Lubrication | Clown Shoes

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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 eclipse54
2.25/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A 12 ounce bottle from FluffyMcTingle; thank you! My first time trying this one, bottled in July 2011. Poured into a Deschutes tulip...

As one might suspect, this one pours with a black body that is entirely opaque. About a centimeter of light tan head forms, but it disappears quickly. Generous gobs of lacing are left clinging to the glass. The aroma is of piney hops, a note of lemon citrus, roasted malt, molasses, and a hint of caramel. A touch of chocolate can be noted towards the end. It tastes predominantly of soap. The piney hops are the second most noticeable flavor, with the ctirus, charred malt, and roasted molasses rounding out the rear. Soap and charcoal are the most noticeable flavors here, and it is rather unpleasant. Mouthfeel is crisp, but a bit sugary and very soapy on the finish. Overall, this is not my favorite example of the style.

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Photo of andrewinski1
2.46/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The bottle says this was bottled on June 25th, 2011. Poured into a tulip. Nice black color with a light tan head. The lacing is moderately sticky.

The aroma is bitter coffee and dank citrus. This smells a little too heavily roasted.

The heavy roasted component dominates the flavor as well. There is a bit of hoppy citrus in the finish, but it is faint compared to the bitter malt. The balance here is slightly disappointing, though I suppose fans of super-roasted stouts could enjoy this.

The body is light and the carbonation relatively sharp. The carbonation is slightly sharp.

This is slightly disappointing. The balance just isn't there. It could certainly be enjoyed by some, however.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.51/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into something at Jackie O's on 8/27/11

Irresponsible Tick #7

Thanks Mike

Medium dark brown. 1/4th inch head. Decent retention, good lace. Aroma - tangy roasted coffee. Earthy with some nice hop notes. Pine tar. Wow, dry overarching bitterness. Not all that expressive hops - kinda harsh. Medium body, sharp carbonation. Rough, roasted finish. Eh, not lubricant.

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Photo of Beejay
2.56/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A:Deep black, with a mountain of solid tan head. The head lasts so long that it is almost irritating.

S: Bitter coffee comes out right away as well as a bit of chocolate and some earthy hops. There is a almost chemical like smell in here that is very sharp, it isn't pleasant.

T: Dark grains come out first. Coffee, and chocolate, backed with a earthy flavor. The chemical sharpness is not as present, but still lingering in the background.

M: Medium, with a higher carbonation level. It seems to me like the mouthfeel is really working against this brew.

O: Overall I am not a big fan. It seems like a bit of a muddy mix. The hops certainly add bitterness, but I don't think they shine, nor do I think the dark malts stand out. Just not a big fan.

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Photo of beerdrinker4life
2.71/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wow, what an interesting label. It looked like a guy holding his thing at a gas station. Instead its a skeleton dude. My friend at GOTV bought it because it reminded him of the Grateful Dead. It reminds me of Mad Magazine! Clown Shoes?

Ok, giving it a try. Deep black color and then a coffee head. Kind of looks like a porter. Head is rich and dense. There is an aroma of hops but then there is a cheddar cheese smell?

Taste is all over the map. Real harsh and tough leather taste and then big bitterness in the end. Not really refreshing or enjoyable.

Overall this beer is below average and I don't care for it. The flavors do not go together well imho.

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Photo of beer4colin
2.85/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at UBH

Pours a deep dar brown with a decent bit of foam.

Aroma is hint of citrus.

Not big on the taste. I am getting a really acrid burned taste. I remember once making a gastrique where I badly burned some lemon peels and even though I tried to recover it by adding a ton of broth - the damage was done.

Not likely revisit this one from Clown Shoes. Tramp Stamp it is not.

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Photo of NODAK
2.86/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer has quite the roasted malt nose to it...really a full aroma of what a black ale should be. I don't really get much else, such as coffee or, it's just pretty much a deep roasted note.

I wish I could say the flavor was complex to me, but the reality here is that the mouthfeel is pretty thin and the flavor is roasted malts all over the place. From start to finish, roasted malt dominates the day, even going towards burnt. A full flavored black ale. There's a small but persistent bitter note that shows up at the finish and lingers with a little astringency along the back of the tongue. It almost seems out of place a bit among the other notes of the beer.

So all in all, it's fairly average for what it is. It isn't incredibly interesting, but if anybody wants a straight forward, roasted malt black ale, they can turn to this one and get what they want.

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Photo of mactrail
2.91/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice sudsy pour with a dark brown color. Smells of the basement with some burnt barley.

Very dry with something not entirely unlike chocolate. Lots and lots of charred grain flavors. The malt seems to be thoroughly fermented in this brew. Just a hint of something like rusty plumbing. The aftertaste is pretty bitter. Some dusty hops and the sourish notes of charcoal. If the added flavor is orange peel, I get mostly the bitter rind and some acidity. I'm not sure what the theory is here, but after a thought-provoking couple of sips, I'm ready for something less punishing.

From the 12 oz bottle bought at H and H Beverage in Abilene.

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Photo of Bendurgin
2.93/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Shared by Andy and poured into a tulip. Pours black with a finger of creamy beige head. Settles down but gives thin lace.

Smells kind of like a chocolate orange. Lots of bitter and roasty cocoa with a good citrus background. Seems to just have a bitter flavor with char without any complexity. Especially dissapointing given the aroma led me to believe this would give a bit more.

The feel this light with lively carbonation. Overall very one dimmensional. Would have loved a little more flavor, it just seems bitter and roasted.

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Photo of KenC
2.98/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Poured jet black. An aggressive pour left three fingers of tan head. Great retention to the bottom of the glass with spotty lacing.

S-Citrus, coffee, pine, and burnt malt. Very complex!

T-Heavy burnt malt and coffee at the end. Some citrus and pine in the middle. Bitterness throughout.

M-A very light body and bitter bite. Nothing I want more of, really.

O-I picked this up on a vacation to Cape Cod. I’m glad I tried one of the brews I can’t get in NJ, but I wouldn’t bother with it again.

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Photo of bashiba
2.99/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured a deep dark brown with light mahogany highlights and a thin tan soap ring of head.

The smell is lightly roasty with a touch of cacoa and a bit of brown sugar sweetness.

The flavor is one dimensional burnt roasted malts with a bit of smoke. Has a bit of an oily bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is light with a long dry finish.

Very odd beer, its like drinking a smoked porter without any underlying caramel sweetness to balance out the roasted barley. Overall a bit boring and cloying after a while.

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Photo of GrizzlyBrew
3.02/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - This thing is like the abyss! There is no light coming through and no apparent haze. In the very bottom of my glass, I can see rust colored highlights coming through. The head is creamy looking and a very inviting light brown that makes me think of "mocha" for some reason.

S - Almost smells like a beefed-up Guiness, maybe a slight tang... Not exactly what I was expecting. Not much Hop aroma, not much roast/coffee and really not much malt either. The nose is not very enticing

T - I can't tell if this is infected or not and will have to compare to others' notes... It tastes like a beefed-up Guiness, which is not saying a whole lot. I just get dry, metallic, slightly tangy black ale with non-descript flavors. There is still a balance of malt and bitterness I guess.

M - Ok. The balance of body and carb is actually pretty good, which makes me think it's not infected. For right now, good mouthfeel

O - I'll revisit just to see if this bottle is bad. Has some potential, but not tapping into it right now.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a tumbler.

Kinda disappointed with the label here... Anyway, what's inside the glass pours a mean black-brown topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, light dark chocolate, dark greens, and light cilantro. The taste holds notes of bitter roast, licorice, light char, vinyl, pine resin, and light grass. Things unfortunately move toward the acrid, bitter side of darkness, as though I were licking a tire at times. It's not as strong as the other two CDAs from Clown Shoes, but it's still unpleasant. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a decent CDA, one that doesn't taste all that great but comes through in the other departments. I don't know what it is with Clown Shoes and black IPAs, but the two just don't seem to wanna mix on my tongue (though this one comes the closest)...

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Photo of Thads324
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A : pours a deep black. Bubbly tan head dissipates to just a thin lacing of tan. Moderate lacing.
S: smells of sweet candy. A great cascade of citrus and freshly trimmed lawn. A bit of sweet dark bread and dark malts.
T : starts nice with a blend of citrus and sweet cherry-like hops. Mellow caramel undertones. The end has a lot of roasted bitterness that blends with the bitter hops that creep in and cause a cloying tabacco. It's like chewing on a cigar, but not in a good way.
M: smooth, well carbonated. Medium-full body.

Everything is good, except that tabacco flavor. Really disappointing.

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Photo of gfreed
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clown Shoes continues to be persistent but unimpressive. Looks nice (the label aside); smells a bit vanillaish and floor-waxy; tastes almost like an oatmeal stout (that's good) but has a bitter, dry finish that doesn't fit and might be left over from last month's IPA batch. These guys brew a ton of beer; one day I'm hoping to find one I like. Worth a single small bottle just to keep up with the locals.

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Photo of oline73
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: The beer pours black with a hint of reddish brown at the edges when the light hits it. There is a two finger fluffy off white head that fades to a thick ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Quite smokey and roasty with no real sweetness. Some fresh hop notes coming through as well.

Taste: This beer is way too bitter. The roast and hops combine and get a little out of hand. I love bitter beers, but this isn't a controlled bitterness. Burnt malt with a malty sweetness. The finish is really roasty and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tons of carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This beer is way too bitter to be enjoyable. Not very clean. A kind of tough one to get through.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 8/25/11
*From notes

A: Dark brown, with a 1.25 finger head that fade fast. A thin layer of lacing rims the glass.

S: Some reasonably juicy hops on the nose, yet there's this darker malt presence that it just can't kick.

T: More of a bitter kick then I expected, and that char shows up in a big way. It's not well balanced, as the different characteristics just don't mesh well.

M: Thinner then I'd like. It's not bad, just pedestrian.

O: Lubrication is easily and most certainly the weakest entry into the Clown Shoes catalog to date. It feels lazy, as if it wants to be a quasi-West Coast version of their much better Hoppy Feet. If indeed this was the idea, then consider this a half-assed attempt at best. Instead, the end result comes off like an undesired remake of a classic movie: lots of flash, little substance.

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Photo of flip387
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: Poured coffee brown, thick dark foamy head. Very dark brown in the glass

S: Heavy rich, and hints of chocolate.

T: Dark and bitter taste, hints of roasted flavor. Mocha in taste.

M: Medium in weight, smooth with a bit of a bitter after taste, some carbonation.

O: Full bodied dark and bitter beer, almost a block coffee or mocha taste
which lingers on the palate.

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Photo of DrJay
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very dark with faint brown highlights and a solid mocha cap. Lacing was a bit clumpy, decent head retention. Aromas of citrus rind, pine, chocolate and roast. The flavour was a bit thin, minty bitterness up front and some citrus later on, but lacking much of the promise of malt from the aroma. There was still some roast, but with little chocolate or sweetness to be found. Light to medium bodied with creamy carbonation, on the dry side, nice texture. Overall, it seems like it would just need a bit of a tweak, like some additional malt presence in the flavour, to make it a winner for my tastes.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.16/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Black pour, minimal head, 1/4", beige in color. Tiny bit of grapefruit hoppiness to it.

Taste had a lot of the bitterness that black ales that aren't world class can't seem to avoid. Bitter, dry, chalky, gritty at times. Hops need to impart more than just bitterness. Came off like a blend of a hoppy porter/black ipa.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out straight black, small head to it, closest to a light beige/mocha type color. Mildly hoppy aroma, a little bit citrus, but barely.

Taste, some bitterness, the usual type of bitterness you get in black ales and the dehusked whatnot. Left with a chalky mouthfeel at times and that peculiar bitterness you get in this style of beer where the hop profile fails to jive with the bitterness. Needs more citrus and tropical hop mouthfeel with these. Frankly, black ales are difficult to make when they're intended to be hoppy, black ipas if you will.

This one just wasn't all that enjoyable the back half, not bad, but not worth the purchase. Still had some minor stout qualities, didn't play up the ipa qualities.

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Photo of jamescain
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a sniffer, thanks to pwsoilder for sharing this one.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with reddish hues and a finger thick tan head that fades into a thin lacing over the top of the beer.

Aroma: A mix of roasted grains and chocolate with grapefruit and citrus.

Taste: Chocolate, roasted astringency, slight hoppy grapefruit flavor, noticeable alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium high carbonation and an astringent finish.

Overall: So far I have not been impressed with any of their beers. I'll keep trying them at tastings but I don't know at this point if I would ever buy one.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle - $2.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a black body with a frothed, beige head. A little bit of lace here and there on the drop.

Smell: Modestly roasty with some charred toast in there as well with a low, low hint of malt balls, citrus peelings, and pine. Both the malts and hops are present, though neither particularly profusive or taking charge of the aroma.

Taste: Burnt bread, nearingly roasty with just a bit of sweetness and a very vague bitter chocolate quality. Iron supplements. Slight pine blossoms, pecan-encursted citrus peels, maybe a faint hint from the added orange peels. Modestly bitter, actually. Watered down roast and toast with just a hint of citrus and bitterness going into the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: It's not particular malty, nor is it particularly hoppy. Not really much going on here.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours black with a finger of tan head. Retention is modest with a touch of lacing.

S- Roasted malt aromas with notes of dark chocolate, brewed gas station coffee and charcoal. Some herbal hops in the middle with a tinge of citrus and sweet orange peel.

T- Dark chocolate and coffee bean hits the palate at first. Subtle orange hop flavor in the middle. Finishes with roasted malt bitterness with a note of char.

MF- Astringent watery mouthfeel with a thinner then average body. Average carbonation.

D- decent drinkability

Overall lube is an average beer that lacks some body and that extra something in the flavor department.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into tulip. Yup, its black...
Thick brown sticky head. This beer looks phenomenal. (15 mins after pour and the thick head remains). Smells of roasted malts and coffee, slight pine aroma; interesting...
Taste is dominated by roasted malts. Coffee flavor follows. Here is where it goes downhill...
Its really bitter! Not in a good way. This needs to be way smoother to really enjoy. If this were a stout, I wouldnt bat an eye, but its a lost black ale.
Get one 12 oz bottle, but dont waste your beer money on a 4 pack or bomber.

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