Tasting: September 12, 2014
Style: Imperial Stout
Beer #: 609
Imperial Biscotti Break
When I started this blog, my tastes were really quite simple. I was open to trying almost anything new. Unfortunately, my experiences over the last few years have simply shaped my desire to go bigger and find more robust beer. Yes – I’ll admit it – I’ve become a beer snob. Unfortunately, I’ve come to walk past most of the craft beer that occupies shelf space today because they aren’t quite big enough. It seems that the robust beers in my new wheelhouse primarily exist as part of limited releases and thankfully there are enough breweries doing these releases to keep things interesting for me. However, there are still breweries like Evil Twin that churn out big beer after big beer. Good news is that I haven’t scraped the surface of their offerings – but I intend to :).
Evil Twin is a nomadic brewer meaning that they partner with existing brewers to either collaborate or contract brew their recipe. In the case of Imperial Biscotti Break, Evil Twin partners up with South Carolina’s Westbrook Brewing (Mexican Cake fame). Advertised to mimic an Italian coffee break, Imperial Biscotti Break promises sugar, bittersweet almonds and coffee. In typical Evil Twin fashion, this imperial stout comes in at 11.5% ABV. The label’s story harkens back to the opulent days of the Roman empire with the Italian appreciation of architecture, cuisine and spa treatment.
Imperial Biscotti Break needs a little while to open up. At first, its a death punch to the tastebuds. I try to pick up the advertised flavors and yes – it smells like simple syrup, The first few sips, I do get some nuttiness like Amaretto but crushing amounts of baker’s chocolate, espresso and burnt toast push its way through. A bit boozy and Imperial Biscotti Break certainly brings the heat. It does finish surprisingly crisp. Not as sweet as I initially thought it would be – but enough to make its presence known.
I’ve been swirling my cognac glass in hopes of taming this beast. With wine, swirling your glass tends to mellow out the tannic (or puckering) experience. Does it work with beer – I don’t know for sure but it does release the carbonation and this massive stout has mellowed a bit.
Overall Imperial Biscotti Break gets a 92 from me.
Next up – the sequel – Imperial Donut Break. Made with glazed donuts.