Garden State Rhapsody
Clown Shoes

Garden State RhapsodyGarden State Rhapsody
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Stout - American Imperial
4.35 | pDev: 6.67%
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Garden State RhapsodyGarden State Rhapsody
Notes: From the depths of the Pine Barrens of NJ, the Jersey Devil joined forces with Crasher to annihilate snake demons and bring balance to the Garden State. We blended 12 rye barrels of Undead Party Crasher Imperial Stout with 3 rye barrels of an experimental barley wine ale to create this NJ-exclusive beer.
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 107 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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LloydDobler from Indiana

4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz btl 1/12/15

Pours out like black velvet into my glass. It leaves a wispy ghost of what should be foam, swirling about the surface. The taste is chalky chocolate, spicy rye, and feint raisin. The bit of heat keeps this a sipper for sure. Nice beer that was worth the wait.

Mar 26, 2016
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GOBLIN from Ohio

4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh yeah . . . Christmas day. By this time is it still possible for Clown Shoe's barrel program to still be underrated ? If so, it shouldn't be. Living in Ohio we have many fine options for beer but I still feel rather blessed to have landed this New Jersey beer. In all honesty this may be among the top of imperial stouts I've had. Pours thick black of course but produces an almost perfect khaki head. Feel is superb and can hold it's own against other world class stouts. Having spent some time in rye barrels this beer didn't just get a nice welcomed spicy scent and flavor but it came with a full, thick, creamy and silky smooth and oily texture I would only reserve for the best in the game. Overall, this is a world class stout and Clown Shoe's has reminded me why I track their beers down . . . Even the one's that the Buckeye state doesn't have access to.

Dec 25, 2015
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mrn1ceguy from Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black color with some tan head. The smell is a subtle rye barrel. The taste is mainly rye barrel, but not overpowering. Wish a little more of the base beer shined through, but overall its a pretty subtle/smooth drinking beer.

Nov 11, 2015
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JamesStreet from Louisiana

4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pours really nice, dark brown, opaque color with a slight nut-brown-colored head. Retention is fair, leaves a beautiful lace.
Smell is of wood, spicy rye, booze, chocolate, heat
Taste is really nice. Good blend of spiciness, whiskey, oak, nuts, chocolate. So good
Feel is medium and slick, carbonation is moderate.
Overall, another barrel-aged winner from Clown Shoes.

Sep 24, 2015
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pagriley from Illinois

4.14/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Solid BA stout. Dark and thick with wafts of bitter chocolate and a slightly acrid barrel characteristic that might be the rye buried under the malts. Smoky with great body and smooth mouthfeel

Sep 20, 2015
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Hop_God from California

4.34/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: jet black no head

S: booze. Chocolate. Spicy rye. Dates. Brown sugar.

T: spicy rye. Booze. Burnt sugar

F: low carbonation. Good coating on the palate but not cloying.

O: really fantastic. Warms and develops wonderfully.

Aug 22, 2015
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bobv from Vermont

4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Nice half inch head dissipates rather quickly down to a thin ring.
Nose has a bit of Rye whiskey to it.
Taste has some pepperiness from the Rye barrels as well.
Feel is a tad thin.
Overall this was a nice surprise in an IP trade.

Aug 18, 2015
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ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber into a snifter.

A- Dark khaki head a quarter inche thick. Settles into a layer of film over a pitch-black body. 4.5

S- Smells like rye. Lots of rye. Plenty of booze on the nose. Slight chocolate and malt, but the booze and rye dominate. 4

T- Showcases the rye up front before turning raisiny, tobacco-heavy, and oaken. Bitter dark chocolate is potent. Barleywine caramel and raisin and oatmeal cookie meet chocolate stout with a rye bite. Pretty impressive. Something nutty like pecan pie emerges too. 4.25

M- A bit lesser than medium-bodied but drinks viscous and creamy. Slightly sweet, slightly bitter and even a tad of tartness before a dry, cocoa finish. 4.25

Surprisingly good. One of the most impressive Clown Shoes beers I've had to date.

May 29, 2015
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Antg8989 from New Jersey

4.69/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Amazing. Dark brown with a mocha head. Considerable lacing. Smells malty And I think I'm smelling the rye barrels. Also hints of alcohol. Tastes Like chocolate and coffee with hints of Something else that I can't quite describe. Feels smooth, minimal carbonation. Overall this was a top tier beer. Unfortunately it's exclusive to nj, so if you see it, buy it. It's a classic. I hope this is brewed again, because I will be purchasing multiple bottles.

May 09, 2015
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SomethingClever from Ohio

3.22/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

22 oz bottle poured into Speigelau glass

A: very little head soapy and a slight off white fairly dark beer but a little light is pushing through the edges

S: smells like corn whiskey it smells like cheap whiskey

T: a bad stout aged in just average barrels the taste is very muddled getting a touch of the rye whiskey barrel taste

M: fairly full bodied but a touch thin for a great stout still pretty good

O: It's another average BA beer by Clown Shoes that's kind of their thing. They make mediocre barrel aged beers. I think their thought process if i BA age it it will make it sell. And most Beer Advocates gobble up their shit when that's kind of their place..shit

May 09, 2015
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Smaxy from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A sweet, boozy love-song to the state of New Jersey! Was happy to experience this! Barleywine and rye barrels are definitely identifiable and play off one another nicely.

Apr 16, 2015
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threeviews from Florida

4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle @ cellar temperature (BOD: 1/24/15) into a Belgian tulip glass.

A - It pours mostly pitch black with some faint, ruby-red highlights at the sides of the glass. A semi-aggressive pour yielded about 1/2-finger of mocha colored head which dissipated rather quickly. Not as dark as some at this ABV, but classic Imperial Stout nonetheless (4.75)

S - The aroma is fantastic. Every element of the beer is showcased in the nose: Chocolate Fudge, Dark Fruits (Plum, Cherry, Raspberry), Vanilla, Coconut, Charred Oak and Rye Whiskey are all accounted for. The blend between the Undead Party Crasher Stout and Barleywine is decadent. (4.75)

T - The complexity in the nose is blissfully embraced in the flavor of this cuvee. Dark Fruit, Chocolate, Rye Whiskey, Vanilla, Coconut and Charred Oak (in that order) waft across the palate in harmony with no one flavor winning out...each sip seems to showcase a different personality. (4.75)

M - Medium Plus...not as chewy as other Imperial stouts of this nature but certainly coats the palate. Soft carbonation gives ample time for the beer's flavors to seep into the taste buds and linger. (4.75)

O - I thought Extremely Angry Beast was an outstanding blended, barrel-aged beer, but the complexity is significantly greater with Garden State Rhapsody. The balance Clown Shoes was able to achieve between Stout, Barleywine and Rye Whiskey Barrel is a celebration of both their brewing prowess and barrel-aging skills. They certainly have provided us New Jersians with something to celebrate! (5.0)

Apr 01, 2015
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Czarkazm from New York

4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very dark burnt chestnut pour with a mocha brown head. Opaque in the glass. Strong aromas of dark fruit, burnt toffee, some smoke, and milk chocolate fudge. Nice spicy rye barrel character but getting a hint of spice from some hops possibly. Rich brownie taste, dark fruits, bourbon, and vanilla. Creamy mouth feel, fuller side of medium. This one is great!

Mar 16, 2015
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CaptDavyJones from New York

4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Another great barrel-aged offering from Clown Shoes. The aroma is fantastic, very-well balanced and full of flavor. A little thinner on the mouthfeel, but overall a great brew. Very highly recommend, cheers!

Mar 09, 2015
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JMS1512 from New Jersey

4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sight: Blacker than black with some deep brown and red highlights. We’ll call is an SRM of 40… maybe 45, since I bet beyond 40-50, you can’t really tell. The head sits a very dark tan, but recedes. It now sits as a thin cap, sporting an archipelago of bubbles. Maybe I don’t have a beer-clean snifter.

Aroma: When I first poured it, the head smelled much more fragrant. One gets vanilla, a bit o’ wood, and definite alcohol presence.

Taste: The taste mimics the smell. I also get a small amount of roasted malt, a bit of chocolate, and I think (might be easier to tell when it’s warmed up) a touch of sweetness and raisiny/dark fruit, which would explain the barleywine blend. The non-stout side is easier to detect in the beginning, not the end. This one also shows a little bit of bitterness, likely from the roast, but also from the hops.

Feel: Tingly, tiny bubbles. It ends smooth, with silky finish that also dries out. I’ll chalk that up to the rye barrels. It coats the mouth with a little bit of oil (not literally). I’ll call it medium-plus, or maybe even full.

Overall: Wow. Clown Shoes has yet to disappoint me with their blended, barreled, experimental stuff. THAT is why I grabbed one to age.

Mar 01, 2015
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ThickNStout from Georgia

4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from Zekenyce (thanks man!). Bottled 1/28/15. Served in a Clown Shoes snifter.

There is a slight tinge of crimson in the pour but the liquid rests in the glass almost pitch black. A finger and a half khaki head fades slowly to a thick collar with a few whisps accross the surface. Sparce, spotty lace.

A big dose of whiskey presents on the nose backed by smoked malt, vanilla, caramel, oak and a vaguely floral note. Smells great.

The flavors here are bold and rich. Chocolate fudge, sweet and spicy rye whiskey, tart raspberries, vanilla, caramel, smoked malt, brown sugar, cough syrup (in the best possible way), a bittersweet vegital note and a modest booze burn. The flavors of the base are apparent but the barleywine blending and rye whiskey barreling change it much more dramatically than the other barrel treatments I've tried (rum, bourbon & cognac). All-in-all this is delicious.

Creamy, smooth, medium full feel with moderate carbonation. The flavor keeps coming in the aftertaste with cocoa, smoke, carmelized berries and more rye whiskey.

Clown Shoes continues to prove themselves a force to be reckoned with. Garden State Rhapsody takes Undead Party Crasher to delicious new heights. I really enjoyed the new direction imparted by the blending and rye. Based on their performance here I will continue my endeavour to try all of Clown Shoes' state-specific one-offs. Try this one if you can!

Feb 26, 2015
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Neorebel from New Jersey

4.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Garden State Rhapsody is a very special crafting just for my beloved home state of New Jersey, being the first beer made just for us from an out of state producer. As if this wasn't enough, the premise of this brew is so unique in that it is a blend of 12 barrels of Undead Party Crasher and 3 barrels of barleywine... all rye conditioned... I really haven't heard of anything quite like it! Onto the scores - in the looks department it's spot on, with an inky black color and a nice ring of coffee colored foam... like the bloom on french press coffee. The lacing on the glass is elegant as well... a great visual! The aroma seems like a wondrous preview of what is to come... Big on rye grains and roasted malts with a pleasant smokiness. After taking in the flavor for a while at the proper temperature, here's what I have to say: It can hang in an arena of the biggest heavyweights of barrel aged beer! The overall picture is that it is an unlikely trifecta of smoky stout goodness, lush rye whiskey, and a delicate inclusion of barleywine hoppiness. It's this third aspect and the particular choice of rye for the barrel that really drives it home. The matchless balance of this menage is uncanny! Undead Party Crasher is one of my favorite Imperial Stouts due to the precisely appropriate smokiness, and that comes through here loud and clear. In my opinion, rye is also the best thing to happen to beer in modern times. I'm not sure anyone's ever blended barleywine into the mix like this but I can assure you it is a success of flying colors. Also notably remarkable is the mouth feel and finish, not unlike a strong oatmeal stout... velvety, substantial, and lingering. A fair bit of cocoa and coffee notes come through in the end here. Garden state residents and beer traders.. get your hands on this beer ASAP- it is truly a work of art and a showcase as to what Clown Shoes can do!! Jersey Strong.

Feb 21, 2015
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mj81 from New Jersey

4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Clown shoes absolutely nailed this one. Just shy of total darkness. Nose is chocolate, rye whiskey and almost a slight cherry sweetness. First taste blew me away. Perfect combination of slight smokiness, earthiness, chocolate, rye whiskey. Mouthfeel is perfect. Not too thick, not too thin. Booze is basically undetectable even at a 55 degree room temp. Great mix of chocolate rye sweetness and slight bitterness on finish. I've had a lot of stouts and BA stouts and am not saying this lightly when I say it's in the top 5 that I've EVER had.

Feb 19, 2015
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metter98 from New York

4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very close to being jet black in color—when held up to a bright light traces of dark red are visible near the bottom of the glass. It poured with a quarter finger high mocha colored head that quickly died down but left a thick collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of whiskey are present in the nose.
T: As in the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of whiskey from the barrel aging along with notes of dark and chocolate malts.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. A light amount of warming from the alcohol is noticeable.
O: This beer is extremely drinkable considering its strength as virtually no alcohol is perceptible except for the whiskey.

Serving type: bottle

Feb 16, 2015
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TheGent from New Jersey

4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is the best BA beer I've had so far from Clown Shoes. The feel is relatively thicker than others, and the rye barrel comes
through nicely. If you like rye, you'll love this beer. It's warm, smooth, smokey, earthy, and roasted.

Feb 15, 2015
Garden State Rhapsody from Clown Shoes
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 107 ratings