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 Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh from Premiere Gourmet. Opaque black bodied Average mouthfeel, aggressive carbonated. Average mouthfeel. The roast without significant hops compared to a black IPA.Was not getting much citrus, more is better. One dimensional. Rough, yet still very good drinkability.WOrth a try.

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Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color. It poured with a thin tan head that quickly died down and left patches of large bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: there are aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with notes of citrus hops.
T: Like the smell, roasted malts are present in the taste, but are much more prominent compared to the smell.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of crispness and the finish has lots and lots of dryness.
O: This beer isn’t that difficult to drink but I’m not sure if I could have more than one of these at a time because of the intense amount of dryness.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours like a stout, with a massive tan head forming atop the nearly black liquid; both the retention and the lacing were impressive

Smell: Roast, charcoal and piney esters

Taste: Flavors of burnt toast and pine battle for supremacy at the outset, with the hops dominating by mid-palate; after the swallow, chocolate elements emerge along with citrus flavors, though the roasty aspect lingers throughout

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A very approachable example of the style and relatively well-balanced, which was a bit of a surprise for a Clown Shoes beer

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Photo of emerge077
3.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black body, chestnut brown around the edges. Frothy tan foam, sticky lacing that coats the glass. Surface has a creamy texture, and a semi-glossy meringue sheen to it. Lacing just coats the glass.

Smells roasty, mellow coffee notes and also lightly woody.

Firmly bitter, roasty and seemingly light bodied like Hoppy Feet 0.5 or something. Chalky dry finish, pine resin and dark roasted malts. Some coffee and bakers chocolate, but not much, a bit subdued. Light to medium bodied, not something i'd sit and drink several of.

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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 oberon
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep cola color with a off white head that never really fully subsided.Roast and fruity esters in the nose,not much hop presence to speak of.Roasted with a little char on the palate with that candied orange peel element coming thru in the finish.A pretty good beer,not much hop presence for the style, and not overly complex but its not bad.

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Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled 9/11 on the label(2011?). Super highly carbonated upon opening. Pours nearly pitch black color with a 2 finger foamy and fluffy tan head that lasts forever, eventually reduces to a large cap. Foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a ton of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, char, floral, pine, light citrus, and roasted earthiness. Pretty nice aromas with good balance of roasted malt and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, char, light smoke, floral, grass, orange zest, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Light roasted and floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, char, floral, orange zest, light pine, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance of roasted flavors with a good amount of hop presence; with nice robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a slick, crisp, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is good once the carbonation dies down. Alcohol is very well hidden with no warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a good black IPA despite being old. Good balance of roasted malt and hop flavors; and smooth to drink after the excessive carbonation died down. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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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 Kegatron
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark clear ruby, with a couple fingers of light mocha head. This retains with a big creamy dollop of foam in the middle of the glass, leaving back thick creamy lacing that sticks to the sides in a sticky latticework. The aroma smells of leafy hops and green citrus with a good bit of peppery spice mixed in that gives this a forceful airiness up front of the nose. Things get a little darker along the back as roasted coffee and chocolate flavors emerge but it’s those fresh hops that mostly control this.

Green citric bitterness is at the forefront of the taste, spreading green pith and zippy spice notes out through the profile and into the finish. The malts have much more of a presence this time around, with a smooth chocolate sweetness and crunchy roasted (but a not overly burnt) character mixed in. Like the nose though, the hops bring most of the aggressiveness, leaving this dry and bitter on the finish with just a touch of a lingering burnt feel. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a smooth and silky feel up front that then gets much more firm and crisp as this moves along the back of the profile. The ABV doesn’t seem like much of a factor here.

This was a solid Black Ale but didn’t do a whole lot to distinguish itself from what has started to become a glut of new takes on the style that are out on the market right now. Hops and dark malt could be a bit more in unison here but the body at least had a smooth crispness to it that helped keep this drinking easy.

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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 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 Rifugium
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Poured a dark brown-black with a nice tan head that retained and laced well. Roasty aroma, malts and coffee, with notes of pine resin and charred wood. Pretty smooth for a CDA, hoppy with notes of pine and citrus to be sure, but not overdone, and pretty well balanced with pumpernickley malts, and a subtle, almost honey-like sweetness, and a touch of orange blossom. Medium body, a bit resinous with a lingering bitterness, but good for the style and overall fairly drinkable. Why CS needs so many different black ales? Who knows?

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an opaque black in color with some very light hints of dark brown when held up to the light. The beer has a two finger tall pillowy tan head that reduces to a thick layer over the entire surface of the beer with a dense patch in the center. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Light aromas of dark roasted malts with some very intense citrus hops.

T: The flavor of this beer is dominated by the dark roasted malts. Additionally there is a light taste of char and some citrus hop bitterness. The bitterness is fairly intense and lingers for quite a while.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp with a very dry finish.

O: I enjoyed this beer quite a bit and found it pretty easy to drink. Not sure if this one could be a session beer for me as the mouthfeel is just too dry in the finish (it actually makes me kind of thirsty). A nice complexity to the flavor.

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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 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 billab914
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into my Ithaca glass. It poured a dark brown, almost black color with a thin, tan, frothy head covering the top of the beer. Decent head retention with a little lacing.

The aroma mixes a juicy, citrusy hoppiness with some darker, roastier, slightly chocolaty malts. I notice the hoppiness more at first, but the more I get into it the darker malts come out. It's not a bad mix for the style, a lot of different flavors going on here, but it comes together relatively well in the aroma.

The taste shows more of the juicy, citrusy hops up front, while the finish gets pretty roasty and bitter. The combination of the roasty, bitter malts and the bitter hoppiness in the finish gives it a pretty bold and dry bitterness. I get some big grapefruit notes to it in the finish as well. Pretty decent beer overall, although a little roastier then I usually prefer for my taste in the style.

The mouthfeel is a little on the heavier side with carbonation being a bit above average. Overall it was a pretty good beer. it wasn't outstanding in the style, but a good representation overall. The roastiness felt a little overdone at times for me and sometimes clashes with the hoppiness. I enjoyed it though overall.

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Photo of smcolw
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Large four-finger head which settles very slowly. The liquid is deep brown where only a little light shines through.

Chalky toast aroma of crystal malts and mocha.

Much, much harsher flavor than the smell lets on. Far more burnt flavors. It's a bit like a watered down stout. Lots of espresso flavors. The aftertaste is much like coffee, black.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this from Norm's in Vienna today. Bottle says it was bottled in August. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with one finger of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, roasted malts, light fruits. Hops definitely come out forward, as the does the roastedness. Glad to see the roasted malts not dominate the nose.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, oranges, roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and bitter coffee. Hops are there again but the taste is much more bitter than I would have liked. A step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. A touch overcarbonated. Some slight bitterness.

o - Overall a pretty good black IPA. A little too carbonated and bitterness in the taste, but glad to smell and taste the hops and that the roasted malts didn't fade them out. Worth trying.

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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 johnnnniee
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New 4 pack Black IPA, 8 dollars, yes please.
Pours a solid black with a frothy creamy khaki head that sticks around forever a leaves lots of sticky lace. Smell is piney and citrusy with hints of garlic and a solid roasted grain backbone. Smells like a hoppy porter, but these two style lines are so blurry who the hell knows. Taste is roasted coffee with a mineral edge. Pine and citrus come out to cut through the roast and almost succeed. Mineral earthy roasty finish lingers after every sip. Moderate carbonation and body with a resinous acridic mouthfeel. Decent black IPA but really straddling the porter line with this one. I'm a bit disappointed that the artwork didn't make it onto the 12 bottle label, oh well.

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Photo of tdm168
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with a mountain of thick, dense head that has great retention. The nose reveals piny, citrusy hop aromas and some chocolate and roasted malts. There is also a faint coffee aroma. The flavor is exactly like the nose. There is some chocolate and roasted malts up front with laid back coffee notes followed by faint pine and citrus hops. The body is thin but smooth and has light carbonation.

This is a little disappointing. The hop character is a little subdued and the mouthfeel is very thin. It's easy to drink and the malt character is good though it's not very complex. I would go for one of Clown Shoes other Black IPAs before this one.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a pitch black with a ecru head that has great retention and is leaving some lace. The nose reveals slight piny, citrusy hop aromas and robust chocolate, coffee and roasted malts. The flavor is exactly like the nose. There is some chocolate and roasted malts up front with laid back coffee notes followed by faint pine and citrus hops. The body is light to medium but smooth and has light carbonation. Overall a decent beer almost a porter in my opinion.

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Photo of Billolick
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Bottled on dated notched onto the side of the label.

Pours a super dark shade of brown, approaching black, luxorious dark mocha head, goes to a coating thicker film, and leaves plenty of low sheeting and nicley developed patterns of lace.

Roasty malts and chocolate in the nose.

Lots more chocolate on the palate, dry and dusty with dark malt notes tossed in. Resinous hops bring the bitterness late and in the finish.

Ehh, this one doesn't do much for me, nothing too special...

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Photo of Duff27
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Half-inch light mocha head on a dark brown beer. Pretty good head retention and lacing.

S- Light citrus smell. Some...bready notes?

T- More citrus...light citrus was right. Sour(ish) lemon notes. Roasted malts are too faint to mention here. Strong bitterness. ABV detectors put this right around 6%

M- Maybe a touch over-carbonated. Medium mouthfeel.

D/O- This beer confused the hell outta me, not gonna lie. It was all citrus flavors with no roasty character to speak of. I like that roasty flavor in my black ales! First "miss" from Clown Shoes.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a very dark reddish brown with a massive liht brown head with good retention and tons of lacing. Pleasant aroma of dark toasted malt, chocolate and light piney hops. Flavor is dominated by dark toasted and charred malt, with only hints of the chocolate and aromatic hops from the aroma. Finishes with a pleasant char and hop bitterness. A decent charred malt black ale, but somewhat one dimensional. Medium bodied, but well carbonated. Probably not one I'll rush back to, but enjoyable enough and I really liked the label graphics (which has a robot gas station attendant...not the one in the current picture here).

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