Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Clown Shoes - Chocolate Sombrero

If there are two words that beer geeks love more than the words "new brewery," it has to be the words "new distributor." A new brewery is awesome, but a new distributor means the potential for a LOT of breweries. Recently, a new distributor hit San Diego and brought with it some tasty east coast beer. So far, I've noticed a wave of Brash and Clown Shoes hitting the shelves, and I can only hope that there will be more east coast breweries hitting the shelves in the near future. Clown Shoes has some of the most entertaining names (Tramp Stamp, Muffin Top and Flight of the Pimp, anyone?) out there, so I decided to grab a bottle of their Mexican Chocolate Stout, Chocolate Sombrero.

Chocolate Sombrero pours a slightly thin looking black color with a really nice one finger khaki-colored head. The beer may not have looked thick coming out of the bottle, but the head left some intense sticky lace around the glass. Mexican chocolate was evident in the smell as soon as I began to pour this beer. As I got closer, I began to pick up layers of dried ancho chiles, cinnamon, roasted malt, vanilla, a bit of chocolate covered banana, some marshmallow and a fantastic powdery cocoa note. The smell wasn't as strong as I was hoping for, but it had a ton going on.

The taste opens with a light roasted malt note. Slowly, this progresses to a drying note of ancho chile and bittersweet chocolate. The finish brings a touch of milk chocolate, cinnamon and some more of the dried chile flavor. This beer was a little thinner than I probably would have liked, but it's a really well put together stout. I'm really glad Clown Shoes could join San Diego beer party.

Final Grade: B+

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 114

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