Eagle Claw Fist | Clown Shoes

very good
375 Ratings
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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 Gavage
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a dark amber color with a 2" head that lingers around a while. Moderate lace paints the glass during the session.

Smell: loads of caramel, grapefruit, and a strong hop presence.

Taste: caramel, grapefruit, a sharp and biting bitterness, some apple sweetness linger in the background. Alcohol is mildly noticable here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp to start, less crisp at the finish. The bitter aftertaste lingers long on the tongue.

Overall: this is a slow sipping big amber ale, and the bitterness is a bit off puting as the glass empties. Needs a bit more balance here.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really good looking beer, this Eagle Claw Fist. The lightly tanned head is creamy and stiff and lasts a long while, leaving big strings of lace in nearly complete circles. Color is an entrancingly dark burnt red, sort of rosewood. As dark as red gets before becoming brown, really. [Addendum after tasting: I wonder what malt they used here? The head and liquid color suggests way more malt presence than what you actually taste. Interesting.]

Clean citrus aroma with a bit of a sugary edge. Sharply herbal too. Simple and straightforward, really nothing more to glean from it. From the aroma alone, I'm wondering if this is going to be one of those hugely hopped ambers just dying for some more malt?

Yep. Throw more malt at this and you'd be in Arrogant Bastard territory. I'm reminded of Bear Republic's Red Rocket here, a very citrus-centric, nearly one-sided affair. Hops are almost abrasive but kept in check by a brown sugar and bitter herbal tea tandem. Incredibly bitter finish with just a hint of sugar sweetness in back.

Thinner body but pleasant enough, nearing creamy despite being on the thinner side. Rides that bitterness on through easily. More malt (here I say "more malt" again) would have nicely propped up the body, as well as the taste. But I get what they're going for here, and okay, it's pretty good.

This is not bad...at all! But it's yet another American craft offering that forgets that some of us beer geeks, even the ones who totally love hops (I do), also dig some malt character. You can argue that's not what they were going for here, but had they, they'd have an even better beer on their hands.

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Photo of CheezyBlaster
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had a lot of Clown Shoes' stuff. They tend to make a lot of solid beers that fall short of really good/great. This beer is no exception to the rule. It's a well-hopped, pretty balanced, and big red, but falls short of beers like Zoe.

The nose is nice, and what you'd expect. Some pleasant light roasted scents, but they don't dominate with the aggressive, though single-voiced hopping: mostly grapefruity.

Taste follows as expected. Pretty well structured sweetness from malt and a gush of grapefruit from the hops. However, the hops lack a juicy profile to match the bitterness, so there is a strong element of grapefruit pith and peel rather than the actual flesh.

Don't get me wrong! I totally support the Clown. But aside from Blaecorn, I have yet to have a superb beer from them. If their bombers were 4.99 I'd probably buy a lot more, but at standard bomber prices, I'm going to go with another brewer for most of their styles.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a rocky two-fingered head; strong retention and a few strands of lace are left behind

Smell: Fruity caramel elements dominate, with piney hops in the mix, as well

Taste: The malt profile tastes very much like an ESB, with a fruity caramel character but by mid-palate, the pithy hops dominate and bring an aspirin-like bitterness to the finish, though there is plenty of sweet caramel that lingers on the tip of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A very hoppy amber which is no less than might be expected from this brewery; I'm not a big fan of ambers and have only come across a few of the hoppy ones that I have enjoyed; I think I would prefer this beer with a different selection of hop varieties

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: cloudy, tan/orange, finger white head,
gorgeous lacing

S: grapefruit, pine, hint of
lemon grass

T: big pine/grassy front, mild rye/malt middle,
slow bitter smooth finish

M: med/light body, smooth, mild
tongue prick

O: Enjoy Clown Shoes, but was
expecting more from an Imperial
Amber Red, little more body. Still
was worth enjoying and picking up.


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Photo of jrsone
2.59/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Color of a cigar, not amber really. Harsh bittering hops rule the taste with a little citrus/ floral hops on the finish. Unwelcome scent of booze with some dank hoppiness.
Caramel mouthfeel weak, booziness lacks discipline and hop flavor is a dojo disgrace.
Your Eagle Claw technique is no match for most red ales Clown Shoes.

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Photo of jethrodium
2.33/5  rDev -39%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

650 ml bottle courtesy of myspoonistoobig. Thanks Michael. Pours a hazy copper amber with a small white head that has good retention and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet with big sugar cookie, light caramel, and some light floral and citrus hops. The taste is really sweet with sugar cookie, caramel, and some light citrus. The finish has a light bitterness. Medium body. Medium carbonation. This beer was just too sweet with nothing to balance it out. It was quite bland as well. It could have used a much bigger hop presence.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Petrol Station in Houston.

The beer pours a medium amber color with a white head. The aroma has a lot of toffee and caramel notes, as well as some nice pine notes from the hops.

The flavor also has a nice mix of hops and malt. I get some toffee and cocoa notes from the malt, as well as some nice pine and orange citrus notes. There is also quite a bit of booziness in the flavor, as well as the aroma.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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

Clown Shoes Brewery is an iconic Boston craft beer maker that has a fantastic personality. I first ran into Clown Shoes beer at the Portland Brew Festival this year and fell in love. They featured their Tramp Stamp and Lubrication, but not this absolutely delectable red ale. Beware, this beer is hoppy and bitter. For me, this is perfect. I love red ales and this is one I will definitely drink this again!

Type: Red Ale
Color: Dark amber red hue and cloudy.
Body: carbonated
Head: Very thick off white head. Delicious and lasts for a long time.
Taste: Hoppy and bitter. You can really taste the malts and the citricy aspects. The bitterness finish is almost like a final strike to the taste buds.
Aroma: Very malty and hoppy. Slightly earthy and piney with citrus notes.

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Photo of arizcards
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber from Total Wine the first of October for $5.99. Bottled on 6-15-11.

Beer poured an amber brown with a smallish white head that is leaving some lacing behind.

Nose is citrus hops which are starting to shine thru as the brew warms. Malts linger in the background.

Taste is hugely hop forward, pine dominates with some citrus in the background. Crystal malts are not enough to balance this out.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a pretty decent beer but a little off the imperial red style mark with the amount of alpha hops in this brew. If you like it bitter be sure to get this one!

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Photo of rel
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Eagle! Claw! Fist! Do eagle claw have fists, I don't know, but this beer might make you think about it.

Pours a dark amber color, with a frothy, one finger head.

Smell is primarily sweet toasted malts, with flowery hops present but not overwhelming.

Prepare to be overwhelmed! Not that this beer has the most hops ever, but if your nose were your eyes, you would think you were seeing a cute, sweet bird, but when you went out to pet it you realized it was a ferocious eagle with claw fists! All hops. Too much hops. It's not a bad beer, but I was deceived.

This very bitter beer is dry and medium bodied.

I enjoyed it, and eagles are awesome, but I was expecting a more friendly eagle. Perhaps if it weren't labeled an amber, despite being imperial, I would have been more lenient.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

brought this one home from my last trip to chicago (bottled last week in january 2011...yikes, pretty old). now they distribute locally (as of this week! will need to try a fresher batch and revise).

a - opened the bottle and filled my E snifter. bottle opened with a super big hiss and when poured, the head was about 70% of the pour. the head was cream colored and super frothy and milkshake like. the beer beneath is a deep crimson orange. semi transparent to the light.

s - strong malt with a very nice sweetness. lots of earth and grass. the dry hop is noticeable.

t - fairly hop forward with a bitter finish. the malt is biscuity with a touch of brown sugar.

m - a bit fizzy, leaves a touch of a tingle. alc is pretty well hidden, but some warmth is definitely in the mouth.

o - overall, ambers get a bad wrap, this is pretty good for an imperial. not a go to brew for me, but an enjoyable stronger amber.

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

Poured a 1.5" linen colored head. Hazy caramel brown and amber body. Smells IPA hoppy/fruity. Taste has some very brief caramel then lots of the IPA hoppy/fruity again. Although labelled an Imperial I don't think the body weight hints it and frankly the alcohol doesn't feel like it either, the latter I suppose a good sign. There's a lingering bitter grapefruit finish. Although Clown Shoes always has great names and labels I'm not sure this is the martial arts greatness they claim it to be.

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Photo of obrike
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bought at Specs in north San Antonio

Really liked the look. Dark amber pour, fluff white head...spider web lacing throughout. Very pretty.

Smelled similar to a doppelbock at first...dark fruits...some sugary malt. Nice.

Wow...Jarring taste to say the least. Not in a bad way, just super bitter initial flavor, followed by caramel malt, then another blast of hop bitterness on the backend. This is a beer not for the weak.

Mouthfeel was pretty damn smooth...hid booze well, and certainly one of those beers that got better as it sat for a while.

A good effort with this one, but the bitterness will certainly scare off newbies.

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Photo of champ103
3.07/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Queen Vic in Houston, TX

A: Pours a dark reddish/brown color. A one finger light beige head forms with poor retention. No lace is left behind.
S: Toasted and caramel malts up front. Some dark fruits of plums and raisins. A large lingering grapefruit bitterness as well.
T: Toasted and caramel malts up front. Lots of residual sugars initially. Though a huge lingering grapefruit bitterness lingers. The alcohol is noticeable as well. The malt, sugars, and bitterness do not mesh right for me.
M/D: A medium to full body that is a bit low on the carbonation. Though not under carbonated. I wish it was cleaner with more of a crispness though. Nothing meshes right for me, and add to that plenty of alcohol. Not something I care to come back to.

I am not really digging the Clown Shoes offerings so far. This, specifically, does not mesh right for me. Not something I would recommend.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid brown/amber color with an off-white head that lingers and laces.

Smells of pine hops with a small malt/honey aroma. Big, pleasing hop nose.

Taste is initial sweetness followed by a big bitterness, pine, small grapefruit, spice, earthy flavors rounded out with a hop kick in the end and a nice, sweetish finish. I'm betting Chinook is involved here. Kind of one dimensional in the overt hop burst but it's good.

Medium bodied and medium carbonation. It goes down smooth.

This is an amber beer with a big, pine hop kick and some sweetness to balance. Not a lot else to say which is good and bad.

 611 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mercury Brewing / Clown Shoes
Eagle Claw Fist Imperial Amber Ale
22 oz. / $5.99 @ Total Wines & More, Claymont, DE

Brand and marketing vs. the beer inside the bottle... interesting. Perhaps both are equally matched, and perhaps not. The Clown Shoes name holds a high bar, and under that the Eagle Claw Fist holds an even higher bar. In fact, legend tells of a beer so legendary that it became legend before it was even conceived...

All joking aside, and who can blame me (seriously, they've asked for it), this is a decent beer.

Appearance: It's cloudy and darkish copper, OK, but it's got great head retention and lacing. It doesn't say it's bottle conditioned, but even if it's not... we can just pretend, can't we?

Smell: Hoppy! Grapefruit, citrus rind, aged (read as almost souring and headed towards tartness) berries, pine/spruce... and a little bit of hardened dark-caramel maltiness. Bright and inviting!!!

Taste: As the aroma suggests, this is not a sweet or malty beer. The hops commandeer the ship and sail decisively forward. The base malt has a bit of bready caramel to it and it balances, but the hops are more dominant in the end (or at least in the finish). It's floral, and a touch spicy; and it's citrus-rind drying with lots of tropical fruit to boot. Hop juicy! But it's also balanced, and it's kept in check by a solid bitterness that runs start to finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Gently crisp.

Overall: Quite nice. Worth trying.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first Clown Shoes brew made courtesy by Charliedvrs - Thanks Bro!

*notes from 09/01/11
Bomber + pint glass

A: E.C.F. Pours like a beauty Clark! Dark amber. Slightly hazed orange color that you can just fall in love with. 2 fingers of khaki froth with nice hang time and spotted lacing down the glass.

S: Smells herbalicious! Danky pine notes and citrus peels. Some sugary biscuit malts. Very nice hop aromas.

T: Hi-ya!!! With a nice big resinous hop presence. Grapefruit citrus. Dank pine tar. Herbal peppery spice kick. I swear there is some Rye additions here. Has that Rye spiced cake flavor. Bit of caramel toffee chew on it. Nice balance. Light crisp finish. Have I found a new favorite Red???

M: Great creamy texture with a nice bitter hop sting on the palate. Mod body and carbonation gives a nice resiny slick mouthcoat. Dry crisp finish.

D: Easy drinker for me. Well hopped with enough Caramel malt coming through. I would bet a touch of Rye in the mix. Well balanced. Smooth mouthfeel. Light and refreshing.

This Kung Fu is pretty damn good. Would definitely trade for again! Looking forward to trying out some more Clown Shoes

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Photo of jsanford
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a New Belgium Globe.

Pours a hazy orange-amber with a soapy white head. Aromas of pungent pine & grapefruit hops dominate with some sweet amber malt. Taste is close to the nose, with a minty, herbal hop profile. Pleasantly bitter finish lasts some time. Mouthfeel is crisp, with a medium body and good carbonation. Overall a nice Amber Ale, but far from great.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.6/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

$7.00 bomber from Bottles in Boston.

Hazy dark orange body with reddish highlights, topped by an enormous creamy slightly off-white head.

Aroma is mix of pine and oranges, but could be more assertive.

Semi-sweet caramel slides by quick. Juicy fruits - orange, apricot - follow, then a pine finish.

Watery mouthfeel for an imperial amber. Needs to be fuller and firmer.

I'm a big fan of imperial reds/ambers, but this was a disappointment.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this beer up at the downtown specs a few days ago. I tried this breweries "hoppy feet" on tap at the Flying Saucer that night (no notes) and thought that it was pretty good. Let's see what their industrial strength Amber is like:

Appearance: Pours a mildly hazy dark chestnut color with a small 1/4" head of various size tan bubbles that was active at first and then settled to about 1/8" being maintained by the bubbles rising. There is quite a bit of lace left on the glass after drinking the beer and the head never completely goes away.

Aroma: The aroma was clean with lots of malt and some evidently American "C" hops. Getting deeper into it, there is some dark caramel/toffee in here. I don't get any off aromas at all, so it seems like the hops and malt are jiving with the water and that it is a well crafted beer so far. Let's give it a taste...

Taste: The flavor follows the aroma pretty well in that it is predominantly American hoppy with some strong malt presence. Overall, it comes across to me a bit like Arrogant Bastard in that it has a strong hop presence with American Hops up-front, yet has enough back-bone and malty presence to give your palate something to do for the finish. Overall it is a decidedly hoppy beer, but it doesn't finish so bitter that it gets chalky at any time, so it goes well with the water and malt. The finish is balanced mildly toward to hops, but there is enough malt and alcohol to keep the hops in check all the way to the end.

Opinion: I am now reading that this beer boasts >100IBU...I will give it credit enough to say that it is drinkable. I am not a fan of IBU's in the triple digits, but maybe the water chemistry for them worked that the calculations can say that they have >100IBU and the beer remains drinkable. The beer is definitely drinkable and I will be enjoying this whole bomber.

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Photo of FUNKPhD
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clown Shoes recently made their arrival in TX, so I picked a few bottles up.

The pour reveals a nice reddish, almost cola color, with good head that lingers throughout the consumption. The smell is very strong with the Centennial hops, which, in my opinion, is quite inviting. The taste is hoppy all the way through; Centennial, Citra, then Columbus with the bitters. Overall mouth feel is pretty consistent with the style, with added note of ABV.

All in all, its a pretty tasty beverage. Nice and aromatic, hoppy. Definitely worth checking out if you haven't yet.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown bomber, bottled 8/11 (woohoo, this month!), new to Texas.

Appearance: Amber glass with golden edges, good clarity, holds a thin white head long and collar well into the glass.

Smell: Lots of hops, but they smell more in the boil than in the finish, not "fresh and floral", more piney and bitter.

Taste: A bit worty and watery at the start, then a slow oily bitter hop burn sets in and takes a long while to fade. A little cotton candy sweetness at the back end as well. Odd flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Oily, slick texture, medium body and firm carbonation.

Overall: Was expecting
Was more of a

Still, a pretty good beer, interesting, a really hoppy red.

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Photo of Brad007
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clown Shoes has finally made it to VT!

Pours a dark amber with a big, frothy head into my glass. I've seen a few imperial examples but I do wonder the following: Why?

Piney, citrusy hops greet the nose with only a touch of malt underneath. This is a hoppy monster, even if not a traditional DIPA.

Wow, I was right there. Lots of piney hops that pack a punch. Malt is crisp and a bit sweet, which compliments the hop punch.

Lingering piney, resiny hops with a soothing, dry finish.

I believe I can answer the question I originally proposed with a "why not?" This is an excellent beer.

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Photo of Sensaray
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer appears dark oranger amber with a finger and a half light tan creamy head. Looks really good.

Smells of sweet malts and fresh hops. Citrus is noteable, and light tropical fruit is there too.

Tastes delicious. The first sip I let linger for awhile before taking the next. Excellent bitter thats builds and lasts through the finish. Nice pines and citrus qualities. The bittering hops are perfectly complimenting this beer. It tatses good. Nice resinous grapefruit and pine. Good underlying caramely sweetness.

Mouthfeel is nice, smooth and drinkable with light medium body.

Really good beer. Great bitter beer, with a great taste. A super hopped american amber.

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