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Chocolate Sombrero | Clown Shoes

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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: 321 | Ratings: 1,768
Photo of silentjay
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours dark brown to black with a decent mocha head that quickly recedes yet laces well.

ancho chiles definitely come out in the aroma as well as some cracked pepper with burnt malts and bitter chocolate.

very balanced between some burnt malts, dark chocolate, roasted peppers, spices, a drying char on the finish.

almost full bodied with subtle carbonation and a nice drying, peppery finish.

not bad. not crazy, not wonderful, but drinks very well. good novelty beer.

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Photo of angusblackheart
4.63/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am trying to catch up with the new Clown Shoes beers, as they keep releasing new ones so fast, I have missed a few.

This was bottled 2/2012

Big black beer with brown highlights and a nice tan head that fell slowly as I sipped. The smell was of mostly chocolate, but also some ancho spice. Did not get vanilla or cinnamon on the nose, but got all of the flavors in a surprisngly well balanced beer.


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Photo of Mora2000
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very dark brown to black color with a tan head. The first thing I get in the aroma is a ton of chocolate, with a little bit of roasted malt. I also get some nice cinnamon notes in the aroma. The flavor is a little more complex. The chocolate notes go very well with some nice heat and flavor from the peppers. There is also a little cinnamon, but it is stronger in the aroma than the flavor. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice beer, glad I got to try it.

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Photo of aasher
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a medium bodied dark brown that turns to black as it pools. It had a nice one finger beige head that turns to a sticky lacing around the glass. The nose is pretty simple, yet effective. It's comprised of milk chocolates with a touch of coffee. The flavors too are simple yet smooth. It's milk chocolate, milk chocolate, milk chocolate, with a light roast. I don't get any spice or pepper, and I believe it was supposed to? It's fine regardless. It's nice and chocolaty. It drinks medium in body and is very smoooth and light. It's a pretty nice stout, and one I wouldn't mind having again.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.47/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. This one pours black with a small dark tan head that fades quickly.

The aroma gives off a bit of milk chocolate and some strong char notes; Roasty with leathery notes and sweetness all trough. The pallet has a good rich chocolate flavor with leathery notes. The chili are only detectable slightly on the finish giving a little bit of after burn.

The body is full and silky with soft carbonation. Overall this one is tasty. My biggest qualm is there are so man ingredients on the label and only a handful come through.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. There is a black body with a light tan head.

The aroma is heavy with chocolate. There is a hint of vanilla and spice also.

The initial taste reveals mocha and vanilla. The flavors are very subtle. If I didn't know any better, I would guess this is a regular old imperial stout without the added flavoring.

This is full bodied, with sharp carbonation for a stout.

This is pretty good, but I am slightly disappointed that the flavors aren't a little more pronounced.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Served in a snifter, a dark brown-black color with a thin chocolate brown head that receded to a ringlet within a minute or two. Mostly roasty dark malts in the aroma, and not much of anything else. Taste was roasty as predicted, dark malts, coffee bitterness and cocoa up front, with an underlying sweetness. I didn't like this very much at first, but with time and a bit of warming, the bitterness faded, and the mouthfeel became much smoother, some semi-sweet chocolate came out, though the flavor actually seemed to wane quite a bit. Still a decent brew overall and quite drinkable, but I probably won't revisit it any time soon.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber bottle poured into my Cigar City tulip glass. Served chilled and allowed to warm to just below room temperature over about an hour.

Appearance: Nice light, tan head upon the initial pour. Falls back into a nice lacing. Really nice dark brown, not black, in color.

Aroma: Some light chocolate notes and a bit of booze. the ancho chile notes are there too, but not too strong. Doesn't ccome together as well as you might think.

Taste: All the notes in the aroma come through much better here. Chocolate and vanilla are definitely prominent. The vanilla is a bit on the sweet side, which seems to be the downside of extract over vanilla beans. Ancho chiles are definitely there and definitely not downplayed too heavily. I really like the pepper notes and the heat here. It blends so much nicer here than the aroma. Notes of fresh ground pepper really pop and burn the tongue just a little. Really nice and drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied and really creamy. The really sharp carbonation works well with the spice of the chiles.

Overall, I was really pleasantly surprised by this beer. The chocolate isn't as strong as I thought it might be, but the chiles work really well and are present but not dominating. The vanilla is a bit on the sweet side, but it works against the spice. I would definitely try this again.

 1,359 characters

Photo of HardTarget
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Opaque black glass holds a thin tan cover.

Smell: Chocolate, stout roasted grain, with a light citric hop nose.

Taste: Cola, chocolate, sweet roasted malt, mild burn at the finish. Slight oxidation note in the finish that's just a bit brown paper bag, but a lot of good things counter it.

Mouthfeel: Light body manages to feel creamy even with a firm carbonation.

Overall: A really fun beer. This may be my favorite Clown Shoes offering. Has a fairly similar house taste, but really works within this 'style'.

 526 characters

Photo of GregSVT
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pours brown with a nice light brown head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of rich chocolate, vanilla, coconut, and a touch of chili pepper heat. It smells wonderful.

T: The taste is pretty close to the nose with big flavors of chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla, some hops, and a hint of chili pepper on the finish.

M: The feel is creamy and medium bodied.

O: I wasn't expecting too much from this one and it really surprised me. This is about as good as Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti although I do think the Yeti has a bit more pepper heat than this one.

 626 characters

Photo of chocosushi
2.78/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Melbourne Bros. Stemmed Tulip
Tasted side by side with Cocoa Mole

A ~ Pours Black-Brown with a cocoa powder head with a thin layer of creamy white on top.

S ~ Milk chocolate, Chocolate candle, Vanilla extract, coconut oil, cinnamon. Not much pepper aroma.

T ~ Chocolate follows through with mild cinnamon. Chocolate & Brown Malts. Heavy cloy of vanilla extract that I absolutely hate. Ancho provides only mild spice on the finish. Vanilla just shouldn't be in the mix here. It makes the beer sing the same note every sip.

M ~ Chocolate malts are way too prevalent. I expected a bit of Dark Roasted Malt to balance things out, but it doesn't shine. Vanilla cloys, Cinnamon is awkward, & I have to dig for Ancho (one of my favorite peppers.)

D ~ One & Done. Wouldn't get again. Too broad of flavors. No focus. If they would've omitted the Vanilla & added more Roasted Malts than they would've gotten somewhere with this one. Not recommended. If you're looking for a Mexican Chocolate beer, then try Cocoa Mole.

 1,013 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Interesting looking label found it's way into my shopping cart the other day. Pours a solid dark brown/black with a decent sized fluffy brown head with moderate retention. Smells like chocolate, lots and lots of syrupy milk chocolate. There's some roasty grains and earthy hops in there as well but the nose is lots of chocolate. Taste is roasty with a hint of coffee and earth and again lots of sweet milk chocolate. I get a hint of chile heat in the finish but it is really subtle. The cinnamon I can't find but I don't really miss either. Medium to thick body with a light level of carbonation and a creamy velvety and slightly ashy mouthfeel. I liked this one a lot. Lots of chocolate, creamy and very tasty.

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Photo of wburch1967
4.92/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a brownish black with a fluffy white head. The Ancho Chile hits my nose first, then vanilla, not as much chocolate as I would have thought, but it is there, a dark cocoa, and roast. The taste and mouthfeel combine the subtle flavors of chile, cinnamon, and vanilla with the chocolate malts beuatifully, with an excellent texture. Great beer!!

 348 characters

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

Bottled 2/2012

The beer pours black and a noticeable brown is apparent as you hold it to the light. Not a big head, but nice lace.

A faint chili reaches the nose first, then cinnamnon, chocoalte, and maybe some vanilla.

Taste is Mexican Chocolate! The slightly lighter body is appropriate, the carbonation good.

Another winner from Clown Shoes!

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Photo of ShanePB
2.91/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle
Served into a tulip pint

A: Deep dark brown/black looking body with a bubbly and sudsy tan head atop. Sticky lacing and a nice retention cap are left behind giving it an overall good looking appearance.

S: Bitter dark chocolate, cocoa powder, roasted coffee, chocolate/dark malts and perhaps even a slight vegetal element. Pretty strange although it's a very generic smelling "chocolate" stout.

T: Good amounts of artificial chocolate up-front and as it turns out the focus of this beer. Chiles, cinnamon, vanilla extract? No, I don't really get any at all. There's plenty of heat but it's from the alcohol notes; creeping down the throat to the chest. Something about this tastes very "amateur" - perhaps not as refined or polished as I expected it to be.

M: Way too thin for an "Imperial Stout." Also, no real body here expect some fizziness on the palate. Oh well.

Well, Clown Shoes got me to at least buy this beer. The label was cool, it sounded really delicious and tasted nothing more than a mediocre stout with chocolate and plenty of booze.

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Photo of jlindros
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Clown Shoes, excited!

Pours a darker but not very dark colored head of about a finger, fluffy head fades slowly with nice lacing, over pitch black thicker colored beer.

Nose starts with chalky powdered chocolate, cocoa, a candy fluffy chocolate like that soft creamy chocolate whip, a light roasted malt and coffee, hint of caramel, a biscuity malt and nutty and a cinnamon like spice aroma, a light creamy milk chocolate, and a hint of a chili like aroma.

Taste starts with more chocolate malt, chalky powdered cocoa, a cocoa butter like or chocolate oil that went bad a bit and maybe slightly curdled. Creamy milk chocolate, blended with a hint of soft candy chocolate. Nutty flavors again, with a light biscuit malt, and hints of cinnamon and chili pepper again. Then caramel, vanilla, and a light bitter earthy like hop taste, light spicy hops and earthy almost herbal, and light roasted malt with a bit of coffee and bitterness. A bit of booze kicks in, with a warmth and touch of tingle. Finish is creamy with more milk chocolate that went slightly bad, and cocoa butter, light spices and nutty malts, a bit of booze, and bitter hops linger.

Mouth is fuller bodied, decent carb, some booze.

Overall not bad, interesting malts and chocolate flavors, but a bit of a bad spoiled chocolate like flavor, bit of hops, bit of booze, somewhat drinkable.

 1,360 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a (512) 3rd Anniversary tulip.

Pours with a thin, toffee-brown body that reminds me more of a robust porter. Thin head of dark khaki bubbles quickly dissipates to a thick ring of foam. The aroma is that of booze-laden dark chocolate cake. With coffee. Cinnamon and chili are there, but take a backseat to the malt and alcohol combination. Vanilla is almost non-existent in the nose.

Both the body and flavor of Chocolate Sombrero are sadly much thinner than expected. Lots of chocolate, for sure, but the other ingredients get pushed aside. Slightly vegetal flavor in the middle and lots of dusty cocoa in the finish. The heat I was so looking forward to results more from the booze than the chilies, unfortunately. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and low in carbonation. I really want to like Clown Shoes, but I've slowly come to the conclusion that their exciting-sounding releases are just, well, slightly disappointing. Chocolate Sombrero is another 'hat' which fits that bill.

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

A-Pours black but when held up to the light, brown highlights are clearly visible. Head is not a full formation above the body. Patchy and light. Outer ring of the head does leave persistent lacing rings however.

S-Now that's an interesting nose. That ancho chile is very noticeable in the aroma. It is peculiarly stimulating. Along with that zesty chile scent is vanilla and cinnamon. The bottle's description on the label is quite accurate. Chile, vanilla extract, and cinnamon all come into play. And because this is a stout, of course there is coffee and chocolate.

T-This beer is first and foremost a solid stout. This is not a gimmick beer. The chile is set perfectly in terms of intensity. It only adds depth and is not too bold. It sits perfectly where it lies in this brew. The vanilla is a nice flavor and is quite noticeable. Light cinnamon. Coffee and chocolate as the base.

M-Full bodied feel, like it should be. Not sludgy but still has a legitimate feel. Mellow carbonation. Nice feel. I enjoy that it isn't super-heavy. For some reason I don't think the chile flavor wouldn't pair well with a very thick body.

O/D-The chile spice sneaks up on you but I enjoy its still not-overwhelming intensity. This was an ambitious attempt and as far as I am concerned it was a success. Not my favorite from them, but its a good time, and its unique.

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Photo of rudzud
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bpk59 for sharing this bottle. Poured into a tulip.

A - Pours a blackish brown with a light one finger mocha head that fades to leave thin lacing and clouding.

S - Smell has LOTS of earthy ancho. Nice sweet malts and roast. That being said, I dont get very much chocolate or vanilla.

T - Like the nose, there is not much chocolate and absolutely no vanilla. Really not that balanced here, lots of smokey earthy ancho chili and thats it.

M - Smooth, light carbonation. Very drinkable and creamy.

O - Overall, not all that impressed by this. On paper it really looked like something I wanted to get my hands on. Just really don't find it as well balanced as their other stout offerings.

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Photo of Brad007
4.71/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, another example of this style from Clown Shoes. I'm starting to warm up to their lineup.

Pours a wicked black with a one-finger brown head into my glass. Reminds me of chocolate milk.

Roasty, spicy, creamy with good interplay between the ancho chile and vanilla extract.

Mmmmm. Dark, roasty malt that's creamy with a mixture of spicy chile, cinnamon and vanilla flavors. There's plenty of balance as-is to keep any one flavor from dominating, etc.

Carbonation is ok and helps keep it from being a cloying mess. I can see this aging very well though to where the flavors come out better.

Very good! I'm buying another bottle for aging purposes.

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Photo of rab53
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with transient small white head. Smells of chocolate and light roastiness, along with a slight sweetness. Taste mirrors the smell with the addition of a faint bite and a subtle tickle in the throat. Upon reading the label I see that this beer was made with ancho chiles, cinnamon and vanilla. Some nice notes that have ruined other beers with a more heavy-handed use. Body feels a bit thin for a 9% abv stout, but this also adds to the drinkability. Overall worth picking up.

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Chocolate Sombrero from Clown Shoes
3.9 out of 5 based on 1,768 ratings.
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