Chocolate Sombrero | Clown Shoes

very good
331 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 331 | Ratings: 1,800
Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a black colored beer with a small tan head. The aroma is chocolate some coffee and malt. The taste is moderately sweet from the malt and chocolate. An excellent beer.

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Photo of Jeffwise
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Everything about this is... Ehhhh. Kinda chocolate.. Kinda cinammon. Kinda spice. Nothing is solid and sorta just disappointed. Clown shoes does make great beer, but this one is a miss for me. Very disappointed as I'm a huge spicy chocolate fan

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Photo of MacMalt
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on draught in a pub. Served in a 10 oz. snifter. It pours a deep, dark mahogany, very nearly black, with a one-finger, beige colored head and extensive lacing that didn't dissipate throughout the pour. It's a really pretty beer. Unfortunately, the smell was rather subdued. There was an aroma of chocolate and some cinnamon but it wasn't as strong as I anticipated. This is a very flavorful stout with roasted malt, sweet cocoa, vanilla, and hints of cinnamon and peppers. It finishes slightly bitter with pepper and bakers chocolate. This stout is medium-bodied, lightly carbonated, and the 9% ABV is noticeable. Overall, this is a very good Imperial Stout, as one would expect from Clown Shoes. Often, I conjecture how a bottled beer would taste on draught. In this case, I'd like to try it from the bottle at a warmer temperature.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black color with tan head. Aroma has cinnamon, chili, chocolate and cacao. Taste is quite balanced with a nice touch of cinnamon and a slightly bitter chocolate finish. Full body with a smooth feel. A really nice take on a mexican chocolate stout.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black pour with a tan to light brown head; cap quickly retreated leaving little to no lace. Chocolate nose. Flavors of cocoa nibs, roast malt and chillies peppers; some vanilla in the middle, but very subtle. Medium mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Overall, lite on the chillies but a pleasing chocolate stout nonetheless.

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Photo of timmy2b
3.51/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.
Dark Brown, almost black with an off white head.
Scent is heavy on alcohol and light on chocolate.
Taste has the chocolate in it and not the boozeyness that was in the smell.
Light and a little creamy, especially for the alcohol content.
Nothing special here.

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter. Bottled 01/15/2016

L- Pretty much black, not really much light coming through, small latte colored head.

S- Dark fruits, dark chocolate, cinnamon, touch of alcohol, light vanilla and chili.

T- Dark cherry, dark chocolate, medium roast, not much alcohol, cinnamon, vanilla and chilies are there but subtle. Finish is of a medium roast coffee, some light hops.

F- A light syrup good lower carbonation for the style.

O- A very nice beer, nice to see it in 12oz bottles so I can grab a single when I'm craving the flavors. I enjoy that it's not too roasty and that the chili is subtle with a nice amount of cinnamon and vanilla in the mix.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice high grav stout. Compares to a Prairie Bomb!, although the Prairie is by far the superior beer. Black with a light tan head. The smell is relatively subtle with no notes coming through clearly. The taste is actually pretty mild for a high grav American stout. Nothing to write home about, but definitely a drinkable beer.

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

Really solid stout, but not much in the way of chocolate or Mexican spice, in my opinion. That being said, Clown Shoes makes really solid stouts and this is no exception.

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

While I appreciate a good Mexican chocolate, I feel they missed the mark here. Pours dark with almost no head. Aroma is of roasted malts with hints of alcohol and spice, but no chocolate. Flavor is not too different, having more vanilla and spice combine in a somewhat medicinal way. Not what I was looking for. Finish is fairly clean.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Black, with ruby highlights and a medium tan foam. No lace.

Aroma: Chilis, cocoa..definitely the Mexican chocolate experience so far, which is more than fine by me.

Taste: Sweet cocoa-chocolate, with a hint of chili heat at the finish. A solid brew here for fans of Mexican chocolate.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Bought a bottle at the Beer Shop in East Longmeadow. Beer pours with a pure black appearance with a thin ring of a head around the glass. Thick brown lacing is on the sides as one drinks the beer. Roasted nuts and coffee filled my nose when I smelled this beer. The chocolate, to me, more smelled like a milk chocolate in this beer, in my opinion. The flavors were great for this beer: a warm alcohol flavor mixed with chocolate and a malty vanilla. I did not sense this spice chile though that the beer claims to have; still very good though. Creamy body and mouthfeel really helps this beer and makes it easy to drink. Overall, I thought this beer was very good, but I did not really sense the spice that well.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 12/15/2015... About three months ago

Pours black with creamy tan head which persists with nice lacing.

Smell of sweet, roasts malts and hints of pepper. Subtle on the nose.

Taste is chocolate, vanilla and malts with a light backing of peppers. Subtle bitterness toward the end to balance things out.

Feel is full with good carbonation and a nice creamy, chewy mouthfeel. Long finish brings out the bitter elements and the pepper becomes noticeable.

Overall, this is very smooth and creamy, easy to drink with a modestly complex layer of flavors. You'll have a hard time finding a readily available and reasonably priced Mexican stout better than this.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Karl Strauss 26th anniversary tulip glass
From: Botlecraft North Park in North Park (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $2.79
Purchased: Feb. 10, 2016
Consumed: Feb. 17, 2016
Misc.: Bottled on Jan. 13, 2016

Really looking forward to this one. Have pretty much loved everything I’ve had from Clown Shoes so far (checks excel document, sees an average of 4.06 (91/A-) from four reviews) and this one really piqued my interest. A Mexican-Style Chocolate Stout. Can think of two similar styles and I loved them both - Stone Xocoveza for the Holidays and New Year (4.44 (98/A)) and Elevation Beer’s Montanya (4.23 (94/A-)). Would be disappointed with anything worse than a 4.10.

Poured a very dark mahogany, almost black, color with 1-to-2 fingers of tan, fizzy head. Average spots of lacing on the sides of the glass. Average retention. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled spicy Mexican chocolate, dark chocolate, spicy chili cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, roasty coffee malts and some hints of dark toffee. (Smell - 4.00)

Tasted better than the smell. Not as spicy as the nose either. More like an Imperial Milk Stout. Getting dark, spicy Mexican chocolate, milk chocolate, dark cocoa powder, toffee, chili powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, smoke and traces of artificial vanilla. Spiciness grows as it goes down. (Taste - 4.00)

Full-to-medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, spicy, but smooth finish. (Feel - 4.50)

Really liked this beer. It was maybe not quite as good as I hoped, but close. Would recommend it for sure. (Overall - 4.00)

4.04 | 90 | A-

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Photo of fatbot
3.14/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark pour from 12 oz bottle with very thin head and spicy aroma. I really liked the bite of the ancho chili with the dark malts. Unfortunately, I did not get a lot of the chocolate, vanilla or cinnamon flavor. I don't think age is a factor (beer was bottled a couple of months ago on 11-17-2015). It wasn't has heavy as I anticipated, but delivered a lot of warmth from the high ABV. I liked the concept, but would have liked to see a better flavor balance.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My first Clown Shoes beer. Such a funny company.

Pours hazelnut brown out of the bottle, develops into a dark brown-black body, 100% opaque. Head forms weak at 1 finger, but retains fairly well. Lace is hilly and sparse.

Lots of cheap chocolate on the aroma, perhaps way past its expiration date; lactose and oats; with coffee, pepper seeds, and light chili powder.

Very funky flavor, the chocolate is without a doubt a welcome base, but after that it gets strange. A twisted, hair-raising alcohol burn accompanied by ashy flavors and Serrano peppers. After a few sips you get used to it, but it's still very strange. Coffee and blackberry jam flavors surface as it warms a bit.

Feel starts off watery and refreshing, then builds to a swirl of body and then finally to a thick finish. Lingering hotness continues after the swallow.

Overall, I think I'd pass next time for what i paid ( $4 a 12 oz bottle). About as fruity as its label, ha. 1/3 of it actually ended up in the drain.

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

Mucho chocolatey. The other adjuncts don't really shine through and I'm getting no heat from the chiles. There's a little bitter coffee on the finish, but otherwise this is just a smooth, creamy chocolate stout. Very little alcohol presence, which is impressive. Not bad.

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Photo of MicTar
2.63/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

4oz from draft

L: black opaque with white head
S: very faint vanilla and chili and strong chocolate
T: strong bitter dark chocolate taste almost reminiscent of bakers chocolate
F: smooth with very little carbonation
O: not a favorite. I love stouts but this was just not an easy one to finish and I only had a four oz pour

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Photo of IamwhatIdrink
4.16/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice stout, easy to drink . The chile is just perfect at the end, not too sharp. Smooth beer that smelled right and you can drink more than one or two of at the time.

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Photo of mkh012
3.69/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: almost black, a hint of red in the right light. not much lacing on the glass. one finger of tan head dissipates quickly.
Smell: smoke, chiles, alcohol, dark chocolate, slight piney hops
Taste: largely follows the nose. you get coffee, dark chocolate, chiles (subtle but certainly present), some warmth from the alcohol. my only complaint is that it isn't a little sweeter/creamier on the back end.
Overall: a solid brew and one I enjoyed drinking but nothing particularly special. could use a little more chocolate and a little less coffee/smoke to round it out, though others have suggested the opposite

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Photo of Chris_Huston
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured slightly cooler than room temp into tuliped snifter. Closer to a soda head than a quality beer froth that wanes quickly to nothing. Literally nothing. Not like most good stouts that dwindle but keep a wee layer of the pleasant tan leather creamy froth. Nice classic dark brown in the brew itself, though.

Initial whiff is interestingly complex, but also vague, and more to the point the chocolate is fighting for the front seat with coffee and smoke, and the dancing partner is an alcohol scent. Makes it tasty enough for a smoked or coffee stout, but if you're looking for cacao you'd be better off with Prairie's Bomb or Deep Ellum's Double Brown. If we ignore the cacao miss, it still far from threatening the best coffee stouts, e.g. Founder's Breakfast Stout, but it is a tasty smokey stout.

The ephemeral head translates to a slick, somewhat watery feel. Though not ruining the experience, one does wish for a touch of creaminess. As a normal stout it would seem to be on the light side, to say nothing of an imperial/double.

In the end, ti doesn't really deliver what it promises, but "falling" to the level of a smoky, coffee porter still serves adequate beer satisfaction.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a large snifter.

Out of the bottle dark chestnut brown, then getting into dark mahogany brown and a bit oily out of the bottle. Just a hair of light getting through this dark body, but barely a flicker of head/puck of espresso brown created that dissolves and disappears quickly. Very fine collar, a bit of a non existent top as well, and looking a little shiny and slick.

Aroma seems to fill the desire and explanation of the bottle. Good green pepper aromas, even a hint of peanut butter and chocolate tones. Spicy Mexican like chocolate notes really dominate. Not so much sweet tones, or hints of cinnamon or vanilla, but the pepper and chocolate angle is not excessive and is very nicely balanced on the beer. Quite mouthwatering actually.

Palate sort of gets lost somewhere. Light bodied and a bit too much for an Imperial, kind of a very wet porter character instead, and some twinging slightly acrid grain. Pepper angle is pretty mild surprisingly giving off hardly any heat at all anywhere in the palate it seems. Roasted grain takes a bit of a char angle, but much of the flavors hinted on the nose really seem to have been completely buried. Mid palate sort of has a bit of pepper to it, and even with time the chocolate angle comes off a bit milky strangely.

It's not bad, but the beer feels completely dumbed down somehow, and really seems to be a bigger letdown after such an intriguing aroma at first.

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Photo of kitch
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 fl oz bottle bottled on 12th March 2015 and poured into a Spiegelau stout glass.

Appearance: It poured a deep dark brown colour with a one finger tanned head that dissipates quickly and leaves some stringy lacing.

Aroma: Strong chocolate aromas mixed in with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon.

Taste: Much like the aroma, chocolate is the main theme with a definite roasty element to it. There’s a hint of vanilla and the finish is chocolate ice cream. I don’t know what ancho chilli tastes like, but the spice in this one is very light and in the background.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: The first time I tried this, it was at a tasting and I didn’t like it too much, but now with a proper sit down, I enjoyed it. The aromas and taste was pleasant and you don’t get the 9% at all.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Spicy chocolate stout is not a new concept, but I still enjoy tasting different ones. The Chocolate Sombrero is Clown Shoes' take on the idea. Coming from a 12 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

A half-inch of soapy head rests atop an ink black colored ale. Spotty lace dots the glass, and head retention is good. I smell spicy chocolate and cinnamon, with the concoction leaning towards the spices. They certainly hit the mark with the aroma, and with the taste as well. Spicy chiles are the first thing that your palate senses, before a wave of cinnamon and spoonful of chocolate calms the spicy character. There is raostiness and smoke from the malt, showing it's a stout at heart. It's a big bodied ale and slightly chewy, suitable for cold evenings or dessert pairings. Any way this goes, the Chocolate Sombrero is sure to pick you up.

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Photo of russpowell
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours mahogany with 2 fingers of tan head. Above average lacing & head retention

S: Carob & cocoa, both fade quickly, some chille surfaces once warm

T: Follows the nose, a little chille heat & roastyness up front with a little cinnamon. Cocoa, cinnamon, a little roastyness & vanilla once warm, some heat building, faint, not a lot, smokeyness too. Finishes dry with a little roastyness, vanilla & a little heat

MF: Medium body, semi-firm carbonation

Very drinkable, just not as complex as I was hoping for. This a little bit lower tier for these guys

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Chocolate Sombrero from Clown Shoes
3.9 out of 5 based on 1,800 ratings.
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