Beer Review: Clown Shoes Josh the Revelator

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Brewery: Clown Shoes
Beer: Josh the Revelator
Style: American Double/Imperial IPA
ABV: 10.2%
Character: Brewed as a West Coast style IPA, dry hopped with Mosaic, Galaxy, and Ella hops
Ratings at time of Review: BA: n/a | RB: n/a
Metal Connection: THE SWORD – John the Revelator

BeerMetalDude Rating: 5/5

JoshClown Shoes, Clown Shoes, Clown Shoes… what to say about Clown Shoes except that these guys are amazing! Ever since I have seen Clown Shoes beer on the shelves at the local beer stores, I have been buying up as many of their different offerings since 2011. These guys have their beers made at Mercury Brewing Company, or Ipswich Ale Brewery, which has been contracted to brew the Clown Shoes line of beers since 2009.

This beer was brewed specifically for the Texas market, as Josh the Revelator was named after the #1 Clown Shoes Sales Rep, Josh Baggett. Clown Shoes has done a number of state market specific beers, which that program actually began by accident. Their first state specific beer was Ohio Unidragon, which was a lower ABV version of their Blaecorn Unidragon, due to that state’s local ABV limit. They got a great reaction, and decided to run with it for their different markets.

The label art on Clown Shoes beers always impress me. This one is no exception. The label here features artwork that has, what I am assuming is a likeness image of Josh Baggett. I think I met this guy once in Houston when I was a sales rep for Busted Sandal Brewing Co., but I am not 100% sure on that. Anyway, this drawing has him riding a pink bicycle with training wheels through the galaxy. He is jamming on an electric guitar with a small amp sitting atop the handle bars. Coming out of the speakers are large cubes making up the road being ridden on. The best part is that the road behind him is spawning mystical unicorns. Again, Clown Shoes always amazes me with their artwork!

Josh the Revelator appeared a bright, clear copper color, kind of looked like honey, and it was topped with a large 1 inch white foamy head as I poured this beer into a glass specifically designed for IPA’s by Spiegelau. There was great head retention, leaving excellent lacing down the glass through this session.

The nose was a strong hop aroma. Citrus orange and grapefruit were dominant, mixed well with wet grass, fresh plant greenery, some lemon, a little mango, light malts and grains, and finished with fresh baked white bread. There was a bit of a boozy burn in the nose. The lingering aroma in the nose was a mix of lemon, citrus orange peel, and grapefruit.

Just like the nose, the taste was full of hop characters with it’s citrus orange, grapefruit, lemon, mango, wet grass, and plant greenery. The citrus was dominant on my palate with a nice combo of orange peel and the fruit pulp flavors. Rounding out the taste is some light malt and grains, and fresh white bread. There was a nice boozy taste, but not overpowering. The aftertaste is all hops with some orange peel and pulp, grapefruit, and a bit of lemon.

The body was a medium thickness with a smooth, slick mouthfeel, and a dry finish. There was a nice boozy burn, but nothing overwhelming. It was very tolerable.

Overall, this was an amazing Double IPA. It had everything that I love about the style. There was a subtle booziness, Great hop flavor, and a body of malts and grains. It takes a lot for me to give a 5/5 rating, but this beer just punched me right in the right spots. We here in Texas were lucky to have received this beer in our market only. Suck on that Suckers!!!

SwordJohnMetal Connection: This one was kind of a hard one. I wanted to use the song, “John the Revelator” since the name of this beer comes from that title, and seeing as this song is traditionally a Gospel Blues song, I didn’t think I was going to find a version suitable for this site. After a few searches on the ol’ interwebs, I came across a version of the song recorded by Craft Beer lovers, and fellow Texans, The Sword. Originally, the song, “John the Revelator” was recorded in 1930 by Blind Willie Johnson. Since, this song has been recorded by several artists throughout time, which each version there are variations in the words and music. Some artists who have recorded the song include Beck, Frank Black, Nick Cave, John Mellencamp, R.E.M., Cameo, Steve Vai, Tom Waits, and of course, The Sword. These Stoner/Doom/Hard Rockers recorded the song, and released it as a 7″ vinyl record, specifically for Record Store Day 2016. This isn’t the most Metal song, but dammit, it’s at least a Metal band being featured here. Cheers fellow Craft Beer Metal Heads!

Here is Matt Smith (Director of Operations for Clown Shoes) and Andrew Jackson Butler, from the bands Stem and Stereogrove, with their own version of blues standard “John The Revelator.” Notice the different lyrics here.

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