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.
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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.