No Corporate Beer Review: Luchador en Fuego

Beer: Luchador en Fuego
Brewery: Clown Shoes (Boston, MA)
Style: Stout – Imperial/Double
10.5% ABV / 0 IBU

The original version of Luchador en Fuego hit the market in 2016 as an anniversary brew. Clown Shoes has had several birthdays since, and this excellent barrel-aged Mexican chocolate stout is now part of the brewery’s year-round line-up. This is a cause for celebration, as is the slimmed-down 19.2 oz can, which empties neatly into an imperial pint glass. The move away from 22 oz bomber bottles has nothing to do with bomber bottles; Clown Shoes has your interests at heart here because this one will knock you out faster than an aerial clothesline.

The spiciness of this imperial stout is definitely en fuego. There’s plenty of cinnamon—the thing that adds the “Mexican” to the chocolate, plus actual heat from ancho and chipotle peppers. Well, a little heat; both of these peppers, essential ingredients in dishes like mole, rank as pretty mild on the Scoville scale. But you definitely can feel a bit of a tingle on the tip of your tongue and the roof of your mouth, and that is part of what sets Luchador en Fuego apart as an imperial stout.

The other key differentiating factor here is straight-up aging. This stout presents a case for why all chocolate-based stouts should be aged in bourbon barrels. The caramelized sugar notes from the barrel aging process complements the vanilla undertones of Luchador en Fuego exceptionally well. Maybe that’s actually where the tongue-tingling effect of this stout comes from, as opposed to the peppers. Or perhaps it’s both. This beer somehow combines a silky-smooth mouthfeel with heat that lingers. As a stout, it’s pretty great, but as a spiced beer, it’s a signature move ending with your total submission, no kayfabe necessary.

For more info on Clown Shoes, please head here.