Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Brown Angel | Clown Shoes

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
242 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Brown AngelBrown Angel

Brewed by:
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mduncan on 03-04-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 242 | Ratings: 675
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Dark brown almost a mahogany finished oak hue with a light beige head forming thick, head has speckled lacing around the sides of my glass. Aroma has herbal and citric hop notes, with bready caramelized sugars, and mild yeast dough like character. Flavor upfront herbal, pine, and citric bitterness coats the palate and doesn't really let up much, big imperial brown ale for sure. A bit muddled especially as I poured the last of the beer in, this beer is dry and would benefit from a touch more malt base. Mouthfeel is medium bodied slightly slick with hop oils, well deserving dry finish from the boat loads of hops these guys threw into this brew. Overall I wanted it to love it since the label is top notch, but it's just okay for me this go around.

 753 characters

Photo of IronLover
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep mahogany brown in color with excellent clarity. Poured with a thick, dense, off-white foam that slowly reduced to a thick cap that leaves a ladder of sticky lacings on the glass. Roasted malt and powdery dark chocolate aromas with floral hop, nutty, and roasted coffee notes. Feel is on the heavier end. Big malty feel that's bolstered by rich, soft, carbonation from front to back. Roasted and dark caramel malt flavors up front. Dark chocolate and floral hop flavors build through the middle and transition to roasted coffee and pine hop bitterness to the end. Finished with dark roasted malt, earthy floral and pine hop bitterness. This takes a fairly unextraordinary style and reinvents into something worthwhile. Not the first time I've had this and not the last. Hope it gets switched to the 12oz format like other Clown Shoes offerings.

 848 characters

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 6/19/2013. Pours nearly opaque dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, tangerine, chocolate, caramel, toast, toffee, light nuttiness, light coffee, floral, pine, and floral earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and dark malt notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, tangerine, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, toffee, light nuttiness, floral, pine, and floral/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, chocolate, cocoa, caramel, coffee, toast, toffee, light nuttiness, floral, pine, and floral/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of hop and dark malt flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy, crisp, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent hoppy brown ale! All around great balance and complexity of hop and dark malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,418 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque brown color. White head forms and leaves some lace. Aroma of nutty malts and floral hops. In the taste, caramel, nuts and chocolate with some piney, citrus hops. Toasted and balanced brown ale here. Medium bodied brew with an even carbonation. Overall, this is a high quality brown.

 298 characters

Photo of Robb_in_Austin
3.32/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Aggressively poured into a pint glass.

A: pours a deep black but when held up to the light reveals a rich dark brown. A brief appearance of a wheat colored head was inviting.

S: typical brown ale; nutty, malty, hint of caramel. Do I detect some hops?

T: again, typical brown. Nutty, malty, perhaps a hint of roasted malts. A touch of hop spice.

M: this is the weak point for me. Very thin.

O: I had high hopes but the thin body does it in for me.

 451 characters

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

My pour resulted in a finger of manilla folder colored head. The body is a nice rich brown with orange characteristics. Head has good retention and the beer laces up nicely.

It smells slightly nutty and deeply malty. Digging into the aromas awards me with more nuttiness, toffee and spice.

This beer is very malty up front, with a bit of toffee to round it out. Nuts are in the background, with a transition to a hopped spiciness. There is a bit of coffee on the swallow that really makes this a good one.

This beer has a light-medium body, probably due to seemingly heavy carbonation. It finishes with just a little film left on the front of the tongue.

 657 characters

Photo of William85
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Overall, I found this beer to be only slightly better than average -- certainly better than say, Newcastle, but not as complex/interesting as I thought a 'double' brown ale from Clown Shoes would be (I'm still not sure what 'double' means in this context, aside from being a bit hoppier and having a marginally higher ABV than most browns).

Given that my favorite styles are DIPA, American Black, Barleywine and Imperial stout, it's possible that I am underrating this beer due to purely personal preferences. However, it also seemed to be significantly over-carbonated, resulting in a suboptimal mouthfeel.

 608 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark amber body displaying a thick, creamy and sticky light tan head. Deep, rich malt nose; caramel, roasted nuts; touch of spicy hop scents. Strong roasted grain flavor; slight burnt undertone; some alcohol notes; decent hop bitterness at the finish. Solid medium body.

A rather good brown ale. The alcohol heat becomes increasingly more noticeable after a few sips and somewhat distracts from the malt and hop character, but by and large, it lives up to its “double” styling with big, bold flavors.

 505 characters

Photo of acevenom
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter glass. Pours opaque dark brown with a thick beige head that dissipates very slowly. There are lots of visible streaming bubbles that can be seen on the side of the glass. Lots of lacing is left on the side of the glass during consumption. There are aromas of brown malt, toffee, nuts, chocolate, and some floral hops hit the nose. The flavors do follow the nose. There's some mild toffee sweetness with some nuttiness and roastiness from the malts. I get some faint chocolate notes and plenty of back end bitterness from the hops. There are also some citrus notes. The body is light to medium with strong carbonation. The hops and malt roastiness remain in the aftertaste for a little while. This is a good beer.

 734 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Opaque nature in the vessel with a frumpy khaki oatmeal textured like head of modest statue. Retention was worthy, as is the thin skim coating that enhances the vessel for lacing.

S: Nice brown malting upfront jumps up at you. Quick flash of flowery hops preceeds with a spicy kent finish on the nose. The hop boutique doesnt stick around with any longtivity, while the roasty and nutty nature of the malt soon rears its dominance in a heavy handed dose of aromatic display.

T: Spicy cola, nutty fresh roast depth is the first impression. Fresh wet coffee grains has a lingering effect and a dry touch on the finish. The hops are harder to pick up on then was with the nose. Some gentle spiciness rings through but it is surely the deep malt base that is to be appreciated here. The deeper into the drink the more prominent the wet coffee roast grounds appear lingering with some dry creamer notes after the swallow. Nice level of roasty bitterness.

M: The mouthful is creamy, roasty, nicely bitter,with a spicy coffee touch.

O: Oveall a hearty coffee roast, fresh, dark grounds, nicely bitter, with a deep nutty brown malt base is the highlights here. While i like the unique usage of the columbus and kent hops, they are but most only briefly appreciated on the nose and have little influence on the flavoring.But then again the malt should be the showcase in any brown especially a double one.

4 3.75 4 4 4

 1,422 characters

Photo of Tomhet
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nearly black, slightly dark brown body with a one-finger copper/brown head that dissipates quickly and leaves decent lacing. A very slight amount of light gets through.

Aroma: Nutty dark chocolate/coffee/toffee blasts the nose straightaway and strikes a perfect balance between the three main notes. I can't distinguish any sort of hop character, but I'm not complaining.

Taste: Delicious. The aforementioned triumvirate of dark chocolate/coffee/toffee hits you in sequential order, each of them permeated by a sweet caramel tinge that many others have noted. The nuttiness found in the aroma is present throughout the entire brew, and it reminds me of a pecan at times in the way it complements the overall creaminess of the beer. As the beer warms, a spicy hop presence becomes increasingly notable, much like the Tramp Stamp ale. Body is actually pretty light, and there's little to no carbonation to offer a bite on the tongue. Finishes incredibly smooth with a slightly "wet" mouthfeel; I could drink this all night.

 1,037 characters

Photo of jjboesen
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The Clown Shoes is dark ruby colored with a small bit of light at the bottom of the glass. It is crowned by a thin film of head; there is moderate lacing. The nose is potent with a miasma of toffee, cherry and caramel; the palate is infused with intense hits of fark chocolate, plum, licorice and a little pepper for a kick (with clown shoes, I would suspect.) There is a bitter finish at the end.

This one is a pleasant quaff, but nothing to overwhelm anyone. The labels are pretty cool, though. Gotta love the name at least.

 527 characters

Photo of blackcompg
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a pint glass at The Beer Market in Lincolnshire

A - pours finger of khaki head, body is an opaque mahogany, nice lacing

S - dark ripe fruits, cocoa powder, and pumpernickel bread

T - Tart plumskins, dark unsweetened chocolate, juniper berry, dry pumpernickel bread, wonderful rye flavors long onto the finish.

M - Almost medium, medium carb is somewhat cleansing, makes way for the more bitter, sour and dry nuances - very smooth and drinkable overall

O - very balanced and complex, flavors are on the bold side and leave me contemplating each sip, an extremely well done brown ale, I recommend this one

 619 characters

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber, no bottled on or freshness date.

A: Pours a dark nut brown color with a tremendous 3.5 finger head. Can't see through it one bit. Nice thick creamy head that holds up well and tons of lacing on the glass.

S: Tons of chocolate malt, caramel and toffee flavors. Hint of nuts.

T: Chocolate roasted malt, some piney hop taste as well. Bitter dry finish.

M: Full bodied, tons of carbonation, creamy texture on the palate.

O: Very good Brown ale, might be my favorite esp for a category that I typically find dull. Great fall beer on a cool night. Bittness works well with the chocolate malts.

 619 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chestnut brown body with slight haze. Fluffy beige head leaves sporadic, droopy lace. On the nose I get light roast, some brown malts and a little sourness. Flavor is malt centric with caramel/roasted blend of flavors. Again, I perceive a little sourness, acidity... which is not very welcomed by me. Body is medium at best. LIghtly carbonated. Very average.

 358 characters

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into pint at barley oak, mandeville, la. Pours a murky brown with tan head gone quick. Sweet chocolate and slight rye aromas. Taste is slightly bitter malt; chocolate and rye. Nice bitter earthy hop presence, maybe a slight coffee note. Nice brown ale. Not as creamy as I like or out of the box, but its really good. Nice brew for sure.

 352 characters

Photo of mjryan
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clown Shoes. New to Minnesota. Grabbed a bottle today after reading the label and thinking it sounded pretty good. Hoppy brown ale. Why not? It's brown, so far so good. Smells really nice. Very fruity and hay like, almost reminds me of a well hopped pilsener oddly enough. Slight "brown" aroma as well. Toasty and roasty. A bit of cold press coffee there. Hops at the vanguard. Citrus, floral and grassy. Well defined. Fruit contribution seems to come from the yeast. Subtle apple/pear esters. The "brown" is mellow. Faintly roasty. Shit, I've had black IPA that was roastier than this beer. There is a caramel character in there that's adds a nice layer to the hops. Transitions into a wonderful bitter, estery finish. Great body, carbonation and mouthfeel. Just perfect. This is one hoppy brown ale and I'm glad I picked it up. Not the first Clown Shoes beer I've enjoyed and I'm sure not my last.

 899 characters

Photo of Durge
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bomber into the pint glass this is an opaque dark brown colored ale with a giant mound of root beer float tan head and plenty of lace remnants. The aroma is a very tasteful chocolate malt and fruit nougat with a minty, herbal accent. Add a touch of pine skunk and you have a classy nose hit. The flavor follows with a neat marriage of sweet chocolate malt and funky cabbage-pine hop bite. Really interesting and tasty with a creamy feel, medium bodied with subtle carbonation. The hops are very classy here, not smashmouth at all, sort of swampy-veggie, but a definite key to this wonderful flavor. Smooth, flavorful and different. Very nice.

 651 characters

Photo of ChrisPratz
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep dark transparent brown color pours to three fingers of nice light brownish/tan colored head that really sticks around and clings the entire way down the glass.

S: Very aromatic roasted malts. Nice caramel and toffee flavors along with some nice citrus piney hops scents. Very enjoyable.

T: Chocolate roasted malt right from the get go with some other dark roasted malt flavors. Leads into the piney hops that was observed on the nice. Very slight piney hops but leads into a nice hop bitterness that balances it all out.

M: Medium carbonation works well with the roasted malt and hop bitterness. Leaves a light creamy feeling on the palette that moves to very slight dryness at the end.

O: Very nice brown ale. Bit more bitterness then i expected but it worked well with the dark roasted malts. Clown Shoes keeps kicking out nice brews and this is no exception.

 874 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle, bottled 7/11. Served in a mug, the beer pours a dark reddish/brown color with a half inch tan head that stayed around for a little while. There's also a good amount of lacing. It smells like toasted malt, brown sugar, toffee, nuts and some citrus. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like nuts, toasted malt, caramel, brown sugar, and some floral and citrusy hops. There's a slight bitter finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, with there being a moderate amount of carbonation. I think it's a decent enough brew, a buddy of mine picked this up for me on a not so recent trip out of town so it was nice to try it. Hopefully next time I'll have a fresher bottle.

 678 characters

Photo of ehammond1
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

(Aged for 1 year)

Clear dark amber and brown with a big khaki colored head that lasts and lasts, eventually leaving sheets and irregular lines of lace down the glass. This appears much heavier and substantial than most browns. Very, very pretty.

Mild aroma of roast, bready, and mild caramel. There's very little hop presence, but that could be my fault for letting this one sit for as long as I did.

The flavor is very roasty, especially for the style. There's good amounts of bready and some toffee, but this is decidedly roasty for any beer, and especially for a brown ale.

Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation, and a touch prickly.

Good, but I did this beer no service by sitting on it for a year.

 729 characters

Photo of vickersspitfire
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very dark brown beer with hints a red hues toward the bottom of the glass, the head is fairly thin (roughly one and a half fingers thick) and wanes considerably into a layer of bubbles and lacing. Medium carbonation and a slight haze fill the inner body of this beer. Coffee, dark chocolate, roasted coffee bean, fig and raisins all fill your nostrils as you breathe in the sweet aromas emanating from the nectar of the gods. The mouth feel is rather light and dull, but the carbonation is very present. The flavor is mild overall, sweet, bitter when it hits the sides of your mouth and it fills your tongue with roasted coffee bean (mildly) roasted malts, very mild hops. The aftertaste lingers long after you swallow, it’s a bit harsh and slightly bitter and is dominated by roasted malts, brown sugar and mild hops. I think I just found my new favorite brown ale!

 878 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with Bottled 4/2012 on the side. Pours a dark, murky brown with an inch of frothy tan head. Lots of lacing. Aromas of caramel malts, earth, brown sugar, and a hint of citrus. Taste is mostly of caramel malts with floral hops at the end. Maybe some hints of chocolate. Silky mouthfeel. Tastes a bit boozier than I would have expected. Overall, one of the better Brown Ales out there. Well done.

 405 characters

4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap. Pint glass. Enjoyed on jun´12. Reddish brown color, ruby to the light. Clear appearance. Beige, copious froth, lasting crown & rocky rings. Toasted malts, bitter cocoa & herbal touch to the nose. Crispy & malty upfront. Hints of chocolate & dark fruits in the middle. Subtle citric hues. Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation. Creamy & silky palate –underlying bitter river. Long bitter chocolate finish & roasted coffee grain aftertaste. Refreshing & flavorful.

 478 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - dark brown with a reddish hue; soft, dense, off white-brownish head that has great retention

S - caramel, nutty, faintly roasty

T - nutty, caramel, toffee, coffee, roasty, faintly citrusy

M - medium bodied, smooth, crisp, well carbonated

This is a really solid brown ale. It has great flavor and great drinkability. The malt character is spot on with just enough hop character for balance. I wish this came in six packs, I would buy them for sure.

 455 characters

Brown Angel from Clown Shoes
3.87 out of 5 based on 675 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!