The Good, The Bad & The Unidragon | Clown Shoes

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The Good, The Bad & The UnidragonThe Good, The Bad & The Unidragon
BA SCORE
4.22/5
Exceptional
The Good, The Bad & The UnidragonThe Good, The Bad & The Unidragon
BEER INFO

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Currently available in Texas only.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
29
Ratings:
186
pDev:
9.24%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
91
Trade:
7
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 186
Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had this beer for the first time as I was grilling. I think it was a little bit different for this style but very good. I think the Mesquite smoked malts was a very interesting feature.

Look: black with a one inch thick somewhat bubbly mocca colored head

Aroma: roasted malts, toasty-smoke, chocolate

Taste: The flavor is roasted malts, its smokey and sweet, chocolate, some coffee, not much alcohol flavor despite the ABV. A different kind of stout, but delicious.

Feel: medium to full body

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Photo of Bum4ever
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Super dark with a small tan head
Smokey malt smell and charred wood with some lingering dark fruits
Dark bitter chocolate and smoke, toasty nuts and alcohol
Pretty thick and a little light carb, alcohol is there a bit but nothing over-powering.
Pretty good RIS stout, really liked the smokey presence on this one.

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Photo of 1689Stout
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A clown shoes first for me. The 14%abv did not come through nearly enough IMO. Still a rich tasty stout with a nutty aroma. Just wish it was thicker!!

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Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Overall an exceptional beer as the score states. Smoked, peaty malt on a black beer with a brown head. Retention is great while I multi-task. Good roasty taste and feel. Nice booze to it to give you a boost, haha. Cheers.

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Photo of darktronica
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This Unidragon variant is quite strong on the smoked malts, with a bit of meatiness resulting in the flavor profile. Also some of the typical peat or iodine note from the base beer. I still like this one, but having just had the Tarheel Unidragon, this doesn't compare. A Fistful of Unidragon is an improvement, with the time spent in bourbon barrels adding some additional notes and upping the complexity of the end product. That said, this would still go great with some brisket.

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Photo of Albianfire
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Rich Crude oil with a brown lacing around the glass. No head retention. A nice looking Russian Imperial Stout. I'm hopeful.

Smell: leather, some bandaid (likely due to the smoked malt) but not overbearing. Some fruit lies beneath the malt. This can go very well or very very bad.

Taste: smooth up front. Smoke emerges. I can't tell if it is rauch malt or peat. Actually, although I tend to not like peat I think it may be and it is pleasantly mild. I taste no coffee! Hmm. But, I like this! Scary thought is I think I could drink a second bomber. But, that would end badly.
Mouthfeel: Full but not syrupy sweet like some higher Abv barleywines get. Low carbonation as anticipated.
Overall: I just mowed the lawn in a Texas heat and this beer is refreshing. How did Clownshoes manage that one! This is solid, solid, solid. It is a bit pricey but I will be back for more . . . More Unidragon that is ;)

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Photo of nizzle8287
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber dated 9/16/16 into a 10 oz snifter at about 50F. Khaki head pops up about 3 fingers and subsides to a thin film covering a pitch black body. Roasted malts, smoke, cherry, coffee, cocoa nibs, and smoke on the nose. Taste is incredibly smoky (I didn't read the side label where it says it sources smoked malts from here in Texas). Not bad, just not crazy for this style. Still it's probably the best smoked stout I've tried. I've tasted more alcohol in a 7% beer and this one's 14%, which is awesome. Mouthfeel is good, but I like to pour up a big head to release some of the CO2 acidity. It's smooth and silky this way, and it's growing on me as I drink through the glasses, and as it warms, chocolate, coffee, and cherry flavor comes out more and the beer becomes more balanced with the smoke and char. Overall this is a tasty smoked stout exclusive to Texas, so I couldn't pass it up, and I think it's well worth the $10.00 I paid for it at Central Market in Fort Worth.

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Photo of Boccu
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark with a nice head. Aroma of licorice, molasses and coffee. Taste of molasses, vanilla, coffee licorice to burnt sugar and smoke finish . Another great stout by clown shoes.

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

A: poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a half finger of dense tan head that fades quickly to a small collar around the edge of the glass with some lacing.
S: Smells of charred wood and smoked malts with some bitter dark chocolate and espresso as well as some notes of oily hops
T: Taste is roasted malts, oily hops, charred wood and smokey malts, dark chocolate and cold coffee. Swallow is more charred wood, some burnt sugars, cocoa powder and roasted malts.
M: This beer is thick and velvety on the palate with soft carbonation that's on point for the style and a dry finish from the ABV
O: Overall this is a very good and well executed RIS. It's TX only so you have to go there or trade to get it but it's worth a try. The beer has some nice complexity and I'm curious to see how it tastes with some time in barrels.

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Photo of marieli
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle. Started at about 53 degrees. Sampled two: one from March 2015 (year old) and one from September 2015 (six months). There was a clear difference. The six month had more alcohol flavor with some coffee on backside. Mouthfeel was okay. The year old was much more balanced. You could tell this was a high abv offering but the taste of alcohol had subsided and gave way to some traditional stout flavors. Coffee was hardly a trace. This ale really came together impressively at the one year mark. I would not recommend drinking this beer before it's aged one year from the bottle date. My ratings are based solely on the one year tasting.

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Photo of JebBeerFish
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Thick and Black. Maybe 1/8 head on gentle pour.

S: A little smokey.

T: Smoke, Bitter Chocolate, with the smoke becoming more
pronounced as it warms, but never over whelmingly smokey.
14% ABV completely hidden.

F: average RIS feel.

O: I had high hopes for the this, which were not met yet this is not
a disappointing beer. The other TX only Clown Shoes release, A Fistful of
Unidragon, is significantly
better in my judgment.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark, blackish with small head. Smell is really in your face with the smokey, toasted notes.

Flavor is similar, it's not your typical imperial stout, very heavy on the smoke and malts. Has some bite, but hides the 14% abv pretty well.

Overall, it's an interesting take and I enjoyed it, but probably won't be back for seconds.

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Photo of MicTar
3.82/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

4oz from draft

L: Thick black in color with a brown head. Nice lacing
S: all I smelled was a smokey scent and not much else
T: the smoked malts hit first followed by a bit of chocolate
F: smooth will little carbonation bite
O: like this and would get it again

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Photo of chrisjws
3.69/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pitch black, small amounts of light at the edges. 2 fingers of dark brown head.
S: Dark roasted malts, black patent, dark chocolate, pipe tobacco, burnt chocolate. Woody aromas almost like it was barrel aged.
T: Licorice, dark chocolate, burnt caramel, pipe tobacco right upfront. Tobacco and dark chocolate in the finish.
M: Big mouthfeel, medium carbonation. Drinks very easily and the alcohol isn't very prevalent.
O: Not quite to my liking, a little too much in the extreme end of the charred/dark spectrum. Still fairly solid.

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Photo of obrike
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Man, these dudes know how to make a killer stout. Another high octane gem.

A great looking black pour with hints of chocolate and spices in the scent. The taste follows...a lot going on here...uber smooth and highly dangerous with the ABV so high.

Loves me some Clown Shoes.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
Dark brown head that’s thick, creamy and completely cover the top of the stout creating a dense layer of lacing to mark your progress. The body is dark and almost completely impenetrable by light, only a few hues of reddish brown escape from the outer edges.
Smell:
Roasted malts, chocolate, molasses, butter, raisins, mild cigar smoke, and much more.
Taste:
Raisins up front, mild grapes and then the malts kick in followed the smokiness and chocolate and coffee flavors.
Mouthfeel:
Medium bodied but warming and the carbonation is bigger than expected.
Overall:
This is another great beer from Clown Shoes, basically its better than sex on the beach and in fact it’s better than all forms of sex unless your actually getting laid…go out and drink this RIS!

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stout glass pour, this beer is black and forms a nice tan-colored head with fine lacing. Rich body.
Smells of chocolate and black licorice with dark plums and raisins. Some burn from the lurking alcohol shoots sparks into my nose.
Taste is chocolate, coffee, rye and roasted earth. I think this impression of rye is due to the smoked malts Clown Shoes used from here in TX.
Feel is medium-rich, chewy and nice, with some stickiness. Dry finish.
This is a very good RIS, and although not among my top 5 favorites, it does sip quite well given the 14% abv.

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Photo of stephens101
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Shiny, boot-black with a dark tan froth that breaks up in chunks.

Smells of bubble gum, milk chocolate, licorice and a hint of fusel alcohol.

A dose of dark chocolate and a touch of rye come in to play upon tasting, evening things out and getting them down and dirty. Subsequent sips reveal notes of black grape, tannin, coffee and cream.

Comparatively speaking not that heavy and also pretty tame in the alcohol department.

Grand sipping on a rainy Saturday.

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

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 9/2/2014. Pours dense pitch black color with a 2 finger dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toast, dark bread, raisin, licorice, leather, tobacco, smoke, light char, and roast/smokey earthiness. Damn nice aroma with great balance and complexity of dark/roasted/bready malt flavors; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toast, dark bread, raisin, leather, tobacco, smoke, light char, and roast/smokey earthiness. Fair amount of roast/char bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toast, dark bread, raisin, leather, tobacco, smoke, light char, and roast/smokey earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, balance, and robustness of big dark/roasted/bready malt flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy and fairly slick/sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming lingering after the finish. Overall this is an awesome Russian imperial stout. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted/bready malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Body is black with an almost nonexistent tan head. Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, and booze. Tastes of chocolate, roasty malt, fruity esters, smoke, burnt ash, subdued alcohol. Full body with mild carbonation. This is what I look for in a huge imperial stout.

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Photo of seabeetastetest
4.77/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

pours a thick black color. pour looks awesome with a great brown head. smells of dark fruits a bit of a roasty malts taste. i get some cinnamon too. tastes amazing first thing that hits me is the dark fruits the malts a bit of coffee. the feel is thick and amazing lower viscosity than most brews. overall a 9.7 out of a ten. High alcohol content so this one could get you in trouble.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle at 50 degrees into tulip
Aroma of roasted malt
Head small (1 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, slowly diminishing to 2 mm ring and layer with frothy island
Lacing poor- few streamers of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor of slightly bitter roasted malt, and some date/fig overtones; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, slightly creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3.75, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours an oily jet black. Forms a nice thick and creamy finger of burnt caramel colored head.
S - Lots of roasty malt, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar and alcohol.
T - Absolutely amazing. Sweet creamy chocolate, almost to the level of a milkshake, sweet coffee, vanilla and brown sugar, fades into slightly bitter black coffee and malt. Fantastic. O - An amazing, 5 star stout. An absolute must try if you're a fan of the style. The perfect stout.
V - Worth it at any price. Available in a 22oz. bomber bottle.

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Photo of mhksuccess
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It has nice color not much head on it
smell is typical RIS very intoxicating
taste is smooth and easily drinkable at such high abv
nice mouthfeel is not thin at all
overall this is a solid offering would get again

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

22oz bottle from Techichi (thanks for hooking me up!). Bottled 8/29/14. Served in a Clown Shoes snifter.

Pours jet black with almost two fingers of creamy tan head. That cap of froth lingers quite a while before forming a thick halo that laces much more than expected for the alcohol content.

Roasty aromas overall. Licorice, dark cocoa, smoke, heavily roasted malts and burnt caramel.

Flavors are bold and rich. Anise, dark chocolate, black coffee, charred malts, smoke, burnt caramel, molasses, a vague herbaceous bitterness, earthy and a bit of booze. This is a big, heavy brew for sure but drinks much smoother than expected for 14% abv. A bit more smoke than I'm used to in a Russian imperial stout but great stuff overall.

Thick, heavy, creamy feel with velvety carbonation. Licorice, bitter pure dark cocoa and charred malts linger in the finish.

Clown Shoes has another delicious imperial stout here. The smokey notes in this remind me of Porcine Unidragon and I think this could hold up quite well to some time in a barrel. It'll be interesting to see how my second bottle developes with some age on it.

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The Good, The Bad & The Unidragon from Clown Shoes
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 186 ratings