Beer Review 0281: Clown Shoes Genghis Pecan Pie Porter

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Now here’s a beer with an interesting story. Clown Shoes beers are contract brewed by Mercury Brewing Company out of Ipswich, Massachusetts — and, from my understanding, Clown Shoes offerings are, at least in my state of North Carolina, only sold in Total Wine stores.

Last year, Clown Shoes brewed this beer, then named Pecan Pie Porter, but used pecan extracts to brew it. This year, Clown Shoes’ first holiday seasonal offering is back, renamed, and brewed with real pecans roasted by The Gallows in Boston, and real brown sugar. No more extracts! The beer was named by Buddy Hadry, a Clown Shoes rep, just as the first incarnation was. The bottle features a pecan pie thrower and turkeys wearing clown shoes.

Genghis Pecan comes in at 7% ABV (alcohol by volume), and I noticed while looking at the bottle that Clown Shoes have started moving away from printing bottling dates on the label itself, to stamping the date on the bottle neck. If there’s one good thing about Clown Shoes besides the most excellent beer they make, it’s that they do a great job with freshness dating on their product.

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This beer poured an average size head, creamy in texture and quickly diminishing. The color was a couple of shades lighter than jet black, meaning a very dark brown that had lighter tan highlights around the edges of the glass. The beer was opaque, even when held to the light, and had no particles or sediment. Lacing was good, leaving many sudsy patches in the wake of each sip.

Aromatics had a lot of subtle malt going on; plenty of chocolate and coffee, which dominated; a general roasted sweetness, and a very small note of a piney hop. This beer was bready and had hints of brown sugar; as it warmed, the aroma got more pronounced and took on a bourbon barrel aged characteristic. Subtle when first poured, much more dramatic and pleasant when warmed. Even a small suggestion of smoke in there, too.

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On the taste, this one is classic American Porter all the way, giving ample chocolate and coffee flavors, amplified in sweetness by the brown sugar. Mild hoppiness in the middle, perhaps some dark pine, but that was quickly erased by a big finish of roasted black coffee, and sugary sweetness. This was medium-bodied, an absolute perfect mouthfeel for a Porter, and fairly foamy when swished in the mouth.

Clown Shoes have made a very nice Porter here, but this is not pecan pie in a glass. In fact, if anything about a pecan pie is in this beer, its the pie filling, and it is barely there on the finishing bittersweet notes. That’s not to say this beer is bad, by any means — hey, Genghis Pecan is very nice…and I don’t think you will be disappointed trying it. Clown Shoes hit yet again.

Clown Shoes Genghis Pecan Pie Porter, 92 points. Price: $6.99 US for one 22 oz. bomber size bottle.

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