Muffin Top | Clown Shoes

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Muffin TopMuffin Top
Very Good
Muffin TopMuffin Top

Brewed by:
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Muffin Top combines the attributes of a Belgian Tripel with a huge burst of American hops. Intense flavors from the Belgian yeast, reminiscent of candied fruits, mix with the hop bitterness and sweet orange peel to create a unique take on a Belgian-Style ale.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 709
5/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just wow. .
Tastes like candy and beer. . Fruity delicious wheat. Probably the best wheat beer I've ever tasted.
Candy up front. Hoppy after taste. Leaves you wanting another sip after every sip.. well done.
So good i cannot believe it. Nice head that lasted on top. Hazy gold cloudy. Light Hoppy taste just keeps you wanting more. Just wow. Nicest Belgian style beer ever. .

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.79/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received today from Mr. ClownShoes himself today. Thanks, Gregg! Bottled August 2011.

Poured into a snifter. Pours a cloudy orange with a huge, rocky white head. Head drops slowly leaving a ton of chunky lacing and a thin wisp of foam as a cap.

Aromas of big citrusy hops. Sweet orange peel. Spicy yeast notes, and a whiff of alcohol.

Flavors of big bursting oranges, orange zest, spicy belgian yeast bite, candied oranges and tangerines. Very intense. Long lasting bitterness and an alcohol bite at the end of a very long finish.

Mouthfeel is jaw clinching, tongue scraping bitterness, medium bodied, a little drying, spot-on level of carbonation.

Overall a fantastic brew. Big, bold, complex, very intense, definitely a sipper. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of BenjieK
4.69/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: This look of this one was startling, almost off putting. Hazy, murky, thick. Big head though, tons of lace. I think it may have just been extremely fresh and the yeast hadn't settled yet.

S: Boozy, hoppy, orange, citrus, bready, very complex and inviting.

T: Holy crap! I love Clown Shoes beers because of the intensity. This is the most intense of them. MT tastes like an explosion of hops, oranges, and yeast. Unbelieveably complicated and totally delcioous.

M: Thick, oily, rich, complex, mouth stimultating.

O: Wow. Just wow.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.69/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Muffin Top | Clown Shoes. Bottled on 8/15/14. Poured from the bottle into a goblet, this beer's head is three fingers thick, with solid lacing, and a hazy body.

I smell a profound Belgian yeast complex, with sharper pepper and lemongrass notes being bashed over the skull by the hop oils aged for nearly two years.

Tastes like a mellower version of what I'd described with the scent. Actually has a pleasant sweetness almost reminiscent of butterscotch and candied dark fruits.

The mouthfeel here is medium with mild carbonation

Overall, I'll rate Muffin Top | Clown Shoes with a 4.75. A very complex, yet easier going than most Belgian IPA's.

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Photo of wburch1967
4.67/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a Duvel Chalice. Label shows two fat people walking hand in hand on the beach with giant Clown Shoes made of sand. Cool.

Beer pours a hazy orange on the first glass, and a hazier orange/brown/yeasty pour on the second.

Smells of oranges, yeast, grapefruit, slight alcohol.

Taste is an explosion of Belgian and Amercian flavors, almost out of joint for me, but as it warmed it came together. Orange, bread, west coast hops, pretty great. The second glass was almost like beer soup.

A very good beer!

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Photo of palphen
4.67/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very interesting brew. Lots of orange peel and coriander smell. The taste starts off sweet, as expected from a Belgian tripel, but immediately you begin to get the bitterness of the hops (ipa). Really a fantastic beer, the alcohol isn't too prevalent. I don't review a lot of beers but felt I had to with this one, it's That good!!

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Photo of TTAmod
4.62/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The label on this bottle is epic! This is the hardest Clown Shoes beer to find in my experiences. This is actually my first CS beer, so I'm fairly excited.

22 oz. poured into Chimay chalice.

A: Vigorous pour yields a hazy light brown liquid with a thick off-white head that leaves behind a very nice lace.

S: Whew...smell is very heavy hops. It also has a bit of a spicy clove-like radiance coming out of it. Also smells of heavy yeast.

T: Wow. Really heavy minty/piney hops up front. It's very brief, though, and then the spiciness and yeast of the tripel kick in. The front of the brew is DIPA and the latter half is tripel. This brew is very sweet and extremely tasty.

There is also bit of warming in the throat.

M: Pretty much exactly medium. The carbonation is really nice and what you'd get with a tripel.

O: Haven't had hops like these in awhile. These tasted very strongly of mint and pine; they had a very odd cooling effect, which offset the warming of the alcohol. Quite an interesting experience. Nice change of pace from the heavy grapefruit flavor that a lot of DIPAs have.

There is a lot of complexity here. The IPA they used is extremely interesting and the tripel was damn good. I hate to say it, but I think I like this one more than Le Freak, so I'll grade accordingly.

This is the first CS brew I've had, and it makes me want to try others. It is really an interesting take on the style, mostly because of the DIPA used. This is one of the harder-to-find CS brews, but it's definitely worth a shot for hopheads and pretty much any beer enthusiast.

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Photo of Svingjo
4.6/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a nice translucent copper colour with a thick white head which turn a creamy mousse like. The extensive bubbles created a almost fire like quality when held up to the light. An nice citrus happiness to the smell along with some light grassiness. There is a definite malty sweetness to really balance out the nose. Wow, the malt really comes forward in the mouth. That doesn't mean there is no hops like you'd expect in a tripel IPA, just not the punch in the face you might expect. And that grassiness sticks around in the mouth with almost a honey sweetness as well. That alcohol warmness you'd expect from a 10.5% ABV is there but not in mouth burning way. Awesome beverage. A very well balanced IPA.

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Photo of WeedWolf
4.59/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a bomber to a Tulip... Good song title...
A: beautiful hazy gold with thick frothy white head. Lacing slides away quickly unlike the sturdy head retention that sticks around till the end.

S: tropical hops with fruity Belgian yeast with a hint of funk.

T: Epic balance of the above mentioned components with a slightly dank finish.

F:Thick and juicy. Almost chewy with a minor sticky finish and very smooth! Can barely taste the alchohol.

Overall one of the best examples of this style I've had yet from a brewery that hasn't disappointed me so far. Very smooth and well balanced. Almost too drinkable!

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Photo of pat61
4.49/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: hazy gold to amber, 2” rocky off-white foam cap. Lacy. Smell: Traces of Hoegaarden over dark malts with and slight orange and banana and spice combined with grassy hops. Taste: Big flavors wrapped around a dark moist bran muffin – caramel, fruit, over ripe fruit, orange peel, big hop bitterness, toffee, candi sugar, cardamom, and dark dried fruit. Mouthfeel: Very creamy, fine soft natural carbonation, medium body.

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Photo of BigStarFan
4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy orange with a strong white head. Expected this to be more transparent for the style.
S:Lovely! Citrusy hops of an IPA combined with the fruity yeast flavors of a Belgian. Just perfect.
T: Doesn't disappoint. Excellent balance between the two styles. I love this.
M: Didn't this used to be drinkability? Anyway... hides the 10% ABV very well. This is a dangerous brew.

Overall.. I love this beer. I'm drinking it as I type. Wish it wasn't almost gone...

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Photo of Sensaray
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy light orange copper with half inch of off white head.

Oranges, mangos, sweet red fruity belgian yeast, fresh american hops, sweet caramel, tropicals. Alcohol more noticeable in smell after I drank half a glass.

Starts off like a tripel, finishes like an American ipa, and they blend very well in the middle. Tropical flavors mix with belgian flavors and citrus that accompany a bitter that flows into a bitter american hop close. It's like they lined up the perfect array of flavors, show you them in the right order, and end exceptionally. Good description of what you're in for on bottle. It's kind of like candied hops. If there was a hop candy this is what it would taste like. Pineapple, citrus.

Mouthfeel is good, medium bodied, a bit sticky, with some spice. Not excellent, but good carbonation.

Overall this is a tasty beverage. Candy and hops melded into one and pretty big bitterness too.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

The color is a cloudt yellow/orange with a finger of foamy white head and some slight lacing left on the glass.

The nose is pretty hoppy with some big pine aroma in the nose. There is a nice sweetness coming from the malts that seems to sway past the nose.

The taste is bitter at first thatslides across the tounge and gives a carbonated zing with a nice Belgian yeast flavor. The malt flavor comes out and is really sweet like frosting an a vienna finger.

The feel of this beer is big but not too heavy. It has a complex feel and flavor that keeps you alert. Is a pretty drinkable feel and is a wonderful smoothness.

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Photo of SlothB77
4.44/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 4 oz tasting glass from 750 ML bottle.

A: Pours dark golden yellow with a fluffy white cloud head two widths of my thumb that dissipates slowly

S: lots of citrus and bitters and acid. I am already excited. honeydew, apple and pear. Floral aromas as well.

T: Nice bitter taste I love. Again the citrus fruit. Definitely a lot more tobacco in the taste than the smell. Some pine.

M: Medium-bodied, medium carbonation. Bitters aftertaste that finishes quickly, clean and dry.

O: If you don't like a lot of bitters, this may be too strong for you. A good spring or fall beer.

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Photo of CMoPink
4.41/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very delicious! Didn't have the hops flavor I expected, but I tend to like less hoppy beers. Don't know how they made a belgian trippel IPA, but I like it! Tried Clown Shoes at a beer festival recently, and can't wait to try more of what they have to offer. Haven't been disappointed by any of their beers so far...

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Photo of SawDog505
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Duvel VIJF 20 oz plus. Pours a thick hazy brown orange,with a bold 3 inch sticky cream colored head. Smell is clove, banana, grapefruit, orange, and little bread. Very bold, all those flavores, more aggressive than smell. The body is large, with a ton of life for this style. What I like about this Belgian is it has almost equal amounts of IPA as a Belgian. A ton of flavor and a wonderful BIG beer.

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Photo of hogrider
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large wine glass, it pours a light yellow ochre color developing a one inch head that dissipates quickly; very little lacing is left. First sip, the hops bittes my palate, I can taste traces of citrus, tamarind; hops are dominant in the aftertaste. I like this, packing a 10% ABV I think I am going to have another cup...and keep drinking BEER and SUPPORT your local brewery. HOG

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Photo of Chaney
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a milky, caramel-orange color, with a mildly off-white (orange-ish) head that retained itself throughout the session.

S: I know the label say that there is orange in here.... and that may be so. However, I got tons of coriander upfront. After that.... hell if I know? Maybe some grass and candy sugar as well.

T: Nice, aggressive bitter edge on the front, middle, and even back end, along with a big vat of lawn clippings. Sure, the sugary sweetness was there, but the bitter elements cut that down to size.

M: Definitely one of the thickest IPAs I've ever had.... I'm talking 120 Minute stuff! The carbonation was low, but what was there played a nice duet with the grassy character emanating from the hop profile. The lacing was mildly splotchy.

O: One of the top 10 Belgian IPAs that I've ever had. While I'm not a huge fan of this style overall, I think Clown Shoes produced a winner here!

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Photo of Radome
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber bottle into a globe glass.

L - Color is light copper with lots of orange; slightly hazy. White head is initially 1" high, then fades to a thick sheet with some huge individual bubbles. Sticky, solid lacing.

S - Aroma is dominated by piney, grapefruity American hops. Behind that is grainy and bready malt, along with some spicy and fruity yeast character in the background.

T - Soft, bready malt at first, but it is quickly overwhelmed by hops--citrus, grapefruit, pines. There are some spice and bubblegum yeast notes in the background. Layered and complex.

F - Medium to thick body. Medium carbonation. High hops bitterness with moderate alcohol burn. Well balanced.

O - A very enjoyable beer. I was put off by the strong hops aroma because I was expecting a tripel, but the beer is complex and interesting. A good mix of US IPA and Belgian characteristics.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice clean/clear dark golden orange color, very nice carbonation, with a nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which does leave some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is sweet, malty, hoppy, with some citrus notes. The taste is pretty nice, malty, nice sweetness, hoppy, nice little touch of citrus, nice little touch of fruityness. Medium body, ABV hidden pretty well. Overall, this is a very nice brew, nice touch on the style.

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Photo of datalager
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This ale surprised me. I didn't expect such goodness with their attempt at a style twisted hybrid. First off, it's a beautiful beer. The look is a rich, murky amber with a thick, tight froth from a moderate pour. Cracking the bomber emits very nice aromas. Rich pine trees, sweet citrus, background of dates and funk. Yup, a mix of IPA and Belgian. Flavors are still good, if not quite as appealing as the smells. Immediate hit is that of a quality IPA, followed by an almost clashing Belgian style (to me, more of a dubbel) and then drifting into a strong DIPA-like fade. Individually the flavors are all of apparently high quality. I'm just not convinced the flavors match so well side by side. Mouthfeel is excellent, with just the right carbonation to match the IPA backbone. Overall a very good beer. I'd buy it again. For those Clown Shoes brews that are mediocre, this one definitely stands quite a bit higher, IMO.

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Photo of Ratman197
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured a cloudy gold with a lasting ivory head. Aromas of grapefruit, yeast, straw, candied orange, lemon zest, light mint and a hint of licorice. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and smooth with a dry finish. Flavors of yeast, straw, grapefruit, lemon zest, ligt candied orange and light mint with a smooth dry bitter lingering citrus finish.

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Photo of BeerT3ch
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great tasting beer. Plenty of Belgium and American pride mixed in a bottle. Full Mouth, citrus, earthy flavor. Consistence Drink from the front to the back end. ABV is obvious! 10% +.... Very good Pour. I was hesitant to try the new Clown Shoes Brewery, but I'm glad I did. Vampire Slayer's next. Cheers!

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Photo of martyl1000
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Mason lounge (Madison). It's a nice-looking pour into a goblet, a brownish rouge, with a single finger tan head, and fairly sticky lacing on the glass.

The aroma is far out: massive floral citrus, with a subversive Bready malt.

In the mouth the citrusy hops become steel bright, with a scaffolding of zucchini bread malt. Hence, the name, "Muffin Top".

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Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

March 2013 bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a golden yellow with an inviting 2 finger fluffy white head.

S: Hops come through surrounded by the belgian sweetness. Getting a nice bready aroma along with sweet fruits and banana. Hoppy resin as well. Pretty hoppy aroma.

T: Sweet fruit followed by the hoppy bite. Very very slight peppery feel for added spice.

M: Sweetness coats the mouth and leaves with a bitter tingly feeling. Medium body with carbonation evident.

O: A very solid and unique beer. Surprisinglu the belgian tripel and IPA mesh well IMO. Only knock is that it is sweet and it stays sweet. Might be too much for some.

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Muffin Top from Clown Shoes
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 709 ratings