Tag Archives: Chocolate Stout

Day 21 – Clown Shoes Beer – Bombay Berserker Indian-Stlye Chocolate Stout

Day 21 - Clown Shoes Beer - Bombay Berserker Indian-Stlye Chocolate Stout

Only a three beer left after today.  It’s been quite a run.  I can’t believe it’s already almost over.  I’m heading out of town shortly too, but I’m bringing the beers with me so that I can still get my posts up.  It’ll be a sweet trip and I’m hoping to manage to get to some of the breweries in Hawaii so I can try some of the beer.  I’ve already scoped out a sweet pub near where I’m staying that has a ton of beer on tap from all over the USA. Should be fun.

Today’s beer comes to us from Clown Shoes Beer and it is a variation on a Chocolate Stout called an Indian-Style Chocolate Stout.  The name of the beer itself is “Bombay Berserker” and it sounds pretty tasty.

Founded by Gregg Berman and a group of friends after losing a beeradvocate naming contest.  They decided that they could make Clown Shoes beer themselves and they didn’t need Beer Advocate to be the ones to use the name.  They started off thinking it’d be one brew, just for fun.  After getting some good feedback on their beers, they decided what the heck, let’s keep going.  While they don’t provide too many details about the formation, brewhouse, or anything at all really on their website, they do at least give us a look at the variety of the beers that they make.  They’ve got a ton of special releases, seasonal bombers, 4-packs, and a whopping list of retired beers.  As the name might suggest, while clown shoes represent humility and humour, the brewery itself represents producing beer without pretension while being free to be a little crazy.  They put a big focus on experimentation and the list of beers on their site point to a lot of that.

This is another stout, although a different variation on the style. There have been a lot of stouts in this advent calendar.  This likely has to do with their ability to age. Now, I already did a write up on stouts on Day 2 and so if you are interested in reading a bit more about the Stout style, feel free to take a look at that one.  Like I indicated on the first chocolate stout we tried, they are beers which have noticeable dark chocolate notes both in flavor as well as in colour.  This is done through the use of darker, more aromatic malts.  Specially, chocolate malts, malts which have been roasted or kilned until they develop a chocolate colour.  This beer is a variation on this variation.  While still using the same malts in the beer they have added a number of spices including: chai tea, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla. I’m pretty excited about this one, it sounds tasty. So, enough about it, let’s get to it.

Rating:  79/100

Appearance:  Pours solid dark brown.  1” of puffy foam with tan head.
Smell: Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, star anise, some caramel malt as well as some chocolate malt.  Some earthy hop notes are present as well.
Taste:  Bready caramel malt, toffee, chai spice, cardamom is really present, ginger is noticeable but as a bitter lingering finish.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied, smooth, some creamy notes as well.
Overall:
Pleasantly spiced with a lot of layers and different notes coming through along the way. It’s got a good body to it that carries these flavours overs the threshold. Good sipping beer for sure.  Only complaint is that the spices overpower any of the underlying stout and I don’t really get to taste the beer, just the spice.
Do I like it: I enjoyed it.  I think it had a lot of interesting characteristics going for it.  I’d be interested in trying it again but I’m not going to seek it out.

Day 12 – Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery – Saint Beatnick Chocolate Stout

Day 12 - Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery - Saint Beatnick Chocolate Stout

I’ve made it to the halfway point of this 24 day beer blogging journey through beers and styles from across North America.  It has been pretty fun so far.  As with last year, I am finding myself learning more about the various styles of beers (I’ve taken up reading the Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines on the styles when possible) as well as more about breweries that I may wish to visit in the future.  I hope that those of you who are taking the time out of your days to follow along and read these blog posts are finding them both interesting and informative.

Today’s beer comes to us from a familiar brewery here in Manitoba, Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery located in Barrie, Ontario.  I’ve had the opportunity to try a number of there beers and I haven’t often been disappointed.  We tend to get a number of them in at the Liquor Marts here and they are a pretty solid go to beer when you aren’t really sure what to try.  The beer we have from them today is one that I have not had the chance to try before, Saint Beatnick Chocolate Stout.

Founded in 2004, Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery was originally called “the Robert Simpson Brewing Company”.  It is located right on the waterfront of downtown Barrie, Ontario, and prides themselves on being unique.  Making an effort to cast aside the concept of Macro-brewing and small batch “taste-a-likes” Flying Monkeys cast aside their original name 2008 to show their true selves.  Since then they have made every effort to brew collaboratively and creatively brewing adventuresome beers that fill the needs of craft beer drinkers in Ontario.

The brew master at Flying Monkeys, Peter Chiodo (Not the mobster…), learned the ropes of home brewing from his grandfather in an Etobicoke basement. He refined his skills as a broke university student in Alabama, then as a broke grad student in Mississippi.  Having honed his skills, Peter also developed a passion for beer that is made by hand, not by machines, and has a passion for locally brewed craft beers.  Beer site, whatsbrewin.ca visited Flying Monkey’s and spoke with Peter.  You can watch there video of that here.

Flying Monkeys takes a pretty firm stance on brewing beer on their website (which is also a bit weird itself). They say:

“Any Craft Brewer worth anything started somewhere as a Home Brewer. We learned the craft, we followed the curve, and we invested our All. If a Craft Brewery started solely as a name, a brand, or a business plan, then shame on them. Marketing is not Brewing.” 

This statement gives you a pretty good idea of how they feel about craft beer.  They have a number of interesting beers and I suggest you take a look and when you see one at the Liquor Mart, give it a try.  You never know, you might like it.

This is another stout, although a different variation on the style.  I already did a write up on stouts on Day 2 and so if you are interested in reading a bit more about the Stout style, feel free to take a look at that one.  I will say that Chocolate stouts are beers which have noticeable dark chocolate notes both in flavor as well as in colour.  This is done through the use of darker, more aromatic malts.  Specially, chocolate malts, malts which have been roasted or kilned until they develop a chocolate colour.  In some instances, chocolate stouts can actually be brewed with real chocolate.  I’ve read nothing to indicate that is the case with this beer.  Enough about it, let’s get to it.

Rating:  79/100

Appearance:  Dark chocolate in color with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly leaving little lacing.
Smell: Dominated by chocolate followed by slight alcohol smell, almost as though it has been aged in whiskey barrels though there is no indication this is the case.  Very little else is noticeable on the nose.
Taste:  Mocha comes through strong followed by a bitter finish and lingering alcohol taste.  This beer tastes a lot like an Irish coffee in a lot of ways.
Mouthfeel: Soft carbonation, creamy mouthfeel, lingering alcohol and bitter finish.
Overall:
Lives up to its name. The sweetness on the nose is quite overpowering but is less in the flavor. The carbonation is soft which is good, but I feel that the chocolate notes and sweetness almost overpower many of the other flavors that might be there. The chocolate and the lingering alcohol flavor certainly stand as the stars in this chocolate stout, which likely is the point.  Overall the chocolate is certainly the star in this stout with lingering alcohol flavors and good aroma.
Do I like it: I find the sweetness of this one to be a little overpowering for me. It’s not that I don’t like it, I think it is okay, it is just that the sticky sweetness is a bit much. Overall, I’d probably have this one again but I think I prefer other offerings from Flying Monkeys and would be more likely to gravitate towards them.