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on tap

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RATINGS: 577   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.74/5   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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. Thatís the recipe for a Chocolate Sombrero!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 14, 2015
Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a two finger beige head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Very good retention for the tyke with rings and streaks of soapy lacing left behind. Deeply roasted dark malt aroma with peppery spicy and silky dessert-like chocolate notes. Prominent ground chili powder with pepper, cinnamon and brown sugar followed by robust coffee bean, burnt sugars, oatmeal, toast and dark chocolate. Sweeter chocolate notes as well with fudge, flour less chocolate cake and bakers chocolate. Peppers and especially vanilla bean are faded at this point but this beer still smells really complex and interesting. Medium bodied but not as thick/viscous as expected with a prominent spicy chili pepper presence up front that lingers over the roast and sweeter malt notes into a dry finish. Unfortunately, itís not as complex as the nose suggests, but the chili presence is more prominent with lingering spicy heat. Cinnamon and peppery spice compliment the ancho chilies and adds another layer of flavor to the already complex malt bill. Thereís a nice roasted malt character providing some dry bitterness but its not acrid or over the top. Hints of burnt toast, oatmeal, robust coffee/espresso bean and bittersweet chocolate. Again, Iím not getting much vanilla. It must be pretty faded at this point but there is plenty of dessert like chocolate malt sweetness to balance things out. Silky milk chocolate with lactose and bakerís chocolate rounding things out in the finish. The high ABV is very well masked with little to no alcohol flavor, huts some warmth in the chest. Overall, this is a really solid beer. Iím not a big fan of Clown Shoes but they did a really good job with this beer. Complex and easy to drink with great flavor. Recommended.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Nisse666 (5560) - GŲteborg, SWEDEN - NOV 14, 2015
Bottle at Porterfestival 2015 cons 2015-11-14 GŲteborg AR: heavy roasted malt, dark bitter chocolate AP: dark brown body, F: soy, dark bitter thick chocolate

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Meilby (10310) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - NOV 11, 2015
Bottle 355ml @ Parentís place
Pours dark brown with a tan head. Aroma has notes of roasted malt, caramel, coffee alcohol and hint of cinnamon. Taste is medium to heavy sweet and medium bitter with a long warm, roasted, chocolate, coffee, dried fruits and a faint hint of cinnamon and chili. Body is full, texture is oily, carbonation is soft.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
MattH (714) - California, USA - OCT 29, 2015
Bottle. Dark brown pour. Aroma is chocolate and cocoa nibs. Flavor is cocoa nibs, some fruitiness, spice. Aftertaste is slightly bitter and slightly smoky. Body is very light and carbonation is on the higher side for a stout. This is an interesting beer. If this was a blind taste test, I do not know if would be able to guess that this was a stout.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
bulldogops (1681) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - OCT 25, 2015
Rating #1215 - 01.08.2014 Bottle from CBI. Beautiful dark brown pour with a decent head that lasts. Aroma is rich cocoa, alcohol. Palate is more of the same, lots of burnt sugar sweetness, cocoa, and a lovely heat note of ancho chilies, which complements or exacerbates the high alcohol. Pair with dessert empanadas and succumb to your sugar coma.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SG111 (811) - New York, USA - OCT 23, 2015
Bottled 07/30/15. Pours black, nice tan head but quickly dissipating. Lacing clings to the sides a bit. Aroma is chocolate, cinnamon, that spice note, chili comes up quite a bit. Minimal vanilla. Flavor is chocolate, cinnamon, mild vanilla maybe? And definitely some spice at the back of the throat. Pretty full bodied without being overpowering. Nice as it warms up. The spice character comes out (cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla). Booziness too. Overall pretty solid.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
GTAEgeek (1665) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - OCT 22, 2015
On tap at the Porter. Dark, muddy brown color. Nose is chocolate syrup, chicory, black bread, and light roasty notes. Very sweet, with just a touch of bitterness. Heavy body, creamy, and thick. This is a solid, smooth stout, but lacks depth and complexity.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DutchDrebus (5275) - Oirschot, NETHERLANDS - OCT 22, 2015
Bottle @ benzai. Black colour with a medium sized light brown. Smells roastu, coffee, chocolate, sweet. Tastes roasty, coffee, moccha, chocolate, nice. Full body, nice carbo.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1540) - Orlando, Florida, USA - OCT 15, 2015
One of the most interesting flavor combinations is chocolate and chili pepper. Iíve been making a homebrew recipe based on that for many years, but Iíve only seen a few commercial brews like it. Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero is one example, and while it is a fine beer itís not quite the chocolate/chili imperial stout I was hoping for. This is more of a strong stout that happens to have those flavors in it rather than having them front and center.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 8/24/15 and cost $4.10 ($0.34 per ounce).

Appearance: Typical dark black body with nothing visible within. Pours to a two-finger dark tan, frothy head which laces and retains pretty well.

Smell: An aroma thatís closer to a porter with a general sweetness rather than roasted malt. The cinnamon seems noticeable, as does a slight candy-like scent. Otherwise, mild with no chili or alcohol presence.

Taste: Going into this beer, I was expecting (and hoping) for a big sticky, spicy bomb. Since this is pretty heft at 9% ABV and the fact it is also a quasi-pepper beer, itís reasonable to expect intensity. And itís not that it tastes bad or anything; in fact, as a strong stout goes, this is what you associate with the style. Thereís a light milk chocolate sweetness up front, akin to that often found in a porter. A little spicy/bitter sensation through the middle as the cinnamon and hops emerge. On the back end the chocolate is revealed Ė dark for a moment, but quickly becomes sweet and milky again. The pepper is very subtle as it does not manifest itself as a flavor but as a gentle warming sensation. In fact, I think the cinnamon and cocoa nibs or beans account for the spicy flavor. As a brew goes, this is certainly an interesting recipe, and it does taste good, but I feel like so much more couldíve been done.

Drinkability: There are a lot of pros and cons to the palette. On one hand, itís thin and smooth and easy to drink. ON the other hand, the mouthfeel is much thinner and cleaner than youíd expect a 9% ABV chocolate stout to be (carbonated syrup wouldíve been perfectly fine by me). Additionally, thereís no alcohol presence, which is nice; though for such a strong brew Iíd expect it to be more robust and complex. This is a fine beer to pair with a chocolate or vanilla dessert.

RATING: 7/10

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
colui72 (488) - HONG KONG - OCT 15, 2015
It pours creamy black with a lasting beige head. Aroma is dark chocolate and roasted malts. Feels smooth when sipped, dark chocolate bitterness, spices, mild chilli spiciness. Medium bitter finish. These clowns know what they are doing!

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