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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

111 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 111
Hads: 903
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 69
Gots: 199 | FT: 35
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.
View: Beers (104) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 111 | Hads: 903
Photo of macher0
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh off the top at Holy Grale in Louisville, KY.

Poor lighting but very dark, likely dark brown to nearly black. Some laces. Major notes of dark roasted malts, some hops and dry fruit. The taste follows the nose with similar characteristics with some bitter smoke/char. Very smooth for the malt/hop profile. Very nice and highly recommended. The cherries are a little muted.

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Photo of shadetree67
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A. Lighting is poor at the bar but this appears to be dark brown. A ring of foam is all that remains of the head. Minimal to no lacing.

S. Chocolate malts. Booze. Slight cherry and vanilla.

T. Chocolate malts and medicinal cherry. The sweet chocolate is balanced nicely by the Tart cherry.

M. Thick mouthfeel. Medium carbonation. Sticky finish with slight heat from the alcohol. That said, it doesn't taste like 11.5%

O. An interesting Take on the style. If the cherry was more prominent and tasted more natural (ex. New glarus offerings) it would be even better.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Alright, I’m tired of having to look at this beer whenever I open the fridge; time to give in to temptation and crack it open. Cheers to Evil Twin’s first taste!

A: Pours thick, with a body as black as motor oil and a chestnut head that’s just barely there. Retention ends up being just a raised ring of cream where the beer meets the glass, and any lacing that appears slides rack back in – all the markings of a high-gravity beer.

S: Deep, dark, and alluring: a massive nose of chocolate cake, sugar cookie, vanilla candy (think taffy), and oak-aged booze. Smells exceptionally sweet, but, for a chocolate lover like myself, it’s heavenly. That rich, gooey character has a wonderful accent, though: the bright, fruity scent of cherry pie filling. It does its fair share to craft this nose into something other than chocolate madness.

T: A dark, powerful palate that comes together with a slow burn, a layered intensity. With a slow advance, a base of chewy, chalky malt is built: notes of toast, straw, cocoa powder, with a characteristic porter flint taste. Rich residual sugars lay on top with a powerful syrup character, a blend of chocolate fudge, caramel, and molasses, drenching the palate in sweetness. It comes to a peak just as a smoke and roast profile appears, accompanied soon after by a tart taste of ripe cherry to finish it out. In the end, the cherry gets a bit lost in the already bold palate; still, the aftertaste has that mark on it, fruity-sweet and thick like a cherry cordial.

M: Little-to-no carbonation and a moderately-thick body typically makes for a beer that’s tough to drink, but this one turns out velvety and soft. The sugars are in no way as heavy and viscous as I thought they would be, causing the feel of this beer to be no more weighty than your typical American porter; that is, there’s no way to tell that this is 11% ABV.

O: It’s not often that I’m really impressed with a beer – especially one that has this kind of reputation behind it – but this is something noteworthy. A warm, dark, outstanding ale!

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours a very dark, nearly opaque mahogany brown with a half finger fine light brown head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of toasted malt and chocolate with hints of vanilla, very similar to the regular Biscotti Break. Flavor is sweet toasted malt, mild chocolate, vanilla and a perfect light touch of cherry juice in the finish with has a slight hop bitterness. Medium bodied with a pleasant creaminess; nice mouth feel. The Biscotti Break family of porter/stouts has been consistently great tasting and this one keep up the tradition. I had some trepidation with this variant because I'm not a fan of sour flavors in stouts or porters, but other than a mild and well supported tartness, the cherry in this was well balanced by the chocolate flavors. Impossibly well covered ABV, requiring careful sipping because this is as tasty, but not as cloying as a chocolate covered cherry.

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Photo of Jonada
3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-dark brown black color with a nice light brown head and decent lacing

S-chocolate, cherry, dark malt, hint of vanilla, toffee

T-dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, cherry, hint of tartness, toffee, vanilla, hint of coffee

F-medium body with moderate carbonation smooth and creamy

O-loved the combo of flavors in this stout, cherries really worked well

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Photo of Dope
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No date that I can see, released a few months ago.

A: Pours jet black with a good sized and super dense dark brown head. Very tiny bubbles gives it an exceptionally think appearance. Head fades out somewhat quickly with decent retention. No lacing. Head remains quite dark forever (they usually seem to lighten up from the initial darkness).

S: Big chocolate notes with some nutty almond. Mild cough-syrup like cherry. Smells a little sour when swirled but the overall sweetness of the beer seems to win out regardless.

T: Lots of cherries mixing with lots of chocolate. This states sour cherries, but as mentioned in the aroma, the overall sweetness really balances it out. The cherries come off as pretty standard as a result. Maybe just a slight tartness, mainly in the finish and aftertaste. Mild nuttiness that intensifies into the finish and stands out nicely in the aftertaste as well. Chocolate turns semisweet in the finish as well. Interesting combination of flavors. Finish and aftertaste end up somewhat bitter and dry as a result, which is quite a departure from the sweetness of the initial flavors.

M: Pretty heavy and smooth. Somewhat chalky sometimes in the aftertaste too.

O: Interesting variant. Sours cherries certainly add some complexity. Flavors are still pretty balanced. Tartness helps counter the sweetness a bit too. Having said that, I really don't feel like it's an improvement overall.

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Photo of jlindros
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

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Photo of BradMacMullin
4.89/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I didn't know what to expect but this was good. Buddy of mine poured from a larger bottle. I always forget the size - just never large enough generally. This poured a nice dark color with small head and medium carbonation. The chocolate lay malt smell hits you right away and the taste follows through. But it is the cherries that work- it is mild and not overwhelming and makes this stand out. This was a surprise as I generally hate cherries but it works here - perhaps they are only meant to mix with beer. I also have that in common. Two thumbs up for a unique beer that is very good

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Photo of tbeckett
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got this bottle at Winooski Beverage Warehouse a few months back. From notes.

A - Poured black with one finger of nice brown head. Spotty lace and a film of retention.

S - Roast, chocolate, sweet syrupy brew. Mild alcohol. Cherry was definitely there as well, but mild and in the background.

T - Cherry present again, but agian in the background. Roast, coffee, nice bitter chocolate in the finish. A little alcohol. Very nice.

M - Full body and a proper full body. Smooth. Bitter cocoa powder finish.

O/D - The base works really well with the cherry flavour. Too easy to drink and seems pretty well put together.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.38/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Pours massively black with a dense brown head.
S-A lot of coffee, wood, some chocolate and cocoa. Not too bold but a very nice smelling stout.
T- Doesnt have a bold flavor at first. The beer starts of subtle with hints of aromatic coffee. The large roasted malt load takes over. A not too bitter or sweet stout, an excellent balance. There is a woodlike dry aftertaste from the roasted malt and a hint of dark chocolate. Not too much cherry taste assuming there is some/
M- Thick, well carbonated and perfectly balanced.
O- A great stout.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Is this a porter? Whatever. It's great. Had in tap in a tulip- pitch black with a finger if head, modest retention and no lacing.

Smell isn't super strong but pleasant. Coffee, sweet malt and a hint of cherry.

Tastes fantastic- like regular imperial biscotti break but with a little bit if cherry. Taste is very well blended and balanced. Coffee, toasted almond, rich chocolate malt, and a little but of cherry. It's definitely there but well integrated.

Mouthfeel is very nice- full bodied, well carbonated. I love evil twin; I love imperial biscottiw break; Natale is just not quite as good as bourbon barrel but still awesome. Everything works better when this is warmer.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 11.19.13

A - Pours a dark brown with a ruby highlights. A small dark tan head forms with good retention.

S - Nutty, chocolate, sweet.

T - Nutty and chocolate with a hint of cherry in the finish.

D - Heavy body with good carbonation.

O - Sweet and heavy, hint of cherry, could be more.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.07/5  rDev -25.7%
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.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours opaque black with 1/2 inch of brown head that settles to a thin ring on top before disappearing completely.

Smell is of decadent dark chocolate, faint cherry and just a hint of vanilla.

Taste is of dark chocolate, roasted dark malt, faint cherry and hints of other dark fruit.

Mouthfeel is heavy, thick and viscous with medium carbonation.

I enjoyed this version more than the original. The addition of cherry, while subtle in the flavor and aroma, seems to perfectly balance the bitter notes of cocoa and black coffee in the base beer.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: black with light edge lacing and quickly dissipating lacing
S: roasted nut and coffee, little alcohol present; little sour notes as well
T/M: initial taste has a slight sour twinge that is quickly joined by the dark malt mocha flavors. When this happens it reminds me a little of a bitter dark chocolate. I get the sour back in at the end, as the coating malt feel fades, but I don't quite get cherry specifically.
O: the original was better, IMO, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised with this beer. The sour was more of a compliment than a whole new component that barges in and takes over the beer.

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Photo of VincentFrey
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle from Bruisin Ales (Asheville, NC). 16.50. No bottling date but I understand this is a recent holiday release. Served in my brand new Phish snifter (my wife is SO freakin awesome!).

Pours oil black with a quarter finger mocha hued head, which quickly shrinks to a thin ring. Almost zero lace.

Aromas of chocolate covered cherries, molasses, caramel and a little coffee.

Flavors are deep, rich and roasty. Dark cocoa, coffee, roasty malts, cherry skins, molasses, mild dark fruit, burnt caramel, subtle vanilla and a little nip of alcohol. Quite enjoyable.

Medium full feel with moderate carbonation. Black coffee, dark cocoa and semi tart cherry aftertaste.

This is a little more of a departure from the original Imperial Biscotti Break than the name might imply but still really tasty. I don't think I'm alone in trusting Evil Twin and Westbrook (where this was brewed) when it comes to stouts and this further confirms that my faith is well-founded. All around excellent. I suspect the flavor profile will fade with age so get it while it's fresh! I'll be enjoying my other bottle in the near future.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%
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.

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Photo of NHbeerguy
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A-pours a pitch black color with a thin tan head. Head goes away quickly but does leave a nice ring around the edge of the class

S-smells like chocolate with a little hint of cherrie

T- tastes the same as it smells. Kinda rich from the chocolate and sweet from the cherries

M-very smooth feel. Little on the thicker side but leaves a great aftertaste

O- very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was on tap at Hunger N Thirst, served chilled in a snifter during the Christmas event.

The color is black opaque with thin tan cap. The smell is very fragrant with dark roast coffee and slight fruity yeast with a moderate amount of alcohol, gentle dried fruit sweetness in the smell. The texture is rich with malt and full with mild spice and moderately high in carbonation for the style with relatively high alcohol but not excessive considering its strength it is pretty gentle on the palate for being so big.

The taste is great is is thick but not syrupy it has a fruity and roasty combination of malt and cherry with light almond-like nuttiness and subtle cocoa with mild burnt malt and light alcohol in the finish. Overall I was pleased to try this and would recommend it to those who enjoy a big malty roasty ale, it is sweet but the cherry adds more in the way of acidity than pure sweet fruit it is drinkable, almost dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours thick solid dark black. Head is about a quarter finger, tan, smooth and retains nicely leaving a sold tan ring around the glass.

Smell is great, lots of nutty aromas forward with notable almond aromas. Cocoa aromas follow along with roasted chocolaty malt and a very faint dark cherry aroma near the tail end. Dark rich cherry aromas come out more as it warms.

Taste is great and follows the nose. Great cocoa and chocolate malt are forward. Nutty flavor is present however mild and a light hint of black cherries come in near the end with a very light tartness.

Mouthfeel is great. Creamy heavy body works well with mild carbonation to give this a smooth rich feel.

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Photo of fitrock2112
4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured Imperial Biscotti Break Natale into a Belgian Tulip.

A - The brew is black as midnight with a full finger of mocha head.

S - The aroma is of heavy roasted malts, smooth coffee, and bitter chocolates.

T - Delicious, this one has heavy roasted malts, bitter chocolates. Mid palate getting smooth coffee with tangy sour cherries on the finish.

M - Smooth medium to full mouthfeel, with medium to low carbonation. Just about a perfect mouthfeel for a Imperial Stout.

O - A very nice beer to have around the holidays. Recommended! Cheers!

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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 111 ratings.