Evil Twin Even More Coco Jesus

Total Score: 9/10 Chocolate1BrownSugar1Nut1Tulipglass1

It’s Evil Twin Even More Coco Jesus!!! With: Even More Coco, Jesus!!! So yeah I’ve been trying to get my hands on Jesus, no euphemism intended, for many a year. Finally Jesus arrives in Australia and it’s Even More Coco Jesus, which I imagine is arguably the best Jesus. What is Jesus anyhow? Apart from some “Lord and Saviour” type thing (but only when it’s pronounced “Jay-ees-us” I’ve noticed). Apparently Jesus, with the prefix “Even More” is Evil Twin’s most-loved Imperial Stout. My mission, should I choose to accept it [I do!], is to drink this Even More Coco Jesus (which has added coconut), and report back to the CIA with my findings – the email address I am sending my review to is a super-secret [supersecretcia@cia.com]. Roger that, I’m going in.

Poured from a 473ml can into a Duvel tulip.

A: Damn she looks impressive! Viscous looking too! Deep obsidian black body with a chocolate brown head-that-wont-quit, err, until it did, which didn’t take as long as expected… still, PHWOAR! That is one attractive beer. 9/10.

S: Imperial Biscotti Break was definitely more intense in aroma (what with almonds and all) but the aroma of Even More Coco Jesus comes across more balanced, with notes of: dark and milk chocolate, brown sugar, hint of maple syrup, and weirdly the odd note of smoky bacon (unless thine nose deceive me). As rich and decadent as a life-sized snowman made out of cocaine wearing a gold Rolex. 9/10.

T: Flavour is a luxuriant dark/milk chocolate combo with brown sugar and maple syrup (which comes through more in the aftertaste) and a slight nutty brownie overtone. There’s some alcohol in there too at 12% ABV, but it comes through with less heat and more a tiny boozy spirit taste in the finish. Finish is skewed towards sweet, but that ain’t no thang. As far as chocolate beers go this is up there with the all-time best, I kid you not. Didn’t notice any coconut though. 9/10.

M: Wow, Founders body right here – thick and viscous like honey, with a nice dense carbonation – well done Evil Twin! 9/10.

D: Not a brew for the faint of heart (or diabetes). This is one big sweet Coco Jesus of a brew, intimidating yet playful like Omnipollo’s dessert beers (my gold standard now). I will def have to get my hands on more Jesus’s now that I know what to expect – this was a class-act, which is actually what I expected from Imp Bis Break, but there you go – win some/lose some. 9/10.

Food match: Apart from an insulin injection – chocolate ganache and a dentist appt.

Advertisements
Standard

Brooklyn American Ale

Total Score: 6.35/10 Nut1Coriander1Biscuit1Nonicpint1

Brooklyn have been a hit ‘n miss brewery so far for me: I liked Monster Ale, Chocolate Stout, and East IPA, didn’t mind the Lager or the Summer, but the Brown didn’t gel with me at all. I’ve found that their brews around the 5% ABV mark can be a bit dry and muted. It is with this in mind that I move on to my 7th Brooklyn brew – their American Ale. I’m a bit sceptical up front because take a look at the label: 4.5% ABV. Hmmm, their Brown tasted mild and dry at 5.6%, what hope does American Ale have at blowing my socks off? Not much would be an educated guess, however I have been proven wrong on many an occasion before, so let’s keep an open mind and remain as objective as possible [Ha!].

Poured from a 355ml can into a nonic pint.

A: Clear golden body with a massive 1 inch white sea foam head that says “whoa there son!”, wasn’t even that hard a pour, this thing has massive-head-itis it appears. Leaves a bit of sticky lace as the head drops down, not bad. 7/10.

S: Bit like the Summer Ale, it has a nutty overtone, with a citrus base, a touch more biscuit on the malt side, dry cracker and herbal hop note lingering in the background. A nice relaxing aroma for a beer – much like Summer Ale, this is a brew that doesn’t challenge but says “sit down, take a load off”. 7/10.

T: Flavour doesn’t really add or back up the aroma, it’s too light, with notes of the above (nutty, citrus, biscuit, dry cracker and a herbal finish). Whereas Summer Ale was borderline weak on the flavour side this is simply washed out. It’s not a bad beer, it just needed that extra 0.5% of flavour that’s missing from the ABV. Yes I get how OG/FG work, it’s just an analogy, calm down homebrew readers. 6/10.

M: Same as Summer: Mid to light bodied with a lightish carbonation (was expecting more from that massive head, but that’s the way it goes sometimes – all head/no bubbles). 7/10.

D: There was nothing inherently wrong with this beer but let’s just say I wont be revisiting it again. Ever. These lighter flavoured brews are great for introducing people to craft, however I’m a crusty old veteran who fought in the Craft Wars of ’11 with several tours of Germany before that under my belt – I’m not looking for anything this light. That said I can appreciate the effort Brooklyn have put into this brew, hence my score being reflective of what I believe amounts to a mid-tier easy-drinking craft beer. 6/10.

Food match: The bottle suggests pizza – Margherita would be my pick for this.

Standard

Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break

Total Score: 8.15/10 Coffee1Vanilla1Nut1Tulipglass1

I’m bloody excited about this one – so excited it jumped right to the front of my backlog queue of beers to review. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. I don’t even know when [yes I do], but FINALLY I have my hands on Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break, and I’m going to drink the shit out of it… eww. Prepare thyself for this review of an 11.5% ABV (they don’t skimp on the ABV these ET peeps) American Imperial Stout brewed with coffee, almond and vanilla, as it will be my finest hour… unless it’s my darkest hour [ha-ha, Stout pun]. You’ll find out soon enough. That said I have noticed a corollary between me getting tipsy and my reviews getting funnier, so at least there’s a good spot of humour to look forward if nothing else “forza Italia” the can label proclaims, force Italy indeed.

Poured from a 473ml can into a Duvel tulip.

A: Fairly impenetrable black body with a reasonable 2 centimetre cappuccino foam tan head that ever slowly drops back. Well it’s a Stout surely. Impressive as the other Imperial Stouts out there. 8/10.

S: Almond comes across from the off as a bold amaretto note, vanilla plays a supporting role, coffee is the stand-in actor plotting to take out almond with a laxative tea on opening night – ever malevolent that coffee character. Overall aroma is completely as advertised on the can, there’s not much else there, however in the best of Omnipollo’s dessert beer tradition do we need much more? Give me sweet, sweet simplicity. Hints of chocolate (dark) come through on a second whiff. 8/10.

T: Flavoursome indeed! Rich dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and a hint of almond (was expecting more from the aroma). Let’s get the elephant in the room out the door as it’s shitting all over my fine Persian rug: the mouthfeel is all wrong! Good, well get to that next. Flavourwise it’s pretty well balanced with sweetness edging out bitterness. 11.5% ABV partially hidden by the almonds. Mmm, tasty. 9/10.

M: Thin bodied given the 11.5% ABV – I’ve probably been spoiled by Founders and Omnipollo but the body on this is really thin, bit weak and too carbonated with big bubbles – essentially what you get is a beer that feels a bit like a glass of Coke, bad Evil Twin! [lol] Where are the body adding adjuncts like oats or lactose??? 5/10.

D: What a disappointing mouthfeel for an otherwise decadent and tasty American Imp Stout. The pieces of the puzzle were all there but for some reason they had sandpaper on their backs. Still the rest of the beer was an +A. 8/10.

Food match: Cant stop thinking of biscotti’s now, thanks Evil Twin!

Standard

Brooklyn Summer Ale

Total Score: 7/10 Nut1Lemon1Flowers1Nonicpint1

Tis summer! The season of “farken hot” weather is upon us, may we all not die of heat stroke here in Australia. It’s a season where I tend to abstain somewhat from the darker beers (don’t read my next review – it will make a liar of me) and switch to lighter beers like a proverbial migrating swallow. So obviously the appeal of this latest Brooklyn brew is in its lighter emphasis on flavour and a push towards Lagery characteristics which should make it a boon for when the power is out and there is naught to keep spirits high than a frothy glass of the amber fluid. Brooklyn note on the can that they’ve used British 2-row malt with unstated German and American hops – which should translate to an easy drinking Pale Ale that will go a treat in the heat.

Poured from a 355ml can into a nonic pint.

A: Clear pale gold body with a white sea foam head that starts about 2 centimetres and drops back to a thin white blanket. Pretty pale in comparison to other English Pale Ales, but otherwise standard stuff. 7/10.

S: Nutty overtones with a fruity/floral backing, lemon, chestnut and a light spicy/earthy character as well. This isn’t a beer that demands attention and as far as the brief goes “light summer ale” I say “nailed it”. 7/10.

T: Above noted flavours (nutty, lemon, floral, spicy and earthy) with a long dry finish. Easy and approachable brew for the uninitiated and a reprieve from Russian Imperial Stouts and Double IPAs for the seasoned drinker. Of course the ABV is a bit high at 5% given that I’ve had mid-strength English Pales with more flavour, however that’s not necessarily a bad thing unless you’re driving and these go down too easy/too fast. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a mid to light carbonation – simple stuff, not challenging at all, more body would always be welcome though.7/10.

D: After all the heavy +10% ABV RISs and DIPAs this is a nice little brew that is laid-back and doesn’t ask for much. It’s got flaws – it could have a dash more bite, more body, some haze – but it’s also good at what it does, which happens to be very little. So I think Brooklyn nailed the brief with this brew, however that brief is not something I gush over anyhow, which accounts for my score here. That said if it’s a bloody hot day and I’m mowing the lawn (I never mow the lawn coincidentally) I might crack open a can of this and chug it down with gusto. 7/10.

Food match: Beetroot, feta and walnut salad will work a treat here.

Standard

Stone Neapolitan Dynamite Imperial Stout

Total Score: 7.25/10 Coffee1Vanilla1Strawberry1Tulipglass1

I’m back in black, I hit the Sacc(haromyces cerevisiae), I’ve been too long I’m glad to be back. Yes, I’m let loose, with some brews, specifically this latest Stone collaboration: Neapolitan Dynamite Imperial Stout – with chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and coffee… hmmm, does Neapolitan ice cream have coffee in it? I don’t think so, perhaps the coffee might be seen as a misstep with the flavours in this beer. I for one love coffee, however there is a time and place for everything, and coffee has no place in Neapolitan ice cream (unless it’s in some variation of an Affogato). Regardless Stone don’t brew bad beers (wasn’t a fan of Go To IPA, but that’s been it really) so I’m still looking for to this – hell I’ve got a 20-odd backlog of beer and this jumped right to the front of the queue – high praise indeed!

Poured from a 650ml US bomber-sized bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Deep dark cola [she can’t tell the difference yet] body with a nice mocha-coloured cappuccino foam head that leaves some lace sticking to the side of the glass. Ominous and tasty – two of my favourite things. 8/10.

S: Vanilla and coffee bean are leaving fingerprints all over this, with hints of strawberry and chocolate in the background. The balance is definitely skewed towards vanilla and coffee here though (maybe slightly more towards coffee). Strawberry does give an interesting dimension to this overdone style though. 8/10.

T: Coffee bean upfront and in the mid-palate and finish, along with the above noted flavours (vanilla, strawberry, dark chocolate). Other than that there is a touch of char, and the sweet flavours feel boxed in by the bitterness of the coffee… I just cant help thinking of the recent Omnipollo ice cream beers and how excellent they were – this is a bit of a disappointment here. 7/10.

M: Mouthfeel is thinner than expected – medium with a thin carbonation. 7/10.

D: I guess it could be said that the coffee is the “dynamite” in the name, but it still feels a bit out of place here, and frankly Omnipollo would have made this beer a delightful vanilla/strawberry/chocolate Neapolitan affair “screw balance!” they would have said, but Stone… Stone just had to have a sweet/bitter balance with coffee providing bitterness. Look to Omnipollo Stone, they know how to nail a one-sided dessert beer… in fact I would love to see Omnipollo and Stone team up on something – fuck that would be glorious! TL:DR; Coffee adds unneeded bitterness to what would otherwise be an exemplary dessert beer. 7/10.

Food match: Chargrilled BBQ beef steaks with coleslaw and potato salad, mmmm.

Standard

Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout

Total Score: 9.05/10 Chocolate1Vanilla1Coffee1Tulipglass1

Milestone review #950! Oskar Blues Ten Fidy! Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout! More words followed by exclamation points!!! Been looking forward to this one for so long that it’s actually got some age on it now from sitting in my beer cupboard (my favouritest of all cupboards): canned date is Nov 6 2016. It also has a humorous cultural reference to the upcoming US election on the underside of the can with a message “MAKE MORDOR GREAT AGAIN” – little could we imagine the events in the last year as they’ve happened with old King Hair Plugs in charge… I guess he hasn’t plunged the world into nuclear catastrophe… yet. Well 1 year old Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy, this should be pretty damn good, so glad I “cellared” this can.

Poured from a 568ml can into a Duvel tulip.

A: The most portentous beer I’ve ever laid my eyes on, picture: inky depths of the deepest ocean where the largest dark leviathan lurks – this is a cannonball across the ships bow, a warning sign to those who may consider imbibing this rich and heady brew. It’s tits basically. Jet black with a thin chocolate head. 10/10.

S: Dark chocolate ganache, hint of vanilla and bourbon, more chocolate mudcake character – this is the most chocolaty brew I’ve whiffed that doesn’t proclaim chocolate as an ingredient. Hints of espresso and molasses round out the aroma. It’s not dump truck sweet, actually the balance is quite well played, I suspect the barrel-aging and cellaring for a year has helped considerably. 9/10.

T: Wow, yeah it’s sweet, but not OTT, bit like Founders Curmudgeon in this regard: sitting right on the border to OTT sweet-land. Flavour follows the nose – Dark chocolate ganache, mudcake, vanilla, bourbon, espresso and molasses. I was expecting a huge alcohol hit in this 12.8% ABV Goliath, especially after someone told me that this brew was “basically a boiler-maker”, it is there but I’ve had much worse – again I suspect cellaring this has paid dividends. Tasty drop this. 9/10.

M: Heavy bodied but surprisingly not cloying, with a dense carbonation that would make the Germans jealous… doesn’t often happen that. 9/10.

D: This is an A+ brew from Oskar Blues (first one I’ve had of theirs, lucky me!) the year has been good for this black stallion, and I reckon it will only get better with age. Price-wise it’s as Xy as any other BA brew, so it’s difficult to begrudge it for that. This is a RIS to slowly sip in enjoyment with very few negatives… except it being bloody hard to get a hold of, cheers Oskar Blues! 9/10.

Food match: Cigars, the most smelly Cuban ones you can find.

 

Standard

Stone RuinTen Triple IPA – Orange Peel & Vanilla Bean

Total Score: 7.75/10 Orange1Bubblegum1Peppercorns1Tulipglass1

It’s edging closer to #950, and the beers are getting bigger and better, this time it’s a heavyweight brew in the craft beerosphere: Stone RuinTen Triple IPA – Orange Peel & Vanilla Bean. This 10.8% ABV Triple IPA is a triple threat with orange peel, vanilla bean, and of course a blindingly great hop bill with Magnum, Centennial and Citra® hops. Best of three worlds, or the best of all? Usually with Stone it is the latter, however this one has a June 8 2017 bottle date and is way past the “best by” for any hops, so the *hop fade* alert must be sounded [which sounds a bit like a klaxon being drowned in beer]. That said even the beers that I’ve had from Stone that were sorely out of date “shelf turds” have been pretty bitchen, and the addition of orange peel should provide a citrus boost to where the hops once were *fingers crossed*.

Poured from a 650ml US Bomber sized bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Wow, nice hazed deep orange/amber body with a thin beige head that slowly descends leaving behind splotchy lace pockets. The colour of this brew is an ominous orange, like a warning for sailors to turn back or risk ending up in Davy Jones locker (which is apparently large and watery). 8/10.

S: A highly viscous aroma, it’s like some sort of orange honey, with a peppery background note and a touch of green hop cones rounding out an impressive and foreboding Triple IPA. This is Stone doing their thing – repeatedly punching you in the face with delicious beer. Stone… Stop that Stone. No noticeable vanilla bean in the aroma is a minor disappointment. 9/10.

T: Flavour comes on strong, and slightly hot (alcohol-wise), which is no doubt due to the date on this bottle. Flavours of oranges (peel and all) with a piney, almost bubble-gum character, peppery mid, dry cracker malt, hints of pineapple, and a sweet schnapps finish. The flavour is a little bit all over the shop – which is unusual for Stone who usually craft exceptionally well-balanced beers. Still this is a 10.8% Triple IPA I have to keep reminding myself as I chow down on 5.54 standard drinks. 7/10.

M: Mid to heavy, fairly viscous bodied, with an almost flat but dense carbonation. 8/10.

D: Didn’t get the vanilla bean at all, I think it kinda got drowned out in a cacophony of flavours, but aside from that, and the flavour balance, this was a brew that I would try again (if I could get it fresh). Stone still indeed rock. 8/10.

Food match: Tough match, this beer is a bit of a meal in itself – maybe Thai food.

Standard