Westbrook Brewing Co. – Mt. Pleasant, SC
Evil Twin Brewing – Valby, Denmark/Brooklyn, NY
Mini Growler Imperial Stout
I’ve been pretty impressed with the beers Evil Twin has been brewing lately down at Westbrook. The gypsy brewer’s has used Westbrook’s impressive equipment to brew bigger beers such as The Cowboy and Lil’ B and a canned version of their Hipster Ale. But with all the work Evil Twin’s done at Westbook, the two have never slapped both their names on the front of a beer.
That finally changed with Mini Growler Imperial Stout, named for the immense flavors packed into a 22 oz. bomber of a 12% beer and also for the label, which resembles those slapped on growlers sold at the Charleston Beer Exchange. As with most brews from Westbrook and Evil Twin, there’s nothing small or simple about this one.
A strong, rich dark roasted coffee is what greets you first on the nose coupled with a sweeter but heavy dark chocolate smell as well. It’s a mix of fudge brownie and espresso. There’s a little bit of licorice, some leather, tobacco and cherry and a sort of almost burnt wood character as well. A really massive and biting but inviting imperial stout.
On the front of the tongue is a definite bitterness of strong black coffee. That continues across the palate and straight on to the finish, never letting up once. Bitter dark chocolate is very prevalent on the middle of the tongue. As far as flavors, it’s a big swirl of currant, fudge, espresso, cream, dark chocolate and blackberry. It’s got a full, creamy body and a slightly dry finish from all the coffee. The bitterness turns into an almost cloying sweetness after a while. The booze is hidden well.
This one definitely packs the punch of a full growler. I feel as if it’s hard to really do justice to it with so much going on in the flavor department. It’s incredibly complex and certainly a sipper, but there’s nothing overly abrasive about it. After a while it does all get a bit muddled but still remains an enjoyable drinking experience.