Beer Review: Evil Twin Brewing Company Yin & Yang

When I see beers from Evil Twin Brewing Company in the store, I usually walk past them. I have sampled a couple and liked what I tasted, but they are generally too pricey for my taste. Of course, to every rule there is an exception. In this case, it is Evil Twin’s companion beers, Yin and Yang. It’s rare to find these beers together at the same time, so when my local beer store (thanks Wine Cabinet!) hosted a tasting, I had to go try them. I liked them enough to buy a four-pack of both and do a writeup…

Review Overview

Evil Twin Yin - 95
Evil Twin Yang - 80
Evil Twin Yin & Yang Blend - 100

91.7

Virginia Pour House Rating

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When I see beers from Evil Twin Brewing Company in the store, I usually walk past them. I have sampled a couple and liked what I tasted, but they are generally too pricey for my taste. Of course, to every rule there is an exception. In this case, it is Evil Twin’s companion beers, Yin and Yang. It’s rare to find these beers together at the same time, so when my local beer store (thanks Wine Cabinet!) hosted a tasting, I had to go try them. I liked them enough to buy a four-pack of both and do a writeup on each.

 

Evil Twin Yin

Evil Twin Yin

Producer: Evil Twin Brewing Company; Brooklyn, NY
Beer Name: Yin
Price Range: $15.99/4-pack
Style: Imperial “Taiji” Stout
ABV: 10%
Appearance: Completely opaque with a thick dark caramel head
Aroma: Cocoa, molasses, smoke
Virginia Pour House Review:
The beer pours completely black and opaque with a nice thick foamy head that retains upon sitting. Medium effervescence is present. Lots of chocolate in the aroma, especially bitter cocoa and dark chocolate with a hint of caramel and molasses and even a little smoke. Big chocolate taste up front with some caramel notes in the middle and a slight bite from cocoa or dark chocolate at the end. It is effervescent throughout while still maintaining a molasses-like body, tingling the tongue. It finishes dry but somehow the dark chocolate remains on the palate after the sip is finished. The warmer it gets, the more pronounced the dark chocolate and bitter cocoa notes become. Surprisingly smooth for 10% ABV. This one is a keeper.

Evil Twin Yang

Evil Twin Yang

Producer: Evil Twin Brewing Company; Brooklyn, NY
Beer Name: Yang
Price Range: $15.99/4-pack
Style: Imperial “Taiji” India Pale Ale
ABV: 10%
Appearance: Deep amber but somewhat cloudy; small foamy head that dissipates quickly
Aroma: Pine, tropical fruit
Virginia Pour House Review:
The beer pours a deep amber and is not quite clear. A nice head forms but then quickly disappears upon sitting for less than a minute. Slightly effervescent but not so much as the Yin. The aroma is faint, but I get hints of pine and tropical fruit, such as pineapple or grapefruit. There are some definite pine notes right up front but I also taste some fruitiness near the middle. Hints of pineapple, orange, and mango perhaps. It finishes with a big pine bite at the end. It’s not quite as effervescent as the Yin, but just as smooth. The pine notes linger on the palate after the sip. Solid, not spectacular.

 

So the only other obvious thing to do here is to attempt to make a black and tan out of these right? Well I realized that I’m not very good at making a black and tan. The stout hung on top for a second but then completely took over the rest of the glass seconds after pouring. So what I ended up with was basically a black IPA (which, by the way, Evil Twin sells).

 

Evil Twin Yin-Yang

Yin & Yang Blend

Producer: Evil Twin Brewing Company; Brooklyn, NY
Beer Name: Yin-Yang
Price Range: $15.99/4-pack
Style: Black IPA (I guess?)
ABV: 10%
Appearance: Black and opaque
Aroma: Pine, pineapple, chocolate, cocoa, caramel, smoke, grapefruit
Virginia Pour House Review:
This is interesting. A nice foamy head forms but then is almost immediately gone after pouring. In the aroma I get more hints of the Yang (IPA) than the Yin by far, which is not what I was expecting. It’s a lot of pine and fruitiness with just undertones of cocoa and caramel, with still just a hint of smoke in the background. The beer is completely black from the Yin with no light filtered through. The taste is incredibly complex. There are so many flavors coming through in this combination. You get a combination of the pineapple and tropical fruit flavor up front mixing with some pine in the middle and a bitter cocoa finish. Despite how dry the stout was, this doesn’t finish dry at all. I’m not sure how the IPA dominates this combination because this is pretty much a 50/50 mixture. The deep chocolate and cocoa notes are still present, but mostly in the finish. This is quite possibly the best black IPA I have ever tasted. I am going to seek out the production version of this.

Both labels of these beers suggest drinking them together and I would recommend it. The “Taiji” in the style suggest a perfect blend and a calming influence when drinking together. I can’t say that I disagree. I love the Yin and like the Yang, but they are quite possibly better together than they are by themselves.
 

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