Crasher In The Rye 2017
Clown Shoes

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Stout - American Imperial
4.29 | pDev: 5.36%
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Ahh, what better smell is there than chupacabras, defeated, burning in a field of rye? Ummm perhaps the complex aromatics of Crasher in the Rye? For 2017, we brewed the base beer, Undead Party Crasher, and replaced the smoked malt with rye malt to complement the roasted chocolate core of the brew. Then we aged the beer in 100% rye barrels to create a new version of Crasher in the Rye.
Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 80 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Pegasus
Pegasus from Texas

4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The body is obsidian in color and utterly impervious to light. The head is moderate, a dark tan-color, and is very finely beaded, with quite good retention. A thick, unbroken ring of lacing adorns the glass wall.

Aroma: The aroma offers profound notes of dark chocolate, wood, quite prominent sweet and spicy alcohol, sweet cocoa, vanilla, brown sugar, cream, bourbon, dark bread, toffee and wood. No doubt I have missed some of the more subtle aromas.

Taste: Opens with strong and sweet notes of bourbon and wood. Soon after, a pleasant warming sensation is notable. Following the opening of the taste, bitter cocoa, caramel, vanilla, milk chocolate, toasted dark bread, slight dark fruit, and oak present. Late in the taste, the bitter cocoa, wood and bourbon flavors reach their ascendency, and linger on pleasantly.

Mouth feel: Superbly soft and gracious, and quite full, almost syrupy, but in the best way. There is just a hint of carbonation.

Drinkabilty/notes: A gloriously complex and superbly crafted beer, and one of daunting complexity. This review is of my sole example of this bottling, I wish I had bought several more, as it has apparently not been produced since. Bottled on 05/15/2017, this long-time "cellar dweller" seems at the height of its glory. Well done, Clown Shoes, please consider offering this again.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twenty-two ounce brown glass bomber with a pry-off crown, served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Dec 10, 2020
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. Stamped bottling date on bottle neck is '05/12/17'.
Black colored body. Pinky finger width tan head, which recedes back to a thin cap and ring. Leaves behind a good array and patterns of lacing.
Aroma is dark malts of chocolate, with rye sour and spiciness.
Taste is pure chocolate malt, with toffee and slight vanilla notes. There is definitely a contribution from the rye barrel, in the slight sour note and rye spiciness. Bitterness is absent.
Medium plus mouth feel. Texture is smooth. Very good carbonation.
This is another good chocolate laden stout with the rye spice.

Apr 05, 2019
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

3.82/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 5/12/17

Pours a nice black color, carrying a burnt sand head with some staying power while leaving a fair amount of lacing.

Big notes of booze and barrel upfront, while earthy spice, malt, and some aromatic dark berries take a backseat.

There's a nice flavor profile here that's just overwhelmed by all the booze. Some unique earthiness and creamy rye spice, but it's mostly dominated by the barrel.

In spite of the flavor profile being overpowered with alcohol, a near-perfect mouthfeel can't be ignored. This holds a spectacular balance, as it's both creamy and nicely carbed.

Jun 03, 2018
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pizzabutt from Maryland

4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

appearance: a beautiful pitch black body with a bubbly and creamy tan head. started at about 1 finger high but dissipated into a ring with a frothy cap. left decent spotty lacing.

smell: heavy on the chocolate. sweet milk chocolate mixed with toffee. not very boozy. very nice malt tones with just the slightest hint of sourness.

taste: similar at first to the nose. very chocolatey and malty. has a very slight bitterness that compliments the sweetness nicely. long sweet finish that leaves an aftertaste of a semisweet chocolate.

feel: super creamy and silky. goes down very easily. full bodied, oily, and just the right amount of carbonation.

overall: this is a great oatmeal stout, although technically it's rye and not oats. a great sipper due to how full and complex it is, as well as the sweetness. that being said though, it's so smooth that it's super easy to drink. be careful with this beer, you'll be done before you know it.

May 12, 2018
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jngrizzaffi from Texas

4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a thin foamy head. Head retention is non-existent. Lacing is decent. Rye whiskey predominates with some dark malts and java. Definitely some sweetness. Nice smooth rye taste. Boozy. Dark malts and java. Heavy bodied with moderate carbonation. Very good beer.

Apr 01, 2018
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mschrei from Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not much to look at.
Smell is best feature-notes of barrel, roasty malt, coffee, molasses, faint chocolate.
Taste is roasty malt, mild sweet syrup, slight barrel notes.
Feel is smooth with light boozy background, well balanced, nothing too overpowering.
Thought it had an astringency when cold that made me worry about infection (had this with a previous Clown Shoes), but as it warmed, it developed into a smooth sipper. Pretty good.

Feb 17, 2018
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Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unlike Crasher in Rye (without 2017) it is not brewed with oat malts but with rye malt. I don't know why it is still referred to as an Oatmeal Imperial Milk Stout but that's what the bottle says. Maybe there's something I don't know. In any case, it is a wonderful and smooth Milk Stout.

Look: Jet black with a very thick fluffy mocca colored head

Aroma: chocolate, caramel, bourbon

Taste: The taste is roasted malts, rye, dark chocolate, caramel, coffee, maybe a hint of licorice.

Feel: full bodied, thick but smooth

Dec 07, 2017
Photo of Tony210
Tony210 from New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black with a perfect head that recedes slowly. Huge chocolate aroma, followed by some bourbon and vanilla. Thick and chewy, the palate is dominated by rich chocolate, more chocolate, and a touch of bourbon, vanilla, and coconut. Very viscous - let this warm up before drinking. Overall this is a great BBA imperial stout that I usually have to wait in line for an hour at a local brewery to get. I wish I bought more.

Bomber dated 5/12/17
4.75 rating

Update - I bought more.
3/2/20 - same bottle date. Still tastes amazing. Aroma is chocolate and a bit yeasty. Flavor is similar; loads of dark chocolate and bittersweet chocolate, bitter / dry espresso on the finish. Rich and thick,

Nov 19, 2017
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Beersnake1 from California

4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from fridge temp. Surprisingly little head on a fairly aggressive pour. Jet black - really nice looking beer. Nose is huge chocolate, rye, vanilla, licorice, coffee, and some dark fruits. Raspberry chocolate notes. Taste is amazing. Super smooth rye and chocolate. Toasted malts, marshmallow, slight dark chocolate bitterness, vanilla, licorice, molasses, figs, cherries, blackberries. Super smooth - not too bitter and not too sweet. Mouthfeel is creamy and thick.

Nov 18, 2017
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jvgoor3786 from Arkansas

4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with almost no head and no lacing.

Smell is tons of chocolate and whiskey with a sweet caramel smell also.

Taste follows with whiskey on the front and a nice sweet finish. There's also significant bitterness. As it warms, a smoky taste comes out.

The mouthfeel is great - very thick and smooth.

Overall great smell and feel with a nice flavor although it's a bit on the bitter side.

Nov 04, 2017
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dbl_delta from Pennsylvania

4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Undated bottle into pint glass. Pours a very dark brown - appears ink-black in the glass. Minimal tan head. Initial impression is very smooth and full-bodied, with lots of chocolate and a healthy dose of whiskey. There is a noticeable alcohol burn, too. Finish is clean and sweet.
This one might mellow with cellaring, but I only have the one bottle....
Crasher in the Rye is a grand sipper.

Nov 01, 2017
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Labeorphile from Texas

4.59/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark black pour with a 1 finger tan head. Complex aroma of dark chocolate, sweetness, and maybe a little cola.

Sweet taste from the oatmeal and milk, great bourbon flavor with a creamy mouth feel. Really enjoyed this beer. Served at 55 degrees, maybe a bit warm.

Oct 22, 2017
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BSiegs from Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black pour. Two full fingers of thick, mocha colored foam. Excellent retention and leaves great lacing. Perfect appearance for a BB stout. The aroma is simple but fantastic. The rye and bourbon and most prominent. Also notes of chocolate, roast, subtle spice and oak. On taste, the rye and bourbon and again front and center. Big flavors and compliment each other beautifully. Also get chocolate, spice, roast. Very similar to the nose, but a bit more assertive. Big, full body, low-moderate carbonation, and extremely smooth. Slightly dry finish and mild booziness. This is a really superb effort from Clown Shoes!

Oct 14, 2017
Photo of zachary80
zachary80 from Indiana

3.99/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Starts off great - nearly perfect appearance for the style. Could maybe use a little more head retention

Smell is the first sign of trouble. The rye spice seems to hit the same notes as the roast. Not bad, but not great.

The taste continues down the road. Big rye and stout hit together. Unfortunately the whiskey influence lingers way too long, almost like someone put a shot of sazerac in your regular party crasher.

Big and smooth, with a slight alcohol bite.

Overall I like this beer more than the sum of its parts, but it is one of my least favorites from Clown Shoes. The whiskey is far too present.

Oct 07, 2017
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ThaneMcC from Germany

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an inky black with copious khaki head - smells of smokey malts, wood, vanilla and whisky . Taste is sweet malts forward, smoky, leather, sweetened coffee, chocolate and hints of vanilla with a smooth transition and clean finish. There is a spicy twang from the rye – offsets the sweet milk stout. Full bodied, almost syrupy with a little carbonation to cleanse the palate.
Another solid clown shoes beer

Sep 16, 2017
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours deep black with a small foamy khaki colored head that has decent retention

S- heavy sweet chocolate aroma up front, followed by a big peppery spicy note, wet wood and plenty of caramel

T- lots of peppery rye up front quickly followed by milk chocolate, vanilla & lactose. Mid-palate gives some woody barrel notes, the finish is more peppery rye and chocolate

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and finish

O- the spiciness of the rye and sweetness of the milk stout compliment each other well

Sep 15, 2017
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andrewh995 from Arizona

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark black with a dark tan head. Smells of whiskey, chocolate, roasted malts, and oak. Taste is of rye whiskey and oak, semi sweet chocolate, roasted malts (something different here I can't place though), and a touch of alcohol. Heavy body and medium-low carbonation. Overall a very great beer. I heard that this was an aged Undead Party Crasher and I can definitely tell.

Sep 11, 2017
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larryarms847 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours motor oil black and very viscous with a head that blossoms into a two finger thick crown.

Smoky and spicy rye notes mingle with notes of chocolate, oak, and a heavily roasted character.

Chocolate comes out strong in flavor with a chocolate syrup like finish while the barrel adds some depth lending oak, rye, and alcohol heat.

Full-bodied, medium carbonation, rich, smooth, chewy.

Overall, quite an outstanding and well rounded sipper.

Aug 23, 2017
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Antg8989 from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black, brown head and lacing pours slowly down the sides of the glass. Aroma is dark fruits, coffee, dark chocolate and rye. Taste is all of those things with the warming presence of alcohol. Light carbonation, very smooth. Overall, another enjoyable offering by Clown Shoes...might be worth a shot to see how this cellars after a year or two.

Aug 18, 2017
Photo of Dope
Dope from Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

5/12/17 bottling date

A: Pours pitch-black with a huge and very dark brown head. Excellent head retention as it slowly lightens up and fades away - takes a few minutes. Quite a bit of lacing to boot.

S: Certainly smells like rye. Rye whiskey for sure. Vanilla and chocolate underneath it.

T: Oh yeah. Big spicy rye right up front with some alcohol harshness. In the middle there is a nice sweet vanilla and creaminess from the oatmeal. Bittersweet chocolate too. Rye overlays everything and continues to contribute it's spicy harshness all along the way. Aftertaste is lightly sweet and creamy, that oatmeal milk stout quality really gets to stand on its own for a few seconds. Rye mixes back in with a belly-warming finish.

M: Heavy, spicy and slightly harsh.

O: A must-try for the rye lover. I was thinking this would end up balanced due to the sweetness of the oatmeal milk stout but whew, this thing has rye all over it. Great combination of flavors. I feel like a bourbon and rye barrel blend would be absolutely perfection - it could use just a little more sweetness. Maybe next year.

Aug 17, 2017
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Greywulfken from New York

4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I do like rye whiskey, so I'm not surprised that i like what the barrel's imparting to this here stout, officially an imperial oatmeal milk stout. The pour was unremarkable, and cold into the center of a goblet, it produced very little head. after a sip, some lace motes trailed behind, but that's about it. Aforementioned head persisted as naught bu a thin collar the rest of the way.

Aromas were suggestive of vanilla and rye, followed by more chocolaty and molasses-like impressions... I found the flavors to be similar, with the rye whiskey barrels appropriately represented. Sweet, but with some drying as a bit of oakiness crept in; very little bitterness or char... Smooth and soft, relatively light-bodied for an imperial stout but not at all as off-putting as I have sometimes found such a characteristic to be. Probably because I am enjoying the hell out of this beer.

I feel like they kept it simple despite the seemingly complex style descriptor, and the beer delivers exactly what I hoped: strong but smooth, with ample rye whiskey influences, while avoiding being over-the-top or cloying.


Aug 14, 2017
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darktronica from Indiana

4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Crasher is back, with even more rye this time. The 2017 release improves upon the already-tasty original in nearly every way, with a greater intensity of flavor, a fuller body and smoother mouthfeel, and rounder notes on the palate. The marshmallow and oats are still front and center, but the increased rye malt brings out a lot more peppery rye spice, and I get some churro notes that are new. The smoked malts from Undead Party Crasher were honestly a bit distracting in the first edition, so I'm glad that they've been discarded this time; I still get a hint of meatiness in the mid-palate, but now it's subtle enough to be complementary. A bit hot on the finish, but I can see this ageing extremely well.

Aug 10, 2017
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oberon from North Carolina

4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours into a goblet jet light getting thru this,a thin creamy mocha colored head atop.Spicy rye malt,alcohol dipped fruit,and bitter chocolate really stand out in the nose along with quite an alcohol zing.The rye malt and barrel are the main flavor components wich I'am very happy about,spicy as all get out with underlying nuttiness, chocolate and dark fruit,sweet syrupy alcohol sweetness hits in the finish.It's a sipper but very well crafted,a great beer.

Jul 20, 2017
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

$ 16.19 (Including discount and tax)/bomber ($ 0.736/oz) at Spec’s, Live Oak, TX.
Bomber bottled 5/22/17, stored at 42 degrees. Served at 55 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Aroma – very faint malt.
Head large (Maximum 4.5 cm, aggressive pour), brown, frothy, average retention, diminishing to four mm ring with lacing and a thin partial layer.
Lacing – good. Multiple thin rings of tiny to small bubbles with columns connecting the rings.
Body – dark brown/black, opaque.
Flavor – begins with the cloying sweetness of an over-lactosed milk stout, smoothed somewhat by the oatmeal. Then, a lot of alcohol comes into the taste, along with a hint of the rye barrels. There is no evidence of hops and no trace of diacetyl.
Palate full, syrupy, soft carbonation.

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 3, Flavor 3.5, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.75.

Jul 18, 2017
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cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 5/2017:
Pours thick and oily from the bottle. Deep tan froth boils and fades to the corners, which themselves become a fishing wire of bubbles. A couple spots of lacing return quickly to the fold after a swirl.

Nose has a light tang that seems like the lactose, a coffee-leaning roasted malt, and the barrel-and-rye notes from the aging. The malt notes come out a little more with warmth - and I feel as though I can get a little oat (which the claimed style includes).

Taste starts with a mix of roast and tang, but the barrel aging starts its influence fairly early. The wood actually comes first, then the bite of the rye joins swiftly thereafter. From there, it becomes a slight bit chocolatey, though the bite continues. The carbonation is lightly fizzy - or at least seems so with the spice. Near full and fairly smooth overall, the lingering aspect is a slight numbing of the tongue.

I quite enjoyed how the rye barrel aging worked into this beer. A rare case where a slightly cold beer was smoother and a tad better to me, with the whiskey strength more nicely subdued. The whiskey doesn't get out of bounds, but seems to add to the rye malt for an extra kick.

Jul 16, 2017
Crasher In The Rye 2017 from Clown Shoes
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 80 ratings