American Monastic | Clown Shoes

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American MonasticAmerican Monastic
Very Good
American MonasticAmerican Monastic

Brewed by:
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 121
Photo of ommegangpbr
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kinda cursory scoring as I only have the one bottle to review. The bottom line is that I am enjoying my drink. There are solid Belgian flavors with some ballsy IPA characteristics going on. The overall impression is trending towards the sweeter side of the spectrum. Tropical fruit flavors are there. I feel like this brew covers many bases. I would have this again and recommend it.

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Photo of pat61
4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: pours hazy gold with rapidly rising bubbles producing a healthy, off-white, lacy and persistent foam cap.

S: aromas of fruit, a hint of banana, peach and faint smoked ham. Yeast driven fruit aromas are medium, hop and malt aromas are low.

T: Yeast driven fruit flavors drive the palate with a blend of tropical - perhaps mango - and peach. Yeast flavors are medium to medium high. Hop bitterness is medium to medium high. Malt flavors are medium low.

F: The body is medium low and creamy soft with slightly above average carbonation.

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Photo of CTHomer
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear; medium gold in color; 1 finger moussy, ivory head that receded to a thin collar; very nice lacing;

S: Belgian yeast, orange, and lemon;

T: Belgian yeast and orange through the middle; slightly tart lemon towards the finish; mild bitterness at the end;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: really nice;

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Photo of chinchill
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle with a 2016 bottling date.

Hazy amber body with a frothy white head that has very good retention and leaves soapy-looking sticky lacing on the glass. A layer of sediment remained on the bottom of the bottle after a completely full pour.

Fruity, yeasty and bready with a lightly pungent aroma.

Overall: a solid rendition of the style, with a bit more lemon and less banana than some others.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of fruits, yeast, some sweetness. Taste is fruits, banana stands out, spices, malts, alcohol, light hops. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer.

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Photo of donspublic
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulip, massive 3 finger cream colored head, took 1 minute to fill up 16 oz tulip, nice retention, great lacing. I picked up this beer in Tulsa back in July, it was bottled in March of 2016. I have slowly worked my way thru the 4 pack to see how it will hold up. It holds up great. Pours golden clear in the glass, some visible yeast, not that much. Smells of Belgian esters, juicy fruit, citrus, great nose. Taste follows thru, the Belgian yeast shines in this beer, it has some cracker on the front, with the yeast, some citrus peaking out thru the middle with grapefruit pith finish. Dry finish, minimal aftertaste. I have been eyeing some of this that was bottled in April and think I am going to have to pull the trigger, this beer has staying power for the style. This so far is one of my favorite Clown Shoes beer, easily beats down Tramp stamp

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bitter little beauty pours a cloudy amber tinged golden color with a very
nice head of white fluffy foam that settles to a thick ring, thick layer, and
features some VERY nice lacing. Nose of candy sugars, grapefruit, orange zest,
lemon zest, and yeasty goodness. Flavors follow the nose with pineapple,
a touch of green apple, Belgian candy sugars, grassy and herbal hops, grapefruit,
and ester laden yeast with a touch of banana and funk. Nice mouth feel; medium,
bitter finish, and dry. Overall another nice brew from those who wear the funny shoes.


Thanks to Randy from work for this one!


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Photo of biboergosum
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz, single bottle - with label imagery that can't help but evoke the shitshow that is the American presidential election cycle right now.

This beer pours a slightly glassy, medium golden amber colour, with a teeming tower of puffy, rocky, and rather chunky bone-white head, which leaves some awesome ski resort map lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of bready and crackery pale malt, a touch of edgy wheatiness, spicy Belgian yeast, banana bubblegum, muddled earthy spice, some plain tropical fruitiness, a musty leafy, weedy, and piney green hoppiness, and maybe a hint of metallic alcohol. The taste is gritty and grainy pale malt, more acerbic Low Countries yeastiness, wet banana chips, chewed-out Bubblicious, still hard to pin down mixed fruity notes, and more testy leafy, piney, and sort of perfumed floral hop bitters.

The carbonation is obviously out of fucking control up front, but eventually settles to a burbling frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and mostly smooth, just some of that yeasty unpleasantness sticking its fool nose in where it does not belong. It finishes off-dry, just, as the malt steps back, and the yeast and verdant hops mill about, up to no good.

Overall, this is a typical example of the style, filtered through an atypical Yankee lens - they keep the acrid yeastiness, but play it safe hops-wise, which isn't the worst thing, as it makes it seem just a little more, well, Old-World Belgian, than American, despite what the iconography on the bottle suggests.

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Photo of superspak
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 3/16/2016. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a large cap that lasts. Dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big tangerine, pineapple, peach, apricot, pear, passion fruit, mango, melon, lemon/orange peel, peppercorn, clove, pine, light banana, light honey, bread, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of juicy citrus/tropical/pine hops, fruity spicy yeast, and moderate pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tangerine, pineapple, peach, apricot, pear, passion fruit, mango, melon, lemon/orange peel, peppercorn, clove, pine, light banana, light honey, bread, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Moderate pine/citrus peel/grassy bitterness and yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of tangerine, pineapple, peach, apricot, pear, passion fruit, mango, melon, lemon/orange peel, peppercorn, clove, pine, bread, and floral/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/pine hops, fruity spicy yeast, and moderate pale malt flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero astringent hop flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitter/spiciness, increasing through the glass. Medium-high carbonation and medium plus body; with a very smooth, moderately sticky/resinous, and fairly creamy/grainy balanced mouthfeel that is great. Well hidden alcohol, with a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding Belgian DIPA! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/pine hops, fruity spicy yeast, and moderate pale malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of russpowell
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed honey color with a pinky of pearl colored head. A little gushy, bottled on 3/16/2016. A little cloudy from the yeast, great head retention & pretty good lacing

S: Pear, white grape & some mustiness

T: Follows the nose, dryness & a little white pepper up front. Dryness & pear as this warms, a little grapefruit & white pepper, just a whisper of phenol. Finishes fruity, with a little grapefruit & dryness, just a bit of booze & peppery hops

MF: Medium body, restrained carbonation & pretty good balance with a little warming sensation

A good take on style, drinks very easy, would love to try it fresher to see the difference

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Photo of woomThomas
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is somewhat obscure and dark yellow red color.
The foam is white with medium bubbles that come in fine just the right amounts.
The foam disappears in good pace and leaving little trace.
The fragrance has a spicy presence with little hops tones.
Clove arrive well with pineapple and mango.
A little peppery, with grass aromas.
There is little smell of yeast and some herbs.
In the taste, then hops up a little more, but you'll find clove quite simple.
Some fruits such as pineapple, grapefruit, mangoes, citrus in the right order.
A little pepper, spices, pine, coriander little bread and straw.
The beer has a certain bitterness highlighted that it is a little sting of pepper and a little lemon in.
Medium rich body.
Good with carbonic acid, good spiciness.
Moderate marked bitterness at the end a little dry.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I got a bottle of Clown Shoes American Monastic last week for $2.69 at The Lager Mill. I'm in the mood for something hoppy today and I'm interested to see what clowns shoes has come up with for this beer, so lets see how it goes. 2016 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an IPA glass.

A- The label looks good, in typical Clown Shoes fashion is has a nice design that is eye catching. It poured a nice dark orange color that took on more of a golden orange color when held to the light and it over four fingers worth of fluffy and creamy off white head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice rings of lacing behind. This is a great looking beer, it's just what the style should look like.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness with the yeast being the first to show up and it imparts that typical Belgian yeast aroma with a little bit of banana and a little bit spices, but it seems to be the bubble gum that shows up the most and it goes right into the hops which impart a big fruity hop aroma with some apricot and stone fruit like aromas that work well with the yeast and there's a little bit of a floral hop and very light green hop aromas showing up in the background. Towards the ends comes the malts which impart a big sweet malt aroma with some pale malt and doughy aromas showing up in the background. This beer has a good aroma, all the aspects work well together.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but it's lighter and cleaner and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the yeast still being the first to show up, but it's much lighter this time and it imparts more of the spices than the fruits and there;s not much bubblegum showing up. Up next comes just a light alcohol flavor that goes into the hops which show up just as much as they did in the aroma and they impart most of the same aspects, but this time it's a little less fruit with more of a generic hop and floral hop flavor. Towards the end comes the malts which aren't as sweet as they were in the aroma, but they still impart a little bit of pale malt and doughy flavor. On the finish there's a medium amount of bitterness with a yeasty, hoppy and slightly fruity aftertaste. This is a pretty nice tasting beer, but I wish the taste was more like the aroma.

M- Smooth, slightly refreshing, a little clean, a little crisp, on the thicker side of being medium with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is good and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and an above average example of the style, it had pretty much all the aspects that I was expecting, but it was the aroma that seemed to really have all the things that the taste was missing. This beer had nice drinkability, I could drink two, but that would be my limit. What I like the most about this beer is that it's true to style, it's pretty much just what I would expect from a Belgian style IPA. What I like the least about this beer was that taste wasn't brighter and as complex as the aroma was. I might buy this beer again and I wouldn't turn one down. I would recommend for someone who wants a balanced Belgian style IPA. All in all I liked this beer, but I didn't love it and I think if the hops and yeast showed up a little more like they did in the aroman than this was be a very nice beer. It's not a favorite Clown Shoes beer and it's above average for the style. Nice job guys, this is a solid example of the style, keep it up.

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one was ok. I got a little hoppiness on the nose and taste, but it felt a lot more malty than an IPA should be. The flavor profile was nice, but I got more maltiness than hoppiness.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy gold with a large foamy white head. The head leaves tons of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is white pepper, clove, orange peel and mango.

T - The taste follows the nose. Mango, pineapple and orange peel upfront followed by white pepper, cloves and some light earthy hops.

M - Medium bodied with medium/high carbonation. Very crisp mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - Nice Belgian IPA that's very easy drinking at 8.5%.

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Photo of Myotus
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured at 40°F from a 12oz bottle (bottled on 16Mar16) into a tulip. Consumed on 03Jul16.
SMELL: Mild aromas of mango, papaya, peach, guava, and apricot intertwine with subtle banana, clove, white bread, white grape, pear, and bitter hop aromas to create a mellow, but complex smell profile.
TASTE: The taste profile opens with mild flavors of clove. Mild flavors of pear, white bread, white grape, and banana immediately bring balance to the cloves. The fruitiness of the brew is somewhat amplified as subtle mango, papaya, peach, guava, and apricot flavors enter mid-palate. A distortion in balance strikes lastly with subtle bitter hop and alcohol flavors (neither of which were in the smell) as banana grows slightly stronger while all other flavors maintain.
NOTE: I was expecting a mild and great beer based on the aromas. I knew this wasn't going to blow my mind or anything of that nature. I was somewhat dissatisfied with the taste for a few reasons: First, the tropical fruit flavors from the hops weren't as dominant in the taste as they were the smell; second, the clove flavors were too strong for my personal liking; third, the sudden appearance of alcohol and bitter hops didn't positively contribute to the overall taste. This remains a good beer and I definitely encourage anyone to buy it if they are curious about the style.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Seemingly taking over the planet, the American style IPA profile is seeing its hoppy, resinous and bitter properties applied to all sorts of indigenous styles- hell, I think I had a 50 IBU gruit the other day, the Belgian pale ale has been an Americanized staple for quite a while.

Clown Shoes' version kicks off with a glowing honey gold with a creamy meringue of a froth. From which, a fruity bouquet springs with a host of floral, fruity, citrusy, tropical scents and a taste that's bready-sweet like angel-food cake.

As the ale meets the middle palate, its full fruit flavor is realized- orange, lemon, pear, peach, pineapple, mango, passionfruit, banana and melon says that the beer spans the gap of fruit esters and fruity hop impressions to the absolute hilt! Propped up with the slowly fading sweetness of honey and light caramel, the fruits take a succulent and juicy property that balances boldly with clove, white pepper and a full hop bitterness. Piney, resinous, grassy and grippingly sharp with citrus rinds, the taste trends bitter as the finish draws near.

Bitter but balanced, the ale finishes medium and creamy with a tangy fruit acidity and a light wine property. Grassy with hints of straw and pepper, the complex bittering properties outlast the complex fruit properties but only slimly so.

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Photo of cbutova
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- 12oz bottled poured into a slim, tall chalice with a very hazy pale yellow body. A huge head forms to about four fingers high with a thick creamy, foamy texture. Great head retention and a seriously massive amount of thick lace blankets.

S- A large spicy presence right off the bat with pink peppercorns especially coming to mind. Clove, grassy straw, general farmhouse Saison yeast feel, orange peel, herbal tea and even a hint of dried pineapple.

T- The general spiciness of the brew carries over and it seems to pick up quite a bit in the flavor with a huge amount of peppercorn on the palate with some clove, pine, coriander and general phenolic spiciness. A hint of citrus peel oil, bread and dry farmhouse straw.

MF- Medium bodied with a really substantial creamy texture as well as some foamy, fizzy feelings. Carbonation is at a very high level and it ends with a dry bite on the palate joined by grassy bitterness. Warming in the finish.

Bitterness all around with dry farmhouse yeast spice piling onto pine and grassy hops creating a very dry and sharp experience. A solid brew but almost more of a Belgian Strong Golden Ale to me with the very assertive yeast and the ABV.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer at the release in Sweden, June 1 - 2016.
I pour it in my new Orrefors IPA glass and it looks fantastic!

Compared to my Spigelau IPA glass that I’ve had for over two years now I would say that my Orrefors glass feels much more "quality" than the very thin and easy to break Spigelau glass (yes I’ve managed to break two of them).
I prefer the Spigelau IPA design of the glass though. At first sight I thought Orrefors IPA glass was ugly but the glass grows on me. Especially when I’m holding it and sip on the beer - I just feels heavier and more craftmanship!

So my "glass-verdict" is: If I HAVE to choose just one IPA-glass I choose Orrefors but luckily I don’t have to :)

Now to the beer that pors hazy and dark orange with a huge, four finger high, fluffy white head.

Nose: Hops, grass, resin, spices, clove, coriander, and honey.
Taste: A lot of malt, orange, lemon, lime, spices, coriander and pine. Some herbal notes.
Mouth: Medium to full body. Crisp carbonation. Slightly dry and bitter ending.

I like this but I would say that POPPELS have done it better with their Projekt 005 Belgo IPA.
(I rated POPPELS Belgo IPA 4.1 of 5 in 2015)

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Photo of gutbuster
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very standard amber in color that is slightly hazy. An amazing beautiful thick and billowing head that is slightly off white in color. Head retention lasts throughout the session with a heavy amount of lacing left on the glass.

Spicy is the word for the aroma. Cloves and pepper stand out right off the bat, with some hop aromas of banana and lemon perceptible.

Honeyed bread up front on the initial sip followed by oranges, a hint of lemon and bananas mid palate. Finishes with a small dose of heat from the alcohol and a large helping of piney hops.

Medium bodied and dry with a medium amount of carbonation .

I really enjoyed Clown Shoes take on the belgian Ipa with this beer. This is something that I would seek out more of in the future.

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Photo of jlindros
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Belgian IPA, so easy to get horribly wrong, let's hope they at least did it well. Bottled 1/21/16

Pours a huge and quickly rising head that erupts slightly over the side of the chalice, then fades semi slowly, pillowy fluffy head with soapy lacing, hazy straw orange color.

Nose some straw and toasty malts, with plenty of spices, a little floral phenols and fruity esters, a little peppery note, some farmhouse like grassy notes, lots of saison funk like notes, little citrus, lemongrass, mild fruity hops, and a bit floral grassy as well

Taste brings more grassy straw malts and a little toasty malt, mild sweetness but quite dry, with nice farmhouse saison like spices, plenty of peppery spices phenol notes, a little lemony with citrus, grassy floral hops and citrus orange rind fruity hops as well, with some esters. Hops get a bit spicy and herbal later, fair bitterness that increases on the finish, spicy lingering hops, more spices and other phenols, little grassy malt and straw lingering, quite dry but sticky.

Mouth is med bod tons of effervescent carb prob too much.

Overall nice, starts as a Belgian beer first, earthy farmhouse like saison with plenty of phenols, some esters, grassy floral etc, then adds hops that actually play fairly well together, grassy floral earthy spicy and fruity hop characters merge well with the Belgian characters, but do come through a bit too much on the back end, too much carb although in this case the effervescent carb is better than being under carbbed, etc. Still pretty good though.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle enjoyed in a tulip glass.

Pours a cloudy orange color with a fluffy pillowy head. A soft pour yielded a 3 finger head that lasted forever. Sticky lacing clings to the side of the glass.

Smells of mango, pineapple, orange, light banana and spice.

Taste follows the nose. I love the fact that the yeast isn't overdone letting the fruit notes shine. Alcohol goes undetected. Very nice and flavorful.

Easy drinker-almost creamy. This could get dangerous.

Wow-I honestly wasn't expecting much from this one but this was a really well made, pleasurable drinking experience. Glad I gave this a try and will definately grab more while it is around. Highly recommended.

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Photo of martinpfal
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

My first adventure with clown shoes and I'm quite happy! Very much a Belgian ipa. Much head! Cloudy appearance. Fruity citrus
Quite delicious and very drinkable.
3.79 a bottle is steep but one to put on the list to get again!

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Photo of bubseymour
4.72/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 1/27/16 and drinking on 3/22/16 (less than 8 weeks....that's really good for my area stores). Look is pretty awesome with intense carbonation and 4+ finger head. Almost too billowy as I have to wait a while to drink it. Belgian yeast and a slight citrus hops in the smell. Taste is a juicy delicious treat. It strikes all the hop forward marks for me. Then again I'm a sucker for Belgian IPAs when done well more than the average craft beer drinker. This beer is quite a hop burst of citrus, a touch of the Belgian yeast but mild spice and an oh so smooth finish. Extremely well crafted and the best Belgian IPA I've had to date.

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Photo of GOBLIN
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is hazy and juicy looking . . . like Clown Shoes is trying to combine the juicy and hazy ipa craze with Belgian craftsmanship. Aromas are very tropical with some subtle spice and and a touch of honey as well. Taste is fantastic with a really nice Belgian yeast finish to it. Overall, well done beer here.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a stemmed tulip.

Hazy gold with 1 finger of loose white head. Moderate carbonation.

Clove, banana, coriander, pink peppercorn, dough, lavender, and honey.

Big Belgian yeast notes similar to the Westmalle yeast strain. Clove, banana, pink peppercorn, coriander, lavender, and hay. Doughy bread, caramel, and honey. Orange juiciness with drops of lemon and pineapple juice. Slight grassiness with some pine sap.

Medium-plus bodied, crisp, smooth, and juicy.

A beautiful Belgian yeast strain with a superb orange juiciness. The 8.5% is hidden extremely well. A great beer all around.

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American Monastic from Clown Shoes
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 121 ratings