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 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 jmdrpi
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, no date.

appears almost black, with ruby highlights in the corners . frothy off-white head, decent retention. aroma is a bit of dark malt and citrusy hops.

taste has a fairly roasted flavor for a Black IPA. lingering hop taste, slightly citrus. medium thickness, higher carbonation.

overall, decent for the style, but their Hoppy Feet 1.5 was much better.

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Photo of Boto
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber: This one pours a very dark brown, almost black color. There was a bit of a tan head that recedes quickly. Decent enough nose. Chocolate and a bit of roastiness up front. Some citrus hops trying to break through. Medium bodied. Taste is OK. Bit of the roastiness and chocolate malts, a bit bitter. Taste seems a little thin, even though it is good.

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

Sample: 1 bottle 2012

A: Very dark brown with a garnet halo when held to light, pours a moderate light brown head, decent internal carbonation

S: Very unique nose, hints of espresso, cocoa, pepper, but primarily a scent that is rather synthetic, almost like aerosol, not entirely pleasant

T: Much similar to the nose, undertones of imperial stout characteristics, but primarily that same synthetic chemical taste, I wouldn't call is delicious, but it is slightly addicting, I can see how this brew received its name

M: Smooth, if anything the internal carbonation just gets in the way slightly, but very lively, "unique" aforementioned aftertaste, not too lingering

O: Can't say I like this, but for some reason I continue to drink it, very interesting nose and flavor, worth a try, but strange

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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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Photo of Dope
3.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark brown pour with a ridiculously huge very light brown head. Retention is excellent, the island of foam never goes away.

S: Mild chocolate and roasted malt aroma. Strange metallic smell.

T: More mild chocolate with bitter char and coffee. Still a little metallic, not as bad as the smell though. Has some piney hop character throughout, especially bitter on the back end.

M: Medium body, smooth.

O: Decent black ale, it's fairly weak though. Metallic element detracts, especially from the aroma. Overall it's kinda like a Hoppy Feet .5. I prefer Hoppy Feet and especially Hoppy Feet 1.5 (best of the bunch).

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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 gueuzeonhigh
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a coarse bubble head--that lasts and lasts..
Laced the walls of my glass that I think I may have to scrub to get it off.

Nice nose- rose with a bitter tang...

This is quite a bit lighter in flavor and stance than Clown Shoes' other products I've head the pleasure to sample.

Beer is much lighter flavor stance-- although it's dubbed and "American black ale"-- I consider this to be much lighter than than their Russian Imperial Souts, but many of the characteristics are there-- hops, toasted malt are predominant.

Mouthfeel- cordial but light-- perhaps lighter than I expected. The initial start dissipates and thins.

Overall- a very enjoyable beer especially those times when you're not in the mood for the "up front in your face" flavor stance of the RIS'es nor the ABV level.

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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 arizcards
3.61/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 4 pack from Total Wine in late January for $4.99. Bottled in August 2011...that may explain the price.

Beer poured black with a huge billowing brown head that has great hang time which is not often seen.

Nose has hints of coffee and not much else.

Taste is primarily malt based, coffee, with a residual citrus oily finish. Hop profile is kind of lacking and not fitting in well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a pretty decent beer but nothing overly great. Probably the least exciting of the Clown Shoes lineup i have had to date.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: black body, big 2 finger khaki head,
splendid lacing

S: roasted nuts, mild coffee, orange peel,
hint of pine

T: orange peel/lemon, pine, roasted malt bitter finish

M: med body, mild oily/hint of dry

O: Another fine Clown Shoes brew,
love trying their beers. Fine brewery
for value. For some reason,
not a huge fan of this
style, but the Ipswich,
MA outfit entertained my taste buds.
Recommend it + will get again.


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Photo of troysoy2
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, Bottled on Jul 2011. Hmm.

Poured into a pint glass, it's pitch black, with a blood red glare. Finger of light tan head, decent retention, some lacing.

The smell is roasty malt, just a touch of cocoa, and maybe a touch of indistinguishable fruit.

Wow, intense, bitter roastiness out of nowhere in the taste. Some grassy bitterness on the finish only further accentuates this. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I bet some very herbal-tasting hops are at work in the bulk of the taste, hovering over the dry roastiness. The mouthfeel is mouthcoating, wet and refreshing until you swallow, where the dryness is just almost too much.

A unique and unexpected entry into this style of beer. Roasted malt is the star, and the hops mostly serve to enhance that. Good for a once in a while beer, but wouldn't want a ton in one sitting.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a pitch black color with a very thick frothy dirty brown head. Head clung nicely and left a reasonable layer on top. Aroma was malty and grainy. Slightly roasted grains with a very small hint of lactose sweetness. Taste was slightly sour with a hint of bitter. Not really what I was expecting at all. Not bad, but not really in style. Felt good in the mouth, coated well and not overly carbonated. The flavor just came across as off putting. Can't place it, but just doesn't seem right.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an inky black with only the faintest hints of colour at the edges of the glass, when held up to light. Massive capucinno coloured head is light and large bubbled, leaving much lacing.

Aroma of roasted black malts with a background of grains. The flavour is very malt-forward, without any sign of "American" ("c") hops. A beautfully bitter and lingering finish, and dry right across the palate. Roasted and toasted black and brown malts at all levels.

Very nice "black ale", but not the "Cascadian ale" for which I'd hoped.

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Photo of ADZA
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown murky hue which lets absolutely no light through and leaves a three finger caramel laced head and heaps of clingy lacing everywhere very nice looking,the smell is coffee,piney hops and i mean piney its a smackload of them actually with also a nice light touch of liquorice to make it interesting,the mouthfeel is light-medium bodied and could be fuller with strong tastes of lots of piney hops,a touch of dark chocolate,coffee and finished with a blackcurrant bitterness and overall i like it and the best thing is its only the first offering for me from this brewery so look forward to the other couple cheers.

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

Served on-tap in a clear Shaker pint at Mellow Mushroom (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Not quite black with a short cap of off-white head that left a few thin lines of lace.

S: The aroma is easy-going and subdued, a little too much in that direction as no component of the beer asserts itself with much power. The roast portion is light overall throughout the beer, which I like in this style. The hoppiness though is not distinctive and barely registers much above earthy.

T: The flavor works pretty well because the roast character is kept in check. There is a hint of roast but no sharp, slightly acrid roasted malt note that can ruin this style. The hoppiness is too much background and only contributes a little bit of lemon-orange citrus aside from the earthy, herbal qualities.

M: The feel is solid with good medium body with pretty active carbonation to give it a less heavy feel all the way around.

O: I thought this was above-average for the style -- it is not a very distinctive beer and it could be tweaked with either more malt complexity or a more assertive hopping schedule.

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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 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 chocosushi
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cuvée des Trolls Glass
A ~ Pours brown-black with a nice inch cap of tan/camel head. Lacing is abundant as with most if not all of CS' beers. The carb is rich. Lighter than Hoppy Feet.

S ~ Raw grapefruit & orange peels. Floral notes are akin to daisy or lavender. Hints of cinnamon & sliced red apple sweetness. Ashy notes & mellow "woodiness"

T ~ Citrus following through with wildberry notes on a bed of strapping burnt tree bark bitterness. Hints of dried mango & burnt toast midpalette. Lots of wet floral notes...Splash of bing cherries.

M ~ Very floral & fruity hop sensations on the palette->Smacked in the face with stark bitterness->Eases away & finishes dry with even more floral notes afterward. Good body for the ABV, but with an odd cloy that I can't put my finger on.

D ~ A session-strength black ale with no heat, but I think I prefer the higher bodied black ipas. To each his own, and this is WELL worth trying. Clown Shoes is still one of my favorite breweries.

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

Thanks goes out to portia99 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
Bottled: 10/11

Poured into a DFH glass a very nice black color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice two-finger thick creamy off-white head, which also leaves some very nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with a very slight/nice hop note, picking up some chocolate/toffee notes also. The taste is malty, some hops, lots of chocolate/toffee notes. Medium body, with a dry/bitter finish. I like this one right from the get go pour. Thanks Bill!

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at Blue Dog.

A black body with some dark reds along the edges. A gorgeous light tan head came up and stayed forever leaving nice sheets of lace.

A good balance of dark malts mixed in with citrus goodness from the hopping, pretty much even. A nice citrus blast of grapefruit and the like. Roasted malts and a semi storm kingish hop smell from the freshness off the keg.

More hoppy than I was expecting, The roasted quality comes out as well as some sweetness. Some grapefruit and other citrus tastes. A small chocolate hit in the middle. Looking at this beer, I was not expecting such a hop bite, quite nice.

Feel is medium and nicely carbed up, the head last forever and this is some active beer here. Goes down smooth and citrusy and not very bitter as the darks really take away from that aspect when it comes to room temp. Very drinkable beer here and I would go for another.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle was poured into a imperial pint glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger mocha head that has reduced into left nice lacing on the glass. Pitch black with no signs no signs of carbonaion on the side of the glass.

Smell: roastiness, mocha, bready, grainy

Taste: charcoal, roasted malts, bitterness, mocha, slight pine and citrus in the back.

Mouthfeel: dry, smooth, medium carbonation, smokey, bitter, full bodied, and somewhat tough to drink. Bitterness lingers around longer that I would like.

Overall: This was not a bad brew at all. I feel there are others out there too, but I would revisit this one again most likely on draft. The smokiness and ash seemed to be a bit much at times and made this beer harder to drink than other black ales/black IPAs.

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