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 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 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 Shagtastic
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this beer. It was about all I expected from it. Nothing more and nothing less. I loved the coffee from the nose and the easy drinkability. I feel like it is the perfect beer to introduce someone to the style without blowing them away on their first attempt. The taste was solid but nothing mindblowing. While I'm not sure I'd seek this out again I'm really happy I got to try it!

Thanks cbeer!

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A very dark black with a nice half inch of mocha colored head. Lacing follows pretty well.

S - Some roasted barley with a nice bit of citrus hops. Mild cocoa

T - Taste is roast but not overbearing with citrus hops not too bitter and a clean chocolate finish. The hops do cling after sip with some pine notes.

M - Medium bodied for sure. A nice stout.

Overall this is the first beer I had from these guys and it seems to be a nice bodied full flavor black ale (stout like) would like to try others beers.

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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 CowsCanBark
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a color exactly like Coca-Cola, with a very similar colored one-finger head, albeit a bit more brown. There is decent lacing left on the glass.

Smell: Dark malts, chocolate is dominating.

Taste: A strong burst of roasty malts, coffee, and a bit of cocoa, followed by a moderate bitterness that lingers for a minute or so. Also noted is a strong metallic taste on the back-end. The flavor is mostly just roastyness, nothing amazing.

Mouthfeel: Moderate body and elevated carbonation, sipper for sure. A bit creamy, not smooth.

Overall: A promising brew that ends up short due to a lack of flavor and too strong of a metal aftertaste.

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

Bottled 9/11.

A: Not quite pitch black, some brown hues when held up to the light. Light mocha colored head with some patchy lacing. Not bad.

S: Pine, orange peel, some roast.

T: Light charcoal, burnt toast malts, bitter orange peel hop bitterness. Subtle chocolate notes come out when warmed up.

M: Creamy mouthfeel, a real harsh bitterness lingers after a sip.

O: A good black IPA, nothing special, enjoying it with some brownies.

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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 avalon07
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick texture. There was a huge, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A decent aroma of hops, coffee, and malt.

T: Tasted of coffee, chocolate, hops, and a bit of malt. Like its cousin Hoppy Feet, this beer is lacking in the hops category. Not terrible flavor, but it leaves you wanting.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A pretty good beer, in spite of some flaws. Drinkable, but could have used a little more power.

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Photo of u2carew
3.91/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz longneck
A) Pours with a big head. Settles some but keeps a nice finger thick head. Opaque body. Sticky lacing on the drink down.
S) Spruce and subtle orange peel.
T) Grassy herbal notes. Mellow roasted malt sweetness. A nice hop bite in the finish with a lingering piney aftertaste.
M) Medium body. Dry finish.
O) A decent black IPA. I'd consider another one.

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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 Georgiabeer
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An interesting beer. Pours pitch black with a somewhat thin head and appreciable lacing. Smells very dry, almost chalky, with predominantly bitter chocolate aromas; and a dusky, bitter note at the end. The taste is somewhat similar- also bone dry with a dry, bitter chocolate or even cocoa note, a fair bit of breadiness, and a fair dose of bitter hops at the end. Perhaps a bit too dry in the mouth, it cries out for a bit of sweetness. Still, I like the combination of bitter chocolate and breadiness, I can see drinking this from time to time.

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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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Photo of Chaney
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this into a Cigar City snifter because I'm a badass and know it with every fabric of my very existence. If anyone has a problem with this and wants to fight me over it, feel free to BM me. The first 50 will get deleted, but after that...

A: I'm sick of being forced to describe the color of a black ale! Oh.... the head was pretty white and stuck to the glass like a mo fo.

S: Very understated, yet pleasant overall. It had a very grainy malt bill that won out over the hops about 20-5. I did manage to get a couple of pineapple notes waft my way after REALLY trying.

T: This is a porter minus the smokiness. It was good, but just a little meh. This started to warm up on me after a few sips, because I started to figure it out. It reminded me a bit of FFF "Black Sun" Stout (which is an Irish Dry Stout). As a hoppy, fruity, stout, this wasn't bad.

M: Fairly well carbonated, and with a LOT of lacing left on the glass. The thickness was good, but I could have used just a tinge more fruity sweetness. That would have made this a bit more interesting.

O: What a ride this brew was. If Clown Shoes were to call this a stout, I would have dug this as a hoppy stout (ala. Storm King).

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass.

Smells really interesting. You get coffee, but there is something else in there. I also get roastiness of the malt. I think I smell charcoal.

I tastes good, but the coffee flavor is a little off. I like the hop presence, but the aftertaste reminds me of older coffee. The after-taste is more of this coffee presence.

This was an interesting bottle. I recommend picking up a single bottle to try, but a six pack is a decent commitment for a beer that is probably good for some... but not for all.

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

on tap at Blind Tiger

a- a deep black pour with a thin head and a low amount of lace.

s- a very resiny pine is the foremost aroma, accompanied by a bright citrus and roasty, dark barley.

t- the mix between pine, citrus, and dark roast is good, but it leans to the piney, sprucey side. But the roasty char and very light coffee flavors are still present.

o- a very good black ipa, although it is not as dark tasting as I usually like it. Still, very easy drinking.

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

12 oz bottle poured into Sam Adams glass. Opaque black with good head and great lacing. Aroma is rather underwhelming but detect piney hops and smokey malt. Hop profile seems a little bland - bitter but not that flavorful and smokey. Finishes very dry and somewhat raspy. This one is okay, but I prefer Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours black with dark brown head, decent retention, significant lacing, a bit of brown at the edges

S: nose features nice deep roasted notes with pine and oak wrapped around it, some notes of spruce and licorice come in as well

T: the roasted malts are subdued on the palate on leaving a slight char to go along with the resinous hop profile, the end has a light bitterness, nice balance

MF: medium to thin body, medium carbonation

O: this is a pretty drinkable brew that features a nice spruce and pine hop profile.

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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 kennylopez
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into pint.

Appearance: dark black with a half fingers worth of head that fades to a film a leaves spots of lacing.

Smells: a mild hop note with a light roasted malt base.

Tastes: there is a fairly significant roasted malt taste as in the beginning and balances out in the middle with a creamy and frothy hop character. I pick up a hint of coffee.

Mouthfeel: the carbonation lasts throughout drinking this ale even though the looks didn't show that. the aftertaste is the roasted bread malts and little burn from the 6%

Overall: only the second style I tried from Clown Shoes besides their black IPA which I loved. So I have to say my second favorite from them would be this so far.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Label says bottled on June 2011.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a tan head that's about 1/4 inch thick, retains a bit and then evaporates into an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass with some lacing and splotchy surface bubbles.

S- A distinct hop presence in the initial smell followed by dark malts. Noticeable alcohol fumes. A bit of cocoa hangs in the background but is only detected after several sharp sniffs.

T- Ouch. The aroma was a bit misleading. An immediate metallic taste shows up and ruins the party but is quickly brushed aside by charred toast and burnt popcorn that continue to detract from the drinkability. Hardly any hop bitterness present which is very surprising since it's the first thing that comes through in the smell. After I get into it, it becomes more palatable but still not all that enjoyable.

M- Thick and oily yet still not chewy or overly heavy. Medium carbonation provides a decent kick since there's not much alcohol present.

O- The first not-so-great offering I've had from this brewery. If I had to choose between this and their "Hoppy Feet" which is also an ABA, I'd choose Hoppy Feet all day.

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Photo of Thedaver4220
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the first offering I've had from clown shoes.

It pours a deep dark black with a one finger tan head. It's got a strong roasted coffee scent. Decent mouth feel, but more the bitterness cuts out any flavors that might be present.

Overall a decent beer. I did expect more from it though. I feel it's missing something. The bitterness masks any kind of flavor. My brother raves about clown shoes so I had high expectations, which it didn't meet. But overall a decent beer

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

12 oz bottle poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pitch black, good 2 fingers worth of tan colored head that settles to a nice thin layer.. Great lacing from start to finish.

S: Lots of sweet toasted malt, coffee, brown sugar and molasses. No real hop to speak of.

T: Dead on with the smell... Coffee was really strong to me but there is a little hop bitterness right in at the end... bitterness sticks around in the aftertaste.

M: Creamy feeling at first with a little sharp bitterness at the end... Good mix.

O: A well balance brew here good mix of sweet and bitterness.. ABV is pretty good... not much of a session beer due to the complex mix

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