Evil Twin Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break

Total Score: 8.25/10 Chocolate1Vanilla1Chili1Tulipglass1

Well this one certainly takes the cake [break]! Evil Twin Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break. Which is a collaboration with Westbrook, and a bloody big one at that! This 10.5% ABV behemoth is brewed with coffee, cinnamon, almonds, cocoa nibs, vanilla beans and habanero peppers, which reminds me of #11 on my all-time beer list: Stone Xocoveza… that is a damn good thing to be reminded of. Lately my reviews of Evil Twin have been interesting to say the least – I bounced off Imperial Biscotti Break somewhat (it was way too thin body-wise), however Even More Coco Jesus was so good it’s made it into my top 50 (currently at #43)… not sure what to expect with Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break, I’m assuming by the name that it’s brewed with the Biscotti Break recipe, here’s hoping it’s got body.

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

A: Poured hard and as viscous as Texas tea (that’s oil son) into the glass, foaming up with a nice dense mocha head and a body black as the ace of spades “there goes the neighbourhood” to quote Monty Python. The head settles to nothing, leaving an inky black brew… ominous stuff. 8/10.

S: Dark/bitter 80% chocolate, vanilla, smoky char, a hint of tobacco and roasted espresso. Not much in the way of cinnamon or almond, and the habanero only comes through in smoky notes. TBH I thought this would be an aroma assault of the senses but its very restrained and comes across as a simple American Imperial Stout. Hoping the flavour kicks me in the groin [just a little]. 7/10.

T: There we go! There’s a lot to parse in the flavour profile – dark chocolate and cacao nibs upfront, hints of cinnamon and vanilla centre, coffee and char late palate, burnt sugar sweetness gives it a cakey feel, and the finish adds a nice kiss of habanero chilli. This is a BIG [Bearing Immense Gusto] flavour profile that leaves nothing to the imagination – it’s hard to imagine anything while you’re being kicked in the face with multiple flavours. Also while all this flavour-face-kicking is going on I’m getting 10.5% ABV into my system whilst barely noticing it, yay. 9/10.

M: Heavy and viscous with a creamy/almost-flat carbonation, fairly smooth but could be thicker (e.g. Even More Coco Jesus had better body). 8/10.

D: This was one “don’t mess with me motherf__ker!” brew. Hats off to Evil Twin, who managed to bring a shopping list of ingredients together without the beer tasting overwrought. Still prefer Even More Coco Jesus though. 8/10.

Food match: Have a cigar and prep the stomach pump.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Exit Brewing #015 Double Milk Stout

Total Score: 7.1/10 Chocolate1DarkFruits1Coffee1Tulipglass1

I hope Exit have a backup plan for their #000 numbering scheme – they’ve only got like another 983 beers before they tick over to 1000 😛 Seriously though, I’ve really been looking forward to this one since it came out and sat for a while at the back of my fridge, biding its time. For you see – their #003 Milk Stout is my favourite Aussie Milk Stout… admittedly that isn’t a style that is common in Aus, but anyway – it’s still a great Milk Stout. The only thing I’m wary about is how Imperial versions of great brews sometimes fall short of the original. Case in point: La Sirène Imperial Praline, which was a boozier, ergo less good (depending on how much of an alcoholic you are), version of La Sirène Praline. Well there’s only one way to find out if #015 lives up to #003 [the fun part!].

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: “You’re as black as ice (black ice), you’re willing to sacrifice our love”… deep, dark, ominous obsidian body, with some reasonable carbonation producing a thin tan head… TBH I would prefer to see less carbonation – for a Milk Stout needs to be dense and smooth, which the carbonation isn’t giving away here. 7/10.

S: Coffee prominent nose – roasted bean and red coffee cherries, a mingling of espresso and earthy filter coffee. Hints of bitter dark chocolate and a touch of smoke, quite bold and dark in character for a Milk Stout – #003 had a lot more range being sweeter and nuttier in the aroma. Not as much a fan of this one. 7/10.

T: Huh, the flavours aren’t so heavy into the dark/roasted aspects, also it’s sweeter than the aroma would lead one to believe. Flavours are: Milk and dark chocolate, coffee (espresso and filter), dark fruits as well (plum and prune hints), with a long dry finish that has a slight booze hit and a mild tobacco leaf astringency. Aftertaste lingers on with dark chocolate, liquorice and tobacco. Pretty tasty, BIG too, but my personal preference leans towards the flavour profile of #003 more. 7/10.

M: Medium bodied, definitely could use a bit more heft for an Imperial Milk Stout, with a thin, not-quite-dense carbonation. Yep, needs more body. 6/10.

D: Tasty brew, not quite reaching the glory of #003, sometimes it must be said that “bigger isn’t always better” and this is an example of that – #015 has a big sugar hit and a touch of booze in the finish that #003 didn’t have, so there’s that. Plus I don’t think Exit have doubled their #003, this tastes like different malts/hops were used, which is a pity because #003 was ace! 8/10.

Food match: Definitely made me think of cigars with that tobacco leaf character.

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Omnipollo Original Rocky Road Ice Cream

Total Score: 8.1/10 Nut1Chocolate1Vanilla1Tulipglass1

Omni-bloody-pollo! Yes, I promised more reviews from their brill Ice Cream series with Buxton, and here is Rocky Road. I’ve noticed some recent negative reviews of the Omnipollo Ice Cream brews and I feel it necessary to point out: a) This is a dessert beer, b) it will be sweet to the point of you booking a dentist appointment, c) that’s kinda the point of a dessert beer – to be sweet [or not to be sweet, that is not the question], and finally d) if you don’t like dessert beers don’t review/get them, there’s plenty of great stuff out there for everyone, don’t be negging a brew because “there wasn’t anything balancing out the sweetness” – read my points a-d again if it isn’t clear. To me, so far, Omnipollo’s dessert beers have been superlative, full-flavoured and borderline OTT with sugar – that’s a dessert beer!

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: [copy/paste from the other Omnipollo Imperial Stout reviews]: Bold, dark, omnious, like the inky black vacuum of space. With a thin tan ring for a head. Darth Vader tried a new glove on this week and it wasn’t this black – impressive, most impressive. 10/10.

S: Peanut to the fore, hints of vanilla, milk/dark chocolate, hint of booze and marshmallow round out a rich dark aroma. It’s a loud and proud aroma, however I can tell you from previous experience that peanut flavoured beers can go a bit awry flavour-wise – it’s hard yards adding oily substances like peanuts to beers due to those oils rotting easily. Here goes the ultimate test for the Omni-guys. 9/10.

T: The peanut flavour is a touch off, but the rest of it works great, the body not so well (but we’ll talk about that next). Flavours of: Roasted peanut, marshmallow, vanilla, milk/dark chocolate, a touch of booze and a cacao nib bitterness in the finish. The overall flavour profile suggests Omnipollo are just getting a tad bit in over their heads (just a tad). It’s got too much going on – flavours coming from all angles, my brain is getting fatigued just thinking of the different flavours and how they even come together. Is it sweet? Yeah, but not crazy sweet, and there’s actually bitterness in the finish to balance it out. 8/10.

M: Mid to heavy bodied but the carbonation is non-existent and sad. 6/10.

D: Yeah even I admit that Omnipollo took this one too far. The flavour has too much happening, although the sweet/bitter balance is spot on, there is also a lack of body/carbonation that the other ones had. Still I did enjoy this. 8/10.

Food match: Need I even say Rocky Road? Yes? Well, ROOCKY ROOOOAD!

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Omnipollo Original Texas Pecan Ice Cream

Total Score: 8.95/10 Nut1Vanilla1Caramel1Tulipglass1

O(h) m(y) nipollo! I have another Omnipollo! There’s more coming too. Omnipollo have made me their bitch to some extent – after trying their delicious and syrupy dessert brews I am a convert to the Omnipollo way. I had some sort of perverse Pavlovian response to seeing that pink walking poo (or soft-serve, it’s deviously unclear) on the label of this Original Texas Pecan Ice Cream, my mouth began to salivate and I had to get out of the bottleshop without leaving a puddle of liquid on the ground. Not true. Maybe. Anyhow, I made it out without the “wet floor – cleaning in progress” sign having to (possibly) be deployed. Now I have it, and another walking poo labelled Omnipollo bottle in my fridge (it has to be a soft-serve, it makes more sense that way… still a bold statement).

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Heavy black goop-like substance for a body, with a thin khaki lace ring and a spiral-arm galaxy dense bubble pattern on the surface. The density of this brew is remarkable in the least – quite enjoying presiding over this galaxy. Can’t wait to drink it. 9/10.

S: Nutty and caramel sweetness from the pecans mingles with a bold smack of vanilla (the ice-cream in the name) and naught much else. I hope they can balance out some of that sweetness in the aroma – right now it’s a B-double without brakes about to smash into my teeth… I’m bracing myself now. 7/10.

T: Yeah: No they didn’t balance out the sugar – my teeth have been smashed to a thousand pieces. However this is a dessert beer – let’s not forget that one BIG detail. Flavour is vanilla, caramel and nutty with a hint of cocoa and coffee bean. Very sweet, yes, but the balance otherwise, and the flavours present are unique and delectable. 10/10.

M: Heavy bodied, not quite Founders body again, but still rather heady and chewy with a nice tight carbonation driving it forwards – I’ve got to say Omnipollo are number 2 on my list of brewers that really bring a nice heavy body. Number 1 being obvious. 8/10.

D: Omnipollo, you magnificent bastards! This is an example of a great (and very-sweet-but-that’s-the-point-really) dessert beer. If I was dying in the desert I would not drink a dessert beer – that is my test for all dessert beers, and Original Texas Pecan Ice Cream passes that test with flying colours. 9/10.

Food match: It’s in the name brah!

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