This imperial stout is my first Evil Twin beer purchased locally! They decided to move down south, ya’ll, so expect more Evil Twin reviews from me in the future. On the label is an interesting suggestion to make a black and tan with half Yang double IPA, half Yin double stout. On the nose, dark chocolate, dark fruits, espresso, vanilla, oatmeal, charred barley, some booze, a hint of leather, herbal and orange hops.
The palate begins first with a citric hop, tart blackberry flavor that dances on the tip of the tongue. Coffee seems to be the most dominant characteristic on the palate. Chocolate immediately follows and things get dark, sort of like an 85% cacao bar. An intense level of roast reaches into charred, smoked terrain (burnt coffee comes to mind). Hints of toffee, maple syrup, and a hint of warm vanilla enter in midway to bolster up a semi-sweet weight that provides a little bit of balance, helping to offset the bitterness a bit. Hops then make their second appearance, this time with an herbal tonality that comes like a few drops of evergreen oil. The citrus comes forward, followed by hints of black licorice and cherry to close out with a dark fruit flavor paired with astringent bitterness. A sustained bitter note lingers long after the finish has gone, hanging alongside a resilient charred note that simply refuses to quit. Alcohol isn’t much of a bother. Mouth feel is incredibly creamy up front, dense, and full bodied, with a bitter astringency coming in on the finish.
This is a big, dark, bitter double with a roasted character that reaches into some seriously charred terrain. Hops pack a pretty decent punch, and you know that ten percent alcohol is pretty hefty too. It’s a sipper that you’ll be enjoying slowly, perhaps shared with two if you’re just not at a point where you can handle it yet. This makes the ten dollar four pack seem much more reasonable and worthwhile. On the downside, the mouthfeel leaves much to be desired. It also seems somewhat ‘run of the mill’ as far as the malt/hop tradeoff and its typical flavor profile, but hell, this is a good beer. I’ll return to it again, because it’s a solid example of a double with a rich mocha flavor that just might possibly satisfy my coffee craving. It’s great because it offers up loads of malt for us to enjoy, then hops take over and things get pretty bitter, then there’s plenty of alcohol buried underneath it all. I recommend it.