HOPTOLOGY

San Diego Beer, Local & Independent!


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Brew Review: Evil Twin Brewing : Molotov Cocktail Single Simcoe Hop Edition

Evil Twin Brewing has always been a brewery with a uniquely compelling backstory. That being said, I’ve yet to have the opportunity to really dig into their wide array of brews unless it’s in a collaboration with another brewery. Even then, my opinion of the collaboration beer was always a little off from the general consensus. There is little doubt that Evil Twin has a very solid reputation in the craft beer community and I was more than excited to give one of their beers a taste, and when you tell me it’s a simcoe hop edition of said beer, I’m even more into it. So lets talk about Evil Twin’s Molotov Cocktail: Single Simcoe Hop Edition.

Molotov cocktails are perhaps the weapon of choice of political dieesents the world around. Usually you see them whenever a peaceful demonstration turns violent. It’s a weapon of the masses, easily made and even more easily deployed. The more practical applications of a molotov cocktail are fighting off roaming hordes of zombies or a Cyberdyne Systems Series Model 101 Terminator who has come back in time to kill you. A molotov cocktail can be a pretty useful concoction to use against your enemies. Besides, who doesn’t want to stick a rag in a bottle of alcohol and light it on fire?2014-12-27 21.29.48

As I opened the bottle on this 22oz bomber, I got a nose full of pine and citrus aroma. The beer pours as a hazy golden copper with medium carbonation. Upon raising the glass to my lips, I’m surprised as the beer hits my palate with sticky sweetness that begins to coat my tongue. It’s not what I was expecting at all. Perhaps even more surprising was the resin like after taste that lingered in the back of my throat for a minute. Setting the beer down, I went about resetting my expectations for the beer and went back to tasting and gathering my thoughts. The beer has a very serious malt backbone to it, which is perhaps what accounts for the simcoe hops being considerably muted from my point of view. Granted, I tend to prefer all my IPA’s to be much more hop forward than this beer, so perhaps I hold a skewed perspective. The beer drinks easily enough and is insanely smooth considering the high 13% ABV that is hardly perceptible. I only wish the simoce hops more easily stood out from the malty sweetness of the brew. If you like your IPA’s with a strong malt character this beer might be right up your alley.

It might seem as though I’m down on this beer, but I’m nothing if not diligent when gathering information so I went about checking around and it does seem that I’m in the minority when it comes to this beer. It rates very highly on both beer advocate and ratebeer.com. Perhaps it’s a simple matter of my palate being more geared to hop forward beers or my everlasting devotion to West Coast Style IPA’s, but this beer didn’t knock my socks off.

My Assessment: If you like your IPA’s with a more pronounced malt profile and sweet caramel notes, you will really like this beer. If you prefer your brews to be more aggressively in your face with hoppy, bitter goodness, you might want to look elsewhere.

I’m looking forward to trying more beers from Evil Twin, if you have any suggestions on what to try next please let me know.

Prost,

Tom


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Merry Christmas, you filthy animals.

Back after a longer than expected break and what do I look around and see? Christmas lights and Christmas trees. The season is once again upon us and I couldn’t be happier about it. I always find this time of year to be magical and I love to think back to those Christmas glories of long, long ago. It’s very silly of me, but I still sit back and watch all the Christmas classic movies and animated specials and I get that feeling deep down that still wants me to believe in Santa Claus. Corny? Probably, but growing older just means that now I have the chance to play Santa to my loved ones, and if you happen to be a lover of craft beer, which I know you are, you are probably dying to see what Santa has in his bag this year.

Last year, I gave you a run down of twelve of my favorite winter/holiday/Christmas beers, click here for part 1, part 2, and part 3. I still stand by these beers as welcome additions to your holiday festivities, but this is a new year and I’ve found a few more that I’d like to bring to your attention to help make your Christmas merry and bright!

Avery Brewing – Old Jubilation Ale – At 8.3% ABV, this is pretty big beer in a small twelve-ounce bottle. Described as a strong ale, I found this beer to be a delight to drink. Rich, dark color, which is appropriate for the holiday style, the beer is smooth and drinks very easy with noticeable notes of toffee and hazelnuts. This is an excellent ale sure to put a smile on old Uncle Ebenezer’s face. The beer is also cellerable, so be sure to set one aside to see how is grows next Christmas.2014-11-29 22.08.47

The Bruery – 7 Swans-a-Swimming – A traditional Belgium Quad brewed by the gifted guys in Orange County? Sign me up please! This is a really big beer at 11% ABV with lots of raisin and apricot flavors to along with sweet, sticky caramel and a hint of pecans. An incredibly tasty beer that I have also placed a bottle in the cellar to see how it ages. This one will have Tiny Tim doing backflips in no time!2014-12-15 14.33.04

Gouden Carolus Noel – This might be the most controversial beer of the day. Some people will love it, other will not. This Belgian Strong Ale comes in at 10.5% ABV and has one of the most divisive flavor profiles I’ve yet to encounter. I hate the flavor of liquorice and this beer is dominated by it. However, perhaps due to the mixture of sweet candied sugars and spices, something about this beer kinda works for me. I wouldn’t recommend it over the other beers I’ve listed, but if you are one of those people who love the flavor of black liquorice (and aren’t in jail for being a serial killer) this is a beer you will absolutely love to have around your holiday table.2014-12-07 19.56.24

So that will wrap things up for a few new holiday brews to pass around to your loved ones this holiday season. I hope you all have a safe and wonderful Christmas and we all get lots of really neat beers and beer related merchandise from Santa!

Prost,

Tom