Tag Archives: Evil Twin Brewing

2017 Advent Calendar – Day 4 – Evil Twin – The Quads are not what they seem

evil_twin_logo

Day 4, still loads of beer to come. I’m excited for today’s beer, so I’m going to dive right into it. We’ve got a beer which comes to us from Evil Twin Brewing and it is “The Quads are not what they seem” Beligan Quadruple.

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 beer that we are going to be trying today was brewed out Dorchester brewery in Massachusetts and is an evil twin brew of a Belgian staple.

The name Quadruple comes from the brewing process of this beer.  Essentially it means you are adding four times the malt as you would in a Belgian “simple”.   This increases the sugar content in the beer and results in a highly alcoholic beer.  The best Belgian quads hide this strong alcoholic flavor making them delicious but dangerous. Quads are highly adored due to their deep color, soft maltiness and unique yeast flavors.  Even with their high ABV (usually 8-12%) they are highly approachable when done right.

Appearance:  Pours the colour of a rich mahogany with an effervescent tan head.
Smell: Has the slight tingle of alcohol on the nose along with dark fruit, earth, caramel, and brown sugar.
Taste:  Slightly metallic note right on the front with a follow of sweet malt, dark fruit like plum or fig, and caramel.
Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, soft mouthfeel and an alcohol warming on the sweet finish.
Overall:
I didn’t really get anything from the use of Belgian yeast on this one. That said, it did a great job hiding the alcohol in taste. With only a slight alcohol warming on finish, this one could be dangerous. Also found it brought some great dark fruit notes and nice soft maltiness.
Do I like it: I did quite like it. I enjoy a beer that gives a bit of colour to the cheeks and brings some nice rich flavours. For a cold night, this one will do just fine.

Day 22 – Evil Twin – Sauerkirsche

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.

Day 16 – Brewski and Evil Twin – Gno more Gnomes Barley Wine

So, exciting times, I managed to make it out for a beer today on my way home from work. I popped in to Barn Hammer to give their “Madder Red” Barley Wine a try. It was rather tasty and I’m pretty excited that they could potentially do a full batch of it. There are also some possibilities down the line that are exciting that I’ll hopefully be reporting on in January.

There’s lots to come in the new year with follow-ups, get to know a brewer interviews, and beers on the horizon, but for December the focus is on this calendar and the beers within. Aptly, today’s is a Barley Wine from Brewski Brewery in Sweden and Evil Twin (a Dane who brews in New York). The name is amazing in and of itself, Gno more Gnomes, and makes me excited to try it.

Brewski is a brewery located in Helsingborg. This is a small town in Sweden that is on the opposite side of the Øresund straight from Helsingør Denmark. This is a famous trade route between these two countries and Helsingør is, in fact, the small town in which Hamlet takes place. I’ve had the opportunity to visit and it’s a pretty cool place with a super sweet castle. There is a history here where there is a Danish Viking statue that is said to awaken if Denmark should ever be in danger.

While not much information is available on Brewski itself, from what I can determine it seems that their head brewer, Marcus, is like Jeppe (Evil Twin) in approach to brewing. From what I can tell, He does have a brewery but takes the same experimental tact as Jeppe trying to explore and set new limits for beer. Marcus even says “Just because no one did this kind of beer before doesn’t mean it can’t be done.” There are a huge number of beers that have been produced by Brewski and it seems that they try new things often.

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 beer is brewed in the style of an English Barleywine.  A very strong, heavily malted beer.  This style is really a showcase of malty richness with a warming alcohol and often pleasant hoppy or fruity notes. This beer can be aged and when done so it can often take on port like flavours.

bass-barley-wine-ad-1907

While there have been strong ales of various different formulations for a long time in England, the modern Barleywine can be traced back to Bass no. 1 in 1872.  This was the first to be called a “Barleywine”.  Traditional a darker style of beer, in 1951 a brewer called Tennant (now Whitbread) produced “Gold Label” a gold coloured Barleywine.

Gold-Label-No1-Barley-Wine-Labels-Tennant-Brothers-Exchange-Brewery-Ltd_39261-1

These beers are quite often the strongest ale offered by a brewery and now typically are stamped with a vintage date as they have become popular cellaring beers.  This style will age well and often changes in flavour profile.  The English Barleywine is the original style of this beer that has spawned off into other styles from Belgium, the US and elsewhere.

 

Appearance – Pours a dark ruby colour with a good 1” head that dissipates quickly.
Smell – Figs, dark fruit, toffee, plums, raisins.
Taste – Starts of rather sweet and has a really nice fig and plum note coming through. Continues with some good bitterness near the finish and leaves a lingering alcohol warmth.
Mouth feel – Medium-full body with moderate carbonation and a bitter finish with alcohol warmth.
Overall – Rather enjoyable Barley Wine. Presents with really nice malt characters. The fig is a good addition and brings some extra dark fruit notes to it.
Do I like it?
– I did like. Tasty, good malt notes, good masking of alcohol content.

 

 

Day 13 – Evil Twin Brewing – The Cowboy Smoke Pilsner

Day 13 - Evil Twin Brewing - The Cowboy Smoke Pilsner

We have successfully made it through the half-way point of the calendar and are drawing ever closer to the end.  I’ll be heading out of town on the 22nd to enjoy some holiday time in the sun with my wife but I’ll do my best to post the last two beers while I am away.  Whether I bring them with me, or I break the rules and drink them before I go, I’d like to get the posts all done before the New Year.

After these blog posts I’ll be back to my regular shtick of trying to keep anyone who is interested up to date on what is happening in the beer scene.  I’ve been checking in with folks along the way and hope to be able to write some posts updating you all on where the various local breweries are.  My expectation is that Peg Beer and Barn Hammer will be up and running around mid-January (at least I hope) and we will all be able to enjoy pints of what I expect will be fantastic beer.

Today we have a beer which comes to us from Evil Twin Brewing and it is The Cowboy, smoked pilsner.

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 that we are going to be trying today was brewed out of Two Roads brewery in Connecticut and is another example of an experimental recipe from Jeppe.  It is classified as a smoked pilsner which is unique in itself as most beers that are classified as smoked tend to be on the darker side.  As this is a combination of styles, I’ll make some comments on both Pilsners and Smoked Beers.

“I need to know what kind of beer cowboys drink, as I have recently become one. I want to be the best cowboy I can be, and I think drinking the correct beer is important. I already have a cowboy hat and a nice big shiny buckle?”
-From the bottle

Pilsners are one of the most popular beer styles in the word and originate in the City of Pilzen in 1295.  While Pilsners are considered to be bottom-fermented beers now, they were actually top-fermented until about the mid-1840s.  The taste and standards of this older styles varied widely and in many cases entire barrels of beer were dumped out.  In 1839 the city of Pilsen founded a city owned brewery (now Pilsner Urquell) which was to brew beers and pioneer the Bavarian style.  Brewers had already begun to brew using bottom-fermenting yeasts that were fermented and stored in colder temperatures to be drunk later. This is where the term lager comes from. Lagern is the German word for storing and comes from this process.

Using Pilzen’s soft water, local saaz hops and this Bavarian style of lagering produced a clear, crisp and refreshing beer that became the standard for the style.  With the introduction of modern refrigeration there was no need to use caves for beer storage and this enabled the brewing of bottom-fermenting beers in many new places.  There are three styles of Pilsner:

  • German-style Pilsner – More bitter and earthy in flavour
  • Bohemian (Czech) Pilsners – tend to have lighter flavour
  • Classic American Pilsners – Brewed with more corn and rice as well as native cluster hops along with the noble hops when available.

All modern pilsners are very clear, very light beers that are pale to golden yellow.  All of them have a distinct hop aroma and flavor.  There are also Dutch and Belgian pilsners (not a separate style) which can be slightly sweeter.

As for smoked beers, they should not be confused with a traditional RauchbierSmoked beer can be quite robust and even overpowering.  Many versions of this style use peat smoked malts which are much stronger and more assertive in their smoke flavor.  Beers of this style tend to be made in the style of Scotch Ales or more typically Porters.  What is expected is that there be a balance in aroma between the base beer (in this case Pilsner) and the smokiness imparted by the smoked malts.  This should be low to assertive and not overpowering. Flavours should also be balanced between base style and the smokiness.  I’m curious to see how smoke combines with the nice crisp flavours of a pilsner. Let’s get to it.

Glassware: Flute, Stein, Pilsner Glass or Stange.
Temperature: 4-7 Celsius

Rating:  84/100

Appearance:  Golden, slightly hazy, many uplifting bubbles and a thick head that retains well.
Smell: Slight alder smoke smell reminiscent of smoked sausage or bacon.
Taste:  Bitterness right away and then the smoke comes through on the finish to leave a smooth and lightly smoky flavor.  It is balanced with the light body of the pilsner.  The smoke is not overpowering and blends well with the bitterness and earthy notes from the hops used in this beer.
Mouthfeel: High carbonation, coarse mouthfeel, finishes with wood smoke.
Overall:
Overall this beer has subtle bitterness on the start that balances well with the smoke.  The smokiness goes well with the beer and the bitterness is reminiscent of a German-style Pilsner but using more american hops than noble hops.  As a smoked beer though, it is quite tasty and really nicely done with the light body of the base beer.
Do I like it: I really do like this beer a lot.  I would be happy to drink it and would certainly buy it if I had the opportunity.  I think this is a great summer beer that would go especially well with a barbecue.  I certainly would expect a cowboy to drink this beer and love it.