Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Clown Shoes Vampire Slayer - Gus #4

The brew for today also fits in a Halloween theme.  It comes from Clown Shoes Beer brewed by Mercury Brewing Co. in Ipswich, MA.  When I had this brew it was called an Imperial American Stout.  Newer labels have it styled as an Smoked Imperial Stout.  Either way the brew is named Vampire Slayer.  This is Clown Shoe's 2nd Anniversary brew.  All of the beers I have had from them have been outstanding.  Let's get into the review of this one.

How it rates with others:

ratebeer review:

Not a whole lot of information from their website.  But here is what I found there, on the label and throughout the interwebz:
About the Beer:
Style:  Smoked Imperial Stout
Alcohol by Volume:  11%
IBUs:  Unknown

"In a world full of uncertainty, hardship, and people trying to hold us back, do we need Vampires, too? Clown Shoes says, 'No! Die, monsters, die!'"

"Our second anniversary ale incorporates signature dark malts, holy water, and malt smoked locally with hickory, ash, and vampire killing stakes."

As you can tell, not a lot of information out there about this brew.  But, with a write up like that, how can it not be good?

I poured this brew into a 12oz tulip glass.

Appearance:  The brew poured gloomy, black as night.  No light getting through this thing anywhere.  Poured with a thick, brownish, khaki head.  The tight bubbled head gave way to a thinner 1/4th of a finger film just on the top.  Very heavy lacing and visible alcohol legs.  Almost an oily look to it with a film remaining on the glass when it is swirled.  All together a very nice looking imperial stout.

Aroma:  First thing to hit the nose is a huge coffee and dark chocolate aromas.  Then heavy, malty caramel notes start to creep in.  It smells of both dark and milk chocolate.  A smoky back bone is in there as well.  Actually if you dig deep you get a little bit of a hop bitterness.  What is so surprising is there is not any alcohol smell at all.  That's pretty nuts for this being such a big brew.  They have hidden the 11% ABV very, very well.

Taste:  Holy crap.  Big, big, sweet chocolate taste.  Definitely pick up some coffee, even a slight toffee taste as well.  Hints of smokiness in there but nothing heavy.  Mostly big dark and milk chocolate flavors.  Again no trace of the alcohol in there.  As it warms up more of the sweetness comes out.  Not really even an alcohol warmth on the back of the throat from this one.  Very nicely done.

Verdict:  This is one amazing stout.  It has moved very high on my list.  Super smooth and very drinkable.  Almost scary drinkable at 11% alcohol by volume.  When you drink it you will have to show some restraint and savor this one.  I plan to pick up a few more bottles since it is the anniversary brew and hold on to a couple.  I'm sure these will cellar well being such high alcohol content.  I'm going to have to give this brew an A+.  The alcohol is hidden so well and it's a superb stout.  The smoky flavors blend in so well.

Something like this is best served alone in my opinion.  But if you were going to pair it with something, a good smoked brisket would be good.  Or even some desserts.  I'd like to try this with a nice cigar as well.  Try some things out and let me know how it pairs.

Remember to comment below and tell me what you think, if you have had this brew.  Also subscribe and let me know if there is a brew out there you want me to review.  Thanks for reading.