ChadPolenz (1690) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - NOV 8, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I poured a 12oz bottle into an oversize wine glass.
Appearance: Opaque black body, but with a huge, frothy, creamy khaki-colored head. It leaves gorgeous lacing on the glass and never dissipates.
Smell: Very hoppy aroma with west coast-style citrus notes and a sweet, almost crème-like scent of orange sherbet. Underneath it all is a stout-like smell of toasted malts and chocolate milk.
Taste: There’s a lot of debate raging in the craft beer world right now on what exactly the differences are between "Black IPA," "Cascadian Dark Ale" and "American Black Ale" are. Clown Shoes Lubrication could easily fit any of these categories, but I prefer Black IPA for brevity’s sake. It’s very hoppy and citrusy like an IPA, but finishes with that bittersweet roasted malt and chocolate flavor you’re used to in a stout or porter. The two halves of the palate, although quite different from each other, actually mesh quite well.
The palate begins hoppy and bitter and never really relinquishes this flavor throughout the drinking process. Some orange sherbet-like sweetness kicks in through the middle (the brewer’s website does describe the beer as being brewed with orangepeel). It’s strange, but pleasantly surprising how the bitter hops and earthy orangepeel sweetness work so well together (probably due to the citrusy nature of the hops). It finishes with a completely different flavor of iced coffee, roasted barley and milk chocolate. The aftertaste is bitter, but it’s a pleasant mixture of hops and dark chocolate. Very tasty and very interesting palate.
Mouthfeel: Perfectly medium-bodied with a good level of carbonation throughout, yet the CO2 never gets stuck in the throat.
Drinkability: For such a bitter beer, it’s actually quite amazing how easy it is to suck down a bottle of Clown Shoes Lubrication. The hops never overwhelm, and the body is smooth to make it easy to get down. It weighs in at 6% ABV, but has the flavor intensity of something stronger, but the actual weight of something smaller. A pretty impressive feat that deserves kudos.
chibuck (3510) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 8, 2011
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
bottle... light black beer, light tan head, about a finger of a cap stays, ok lace... the nose is dominated by hops, soapy and grassy, a bit of roast, smells good but could use a touch more balance... again not very balanced mostly hops especially on the finish you get some oil and pine, a bit of roast and chocolate... solid
AmEricanbrew (6727) - Same Trailer, Different Park, Louisiana, USA - NOV 2, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Ruby black clear color with tan foam. Nice grassy, pine, milk chocolate malt ball aromas. medium bodied. Dry chocolate, dark roast flavors with a taste of bitter pine to finish--good
DYCSoccer17 (3629) - Woodland, California, USA - OCT 24, 2011
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
12 oz bottle purchased at Bark’s Beer Cave. Bottled in August 2011. The aroma is heavy on roasted malts with some sweet character. I also detect some hops present, which seem to be more of an orange-ish floral variety. The hops and malts do not compliment each other in the aroma. Mostly opaque black body with a medium light tan head that is pretty strong and persistent. Starts mostly roasted with a little sweet cocoa powder flavor. These malts tend to persist throughout the beer. This is a little burnt with some astringent, bitter grapefruity hoppiness towards the end. Seems more of a porter than an IPA. Not a fan of this style, nor this particular interpretation of it. Way too charred and roasted.
Palidor19 (3164) - Brandon, Florida, USA - OCT 24, 2011
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
dark roasted, really toasty, almost burnt. the hops bring together the beer. medium malts. Cant stress enough of the burnt
Sammer (1118) - Plano, Texas, USA - OCT 23, 2011
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Nice dark pour from bottle. Taste is roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, soy sauce and pine. Nice.
BREWMUSKCLES (2558) - New Jersey, USA - OCT 23, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
hoppy with a hit of acrid ash near the end of the flavor profile. i am a sucker for that. i didnt really get the orange in this. Citrus and piney hop and a bit of a slickeness to it with chocolate. nice muddy dark brown brew with farmfresh malt fading in and out. yes a little bit of expresso grinds in there.
Arayaga2 (2122) - portland, Oregon, USA - OCT 22, 2011
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark brown with light brown micr-bubbled head. treacle and burnt graham cracker in the aroma. Taste is rooty spearmint and fairly high hop bitterness with some vegetality. $2/12oz
dwyerpg (5637) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - OCT 20, 2011
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Boy, this is as opaque as a serious imperial stout. Smell is a bit too malty grassy for me. The flavor is chewy and a bit robust, certainly doesn’t make me think that much of an IPA. The finish is dry but also a bit chalky. Not too impressed. The Hoppy Feet Black IPA is much better.
jredmond (7458) - New York, New York, USA - OCT 20, 2011
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: OCT 21, 2011 Black ipa with nice hops. Shared with Brendan at rattle n hum. Pours deep black body no head, minor lacing.