Evin Twin Imperial Biscotti Break

imperial biscotti

Tonight’s beer is an American Imperial Stout brewed in Denmark – a uniquely reverse scenario when considering recent trends in the American craft beer explosion, which has pumped out dozens of international interpretations including “Belgian Style” ales, American versions of Russian Imperial Stouts, and the “American Wild Ale”, which is essentially the American version of the Belgian sour.

Nevertheless, Evil Twin’s Imperial Biscotti was indeed world-class, and here’s my full review:

Final Rating: 4.43/5

look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a mini snifter. Purchased at Yankee Spirits in Attleboro, MA.

Appearance – Pours a pitch black, opaque oily body with a modest one finger chocolate colored head that doesn’t stick around very long – it reduces to nothing in less than a minute. Leaves no lacing.

Smell – The coffee is definitely present and dominates on the nose – freshly ground coffee, chocolate-mocha, vanilla and maybe a hint of booze. The aroma is subtle and not overly forward but very inviting.

Taste – Let this one warm up a few degrees to get the best experience. After ~30 minutes, I get some delicious coffee, dark chocolate, nutty notes followed up by a very nice roasty, charred, toasted malt note that lingers for a while.

Mouthfeel – Rich, thick, and full bodied. Minimal carbonation.

Overall I was very impressed with Imperial Biscotti break. The balance of flavors here are superb – it hits all the high points of a world class imperial stout. A little expensive, but worth the price for a nice treat.

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Ommegang’s Second Shot at a “Game of Thrones” Themed Beer

gameofthrones

Ommegang and HBO announce the newest beer in the Game of Thrones collaboration series. Through its first three seasons, the critically acclaimed drama has become the biggest show on HBO. Take the Black Stout follows the highly coveted Iron Throne Blonde Ale, which flew off of shelves earlier this year. To satisfy the appetite of Game of Thrones fans, production of Take the Black Stout will more than double the final volumes of Iron Throne Blonde Ale.

Inspired by the brotherhood of the Night’s Watch, Take the Black Stout was made to be deep, dark and complex like those who have sworn the oath to defend Westeros against threats from the north. The label depicts the Weirwood tree where Jon Snow recited the oath before joining the Night’s Watch.

Here’s my full review:

Final Rating: 4.08/5

look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 25 oz bottle into an Ommegang tulip glass. Purchased in Attleboro, MA.

Appearance – Pours a deep brown, coffee colored body with a huge, gushing, quickly rising light brown head that reduces very slowly to leave chunky, uneven fluffy foam and thick lacing. Don’t pour it too fast, it will foam up quickly and spill.

Smell- Has some stout characteristics on the nose – light coffee and smokey aromas. There are also some belgian aromas in there, particularly a light fruityness mixed with faint spices. Slightly metallic and not very aromatic.

Taste- Pretty fruity upfront, particularly banana. Somewhat sweet, burnt sugar and raisins dominate. The follow through and finish are more reminiscent of a stout.. coffee, charred malt, and a distinct smokeyness. Fairly complex and flavorful.

M – Medium body, medium carbonation.. pretty easy to drink.

I wouldn’t call this a stout, and I wouldn’t call it a Belgian dark. It lies somewhere in the middle, with characteristics of both. It’s definitely complex but could have used a little more flavor and balance. Worth a try if you’re presented the opportunity, but not worth seeking out just because it’s associated with Game of Thrones.

The Infamous DARK LORD

darklord

 

Tonight I proceeding in celebrating the first week at my new job in Biotech by cracking open a beer that I’ve been saving for over a year now.. a brew that the craft beer community loves to hate, Three Floyd’s Dark Lord Imperial Stout. I peeled the wax off of this baby with an open mind, hoping that it’s fan-boy praise would outweigh the increasing criticism that it’s received in recent years.  Unfortunately, Dark Lord 2012 did not impress me in the least bit. Maybe it’s relatively high rating is reflective of how good it was in past years, but I can’t imagine that it would hold the title it has now-a-days if it always tasted like this.

Anyway, here’s my full review:

Final Rating: 3.91/5 

look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 3F tulip glass. Acquired from Surge1311, thanks buddy!

Appearance- Pours a deep brown, nearly black, opaque body with a slowly rising light chocolate colored head that reduces slowly to a ring of foam, leaving some rings of lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell- Very interesting aromas on the nose.. a strong maltyness reminiscent of a mixture of molasses, soy sauce, milk chocolate, and toffee. There’s a biscuity, bready aroma too.

Taste- Woah, way too sweet. I’ve never tasted a stout this sweet before.. it’s like someone mixed simple syrup with an imperial stout, what’s up with that? It almost tastes like the sugar fermentation process was stopped short. Getting past the syrupy, almost artificial sweet flavor, I get a little chocolate, coffee, dark fruits on the follow through. The finish is very roasty and charred which is pleasant. You also can’t taste the 15% alcohol which is also very nice, but I just can’t get past the EXTREME sweetness of this beer.

Mouthfeel- Heavy, sticky, syrupy body. Almost no carbonation.

Am I impressed with Dark Lord? Not the in the least bit. Honestly I have no clue how it gets the ratings it gets on Beeradvocate.

Is Dark Lord a huge, heavy bodied, flavor-packed, monster of a stout? I’ll give it that. Just not in the best way possible.

The Bruery’s “Autumn Maple”

brueryautumnmaple

Tonight’s brew was an interesting variant of the traditional fall beer – instead of using pumpkins, The Bruery decided to use Yams. Good decision? I’d say so. Here’s an excerpt from their website:

“Brewed with 17 lbs. of yams per barrel
(in other words, a lot of yams!), this autumn seasonal is a different take on the “pumpkin” beer style. Brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses, and maple syrup, and fermented with our traditional Belgian yeast strain, this bold and spicy beer is perfect on a cold autumn evening.”

Here’s my full review:

Final Rating: 4.09/5

look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a mini-snifter. Purchased in Attleboro, MA at Yankee Spirits.

Appearance- Pours a copper colored body with a gushing, 2 finger off-white head that reduces fairly quickly to leave no retention.

Smell – I get lots of spicy notes – heavy cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves upfront. There’s a huge fruity character too – lots of banana, green apple, and white grapes. Candied sugar and raisins. There’s another scent I can’t quite identify.. maybe it’s the yams?

Taste – The belgian character is definitely present here – huge dark fruit and spice notes.. ripe bananas, nearly overpowering clove and cinnamon, sweet caramel and brown sugar. No hop presence. Mild booziness on the finish.

Mouthfeel – Medium body and carbonation.. a sipper indeed.

Dollar for dollar, this was a good beer and a nice representation of a Belgian ale. Maybe a little overpowering in the sweetness category. I’d save this one for dessert. Worth a try.

Alesmith Speedway Stout

speedway

I enjoyed this brew a few nights ago with some grilled pizza made with tomatoes straight out of my parent’s garden.. hi mom! (she’s my biggest fan).  It was an excellent pairing. Anyway, this 12% monster-of-a-stout will put jet black hair on your chest – the same shade that it’s oily body exhibits.

Final Rating: 4.54/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Here’s my full review:

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip glass. Purchased in Attleboro, MA at Yankee Spirits.

Appearance- Pours a deep black, oily, opaque body with a fluffy, 3 finger, coffee brown head that reduces very slowly to some chunks of foam and leaves very thick lacing on the glass. Extremely inviting .

Smell- The aroma is potent and forward – just what I like in an imperial stout. Heavy coffee, chocolate, roastyness, some vanilla and a hint of booze.

Taste- The first thing to coat the tongue is a huge explosion of flavor – a rich balance of chocolate, freshly roasted coffee, vanilla, toasted malt. The finish is amazing, leaving a roasty, charred malt flavor on the tongue. Some hops mixed in there. Extremely drinkable and balanced for the abv, sip-demanding.

Mouthfeel- Rich, thick, low carbonation, and heavy bodied.

Alesmith speedway stout is one of the best interpretations of an imperial stout that I’ve ever tasted. Not too sweet, perfectly balanced, and super rich. I’d LOVE to try the bourbon barrel version, it may be near perfect.