It’s that time of year. We are down to the last few beers and we are working on getting through them while also planning/partying. It’s a busy time of year and I hope that people are making the most of the season. Whatever you celebrate, it’s a beautiful time of year, and it presents some great opportunities and sees people doing some good.
Today we have a beer coming to us from Evil Twin Brewing and it is a really interesting one. It’s a Russian Imperial Stout made with sour cherries and it’s called Sauerkirsche Stout.
Evil Twin was Founded by Jeppe Jarnit–Bjergsø in 2010, Evil Twin isn’t really a brewery. Jeppe is known as the “gypsy brewer” in that he brews all over the place. He develops recipe after recipe of unique styles and plays on styles that are brewed out of other breweries and exported around the world. At the moment, he brews out of 10 different breweries in 6 different countries around the world. This means that Evil Twin doesn’t really have any year-round beers but rather a huge number of different and interesting one-off brews. To put it in perspective, Evil Twin launched more than 40 beers in 2012.
Jeppe was born in Denmark and began his adult life as a school teacher. In 2012 he moved his family to Brooklyn, NY so that he could be closer to where it all happens and to grow his brand. His goal is to make New York the beer capital of the world. While many of the beers that he makes are experimental, they are also in many cases critically acclaimed. Brewing in small batches, usually no more than 2500-3000 barrels (~3500 hectoliters), the beers tend to be a bit more on the expensive side and very difficult to find. This particular beer was brewed in Spain.
Russian Imperial Stouts are a style that I’ve really started to enjoy and appreciate. These beers age incredibly well and change over time. This style of beer was originally brewed in the 1800s by Thrale’s brewery in London England for export to the court of Catherine II of Russia. This same beer is brewed today now under the Courage brewery name and is called Courage Russian Imperial Stout (RIS). Ranging between 8%-12% alcohol with strong malt notes of coffee, caramel, chocolate and dark fruit (plums, prunes or raisins for example), it is a perfect beer for a winter night.
Appearance – Pours a viscous black with a short lived fluffy beige head.
Smell – Roasted malt, sour cherry, chocolate, and sweet malt.
Taste – Roasted malt, subtle tartness, sour cherry notes, chocolate, coffee and some bitterness on the finish.
Mouth feel – Full bodied, oily, slight astringent mouth feel.
Overall – Bringing some bold flavours to the already bold Russian Imperial Stout style, this really represents the style fairly well. It’s roasty, matly, full bodied and brings a bit of a punch. The sour cherry notes are interesting addition but they don’t take away from the “chewiness” of this stout.
Do I like it? – I did like it. It had a really bold profile and was certainly a bit forward. That said, I didn’t find it too in your face. I like strong beers and I love good Russian imperial stouts. The sour cherry added a bit of complexity to the flavours of this one that I really enjoyed. A bit tarter and sour than I would have expected given the sweetness of a RIS, but I found myself enjoying the sips.