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Siamese Twin Ale - Uncommon Brewers

Not Rated.
Siamese Twin AleSiamese Twin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

223 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 223
Reviews: 122
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 16.94%
Wants: 15
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Uncommon Brewers visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: illidurit on 07-26-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 223 | Reviews: 122 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by FickleBeast:
Photo of FickleBeast
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

16 ounce can poured into a pint glass. Color is a ruddy dark brown color with a half finger of foam that fades quickly. Aroma is pungent with plum malty flavors and lemongrass. It does smell appetizing to me.

First sip is bomb of sweet sugary malts. Molasses and toffee flavors dominate but it is cloyingly sweet. Lime coriander and lemongrass all take a back seat. Credit for trying something out of the ordinary but this misses the mark with me... Too sweet and not refreshing.

FickleBeast, Jul 06, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of biegaman
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Siamese Twin has a face that even a mother would have a hard time loving. U-G-L-Y, this thing could have Johnnie Cochran argue its alibi and it wouldn't matter - it's ugly. Murky, extremely muddied clay tones gives it a swampy - or worse, sewage-y - appearance. The absence of any foam is unattractive and completely unsuitable for the style (conventional or not).

Belgians, by and large, aren't known for experimenting or breaking with tradition; you'd never see a Trappist Dubbel brewed with kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and coriander. In many ways there's no need to - Belgian yeast is spicy and aromatic enough on it's own - but I've got to admit that this smells pretty interesting. Indefinably sweet and spicy; my curiosity has peaked...

The first sip reveals a familiar profile: a complex maltiness with notes of caramel, toast, prunes, raisins and a drop of rose-scented perfume. Maybe a trace of mushed bananas too. But closer inspection gradually exposes the other ingredients; flashes of middle-eastern spice, citrus and green herbs round out most sips, albeit more subtly than expected.

It's obvious Asian ingredients would add uniqueness, the real question was whether they'd suit the sweet, fruity flavours of a Dubbel. I have to say: yes! In fact, I think this recipe is rather genius; just imagining all the possible food pairings requires a calculator. The beer's real (and only) fault is its lack of body; without a rich malt bill this tastes too much like prune juice.

Uncommon Brewers is right! This is a terribly interesting take on a classic Belgian style. Who knows how the monks would feel about this twist, but I say "Hear! Hear!". Though far from an outstanding offering, in many ways Siamese Twin represents all that is great about American craft beer: creativity, innovation, reinterpretation, distinctness. And this one's organic too.

biegaman, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of ricke
3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Reddish brown, quite pale for the style. An off-white very big head with good retention leaves lots of lacings.

S: Distinct, freshly tart lemon notes, some spices and earthy yeast upon a decent caramel malty backbone.

T: The taste is not too impressive. Quite a lot of spices and herbal notes. Citric notes are present, but slightly muted, and add a hint of tartness to the dominating sweetness. I get a very very faint note of funky blanket and stale yeast, and I'm wondering if this bottle is completely healthy. Decent malty flavors of caramel and chocolate, but for a double it's quite bland and one-sided. The finish is mildly bitter with spices, citric notes and warming phenolic alcohol. An almost burning sensation lingers on in the mouth, and I don't know what's causing it.

M: Quite full-bodied and smooth. Good.

D: Interesting and not as weird as it sounds like. But still, it's a bit edgy and unbalanced.

ricke, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #52 (May 2011):

Canned extreme beer, hell yeah! Dark ruby color, lacing is as good as it gets. Mouthwatering aroma, the lime leaves and lemongrass along with the malt sweetness make for one of the best-smelling beers we’ve seen in a long time. Brawny like a Dubbel, with a hint of broth, which quickly moves to showcase spices of lime leaves and lemongrass; coriander plays second fiddle. Tart bite from the spicing melds well with the malt base. Alcohol jumps on the palate with a sooth- ing warmth. There is a lot of unusual flavor not only for a beer, but for the style; however, it really works here. The result is a very interesting and very drinkable beer. Sometimes it pays to go out on a limb.

BeerAdvocate, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of danthehopslamman
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

danthehopslamman, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of TimoP
4/5  rDev +11.1%

TimoP, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of nomoon
4/5  rDev +11.1%

nomoon, May 24, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this beer. A Belgian Dubbel in a can? Interesting.

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is lemon and lime with some sugar and alcohol. The flavor is lime with caramel malt, lemon and some sweeter dark fruit. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A nice twist on a dubbel.

Mora2000, May 22, 2010
Photo of westcott
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

westcott, May 04, 2014
Photo of jondeelee
4.23/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Siamese Twin opens with a strange, fruity aroma that seems part Belgian, with touches of banana and clove, part peppery cocktail, and part fruity wine spritzer. The kaffir limes and lemongrass impart distinct grassy lemon-lime notes, and the coriander lends peppery earthiness, lending touches of loam. The spice additions together give the brew an almost-but-not-quite Dr. Pepper quality, but with far more pepper and vanilla spicing, as well as citrus. The overall effect is alluring, but definitely out of the ordinary, with few "beer" notes present, replaced instead by citrusy, peppery aromas that would almost be more familiar in a light Thai dish.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a mixed profile, part of it the familiar banana-and-clove Belgian, part a mixture of the lime, lemongrass, and peppery coriander, and over all of this, a sugary layer of brown sugar, vanilla, kola nut, and fig, apricot, orange, and white grape fruit esters. Very light touches of wheat toast add earthiness, and a slight tingle, as well as touches of pink grapefruit, speak of decent hop support. The aftertaste is a continuation of the peppery lemongrass, banana, and clove notes, and lingers for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, the beer is quite good, and I was very thankful to find that the strange kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass, and coriander additions worked well with the brew, meshing nicely with the malts and hops and providing new and funky layers of sugar and peppery spice, instead of overwhelming it. Recommended, and excellent light fare for a hot day.

jondeelee, Apr 29, 2012
Photo of chickenm
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

chickenm, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz single can.

This beer pours a clear, dark ruby amber hue, with one finger of loosely foamy beige head, which leaves a few random specks of islet lace around the glass as it quickly melts away.

It smells of ashy, biscuity caramel malt, a bit of floral anise, sweet earthy spice, the coriander seeming to provide more than its base aroma, a dry citrus essence, and some soft brown sugar. The taste is lightly toasted bready malt, a bit of Belgian candy sugar and yeast, some softly astringent lime, muddled holiday baking spices - cinnamon, ginger nutmeg and coriander, which make for a decent gingerbread analogue - and little to no alcohol warming.

The carbonation is a tad frothy, but in a genial way, the body a smooth, solid medium weight, just a bit of tacky fruitiness tugging away to no avail. It finishes off-dry, the biscuit-tinged caramel malt still forming the backbone, while the spices and waning fruitiness hold their distance.

An impressive dubbel, in the sense of those New World flunkies having a bit of fun, and, um, innovation with the style. The specified adjuncts add their own subtle intricacies, to a one, and the overall toastiness does well to rein in any overly saccharine tendencies. No booze makes itself known, which is an achievement on its own. Quite enjoyable, and worthy of seeking out another.

biboergosum, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of alamode
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

alamode, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of Metalmonk
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This can was sent by the great msubulldog25, a man whose generosity knows no bounds. Thanks Brian! (And cheers to Chang & Eng)

Wowza, this thing is a beaut: over an inch of dirty white head, fluffy, firm and long-lasting. The color is a caramel-esque brown, veering toward milk chocolate but never quite getting that dark. About as interesting-looking as the label description of the ingredients (Belgian dubbel brewed with kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and coriander).

Coriander, lemon and lime are detected in the aroma, but they're subtle...actually everything else about the aroma is subtle. The sweet caramel/toffee-like malt is there but hanging far back, as is that tell-tale Belgian yeast character (not sure they actually brewed with a Belgian yeast strain). Not bad, but doesn't leave much of an impression. Despite the exotic elements, it's a tame smell.

The flavor is about as strange as the description on the label. I just couldn't reconcile Belgian dubble meets lime leaves and lemongrass in my mind. Still can't now that it's on my tongue. Not saying it's bad, but...I guess "interesting" would be my best description of the flavor. Things are spicy and almost minty, with the coriander, lime and lemongrass working together as they do, as if you accidentally dropped some toothpaste into your glass of Belgian brown ale. The sweeter, candy-like characteristics of the malt "pop" thanks to these unusual ingredients. Intense herbal-ness and exotic spiciness are just barely kept in check by brown bread, caramel/toffee and earthy yeast dirtiness.

How much alcohol is in here? 8.5%? I wouldn't have known, as there's little to no alcohol flare, and the oddity of the flavor distracts from even thinking about alcohol content and its contribution to flavor. Finishes a little bit dry, even somewhat tart.

Feels smooth and slick, round and silky, gently carbonated; plenty of presence in the mouth. Just about right for the style.

Uncommon? Oh hell yeah. Just not as enjoyable as I'd hoped. But it did start growing on me, and with warming things began coalescing a little better. Still, every now and then my palate was rocked by the odd ingredients, just as I was starting to decipher and "feel" the dubbel-ness of this thing. Ultimately, even though I might never crave another, it's hard to dislike when I know I'll remember the flavor forever...there's no other beer out there like this one, as far as I know.

Metalmonk, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of augustgarage
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16oz can into my Trappistes Rochefort goblet. Bottled (so to speak) on 9/11/2009.

Russet body with a hint of cordovan - quite dark overall, but revealing copper and sienna highlights when held to the light. Despite a vigorous pour into the center of the glass, head formation is non-existent. No lacing, though the legs form a uniform lip.

Herbaceous aroma, suggesting cilantro more than coriander. Faint citrus and an almost smokey malt note along with hints of golden raisins and perfume.

The straight-forward (though I wouldn't go so far to say, "pedestrian") flavor profile is like brown bread dipped in a fruit-infused brandy. Sugars are pronounced, but the finish is still somewhat dry. I don't know if it is the lime leaf or the brewer's water, but there is the slightest hint of iron as well.

Flat, watery, and thin-bodied; heat creeps up slowly, especially on the gums. I hate to say it, but there is some resemblance here to mouthwash.

I initially approached this ale with some trepidation, but since I've had some amazing canned craft beers, I decided to put my skepticism aside; at <$3, this seemed like a remarkable value as well. Unfortunately, what I imbibed was far from a revelation - in fact, because of the poor execution it borders on an affront to the classic style it claims to be based on.

Perhaps this is the result of poor quality control (next time I'm in Santa Cruz, I'd like to see how this does on-tap at which point I'll re-review), but this sample may as well have been chugged straight from the can.

augustgarage, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of tempest
2.73/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a 16 oz. can for $2.75, no canning date on the bottom. I wasn't terribly impressed by their Golden State Ale, but this is worse. Frankly it reminds me of failed homebrew.

I dont know, maybe this beer was kept in a hot warehouse for a month, or something went wrong between Santa Cruz and Pennsylvania, but I don't enjoy it. There's an odd grassy (not like hops) caramel taste. There's a hint of the kaffir lime that's added I can pull out of the aftertaste, but that's one of the few bright spots. Frankly this smells a bit like an Indian buffet with the coriander and lemongrass additions. I'm not sure what to make of this beer, but I don't want another can.

tempest, May 25, 2011
Photo of loving44
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chock up another winner for craft beer in cans. This is one interesting beer!

A: deep amber to brown with a white fluffy head. Tons of foam when I opened the can, maybe it was the elevation (I was up in the mountains) or maybe it's the style, but the foam would not stop! I had to rapidly pour it into a glass to avoid it getting all over the place.

S. Super heavy on the lime, bready malt and yeast.

T: crist and refreshing, a doughy, bready malt base, syrupy sweet with a nice citrus burst from the use of the lime leaves that balances the sweetness nicely. After two of these it became aparent that the lime is just too strong, and the malt too syrupy sweet to make this a session beer.

M: light carbonation and slightly syrupy.

D: refreshing yes, but not the most drinkable beer due to the strong flavors and syrupy finish. I would drink it again if I wanted a nice flavorful hot weather sipper.

loving44, May 30, 2010
Photo of 20ozmonkey
2.63/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured slowly into a Bruery tulip. This beer is a muddy brown and seems to be quite thick. The smell when I opened the can was a bit worrying. I got a whiff of rusty metal and old beer. Upon properly smelling the beer I get definite hints of ginger and lemongrass mixed with the sweet and alcohol qualities of a dubbel. None of the smells stand out though and if I were to blind taste this beer I would be wary of how it tasted after smelling it.

Not much to taste on the front but after that the beer washes over your mouth coating it with a bitter sweetness with perhaps just a bit of ginger spiciness. Aftertaste is plain and malty. I taste absolutely no Belgian yeast in this.

I'm pretty disappointed in this beer. I was excited when I found a store selling single cans of it because I was unwilling to buy a 4-pack of it where I normally buy all my beer.

20ozmonkey, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can into a goblet.

Pours a deep clear copper, with about 2 fingers of stiff off-white head. This retains with a frothy 1/2 finger, that leaves a thick and foamy cascade of lacing that quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma is well...interesting. It's got that basic Dubbel mix of bread, sugars, and yeast going on with it, but the tart fruity notes of lemon and lime, as well as the spice from the coriander really gives this a deep zesty pop in the nose that pretty much controls things. A touch of alcohol warmth adds some thickness to the bouquet.

The taste is similar, with a thick and sticky base of sweet breads and candied sugars starting things off. Man, you can really taste that lemon grass and kaffir lime in this (both rather distinctly), which add a zesty bite of flavor to the profile. Spice and earthy dryness linger long past the finish after each sip. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a sharp creaminess that sits on top of some much thicker feeling alcohol beef. Speaking of which, the ABV is very much felt here, warming the finish before laying some heat in the chest and stomach after each sip.

While I can't really say that this absolutley worked for me, I do have to give props on the innovative angle these guys took on a Belgian-Style Dubbel. Just a bit too much going on with the spices here and I wish that this had held the alcohol in check just a bit more as well. I will say that this does make me interested in trying some more offerings from these guys. Uncommon indeed...

Kegatron, May 10, 2010
Photo of zonker17
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

zonker17, May 19, 2012
Photo of WestValleyIPA
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz can into my Zatec fluted glass. Light brown/amber color with about 3 fingers of foamy, light brown, very quickly dissipating head. Smells like Belgian yeast, maybe some spice and chocolate. Taste, and here's where it gets weird, definitely a sourish lemony something, spice, a medium light hop bitterness, and I don't know what. I guess probably the Kaffir lime puckering my mouth. Nice light crisp bubbles. Very drinkable for 8.5%, but then, I don't think I could drink another. I very much like how different this is, but I don't know if I actually like it. Get back to you on that one.

WestValleyIPA, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of Rzzzzz
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Mission Pizza in Fremont. Served in a chilled pint glass. Great lookin' beer. Amber with a nice sandy colored head which left some impressive lacework down the glass. Aroma is somewhat muted but I'm picking up a little malt, a little banana. Wonderful flavor...big malt, nutty, grainy, nuances of raisin and banana. Medium to full bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. Very well done. Tastes a little stronger than the 8.5 listed here. I would definitely recommend this.

Rzzzzz, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of FACEMEAT
4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16oz. can into a pint glass

A: Pours a medium hazy copper with a gigantic head of sticky tan foam.

S: Fragrant lime with a background of yeasty bread.

T: This beer's aromas don't do its taste justice. The combination of Coriander, kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass wouldn't seem like they'd incorporate well into a Belgian style but they incorporate themselves wonderfully. It seems each sip reveals a new flavor that the mind scrambles to identify.

M: Medium-heavy with fine carbonation.

D: With flavors this bold, I couldn't see myself throwing back more than a couple of these.

FACEMEAT, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

JeffreyJDavis, Oct 03, 2012
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Siamese Twin Ale from Uncommon Brewers
82 out of 100 based on 223 ratings.