Hoppy Feet 1.5 Double Black India Pale Ale

    Review Date 9/14/2013   By John Staradumsky

So how’s this for ya? Here I am drinking a bottle of Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet 1.5, a double black India paleale, and I haven’t even tried Hoppy Feet, their Black India pale ale yet. Now, before we get into the merits of the beer itself, I’m going to go off on my prerequisite rant against the name of this style. Towards that end, I am going to paraphrase Douglas Adams: “Black IPAs are an illusion; double black IPAs doubly so.”

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not the style I have anything against. In fact, the style itself has quickly become one of my favorites, and I find the combination of resiny hop and dark roasty malt irresistible. But the proper name for the style in my book is India Dark Ale. How can you have a black India pale ale after all? If it’s black, it just can’t be pale.

Now that that’s out of the way, a little about the beer. According to the label, this is Clown Shoes’ First Anniversary Ale. It has an alcohol content of 10% by volume, and my bottle is just over a year old with a bottled on date of August, 2012. I paid $7.99 for the 22 ounce bomber at Total Wine. From the label:

One year of brutal work and abundant shenanigans is in the books. So, we up sized Hoppy Feet and dry hopped it twice. The huge, complex flavors and powerful hop and malt aromas make a worthy tribute. Thank you, each one of you, for helping make our dreams real.

Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet 1.5 pours to a jet black color with a thick, rocky tan head formation and a roasty, slightly phenolic hoppy nose. Taking a sip the beer has a delightfully roasted coffee and chocolate body that isn’t too thick, isn’t too thin, and really is just right for an India Dark Ale, even a double one. Then the hops hit, big and resiny in flavor and aroma, blending perfectly with the roasty malts and balancing with an intense bitterness at the very last.

I do get some alcohol burn in the finish to let you know this one is a double India Dark Ale, but not enough to let me suspect this one is 10% ABV. A perfectly done DIDA, I think, that is true to the style, and doesn’t throw too much malt at you. When that happens, you just end up with an imperial stout. Not here though; Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet 1.5 is one of the better examples of its style. You know. Double India Dark Ale.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned