Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break

Type: Imperial Stout
Origin: ?
Price: $18.49/22oz
ABV: 11.5%
NSP: 4.04

I've had this beer in my queue for friggin' ages, and decided that tonight's the night- not only because it's taking up much-needed space in my fridge, but because my beloved sister-in-law requested a dark beer for sampling.  Tonight being the night for the IBB presents a problem- I had Hunaphu last night, and there's absolutely no way I can avoid what will most likely be an unfair comparison.  But what are you going to do?  I'm a little confused by this one, hence the question mark in the origin header- as far as I know, Evil Twin was founded in Denmark.  But per the website, their headquarters and distribution center are in Brooklyn.  And then, on the bottle label, it says that it was produced and bottled by Westbrook Brewing Company in Sakerlina, which I guess means Evil Twin's doing some contract brewing- but at least it's with a brewery that's got a good reputation in its own right.  In the end, I don't really give two shits where it's from, but I've got a header to complete, dammit.

The color's nice, but there's an immediate concern- there's no head unless you really vigorously dump the beer in the glass.  Flat imperial stouts are a bit unapproachable in my opinion, because the lack of carbonation takes away a critical part of the system of checks and balances required to prevent the beer from becoming a totalitarian state governed by sweetness.  And the smell is indeed really sweet- a good amount of vanilla, and an intense chocolate syrup aroma.  The inclusion of 'biscotti' in the name makes me think there should be some sort of almond cookie quality, but I'm not really getting it.  I do think that dunking a biscotti (or hell, even a Soft Baked) in it would work pretty well, though.

It's pretty much alcoholic Hershey's syrup plus some good associated complexity (coffee, vanilla, some roastiness) which is very interesting, but the lack of carbonation is indeed a bit of a problem.  Don't get me wrong, the flavor's really nice and there's plenty of stuff in there to ponder, but (and this may be a first for me) I'm a bit thrown off by the mouthfeel.  There's nothing to combat the coating feeling, and it makes it come off a bit cloying- just a bit less than a mouthful of chocolate syrup would be.  The finish is just a bunch of residual sweetness, and I'm not a huge fan of that.  And, just as I thought, having Hunaphu so recently puts this at an immediate and significant disadvantage- though it'd do that for anything short of Parabola or Abyss.

Maybe I let this sit too long- but at the same time, the seal on the bottle should be sufficient to maintain carb for as long as I've had this (e.g. the 5-year-aged Gouden Carolus Andy reviewed).  I really like the flavors, but, as I've said ad nauseam at this point, I need something to check the sweetness in my stouts- or, like Hunaphu, Zhukov, etc.- a drier stout to begin with.


  1. I get an NSP of more like 4.0. Now you know!

  2. That's what happens when you lazily cut & paste a header and then forget to edit it.

  3. Evil Twin is a gypsy brewer, so what that all means is that he's from Denmark, lives in and distributes from Brooklyn, and brewed this particular beer at Westbrook.

    Also, try to find the "Decicco's Version" of this beer - made with chilies and hazelnut, very similar to Hunaphu.