I’ll admit it. In the past, I’ve kind of avoided Clown Shoes simply because of their silly beer names.
After trying the Ipswich, Mass.-based brewery’s Chocolate Sombrero, I very well may have to rethink my stance on its beers.
I’m not going to lie; in this case, the label drew me to the beer. A four-armed, four-legged luchador concocting a beverage and some of the most entertaining label writing I’ve ever seen (more on that below)?!?! SOLD.
And the best part? The beer is just as tasty as the label is entertaining.
Advertised as a “Mexican chocolate stout,” the Chocolate Sombrero features ancho chiles, cinnamon and vanilla in addition to chocolate. The result is a delicious brew.
The Chocolate Sombrero pours a dark brown, topped with a beautiful and thick tan head. The smell is an immediate rush of chocolate, followed by a bit of a chile smell and vanilla at the end.
Like the aroma, the first thing I tasted was a rich chocolate flavor, followed by the taste of roasted malts. There’s a tiny bit of vanilla that comes through and the slightest tingle from the anchos, but if there’s cinnamon in the beer, I missed it. The lack of cinnamon, however, does not detract from a smooth and rich stout.
I’ll certainly be re-visiting the Chocolate Sombrero. And while I’m at it, I might take a deeper look at what other brews Clown Shoes has to offer.
As for the entertaining prose on the label, Clown Shoes has the following printed: “Roasted dark malts plus extra chocolate malts plus ancho chile plus vanilla extract plus cinnamon plus a chocolate loving, beer drinking, Clown Shoes wearing, milti limbed, gorgeous and glorious Mexican wrestler on the label. That’s the recipe for a Chocolate Sombrero!” I admit it, I laughed.