I say this a lot in the blog, but it is a great time to be a craft beer lover in the state of Texas. Craft breweries are popping up everywhere, and more and more breweries are coming into this state (of course I wish there were more coming, but that's a whole other issue). One such brewery is Clown Shoes from Ipswich, Mass. They've been here for a little over a month or so, and for whatever reason I haven't gotten around to trying any of there beers before now. They are known for controversy as much as they are for how their beer tastes which is unfortunate. There are folks out there that seem to me to be a little to easily offended when it comes to Clown Shoes labels. If that gets your dander up, then I can't imagine how one would make it through a day in this world. Frankly I don't care what the label looks like, its whats inside that matters.
The Beer: Labeled an Imperial Amber Ale this one weighs in at 8% abv. The beer pours a ruby amber with a taupe colored head. Very malty on the nose, caramel, toffee, and then you get hints of citrus fruit and hoppy oils. The mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy, very small bubbles of carbonation that lead to this creaminess. Very hoppy, far hoppier on the tongue than the nose indicated. Caramel and Vienna malts in the flavor profile. Very resiny on the finish. Initially I felt the flavors were muddled, there wasn't a vibrancy to the beer. I had just bought the beer and had put it in the fridge to cool down, and maybe I hadn't waited long enough, because when I went back to have a second one, the vibrancy was there, and the flavors were all the same, but they stood out more and this was when I realized I liked the beer thank you very much. This one gets a B + from me.