The CEBAF Large Acceptance Spectrometer (CLAS) at Jefferson Lab utilizes six iron-free superconducting coils to provide an approximately toroidal magnetic field. The six sectors are instrumented individually to form six independent spectrometers. The forward region (8°<θ<45°) of each sector is equipped with a lead-scintillator electromagnetic sampling calorimeter (EC), 16 radiation lengths thick, using a novel triangular geometry with stereo readout. With its good energy and position resolution, the EC is used to provide the primary electron trigger for CLAS. It is also used to reject pions, reconstruct π° and η decays and detect neutrons. This paper treats the design, construction and performance of the calorimeter.