Snow On The Maple Tree
Clown Shoes

Snow On The Maple TreeSnow On The Maple Tree
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #422
Ranked #2,127
4.27 | pDev: 7.26%
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States
Snow On The Maple TreeSnow On The Maple Tree
Notes: Inspiration guides us here at Clown Shoes. When I tried this Imperial Stout, a quiet, serene feeling spread through me. A vision of a Japanese maple tree weathering a snow storm presented itself. Looking closer, I saw frolicking Manchurian cranes in Clown Shoes. Weird, Yes! But nice! Aged in Bourbon Barrels that had premium maple syrup aged in them as well, this beer is a beautiful compliment for a winter night.
Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 107 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of avalon07
avalon07 from South Carolina

4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown / black color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Not much lacing to speak of.

S: A very nice aroma of maple syrup, malt, chocolate, bourbon, and wood.

T: Tasted of a good shot of bourbon (and its accompanying barrel), a good amount of malt (present throughout, though subtle), a fair bit of maple syrup (strongest at the beginning, though), and some chocolate (always a good thing). This is a solid, subtle, and sweet flavor. It's only moderately boozy, but it mixes well with the maple sweetness.

F: An average amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: In general, a well done, easy to like stout. Worth a try.

Mar 29, 2020
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Scott17Taylor from Iowa

4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very maple forward, it compliments the rich roasty stout very well. There is some burnt malts, but this definitely leans on the sweeter side. I like clown shoes overall and this is definitely another great one,

Mar 07, 2020
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chinchill from South Carolina

4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Beer Station in SC.
Pours with an essentially black body that is actuallytopped by a decent tan head.
Appealing sweet aroma.
Lightly sweet, rich flavor.
Partially hidden ABV.

Feb 12, 2020
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Zhoxush from New York

4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very sweet for a stout but if you love maple you'll be sucked in. If you do, you're in for a smooth foresty ride. Finish is where you feel the alcohol.

Jan 19, 2020
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omahawk from Nebraska

4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a nice, big, sweet and smooth RIS. Pours pitch black with tiny ring of head that lasted throughout. Aroma is weak, hints of chocolate, vanilla and boozy malt. Taste is mostly sweet chocolate and maple. There is also vanilla and some sort subtle of spice flavors of anise, paprika, and cayenne. The backend of this is warming alcohol, but too hit but it’s definitely a big beer. Body is malty and drinkable. Overall a good RIS, not great.

Jan 01, 2020
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teromous from Virginia

3.69/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On the neck of the bottle in yellow ink: "PKG 318 11/11/19 08:48"

Appearance: Dark brown and black body with a large khaki-brown head. There are a number of different textures to the head, ranging from creamy, to dense, to large bulbs. Great retention that never seems to fade and wonderful sheets of lacing.

Aroma: Coffee and chocolate with a liqueur version of both that joins in. Bourbon alcohol.

Taste: There is a chocolate flavor up front. Some coffee follows. A bit of carbon on the back-end. A fairly strong bourbon and alcohol flavor follows. The aftertaste has a sweet maple syrup flavor. The beer as a whole is very sweet but this maple flavor comes through only at the end. Very boozy.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and smooth with a nice lush texture.

Overall: I would recommend having some cooked meats and seasoned cheeses on hand to counterbalance the sweetness from the beer. It has some nice flavors but it is also very boozy. It was decent enough to try once but the boozy quality can get overwhelming while drinking. It's worth sharing a bottle once.

Dec 31, 2019
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oberon from North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 11/17/2019.Pours nearly jet black except for just a light smattering of ruby,a thin deep beige head atop.Big dark fruit and vanilla notes up front in the nose,the maple is light and comes thru more as it warms,big on the dark fruits.A full but mellow feel makes it very easy going down and spot on for a rich stout like this.Dark fruits intertwined with maple syrup with a note of chocolate on the palate,light roast/char keeps it from being overly sweet in the back end.Although the maple/bourbon flavors are not huge they play a complimentary role to this rich stout,something to have on CHRISTmas eve for sure.

Dec 24, 2019
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Holderness from Massachusetts

2.89/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2018 vintage. Either this was bottled poorly or it's just not a very good stout. Aromas are overwhelmed by oxidized herbaceous hop and char. The flavors weren't much better, also accentuating this aggressive oxidated herbal hop character with almost no bourbon barrel or maple presence

< 60/100

Oct 08, 2019
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smcolw from Massachusetts

4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown where no light passes. Beige head which leaves a blanket of lace as I take sips.

Sweet, with a strong berry aroma. Reminiscent of a port. I get none of the typical Stout smells. Closer to a barley wine or old ale.

Boozy with the strong fortified wine flavors. Again, this is not a stout (Imperial or otherwise) with barley wine being the closest descriptor. Rich body and neutrally carbonated. The aftertaste is very sweet with a touch of chocolate to the swallow.

May 16, 2019
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SaxmanRick from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fabulous! 2018 vintage enjoyed 5/12/19.

Very dark and opaque stout with 3/4 inch dense head diminishing to a slight coat and ring. Aroma of dark maple syrup backed up by brown sugar and molasses. Malt seems to well-balance the dark sweetness.

Initial taste is also strong on a dark maple syrup - very delicious, with caramel and molasses, some dark chocolate and bourbon. Mouthfeel is fairly thick and sticky - transfers flavors well and retains them. Chewy.

I wish I had bought more...I'll learn. This is distinctive from similarly-designed beers. I really like the dominant maple syrup flavor that is not overly sweet (there is also a coffee-like bitterness) and not like everyday syrup...definitely "premium"...A treat.

May 13, 2019
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gatornation from Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a tan head. Smell was maple ,wood,chocolate and bourbon very warm. Taste was superb! maple mixes so well with chocolate roast and bourbon. The maple infused was one of the best that ive had it was fresh,not to sweet and mixed well with the bourbon. Mouth feel creamy not to thick or sweet it was a pleasure to drink. I need to find this one.

Mar 02, 2019
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a beautiful beer, so stoked to have found this one, as good a maple stout as i have had all winter, and its been a good year for them! possibly also the best beer i have ever had from clown shoes, but this is right in what i know to be their wheelhouse. not syrupy or dense looking in terms of thickness, but near black with a full inch of lasting, rich, lathery tan head, tons of little bubbles, very alive for a barrel aged brew. the aroma just takes me to the sweet spot instantly, with quality maple syrup all over a deep and roasty stout, quite monumental on its own. coffee character from the roasted grain and the barrel char meld immediately with the maple, and the light vanilla sweetness adds a cool wrinkle as well from the bourbon element. honey and chocolate covered nuts, high end whiskey and cocoa powder, unlit cigar and real licorice, there is a lot of nuance, but its the maple element from start to finish in the flavor that stands out the most to me, and thats exactly what i want in one of these! faint smoke and a little roasty bitterness to balance the sweetness, lots of oak and body smoothing out any alcohol that might rise up, and wonderful balance and depth overall. each sip coats the palate, it lingers forever, i even burp it hours later and love it anew. this is pure glory, epic even, decadent without being outwardly sugary, fancy and special, i am thankful i crossed paths with it, a standout from my recent travels. as good of a winter beer as there is. magic!

Feb 27, 2019
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Beergooroo from Texas

4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this in a 10z tulip at Harpoon and was blown away. Mouthfeel is through the roof, but that flavor: molasses, maple, bourbon, brown sugar, with a boozy bitter finish. Lacing was instant and persistent. Great balance of sweet, bitter, and alcohol bite. Go to Boston seaport and get this!!

Feb 24, 2019
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Light fizzy darker head, nice retention, little lacing, pitch black beer

Nose plenty of maple, sweet syrupy, dark roasty malts, little dark chocolate cocoa, mild toasted oak vanilla and flash of bourbon, touch smokey,

Taste mild sweet malt and maple, syrupy notes with some warming alcohol, maple flavor, mild roasted malts and hint smokey, mild dark choc and cocoa, hint toasted oak and vanilla, flash of bourbon, mild bitterness

Mouth is thicker bod decent carb, fair warming tingly alcohol

Overall nice beer, interesting and not overpowering, also intense, nice maple but wish the barrel was a bit more

Feb 18, 2019
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the good Clown folk; this fine imperial pours a deep
blackish brown with a decent head of khaki foam that subsides
to a thick ring, thin layer, and displays some subtle light lacing.
Nose of maple, bourbon, dark roasted malts, chocolate, and
subtle char. Flavors surpass the nose with roasted malts and
maple awash in dark chocolate and moderate coffee notes that
and given a bourbon christening with touches of vanilla and
brown sugars. Very nice mouth feel; full body, light carbonation,
and a rich and lightly coating chocolate, coffee, and subtly bitter
malt finish with bourbon and maple.....excellence as always from
the good Clown folk.


Feb 15, 2019
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22oz bottle into glass. Stamped on bottle neck bottling date is '11/30/18'. Labeled as '2018'.
Black colored body with brown backlit highlights. Half a finger light tan head, which stays around as thick cap. Leaves behind some swirls of lacing.
Aroma has lots of maple syrup, which has dark roasted malts, and more minor notes of chocolate and oak bourbon barrel.
Taste continues with the sweet maple syrup, along with dark roasted malts, and oak bourbon barrel.
Mouth feel is medium plus. Has a thick texture. Okay carbonation.
A stout with clear maple syrup presence. The alcohol is hidden very well, but the oak bourbon barrel does contribute without introducing an alcohol burn. Drinks very smooth and thick. Lots of ancillary flavors such as licorice, molasses, and burnt brown sugar.

Feb 08, 2019
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

So off the smell I wasn't expecting much: burnt malt, big bourbon, dark chocolate syrup and lingering maple. Jet black viscous pour with a sticky yet surprising thin body added to my lack of anticipation of greatness, but I was wrong. This was more than another very good beer, in taste it was excellent. Sweet maple explodes onto the palate with the charred wood chips, roasted malt, brown sugar, vanilla, molasses, dark chocolate, soil, and boozy bourbon. Very warm, highly recommend on a cold winter night.

Feb 06, 2019
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HorseheadsHophead from New York

4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pitch black with a small creamy brown head. Medium-poor retention, but a thin ring remains, leaving spotty lacing.
Smells like soy sauce, chocolate syrup, licorice, raisin, and a hint of maple syrup.
Tastes like soy sauce, dark chocolate, chocolate syrup, and fudge upfront. Burnt toast, black coffee, raisin, and black licorice throughout. Tons of sticky maple syrup sweetness near the finish, with a lingering bitterness of burnt toast, black coffee, and and cacao. Tantalizingly sweet, with just a bit of balancing bitterness. A perfect dessert beer.
Medium-plus-ish mouthfeel, moderately carbonated; creamy, but not thick. Eminently and dangerously drinkable.

A fantastic imperial stout! Great for bourbon barrel and maple syrup fans alike. A perfect sweet imperial stout.

Feb 06, 2019
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metter98 from New York

4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and only has slight traces of dark red near the edges of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a thin collar of off white bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark, burnt malts and maple syrup are present in the nose.
T: Strong flavors of maple and burnt malts are present in this stout with just a bit of sweetness from the maple syrup. The maple lingers into the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The maple syrup really stands out in the taste of this beer, particularly as it lingers into the finish. It wasn't sweet and does a very good job at masking the alcohol from the taste.

Serving type: can

Feb 04, 2019
Photo of russpowell
russpowell from Arkansas

4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an effervescent ebony with one finger of caramel colored head, Zero head retention & lacing , viscious

S: Vanilla, bourbon, maple syrup. Booze grows as this warms

T: Follows the nose, plus some barrel/woody dryness & chocolate sweetness alomg with a little roastyness up front. Chocolate sweetness, barrel dryness & a little booze as this warms. Finishes with barrel dryness, a kiss of Bourbon, chocolate & a little Maple Syrup

MF: Fairly chewy, slight carbonation

Solid BA Imp Stout, got better as it warmed all the way up. Might turn into a beauty with some age

Feb 02, 2019
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The_Mancannon_of_Slothrop from Wyoming

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

Had a punchline of "This is every bit as good as CBS, and a hell of a lot cheaper" in my back pocket. Unfortunately, that is not quite the case.

BUT, it is good. Dark brown/black, with minimal head and lacing. It has a nutty, fudgy aroma.

On the first sip, I had wished the bourbon barrels made themselves known a bit more. Caramel fudge and maple syrup dominated. But as it warmed the bourbon presence became noticeable, and then very very impressive.

If you're looking for a good, winter dessert sipper, you won't be disappointed. Goes down smooth and sticky, seriously I could pour this on my pancakes.

More on par with Central Waters' Brewer's Reserve series than with some of the world's great sweetness-infused BA imperials, but that's not an insult. Not a rarity, there is a wealth of bottles at my neighborhood bottle shop, will probably get a couple more before this run is over.

Jan 13, 2019
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Dope from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2018 batch

A: Pitch-black pour with a very tall and very dense dark brown head. Looks like the color of chocolate milk for a second. Fizzes out pretty quickly at first but ultimately hangs on for a long time. No signs of lacing on the glass.

S: Distinct maple but not overpowering. Some oakiness and caramel with a roasted malt underlayer. Sweet overall.

T: Maple right off the bat with an undercurrent of caramel. Not sweet at first but it comes on stronger in the middle and finish. The aftertaste in very sweet in fact, all caramel and vanilla oakiness with hints of lingering maple. Honestly not a ton of actual stout character. Tons of barrel all over the place though from start to finish. Not that I'm complaining, it's just an honest observation.

M: Heavy and sweet.

O: Interesting beer. It's sweet but not as sweet as I was expecting for a Clown Shoes Maple/Bourbon barrel stout clocking in at 11.25%. Shockingly balanced in fact but TONS of the barrel flavor, I cannot overemphasize.

Jan 12, 2019
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brureview from Massachusetts

4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a big beer, and one of favorites from Clown Shoes in a long while.

Dark chocolate color with a 2F head in a Stone RIS glass.

Great aroma. Maple syrup.

Very smooth MF.

The maple syrup is quite strong in the taste. Some roasted malt.

This is a sipper. Excellent beer.

Jan 09, 2019
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Greywulfken from New York

4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Stout aged in maple bourbon barrels; 2018 vintage with an 11.25% abv...

Near-black pour into a stout tulip kicked up two-to-three fingers of dark foam on top of an almost-opaque black body... Head gradually slimmed into a collar and left some thin lace lines behind on the glass... Aromas of maple permeate the roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and bourbon notes, and preview a wonderfully maple-forward imperial stout... Roasted chocolaty malts form the base, with dark espresso and molasses notes, silky vanilla, and sweet bourbon all helping to promote the smooth maple flavor... Body if medium-full, smooth, and a little bit sticky 'round the corners... Bitterness is very mild, with just a brush of char, and while this is a sweet beer, it is nowhere near cloying and has good restraint... Very pleased - a real winner...

Jan 08, 2019
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maximum12 from Minnesota

3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Maple. Bourbon. Stout. Hell. Yes. Put. It. In. Me. Now.

The pour, it is black, like Russian, like Imperial, like Stout. The nose is earthy maple, earthy malts, sweet. Does not inspire visions of greatness.

Snow on the Maple Tree – great name, nice bottle art, high expectations. Translation: this goes down like Aunt Jemima (Butter) stirred into a pretty good stout. Also chocolate, oak, theaforementioned earthiness, & a general sense of malaise & disappointment. A touch thin, especially for the ABV. Which makes it easier to drink, I suppose.

Well, it was 45 in January in MN today, so it’s not really winter, but, heh. Had high expectations for this, but ended up let down like it was (name redacted). Good beer.

Jan 06, 2019
Snow On The Maple Tree from Clown Shoes
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 107 ratings