Tag Archive: Evil Twin

Hackney: Evil Twin New York: Nightowls (England: Imperial Stout: 14% abv)

Visual: Black. Still. Large creamy, caramel brown head.

Nose: Creamy coffee. Fudge. Cashews and hazelnuts. Praline. Dry roasted peanuts.

Body: Very creamy and thick. Creamy coffee. Toffee. Vanilla yogurt. Mocha coffee. Hazelnut coffee.

Finish: Milky chocolate to chocolate milkshake. Creamy coffee. Chocolate mini rolls. Some alcohol feel in the air. Bitter cocoa.

Conclusion: This is 14% abv. Wait, what? Really? Ok, I should have guessed. It is super thick and that needs a good sized malt load, and accompanying abv, to manage. Beyond that, if you are looking for it, there is a distinct warming alcohol air to the finish. But generally it feels neither boozy nor burning.

The other hint was that my handwritten notes look like shit because I am drunk. That should have been a clue. I am such a lightweight.

The definition of the coffee flavour in this is exceptional. It is well rounded, showing of a huge range of subtle notes that can often be lost in a heavy beer and without going the uber bitter route of some coffee stouts. It is up there with Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Brunch Weasel for the sheer clarity of the coffee notes. Beyond that the creamy coffee that is its mainstay it flirts with a more mocha influenced take and hazelnut coffee take as it mixes with the stout flavours. Now, in general it does lean towards the sweeter take on coffee, but I will admit I prefer that look in my beer over the very straight bitter coffee take.

The sweetness does have a counterbalance – oddly enough the main balance is a well developed chocolate set of notes. While some are sweet and milkshake style, there is a bitter cocoa dust underlying it that mixes with the more bitter end of the coffee notes to ground the huge, thick, sweet imperial stout.

Outside of the wonderfully expressed coffee I will admit it not the most wide ranging stout for flavours, but its wonderful use of the coffee more than makes up for that in my opinion.

A single minded base, with a few concessions, but huge and epic flavour. I utterly love it.

A genuine contender for Beer Geeks Brunch Weasels crown and a must get if you like coffee.

Background: Ok, I mainly grabbed this as it is a collaboration with Evil Twin, who are awesome. Even if it is the New York branch which did the disappointing GOAT beer. Anyway, this is a huge 14% abv imperial stout made with coffee. Ok, so coffee imperial stouts are far from an unusual thing these days, but I still had high hopes for it. Went with a bit of metal for background music – Shadow’s Fall : The War Within. Big music for a big beer. This was another one grabbed from Independent Spirit.

Northern Monk: Evil Twin: Even More Death (England: Imperial Stout: 12% ABV)

Visual: Black. Massive brown creamy head.

Nose: Coconut macaroons. Milky chocolate. Chocolate toffee. Smooth. Creamy.

Body: Creamy. Coconut. Chocolate ice cream. Brown bread. Cocoa dust. Chocolate cake. Slight sour dough.

Finish: Chocolate ice cream. Coconut. Bitter cocoa and chocolate cake. Moderate bitterness.

Conclusion: Flavour wise this is fairly straightforward, smooth and very dessert and especially chocolate influenced. There you go – the short version.

Basically, 90% of this is chocolate bing expressed in various different ways. 5% of it is coconut, wonderful, lovely coconut. I love coconut in beer in case you hadn’t noticed. The other 5% is a nice set of general rounding notes.

The solid core of that is chocolate cake, quite basically done – dusted with cocoa but without any icing or cream, mainly just the sponge. Oddly, despite this dryness there are creamy notes to the beer, though mainly in the aroma and the early part of a sip. Those creamy notes soon move out of the way for heavier, drier chocolate sponge notes though. Around the edges there are sweeter chocolate ice cream notes – though I may be slightly influenced in how I view it as it is bloody nippy at the moment, so ice and the like may be on my brain.

The coconut matches that drier character -sweeter coconut macaroons up front, but then into drier coconut flakes in the middle. For such a high abv beer it does seem very restrained in how it uses its sweetness; The bitter cocoa has much more free rein, using the softer, sweeter notes mainly to keep it from becoming too harsh.

It is good, but there isn’t a huge amount of variety to it – what is interesting and fun in the first sip seems slightly staid by the time you get the same notes at the end. A solid tasty beer, but Even More Jesus does it better. Though frankly, Even More Jesus is amazing so that is comparatively mild criticism.

Background: Even more Jesus is one of my favourite Imperial Stouts of all time. Northern Monk have been skyrocketing up my respected brewery list , and their collaborations have been awesome. This, a collaboration, involving Northern Monk to make a mix of their Death imperial stout, and Even More Jesus. Well, there is no way I could not try it, is there? So, it is a 12% abv Imperial Stout made with coca nibs, toasted coconut and vanilla pods. Drank this during an utter flurry of snow outside, so was happy to be sitting in with something heavy, dark and boozy. Music wise and went simple and back to my youth with a mix of Madness tunes again for some simple upbeat fun with a few heavier themed tunes in-between.

Evil Twin: Prairie: Bible Belt Even More (USA: Imperial Stout: 13% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Large, small bubbled packed dark coffee froth brown head.

Nose: Cashews. Subtle bitter cocoa. Smooth coffee. Treacle toffee. Figs. Prunes juice. Barbecue ribs.

Body: Complex bitter coffee. Light chalk touch. Frothy chocolate. Walnuts and pecans. Touch of barbecue glaze. Slight treacle and liquorice. Chilli tingle.

Finish: Bitter cocoa dust. Pecan pie. Milky coffee and bitter coffee. Coffee cake. Barbecue glaze. Black liquorice bits. Spicy rum.

Conclusion: This is well textured beer – chewy and frothy with substance that doesn’t become syrupy or clinging – heavy but clean is the best way I could describe it. Despite that the beer is a slightly slow developer flavour wise. Early on it plays the standard Imperial Stout notes – big coffee, albeit rounded complex coffee that gives a lot to the beer – bitter coffee notes against smoother coffee cake richness. Similarly in the expected notes there is a big chunk of cocoa -just bitter enough to add some weight, but still nothing we haven’t seen a million times in the crowded quality Imperial Stout range that comes from living in these halcyon beer drinking days.

Now I will admit that at this point I looked at the can and thought “Chilli was used in making this? I don’t taste any chilli notes” So what I say next may have been influenced by that realisation. Disclaimer over.

I spent some time enjoying the generally nutty, with specific pecan notes, style character that adds some savoury depth to this beer when … oh, look what came out but some kind of meaty, barbecue glaze kind of note waiting at the underside of the beer to warm it up. Am I being very easy to influence or is this the chilli elements kicking in?

It rocks a balance between meaty, chives and barbecue sweetness as an undertone to the cocoa and coffee. It isn’t a must have, even with the extra notes, but it has become a lot more interesting and is undeniably high quality. It uses the elements of the base beer, and the mass of added ingredients to make for a beer with a wide range of notes while still rocking the base imperial stout very clearly.

Now imperial stout is a category that has been spoiled with so many super high quality beers, and this can’t fight the best of those beers, but it is a fine beer it itself with subtle chilli usage and meaty notes that sets this apart from the rest as something different and very good.

Background; Ok, is this “Even More Bible Belt”, just “Bible Belt”, “Bible Belt Even More”? I give up. Googling does not help. Even more Bible Belt makes most sense, but the bottle seems to lay it out as Bible Belt Even More, so despite that sounding silly that is what I am going with. This is a big imperial stout made with coffee, vanilla, chillies and cacao nibs. From the name I guess it is a spin off from Even More Jesus, but that could just be the name fucking with me. Again. This was grabbed from Independent Spirit, and drunk while listening to Eels – useless trinkets and B-side. Despite being an Eels fan I never really listened to that one that much, so decided to give it another spin.

Evil Twin: Even More Coco Jesus (USA: Imperial Stout: 12% ABV)

Visual: Black and still. Creamy brown head.

Nose: Hazelnuts. Cocoa dust. Bitter black chocolate. Burnt brown sugar.

Body: Creamy thickness. Treacle toffee. Chocolate fondue. Caramel. Nougat. Coconut. Burnt brown sugar. Frothy. Golden syrup. Slight smoke and slight medicinal.

Finish: Bitter cocoa. Dry coconut. Bitter coffee. Brown sugar. Treacle. Smoke. Maple syrup late on. Slight salt touch.

Conclusion: Oh hello Even More Jesus, welcome back! So, how are you? Still big huh? Still creamy and full of flavour. Cool, though it does feel a tad drier this time around – possibly the coconut notes are doing their thing which causes it – they seem to come out more natural and dry here rather than the sweeter, gooier coconut macaroon style I am more used to.

Anyway, this is still recognisably Even More Jesus – still a huge beer – the sweeter elements are more evident here, with the smoke touch and such kept until the end. Oddly, for all I love coconut in Imperial Stouts, here it feels like a weaker element. It is a little too dry, as I referenced before, not so much as to heavily hurt the beer, but it doesn’t feel like it enhances it either. A kind of natural change that seems out of place when put against the intense treacly, syrupy sweetness that is also thrown into the mix.

This, therefore is a mix of a more sweet up front, with the extra syrup notes, and a drier end as the finish finally comes out with the medicinal and smoke notes meeting the dry coconut.

Still great, but I would say not as great as the standard edition is – there is less balance between each note – something the original has down to a fine art. If this is the only Even More Jesus you can find it is still worth it, but if you can get the original, do. It is the best and fucking amazing.

Background; I keep going to place Evil Twin in Denmark, even though they are based in the USA now – it is going to take me a long while to get used to the switch over. Even More Jesus is one of my favourite Imperial Stouts of all time, and I have grabbed every chance I can to do notes on a different version of it. So, this one, made with maple syrup and coconut practically leapt into my hands from the shelf. I’m a big fan of coconut in beer, so hoped this could take Even More Jesus to the next level. Another Independent Spirit grabbed one, drunk while listening to Propagandhi – Potemkin City Limits, in my opinion easily their best album and an utter classic of punk.

Siren Evil Twin Barrel Aged Even More Jesus VIII - Hazelnut Liqueur Barrel Aged
Siren: Evil Twin: Barrel Aged Even More Jesus VIII – Hazelnut Liqueur Barrel Aged (England: Imperial Stout: 11.4% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Moderate brown head.

Nose: Thick and oily. Green olives, Balsamic vinegar. Walnuts. Chocolate liqueur. Burnt sugar. Caramel.

Body: Very thick. Brown sugar. Hazelnuts. Chocolate liqueur. Crème brulee. Chocolate fondue. Also slight bitter chocolate. Fudge. Brandy cream. Nougat.

Finish: Custard and chocolate mix. Bitter cocoa dust. Bitter coffee. Sherry trifle. Cherries. Rum. Hazelnut liqueur. Brown sugar. Nougat.

Conclusion: This is such a wonderful example of how to have a huge, thick feeling, big tasting, high abv, Imperial Stout, without having to have it taste overly boozy. In fact, it is worrying how well it does that, I could drink this all down without realising how much I had just drunk.

All the old “Even More Jesus” traits are here – dangerously decadent, thick like chocolate fondue, creamy liqueur notes building up over soft crème brulee mixed with rum spicy complexities. The Siren version was always the louder yet less well integrated version of the two. Here the barrel ageing has papered over the cracks, smoothing, enhancing and integrating the base – and when it can’t quite manage full integration it just layers sweet hazelnuts over it, managing to do with pure force what it cannot do with subtlety and giving yet another string to its bow.

It is therefore still the less subtle of the two, but now it actually manages to shine by itself. It feels like it is trying to show you everything it has at once. The chocolate liqueur – the nuts – the spirit notes – the cream – the nougat. Everything is in your face and awesome, but all manages to complement each other now. It is hard to get bored with it, even before the alcohol hits. After it hits everything just looks warm , fluffy and happy.

So, it is its own thing, not just Evil Twin’s Even More Jesus, but what would happen if all that was turned up to 11 and dosed in Hazelnut. Love it.

Background: Well, any excuse for more “Even More Jesus”. I adore this beer. Yes, grabbed from Independent Spirit. Again. They are close, friendly and have a great selection, so I end up using them a lot. Anyway, this version is aged in Hazelnut Liqueur barrel’s which is enough for me to give it another try. This needed big metal music, so Metal Up from Miracle Of Sound was the order of the day.

Siren Evil Twin Even More Jesus VIII

Siren: Evil Twin: Even More Jesus VIII (England: Imperial Stout: 11% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Inch of creamy brown froth.

Nose: Bitter chocolate dust and cocoa powder. Red grapes.

Body: Smooth. Bitter chocolate powder. Frothy. Vanilla. Toffee and fudge. Muscatel grapes. Slight spice. Brown sugar. Cinder toffee. Nougat.

Finish: Liquorice. Frothy hot chocolate. Brown sugar. Big bitter chocolate. Spicy grapes.

Conclusion: Even more “Even More Jesus“. Yep, I’ve managed to get around the fact I have already done tasting notes for Even More Jesus by taking advantage of the fact that Siren have done a British version. Ha. Rules lawyering. I win.

So, again we have the aroma – one that doesn’t really give anything to get excited about – fairly standard chocolate notes. The body though…. Oh yes the body is exciting. Slightly less viscous than the original. I think. It has been a while. Still a big frothy beast of a beer.

A different frothy beast though – the liquorice is evident here, while I never noticed it in the original. Also it seems to tend more to each of the extremes – the chocolate is more bitter, the spice is more warming, the vinous notes are more grape like and the sweetness is full on brown sugar. It is less integrated than the original, more individual flavours that stand out.

While this is still lovely I do prefer the original – it is more balanced, more integrated – but this is still epic deliciousness. It is sweet as hell in the individual notes but that bitter chocolate backbone swamps around them, leaving the sweet notes as island poking out from within.

Lovely, not the best, but lovely. A very impressive take on a a legend of a beer.

Background: This beer may look a tad familiar. That is because it a take on the Evil Twin Beer “Even More Jesus”, and is made in collaboration with Evil Twin themselves. An imperial stout made with liquorice and muscovado sugar. I was a huge fan of the original beer, so when I saw the limited bottle release in Independent Spirit I grabbed it.

Evil Twin Freudian Slip

Evil Twin Brewing: Freudian Slip (USA: Barley Wine: 10.3% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy black cherry to red. Half inch of browned tight bubbles. Some sediment evident.

Nose: Smooth caramel. Pine cones. Muted hops. Malt biscuits.

Body: Sherbety feel up front. Cherries. Toffee and caramel. Apricot. Bitter charred core. Dry white wine. Dried passion fruit and dried pineapple. Resin. Dry liquorice stick. Quite dry overall. Lime sorbet. Brown sugar.

Finish: Acrid note and big bitter hops. Dry. Long lasting in the hops. Dry white wine. Tangerine.

Conclusion: You know, for all the words I have used over the years when describing barley wines, I don’t think dry is one that has come up yet. I could be wrong, but it is unexpected. How can a barley wine feel over attenuated? It really doesn’t seem to mesh with the imagery the style calls to mind.

Yet this does feel dry and heavily attenuated. It could be due to hop use, possibly -there is an acrid hop bitterness at the core of this. It certainly concentrates on the hop oils and bitterness over the fruity flavours and aroma and that gives a more drying feel, which could explain a lot.

If you get past that, and if you take bigger mouthfuls, then the usual barley wine sweetness is there. Then again, bigger mouthfuls? On a barley wine? That is approaching the danger zone my friends. However it does work, bringing an apricot sweetness and caramel notes – The more expected barley wine notes, but the more acrid notes clamp down like a steel trap as soon as your mouth empties, with only a few Madeira notes escaping the cage.

Am I mixing metaphors there? Possibly. Trap/cage – kind of similar.

Anyway, the question is – does it weave all this together into a good beer? Well even the sweeter flavours laced through the body feel drier than usual. It is an unusual sensation, intensified by the hop emphasis.

It definitely took a while to get used to, and equally definitely isn’t one I dislike. However it’s not wooing me. Maybe if feels it doesn’t have to, it is confident in what it is, but it ends up as another beer I feel more as interesting than awesome. As always I hope have given you enough info that you can work out yourself if this may be a beer for you.

Background: Picked up from the Brewdog Guest Beer selection, this is a barley wine from the Evil Twin lot – previously based in Denmark, now in the USA – Evil Twin is the brainchild of the brother of the head of Mikkeller. hence Evil twin. Anyway Evil Twin has been stand out so far, so I thought it was worth giving this a go. Drunk while listening to The Prodigy: The Day Is My Enemy. Pretty good album.

Hello My Name Is Sonja
Evil Twin: Brewdog: Hello My Name Is Sonja (Scotland: IIPA: 8.2% ABV)

Visual: Burnished copper to amber, some carbonation. Carmel froth head over the body.

Nose: Resin and hops. Grapefruit. Shortbread. Light berry tart note. Gooseberries.

Body: Good bitterness. Blackberries/brambles. Shortbread. Hops. Pineapple. Gooseberry. Becomes more blueberry as it warms. Toffee.

Finish: Blueberry pie. Resin. Sugar on crumble topping. Bitter hops. Gooseberry. Caramel. Candyfloss. Barley husks.

Conclusion: Yay, another hardcore IPA with berries. You know, when I write it like that it looks sarcastic. I am not being sarcastic. These are fun, ok they don’t always work but they are fun.

For a blueberry filled beer this actually seems to give more of a gooseberry punch to the tartness for a good chunk of the time. I’d guess it is probably the berries tartness is mixing with the flavours of the hops to give that impression, but it was still slightly unexpected going in.

Now, when you get past the first impressions, the blueberries are there. When cool it comes across more in a brambles style, but as the beer warms up the blueberries become more distinct. It never quite beats out the hop’s fruitiness, leaving it as a back note, but it is present.

Now there is also the more usual elements from the base beer – shortbread and toffee for a backbone, and it is there that you tend to get the blueberry mixing in. Combined together it gives the impression of a blueberry pie topped with sugar dusting. Now that works very well, as said it is a back note for the most part, but the warmer the beer gets the more prominent it becomes, though never taking the foreground.

Overall, it works, plenty of Imperial IPA style with some fruit work adding that bit extra. Now, I prefer hello My Name Is Beastie, and later editions of Hello My Name Is Ingrid improved the beer a lot to put that one ahead as well, but this still keeps itself as a worthwhile and fun beer. I’m not going to complain about that.

Background: Made with blueberries, this is the latest in Brewdog’s oddly named IIPA with fruit range. Frankly the fact they have an IIPA with fruit range is odd enough. Anyway this one was done with Evil Twin, the other half of the Mikkeller brothers who turn out some pretty good beers. This was drunk while listening to a bit of Paradise Lost on shuffle, but considering the range their albums cover, that could mean pretty much anything music wise.


Evil Twin: Even More Jesus (Denmark: Imperial Stout: 12% ABV)

Visual: Thick black with a viscous sheen around the glass. Dark fudge brown froth that writhes across the body then vanishes.

Nose: Nutty. Bitter coffee. Touch of cloying sour cream and chives. Touch of smoke and iodine.

Body: Very thick. Medicinal touch and salt that warms into heavy fudge and chocolate fondue.  Black cherry. Thick caramel. Bitter and roasted elements below. Condensed cream. Nougat. Chocolate cake, Slightly oily. Marshmallow.

Finish: Bitter chocolate. Fudge. Twix biscuits. Roasted nuts. Sweet chocolate cake. Praline oil. Brown sugar.

Conclusion: This is a big one to take on. Ok, let’s go. This thing is seriously thick. The texture is weighty and creamy, mostly smooth but tingles down your throat to warn at its strength.   Fondue textured and gives a great grip to the flavour.

It is hard to imagine that the beer started so unassumingly.

Well, maybe not started, the pour gave a hint. A viscous sheen over the glass and the pouring liquid looks motor oil black and opaque even in mid air.

What I’m referring to then is the aroma.  It didn’t tell me very much at all. Roasted, sour cream and chives. Touch of iodine like it had been Island whisky aged.  Nice, but nothing that the Bristol Beer Factory Stouts didn’t do better.

So to sip, perchance to dream, we face forceful medical and salt up front. Nothing special but with a weight beyond initially expected.

Then, hold the liquid, let the weight slip down and with it the force and let out chocolate, fudge, nougat and marshmallow. The fudge is the real winning element, sweetening moment upon moment and thickening until becomes caramel like as a capstone to the flavour.

When you release, swallow and let the bitter chocolate and biscuits reclaim the tongue. Belgium bitter chocolate, both stylish and harsh in its bitterness and returning roasted character. This things bitterness reminds me of Speedway Stout in its intensity here, but after a far more complex body.

The thickness and bitter flavours mean that it is a beer of enforced slow indulgence, if drunk fast it would not have time to let its flavours seep out so would be far duller and noted primarily for the mild alcohol burn.  Instead the weight forces languid sips to let the oils come out and with it the richness and complexity.

A heavy luxury that makes you appreciate it on its terms. Fights and earns its place at the top tier of the Imperial Stout league which is a hard won context if ever there was one.

The slow food of beer drinking and worth every moment.

Background: The Evil Twin Brewing, from the tales I have heard so called because it is the evil twin of Mikkeller. They follow the same procedure of brewing in rented breweries around the world rather than having a brewery of their own. In fact from a quick search it looks like the name is more literal than I first thought and that the main men of the two breweries are literal brothers. Anyway, I picked this up just before Christmas mainly because it was called ” Even More Jesus” which amused me at that time of the year. Hey, at least I’m honest about it. Since I had so many stouts and Imperial Stouts in the cupboard at the time I decided to save it for drinking later in the year. Drunk while listening to Nine Inch Nails “The Fragile. Yes again. The music seems to suit heavy beers well, slow and heavy but not intrusive. Sets a very good atmosphere for relaxing and letting strong beer seep through you. Maybe I should make it the official heavy beer drinking music of the site.

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