Monday, May 14, 2012

[A Beer a Day] Vampire Slayer Imperial American Stout | Clown Shoes Brewing | Ipswich, MA

Part II of V in the series: [An Avenue]'s Stout Week. Part I.

I have an incredible aversion to gimmicky breweries like Clown Shoes, but stouts were at the forefront of my mind last week due to the final appeals of Spring and all of its rainy greatness.  I snagged three from the depot and uncellared two others to relish the meaty backstrap of what will be a murderous summer.

But, as I was saying, I get ornery about a brewery who's primary appeal is their banal packaging, making you aware that the visual intrigue is as good as its gonna get.  The same DIY'ers who focus more on the marketing and Christmas wrapping than the final product.  That is Clown Shoes Brewing.

Here is why I changed my mind about throwing good American loot at a product I was predetermined to loathe (apart from the aforementioned Stout boner of May '12):  1) I like a good comeback story.  I mean, The Detroit Lions are like America's team by now, and to be honest, Clown Shoes went 0 an 16 last year; 2) Its an anniversary brew.  This means that they put a little extra time into this one, as opposed to their typical offenses against good taste, Tramp Stamp Belgian IPA, Muffin Top Tripel IPA, and Clementine Witbier; 3) It was recc'd by my BIL Ken, who is, in his own domestic and socially acceptable way, also a stout addict.

Okay, there was a 4th reason: It was $6.99, which is absurdly inexpensive for an imperial stout weighing in at a chunky 10% ABV.  Not too much to lose here except a day stouting in glorious, forgiving rain.

As you can see, Vampire Slayer is as carbonated as a fresh bottle of Jolt Cola, and probably twice as sugary.  On my first sip, I had a mouthful of chocolaty foam, that reminded my of a Hershey's Air Delight Bar -- not that I've ever experienced one of those freaky things, but its just what it reminded me of.  Not a bad opening number, but I was pretty anxious after waiting through three renditions of New Order's Temptation in order for the fizz to recede.

Thick.  Very viscous, like stadium hot chocolate made from chemically arranged goods.  I liked it.  Not bad.  It was very roasty and had the warm essence of Bailey's in your morning coffee.  I like rule-breaking like that, so its was cool to experience that in a prefabricated recipe.

Not bad was pretty much the common theme.  It was certainly the best value I'd had in many, many months and I would mos def pick another up when the economics of beer collecting catches up with me, as it tends to do after an early-season push of rarities, one-offs, and term releases.

Not bad.  Not bad at all.  I will inevitably slip one as a salutations to the great Abraham Lincoln, when the time approaches.

ABV: 10.o%
Acquired: Spec's

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