Eagle Claw Fist | Clown Shoes

very good
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Eagle Claw FistEagle Claw Fist

Brewed by:
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mduncan on 08-18-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 176 | Ratings: 375
Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes. Appearance: Dark deep reddish amber with a very slight haze from the hops under a 1” frothy off-white foam cap. Smell: Hop nose, citrus rind, but also some malt shows through.Taste: Big bitter and big malt join together with citrus rind, dark sugars, a suspicion of bourbon and a long lingering bitter finish. Mouthfeel: Medium full body and medium carbonation. Overall: alcoholic, hoppy and malty.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Final beer of the second Shrewsbury Bottle Share on 24th Feb 2014: cheers Paulo for bringing this brew along for the four of us the split.

A red hue to this amber bodied beer, on top a well tanned crown.

Intense floral hop nose with citrus notes in the background vying for attention with some semi-sweet molasses.

The hops carry on into the taste, again with a citrus undertone to the bitter, dry front: the malts creeping into the taste later and giving a mini balance to the otherwise prevailing hop content.

A good beer to finish on, tests your taste buds and leaves you wanting more: a very interesting brew, hides it's alcohol well within the flavours.

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Photo of pinyin
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this on draft for the first time at The Gibson in Brooklyn summer 2013, and then managed to find some outdated 22 ounce bombers at Wine and More in Cranston RI, X-Mas 2013. The bombers actually aged well but sadly they are all gone.

I really love this ale and wished that Clown Shews didn't retire it. The aftertaste is what made it so unique and different than any other product on the market. It almost tasted like a strongly brewed Lipton iced tea, with the perfect amount of alcohol.

The coloring was amazing looking at it through the glass. Like a cranberry red with a brownish creamy head.

I have been trying a number of other red ales since this one was discontinued such as Elysian Mens Room (which is great) and Maine Brewing company's Zoe (mehhh..), but clown Shoes nailed it with Eagle Claw Fist.

From what I understand it is a very delicate and unique blend of hops and yeasts, so chances of anything similar coming along again are pretty slim, but if you can find any leftovers grab them, you wont be disappointed.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pretty nice looking, poured the bomber into a tall 20oz imperial pint glass, topped off with the last couple ounces. Rusty copper colored, some haze, many small, fine rising bubbles, a tannish head that had pretty good staying power and left good lacing.

I've seen this beer listed or spoken of as different styles, imperial amber, amber ale, American strong ale, but I'm really getting an almost barleywine vibe from this one. Aroma has that heavy, pungent maltiness of a barleywine, but a little more of the smooth caramel malts, toffee, and bread. Flavor is reminiscent of a barleywine too, but a little smoother, with lots of maltiness, a touch of chocolate malt maybe, some toffee and caramel, some crackers and breadiness, topped off with a heaping helping of bitterness.

Body is thick and chewy with a bitter finish, leaving lingering pungent malts and lingering bitterness. Alcohol is not very noticeable.

It's quite a tasty barleywine for an American amber/imperial red/strong ale/whatever it is. I did rather enjoy it tho, will have to try something else from Clown Shoes.

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Photo of bmwats
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a standard pint.

A: Amber hue. Pours a giant, foamy, whitish head. Craters very slowly and unevenly leaving peaks and valleys and craters, and lots of dry residue. Tons o' thick persistent lacing.

S: Butterscotch, molasses, pine resin, nutmeg.

T: Cardboardy roasted malt. With a little sweet and kind of a burnt caramel. Very interesting. Nice prominent hop for balance.

M: Syrupy thick. Bitter, harsh finish. Really harsh.

D: Sip and savor. The harshness will dictate it.

Atmosphere is really good. Giant head, and lots of lacing. Nose is candied malt, hop, and spice. Flavor is unusual... very cardboardy in nature with a little sweet, but all burnt together. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

In a pint glass at Capital Ale House in Midlothian. Menu classified it as a strong ale, definitely an amber as described by the brewer.

An interesting amber. Certainly an above average beer, but it had little to no aroma of note.

A - Pours dark amber with an off-white head (bartender poured, can't comment on size of head, etc.). Average lacing.

S - Nothing notable.

T - Bitter, maltly, a nice strong well-balanced amber.

MF - Medium body. smooth.

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Photo of BigBarley
2.95/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Pours a muddy amber, with a cap of white foam floating atop

Aroma is sweet, fresh tropical fruits, pineapple, mango, and grapefruit. Nice aroma with some nice caramel hidden way way beneath for balance.

Unfortunately the hops and tropical fruit from the nose are covered up by a complete messy execution. The hops are there, and they're bitter, but they don't blend well, and the malt tastes like barrel-aged RIS minus ALL the flavor... just that after burn of odd oaky madness. This beer is weird and disappointing and that makes me sad. I don't think it held up very well but it's lacking a bottling date, so... this kinda sucks!

Mouthfeel is decent but not enough to save it.

Believe me, if you find it fresh, try it. But uh... yeah, I think the older bottles taste awful by this point.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber red pour with a khaki foam that dissipates to a quarter inch of very persistent head, copious lacing. Malty and earthy nose, light caramel. Taste, similarly, is earthy, caramel, spicy, astringent, moderately bitter..grapefruit, grass, floral. Medium body creamy mouthfeel. This red ale brings on the rye and hop. Good stuff.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bot. 6/15/11. Consumed 1/15/13.

A: Candy-apple burgundy coloring is dense with a slight frothy natured head that was light tan. Retention was good, as well the nice sheet lacing it provided.

S: Strong fresh caramel backing first appears on the nose. Moderate wiff of pungent flowery columbus hops makes my heart skip a beat even after the lengthy layover from bottling to consumption. Some fresh apple fruitiness blends nicely with the flowery aspect of the hops.

T: The flavor follows the nose in terms of pungent flowery bitterness meeting resistance from the massive caramel malt bill. Soothing bitterness meets sweet malt with a gentle alcohol nature and warmth showcasing some of the dry hop nature of the grassy centential variety.

M: Mouthful was a bit syrupy and malty providing a nice depth. Warm boozy caramel and dry hops dominate the tongue.

O: Overall the pungent flowery columbus hops are a favorite of mine, one underutilized in many drinks, that surely highlights the hoppy bitterness of this beer even after a year and half layover. A beautifully boozy warmth with a high drinking enjoyment to tackle. Worthy revisit, would love to taste this fresh from the brightner tank if it is this enjoyable after this length of time.

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Photo of mikem0487
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle, bottled on 6/2012

A-Defiantly holds true to the style of the beer. Amber in color with a red hue. A fingers width of off white head that slowly dissipated. Leaves decent lacing around the rim of the glass.

S-Mild orange peel, musty citrus notes throughout, slightly piney, malt, bread crust. Smells pretty inviting.

T-Pretty bitter throughout the whole palate. At first get the malt profile caramel, bread, very faint dark chocolate. Finishes astringent with a bight of alcohol at the end. However as it warms the bitterness fades and lets the grain bill come through. This adds to a more balanced beer and finishes with a less astringent taste.

M-Medium light in body. Well carbonated.

O-A good beer that lacks in the tasting section. The bottle is going on its 7th month so maybe that has something to do with it. Its not oxidized at all so I feel the bottle is within its drinking age. Just feel like maybe this could be a great beer if they lowered the IBU's from that 100 IBU mark. It would allow the grain bill to come through and balance the overall beer. For me the taste was hard to decipher due to the bitterness cutting through everything. Maybe if I tried it fresh the taste would be better and more balanced? I don't know but its an enjoyable beer none the less and happy to have tried it. I will defiantly try this beer again and make sure the bottle is newly packaged to see if my overall enjoyment of the beer will improve due to the freshness.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: poured amber brown in color with burgundy highlights and a half finger of bubbly head that left little wisps of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: caramel malty sweetness is noticeable on the first whiff alongside good hop character, some citrusy notes, faint chocolate, subtle earthy grass and hints of nuts.

T: caramel nuttiness with malty sweetness were dominant on the palate alongside a pretty good hoppy profile with grassy citrusy accents and a touch of underlying chocolate.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a a fair amount of carbonation which had a malty, nutty, sweet, hoppy, semi bitter, citrusy and oily finish.

O: pretty decent beer all around and glad to try another offering from clown ahoes.

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Photo of FungusBrewer
3.03/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a crater full rocky head of foam that sticks around for your whole drink. The beer itself is cloudy and dark amber color. It tastes what I would expect for an imperial amber- heavy, alcoholic, with strong malt notes and a light hop character. Not so much the dried fruit date flavors from "old ale" styles, more of a brighter aftertaste. Eagle Claw Fist has a sort of grainy, chewable mouthfeel to it that's nice on a chilly evening indoors, but cloying when paired with heavier foods. Enjoy!

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Photo of Bighuge
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper body. Fairly thick and long staying head of khaki colored head. Aroma is quite sweet for a 100+ IBU amber ale. It has that candyish malt aroma...like Anderson Valley Winter Solstice...that is what the aroma reminded me of. The flavor does not follow suit to the extent of Winter Solstice. Flavor has sweetness to it, but it is not overbearing....nice caramel malt backbone and light candyish tones. Bitterness is not quite what I'd expect from 100+ IBU, but it's there. It's a nicely hopped amber/imperial amber. Fairly well balanced and easy drinking. Body is medium and carbonation is moderate. Decent enough beer, but the one of the ones I'd be least likely to hit up again from Clown Shoes so far.

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Photo of morimech
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber color with just one finger of head that hung around for a long time before settling to a thin cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass.

For a beer touting 100 IBUs, this is showing off some complex malt aromas. I get caramel, toffee, and even some chocolate. The hops add some pine, herbal, and earthy notes.

Not much hop flavor payoff for the bitterness that is very high. What is delivered is a solid amber malt base with notes of caramel and toasted bread. The hops are of the herbal and pine variety. Some alcohol warmth and flavor in the finish.

Medium body with nice carbonation. The carbonation is bordering on fizzy but I do not mind it too much. Overall has a pleasant, lively texture.

I want more hop flavor if you are going to wreck my palate with bitterness. Otherwise is an interesting, complex amber ale.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 6/2012

A: Pours an expected amber color with 3 fingers worth of bubbly and sticky off-white head

S: Get some lightly toasted malts, along with some fruity and floral hops. Also get some nutty coffee and chocolate notes

T: Starts off with the toasted malts and slowly creeps its way into a nice fruity and floral hoppy goodness, before giving way to some more of the maltiness, which is where the nutty coffee and chocolate flavors come through. Finishes bitter, but well rounded and not too aggressive (especially for 100+ IBUs)

M: Medium bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Drying

O: A solid imperial amber that boasts a nice bit of bitterness without destroying your palette. Look no further for a nice toasty amber with plenty of hops

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Photo of GPHarris
3.26/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - poured a one finger thick, creamy tan head into a snifter that left nice sheeting throughout. it also billows nicely. the body was a bright red-brown color.
s - caramel, chocolate, piney hops.
t - piney and grassy hops dominate. a hint of some toffee.
m - medium and chewy mouthfeel.
o - decent beer but i love this style and this one falls short. the flavor and aroma profiles don't seem to mesh. it's hard to explain but this feels a bit off.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We pour a medium brown, amber brew holding a two and a half finger head of tight, cakey tan bubbles. This shows great retention, leaving patterns of islet lace down the glass. There is a thick haze to it, with average-appearing carbonation. The aroma is rich with huge caramel and molasses malts. These are supported by medicinal phenols, biting herbal hops, light lemon sourness, licorice, and luscious red apples. Our first impression is that it is very herbal and very bitter, with a muddy finish. As we sip, darker and more bitter caramel and coffee malts hit first, with that same herbal hop character from the nose, giving additional bitterness. Phenolic clovey bite and licorice add even more bitterness, just before sweeter caramel malts and citric hops come to the peak. This cuts the bitterness, allowing for more metals and yeast to come through to the finish. Floral notes help the bitterness remain, with more copper and powdery, chalky malts. The aftertaste breathes of caramel and toffee sweetness, citric and herbal hops, tin, salty sweat, and light, bittering booze. The body is medium to full, and the carbonation is active. There is nice slurp, smack, froth, and cream, with a final bittering pucker. The mouth is cooled, with a bit of a drying quality from all the hops and booze. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, what we liked best about this brew was the nice coloring and head, as well as the fresh, even aroma. The nose was full of rich, sweet malts, while the hops gave a mature bittering quality. While this struck a nice balance on the aromatic front, the flavoring showed an unevenness of bitterness. This was contributed to by the big hop character and the malts, which were not quite what they needed to be to completely counteract that bitterness.

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Photo of BryanCarey
4.39/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Eagle Claw Fist Imperial Pale Ale is a copper colored brew with an intense nose that offers scents of caramel malt, citrus hops, pine, and some earthy hops hiding behind the citrus. The foam on the beer doesn’t last very long, but it does leave some lacing.

This beer offers an aggressive flavor profile of caramel malts, citrus, bread, grapefruit, toffee, and even a touch of chocolate in the finish. There is an alcoholic flavor as well, but not as much as I initially expected considering the alcohol level is 8 percent by volume. It offers a good balance between the sweet and bitter even though the taste tends to swing back in the bitter direction due to the alcohol. The flavor is more pronounced than the typical beer and it sets the imagination running wild as you contemplate the different flavors present.

This beer is full- bodied and rich- the type of beer tailor- made for beer geeks everywhere. It is a little too rich in flavor for everyday drinking, but it is certainly a beer made for the craft beer lover. The complexity just keeps on giving and while a tad stronger based on alcohol content, it is still a very tasty amber brew.

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Photo of FanofHefe
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber, bottled 6/2012, pours a deep amber, clear body with some red tint. Good two-finger tan head that leaves a decent amount of stickly lacing.

Nice mix of pine resin hop and caramel malt notes in the aroma. Not very complex, but reminds me of an East Coast IPA.

The flavor is close to the aroma with strong notes of pine resin with a touch of citrus hop notes combining with a solid caramel malt base. A bit hoppy for an Amber/Red, but I won't complain.

Medium mouthfeel with some oily hop texture. Overall, a nice offering that adds some good hop flavor to an otherwise average style.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled June 2012:

Into a pint glass:

A: hazy amber body that leaves a one finger white foamy head and lasts for a minute. The body is too dark for any carbonation to be seen. Some spotty lacing coats the sides of the glass.

S: some citrus, pine and hops up front combined very nicely.

T: brings back the hops over top of the citrus and pine.

M: light to medium with nothing harsh on the tongue, sessionable

O: this is a great beer that I would no doubt have again. Thought it seems close to an IPA (smell and taste), it still is something worth seeking out.

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Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy amber in color. It poured with a finger high frothy beige head hardly faded away, consistently leaving a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of citrus in the nose—grapefruit seems to stand out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of grapefruit along with notes of caramel malts. A moderate amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied, crisp and a bit chewy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has very aromas and flavors of hops similar to that of an IPA but has an excellent balance with the malts so the beer is not overpowered with bitterness.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy medium amber in color. The beer has a two finger tall foamy beige head that reduces to a half finger tall ring at the edges of the glass with a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer. Very significant lacing is observed.

S: Fairly strong aroma of citrus hops which really dominate the smell of this beer. The citrus hops are primarily grapefruit with a light hint of lemon peel and there is light bitterness.

T: Huge upfront flavor of grapefruit/citrus of hops with lighter notes of caramel malt sweetness. Moderate amounts of bitterness which lingers lightly.

M: On the heavier side of medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly chewy.

O: Seems to be more of a hybrid of an IPA/DIPA and an Amber with the intense amount of hops in this beer. Well balanced, since it is not overly sweet or bitter. Enjoyable and one to get again.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into pint glass

A: Caramel looking, garnet-copper notes, frothy off-white clinging head, good lacing

S: Pungent mix of caramel malt and dank hops that are typical of hoppy amber ales, smell carries good balance

T: Not as balanced as the aroma, less caramel, resiny hops are the real star, malt is very noticeable not just in the background, this definitely separates it from a slightly malty IPA, it is distinctly an amber ale, after drinking a glass though something just isn't sitting right on my palate, the beer is not too sweet, I'm not sure if the hops are just not for me or if the high alcohol level is affecting the beer as it warms but a little bit of a let down after half a glass

M: Fairly dry, but not exceedingly, medium to light-ish body, good carbonation

O: Looks great, smells great, starts great but gets hard to drink pretty quickly

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Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark brownish amber with an orange hue; huge, dense, off white head that has incredible retention

S - bread, melon, grapefruit, alcohol

T - bread, citrus, faint toast, faint roasted malts, pineapple, alcohol

M - warm, medium to full bodied, good carbonation

This is a pretty solid, flavorful amber ale. It's intense, hoppy, malty, and potent. It's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of BostonHops
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle in a pilsner glass.
serving within a month of bottling.

pours a dark copper/deep amber tone with a good degree of clarity while yielding a 1" frothy, off-white head. good retention and loads of lacing. nose is lead by caramel malt with some secondary hoppy notes.

flavor delivers more hop characteristics (pine, citrus) than the aroma led me to believe, but caramel malt still is the lead act. hoppy bitterness persists through the finish... medium-bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall i'm enjoying this a good deal. nothing transcendent, but very tasty. i'll be up for a revisit.

(originally reviewed: 07-12-2011)

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Eagle Claw Fist from Clown Shoes
3.82 out of 5 based on 375 ratings.
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