lightbias (435) - USA - JUL 20, 2014
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Opened the bottle and it exploded (volcano onto the counter). Damn waste, I think. After the mayhem, I poured a liquid into the glass, black as the hinges of hell and a dark chocolate head, thick and soft. I taste heavy, boozy bourbon like a smack in the face and adjust to the sensation. Love bourbon, but wasn’t expecting that! I tried to see any light through this beer and saw absolutely nothing. That is a first for me. Actually quite exciting to see something that dark.
The chocolate was pronounced on my first swallow, with a little roasted coffee bean; but as the brew warms I am experiencing that chile coming through in excellent style, the aroma encased in cinnamon but not delivered in the flavor. This is terribly complex; a thick, soft palate and a smooth, warm finish.
This is a brew I would love to have again, perhaps after a nice, heavy, winter meal. Or with one!
warhawk91 (302) - Newington, Connecticut, USA - JUL 16, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bomber into a snifter. Classic motor oil black pour. Coa-coa colored head thin and wispy, short lived. Aroma is chocolate, caramel, big bourbon and oak notes and pepper. Taste is chocolate sweetness up front with bourbon and hops in the back. Lingering flavor of coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla and a hint of the spicy peppers. The bourbon heat is present on the way down in a warming way. As it warms it's less hot and malt flavors really open up. Really nice imperial stout.
jkharper2007 (20) - Grovetown, Georgia, USA - JUN 28, 2014
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Smells malty, with chocolate and Bourbon. Can definitely smell the peppers and chipotle, best beer I’ve had with these. Very nice brown head, thick and lasting. Tastes fantastic, a lot of maltiness, vanilla and chocolate, bourbon taste with the peppers on the end. Goes down smooth, very nice mouthfeel. Excellent beer and well worth the money. Clown shoes almost always shows up to impress.
Dr_MedievAle (199) - Alabama, USA - JUN 24, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Aroma: oak, vanilla, cardamom, chocolate dough, soy, pepper flake
Taste: sweet sarsaparilla, cola, and vanilla; spicy bourbon; bitter chocolate and oak. savory pepper sauce finish that is, nonetheless, smooth.
Appearance: creamy khaki head (decent retention). dark brown body.
Palate: medium body; creamy mouth feel. average carb. smooth and subtly lingering finish.
Damn impressive beer that does a good job using chili as ONE element among many; and manages to marry it with the chocolate--while those two are seemingly an easy match made in heaven (hill bourbon barrels), time and time again other breweries demonstrate just how difficult it is to get these two components together in a beer.
CanIHave4Beers (3887) - Pouring Bus, Iowa, USA - JUN 24, 2014
3.2 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours basically black with a good head and decent lacing on the glass.
The aroma is ought right offensive, very sweet, loaded with cheap vodka booziness, grapes, tequila, burnt plastic, it’s got some mild chocolaty and bourbon notes that redeem it a little, but sheesh.
The flavor is decidedly better, very chocolaty with mild cinnamon, some good hot pepper notes are there as well. The liquor barrel manifests it’s self with some vanilla but almost has a tequila like character but the booziness is surprisingly low.
GTAEgeek (1771) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - JUN 22, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 oz. bottle shared by Debbie at Ale Alpharetta. Pours black, with a thin, tan head. The aroma is big notes of vanilla, chocolate and oak, with some toffee, caramel, and some light vegetal notes. Very sweet, no roasted bitterness, and a slight spiciness. Heavy body, very thick and chewy. Overall, this is a very nice chocolate stout, but I couldn’t find much chili spiciness at all.
superspak (4242) - Michigan, USA - JUN 21, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 2/25/2014. A bit of a gusher upon opening. Pours dense pitch black color with a 2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, oak, dark bread, light cinnamon, light chile pepper, light smoke, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, bourbon barrel, and light spice notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, oak, light cinnamon, light chile pepper, light smoke, and roasted earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roast, toast, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, oak, light smoke, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and robustness of dark/roasted malt, bourbon barrel, and light spice flavors; with an awesome malt/barrel balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barrel aged imperial stout. Even though most of the spicing did not have big presence; the robust dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavor balance is awesome; and this is very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.
edwardbass (754) - Illinois, USA - JUN 20, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Shared bomber. Color is very, very dark brown. Aroma is strong bourbon and chocolate syrup. Taste is chocolate, dark roasted grain, bourbon, booze and just a hint of chili. The palate is quite light for a stout. Excellent stout overall. Man, Clown Shoes can make a great stout.
DoToBi (8) - AUSTRALIA - JUN 20, 2014 does not count
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Absolutely blew my mind. Can’t get enough of it. Shame it’s not more readily available.
JBPortland (1440) - Portland, Maine, USA - JUN 18, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
22oz bottle opens with a small gush and pours oily brown-black with a small finger of tan head. Nose is soft bourbon spice, very faint pepper heat on the long inhale, sweet chocolate syrup. Taste is earthy chocolate, hershey syrup, sweet vanilla, mild pepper flavor, spice, compost. Finish shows more pepper presence and heat than on the palate, french vanilla coffee, chocolate, cheap bourbon. All the pieces are there but they never really come together harmoniously and it leaves this beer feeling a bit disjointed and rough around the edges.