Lubrication | Clown Shoes

316 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 316 |  Reviews: 159
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a stout-like color without the stout-like viscosity. Minute sandy head sits atop the beer. The small head does leave good lacing however.

S-Smells just like a porter. I am getting some decent hoppiness in the nose but this is more malty in the nose than anything else. It really just smells like a porter. Sweet dark malt combined with a bit of citrus and pine hops.

T-Quite bitter on the palate. This one is more focused upon the bitterness than any lengthy hop flavors. Along with the hops is a strong helping of burnt dark malt. The flavors don't work well with each other very well.

M-Lighter than it looks. A bunch of carbonation. Maybe a bit too much. Bitterness lasts and dries out the tongue.

O/D-I love Clown Shoes. This is probably my least favorite beer by them. A sub-par ABA, and I do not regard the style very highly either. It is not awful, but I am glad I got this as a gift. I will always try Clown Shoes' new brews. But this one just doesn't go down well.

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Photo of One2Remeber
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8 oz served in snifter from a chilled bottle.

A: Dark, dark brown body with a well-carbonated tan espresso color head.

S: Straight fruity hop presence in the nose with out an expected smoked aroma.

T: Light, bubbley on the way down. Dry finish as an acute smoked presence starts to shine. Hoppy sensation on the sides of the mouth giving a warming sensation.

M: The smoked aspect lingers without being bitter at all.

O: Very impressed with Clown Shoes beer so far, had Hoppy Feet a couple days ago which was extremely delicious beating out Stone's 15th anniversary black strong ale. Lubrication did the trick for a 6% black ale but definitely on the lighter side for the style. Not explosive with flavor.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The head is like a mocha shake. Thick, creamy, excellent retention and rises above the rim of the glass. Beer is very dark brown. Really does look like a stout. Some clumps of lace

Aroma is bright and a nice combination of pine hops and a light chocolate or cocoa.

Lots of ash and charcoal right up front in the flavor. A moment of almost no flavor then some hop bitterness takes over. The roast is very dark here and the charcoal notes seem to dominate.

Dry in your mouth, almost a powder feel.

Not amongst my favorite of the Clown Shoes line-up.

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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 Retail1LO
3.31/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Pours with a faint head, that somehow manages to produce some pretty ridiculous lacing that hangs around...forever. Smell is flat out nondescript. Nothing really shines through at all. The taste is like strong, astringent black coffee. Dark and malty. While it's decent enough, it really lacks any kind of complexity. There's nothing underlying that rears it's head and wows you. Very shallow. The mouthfeel is heavily carbonated and again, astringent. Next to nothing going on here. I'm not too acquainted with the "black ale" style as a whole. I can't speak much of this beers representation of it's style, as such. However, it was a decent beer to have the opportunity to try. I won't be coming back though.

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Photo of Lerxst
3.31/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours black, no light penetration, with a creamy, tight knight, one inch beige head that has good retention and leaves spotty lace as I drink. Nice looking beer.

S-Citrus and pine resin hit the nose first but then a strong aroma of charred malt surfaces and begins to meld with them and slowly take over as the dominant aroma. A slightly off putting astringent scent comes in midway and lingers.

T-A heavily charred/burnt malt flavor coats the palate along with a slight nuttiness, citrus and piney hops are along for the ride, but the malt dominates here. Also picking up hints of dark roast coffee. The charred malt lingers on the palate after swallowing creating a slightly ashy aftertaste that detracts my enjoyment.

M-Somewhat on the light bodied side with a crisp carb bite. If I didn't have a benchmark for "average" mouthfeel, this one establishes it.

O-It was worth a try, but in no way would I say this is one of the better examples of the style. Its not bad, just not particularly memorable.

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

Black in color with tan head. Spotty lacing.

Charred malt, citrus hops, and cola. The smell is kind of a mess and the scents don't play well together.

The burnt malt is way too strong. I like what the orange citrus has to offer but it's not allowed to shine. There's also a tinny aftertaste to it.

Mouthfeel is a little flat and it's dry, but in a charred kind of way.

This is the first clown shoes beer I've been disappointed in. If they could tone down the charred flavors it would be much better.

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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 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 kawilliams81
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass.

A- Pitch black with 2 finger tan head, and good lacing the remains on the glass through most of the beer.

S- Roasted malts and pine hops.

T- Roasted malts dominate the beer, with some coffee notes and pine hops in the middle and finish.

M- Medium to thin. Very drinkable, even with a slightly dry, bitter finish.

O- Tastes like Hoppy Feet light to me. Would like some more citrus hop aroma and taste in this beer. Still a good black ipa and I would get it again.

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

This is a solid beer all around. It is an easy drink and well balanced. It pours a decent shade of black and you can taste the pine and citrous notes. Well done. This beer doesn't jump up and smack you as outstanding, but I could see me buying this beer for friends knowing it is a quality beer that we'd enjoy.


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Photo of WanderingFool
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lubrication pours black into the glass with a small, off white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly leaving behind some lines and spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma has hoppy notes of pine with hints of orange citrus and roasted malt.

Each sip of this light to medium bodied beer is watery on the palate with a moderate carbonated fizz. The flavor has nice roasted malt and pine hop notes blended with some earthy nuttiness and citrus. A touch of coffee is almost present. It finishes dry with a lingering smoke and pine flavor on the palate.

This is a tasty, easy drinking, well balanced beer. Something I could drink year round.

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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 twiggamortis420
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a bottled on notch of July 2011 courtesy of Dnuggs, thanks Doug! Pours black with a nice cap of dense, creamy tan head. Nice retention and lacing.

Nose shows a nice balance of roasty-sweet malts and bright hops. Chocolaty citrus and a dry-ish cocoa powder. Nice.

Taste leans a bit more hoppy than malty and loses much of the sweetness I got from the smell. Roast is still there enough and drops some light fruit and pine-bite on the finish. Mouthfeel could be a bit fuller, but thats a minor complaint. I like it, fairly simple brew, but it fits nicely in the black IPA category. Glad Clown Shoes is coming to TX.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with a 2 finger tan head

smell: roast, black patent, hops,

taste: black patent, roast, hops

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: it's an alright black ale nothing special. wish they would work on a different style beer. since this is the 3rd time working with the black ipa category.


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

Purchased 8/12
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a deep, dark, opaque brown, with a two finger sudsy head. Head recedes leaving big old wispy sticky lacing.

S: Major chocolaty notes. roast and char notes, and a good dose of grapefruit and lemony notes.

T: Taste is starts with light bitter chocolate notes, and then a heft (et not overpowering) charred notes. Lighter roast notes as the flavor lends to more of a citrus blend. Lemon and grapefruit citrus bite fill out the end.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, crisp and clean body.

O: Goes down easy, tasty, note too filling, nice kick, decent representation of style. An easy drinking beer that a few can be enjoyed.

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Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So we are doing a little role reversal here. I am reviewing the beer and my husband GbvDave is assisting and keeping an eye on our extremely mobile 9 month old!


A: The color of the body and foam remind me a lot of Guiness stout. Very dark and opaque, with caramel colored foam. There was about 1 finger of foam when poured, and left spotty lace around the crown of my pint glass after a few sips.

S: Oak, chickory, caramel, and super dark bittersweet chocolate. Dave picked up notes of espresso.

T: Bittersweet chocolate, blackened malt, piney hops, a very slight hint of orange zest. The first sip was suprisingly "soapy".

M: It's wet...JK, moderatley dry with a drier finish.

O: We enjoyed this very much and look forward to more from Clown Shoes!


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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In a pint glass this beer was a black color with a thick tan head. There was a good deal of lace.

Aroma was very tepid. Roasted malt and herbal hops, but muted.

Improvement in the taste. Coffee, a little chocolate, and piney hops.

Another so-so black ale. Not bad, but not that good.

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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 OtherShoe2
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, almost black with a dense tan head. No real lace but the head lingered and clung to the edge of the glass.

Some pine and roasted malt. Not as much of either that I expected.

Great balance here. Nice and appropriate hop presence, but no where near as overdone a others of this style. This drinks like a hoppy porter. Nice coffee and cocoa elements. There is some sweetness in the malt, but the charred element shines. Good lingering bitterness that is a combo malt and hop. Lovely beer.

Medium bodied with some tingly carbonation.

One of my favorites of the style. Was having a love/hate relationship with the style until I tried this. Good job.

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Photo of celticfutblclub
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

100th review and its the dong beer... niceeee

bomber into pint glass.

big black body sits beneath fluffy coffee colored head that has very good retention and lacing. nose is roasted malts coffee chocolate bread juxtaposed with a hoppy resin. lots going on here and balances well on the nose. hop bite hits from the start and lasts throughout. its resiny oily hop taste with bread crackers chocolate roasted coffee malts. finish is nice and dry with a lot of carbonation. a little bit of watery edge to this that detracts just a little bit. overall its a pretty good offering.

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

A: Pours a deep dark brown, almost black in color with a two finger tan head that recedes fairly quickly leaving a fine lacy foam on the top of the brew.

S: Earthy hops prevail with some malt and mild citrus notes.

T: Roasted malts followed by the same earthy hops from the nose along with a very slight amount of citrus. Not a whole lot else going on.

M: Light bodied brew with a medium-low amount of carbonation. Not a huge amount of flavor and a small amount of carbonation to match.

O: Decent, more of a Black IPA than a Black Ale I'd say. Definitely on the hoppy side but enjoyable.

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Lubrication from Clown Shoes
3.62 out of 5 based on 316 ratings.
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