Friday, December 21, 2012

3 French Hens? Not if Genghis has anything to say about it.

Brewery: Clown Shoes
Style: Porter
ABV: 7%

Several months ago, CT was invaded by 4 fantastic breweries:  Green Flash, Founders, Six Point and Clown Shoes.  As I stated in my post on Wednesday, it's not only a great time to get involved in craft beer because of our local breweries, but distribution is getting better and better.  Beers that I only remember having in NY and MA and Maine, are NOW available, in most package stores.  My first impression of Clown Shoes was their Black IPA called Hoppy Feet.  Loved it.  When they first came to CT, I believe they offered about 6 beers.  A few weeks later, I went back to the package store and it turns out, they now offer 7... then 8... then 9... Their lineup continues to grow and I have yet to be disappointed.  That being said, it made perfect sense to give their Pecan Pie Porter, known as Genghis Pecan a try in our 12 Beers of Christmas countdown.

As expected... the color is very dark.  Usually, I can get some red hues along the sides of the glass with this kind of style, but not this guy.  Dark, dark, dark.  There's no light shining through this.  It had about two fingers of tan head which quickly subsided.  There was some sticky lacing as it ran along the sides of the glass.

On the nose, there's the expected candied pecan smell.  However, I feel like maybe these pecans were left on the stove too long.  There's a roasted, almost burnt smell.  I'm picking up a little marshmellow sweetness too.  Then a little malted milk balls and vanilla perhaps.

Surprisingly, there's not a whole lot of sweetness in the taste.  I would think that something called, "Pecan Pie Porter", would be.  The label reads that it's an "ale brewed with natural flavor" which I have to credit Clown Shoes.  They relied on the sweetness to come from the added brown sugar and roasted pecans.  Nothing artificial was included in this beer to give it an overly sweet flavor.

There's a bitterness to this beer that could possibly be off-putting.  Again, I enjoy black coffee, so I don't mind it.  There's a malty sweetness that defuses the bitterness ever so slightly, but it's definitely present.  One thing that I enjoy about this is the smooth dry finish.  The high level of carbonation make the taste in this beer almost disappear moments after you have it.  Every sip builds up and goes away just like the last one.  Sometimes a beer will build off of the last sip... not this one.

Overall: B

I like this beer... But it's somewhat forgettable.  It's more bitter than sweet on the taste, and has a roastiness on the finish that dissipates very quickly.  Here's my issue.  If I'm going to spend anything over $8 for a 22 oz bomber, I'd like for it to be something I want to come back to. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike this beer, but with all of the full bodied ones out there this holiday season, I'll probably try something else next time.  I really like a lot of what Clown Shoes does, too.  Hoppy Feet, PIMP (collab), Muffin Top... all great beers.  This isn't one of their best... good, not great.

Pairings, pairings, pairings... One of my parents' friends stopped by earlier this evening and dropped off some delicious baklava. That works very well with this beer because there's hardly any sweetness on it.

Get all of your holiday shopping in this wkd!! Stay tuned for #2 and #1 on our countdown as @KayTeeStinch and myself get together for our FINAL reviews next week!!

...You know... if the world doesn't end n' stuff.

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