Friday, May 17, 2013

Beer of the Week (Vol. CLXXIV)

Another edition of Beer of the Week sponsored as always by the fun-loving folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help find the wine, whiskey, and beer you need to bring cheer to any occasion. But since this is American Craft Beer Week you probably want to focus your imbibing in that area.

Our featured beer this week is the first to appear here from Clown Shoes Beer which is produced by Mercury Brewing in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Clown Shoes’ approach to brewing and business reflects their name:

Something’s happening, and it involves clown shoes and beer. Clown Shoes? Very long story, but to condense it a group of us submitted the name to the Beer Advocate contest that resulted in The Wrath of Pecant. Our submission didn’t crack the top 5. This burned me up inside. While driving one day the epiphany came: I could make my own Clown Shoes beer. In no way did I expect to create a brand, figuring it would be one batch of beer for fun and then done. But folks are digging the brews and a group of us are having a great time. Clown Shoes has come to mean a lot to me on a lot of levels. Clowns are questionable but the shoes make me laugh. They remind me about humility and to find humor in life. Our mission now is to produce beer without pretension while being free and a little crazy. We hope you enjoy the beers and this site.

The first of what will likely be many Beer of the Week from Clown Shoes is Tramp Stamp: Belgian India Pale Ale:

Like a stamp on a tramp, this beer is about not so subtle seduction. Soft but complex malts, Chambly yeast, sweet orange peel, Columbus, Amarillo, and Centennial hops have merged to create a bodacious Belgian IPA.

220z brown bomber bottle sells for $6.99. The label has an orange background with a rendering of the namesake tramp and her marking.

STYLE: Belgian IPA


COLOR (0-2): Copper brown and obscure. 2

AROMA (0-2): Pepper and candied sugar. 2

HEAD (0-2): Light tan color, small foamy bubbles, good volume, and lacing. 2

TASTE (0-5): Like the aroma, there are strong flavors of pepper and candied sugar along with a nice orangy zest. Bready caramel malts blend well with yeast and grassy hops which provide a bitter finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, the body is medium, and it’s rather drinkable. 4

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Rich follow through that lasts. 2

OVERALL (0-6): This is quite a good beer. Sometimes Belgian IPAs can go too far on the Belgian side (yeast, pepper, candied sugar) and not enough on the IPA. Tramp Stamp strikes the right balance and is a good combination of interesting and tasty flavors. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 16