Monthly Archives: November 2013

Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero

Clown Shoes Chocolate SombreroIt’s only been a few months that Massachusetts based Clown Shoes has been available in Ohio, so I’m excited to try something new. with their Chocolate Sombrero, a┬áMexican inspired stout.

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!

Grade: B

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Dogfish Head American Beauty

Dogfish Head American BeautyHere’s another beer with classic rock roots, Dogfish Head American Beauty. If you couldn’t tell from the bear on the logo, this one comes from the band an fans of Grateful Dead. According to the video, the band wanted a big bold American Pale Ale. They then asked fans to submit other ingredient ideas and a story as to what that ingredient meant to them in relation to Grateful Dead. Expectedly, many were illicit. They decided to go with granola, although he doesn’t explain why.

To the beer!

Great head and really nice color. Honey, orange, and hops in the aroma. Flavor is similar, though the hops are more noticeable and there is a lingering sweetness. I know this is brewed with granola, but the nuttiness you might expect is very subtle. The orange, grape, and honey are firmly there. In fact, getting some hints of Midas Touch here.

Once again, Dogfish Head goes bold and doesn’t disappoint. Really tasty brew. Shame it’s a one-off run.

Grade: A

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Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale

Monk's CafeI believe this is my first true sour. It’s always difficult to review a beer without having tried the style before. On the other hand, it’s always exciting to try a new style!

The color is attractive. As close to brown as red can get. However, the giant chunks of sediment are a bit off-putting. Aggressive carbonation tingles on the the tongue. This is, indeed, sour, but not unpleasantly so. A touch of caramel and even a fruity finish. But sour is by far the dominating note.

I feel like this is going to be a hit or miss. You’ll love it or hate it, depending on your individual feelings toward sourness.

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Ommegang Take the Black Stout

Ommegang Take the Black Stout

Ommegang Take the Black Stout

I was very excited when I found Ommegang Take the Black Stout. I’m a huge fan of the Game of Thrones show and I just finished the first book. Plus, with it being from Ommegang, I have high hopes for this one.

Really easy to pour a bit too aggressively. Pours black (it better!) with a rather dark khaki head. The aroma is full of dark fruit, smoke, and anise. Interesting flavor. Dark bread, dark fruit, a bit of char and smoke. Hops don’t really come in until the finish. There is a hint of anise in the background, but it’s not overpowering. Also some of the flavor you’ll get from yeast in other Belgian Dark Ales. Lacing so thick, it practically coats the entire glass.

This is really quite good. I’d love to enjoy a few of these once the show is back on!

Grade: A

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Westmalle Dubbel

Westmalle DubbelI’m a sucker for Trappist brews, so I couldn’t pass up the chance when I found this Westmalle Dubbel.

The aroma caught me the second I popped the cap. Rich, malty, inviting. Surprisingly carbonation leading into a creamy texture. Butterscotch, bread, and a little bit of yeasty funk. Spicy hops linger in a slightly bitter finish.

Outstanding. Go get it!

Grade: A

 

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