Lubrication | Clown Shoes

158 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by busterthecat on 07-02-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 158 | Ratings: 315
Photo of EvanM
4.66/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

PLEASE NOTE THIS BEER IS NOT AN IPA!!!! Duh! Tastes like a black beer should. I love this beer. I've tried many black beers and most are too malty for my taste. On first try I felt like this is what I've been waiting for my whole life! I buy this when I'm feeling rich as the price of 10 bucks for a 4 pack is a bit pricey for regular enjoyment. I know that is has some orange flavor added and some purists will turn their nose up at this thought. I usually would feel the same as I don't like anything but beer in my beer however the orange is not noticeable to me and simply is part of the flavor's "build". If you tried this once and didn't like it I say try it again in a different environment.

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Photo of ambluhm
4.63/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love the name of this beer and the label is very cool, with it's retro looking package and tin man. The beer pours just like the name would's pretty thick and black looking, almost goopy and aHAH "OIL-LIKE". The head has pretty good retention with a taupe/tan coloring to it. The bubbles were fairly small, and maintained a film throughout drinking the beer.

The smell is gorgeous with strong espresso notes and a slight hint of grapefruit. I generally do not get that into the heavier styles of beer so the smell and color are a little bit on the side that scares me. I love coffee and grapefruit though, so let's see...

The mouth is surpisingly light and very well balanced. It has nice acidity and a great balance of malty sweetness and subtle hops. I am really digging this beer and finally understand why they made this their summer seasonal.

The finish is on the medium side for length, but I am really into this beer. It has awesome coffee character and fruity overtones. I'm diggin' it.

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Photo of Nbarag
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasantly surprised by this brew. Not a coffee drinker and thought it would have too much of a coffee taste but it didn't. Loved the color and the taste. Very rich and enjoyable after dinner. Not sure I would drink this on a daily basis but loved it and will definitelybuy more and recommend to my friends.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.47/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

The color is a dark black with some slight maroon highlights and two finger of foamy brownish head and some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a little bit toasty and a little bit chocolate at first. There is some slight hop flavor in the back as a package deal in the nose and is pretty interesting.

The taste is dark malt flavor like a porter but has some slight zing on this that is wrapped in dark chocolate with some slight smoke flavor. A small bit of coffee flavor is way back there but present and ties things together in the very end.

The feel of this beer is medium body but has some nice creamy feel that is great. This is pretty drinkable and has some nice notes.

This would be a good beer to have with a cigar. There is a nice drinkable feel but also have a nice burnt flavor.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.42/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a thin but dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, coffee chocolate and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of chocolate and coffee that are quickly followed by a hearty roasted malt character. Then there’s a strong but not over-powering hops presence that comes in and creates a very good balance. The after-taste is bitter-sweet

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry but slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice ABA worth drinking for a whole evening.

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Photo of BenjieK
4.42/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Purchased a four pack. Four pack has the robot, bottles are a new design, kind of cool.

A: Dark, dark brown. Mahogony with black tinges. Medium head, some clump lace.

S: Chocolate, citrus, licorice, roast.

T: Espresso, dark chocolate, citrus. Pretty complex and in balance.

M: Light mouthfeel but this works for me.

This is a solid, ABA, BIPA, CDA, whatever!

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.41/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From one of my favorite breweries. Gregg Berman is my personal hero! Picked this one up after the Midwest Brewers Fest. Poured into a New Belgium Globe. Pours a jet black, no light gets through, even when tilting the glass. Big, two fingered light tan head drops slowly, leaving a nice wisp of foam and lacing. Can't be improved upon.

Aromas of big grapefruit hops overpower the roasted malt underneath. Some licorise hiding back there for good measure. Would like more hop aroma.

Flavors of big citric hops, grapefruit, grapefruit zest, and roasted malt mesh very nicely. Licorise on the fade of a medium finish. Would like a little more hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium/light, with a nice mouthcoating bitterness, mild astringency (a plus) and a good level of carbonation. A little more hop bite, I don't feel the pull at the back of the teeth.

Overall an excellent example of the style. Does not taste like a hoppy stout. Roast takes a back seat to the hops, and plays a minor role. Nicely done, Gregg!

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Photo of wburch1967
4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank this while reading the discussion last night. I enjoy the label art! The beer's got a brown/black color, big tan head, some lacing. Smells of dark chocolate, pine, light grapefruit hops, orange zest. The taste is not as bitter as hoppy feet, much easier to drink. Very good. A little light on the mouthfeel, but that made it more IPA like. Strong reccomend!

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Photo of Brad007
4.26/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color with a thin brown head into my glass. Irene's bearing down but won't stop me from having a beer.

Minty/piney hops are present in a way that literally blows my olfactory glands.

Hops dominate the palate in such a manner that it's equal to drinking hop juice. Very refined.

Lots of lingering mint/pine from the hops. Very balanced.

I like this example of the style. Recommended.

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Photo of rudzud
4.26/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snagged a bottle of this at Julio's. I dont get whats so controversial about the artwork...anyways, poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a deep dark oily brown with a big mocha two finger head that slumps down to leave a quarter inch blanket and very, very nice side lacing.

S - Not quite as nice as Hoppy Feet. Light chocolate and bitter hops on the nose along with some roasted malts.

T - This is more like it. Nice chocolate and coffee followed with that nice bitter piney/grapefruit hops with just a light roasted malt. I think this tastes pretty much exactly like Hoppy Feet though, atleast, in my memory.

M - Better mouthfeel, I think, than Hoppy Feet. Enough carbonation to keep it crisp on the tongue. Still creamy and dry?

O - I really enjoying this offering from Clown Shoes. I just dont know though, I would need to taste it side by side with Hoppy Feet because right now in my memory they're both damn near identical brews. I have to give the edge to Hoppy Feet.

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Photo of GarrettMD
4.23/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Completely black in color, no light escapes this. 2 fingers tan head with lots of visible carbonation up the edges of the glass.

S - Nice roasted malts, coffee, toffee, rounded out with lots of earthy, piney hops. Pretty good smell for a black IPA.

T - This is where it shines. Malts take a back seat to the hops and they run the show. General bitterness up front flowing into earthy hops. There's a nice hint of chocolate to go with the hops in the middle of the flavor. Roasted flavors such as coffee and toffee are still there but the general bitterness still takes over much of the flavor.

M - Medium bodied, lots of carbonation. Finish is slightly wet and bitter with slight spicy hop taste.

O - This is a pretty good example of of Black IPA. One of the better ones I have had, at least for my taste in this style of beer.

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Photo of gtermi
4.22/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: The beer pours a nice black color with a white head.

S: The beer has a lot of hops and a lot of roastedness. One of the better smelling beers.

T: I am getting a lot of roasted malt, some coffee notes and a smokey tastes.

M: The beer mouthfeel is nothing special, it has some crispness and isnt hard to drink. Very average.

O: This is a pretty good beer. I am shocked by some of the low ratings, but to each their own.

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Photo of Homebrew35
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a half fingers worth of a mocha colored head. A thin ring of head remains and a good bit of lacing. Body is black, a hint of brown is around the edges.

Smells of roasted malts, floral resinous dank hops. I gets lots of roast on this one. A hint of bready yeast.

Tastes like a stout with out the heavy mouthfeel. A firm bitterness comes with the earthy, dank oily hops presence. The roasted malts sit on your tongue and coat your mouth like sucking on some camp fire ashes.

Mouthfeel is medium thin, medium low carbonation. The finish is firmly bitter with a piney, earthy and tobacco coating oiliness.

I think this one does embody what i think a black IPA is. Roasty, not very sweet in any way, a firm lingering bitterness and medium thin body. Bravo to Clown shoes for this one.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

black as night with a towering three inches of chocolate colored foam on the top of the glass. Settling slowly it left behind tons of brown lace up and down the glass. Aroma is piney hops and rich roasted malts. Touches of peat and campfire like tones coming through. Nice feel, medium carbonation and heavy enough to keep me intrested, but not overally full. Nice opening bite of piney hops come across quite nicely with a delicate dryness and touches of light hops. Quickly the roasted malts take over and offer lots of smokey and rich malty notes

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: pitch black with some good head rentention and lacing

smell: big citus, smells like a strong IPA, no indication that it's a dark beer at all.

taste: very complex and comlicated beer. which makes it interesting. It's drinks like an IPA on the front, citrus, grapefruit, and a stout on the back, bitter and coffee flavors. fantastic and one of the best front to back chnages in a beer that I have had.

mouthfeel: medium and light for a dark beer

drinkability: superb.... a new fav of mine

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a dark brownish/black pour with tons of fluffy tan head, excellent lacing.
smells of chocolate milk, roasted grains, tobacco, toffee.. very rich and sweet smelling!
a very dark roasty taste up front, sweet and rich in the middle of the palate, earthy/tobacco like bitterness on the finish. this is a really tasty beer - more of a stout than a black in my opinion!

medium body with a nice creamy mouthfeel, nicely carbonated. overall - this beer is a steal! a very tasty treat for about $5 a 4pk! i'd definitely recommend this to any fans of stouts, even though it says it's a black ale, it drinks more like a milk stout. delicious!

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Photo of Gmann
4.19/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near black color, with only some brown highlights at the edges. There is a small dense toasted khaki colored head that settles into a solid ring.

There is a beautiful woody aroma to this beer. Slightly charred wood and some light roasted beef give this beer a nice earthy aroma. The beer does a great job of getting a charred wood aroma without being too smokey. This is very nice.

The flavor is more of a bitter roasted malt with some light charred wood. There is a grassy, grapefruit rind hop flavor that actually goes quite well with the malt. Perhaps some hoppy pine notes in the end.

The feel is light to moderate with fizzy carbonation. A fairly bitter brew between the roasted bitterness and the hoppy bitterness, though there is enough sweetness to offset. Good balance.

This is a very good beer. It has a good balance between roasted-ness and hoppiness without a heavy hand. It drinks easy and is not a booze bomb. Very much reminds me of a schwarzbier.

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Photo of DIM
4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was the blackest black ale I've seen so far. It poured with a big sticky head.

s: This smells like a hoppy porter. Lots of grapefruit and lightly sour coffee.

t: Earthy grains and coffee up front and plenty of grapefruit in the long bitter finish.

m: Big and creamy.

o: Black ale? This is a hoppy porter dammit. This is probably the best example of this pseudo style I've tried. Thanks Eric.

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Photo of Absumaster
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pitch black beer with a thin head.

The smell is full of hops. I get Centennial and Cascade probably. The hops are lemony and citric, but the smell is a little blended with the roasted malts. The malts add a light roast and maybe a little maltiness.

Taste is bitter and very aromatic hops. The hops are a little pungent and have a typical US taste and aroma. The malt is mildly roasted but not like a stout. Maltiness is low. The beer has a light body which contributes to the drinkability.

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Photo of korguy123
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 2/2012 into tumbler.

A- Opaque, super dark brown, almost black pour with a booming 3 finger creamy off white head. Lacing is decent.

S- Chocolate and coffee up front, there is a little char followed by citrus and pine and a touch of brown sugar and molasses in the finish.

T- Dark roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, leading into grapefruit and pine with a little char. Slight metallic taste and finishing a little sweet.

M- Light to medium bodied, a little creamy on the tongue, carbonation is a little low and it suits this.

O- This is more of a BLACK ipa instead of a black IPA. It focuses more on the dark malts and roast qualities. It's good for a change and nice to see a different take on a rather new style.

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Photo of dpschulz
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Roasted malts hit you at first and are then balanced with a crisp clean finish of hops.

Judging from previous black ales I've had, Lubrication was more hoppy than I initially figured it would be, but its balance is excellent and has a wonderfully clean hop finish.

Black IPAs and Black Ales are beginning to trend, and this is one of the better ones I've had.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is - ZOMG, what a great aroma, strong, oily, smoky, with notes of molasses, hops and licorice plus a hint of miso. It pours an opaque warm sable with a thick, fine-bubbled and rather persistent light tan head that leaves some generous lacing. Satisfying flavor has a hop-bitter overtone plus notes of roast malt, licorice and molasses. Texture is smooth, a teeny bit watery, fairly fizzy and a little dusty. Overall, a worthy brew.

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Photo of Ratman197
4.06/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Half Time poured a clear dark brown nearly black with a lasting brown head. Aromas of roasted malt, pine, citrus, mint and light earthiness. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and crisp with a dry finish. Flavors of roasted malt, pine, earthiness, grapefruit and light mint with a crisp dry bitter lingering roasty citrus finish.

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Photo of jlindros
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light fluffy head fades slowly with lacing, pitch black color.

Nose nice darker malts, hint of roast, dark crystal malts, plenty of earthy chewy hops, bit of spicy hops, hint of pine and citrus, little creamy malts

Taste has light earthy hops, plenty bitter hops, a bit herbal and chewy hops, light pine, plenty of chewy darker malts but not heavy malts, bit lush and creamy, light roast and darker crystal malts, very light cocoa, light sweetness. Finishes pretty bitter and spicy chewy hops, almost astringent, piny and dry.

Mouth is med bodied nice for black ipa, drinkable, decent carb.

Overall pretty good, nice light feeling but dark malts, nice hops that get a bit astringent and bitter, nice bitter finish that dries and doesn't get sticky.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice deep black with a full finger of tan head. The foam settles in a decent amount of time, leaving nice lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: The nose is big roast, a bit of burnt toast, some caramel, a a nice citrus hoppy bite. The bitters in this beer are stinging in the nose.

T: Damn. This is a solid black IPA. It starts out with a quick sweetness, but the roasted malt and citrus bitters come through right after. It's never too harsh, which I appreciate. As the cirtus notes fade, some of the caramel notes shone through, but the finish is full on lemony bitters.

M: Medium bodied beer. This beer starts out sweet, but not cloying, and finishes creamy. I'm actually a bit taken aback by the creaminess. The palate lingers with astringent citrus. (That mouthfeel review may not make sense now, but it will when you try this beer.)

O: I'm pretty impressed with this beer. I'm not usually a fan of black IPAs/cascadian dark ales, but this beer is roasty, creamy, hoppy, and delicious. I'm really diggin' on the unexpected creaminess of this brew. Ohh, and did I mention how awesome the original label artwork is? When you see it, you'll shit bricks.

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Lubrication from Clown Shoes
3.62 out of 5 based on 315 ratings.
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