Growing up (and even still to this day) my mother’s favorite dessert was a toasted biscotti with almonds and a chocolate coated bottom, along with a side of rich coffee. As a kid, I hated biscottis because I couldn’t have coffee – to have one without the other is sacrilegious in my book, and now I realize the combination is more effective than Batman and Robin. Evil Twin takes a page from my mother’s book to combine the flavors of coffee with rich roasted grain and added spices to create a very acclaimed stout in Imperial Biscotti Break. Will it live up to the real thing? Time for them numbers.
Smell: Heavy roasted grain, coffee, chocolate, hazelnuts, dark raisins, dates, and vanilla. It also smells creamy, but I could be getting that from seeing how thick this brew poured. Smells great.
Taste: Roasted grain clings to your palate upon first sip, but is balanced out by so many flavors. A lot of stouts can be overly charred with the grain dominating in the taste, but Evil Twin does a great job to incorporate sweet and bitter to make things a little more interesting. After the big grain blast, I get notes of vanilla, marshmallow, and toasted nuts – all of these notes really help to compliment the the robust malt profile in here. To round things out, there is some bitterness on the finish from the added coffee beans which not only helps the balance of the brew but also adds more depth and richness to the beer. No one flavor jumps out to me and the more I drink the more balance this beer becomes to me.
Along the way in drinking this beer, brownie batter and chocolate make their way in during the mid palate, again complementing all the flavors found in here. What also makes this beer harmonize is the body on it – I can say with certainty this is a heavy bodied beer. It has a very silky texture and I wouldn’t be shocked if oats were thrown in during the mash. The luscious mouthfeel pairs well with the low carbonation found in here. Upon drinking this, I feel as if Evil Twin executed this beer flawlessly and it was made with a lot of thought. The flavors work, the carbonation is great with a thick body, and the ABV in here is high, but cannot be detected; 11.5% can be tough to mask, but there is no heat coming from the liquid… amazing.
Overall: This is one heck of an imperial stout and reminds me a bit of Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, only with less coffee. That’s really not too surprising though as the head brewer at Evil Twin is actually the twin brother of Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, co-founder of Mikkeller. All things considered I have to give this beer an A-/A. The midpalate can be a bit much with its sweet flavors, but more so, serving this beer in a 22oz format makes it tough to finish in one sitting or by oneself. Who needs coffee AND biscotti when you can find the flavors of both in one beverage.