May 31, 2012

Clown Shoes Supa Hero

For as silly as some of their product names can get, Massachusetts-based Clown Shoes Brewing continues to impress with each beer I try from them. Supa Hero (an 8% ABV Imperial IPA) may not knock some of my favorites from the top of the list, but it’s another solid effort from this company.

This is a big beer. It’s got a big hop profile with tons of grapefruit and pine resin to go along with a solid helping of astringent hop bitterness. It’s exactly what you want in an imperial or double IPA. An accompanying malt backbone does its best to temper the wrath of the hops, but it’s not quite enough to fully balance everything out. That said, I wasn’t in the mood for equality in flavors when I cracked this one open. I just wanted strong, hoppy goodness. And that’s what I got.


Supa Hero pours orange-tinted amber with a large, off-white head that fell gently to a decent bit of lacing along the glass.


Loads of pine resin, grapefruit and orange dominate the aroma as wafts of lightly toasted malt and caramel come and go amongst the swirl of hops.


The flavors are pretty much right in line with the aroma. A quick bit of caramel malt greets you initially before it is overcome by a healthy dose of resiny pine and juicy citrus fruits. The hops also have an earthy, herbal character to them that’s a nice touch. The biting bitterness is pretty strong (but not too strong for those in love with the hop) and lasts a good long while after each swallow. I’d personally, like a touch more of the malt to come through a bit more. The higher alcohol content is also masked well, only appearing as the beer has had a chance to warm in the glass.


Like I stated in the intro, this is a big beer with a big hop profile. It’s not going to be one for a newcomer to IPAs. It’s bitterness isn’t completely palate wrecking, but it is fairly strong. It’s not the most balanced beer available, but when you’re in the mood for some juicy hops, who cares.


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