See, Sniff & Sip: Vol. V

evil twin imperial biscotti break

Here’s three more for ya.  It’s been too long and I’m thirsty.  This time we’ve got a funky winter offering from Denver’s Crooked Stave, an introduction to the gypsy brewery known as Evil Twin and a tall boy from Oklahoma. Wait, Oklahoma?!?!  Some near, some far, all delish. Hope you enjoy.

Imperial Biscotti Break

Evil Twin Brewing

Imperial Stout
11.5% ABV

Meet Evil Twin Brewing.  Founded by Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, whose twin brother you might know from a little brewery called Mikkeller, (hence the name), Evil Twin is a gypsy brewer you need to be following.  Jeppe’s quickly carving a name out for himself and his creative brewing style.  He recently brought his Evil Twin line to Colorado, thanks again to Crooked Stave Artisans, which has given us some really fun offerings, ranging from Justin Blåbær (Blueberry Berliner Weissbier) to the tasty Biscotti Break reviewed below.  Check Denver’s better bottle shops to begin exploring the Evil Twin lineup.

Format: 22 oz. bottle
Availability: Rotating
Appearance: Thick black pour into a tulip glass.  A creamy 1-finger tall, mocha head sits on top. Slow carbonation creeps up the glass wall.  Really beautiful looking beer.
Aroma: Coffee and vanilla lead the way here, with hints of chocolate, oak and licorice in the background.
Taste: Coffee all around in the flavor, with plenty of chocolate and a bit of vanilla too. Mouthfeel’s more creamy than thick and the high ABV is pretty well hidden.  Goes down smooth and easy.

Score: 4 / 5

crooked stave st bretta winterSt. Bretta Winter

Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, Denver, CO

American Wild Ale
6.8% ABV

Label says it’s a “Dark artisan ale brewed with citrus, fermented in oak foeders”.  This round of St. Bretta is a departure from the previous Spring, Summer & Fall releases, in that it’s a dark base beer, brewed with Cara Cara Oranges as the seasonal fruit.  The slightly heavier dark ale is a fitting change for the Winter, yet still boasts big juicy, tart flavors, with a slightly meatier backbone.

Format: 375 mL bottle
Availability: Winter Seasonal
Cost: $6-8 / bottle
Appearance: Pours a dark brown, not quite black color into a Teku glass.  1-finger, tan head quickly fades away.
Aroma: Interesting nose, with big tart, citrus aromas, mixed with cacao nibs and coffee.
Taste: Flavor is a combination of oranges, tart plums and unripened fruit, along with chocolate, coffee, bread and earth.  The unique mix works and is an interesting change of pace for the cold Winter months.  Not my favorite St. Bretta release, but still very tasty and worth picking up.

Score: 3.5 / 5

roughtail polar nightPolar Night Stout

Roughtail Brewing Company, Oklahoma City, OK

This one kind of fell in our lap.  (Thanks Bryan!)  What the hell.  Let’s do it up.

American Stout
8.0% ABV

Format: 16 oz. can
Availability: Year Round
Appearance: Poured into a nonic pint glass, the beer is black in color, with a creamy, mocha colored head.  The 1-finger tall head slowly fades away, leaving layers of lacing around the glass.
Aroma: The nose starts out bitter and hoppy, more along the lines of a Cascadian Dark Ale, but also gives off notes of chocolate, coffee and anise.  Great job.
Taste: Big bitter, earthy hops up front, with creamy chocolate flavors in the background. Polar Night also offers up plenty of coffee and roasted grains, along with a touch of citrus.  The mouthfeel’s just a pinch on the thin side, but overall, a really enjoyable beer.  Oklahoma’s stepping up their game.  Road trip anyone?

Score: 3.5 / 5


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