilla.

I've admittedly been a bit of a Clown Shoes fan boy since my first sip of Eagle Claw Fist years ago. Their prolific barrel aging experimentation they've done at an accelerated pace recently has shown to the world that, contract brewer or not, they KNOW great beer. This is an excellent variation of their Chocolate Sombrero/ Luchador En Fuego with an added complexity from the different barrels. I highly recommend getting ahold of this to try, particularly if you've enjoyed the base or bourbon barreled varieties.

Jul 26, 2014
Photo of ZackRothman
ZackRothman from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Only 100 cases of this were released into Massachusetts! Glad I got to try some. Poured into a Clown Shoes snifter.

Look: Pours nice and dark with a tan head.

Aroma: Roasty with notes of cocoa. The Cognac barrels add a bit of fruit to the smell.

Taste: Very complex! I get chocolate, vanilla, oak, peppers, and fruit. Sweet upfront with a bit of heat on the back end. Strong yet smooth!

Mouthfeel: Thick and heavy. This brew coats your tastebuds with its delicious flavors.

Overall: This is definitely one you should seek out. If not for its awesome label art or its rarity, then for its rich and decadent flavor.

Jul 14, 2014
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Colonial Spirits Courtesy of HoppasaurusRex, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a solid black color with a decent sized frothy tan head that shows great retention. Aromas of chocolate caramel and roast with a whole lot of vinous character to it. Light earthy hop and a touch of alcohol round out the nose nicely. The flavor is rich and sweet with a heavy dose of brown sugar caramel and chocolate. Rich fruity vinous note as well as a bit of tannin and alcohol notes. Medium to thick body with a light to moderate level of carbonation, and a rich sweet creamy almost syrupy mouthfeel. Very nice big rich thick stout, I really enjoyed this one.

Jul 14, 2014
Photo of Resuin
Resuin from Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into an enlarged snifter.

Appearance: Pours black and leaves a foamy two-fingered mocha tan head, which lingers around for a while, leaving lacing down the glass, before settling as a tan layer atop the beer.

Smell: Big coffee, dark chocolate, hint of cinnamon, hint of hot peppers, roasted malts, hint of oak.

Taste: Roasted malts, oak, mild coffee, mild milk chocolate, marshmallows, vanilla, a very mild hint of hot pepper. The taste is very well blended and actually fairly light, considering the big aroma. The taste is a lot different from the smell, quite interesting. ABV is really well hidden.

Mouth-feel: Medum carbonation with a big, creamy and foamy body - this beer makes quite a presence in the mouth. Finishes real smooth.

Overall: Very interesting and much different than I expected. The smell is about what I expected but the taste is completely different. Very smooth and drinkable with a nice flavor though. I would've loved more from the cognac barrels.

Jul 08, 2014
Photo of Pahn
Pahn from New York

4.64/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle into a teku. Split 2 ways with BA morningthief.

Appearance: Pours brownish black. Small tan head, not much retention. Leggy but very little lacing.

Smell: Like a sweeter, more pastried up version of Luchador En Fuego. This is a good thing. Cinnamon, vanilla, banana, some hints of roasted malt, no booziness. Much more complex than that short grocery list--interesting, smoky candy notes that are hard to make similes and metaphors with.

Gets notably better (ie even better) with warmth and time. Some alcohol heat elevates everything, and the depth continues to expand.

Taste: Vanilla, cinnamon heavily tinged with some pepper heat, roasted malt fully softened by sweet cognac flavors, with a multitude of pastry and alcohol flavors from start to finish. As with the nose, gets steadily better with warmth.

Easy to fall in love with this beer. Lots going on, all mutually complimentary. Dark fruit, vanilla, oak, banana, dry and nutty roasted malt, molasses, chocolate. This beer is the prog rock of beer--so much going on, but it works (this analogy assumes you like prog rock; there's a principle of charity with understanding analogies). Busy, but not in any pejorative sense. Consequently, a great sipper. Hot, overwhelmingly flavorful, perfectly balanced.

Mouthfeel: Somewhere between full and medium bodied. Heat and dryness in the finish bumps it up to 4.25. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: I'm repeating myself here, but it keeps turning out to be true: Clown Shoes is uncannily brilliant at putting together barrel and big beer flavors. The base beer and its adjuncts work perfectly with the cognac barrel. They're softened and deepened, with everything just hot enough, just sweet enough, etc.

Boring review, I admit, but I'm running out of ways to say "This barrel aged Clown Shoes beer is complex, delicious, and amazing. How do they do it?" Worth seeking out.



Jul 04, 2014
Photo of Dope
Dope from Massachusetts

3.89/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Don't see a bottling date but this was just released last week.

A: Heavy pitch-black pour. Tall, very dense medium brown head. Great head retention with a nice little island. Thick lacing to boot.

S: Some chalky, charry oak. Light bits of dark fruit and berries. Hint of roasted malt in the char and a little bittersweet cocoa. Maybe cinnamon?

T: Oh yeah, definitely cinnamon. Cinnamon and some light chili peppers up front. Smoky, chalky and charry, must be chipotles or similar roasted chili peppers? Bittersweet cocoa is pretty much everywhere, much like a stoneground mexican chocolate. A little bit of smoky heat in the finish with more char and just a little oak to boot.

M: Heavy, smoky, spicy and a little bitter to boot.

O: Well, I had high hopes for this one but unfortunately I think I overhyped it a bit. Billionaire in cognac barrels was great, but either this one wasn't aged long enough or the bold chocolate and chili pepper flavors have completely drowned it out here. I don't taste any barrel character at all. This tastes more or less like Chocolate Sombrero. In fact, if I didn't know better, I'd think someone was playing a trick on me. Too bad. It's a good beer, don't get me wrong, I was just expecting something next-level over normal CS.

Jul 03, 2014
Millonario from Clown Shoes
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 108 ratings