Imperial Biscotti Break Natale - Pretty Please With A Cherry On Top - Evil Twin Brewing

Not Rated.
Imperial Biscotti Break Natale - Pretty Please With A Cherry On TopImperial Biscotti Break Natale - Pretty Please With A Cherry On Top

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

107 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 107
Hads: 884
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 68
Gots: 192 | FT: 34
Brewed by:
Evil Twin Brewing visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BlastBeats on 10-12-2013

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 107 | Hads: 884
Photo of sleepyteacher
2.09/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.75

Hey All,

I am willing to admit that I picked up this bottle late in the season (way after other stores had sold out). That being said, this was a poor experience. The cherry had completely died off and what it left was the oak taste of the barrels this beer was never aged in. Very disappointing.

My hope: That the beer got skunky some how, some way. I have had this beer on tap and I remember the cherries being flavor forward and still getting a slight taste of biscotti. I thought this beer aged might find its happy place, but now I regret having two more bottles in my cellar.

Smell: First-time homebrew
Taste: If I close my eyes and imagine, I can maybe taste cherry, but really it is bitter and tastes like the deck of a warship.
Appearance: Perfect head that died off in a timely fashion. Can't see through the brew with a flashlight on the other side.
Mouthfeel: There are some layers here. Towards the back of the tongue, you can taste some sweetness.
Overall: Very disappointed. (994 characters)

Photo of Homers_Beer_Odyssey
2.33/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

APPEARANCE - Dark, opaque, no head, no lacing.

AROMA/SCENT - Fruit, coffee, sweet.

TASTE - Hops, nalts, bitter, sweet, nutty, coffee, caramel, chocolate, brown sugar. Boozy.

MOUTHFEEL/PALATE/TEXTURE - Crisp, acidic.

VALUE - One-pint bottle for $30. Ridiculously overpriced.

OVERALL/DRINKABILITY - I don't like Evil Twin. They make silly stunt beers. Just not for me. (375 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.07/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1 finger dark mocha colored head with moderate retention. Beer is pitch black. Lacing is stringy, spotty and sparse with good stick and thick, luscious legs. Nice.

Nose is rubbing alcohol, booze, chocolate, cocoa, and smoke. Hot but not very deep or complex.

Opens slightly tart and sweet cherry. Chocolate, fudge, roast, and smoke. Cherry stem and pit bitterness in the middle mixed with hints of mocha, roasted malt and cocoa powder. Boozy with an awkward fruit presence. Ends sweet cherry, roast and smoke with a boozy, bittersweet pit finish. The cherry actually takes a bit away from this brew.

Medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Foamy and frothy in the mouth and goes down prickly and boozy. Finishes messy with a lingering aftertaste. A touch thin.

I'm not really sure what was done with this beer, but the cherry infusion really takes away from the taste, body, and overall togetherness of the beer. This just isn't a very good version of this beer. (1,048 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
3.25/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A - Dark chocolate brown with a light milk chocolate head

S - Roasted espresso, milk chocolate, light vanilla and a slight metallic twinge as well

T - Dark roasted espresso and a slight milk chocolate, vanilla with a slight tartness to it from the cherry. There is also a slight roasted malt. This reminds me of Imperial Biscotti Break with a sour cherry that doesn't fit in well

M - Smooth creamy mouthfeel with a slight astringent and metallic finish

O - Overall, I like regular biscotti break way better than this one as the cherry makes this slightly metallic and tart. The cherry just doesn't seem to fit in here well at all. (636 characters)

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.35/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Now that its warmed a bit I'm smelling mostly black coffee, anise, a little sourness, and alcohol. My first sip had some pretty noticeable cherry, but since then its been kind of off and on, and still never really as strong as that first taste. I'm getting some coconut now that its warmed up, more alcohol, tiny bit of tartness, some dark fruit, hint of smoke. Pretty ashy/roasty finish with a touch of bitterness that's gone quickly. I think this is one of the few strong dark beers that is better colder. (507 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.38/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to snifter.

A - Black with a thin layer of light brown head.

S - Very sweet. Chocolate, hazelnut, tart cherry, brown sugar.

T - Sweet caramel, milk chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla and almond. The tart cherry flavour is present but very much in the background.

M - Full body, light carbonation.

O - This was disappointing after how good the regular Biscotti Break was. Overly sweet. (396 characters)

Photo of KFBR392
3.41/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours with a heavy body which produced half a finger of rich, dark brown head. Above average active carbonation for how big this beer is.

Smell: Syrupy subtle cherry sweetness on the front. Vanilla and milk chocolate smooth out on the body. Roasted malt and medium bodied coffee notes really make it smell like an imperial porter. The back end opens up with some more vanilla and oak.

Taste: Vanilla, oak, and some mossy hops on the front. Cherry sweetness really opens up on the body, then takes a slight funky artificial turn toward the back end. Untamed roasted malts and earthy coffee grounds join force with the cherries and create an odd finish. Love the front half of this taste, but the finish is undesirable.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, rich front yields to an off balanced, heavy malt, burnt finish. Carbonation is light which doesn't allow any flaws to be hidden.

Overall: Man really disappointed here. Is Imperial Biscotti Break even the base beer here? My expectations were a rich sweet dessert beer which the front delivered, but the finish killed. (1,071 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with a decent khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Chocolate and nuttiness. A little bit of cherry. Some coffee.

Taste - Strong cherry and chocolate. Bitter chocolate and coffee. Very nutty.

Mouthfeel - Bitter. Astringent. Medium body.

Overall - Not an improvement on Biscotti Break. Disappointing, but decent. (369 characters)

Photo of PaulyB83
3.52/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at BFD Clubhouse in Rochester Hills, MI

I don't know if this keg was mislabeled or something but I am not getting a lot of the flavors other reviewers are getting from this beer. It tastes like just a pretty decent roasty porter with a light sour cherry on the finish. Didn't really get any vanilla or anything resembling a biscotti flavor, glad I didn't buy an expensive bottle of this at a shop somewhere. (422 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
3.62/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours pitch black in color. Minimal tan froth.

(S)- A chalky roast to it with some dark fruits and chocolate. Very sweet smelling.

(T)- Definitely some chocolate covered covered cherries met with an overall very sweet base. Some caramel.

(M)- It is very sweet; almost too sweet for me. I dig the cherry, but its just so sweet. Tastes a bit hotter than expected for an 11.5% beer.

(O)- It is just so sweet. A bit hot too. Definitely an enjoyable one to try, but probably one and done for me. (536 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
3.62/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - nice dark body, trace highlights. Creamy, dark khaki head. Nice retention, low lace.

S - hot chocolate mix, touch of cherry, soft bourbon booze, toast. Surprisingly light.

T - booze, cocoa nibs, cherry cordials. The cherry flavor and the sharp booze come off a little like Dimetapp. Roasted malts as it warms; toast, bread crust and a touch of bitter char.

M - smooth, medium-light frame.

O - not a bad porter. Shade boozy for the style, but nice complexity and mouthfeel. (481 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a very nice dark brown nearly black hue with a thin half finger mocha head that fades to leave light lacing/legs with a thin halo.

S - Aromas of chocolate and dark malts, not much in the way of vanilla or nut, maybe a flash of cherry and that's being generous.

T - Taste is moss of the rich chocolate and roasted malts along with a faint coffee until oh hi there, it's a medicinal red cherry flavor. There is a light nuttiness mingling in with it along with some solid booze. Wish the cherry tasted more real, the almond nuttiness is nice though.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, not quite as creamy as I'd like this to be.

O - Overall I was quite underwhelmed by this beer. Really felt it was a syrup step back from the great base beer. (805 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up a finger's worth of head which has okay retention. The head is a creamy, medium beige while the body is dark chocolate black. A thin sliver of sheeting extends from the surface of the beer but otherwise, there is pretty much no lacing.

Nose- Mild chocolate with some hints of cocoa. A little bit of fudge brownie. The aroma is much more subdued than I expected from an Imperial Biscotti Break beer. Swirling reveals roasted notes that seem burnt.

Taste- Evil Twin has a pretty good grasp on darker, richer beers and this is no exception. Chocolate, fudge brownie, and cocoa display themselves alongside rich roasted malts. Some raisin and a slight cherry note which builds a bit as I drink it but isn't nearly as substantial as the beer's description would imply. The cocoa has too much prominence which makes this beer taste a little thin. Certainly not in the same league as the regular Imperial Biscotti Break but it's also not as hot. A pretty good beer but I'm glad I didn't drop 15 bucks on a bottle. There is a little bit of chalk on the finish. Slight vanilla and toffee. The cherry continues to develop and suggest Cheerwine near the end of the glass.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with light carbonation that still manages to have some zip. Would like it be a little thick and fuller. There is a dry finish with some grit. Some slickness and greasiness but nothing over the top.

Drinkability- I wish it wasn't just the thinness and very low heat that made this easygoing. It isn't but those aspects play too big a part. 6 bucks is way too much for a 6 oz pour of this.

Overall- Good beer and solid. Slightly above average in comparison to many of the imperial stouts I've had. Worth at try but wait for it on tap. I would not splurge for the bottle. (1,780 characters)

Photo of Jonada
3.82/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber with no freshness date. Served in a friggin awesome 22oz snifter.

Appearance: Pours black with <1 finger of a dark tan head that settles into a thin ring. Body is completely opaque.

Smell: Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and a light sour cherry which gets stronger as the beer warms

Taste: Combination of malt sweetness and a slight tartness upfront followed by roasted malt, dark chocolate, vanilla. Other than the previously mentioned tartness, I'm not really getting any cherry character.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Medium fine carbonation. Booze is masked well.

Overall: A good beer, but falls way short of the regular Imperial Biscotti Break. Worth a try if you see it, but not worth seeking out. (738 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.86/5  rDev -6.1%

Let's be real here; this is a good beer. But at the end of the day, some people are black coffee drinkers while others are a teaspoon of sugar and a liter of cream. And in the perfectly fine bad boy that is Biscotti Break, someone poured in a heavy dose of Paula Dean shitty creamer. Again, Raul knows that there is a good beer here, and for those that like sweet Porters, Raul says, hooray! But for the main man, meh. (418 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.86/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split with rudzud.

Nice super dark cocoa colored creamy thick 1/2 finger head but fades pretty quickly, little lacing long legs, pitch black beer thick with no legs.

Nose is nice but lacking cherry, dark malts all over the place, super dark malts, choc and dark cocoa, little caramel, mild toffee and nutty like biscotti, mild vanilla, there but not a lot, even looking for it I still get no cherry.

Taste starts heavy, dark malts galore, luscious choc, creamy with heavy thick choc, little nutty note, little toffee, and even a little vanilla. Little warming booze comes through, then finally a cherry flavor, fleshy plump cherry with juicy fruity flavor, but again not a ton. Cocoa flakes come back in with mild roast and coffee, chewy malts and little fudgey. Hint of bitterness, with touch of hops. Long sticky finish with more bitterness, more dark choc and chewy malts, no more cherry.

Mouth is fuller bod, creamy rich chewy, nice creamy carb, just a bit of warming booze.

Overall good but not great, very little cherry, even seems to have detracted from the original. (1,079 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.86/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to angrybabboon for sharing the bottle.

Appearance: Pours almost straight black withsome deep rich browns when held to direct light. Head is dark khaki with a slight red tinge. Decent head retention leaves a small creamy cap for the duration.

Smell: Tart cherry skin over a big sweet malt base. Deeply roasted with some burnt notes. Cholate in all its varieties. Milk, dark, cocoa, and some bitter nibs. A small hint of vanilla. Sweet but not cloying. Cherry is mainly tannic skin coupled with some juicy tart edges. Super caramelized malts with some leather and tobacco leaf thrown in for good measure.

Taste: Deeply roasted with some burnt malts and some serious backing char. Deeply caramelized sugars throw some caramel and toffee. Dark chocolate and cocoa in abundance. Some sweeter milk chocolate. Slightly tart cherry flesh with some cherry juice. A touch of vanilla and bitter nib. Something almost woody. Bitter roasted edges balance the big sweetness, but then the tart cherry cuts through it all and throws a distraction.

Mouthfeel: Full creamy body with a moderate carbonation. Relatively clean for the style. Almostbsyrupy on the initial sip.

Overall: Leave my beer alone.

The tart cherry addition distracts from a great base beer. (1,263 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.89/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into an over-sized snifter. The brew is black in color with a dark brown head that holds in a half finger around the wall of the glass. A swirl releases some carb that composes a head that fades leaving spots of lacing effect.

The aroma is roasty with char, anise and chocolate. A hint of earth, minerals and fruity to citrus hop inclusion is also present with a bit of coffee present under the earth and char of the grain. As it warms up, it gets a slightly medicinal fruity aspect that peaks through.

The flavor is roasty with char and earth and bitter chocolate almost with suggestions of strong coffee with a hint of citrus-like coffee beans and minerals. A soft amount of almond-like nuttiness is felt into the finish. A fruity alcohol inclusion hardly has any cherry flavor other than a bit of that faint pitty over-ripe cherry taste in the finish which gets slightly medicinal as it warms.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. I loved the base brew and honestly im just not digging this iteration. The cherry doesnt really stand out that much and the not so desirable attributes are characterized more so than the enjoyable parts. Strange to see a one-off with simply just a cherry addition drag the base beer down a couple levels instead of make it better. I would take the normal imperial biscotti version over this all day. (1,379 characters)

Photo of mjpolzin
3.89/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was okay. I had been sitting on it for awhile because I don't particularly go out of my way to drink cherry stouts/porters but with local favorite Central Waters Cherry Stout dropping, I figured this was a good time to drink another cherry beer for comparison.

Although this beer was good, it was a little too sweet for me. The cherry flavor was noticeable and was nice and tart but there was an underlying sweetness that was too much and almost "artificial" tasting. I liked this beer but wouldn't seek it out again. (528 characters)

Photo of GJ40
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%

Tasty with lots of cherry. I regret not having had the regular Biscotti Break for comparison. The cherry seems to hide most of the base flavor. But I certainly enjoyed it The alcohol is very well hidden. (207 characters)

Photo of VincentFrey
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour / Appearance: Pours with a nice but not overdone level of carbonation; a bit more than expected from a stout but not a bad thing. Mocha head with a pitch black body. Little to no lacing, both as drank and as the head receded. For a giant imperial porter, this hits about every appearance note I'd like.

Aroma: Heavy chocolate and roast, with hints of cherry. Normally I expect Evil Twin to have smoke hints, but I'm not picking up any here which is a nice change, especially for anything cherry flavored. Some licorice and molasses, with whiffs of the higher alcohol.

Taste: Big, big roast, creating some astringency. The cherry flavoring is not super present, but it's there in the first sips. High astringency from a combination of roast and alcohol on the back. I'm okay with that, and it's still hard to tell it's 11.5%, but probably would even out with some more age. Considering this is a recently released beer, I'm not very surprised at the heat. Some hints of ash and tobacco in the aftertaste.

Overall: Not a ton of added flavor, but a very big, very nice imperial porter / stout. I dig it.

Bottom Line: Worth the purchase if you're into bigger beers, but not if you're just coming for the flavor addition. (1,225 characters)

Photo of magictacosinus
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

While I have not reviewed it, I did have the chance a while back to try some IBB on tap some time ago. When I heard that Trappist Provisions was tapping this variant, I was curious to see how the cherry flavor would compliment the sugary (albeit enjoyable) original offering. (Although, more so in small quantities.) Poured into an 8oz tumbler.

Pours extremely black - barley can make any coloring or light through this, and, just like the regular, contains an extremely creamy, frothy mocha head that does stick around for a bit but sadly eventually dissipates to a modest ring. Leaves behind no stickiness, in spite of the lacing being rather monstrous. No indication of any cherry in this, but I'm certain it's a factor that kills the head. Looks like a nice cup of coffee infused with chocolate syrup.

The aroma is immediately less sweet than IBB - far more milder, ranging from sweet to roasted notes, as well as a bit of tartness from the cherry. Dark cherry skins are immediately present, only to meld into roasted coffee beans, chocolate, vanilla, cashews, as well as other dark fruits such as prunes. Other than the mild sweetness and cherry forward flavor, this smells a lot like a stout half the strength - a nice traditional one, at that, as the graininess, and roasted caramel flavor indicates. I would have never guessed the ABV on this. Well done, although I could see how this would disappoint fans of sickly syrupy imperial stouts.

As the flavor shows, this far less sweet than the original - it's impressive what the addition of cherry has done to nearly change this beer entirely. Dark cherry skins, craisins, prunes, and coffee are right the front, with light notes of vanilla beans and chocolate soon following. There's a larger emphasis on the dark fruit notes here, as well as the crackly, roasted character produced by the dark malts. It's actually not very complex, in spite of the delightful emphasis on the fruit. The booze is well hidden, and the finish mainly consists of a one-note, roasted chocolate/nutty grainy combo that would fool anyone that this was a far weaker beer than it really is. Pretty easy to sip on, and the bitterness over sweetness made this a far more unique beer than others may give it credit. Definitely different from other stouts of its kind, and I'm thankful for it.

I cannot recall the last time I had a stout of this caliber infused with cherry as an additional ingredient, but I wonder if it always produces stouts like this. Natale feels like a diluted IBB in spite of the fact that it's the same strength as the original. To be honest, however, I am a larger fan of the original. However, I could most likely have more of this during one session than I ever could with IBB due to its ability to maintain the roasted, grainy factors I prefer in stouts over excessive sweetness.

Post-script: D'oh! Turns out this IS a different base beer. Listed as an "imperial porter" instead, that explains the light-bodied feel. Still a pretty good beer overall, if only a bit underwhelming for the the price of a bomber. (3,072 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a thick black color with a one finger tan head. Not good retention, but this is looking nice.

S: At first, I smelled pretty much nothing, but then I let it warm up a bit and it really opened up. Coffee and almond meal galore with a nice ripe red cherry note that feels a touch liquor-ish. Not better than the original, but I kind of liked this once it warmed up.

T: Coffee and rich dark chocolate notes meld with a sweet and almost sticky cherry note. Hints of nuttiness, baking chocolate, just a hint of booze and a lot of cherry. Finish has some burnt brownies and intensely dark chocolate bitterness. I enjoyed this one, but to me, it's nowhere near as good as the original. (688 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle served in a tulip. Pours one shade darker than cola with a loose, 1/8th inch mocha-colored head that quickly disperses towards the shoulders. Only spots of lacing are present during the tasting. Nose is roasty and chocolatey with a suggestion of lactose and cherry sucrets and a faint metallic quality. Taste follows nose - fortunately, the cherry notes are less medicinal and the metallic character present in the nose is no longer present. There's also a nice cocoa quality to the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a mild carbonation, a light acidity and a slightly oily texture. Overall, a decent imperial porter, but not worth the price point. Not something I would recommend for extended cellaring. (746 characters)

Photo of ARoman
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

*transferred from old notes - 1/11/2014*
22 oz bomber poured into a shaker. The aroma of cherries comes through immediately and aggressively. Getting past the cherry smell, there are notes of chocolate and toasted bread / cereal, and, deeper down, there’s some nuttiness (pistachio? although maybe I’m hunting for that one) as well as some ashy aromas. It’s a brown head, which almost appears to have some redness to it, which pours nice and fluffy and sits atop a nearly opaque, dark brown beer. There wasn’t too much lacing to note, but it was poured into a shaker. As might be expected, it’s initially a heavy sweet beer, but this gives way to toasty and smokey bitter flavoring - borderline burnt. The smokey flavor lingers for a bit at the finish and is accompanied by some piney / spicy notes. It has a mild carbonation, but mostly oily, syrupy texture. Cherry biscotti is not much of an exaggeration on this one - quite a unique beer, glad I stumbled upon this one. (982 characters)

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Imperial Biscotti Break Natale - Pretty Please With A Cherry On Top from Evil Twin Brewing
91 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.