Undead Party Crasher American Imperial Stout

    Review Date 1/1/2018   By John Staradumsky

Hey folks! It’s your friendly neighborhood Bruguru here with some Clown Shoes news! You might have heard, but last fall Clown Shoes, a Massachusetts contract brewer whose beers are produced by Mercury Brewing Company (nee Ipswich Brewing) of Ipswich, Massachusetts was bought by Harpoon. Now, Harpoon is also a Massachusetts, the first in fact to have a production brewery in Boston. So, this is a good thing indeed I think.

Clown Shoes beers were already on the map with beer geeks for some time, but a marriage with Harpoon can only benefit both companies, In celebration, I popped a bottle of Clown Shoes Undead Party Crasher American Imperial Stout, a beer that has also undergone a change. It was originally released as Vampire Slayer Imperial American Stout, but had to abandon that moniker to avoid legal wrangling. I assume Buffy has it copyrighted.

Anyway, the beer is as tasty as ever, even more so with age. My bottle does not have a date stamp, but I know it’s at least two years old.

From the label:

In a world full of uncertainty, hardship, and people trying to hold us back, do we need the undead and trademark attorneys too?  Clown Shoes says, “No, die, monsters, die!”  Forces of darkness brought about a change in the name of this beer, which was released to celebrate our second anniversary, but it still sports signature dark malts, holy water, and malt smoked locally with hickory and ash.

Clown Shoes Undead Party Crasher American Imperial Stout has an alcohol content of 10% by volume according to my label and 10.5% according to the brewery website. It is pricey at $10.99 for a 22-ounce bomber bottle at Total Wine these days. I am pretty sure I paid less than that when I bought my bottle, and I know I paid $7.99 for my bottle of Vampire Slayer about five years ago.

Clown Shoes Undead Party Crasher American Imperial Stout pours to a jet-black color with a thick creamy tan head and a vibrant dark roasty nose. Taking a sip, the beer is rich in body with a full mouthfeel, lush with dark powdered cocoa notes, softer licorice, but smooth and drinkable with hints of espresso and a mildly roasty, warming alcoholic finish. Hints of smoky ash permeate beneath, and add a wonderful extra dimension to an already impressive imperial stout.

I think the age has mellowed this beer ever so gently, but it is still a formidable and tasty brew. Now let’s see what Harpoon does with it. I’m betting they don’t change it one iota. Anyway, I'm taking a half star off for the 33% price increase since 2012.

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