Double Chocolate Sonata
Clown Shoes

Double Chocolate SonataDouble Chocolate Sonata
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Stout - American Imperial
4.13 | pDev: 6.05%
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Double Chocolate SonataDouble Chocolate Sonata
Notes: Brewed in collaboration with The Black Ale Project (which raises money for veterans), this imperial stout was aged in bourbon barrels with cacao nibs added to the beer right before bottling.
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 52 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by ThaneMcC:
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ThaneMcC from Germany

4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an inky black from a 22oz bottle(15SEPT17 bottled) into a tulip glass. About a fb of tan foam which quickly is fairly well retained. Smells strongly of cocoa, coffee, the barest hint of bourbon. Taste is sweet malty molasses forward, cocoa with a twang of woody, vanilla and bourbon notes, wood influence with a fair amount of booziness and a fairly clean, astringent finish. Mouthfeel is medium and astringent with the abv and bourbon influence – but fairly smooth overall.
Not bad for the style – I prefer the bourbon barrel aged for a few unidragons more or crasher in the rye – this is a solid effort with different, but complementary notes.

Nov 05, 2017
More User Reviews:
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jvgoor3786 from Arkansas

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 9/15/17.

Pours deep black with almost no head but leaving a small ring and no lacing.

The smell explodes with bourbon and chocolate.

The taste follows, starting with strong bourbon then the chocolate comes out through the middle and finish. There is also a slight bitterness on the finish along with some coffee.

The mouthfeel is medium carbonation and thickness. It's slightly less thick and more carbonated than other BBA stouts.

Overall this is very good. My favorite flavors in stouts are chocolate and bourbon, and this hits it. The mouthfeel and finish leave a little too be desired.

Dec 01, 2017
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Jonathan-Morgan from Florida

4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mar 16, 2018
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Phineasco from Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours Pitch Black with a thin khaki head. It has low carbonation. The beer smells of mocha, chocolate, cocoa powder, and molasses. It tastes of mocha, chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, molasses, and oak. The feel is very light and smooth for an imperial stout. A nice barrel aged stout from Clown Shoes.

Oct 20, 2018
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AyatollahGold from Indiana

3.1/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pitch black beer with thin caramel/Mocha colored head. Holds in pretty good though.
The smell is huge with bourbon/whiskey & oak/wood. Too much. Pretty much the only things coming through. Hoping the bourbon doesn't overpower the beers taste like it does in the smell.
Taste is a lot of bourbon & oak, then slight dark fruits like raisins. Very small chocolate.
Feeling is a whiskey burn and warmness. Medium carbonation, medium body.
Overall, this did get better as it warmed but the bourbon is still so unbalanced that it was a sipper. A big one.

Feb 04, 2018
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MinerBob from Oklahoma

4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nov 10, 2018
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Vidblain from Minnesota

3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm working on cleaning out my cellar a bit - I've been buying far more than I've been drinking recently, so it's time to buckle down and drink a few bottles.

Double Chocolate Sonata pours quite dark with perhaps a finger of light hazel head. It smells nice, plenty of chocolate, but there's an odd fruitiness to it as well. Strange. It tastes decent - there's a fair amount of chocolate, but also that odd fruitiness. Unlike other reviewers, I struggled to find barrel in this beer - it's just not there. But, I also didn't think the bourbon was particularly present. It's a bit thin as well.

I'd hoped for some delicious bourbon-chocolate milk, but this falls a bit short of expectation.

Feb 20, 2018
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BearBrewing from Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Nov 19, 2017
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into glass. Bottled on date is stamped as '09/15/2017'.
Dark brown colored body, with bright brown back lit edge highlights. Minimal light tan head. Leaves behind a few spots and dots of lacing.
Aroma of dark roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon barrel.
Taste is heavy with chocolate, mostly cocoa and dark chocolate. Has the bourbon barrel notes. Light vanilla and dark fruits.
Medium mouth feel, a little sticky. Good carbonation.
This is a barrel aged imperial stout with lots of chocolate (darker) notes.

Feb 17, 2019
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PickBeer23 from Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oct 30, 2017
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Nograinleftbehind from South Carolina

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

May 07, 2018
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Korymiller from Arizona

3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Apr 04, 2019
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Gagnonsux from Texas

4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oct 05, 2017
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rab53 from Washington

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov 03, 2017
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russpowell from Arkansas

4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent ebony with a pinky of caramel colored head. Nice viscious look, some head retention & lacing

S: Chococlate, vanilla, a little char & Bourbon, plus caramel; if this beer lived up to the nose...

T: Follows the nose, woody dryness & a little carob up front, a little boozeyness as well. More smokeyness, dryness, a little vanilla & cocoa once this beer warms. Finishes dry, with a little smokeyness, boozeyness & vanilla

MF: Medium body, slight carbonation, boozey warmth

Good offering, not upper tier for these guys, but that is a high bar. Try it any way, 5 bucks a case goes to Homes for Our Troops!

Oct 21, 2017
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, bottled on 09/15/2017. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a small amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like cocoa, roasted malt, caramel, brown sugar and some light bourbon and vanilla. Taste is similar to the aroma, with milk/bittersweet chocolate, roasted/charred malt, caramel, dark bread, earthy, vanilla and bourbon flavors. I think the bourbon/barrel character in this is light in both the aroma and taste, I'm guessing this wasn't barrel aged for very long. Nice balance between the sweet and roasty/bitter flavors. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and creamy with a moderate amount of carbonation. I thought this was good overall, but there just seemed like something was missing here. Still, worth a try if you've never had it before. $14.99 a bomber.

Jan 01, 2018
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black with the tiniest of heads.
Great aroma: chocolate, booze, vanilla.
The taste didn't quite live up to the aroma. Chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla were all there, just a bit muted.
Not as robust as I expected.

Nov 08, 2017
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metter98 from New York

4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is close to being jet black in color—traces of brownish red are visible near the edge of the glass. It poured with a short tan head that left swirls of bubbles on the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark chocolate malts are present in the nose along with notes of bourbon.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of chocolatey malts along with strong notes of bourbon from the barrel aging.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a nice mix of chocolate and bourbon flavors. The alcohol is well hidden from the taste, but it definitely catches up with you.

Serving type: bottle

Dec 03, 2017
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a decent mocha colored fizzy bubbly thicker head that fades at a med pace, decent lacing and long legs, pitch black beer

Nose starts with plenty of roast and some coffee, a bit of char as well, then into dark chocolate, cocoa, cacao nibs, touch of cookie dough and baking spices, a little nougat and caramel, faint whiskey and vanilla barrel notes

Taste brings plenty of different chocolate levels, dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, raw cacao nibs, a bit of fudge, different layers, then some roast, a bit of charred earthy roast with mild coffee and bitterness from the malt, a little oaky barrel notes, touch of vanilla and some baking spices but not a lot of barrel, and the bourbon is lighter too unfortunately, little bitter spicy hop note, a bit of caramel, fluffy nougat, sticky sweet finish, a bit of a spicy hop bitterness lingering, loads more cocoa and dark chocolate

Mouth is fuller bod, decent carb, no real alcohol presence, bit creamy smooth rich too

Overall a nice base beer, loads of different chocolate layers, and nice roast without too much char or acrid, but I really wish there was more barrel, it's barely there.

May 28, 2018
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 03, 2017
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oriolesfan4 from Maryland

4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oct 09, 2017
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jaydoc from Kansas

3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 26, 2017
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CHickman from New York

4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night with a small tan head that faded slowly and left really good spotty lacing. Smell succulent with dark chocolate, cocoa powder, burnt coffee grinds, roasted malts, bourbon notes, char and light piney notes. Soft, subtle and full of smoky notes to inhale. Flavor replicates the nose but brings out even more chocolate, brown sugar, light molasses, tea leaf, butterscotch and charred malts. Super smooth, it hides the ABV masterfully and goes down easy. An excellent stout.

Sep 23, 2018
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Sparky44 from Illinois

4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dec 31, 2017
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smithj4 from New York

4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dec 03, 2017
Double Chocolate Sonata from Clown Shoes
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 52 ratings