Heretic Evil Twin

Another beer from a tiny West Coast brewery, courtesy of Jay from the most excellent Beer Samizdat blog. I found out after drinking it that the guy behind the brewery is Jamil Zainasheff. Not exactly a household name, but definitely a big figure in the dorky world of homebrewing. He’s got some well respected books on the subject and co-hosts the Brew Strong podcast. When listening to people give advice on homebrewing, there’s always a part of my mind that’s wondering whether or not I can trust what I’m hearing. I mean, these guys clearly have a lot of knowledge and brew a lot, but it’s not like I’ve ever tasted their beer. So it’s heartening to see someone like Jamil open his own brewery and put his stuff out there for all to consume. Good on him, and if this beer is any indication, I think Heresy will become acceptable:

Heretic Evil Twin

Heretic Evil Twin – Pours a dark amber ruby color with a finger of light head. Amazing nose on this thing. Tons of juicy citrus, pineapple, grapefruit, pine, the works. Unfortunately, I think that aroma may be writing checks the taste can’t cash. Taste starts of with some big, sweet caramel and amber malts, coupled with a little citrus and pine hop character in the middle, and some hop bitterness finishing it off. This is in no way bad – it’s actually really, really good, but it’s a little more muted than the nose was leading me to believe. Mouthfeel is well carbonated, medium bodied, but easy to put down. Overall, a really nice hoppy red ale, certainly something I’d go out of my way for again. On the upper end of B+

Beer Nerd Details: 6.8% ABV bottled (22 oz. bomber). Drank out of a tulip glass on 9/22/12. Label sez: Bottled 05.14.12 X33

A nice first impression, and fortunately, Jay sent along another Heretical beer that I’m quite… Worried about (heh). Seriously though, super excited to try that other Heretic beer. In other news, I’m officially caught up on reviews (unless, uh, you consider the beer I drank tonight, which you’ll be hearing about next week). Score. Also, it’s getting cooler out, so that means homebrewing activities will resume en-force. First up: an Abbey Dubbel. Look for a recap on Sunday. After that… I’m thinking this imperial red ale style could be interesting. I’ll have to start thinking up a recipe…

5 thoughts on “Heretic Evil Twin”

  1. You wrote Heresy instead of Heretic at the end of the paragraph just above the picture.

    Where’d you find this? He sent you some bottles I guess? It’s only available in the San Fran or LA area or whatever, right?

    As far as this beer, I don’t always mind IPAs that have a huge nose but a sweeter body. But it still has to be balanced and the body can’t be too thin either. Sounds decent but not something I’ll have to immediately grab if I’m on the West Coast.

  2. To my knowledge, they’re still a tiny little brewery only really available in the San Fran area (definitely not in the Philly area). Jay and I did a trade recently, so I got a bunch of Philly ungettables (and he got some Philly rarities)… I do kinda wonder how the shipping process/time impacted the beer. It’s definitely worth trying if you get the chance and you like the hoppy red ale style, and I’d actually love to try a fresher sample of the stuff…

  3. Mark,

    A couple off topic comments. We’ve gone back and forth on saisons before. Had the worst saison ever – Marble Saison from the UK – last weekend. I only had a 4 oz taster, but it was the nastiest beer in recent memory. It was brilliant in its undrinkable, alcoholic confusion. Tasted nothing like a saison, which either shows the expanse of this style, or that UK brewers need to stick to milds and pale ales. On a happier note, had a pint of Row 2 Hill 56 and it’s the real deal. As good on draft as from a bottle.

  4. No worries Rich!

    Nat, Saisons really throw me for a loop, though I kinda want to try this one, as bad as it sounds. I was thinking the other day that maybe you could classify saisons by the type of yeast strain used, but then, there’s still a bunch of saison yeast strains. I wonder if the UK brewery just used a British ale yeast with a saison-like recipe? Did the beer have those Belgian yeast biscuit/spice/estery notes? Or was it more British feeling? Hmmm.

    And Row 2 Hill 56 still weighs heavily on my mind. I wish I had more! From what Russian River says, there will be additional single hopped tribute beers coming, right? Exciting!


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