Get ready for a sneak attack. This one looks all warm and malty, but with a name like Evil Twin and from a West Coast brewery like Heretic, you know you're going to be in for a tour of Hop Town. My suggestion: just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Beer Details: Evil Twin Red Ale from Heretic Brewing Company, Fairfield, CA (Red ale, 6.8% ABV, 45 IBU)
Appearance: Dark reddish-brown and fairly clear, capped with a nice frothy head of tan-colored foam
Aroma: Aggressive floral and pine hops with a soft caramel candy middle. Some fruity fig and dried cherry aroma sneaks in, too.
Taste: A wallop of malts washes over you from the very first sip — they're roasty and earthy, like stone-ground dark chocolate with an edge of burnt sugar. The hops are in your face. Pine and grapefruit pith from start to the long bitter finish. I love this beer's rich and silky mouthfeel. It's prickly with carbonation at the very tip of the tongue, but then smooths out into a nice medium-bodied sensation.
Big malts, big hops — there's no doubt at all about where this beer came frome! It's a hopped-up West Coast ale all the way! Red ales are generally heavier on the malts and less aggressive with the hops, but maxing them out is what I'd expect from Heretic! I enjoyed this one a lot.
Food Pairing: I'd go with a rich, meaty ragu over pasta with this one. The deep, rich flavors of a slow-cooked ragu would be a great compliment to the malts in this beer, while Evil Twin's bright bitter notes will give some balance.
What do you think of this beer?
(Image: Emma Christensen)