Beer Misc.

Josh The Boss Hog Clown Shoes Brewing Review

Overall Score: 7.3 Josh The Boss Hog is a boss of a barleywine checking in at 11% ABV and bold flavors. The aging process is unique and creative, but the palate isn’t exceptional, which keeps this beer from the highest scores. We recommend grabbing a can for an memorable experience.


Brewery Insights: This is one of the few times we will directly quote the brewery. It’s worth it for the full story:

Our friends at WhistlePig only release a new version of The Boss Hog every so often. A world-class distiller testing the limits of technique and style with a limited release over a decade in the making? Here, take all our money. When the opportunity presented itself to age a beer in barrels that held their latest release of The Boss Hog, you could say we were a little excited. We’ve always admired WhistlePig’s whiskey and our shared commitments to pushing the boundaries of our respective crafts, and it felt right to combine forces for a truly special barrel-aged release. This Barleywine aged in the same Japanese Umeshu barrels that aged The Samurai Scientist, the sixth release in WhistlePig’s Boss Hog series. With the strong umeshu and rye whiskey notes imparted to these barrels after aging each for over fifteen years combined, head brewer Dan Lipke crafted Josh the Boss Hog specifically with these barrels in mind. Full-bodied malt sweetness and the addition of plum puree in the brewing process made this rich base beer an ideal candidate for added layers of complex flavors from its time in these barrels. Cheers to WhistlePig, and to all the Boss Hogs out there.

Josh The Boss Hog


Overall Score: 7.3

We poured two glasses of this beer and you can see the distinct differences (the top photo is the second pour and the bottom photo is the first pour). Our tip to drinking JTBH is drinking the entire thing at once to get the full experience. This is a special barleywine ale based on the barrel aging. It’s a gift to experience this beer; unfortunately, the flavors aren’t as amazing as the brewing process. This is a unique bareleywine with complex and diverse flavors. The palate is heavy with malt and alcohol, which will make this hit and miss among beer connoisseurs. Plum is the primary tasting note, but the rye barrel gives it slight spiciness and provides a smooth palate. This beer scores big on creativity and loses a few points for above average flavors.

Degenerate Discussion

Josh The Boss Hog is a heavy hitting barleywine ale that leverages one of the greatest whiskeys for barrel aging (Boss Hog by WhistlePig). It’s worthy of the the badass Samurai labeling, but it will fuck you up in a different way. The Samurai were known for slamming sake to suppress memories of murder, but we think JTBH would have worked better based on taste and 11% ABV. This is a wild bareleywine with complex flavors, and it isn’t for the weak or someone worried about sweetness. We’re confident there were a few Degenerate Samurais, and to them, we say cheers!


You can find Josh The Boss Hog on the following Degenerate listings:

  • Barleywine Ale Reviews
  • Clown Shoes Beer Reviews
  • Massachusetts Reviews

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