Chocolate Sombrero | Clown Shoes

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
319 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Chocolate SombreroChocolate Sombrero

Brewed by:
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Roasted dark malts plus extra chocolate malts plus ancho chile plus cinnamon plus organic vanilla extract plus a chocolate eating, beer drinking, Clown Shoes wearing, multi limbed, gorgeous and glorious Mexican wrestler on the label. That’s the recipe for a Chocolate Sombrero!

Added by rab53 on 02-26-2012

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 319 | Ratings: 1,755
Photo of Roguer
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Huge, light brown head with fantastic retention and leaving thick lacing down the glass. Motor oil-black brew.

Huge dark fruit aroma, plums and prunes swimming in a ton of roasted barley. Hint of vanilla, maybe a tiny bit of peppery chile, and dark cacao in the background.

Interesting mix of flavors. Sweet overripe dark fruit up front, spiced with the barest hint of chile, and flavored with a touch of vanilla and cacao. Finishes with a massive dose of roasted barley.

Surprisingly light body. No foaming, no sting. Not very lively, but smooth.

This is a tasty beer, but it doesn't seem to hit any of the wickets I really anticipated and wanted. It's both thin and too fruity for a stout, and the chiles are too much in the background. That said, it's still a good beer, and worth trying out if you can get it at a decent price.

 835 characters

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured nice and dark into a snifter with a half-finger, dark tan head. Not the most impressive smelling stout I've ever had, but I feel like the ancho chile is lingering there somewhere. Taste is all right. Maybe I just prefer my stouts to be a bit more chocolatey or coffee-ey. This one is pretty solid, though. I do get a spicy bite at the back end, which is cool.

 366 characters

Photo of rawfish
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cola brown but sits a shade lighter than black in the glass. Forms a loose and rocky mocha head of three fingers but with poor retention and spotty lacing.

Solid amount of toasted malt and pure milk chocolate sweetness. I get cinnamon and some vegetative and peppery spice in the finish from the chile.

The dark cocoa and caramel sweetness from the malts is very dominant. Warming cinnamon and subtle vanilla appears near the end and without much chile presence. Very mellow flavors overall without the diversity yet it's pleasant and works.

A medium bodied stout, less carbonation than the pour indicated which might have brought out more complexity or pop to this beer. Pretty clean for a dark beer with moderate alcohol stoking the barely breathing heat of the chile and cinnamon.

On paper I was expecting something pretty great with the cinnamon, chile and especially vanilla extract in this chocolate heavy stout but the dark malts are overpowering and the beer just lies there, flat on the palate. The upside is that Clown Shoes is constantly evolving and tweaking so I'm sure this will get even better in subsequent years.

 1,140 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.83/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - big dark brew, a mocha cap that is a little watery but fairly resilient. Irregular lacing on the glass.

Aroma - light roast with a slightly sweet edge, indistinguishable at first, but some vanilla and cinnamon push through after a minute. Not sure I would have picked it up...well, maybe I would have. Actually gets stronger as it sits.

Taste - malts up front, cinnamon and vanilla mid-palate make a fantastic blend of chocolatey, Mexican cocoa flavor. The anchos have a perfect, subtle undertone of heat, letting you know they're there, warming the belly, but not adding any unwanted heat to the mix. Ends easily, with bittersweet chocolate, fading vanilla and a lingering cinnamon. Even the exhale breath is exotic. Nice beer!

Mouthfeel - smooth, big-bodied, lower carbonation, I like the levels where the flavor is unhindered by the bubbles but can ride the body.

Overall - a very well-done spin of an American Double. Fireside beer for sure. A fine beer to toast the Kentucky Wildcats and the Uconn Huskies on their championship run. No dog in the hunt either way but an excellent game, men. Cheers!

 1,120 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Black color. One finger of frothy tan head. Retention is what you'd expect from a beer this big and just a wisp of lacing is left.

4.0 S: The first thing I noticed is the chiles in this. Big ancho aroma going on. Malt profile in this is of the big roasty variety. Tons of roasted malts, chocolate underneath, molasses, and caramel. Cinnamon and vanilla play a smaller role in this, but complement the beer well.

3.5 T: Big roasty flavors in the taste, but balanced by rich chocolate and molasses notes. Degrees of caramel with a touch of char. Chiles are less prominent in the taste and the vanilla and cinnamon only add a touch of flavor.

4.0 M: Heavier body. Good moderate carbonation. Moderately creamy and smooth.

3.75 D: Pretty good beer overall. I wish the chiles and spices played a bigger role in this, but it's good enough to try once.

 879 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light black in color and somewhat penetrate lee to light. Just a trace of light brown foam covers a small part of the top of the beer. Brussels lacing. I get chocolate,roasted barley,and cinnamon in the nose. The mouth is silky smooth and viscous. I get roasted barley, cinnamon,and fig throughout the palate. This is a very sweet finish after a bitter start.

 359 characters

Photo of jrenihan
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No apparent date on bottle.

Beer is black with a small tan head that fades fairly quickly, leaving some bubble.

Nose contains chocolate and vanilla.

Chocolate is the dominant flavour. The chile is there, but not overstated - it's a nice level, providing a bit of additional flavour but not taking the focus. I would say the same for the cinnamon - actually, it is not easy for me to distinguish the chile powder from the cinnamon. The vanilla is stronger than the chile and cinnamon, but also not overpowering. All in all, quite easy drinking and (unsurprisingly) firmly on the sweet side.

Full bodied, low to moderate carbonation, very creamy and smooth.

Overall, a nice beer. Very much a dessert beer.

 708 characters

Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark, opaque brown with almost zero head. nose; chocolate, hops, light cinnamon, & toffee. taste; chocolate malt, vanilla, cocoa, sweet cinnamon, dark toffee, hops, & light ancho chili spice on the end. extremely dense carbonation (billions of super tiny bubbles) & heavy, creamy mouthfeel. the 9% abv is tucked in nicely. a very nice chocolate stout with a little chili burn!

 389 characters

Photo of far333
3.54/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours out dark brown and opaque, with a light brown thick and frothy head that settles out slowly. Inviting aroma of cocoa and cabernet, some cherries.

Rich flavor upfront, chocolate milk, dark bread, honey and cherries, tending toward more of a sweet or milk stout rather than an imperial. Subtle peppery spice, but I was really expecting a nice smokey peppery kick from the description on the label. No hop flavors, and low bitterness. Alcohol strength is well hidden.

Mouthfeel is watery, a tad slick. Overall an okay beer, but it advertises better than it performs, and it's a little too pricey to not be too special.

 623 characters

Photo of TruePerception
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clown Shoes' Chocolate Sombrero, a Mexican-style chocolate stout. 9% ABV.

A: About half a finger's lopsided, tan head. Black in the glass. Deep red/cola in the light, and pours cola. A dot, here and there, of lacing.

S: Dark cocoa dominates the nose. Slight chile. The faintest hint of cinnamon, in the background.

T/MF: Nicely creamy feeling! Very dark cocoa flavor, bordering on coffee. A sharp sweetness along the sides of the tongue, near the back (where acidity is usually more noticeable). The flavors don't really pop, though. Actually, it's a very mellow beer. Probably a good gateway into darker beers! It's very easy drinking.

I'm a little conflicted. It has plenty of character, and tastes good, but doesn't have that wow factor. I'll have to mull it over as I finish the bottle...

I feel like this would work really well with food, but I couldn't say which. I picture Mexican food, in my head: Spicy, shredded beef, and Spanish/Mexican rice (the heavily seasoned red stuff that usually has little bits of peppers mixed in). Not sure if the flavors would compliment, though.

I can't wait to try the Luchador En Fuego, based on the nose, alone! I thing the bourbon barrel aging will work well with the base flavors. Hopefully I find it soon!

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Petrus chalice.

 1,310 characters

Photo of mechamifune
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I got this to try to stave off my craving for more Huna, as that has become a hard to get and expensive drink for me in North Carolina. I've had Luchador En Fuego and wasn't too impressed, so I was hesitant to get this one, but for $8 a bomber, I figured what the hell.

Bottom line is this is a solid Chili Imperial Stout. The body is there, which I didn't feel it was in the BA version of this. The cinnamon and vanilla flavors don't pop the same way they do in Huna, but they at least have a presence. The spiciness if there too, just to the right level where it doesn't linger too long or become abrasive.

This is an all around solid beer and a nice easy to get example for a style that generally is hard to get and comes at a huge price point. On a blind tasting I have no doubt this would fall underneath Huna, Mexican Cake, and Abraxas, but I don't think the gap is as wide as one might think. Check this out for sure if you are a fan of the style.

 957 characters

Photo of SmashPants
4.26/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: a big solid 650mL brown bottle with a pretty awesome craft label.

Appearance: pours a solid, thick black with a two-finger tan head that drops to a creamy finger. Decent lacing too. A nice looking beer.

Aroma: a strong aroma of roasted malts with chocolate and spices - cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste: the palate is predominantly chocolate with roast coffee malt, a hint of biscuit malt and caramels. Such a pleasant combination of malts makes for an easy-drinking sessional. I could have plenty of these.

Aftertaste: a pleasant sweet chocolate flavour on the finish, nice and crisp.

Mouth feel: wonderfully thick and full thanks to an intense fine sediment that lingers throughout the profile.

Overall: this is one of those fantastic top-end beers that one has only every so often. A great chocolate stout that's well worth the expense. At approx AU$20 a bottle, I won't be able to afford this all too often, but I'll definitely have to make it as regular as possible.

 1,003 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz.

Pours jet black, quarter inch of tan head is fine and retains well.

Smells of cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla, and toasted biscuit malts.

Tastes of cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla, oak, and a slight chile spiciness.

Full body with a stinging carbonation on the tongue, combined with a bit of spice sting.

A pretty good stout, nice flavor and great body. The chile is just there enough to add some spice but doesn't really come through in the flavor. Enjoyable and worth trying.

 479 characters

Photo of IronLover
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown to black in color. Poured with a thick, dark beige foam that slowly reduced to a wispy cap. Sweet, powdery chocolate malt aromas are dominant with roasted malts in tow. Vanilla and ground cinnamon aromas in the background with funky roasted hot pepper expanding as this warmed. Nice complexity in the aroma. Full bodied with rich carbonation and a chewy feel up front and a tangy bite in the middle. Chocolate and roasted malt flavors up front followed by hop bitterness into the middle. Hop bitterness transitions to tangy, hot chili presence to the end. Finished with roasted malt aftertaste along with hop bitterness and a touch chili heat. An interesting variety of aromas and flavors that work very well together. Thoroughly enjoyed this.

 755 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle purchased at Wines and More in Mansfield, MA. Shared with my father and grandfather. Poured into tulips.

Pours dark brown, almost but not quite black. Good sized, fluffy brown head.

Smells like strong dark malt. A bit of chocolate comes thru as well.

Tastes awesome. Strong dark chocolate and cocoa flavors, creamy vanilla, bit of cinnamon, with a awesome chili pepper twang at the back end of each sip.

Slightly thin for an imperial stout, but nice enough anyway. Creamy mouthfeel. Well carbonated.

Love some of these Clown Shoes stouts. This is a great effort.

 581 characters

Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Lots of tan around the edge of this beer. I'd say more porter or brown ale SRM.
S- Alcohol, sweet dark fruits, some spiciness, vanilla, hazelnut, and toffee. No chocolate, no roast, yet herbal, spicy and etc.
T- I love the complexity. Welcome to the fun of tasting weird beers. What does this have in it again?
M- Medium.
O- Tasty. Perfect for the winter. A very dark, pleasant, and complex beer to drink. Worth it if you want a brown ale made RIS.

Bottled 05/16/13

Aged 7.5 months.

 488 characters

Photo of SerialTicker
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

$8 bomber (on sale from $10) poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint. Haven't been let down by Clown Shoes yet, so I'm looking forward to this.

Appearance: Pours a ruby black with excellent clarity on it. Fantastic two/three finger brown head as well. Excellent lacing. Good start so far.

Smell: Hm. Somewhat subtle, and quite "safe." A lot of roastiness with a trace of the cinnamon this is brewed with. There's a slight bit of chocolate in the nose as well, but not as big as I was hoping. As it warms, a little alcohol and more sweetness pokes through, but it still smells about the same overall.

Taste: Hit's the tongue with a heavy mouthfeel and a vague chocolate/vanilla sweetness. After a moment, the flavor suddenly bursts a little bit adding the roast and cinnamon near the finish. Like the smell, a bit light for some reason. Keeps making me think I have a stuffy nose or something, but I don't. Aftertaste has that classic Imperial Stout essence of alcohol and slight warmth. I don't many of those traditional Imperial Stout "dark fruit" sort of flavors here... a little as it warms up, but it's not prominent. The alcohol is well hidden, as I don't really get it in the aroma or taste until it warms up considerably. As it warms up a lot (after about 45 minutes), a pretty big smokey/petey aftertaste makes its presence known, which I welcome.

Hm. Disappointed.. I'm glad I got this beer for a couple bucks off. It looked fantastic on the pour, but that's the best that it got. I was expecting a chocolatey Imperial Stout with a nice spicy finish (from the cinnamon and/or chilis). Instead, I got what I feel is a relatively mild, and frankly ordinary, Imperial Stout that just had me wanting more... I may be rating this beer lower than I actually should, just because of that disappointment.

TL;DR: A very enjoyable Imperial Stout that hides its alcohol well and presents a nice flavor, but the description of the beer had me expecting something completely different.

 1,983 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Chocolate Sombrero looks like melted milk chocolate alright but as for the "sombrero" part, this head is less a wide-brimmed hat than it is a visor. Negligible though it appears, however, it nonetheless tacks on traces of dark brown foam along the trim of the beer and the glass.

Bourbon vanilla and dark chocolate shavings are noted in the aroma; it smells like something to be drizzled over ice cream. It's fairly rich and smells like a syrupy chocolate concentrate. It wasn't aged in oak but people could be fooled into thinking it was (it's all in the vanilla).

I anticipated cries of "¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Epa! ¡Epa! Yeehaw!" but this cinnamon, vanilla and ancho chile infused stout doesn't taste like any of those things. Instead, the palate has a milky lactose sweetness, chocolate flavour and hints of coffee roast; nothing out of the ordinary for the style. No spice, no heat - all in all, surprisingly (disappointingly) mild.

On the plus side, little of the 10% alcohol is perceived; on the down side, again, little of the cinnamon or chiles are perceived either. The beer has no spice of any kind. It actually has a milkshake-like mouthfeel that is creamy and filling; it's unexpectedly approachable for a spiced double-digit strength stout. Dare I say it 'goes down easy' - not what I was looking for at all.

Chocolate Sombrero is more interesting on paper than it is in the glass, but I don't mean to rein on it too much - it's a nice stout in its own right. I, personally, wish the spices were a little more forward - I bought it for that reason - but their subtlety plays more into mainstream palates. This may be the first (only?) chili-infused Imperial Stout to be agreeable to just about anyone.

 1,743 characters

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Stone IRS snifter. The pour is fairly dark (nearly black), not very viscous, and with about a finger of khaki head that dies down quickly. The nose has some of the vanilla and cinnamon and a few roasty notes, but none of the chile. It's rather subdued and not as assertive as I hoped it would be

The body on this one is just a little thin, but the flavor is really nice. I get some sweet, chocolatey, malty notes up front accentuated by the vanilla and just a whisper of cinnamon. Roastiness comes in at mid-palate and the peppers are just barely evident in the back of the mouth. There's no trace of alcohol on this one. Very drinkable and tasty.

This is the first time I've had one of these mole-inspired ``Mexican Stouts'' and the flavor is really nice. I've had (and enjoyed) Chocolate Oak-Aged Yeti, but the little hints of vanilla and cinnamon enhance the flavor really nicely. I'd like for this flavor combination to catch on and for more brewers to experiment with this style. It offers a new kind of complexity that I'd definitely like to explore more of.

 1,094 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a blackish body with one finger tan head that left some lacing on top of a mostly roasted and chocolately, plus a little vanilla, aroma and hints of said chili notes. Smooth, dry, slightly chewey, the chilis don't do much as this beer isn't really heated or anything. Just easy going with good roasted and chocolately tastes notes (little bit of vanilla sweetness). Simple beer but realy enjoyable.

 405 characters

Photo of hopsputin
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

a: dark black with some hints of purple and ruby red. 1-2 finger tan flat head that fades somewhat quickly.

s: smells nice. milk chocolate, roasted malt, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, black licorice, vanilla, oak, and a hint of dark fruit

t: much sweeter than the nose indicated. sweet malts and bittersweet chocolate right away. then the bitterness from the chocolate/toasted malt hits and immediately gives way back to sweet malt and a hint of dark fruit (figs and plum). finally, we do encounter some of that spice. its not overwhelming, but blends really nicely with the sweet and bitter flavors that come before. its something almost like a chili pepper spice combined with ground cinnamon

m: medium. silky and creamy - not much carbonation

o: quite good. i really like the mixture and balance of the sweet, bitter, and spicy in here. all the flavors play well off each other, and the spice doesn't ruin any of the other stout flavors - rather it enhances the experience.

 976 characters

Photo of hosehead83
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from "bomber" bottle into a balloon glass.
Dense, opaque black in color, with a nice head of tan foam.
Aroma-Chocolate, dark malt.
Taste-Dark roasted malt,chocolate, cinnamon, very subtle ancho chile. Very smooth for the high ABV. Flavor left me wanting more ancho chilies in the mix. Double the dose would bring more more flavor and a little more heat without overpowering the balance, in my opinion.Still, a fine brew.

 427 characters

Photo of RaulMondesi
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can Chocolate Sombrero kick it? Yes he can!

Straight up, Raul was feeling this one right well. Like the Chupacabra with diabetes, this lil sucker was hitting it on all levels. Beautiful nose like Selina Gomez post wiener boy; lovely taste and mouthfeel like Penelope Cruz when she isn't with Tom... I was feeling this one well hard.

It's not the best tasting, it doesn't have the richness and heavenly-like textures that the big daddy stouts have, but..smooth, just tasty and smooth, my children.


 504 characters

Photo of McNealc31
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is as you'd expect, dark brown with maybe a hint of ruby around the edges. Aroma is chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of chile. Light and smooth mouthfeel. Chocolate really comes through, followed by vanilla. There is a hint of heat, but not much. Bit of char in there, too.

I like this quite a bit. Nice texture, good flavor, good balance. Wouldn't mind a bit more chile heat. Not a trace of heat from the 9% ABV!

 418 characters

Photo of Powderhornphil
3.56/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

So much potential here but the execution falls a little flat.

Pours appealing black. Not extremely thick. Not much lacing to speak of.

Aroma of chocolate malt. Almost no ancho and slight cinnamon.

Taste is chocolate and roast. Almost a licorice note in there. Again ancho and cinnamon are barely present.

Lower carb. Medium mouthfeel.

 339 characters

Chocolate Sombrero from Clown Shoes
3.9 out of 5 based on 1,755 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!