Blaecorn Unidragon - Clown Shoes Beer

Clown Shoes Beer is one of the breweries that I have been meaning to write about for some time now.  So much wonderful and interesting stuff is coming through their doors that the big clown shoes on the bottle have become a real indicator of a quality beer.  So I thought, “I’m just not doing my readership a service unless I encourage them to get to know a Clown Shoes beer.”

I was perusing one of the larger liquor stores in town, and noticed a Clown Shoes beer that had a very unusual name, “Blaecorn Unidragon.”  The picture wasn’t one of their usual visual comedy bits, but rather like something out of a Dungeons and Dragons book.  The story on the side promised “monstrous amounts of dark malts and aggressive hops”, as well as a fierce 12.5 percent alcohol by volume.  All this and still under $10?  SOLD.

So, one question remained: What would pair well with such an aggressive Russian Imperial Stout, something so bold, with a notably high alcohol content?  Tiramisu would be an excellent complimentary dessert, but I’d prefer a flavor contrast.  I busted out the ol’ meat grinder and made a half and half lamb and beef burger with feta and spinach.  This would be one bold taste for one bold beer.  Before digging in, I cracked the top on the Blaecorn Unidragon and poured it into my snifter.

As expected from a Russian Imperial Stout, it poured pitch black, almost like a black hole black.  Put some light in there, those photons are going nowhere.  On top was an event horizon of solid brown head, quickly reducing to a little ring.  The aroma of roasted coffee malts and strong chocolaty scents absolutely pour out of the glass, no doubt intensified by virtue of the snifter.  Along with these tasty notes was a subtle but present nose of alcohol.

I gave it a good little taste, and was immediately surprised at just how bold it was.  I was expecting a Russian Imperial Stout, and I knew that Clown Shoes never does anything halfway, but I was pleased when I started getting notes of tobacco and anise after the immediate espresso and creamy chocolate.  There was also a noticeable smokiness, which combining with the hops almost reminded me of a peaty smoke from an Islay scotch whiskey.

The boozy quality of it gave a bit of a metallic dry finish, but that’s where the big tasty lamb burger comes in.  The dry finish is good to freshen up your palate as well.  Generally, it’s good for food and drink to complement each other in a way that makes you want to go to both, just somewhat unfortunate that one will have to eventually run out.

After the burger, I was left with just a little under half of the bottle, but that almost-half was enough to share with another and nurse on well into the evening. Besides, with a 12.5 percent alcohol by volume, I wasn’t planning on even drinking that first half by myself, without at least pacing myself heavily.  It was another exceptional experience with a Clown Shoes beer as I earnestly work my way through their catalog of first-class brews.  If you haven’t already, go check one out, especially the Blaecorn Unidragon.  Just be prepared, this is one beer that you’ll want some friends to help you finish.

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