So i was looking to do a Halloween themed beer for tonight, and This beer just seemed to pop out as the perfect decision to do; but what sealed the deal in tonight’s decision was a post made by Clown Shoes that really just bothered me. I am sure this stuff happens all the time, but every now and then it just seems like one person is clearly trying to take advantage of someone else because they can. Clown Shoes posted on their Facebook today that they were sued for using the name “Vampire Slayer” on their beer (link). Clearly the details are more than just that, but I won’t go into all that legal stuff. All I know that it was pretty shitty of a company to come out with demands on what is expected without trying to collaborate on a solution. I for one love the creativity behind Clown Shoes’ labels and am rather disturbed that a company is trying to capitalize from another from the use of “Vampire Slayer” Isn’t there some form of Vampire Slayer in EVERY Vampire Movie? Whether it be a human or another fictional species of character? Might as well begin a crusade on who coined the term Vampire first. Watch out Nostradamus, you are clearly not safe either! there just seems to be a lot of legal issues when it comes to Craft Beer lately, why can’t we all just get along? In the end aren’t we all supporting the same movement?
Clown Shoes – Vampire Slayer
Ze Beer? Vampire Slayer
Ze Maker? Clown Shoes
Ze Style? Imperial Stout
Ze Content! 10% abv
Serving Type: 22oz bottle
Vampire Slayer a solid jet black color with no variation on the edges. A wonderful mocha head is formed from the pour, though it was only about an inch thick and did not retain too long. Tons of roasted malt immediately present on the aroma with a big dark chocolate presence as well. A slight woody characteristic is present as well, faint but present. Some dark fruits begin to peek through after a few minutes of sitting in my glass, classic raisin and fig like characteristics but nothing too sweet. A touch of smoke is present on the aroma as well, but very miniscule. As soon as you take your first sip, that smokey characteristic becomes huge on the palate. Very smooth to drink, however surprisingly thin on the mouth feel. Not much lingering offered up on the finish either, but boy is it intense in the middle. The dark chocolate bitterness lingers on just a bit, but not for very long, and it isn’t not too intense. The interesting characteristic in this beer, is that i definitely get a woody component, but it does not taste like your typical oak barrel flavors, it is just a little different. Also the smoke like characteristic, I cannot place my finger on it, but it is different than your typical smoked beer. An interesting take on an Imperial Stout, big on the malty fruity sweetness on the aroma, but when on the palate it is completely not what you would expect. This smokey characteristic is really different, it is almost as if the smoke is like a dirty smoke, stale and ashy. Needless to say, this isn’t quite what i expected coming into this beer, however, this beer is not a bad beer, just a bit unique from the status quo of what Imperial Stouts have come to be. Definitely enjoyable, but just a bit different from what i feel anyone would expect to drink when opening this beer.
Now on the label Vampire Slayer states that it is the “Second Anniversary Ale” from Clown Shoes, I feel like a douche for not even knowing what their first anniversary ale was or what anniversary they are currently on. However when i saw Anniversary i started to age out this bottle and i have had it for at least 7 to 8 months. Now I saw the label release for one of their upcoming beers to release (if it has not yet released), Hammer of the Holy and I noticed that the ale was to be brewed with Holy Water. Upon further investigation I came to find out that Vampire Slayer was also brewed with Holy Water, why wouldn’t it be? Along with “Vampire Stakes” and “Ashes” this has everything you need to slay a Vampire, short of a small tribe of Native American Shape Shifters. I thought it was a little amusing that when i first drank this beer i thought the smoke was stale and ashy and when i actually took the time to inspect the label it actually said ash, it was a proud moment that I nailed that if i do say so myself. Everything i have had from Clown Shoes has been solid thus far, i just wish i was able to obtain the rest of their beers with ease, but they are just not that accessible for me. But as long as i can get my hands on their beers I will definitely continue to review their beers! Cheers!
Would I PAY for this Beer? Yes I would and I am glad that I did. In fact now with this new legal issue and with the labels no longer going to be an available, I think I will get a few more just to keep, soon they will be collector’s items right? Though I am certain that the recipe won’t change at all, I am grabbing more before the name and label changes to this:
Craftsmanship: This stout really is very unique in it’s sense. The ingredients used are a little unorthodox and the best part is, this combination of beers actually works for the stout very well. This is exactly what breweries need to do these days to stay in the game if you ask me. You need to be creative, and mix different ingredients but make it work! You can’t just make a smorgasbord recipe with a little of everything in there but that just won’t fly, make it work like Clown Shoes did with Vampire Slayer, that is the mark of true Craftsmanship.
Is there a beer out there and easily accessible for me to obtain in the Southern California Region? Let me know and ill do my best to obtain it and share my thoughts with you! Just leave a comment or contact me at email@example.com
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