Muffin Top | Clown Shoes

very good
157 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

Added by Reagan1984 on 09-02-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 709
Photo of rinhaak
2.7/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I found this to be a tremendously disappointing offering from Clown Shoes. While they can be very, very good at their best (Clementine, for example), they can also be quite bad at their worst. And sadly, for my tastes, this beer is among their worst offerings.

While I applaud their experimental efforts, this particular experiment needs a lot more time to work out the kinks. For beginners, it is neither an IPA nor a Belgian Tripel. Very little hop profile, it was way too sweet and tasted predominantly of canned mandarin oranges. None of the yeasty breadiness that one expects in a tripel, nor any of the hop zing one expects in an IPA. In short, it's a fruity, sweet, unbalanced beer.

A word of advice: don't bother with it.

 731 characters

Photo of Spartyfan21
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Bought this with hopes it'd be a great combo of my two favorite beer styles.....but it's not that great. Lacks the smell I hoped for and doesn't taste at all like a Belgian Tripel - mainly just boozy high alcohol content taste

 227 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
2.78/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: a good looking tripel. a nice golden orange color. perfect clarity and a off white head that leaves a lacing

Smell: not what I was expecting. a spiciness, hops and alcohol

Taste: opens up with spiciness and some belgian yeast. strong hops and an intense alcohol. I found it difficult to drink

Mouthfeel: intense heat and a strong bitterness.

Overall: I know they were going for a more americanized version of the classic style but I don't think it worked out well.

 480 characters

Photo of PittBeerGirl
2.96/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

A- Body is a uniformly hazy orangish yellow hue that pours with a 1-2 finger or so foamy white head. Head quickly fades to a moderate sized collar and some lacing is left behind in the glass. When held up to the light one can see that the translucency is non-uniform with a lot of sediment around.

S- The main character of the nose is belgian triple with apple, pear, peppery spice, and a lot of alcohol. There is also an over abundance of belgian candi sugar. Then there is something that seems a little off. There is a huge overtone of citrus and grapefruit with just a hint of pine and floral hops.

T- Upfront is alcohol, pear, citrus,pepper, and very minor floral hop overtones with a heavy belgian candi sugar background. Finish is very boozy, sweet, and hoppy. A lot of alcohol astringency, a lot of belgian candi sugar, and a lot of pine hops. Left to linger is hop bitterness, alcohol astringency, and a weird sweetness.

M- Medium carbonation with small bubbles and a slightly bready yet slightly dry, very astrigent body.

O- Clown shoes is theoretically a very good brewing company- and when executed correctly the "Belgian IPA" is my favorite style- but it is important to note that this is a belgian tripel/IPA which I perceive as a hybrid between american IPA and tripel...which is much different than an intensely hopped BSPA, saison, or tripel. There is way too much sugary sweetness to this brew...and the hop/belgian blend is just executed poorly. I was really looking forward to this brew but I am very disappointed.

 1,547 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.97/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a snifter.

3.25 A: Murky copper color. Two fingers of off-white creamy/frothy head. Retention is good and a short ring of lacing is left.

3.0 S: Quite sugary. Cake frosting, peach, lemon. Lots of citrusy and grassy hoppiness. Yeasty breadiness, banana chips, and something quite distinct that my mind can't identify right now - something like a persimmon. Also a touch of vegetal aroma.

3.0 T: The taste has no real focus. It's moderately bitter and the predominant flavor is yeastiness. There's peach, lemon, and banana fruitiness, but there's also a lack of tripel spiciness. Less sugary than nose, but still there. Bready and biscuity.

3.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Chewy, but lacking spritziness or creaminess, which is what I like in the style.

2.75 D: Eh, it's okay, but it doesn't work well as either an IPA or a tripel.

 880 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.98/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice-looking beer. In a tulip it was a hazy orange color with a medium-sized white head and a good deal of lace.

Yeasty, candy aroma. Orange. Spicy.

The taste was a little much for me. Started off with that candy taste. Coriander noted. The orange taste was very bitter, almost unpleasantly so. It was like they put the whole rind, and not just the zest, in.

Too bitter for me, and a little on the hot side.

One and done.

 425 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Ugly, muddy amber color, big mistake pouring all in glass - tons of floaties that don't settle plus a ton of yeast left in bottle. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Grapefruit nose, sweetened grapefruit flavor, dry bitter finish. Disappointing Belgian triple IPA. $9.60 for a 22oz bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

 414 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.12/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Seemingly a Belgian-style Tripel Ale except with heightened hop character makes this currious ale authentic tasting as a Tripel, especially with the restrained hop character that pulls it nearly within range.

Very yeasty looking with a thick visual weight, the beer pours golden to orange in color. Very creamy looking, the beer builds a short-lived head of slighly off white foam and with surprisingly little lace. Despite the hop content, it seems that the density and alcohol of the beer impeeds more meaningful head character.

Yeasty and somewhat briny to the nose, other classic scents of fruity pears and apples and decorated with notes of orange peel, corriander, and white pepper. Grassy and citrusy hops allow a bold aroma of grapefruit pith and fresh sawn pine to balance just as much as the more peppery notes. An unsettled plastic scent reveals peculiar aromas of cheese and musty berry-like tartness.

Full flavored and richly malted, the beer's heavy malt components hold serve with the taste of light breads, honey suckle, and overall malt sweetness. Pears, apples, and under-rippened berries play into the acidic and estery balance. So also does the spicy notes of sweet orange peel, soft corriander, white pepper, and plastic. Foregone are the clean citrusy bitterness of fresh hops as the character of aged hops have derailed the early hop balance as well as the dry hop flavors to finish.

Much fuller flavored than is common for most ligher Belgian-style ales. The sugary weight of the beer keeps the mouthfeel from resembling the dryness of IPAs or Belgians more. Finishing semi-dry at best, the lingering sweetness prevents the signature dryness of either style.

Where the beer is tasty for the most part, the unresolved sweetness of malt and the abused hop profile keeps it falling short for either Belgian Golden Ales or IPAs.

 1,853 characters

Photo of corby112
3.13/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy dark golden orange color with a frothy two finger yellowish-beige head that slowly settles into a thick lasting ring. Large streaks and chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Floral hop aroma with a ton of citrus and tropical fruit along with estery light fruit notes and candy sugar. Huge grapefruit presence along with orange peel and pineapple. There's also some earthy, grassy pine needle before the pale malt and Belgian characteristics come through in the nose.

Medium bodied with a blast of dry, bitter hops up front that lingers over the sweeter and spicy notes into a dry, boozy finish. The hop profile isn't as complex as the aroma suggests with only faint fruit sweetness. Instead, it's mostly dominated by a dry, earthy presence with resinous oils and grassy pine. As it warms I'm picking up more citrus, notably orange zest but it's still subtle. The slickness from the hops are complimented by candy sugar. Other than that there aren't many Belgian qualities. Finishes with lots of sweet, boozy heat. The ABV is not well masked leaving lots of warmth in the chest.

 1,092 characters

Photo of JayAre46
3.13/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into a pint glass very transparent yellow orange color with a finger of white head falling to a thin ring. the nose initially is of sweet fruit and light hops with some citrus. upon first whiff its almost like a citra bomb but then you realize no no, not even close. bubble gum, yeast, candied sugar minimal citrus. wishful thinking. im slightly afraid from the amount of sweetness this one gives off but here goes, the taste is like the clash of an unstoppable force and an immovable object with belgian yeast and american hops fighting til death. some sweet sugars, tangerine, and hoppy a bite. alcohol is swarming. the body is medium and lightly carbonated not a bad mouthfeel but rather difficult to drink. overall this is too much to handle, this one needs to finish much more bitter and dry. Belgian-Style triple Ipa! what kind of yeast makes it through this?!?!?not sure how im going to finish, will this be the first drain pour of 2012??? stay tuned after theses messages.

nope. almost, but not quite.

 1,030 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Orangish colored beer with a couple of fingers of head. Little bit of random stick on the sides of the glass.

S - Sweet smelling, with a lot of phenolic yeast, fruity notes. There is a good bit of hops in here also, with bright tropical fruits. Some alcohol burn.

T - It's a bit sweet, both from the hops and the and from the belgian style stone fruits. It's a fairly bright beer, with some spice and some hop character. It's too sweet, kind of strangly spiced, and has a bit of alcohol.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - Not really something I cared a lot for. Overly sweet, harsh, and alcoholic. Kind of hard to drink and the flavor profile is just a little strange. Pass.

 697 characters

Photo of KJGAGNE
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a local flavor the other day to sample. Orange in color, head retention was good. Smell a bit complex. Syrupy, sweet, , not bad. Not a huge BIPA fan , but not a bad offering.Overall, not bad prefer the other Clown shoes selection. Prefer OOmegang BPA as an alternative.

 279 characters

Photo of nhindian
3.27/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Portsmouth tulip. Bottle generously sent by 603BeerMe as an extra, thanks Clark!

Bottled in 8/11.

A - Pours a dark, rustic orange color with about 2.5-fingers of off-white head. Retention isn't bad, especially for the amount of alcohol, but the lacing leaves a bit to be desired for, with only smatterings of lace thrown haphazardly around the glass.

S - Quite a unique nose on this. I am definitely getting the C-hops that were so abundant in Tramp Stamp, but the Belgian influence is far beyond what was in that beer. There's a good amount of malts as well as yeast phenols that give off a strong grape bubblegum aroma. Also quite spicy with cracked pepper, cloves, and some sugar-coated banana.

T - Oh boy, Clown Shoes definitely packs on the Belgian characteristics in the taste. It's very malty and bready, and almost instantly you get the typical tripel notes in the form of the peppery spice, lemon, bubblegum, and banana. Even the alcohol heat is abundant here, lending a somewhat harsh finish. The hops add a bit of flavor, but it seems their main purpose here is to add some bitterness, as they don't contribute a juicy flavor like they did in Tramp Stamp. This bitterness combined with the alcohol heat is a bit off-putting.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with decent carbonation. It definitely has a dry finish which helps with the crispness but kind of exemplifies the bitterness. Fairly smooth, though, and full-bodied.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. Clown Shoes isn't kidding around when they say they added a tripel influence to this beer, but I feel it greatly overshadows the IPA portion, which I feel is quite weak when compared to the excellence of the hop flavor in Tramp Stamp. Combine that with the high alcohol heat, and you have a beer that is nice to sip, but I'd take Tramp Stamp any day of the week.

 1,860 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Thanks, Kevin. Orange-y orange body, like the flesh of a nectarine. A bruised, somewhat darker nectarine. Cloudy and muddled, not surprising for a Belgian-yeast including ale. A yellow tinted, soapy and lavish head spouts like it was part of a bubble bath, taking forever to sink and leaving behind generous amounts of lacing as it does so.

Hmmm... first whiff... the aroma is... peppery. Lots and lots and lots of white pepper spice, right in your face - no shame. Ashy hops, highly leafy with some minty bubblegum that leads way into the collage of Belgian yeast and applicable esters. Mildly earthy, some lightly sweet taffy, and a bit of clove and kitchen rack spices. Very, very influenced by the Belgian yeast - it basically has a stranglehold on the aroma and outshines the hops by quite a large margin.

The taste is quite minty and full of clove, and it's phenolic to the core... Lots of phenolic-like alcohol which isn't too appealing, really. The Belgian yeast is center-stage yet again; chunky and gummy wintergreen spice with some sharp, black pepper on the back-end. Ashy hops squander around and try to peak their head up above the flotsam, but the surface is covered up pretty well by the heft of the Belgian yeast.

Bitterness is prevalent, but so is a mild bready sweetness from the malt and the yeast, as well as a bit of a burn from the heavy alcohol character. It's a little too phenolic and medicinal in the finish for my liking. Medium bodied, not quite syrupy or sticky, but a little thicker and viscous than the first few sips reveal. Medium-high carbonation; not shocking, given the enormous head formation.

Eh, I really wasn't on board with this one. Just didn't fit my flavor preferences, I guess. I do like Belgian ales, and well made tripels, but something about this one just wasn't cutting it for me. Hope you like your Belgian ales spicy and minty, because that's what this one is all about. The almost-hot alcohol presence wasn't helping either. Not awful, but not a constant rotator, either.

 2,028 characters

Photo of Ohmmygawd
3.31/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance- Belgian IPA thickness that should only be sipped. Beautiful head and carbonation.

Smell- Fruity and malty. A little less fruit than the typical belgium beer.

Taste- Great depth of fruit on the back with a big bite.

Mouthfeel- I love savoring this beer because the bite is strong but the rush of flavor feels great.

Overall- I love a good Belgium beer but at 10% ABV the alcohol takes too much of the taste. The fruitiness is lost behind the bite.

 466 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.32/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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

Served in a snifter, a hazy orange-amber color with a small cap of foamy white head. Didn't get much in the aroma, but it was still nice, with scents of bready yeast, and citrusy hops. Taste was good: notes of bready yeast detected in the nose, citrus zest and fresh fruit, honey and malty sweetness. Crisp, sharp, dry finish. Higher alcohol was no more noticeable than most other IPAs I've had. Medium body, and fairly enjoyable.

 468 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from Total Wine (Kennesaw, GA). 7.99. Served in my Founders snifter. 

Pours a deep hazy amber w/ 2 fingers pale head. Nice lacing as I drink it down.  

Smells of citris hops, orange and are those some mild spices I detect?

Sharp Belgian fruity/yeasty bite up front with the hops taking over by the end. Interesting mix of flavors- much different than the strait up DIPAs that I typically drink. Fairly dry crisp finish. 

Medium mouthfeel. Low carbonation- works pretty well. 

Not the best Imperial IPA, but that's not what it is! I've only had a few Belgian-style IPAs but this is certainly one I'll be coming back to. This is the 4th Clown Shoes beer I've tried and they continue to impress me. I sure hope some Vampire Slayer finds it's way to GA...

 772 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour is dark reddish copper, rather hazy with a tan bubbly head. Nose is a bit of stale rye bread with a faint spice to it. The hops are green and earthy but very light. The taste is bigger and the hops come through more. There is sticky malt and notes of caramel underneath. Hops are citrusy and herbal with faint bitterness. There is a bit of grain underneath with a slightly syrupy body, moderate carbonation, and prickly on the tongue.

 439 characters

Photo of TenHornsProud
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orange with a huge white head that laces and lingers.

Smells of DMS/corn, sugar sweetness, some noble, floral, light fruit, hop notes, subdued outside of a sweet character.

Taste is up front sweet but dry with some spice/peppery character and small fruit notes that fades into a big bitter kick that is more on the astringent side. Simplistic taste overall and not very engaging. Warm alcohol is present but blends well.

Medium to light body with higher carbonation works well enough. Could dry out some but that would increase astringent character as well.

This one is a one hit wonder that fails to knock anything out of the doesn't have much identity overall. The first real let down from Clown Shoes for me.

 742 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

On-tap poured into a shaker pint.

Cloudy burnt amber with 1 finger of white head.

Grapefruit, honey and pine.

Grapefruit juice and resinous pine sap along with touches of lemon zest. Big malt backbone consisting of honey, touches of toffee and toasted bread. The hops kick up in the end leaving residual pine on the tongue.

Medium bodied, oily, smooth and sticky.

Well balanced but has a noticeable alcohol kick. I wasn’t totally into the flavor profile; Loads of honey and loads of grapefruit juice.

 547 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a cloudy golden color with two fingers of cream-colored foam on top that lasts for about two minutes. Medium-heavy body and carbonation levels.

Smells and tastes like candied orange peel with a side order of peach preserves and medium amounts of yeasty phenols and booze. Actually, the nose is a bit hotter with booze than it seems to present to the tongue, and the nose has more coriander than the flavor does. It's really sweet in an odd way, however, more akin to a Tripel than the bottle's claims of Belgian IPA-ness. In fact, overall, it presents as a mediocre tripel *because* of the overly citric hopping and as a poor IPA for the same reason. This beer is good evidence for why three-way mixing of styles tends to be risky business, the most common result is mediocrity.

 789 characters

Photo of ryanonline
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this beer pours a deep amber and cloudy with some seriously rocky off-white head that leaves some trace lacing.

smells very pineappley with some serious caramel and candy scent from the malt. it even has some decent heat.

whoa, the taste is much more piney and bitter, however the malts still bring quite a lot of sweet candy flavor also. super bitter finish though.

mouthfeel is somewhat dry with some heavy carbonation. somewhat thick too.

overall, I'm not super impressed. too much going on and not enough focus on what it wants to be.

 542 characters

Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: golden orange yellow with 1 finger head

smell: sweet, malts, banana, clove,

taste: sweet, malts, booze,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: a nice blend between to styles of beer. This one went straight to my head. Wow only 10% and I'm wrecked. This one might make you sleep with a muffin top.


 365 characters

Photo of n2185
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A:pours murky orange with a finger of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: lots of caramel and orange aromas on the nose. There are some vanilla and tropical citrus aromas as well.

T: similar to the aroma, caramel malt and orange flavors dominate. There are piny hop notes toward the finish with a slight bitterness.

M: medium body with lowish carbonation, this beer is a little on the thickly sweet side for me.

O: a decent beer overall. I'd like a bit more hop presence and more carbonation.

 526 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Chill hazed reddish amber colored beer with a tall white colored head.

Smells strongly malty and hoppy. Strong honeysuckle with tropical hop aromas. Pine and papaya with some pineapple and passion fruit. Coriander and a little cinnamon bark. An unusual aroma for the beer style.

Starts out sweet and a little sharp hop hit. The flavor takes a little time to settle in on the tongue. One of the more hopped up Belgian IPAs I have yet sampled. Strong wood and tea flavor. The flavor doesn't really deliver what the scent promised. Mostly this is sweet and bitter, everything else is overwhelmed.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is a pity the smell is so good but not the taste. Need fewer IBUs to allow the other flavors to be sensed.

 736 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Muffin Top from Clown Shoes
3.87 out of 5 based on 709 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.