Hoppy Feet | Clown Shoes

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BA SCORE
87
very good
426 Reviews
Hoppy FeetHoppy Feet
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jlindros on 12-26-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
426
Ratings:
1,448
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
20.82%
 
 
Wants:
87
Gots:
262
For Trade:
2
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 426 | Ratings: 1,448
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think the thing that comes to mind most about this beer is that because it isn't mind-blowing, so far as the character of it goes, some might consider it pedestrian. 3 years ago, people would have committed bloody murder to try this one. With all the black ales out there now, people might "eh" this one. I think it's a pretty good black ale. Glad to finally be able to try stuff from these cats out of 12 ouncers.

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Photo of GoldHorde
4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My second CLOWN SHOES offering from Mercury Brewing in Ipswich MA is their Black IPA. I have had a handful of Black IPA's - some of which I have reviewed here - and I am certainly a NOVICE to this style in my own consideration.

THIS particular brew rings the bells of what I first expected in the category pf "Black IPA": namely an IPA style (highly hopped) straddling the category with STOUT. I think the category would make more sense as a "hopped stout" rather than a black IPA but, nonetheless, THIS beer DEFINES the category the BEST so far. It has all the aggressiveness of an IPA with the smoky, creamy charm and appearance of the STOUT.

WELL DONE Mercury! I think this beer should define the category...course, I'm far from done in sampling this style - BUT for now CLOWN SHOES BLACK INDIA PAL ALE holds the crown of Black IPA.

A = Opaque dark brown with a tan head and medium lacing
S = Definitely more STOUT than IPA at the SNOUT - only a hint of citrus hop
T = Smoky coffee STOUT with the familiar IPA hop kick and afterburn
M = Creamy

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Photo of morimech
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Standard black ale appearance with one finger of tan head that settled to a thin cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left down the glass.

Nice aroma that seems to be an even mix of dark malt with chocolate, coffee notes, and West Coast hops that lend its citrus aromas.

Plenty hoppy flavor with high bitterness. Get a lot of citrus. The malt adds sweetness but not quite enough to balance the beer. Nice chocolate and dark malt flavor. Finishes with a bitter, citrus bite.

Solid body and carbonation. Nice texture for a hoppy brew.

A personal requirement for me when it comes to hoppy black ales, is can I taste the black. In this case I definitely can. It adds more than just color.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle (dated 3/18/13) into a nonic pint glass, dark brown almost black with a large frothy white that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: bitter citrus hops, coffee, dark chocolate, more subtle than expected

T: aggressively bitter from both hops and espresso flavors, a salty gas grilled meat flavor lurks underneath, not smoky but think Dale's sauce

M: thinner than expected, lower carbonation

O: above average black IPA, flavors are a bit confused though, be less of a stout and let the hops sing

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Photo of DrunkenMonk
2.7/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown forming a nice tan frothy head.

A light scent of hops.

Tastes of hops upon first sip leading to roasted malt flavors. Finishes with a lingering bitter taste that just does not dissipate.

Overall, the beer has bold bitterness that is not pleasurable.

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Photo of Tone
3.46/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color. 1/4 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of citrus hops, hint of pine, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, hint of spice, and a hint of sugar. Fits the style of an American Black Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is a strong bitterness and slight dryness. Tastes of hops, roasted malt, hint of sweet malt, slight citrus, slight grass, and an odd grass/spice flavor that is very sharp. Overall, the bitterness is too strong and the accompanying flavors are muted or overshadowed.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours black wiith a small off-white head, some lace, fair head retention.

S: Piney hops, some white grape fruit with a lot of roasted malt.

T: Dark chocolate and pine, very hoppy with lemon and other citrus zest. Definitely has a green streak.

M: Medium-bodied, a tad acrid, with crisp carbonation, refreshing at points.

O: A fair black ale, it's to style, but a little clashing in flavours. An OK pickup if you like the style.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Quite an impressive full inch of deep mocha head atop of a rather pitch black looking beer. Mild ruby hues at the base but very faint.
S - Smell is very timid with little roast or pine but it does smell rather hoppy.
T - Ow god this is one hoppy brew! Bittering unbalanced acidic hops meets a charcoal like roast body. Hoppiness lingers long after the sip on the tongue. Hard to choke down.
M - Medium bodied, kind of slick but so damn hoppy.

Overall I like my black IPA's to balance the hops to roasty malts and this one fails pretty hard. Only get this one if your looking for some serious tongue abuse.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance
Cola-colored black with ruby red highlights. 1 finger of off-white head with good retention.

Nose
Tangerine, pine, caramel and Tootsie Roll.

Taste
Bitter pine with notes of tangerine and lemon. Caramel, Cola, charcoal and cocoa nibs. Pine needles are full force in the finish along with some grapefruit zest.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, oily, bitter and dry.

Overall
It's okay. Nothing that I would buy again though.

 468 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 3/18/13.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and candied citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but the bitterness lingers long after each sip.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, bottled on 2/21/13. Pours dark brown with a big pillowy tan head that retains fairly well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet roasted chocolate malts and a little fruit with some piney hops.

The flavor is sweet roasted chocolate malts and a little fruit and coffee with a big bitter tarry finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a pretty good black IPA. A bit too much roast and tarry notes.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottled 2/21/13

Large chocolate milk head with beautiful lacing. Brew is black like night.

Smells like roasted caramel and chocolate. Not much hop character.

Tastes like burnt tortilla chips...*_* Not an overdose of hop, or for that matter, any hops. Aftertaste is very soapy and unrefined. Toasty, salty, strangely bitter and well carbonated.

EEEK. Not sure this can get a recommendation at $3/12oz... Glad I tried it, but wont be back.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours out black as night with a tan 1 1/2 inch head. This beer leaves some serious lace behind. SERIOUS LACE.

Chocolate, citrus, grass and minerals make up most of the smell. Hint of expresso as well.

Coffee and chocolate combine with a nice lemon twist right up front. A hint of grass is followed by more creamy mocha. Bitter herbal aftertaste. A little light going down.

Very nice black ipa/black ale. Glad I have a four pack, will certainly check out more from Clown Shoes.

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Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Welcomed and surprising find in California. Bottled within 3 weeks to boot.

A: Pours a dark brown color with a darkish brown massive 3 finger head. Peppered with darker spots.

S: Sweet piney notes with a bit of citrus and chocolate mixed in there. Bit minty perhaps?

T: Sweet caramel, creamy slight chocolate to it. Bit of bread in this. Hop bit but not over powering.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated. Sweet bitter finish that coats and stays long after the sip.

O: A pretty solid BIPA offering. Wouldn't want to drink this often but every once and a while it is a fantastic brew. Glad I didn't spring for the 4 pack.

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Photo of beergoot
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

One of two bottles of Clown Shoes beer I found in the singles cooler at Coaltrain Wine and Liquor in Colorado Springs...

Slightly spicy, stronger piney hop aroma with hints of dark, roasted grains. Dark mahogany body with a very chunky, light tan head. Charred grain and espresso flavors with a sharp bitterness in the taste; slight hint of chocolate flavors. Light yet creamy, smooth feel; clean and dry.

A fair dark IPA. Too much biting bitterness in the taste takes away from an otherwise decent though unremarkable brew.

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Photo of DenverLogan
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In 12 oz bottle...just arrived in Denver recently.
Poured in medium Duvel tulip glass.
Pours black with significant light brown head.
Light aroma of chocolate roasted malts and milk chocolate.
Medium carbonation and mouthfeel.
Flavors of dark roasted malts, bitter chocolate, carob, bitter hops, cream of tartar, black pepper, espresso. This is flavorful and bold but also has an astringency...not as much as their Tramp Stamp Belgian style IPA, but there's still a rough bite. Relative to Tommyknocker's Hop Strike, this is good, but not something I'd want a growler of, but I've bought many Hop Strike growlers. It's missing the smooth drinkability, but nevertheless it's respectable for rough beer lovers.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

It’s always exciting to have a brewery come to Indiana for the first time – here’s to beer without borders.

Brewed four months before the date of this tasting – Bottled on 11/08/2012.

A: I love the color on this one – it’s a deep mahogany, dark, but with a significant amount of light pouring through to illuminate the body. Bubbles rise up to a short, fleeting head, then leave a string of lace as they quickly descend.

S: An earthy nose consisting of roasted malt scents of peat, flint, burnt toast, and strong black coffee, some of the most natural aromas from dark malts I’ve ever come across; I feel like I’m sticking my face in a big bag of chocolate malt at the homebrew shop. Hops provide a complementary pine and grass character, but, interestingly enough, an unexpected kick of lemon, lime, and orange, too. Rounded out by bittersweet chocolate toward the back end, these West Coast hop notes finish the nose with a tone not unlike those chocolate oranges you have to smack before you eat.

T: All hops on the front of the palate, with tastes of lemon rind, citrus fruit, and bright, herbal pine shining in true IPA glory. This is a beer of hop flavor, not just bitterness – the descriptor “sticky” has no place here, as this is more of a rindy, plant-like hoppiness. This tastes authentic, and I love that about it. As it continues on, the malt tastes unfold in a bevy of roasty coffee, soil, bitter cocoa, and smoky, burnt biscuits, adding flavor and balance rather than thick sugars to counteract the hops. This is how a beer should be put together: natural ingredients in subtle yet fulfilling dimensions. The aftertaste here is similar to what you would get after drinking your cappuccino in the morning, darkly roasty, dry, though slightly metallic, extending for quite a long time.

M: Perfect for the style – velvety, real ale carbonation and a relatively light body. Great mix of the refreshing and filling qualities that brewers should strive to achieve. Is there really nothing amiss in this beer?

O: I love this beer, and that’s coming from a guy who doesn’t particularly treasure this style. Clown Shoes seems to have an incredible grasp on the beauty of natural brewing ingredients, and for that, they’ve instantly gained my respect and attention.

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Photo of CASK1
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber to a tulip glass.

A - Almost black with good clarity. Light tan head that falls slowly to a persistent thin layer to the bottom of the glass. Nice lacing.

S - Lots of piney, resiny hop aroma. Low bitter chocolate and coffee-like roast malt aroma. Low sweet alcohol aroma. Low berry-like esters.

T - Complex and balanced. Dry roasted malt, with notes of bitter chocolate and coffee. Medium-high hop bitterness. Strong resiny hop flavor, with some low citrus in the background. Definitely hop forward.

M - Medium to medium-light body. Dry, slightly astringent finish. Very low alcohol warmth.

O - Very enjoyable black IPA.

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Photo of Ranz
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: From my 16 oz growler, it pours a dark, opaque brown in my pint glass. The head dissipated pretty quickly, which is a bit disappointing.

S: Roasted malt, brown nut, and a slight hop come first; some of the alcohol makes it way next. Not bad.

T: Heavy malt backbone with piney hop. It has a decently thick aftertaste, which I like.

M: Decently full-bodied with a nice carbonation, it is really quite drinkable.

O: Not bad by any means, but not life-changing, either.

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Photo of spicelab
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber from Slowbeer. Not sure of the brewing date.

Dark mahogany on the pour. Modest beige milkshakey head, recedes gradually to leave a 1cm raised ring and film.

Nose is quite roasty and nutty, showing chocolate milk, liquorice, baked caramel and hints of candy sugar. In time, a refined herbal hop character emerges, alongside some mild plasticy phenolics. Nice definition overall.

Slightly milder flavours. Lots of dry roast, bay leaves, mild pine, earthy herbal edge. A bit pallid overall.

Light body for 7% Pleasant silky carbonation, and a restrained bitterness which seems equally contributed by roast and hops.

Sound, drinkable and approachable, but it underachieves - especially as something purporting to be a black IPA. Strikes as more a regular stout or even a Schwarzbier.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Continuing on with my exploration of Clown Shoes' work.

Pours out a dark brown, nigh black with three fingers of fluffy khaki-colored foam which sticks around for about three minutes, but doesn't have much by way of lacing left behind on the glass. Medium-light body and carbonation levels.

The nose and flavor are in perfect lockstep with each other. I get loads of fresh grapefruit rind and pine resin with a lovely roasted grainy backbone that makes an ABA with roasted malt, mint, and tobacco as the central emphasis derived from the grain bill. The finish is a long, drawn-out descendo of bitterness.

As for criticism, I can only think of a few tweaks for improvement (perhaps a slightly heartier body and a touch more chocolate malt emphasis, soft-pedal back the spearmint hopping a nudge to let the citrus peel a bit more room to breathe.)

So in summary, if you like your ABA with extra mint and tobacco emphasis, this one's practically made for you.

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with very light tan head and lots of lacing along sides of my Raise Your Pints Mississippi snifter.

Smell is hoppy citrus up front with chocolate and toasted malt coming through.

Taste is chocolate, sweet bready malt, and burnt oak throughout. Not as much citrus as in the smell. Lots of heavy bitterness in the finish and lingers on the upper palate.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall this was good. Pretty good balance of flavors.

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Photo of lordofstarside
4.48/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottle to snifter, bottled on 8/23

Pours pitch black with a finger of mocha toned foam. Good amount of carbonation on the sides, great lacing

Smells of hops, coffee, earth tones, chocolate, oak, tobacco, and alcohol. Some sweet bready malts compose a solid back bone, really enjoying the smell of this beer!

Taste of flagrant hops, followed by a strong bitter chocolate. Coffee and some floral tones make up the back, with a good sweet malt finish.

Feel is smooth and creamy, coats the mouth and gives a nice tingle on the tongue. Very easy to drink

Over all a greatly done black ipa. Very balanced and well made. Kudos clownshoes, my first beer of yours didn't disappoint

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Photo of ricchezza
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beers appearance is blacker than any stout or porter I’ve ever had. Even when held up to the light it is totally opaque, even at the shallow ends of a rounded glass.

It has strong coffee overtones in terms of odor; followed by tobacco and forest-y notes. There is also an ever so slight sting from either the alcohol or carbon dioxide present.

Hoppy Feet has a surprisingly light mouth-feel. As expected it is very bitter. Not just hoppy, but also roasted, burnt, charcoal and woody notes.

The label states, "Black India Pale Ale" though it is certainly not what I look for and/or expect from an IPA, but in it’s own category (black ale/lager) with separate style expectations this is very good. It’s easily drinkable. Provides an urge to fire up the grill for some barbecue!

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Photo of mpedara429
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured out nearly black with three fingers of a fluffy, tan head. Good retention and moderate lacing.

S: Roasted malts, cocoa, and a little bit of pine.

T: Pretty much identical to the nose. A little bit earthy. Bitterness and balance are good.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. A little bit creamy.

O: A good beer, but it is more on the stout/porter side than IPA side. The little bit of pine and the bitter hops are the only thing that makes it a black IPA, but otherwise, the flavors weren't too complex.

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Hoppy Feet from Clown Shoes
87 out of 100 based on 426 ratings.
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