We’ve got one hell of a collaboration brew on the table today. Each of the collaborators is best known for their dark beer efforts, particularly their Imperial Stouts. Evil Twin has long been a brewer without a brewery, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø founded Evil Twin in 2010 and has quickly climbed the ranks with unique recipes executed to perfection by talented brewing partners. Evil Twin’s hoppy beers are typically brewed at Two Roads in Stratford, CT, while their dark and sour beers have typically been brewed at Westbrook in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Evil Twin’s nomadic nature has taken them to many other locations to brew countless other beers, such as Spain’s Cervesera del Montseny for their “Aun Mas” series of beers, and Dark Horse in Marshall, MI for their recent Michigan Maple Jesus offering.
Aforementioned Westbrook is much more than a strong brewing partner for Evil Twin, boasting a stableful of award winning beers from their Gose and IPA to their White Thai Witbier. Perhaps their most famed beer is their Mexican Cake Imperial Stout, brewed for their first anniversary they concocted a massive Imperial Stout, aged it on cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and fresh habanero peppers. It rapidly rose the ranks as one of the best stouts around and has garnered a serious cult following. Mexican Cake is appropriately the claim to fame for Westbrook, and it is one of the major components of this collaboration.
Evil Twin’s contribution to this amalgamation is their Imperial Biscotti Break, another Imperial Stout, this time it is brewed on the sweeter side of the spectrum with coffee, vanilla, and almond flavors, designed to be a liquid boozy biscotti cookie. So just what do you get when you cross a uniquely spicy Imperial Stout with a uniquely sweet Imperial Stout? Let’s find out!
Beer — Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break (Imperial Stout)
Brewer(s) — Evil Twin & Westbrook (Brewed @ Westbrook, Mt. Pleasant, SC)
ABV / IBU — 10.5% / 60+
Price / Size — $16.99 / 22 oz
Availability — Limited (Brewed Once, though not hard to get)
Appearance (3/3) — A nice jet black hue out of the bottle, a bit of translucence around the edges when held up to the light, dark brown edges. A head forms slowly and is medium-dark brown in color, tiny bubbles of carbonation rise to the top. There is a sticky, almost oily bit of lacing left along the inside of the glass with each sip.
Aroma (9/12) — Sweet, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, artificial vanilla, almond, hazelnut, cocoa powder. A lot of components fighting for the forefront here. Overall a really sweet chocolate bomb that is most inviting.
Flavor (17/20) — Coffee, chocolate, bitter chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, cocoa, lots of sweet flavors coming to the forefront. As it warms and as you finish each sip there is a somewhat noticeable warmth from the habanero peppers. Not a strong pepper heat, it is a bit of an amplified warmth from the high ABV compounded with the hint of pepper.
Mouthfeel (4/5) — A viscous and thick Imperial Stout is balanced by a nice carbonation level to cut through some of the cloying sweetness. A lingering oily mouthfeel is left behind with a sweet and warming finish.
Overall (8/10) — Enjoyable overall and a nicely flavored Imperial Stout. However, if you’re looking for a pepper beer this one may disappoint, which is a bit of a transformation from the original Mexican Cake, that beer was hot hot hot, this beer is not. A lot of components going into this one, all struggling with each other for balance. This one is dialed up to 11, but I wonder if it might have been even better if it was only dialed up to an 8 or a 9. Still a worthwhile and unique beer worth checking out.
OVERALL — 41/50 — EXCELLENT