I bought a beer the other day. Well, actually I bought two beers. Ok, actually I bought two, half beers. Alright, I admit I don’t really know how this math works out but I do know that I have two beers that are supposed to make one. Solve for x.
Well, no. I actually don’t think it should really be that difficult.
Yeah. I think that sums it up nicely.
Evil Twin is a “phantom” or “gypsy” brewing company our of Denmark headed by Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø who’s brother, Mikkel Borg Bergsø heads the other well known gypsy brewery Mikkeller. I had heard quite a bit about this brewery on the social networks, but didn’t even know I had the ability to try any of their beers until one day I found them on a shelf at State Line. Anyway, two beers I found that I thought were interesting were Yin, an Imperial Taiji Stout, and Yang, an Imperial Taiji IPA.
Taiji (meaning literally “great pole”) is a Chinese term for the “Supreme Ultimate” state of undifferentiated absolute and infinite potentiality. Any philosophy majors out there who want to jump in, feel free to do so. The symbol associated with Taiji is the Taijitu, or what we would commonly refer to as the Yin and the Yang, which is the universal symbol for Taoism. The meaning of the symbol goes way deeper than the high cut “light and shadow”, that you see in all the B Chinese Kung Fu movies. Way to deep for this beer blog.
The thing that drew me to these two beers is that Evil Twin brewed the two beers with the purpose of pouring them together into a Black and Tan type beer. They maintain that the two beers stand well on their own, but the real intention is to mix them together. Let’s taste.
Them: Well let me start by saying, I didn’t find out much about these beers. In fact, it’s really hard to find out even anything about “Them” with a cursory search of the internet. As I said, the brewery is a phantom brewery that makes its product by using available line time at other breweries. Many sources I found indicated that these beers were brewed at Brew Dog in Scotland, but I couldn’t find anything from Brew Dog to support that. A google search for “Evil Twin Brewing” will turn up a Facebook page that indicates that its located in an apartment in Brooklyn. Color me skeptic. The Facebook page does however have a link to the brewery webpage (with a Denmark domain), but the site only has a landing page with two links. One link takes you back to the Facebook page, and the other to their Twitter account. What I can tell you is that both beers clock in at 10% ABV
Delaware Available: State Line Liquors
Me: Yin pours inky black with a cream colored head. The aroma is deep and complex with hints of chocolate, coffee and dark grains, with a hint of liquorice mixed in. The taste is right in line with the aroma, chocolate, maybe a touch of molasses with a level of anise that could be a little less pronounce for my tastes. There’s a grainy dryness in the back, but it does leave your mouth with a syrupy after taste. You can sense the 10% in there lurking, but it’s not overly apparent.
Yang pours a copper color with a head that diminishes into a ring which lines the glass. This definitely isn’t an American style IPA (hmmm, or would that be DIPA), either that or my bottle is old. There is a light hop scent of grapefruit in the mix but what comes through the most for me is caramel with hints of butterscotch. The flavor brings these all to the forefront as it leaves your mouth with a candy bar like stickiness. The finish has a very slight bitterness to it, but again nothing like what you’d expect in an American example. I actually thought this hid its 10% better than the stout.
Together they make a drinkable beer, but I feel the flavors of the Yin over power that Yang. The caramel, chocolate, etc all mix together into a sweet amalgamation. The anise comes through, but I lost the butterscotch. I’m not enjoying the mixture as much as I was the two beers separately. Evil Twin now bottles Yin and Yang, a premixed version of these two beers.
I found these two beers interesting and would love to get a taste of them on draft to know whether both beers were indeed showing to their full potential. Of the two of them, I’d have to give a nod to the IPA. I enjoyed the flavor profile very much, and wouldn’t mind having it again.
Time for another beer.