Clown Shoes Clementine: Luxe and Reduxe
I've always had a pretty good palate. I'm not one of those poor, plagued "super-tasters," for whom an onion is like a sulfurous lance to the brain, but I pride myself on my sense of taste. It's one of the reasons that I enjoy writing and thinking about beer so much, and why I truly enjoy sharing beer with other people. It's always a cool feeling to share a beer with someone and see their horizons expand as you point out the various nuances of flavor and aroma. As I tell people all the time, it's mostly just a matter of paying attention.
Photo by Nicholas L. Hall Does not taste like beef stew. Thank God.
Of course, that's not entirely true, as I've personally discovered a few times in recent memory. There are several other factors that can throw your perceptions out of balance, from what you've eaten recently, to your health, to the stupidity of sibling rivalry. A friend of mine got Pine Mouth once, and everything he ate tasted like vomit for a week. Once, I put Clown Shoes in my mouth, and beer tasted like beef stew...
If you followed that link, or read this review the first time around, you know what happened. I'd been sick for a while, thought I was better and tried Clown Shoes Clementine. It tasted like Dinty Moore. That's not a good thing. At any rate, a minor scandal ensued when, apparently, Clown Shoes' brand manager posted an anonymous dig in the comments, and was uncovered by Houston's digital bloodhound, Kyle Nielsen. It was all very exciting.
Trouble is, I actually felt a little bit bad about the whole thing. I was pretty upfront about it, but I suppose there's an argument to be made that I hadn't given the beer a fair shake. I planned, from the beginning, to give it another go, and I'm finally getting around to it.
Clementine pours a hazy gold with a thin white cap. I don't think my vision was impaired by sickness, so the first go-round can be trusted here. The aroma, strangely enough, is mostly how I remember (and originally wrote) it. Citrus, coriander, just a bit metallic. There is something slyly savory about it, but it's a very background element.
The flavor is rounded and soft, buoyed by a crisp and sprightly carbonation. Gentle citrus notes (actual fruit, this time) play second fiddle to the somewhat heavy coriander and yeasty components. The metallic tug is still there, perhaps a bit more so than in the nose. There's a moderate bitterness at the very end, with the coriander taking over more, and turning a bit soapy. Looking back at my previous tasting notes, if you just chop out the beef and vegetable weirdness, I still kind of nailed it.
I'm glad I wrote that original review, as it generated a lot of useful discussion about the purpose and nature of writing about beer. I'm glad I re-reviewed it, too, as I want to paint an accurate picture of what the beer actually tastes like. I find it very interesting that the two are so close. In the end, though, I still didn't particularly care for the beer. It was fine, but a bit unbalanced for my liking. This time, I feel confident in making that assessment. If you're reading this, Sean Geary, you're welcome. And I forgive you.
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