Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 10: Karl and the Tale of the Heretic Evil Twin

Whoa, here she comes...
Our journey through reds is approaching its conclusion, dear reader, and I have to admit that this has been my favorite two weeks of beer drinking for this year. I have had some exceptional beers in this style, many that I haven’t even reviewed (call Green Flash’s Hop Head Red, Port Brewing’s Shark Attack and the Bruery’s Imperial Loakal Red for a good time), and I feel like a minuteman with the amount of reds I’ve taken down. I’ve really appreciated the style and it’s been a way for me to get back into hoppy beers after being worn out by drinking too many poorly-crafted, overcompensatingly high abv/IBUs IPAs. The final beer on my review list in the Heretic Evil Twin, a 6.8% red ale from Pittsburg, California. Heretic is gaining a good reputation for a few of its brews, and while I believe I have tasted this one before at some point, I don’t remember much about it. There was only one album/one image that came to mind when thinking of Evil Twin, and that was the intense stare that graces the cover of Hall and Oates best-selling album H2O. Looks like it’s about time to have a one on one with this beer…


The beer pours dark, dark amber with a two-finger head that lessens then lingers throughout. The nose is dominated by piney and citrusy hop smells, which outperform the malty burnt sugars. The taste switches things up, with the biscuity caramel malts now the Daryl Hall of the relationship. To be honest, I feel like this may be an older bottle, and age has not been kind to this beer. It tastes slightly watery and thin, and thin and malty is not a combination I particularly enjoy. The hop flavor is slightly muted, and there is a creamy mouthfeel accompanied by some medium carbonation. The wildcard here is that there is a strong fruit presence, almost like dried strawberries or strawberry jam, and this actually balances out the malt and hop profile in an interesting manner. Despite my aversion to many aspects of this beer, I keep wanting to have another sip. I continue this back and forth throughout the glass, and I can imagine the difficulties of many a groupie in the early 80s choosing between beautiful, blonde Hall or rugged, mustaschioed Oates.  It’s a hard decision how to rate this beer, but as the glass empties I realize that while I may be sitting with you, my eyes are on the door…

Rating: C+

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