Muffin Top | Clown Shoes

very good
157 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 709
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.

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Photo of WeedWolf
4.59/5  rDev +18.6%
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 do_ob
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bomber into a tulip glass. Pours a straw golden and settles into a rich, vibrant amber in the glass. An aggressive pour yielded a 2 finger head of white, sticky foam. Cloying boozy sweetness, tropical fruit, malt, and notes of orange peel on the nose. Medium weight, and quite creamy on the mouthfeel. Sweet, ripe fruit up front with a decent alcohol bite. There is some hoppy bitterness in there but it is somewhat overrun by a barage of sweet alcohol and toasty malt. More hops on the finish, but still incredibly sweet. Finishes mostly smooth with a light booziness.

Overall, this is a pretty good Belgian IPA (or Triple IPA, going by the bottle). Entirely too much sweetness for my liking, though.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clown Shoes "Muffin Top"
22 oz. brown glass bottle, no apparent freshness dating.
$6.29 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes: Hazy deep gold-amber-copper. Massive head of frothy white. Excellent head retention. Very good lacing. Aroma of pine, chalky yeast, fruit (apple, apricot, tangerine, pineapple, peach, some red fruit, and some minor dark fruits), and sweetish straight-forward grainy malt as well as a subtle note of vanilla. Slight waft of alcohol. Medium body with a dextrinous edge. Flavor follows the aroma completely with a bit more depth but no real added components. Rich. Not overly malty, nor overly bitter. A very nice balance between American IPA and Belgian Tripel. One of the better ones I've tasted. Reminds me of La Chouffe.

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Photo of pat61
4.49/5  rDev +16%
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 Radome
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
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 Svingjo
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
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 datalager
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
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 Advocaate
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

This one is unique in my experience. Advertised as an IPA/Trippel, resembles neither, but is interesting and worthwhile nonetheless.

A: Almost geometric lacing. Slightly cloudy and a rich, deep copper.

S: Closest thing about it to either an IPA or a Trippel: definitely gets that citrus Hop aroma IPA fans will recognize. Is definitely more sugary than a traditional IPA.

T: Previous commenter was dead on, unmistakable tangerine notes here. There is the yeast heavy profile of a good trippel, but it's off a bit, a little too saccharine. Very explosive flavour. Alcohol is not at all invasive considering the ABV.

M: Bready and dry; surprising bitter finish for such a sweet beer.

O: If you are expecting an IPA/Trippel merger you will be disappointed. It is far sweeter than any of those have a right to be. Despite that I really enjoyed it...would never drink more than one in a sitting (and even more than about 12 oz is an ask) but a truly unique flavour. Would wish for the hops to be more prominent and the yeast to be more authentically Belgian, if that makes sense. But would still drink again.

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Photo of bigotecircus
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%

Not at all what I expected... Poured a gorgeous, extremely hazy orange-ish color with a nice rocky, off-white head. Tasted wonderfully citrus, tangerine-like, with a touch of clove. Very good flavor. I drank one that was a little over a year old, so not sure how much of the flavor can be attributed to that. Oops.

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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

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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.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bomber poured into a tulip glass. A hazy yellow-orange amber with some frothy off-white head that breaks down quickly to leave some creamy lacing rimming the sides of the glass. Intense medicinal/citrus/herbal aroma, a marriage of resinous hops and fiercely spicy/sour Belgian yeast with some big peppery notes. Like this brewery's Clementine white ale on performance enhancers. Tons of clove, licorice, and burlap sack phenols do battle with grapefruit, navel orange, lemon, and menthol cough drop to yield a pretty pummeling taste experience. Clown shoes has some pretty skanky Belgian yeast in their arsenal and they aren't afraid to use it. If in the mood this is great stuff, although I became satiated rather quickly and was pleased to share with some buddies, one of whom could not get past the initial sip while the other described some flavor notes like orange spice tea. Indeed, recalls an unsweetened orange-lemon creamsickle covered with coriander and cardamom seeds. Body on the thick side of moderate, a tad chewy and reasonably smooth. Carbonation quite bold and this enhances the "sour" citric effect. I think I prefer the less citric Tramp Stamp but this is well worth sampling if one is addicted to Belgian IPAs or the spicier tripels.

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Photo of London1985
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Tried this at the weekend. I was at the Brewdog bar in Shoreditch and brought a bottle of this to take home. Another fine example of those crazy American IPA's. Full bodied with incredible malty sweetness, then a tsunami of hop explosion across the palatte. The sweetness reminded me of the Belgian Tripel Karmeliet. Great beer, would definately drink it again.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on August 13, 2014.

The pour is a somewhat cloudy medium amber color leading up to a large, long-lasting off-white head.

All kinds of bright hoppy aromas on the nose mainly of pine, grapefruit, floral, and resin. These mingle delicately with the toasted Belgian biscuits one expects from a Tripel. For 10% the booze is not to be found.

Full body.

The taste is about what the aroma predicts it will be with a definite grapefruit citrus character, floral and pine, and a lesser malt sensation that almost tends to outlast the hops on the finish.

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Photo of hreb
4.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into tapered glass. Beer pours relatively amber in color for an IPA, with a massive orange creamsicle colored head. Huge, tropical hop aroma is immediately evident. Pineapple, papaya. My sense of smell is not at 100% today but this really is one of the most fantastic smelling beers I've ever cracked (assuming you can abide the lack of citrus / pine cones). Flavor is similarly tropical. I think this might be the fruit punch of IPAs. And as promised, there's a good dose of Belgian yeasty goodness, throwing a well-placed curve ball into the brew. Orange peel and bitter orange soda mixed in there, too. I imagine this to be a really fresh brew. The flavors are strong and definitely unconventional, and I could easily see the flavor being divisive among connoisseurs. I commend Clown Shoes for the novel concept fabulously executed, but still I'll admit the flavor isn't exactly all beer, and I find it a bit tiresome after a while. Which is probably for the best given the well-masked 10.5% ABVs.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tulip glass at Capitol Tap Room.

A: Great lacing. Golden hazy.

S: Citrus peel and floral sweetness.

T: Interesting and tasty! A little sweeter than I'd hoped; there are very citrusy hops amidst sweet malt and spicy-floral Belgian yeast. Aftertaste is obviously and pleasantly hoppy. Almost too much so.

M/O: Just a little thin and abrasive at times; then sugary sweet at others. Strange. I don't think I'd have another, but I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

I am now committed to reducing, if not eradicating, my backlog of bottles and I have taken to enlisting aid in doing so. The real logjam comes in the form of bombers. Do not misunderstand me, I am capable of drinking the contents of a bomber by myself, but I am hesitant to do so. Bomb(er)s away!

Beek had taken off, but Justin Chlan was still game, so I pulled out this curiosity.

From the bottle: "Intense flavors, reminiscent of candied fruits, mix with American hops and sweet orange peel to create a unique take on a Begian-Style Ale."; "Disclaimer: No muffin tops were harmed in the production of this label."; "Belgian-Style Tripel india pale ale".

That description was as hard to get my mind around as Brew Dogs' Golden Stout that they made in Las Vegas. These are not styles, they are madness! Embrace the madness, I say!

Mine was "Bottled 2/2012" so I seized the reins and went with a nearly inverted pour! I think that my judgement may have been rendered compromised at that point in the day. My overly aggressive pour may have stirred up some sleeping beasts. I got a dense finger of tawny head from my ridiculous pour, but at least, it had good retention. Color was a slightly-hazy, deep-amber (SRM = > 9, < 13). I apologize for th lack of clarity as there probably had been some settling. Nose was odd and I got aged sharp cheddar cheese, fusel alcohol and candi sugar. Remind me, why did I feel the need to gild the lily and open this beast? Mouthfeel was medium but it brought the heat. Whew! There was no doubting its 10% ABV, but that might have been low, actually. Once the initial fire subsided, I began to taste a sugary fruitiness, which they called "candied fruits" and "intense" and I was not going to disagree. Finish left an alcohol burn that reminded me just how the length of my esophagus is laid out. I felt like a flame swallower with the circus! Dry? Gaspingly so! Pour me another, Justin. I am feeling rather poorly at the moment.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle. What would be wrong about destroying muffin tops (either kind) in the interest of producing a good beer?

This beer pours a slightly hazy, bright medium bronzed amber colour, with three fat fingers of puffy, bubbly, and loosely foamy ecru head, which leaves a bit of sudsy caveman painting lace around the glass as it quickly hies it outta there.

It smells of dank pine resin, overripe orange and white grapefruit peel, bready, biscuity pale malt, earthy, yeasty banana chips, grape licorice vines, further white sugar notes, and leafy, floral hops. The taste is more musty, forest floor detritus pine/leaf flora, simple syrup, a mixed citrus rind bitterness, grainy and mildly creamy pale malt, peppery yeast, and a prominent spicy leafiness.

The carbonation is fairly active and frothy in its ministrations, the body a dense medium weight, mostly smooth, and perhaps a tad creamy, in an airy sense. It finishes generally sweet, the sugar, pale malt, and fruitiness all proving a steady counterpoint to all the potential pine bitterness and alcohol astringency that never was.

For a Belgian IPA, this is good. For an all around enjoyable brew, it's so-so, the faults inherent in the style exacerbated by the extra sugary notes introduced by the brewer. Whatevs, it goes down better than I would have thought, is hoppy and boozy, and those spicy-ass tacos (love ya, Mom, thanks for having put the 'life' in larger than life) cooking in my kitchen will make an excellent pairing for the rest of this, methinks.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 22oz bottle into 250ml Delirium Tremens tulip

Appearance: Hazy golden-amber color with a large orange-tinted white head that dissipates slowly and leaves behind a nice ring of lace.

Smell: Melons, grape, and candy aromas dominate with some floral hints.

Taste: Begins with melon and grape flavors, rounding out to sweet Belgian-style candy flavors. Finish is yeasty with a slight herbal bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy slick body with an even slicker finish.

Overall: Not necessarily the most memorable beer, but very good overall. Could do with a touch more bitterness, but maybe I say that because I have never been the biggest fan of candy flavor in beer.

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Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep clear golden hue, craggy white head that clings to the glass. Sweet sugary, dried, fruits, apples and apricots, faint tropical fruit, clove and spices. Sweet slick full mouth feel. A little syrupy. Honey suckle, sweet breads, tropical fruits and citrus, with some yeasty undertones and a touch of bitterness. Sweetness overrides though and to call this an IPA or hoppy is far off. Booze is heavy in the finish and while some bitterness exists, it lends to a semi-dry finish, with a long lingering sweetness. As a big boozy belgian blonde, this beer has lots of complexity with well blended flavors and even has a bit of complimentary hop. To call is a belgian ipa or a hoppy belgian is a little off though. Good beer, just misleading

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Photo of mick303
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bomber into a tulip glass. Produced a plentiful creamy white head, really solid lacing and retention. Colour is a orange amber, quite hazy with a hint of red. 4
S- light and floral, candied lemon, banana, some sweet berry notes, apple/pear, subtle fermentation esters, flowery and quite rich, with some biscuitiness to it, good rounded character, little bitterness. 3.75
T- biscuit, sweet lemon citrus and some tropical berry notes, papaya? Then a bit more pepperiness, guava, a touch of spicey rye and caked yeast. The yeast brings some nice spiciness to it, cranberry and earthy forest a bit, and then leaves a lingering yeasty peppery aftertaste. Quite interesting and tasty, very fruity and spicey.
M- quite a nice body and prickle to it, especially for the strength which glides smoothly across the palate raising an alcohol-hop tingle. Moderate carbonation.
Not what I would say to be typical of the other BIPAs Ive tried, this kicks up the spiciness and a lot of strong citrus hoppiness to it. The finish in particular was not all that dry and mostly spicey. Certainly a flavourful beer, the high strength makes it a bit of a different profile and its not all that sessionable really, but the spiciness and yeast character are quite pronounced. My first from Clown Shoes, wasn’t a knockout but I would be interested in trying some others by them.

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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.

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Photo of Brenden
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer is that odd but often beautiful mix of bright and murky, ultimately colored gold but quite hazy. It has a large, firm yellow head that rests in place with strength, dense and craggy. It moves very slowly, leaving very nice lacing on the glass.
This beer offers a pretty big hit of grapefruit right up front that continues all the way through. it has some softer notes running alongside, with some light earthiness and a hint of must along with pale fruits flesh that adds soft sweetness and an almost tangy nip but gently. The grapefruit and citrus overtones are the main event all the way, mostly juice with some rind.
The light to medium body has a nice, even softness and fluffy smoothness all the way through without giving up its crispness at any point. It sort of skirts either style.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a chalice with a deep slightly hazed body, big off white head flowing thick. Fine Belgian style lacing in this Belgian Style IPA from the folks at Clown Shoes. Aroma is full of spicy yeast character, citric notes from the big hops, hints of coriander and citrus peel as well. There's even hints of cotton candy, tropical fruit notes...think mango/papaya action, with big luscious bready malt layers. Flavor profile a hint of acidic notes from the citrus peel but a super sugary sweet experience, you better have your sweet tooth craving before cracking this decadent dessert like beer. Big flash hop profile, layers citrus fruits, tropical fruit especially mango/pineapple/papaya with a touch of black pepper and full on yeast phenol party. Hiding in the mix of all the flavors going on is a bruising 10% alcohol by volume, hard to believe there's absolutely no heat in the chest with each sip maybe a bit of warmth on the palate but it's well hidden. Mouthfeel is big chewy and on the edge of cloying, healthy dose of natural feeling carbonation saves all of the sweetness from becoming too much along with the hop bill of big alpha acids to dry the palate enough to achieve enough balance. Overall a big interesting beer that I'm glad I caught, by chance while out hunting for some 3F's Zombie Dust in a remote but well stocked beer store in south central Ohio.

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Muffin Top from Clown Shoes
3.87 out of 5 based on 709 ratings.
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