What We're Drinking: Evil Twin The Cowboy

A smoky pilsner for hot summers in front of the grill.

Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin is what’s known as a “gypsy brewer,” which is to say that he don’t have a brewery of his own. Instead, he creates recipe after recipe and brews them in other companies’ facilities, with a lot of collaborations along the way. Because of that, Evil Twin don’t have many steady, year-round offerings like most breweries do. Instead, they’ve got a ridiculous number of unique and variant beers with all kinds of crazy themes.

Most of ‘em are good and a handful are critically acclaimed, but all of them are on the expensive side — expect to pay several bucks more than a comparable bomber or six-pack at your local shop. I’m not sure whether that’s because of their gypsy setup, expensive ingredients, or what, but don’t assume that the higher price tag means a better beer. Their experimental brews are cool, but not always worth the money.

This particular one was brewed at Two Roads in Connecticut, and it’s classified as a “smoked pilsner.” Given that most smoked beers are based on much darker or aggressive styles, this is something totally unique. And with summer right around the corner, a light but smoky beer reminiscent of campfires and barbecue sounded like an excellent addition to the Bespoke Post kegerator.

Appearance: Pale, bubbly gold with a quickly disappearing white head.

Smell: Sweet and biscuity, with some savory smoke that’s definitely present but doesn’t overwhelm.

Taste: There’s more smokiness here than on the nose, but it doesn’t jump out at you too much; it’s just enough to notice and enjoy without burying the other flavors. It’s heavily malt-forward and sweet, even for a pilsner — some more hops would probably help to better balance things out — and the modest 5.5% ABV is completely hidden.

Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation, a light body, and more smoke lingering on the aftertaste.

Overall: I’m not sure if this is actually something a cowboy would drink, but it certainly seems like it. The sweetness and smoke reminds me of a good plate of barbecue distilled into a so-so pilsner, which makes it unique, but not outstanding. It’s also fairly devisive; some people in the office like it, and some hate it. So it’s a fine choice if you want to try something new — especially if you’re in front of the grill on a hot day — but probably won’t be a crowd-pleaser at a party.


Want to try some yourself? Plug your zip code into BeerMenus.com's listing of bars and stores that have it in stock..

Andrew Craig is Bespoke’s editor and resident drink nerd. Got something you think he might like? Get in touch by dropping a line to Andrew (at) bespokepost.com, and follow him on Untappd for a glimpse at potential new reviews.

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