Clown Shoes Archdruid

Reviewed by on March 3, 2017 in Spring Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Clown Shoes

  • Origin: Ipswich, MA, US

  • Rated On: March 3, 2017

  • Best Before: bottled July 25, 2016

  • ABV: 9.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Strong irish Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

It’s a fortnight until the big day (if you have to ask, I’m not telling), and thus it’s always nice to see another Irish Whiskey aged brew come around to my town.

This 22oz bottle pours a murky, dark orange-brick amber colour, with two thrifty fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly light tan head, which leaves some tiered bleeding paint swath lace around the glass as things slowly fall away.

It smells of musty barrel staves, real vanilla, gritty and grainy caramel malt, some wanly biscuity toffee, a muddled dark orchard fruitiness, gentle oily nutty notes, bittersweet powdered cocoa, and a booziness that is more red wine-like than Bushmills. The taste is semi-sweet bready and doughy caramel malt, besotted toffee cake, mixed red berry and tropical vacation fruit, some wet generic dark spirit barrel woodiness, acrid vanilla, more weird red vinous tannins and tartness, and a hovering sense of alcohol rage on the verge.  The carbonation is adequate for the job, via its simplistic frothiness, the body a so-so medium weight, and kind of average in its attempt at smoothness, as the woody and testy fruity essences allow no quarter here.  It finishes trending dry, the fruitiness turning as such, with the malt finally starting to wonder what the hell is going on with its current houseguests.

Overall, there is indeed a ton of stuff going on here, but a lot of it is quite disjointed. Barrel character abounds, but it comes across as much more red wine than Irish Whiskey in nature – is there some sort of cross-pollination going on? At any rate, not a bad high-test brew, and I do rather enjoy the idea of a raft made out of lashed-together leprechauns!

Brady White



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