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Imperial Biscotti Break Bourbon Barrel Aged - Evil Twin Brewing

Not Rated.
Imperial Biscotti Break Bourbon Barrel AgedImperial Biscotti Break Bourbon Barrel Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.

98 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 98
Hads: 1,255
Avg: 4.52
pDev: 27.43%
Wants: 605
Gots: 343 | FT: 47
Brewed by:
Evil Twin Brewing visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: james582 on 11-07-2013

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (104) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 98 | Hads: 1,255
Photo of BigPlay1824
3.34/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

First review I've done in well over a year so I'm sure I'll be a little rusty but here goes nothing

Served in a snifter at about 60 degrees. Purchased the bottle for $45 at Grand Central

A: pours out a motor oil completely opaque black. Pours with a rather vigorous head that is milk chocolate in color and is comprised of very fine bubbles which begin to fizz away and dissipate rapidly. Leaves scattered lacing around the glass
S: the smell is very multidimensional. It begins with a deep sweetness like that of real maple syrup but just a little deeper. Then comes in the expected bourbon notes of woods and mainly booze. There is an underlying sweetness that is reminiscent of dr. Pepper. Pretty minimal on malt sweetness just because it is such a big beer
T: the first thing you get in the taste is the sweetness I had mentioned before. The bourbon comes in next where is is backed up pretty strongly by woody and slightly smoky flavors. There is a lingering taste in the mouth of bourbon, not necessarily bourbon of the highest quality but I would almost equate it to the aftertaste from a shot of Jameson.
M: this is where I feel this beer falls short. It's an overall slick mouthfeel with a bit of substance. I know with beers this high in ABV mouthfeel sometimes falls by the wayside but I've had plenty of imperial stouts with more substance to them than this. I would like a bit of a creamier and thicker mouthfeel. There is absolutely no alcohol burn which, I must admit, is nice.
O: it's a decent enough beer but, after all the hype I've heard surrounding the original biscotti break, I had much higher expectations. Would I pay $45 for this again? Not a chance in hell. Would I pay $15? Yes, and that's about as high as I would go. If you've got the pocketbook to buy a beer like this, pass it up and buy multiple $15 bottles instead, you'll be much happier.

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Photo of BrownNut
3.8/5  rDev -15.9%

Similar to the non barreled one, the smell is woody with a bit of coffee roast, only more coffee and chocolate this time. A hint of bready unlike the other, but just a hint. When I do a really aggressive pour to get some head, I get a milky garbage smell on the end of that woody smell. When the head is gone, so is that smell. Milky garbage?! WTF! Later it smooths out into an almost clean fruity smell along with a kind of malty sugar syrup Sugar Smacks cereal smell

Thinner than expected but a bit thicker than the non barreled one.

First taste is balanced between a the woody note from the aroma, a little bready something, a little chocolate, and a hint of nickel. Later it's more coffee and chocolate.

I get zero bourbon and no more wood than with the unbarreled one, which wasn't supposed to have any in the first place, and not a good wood but a weird green one. If there is supposed to be any of the namesake biscotti flavour in this, I'm not getting anything recognizable, though unlike the unbarreled version there's at least a hint of breadiness.

I almost never pour anything out, but given that this was a bummer and given that it had some really odd things about it and given that I was otherwise just bored with it, I just wasn't motivated to finish it and poured out about the last quarter of it. That's the absolute last result I expected from this beer of all beers. I've looked forward to this for so long.

I had heard wonderful things about this but it's really nothing special as imperials go. Disappointing. Had I not had any idea what to expect, I'd have said it was "OK ". It has some basic positives going on, but it is memorable more for its flaws.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.9/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard unbranded pressure cap acquired from a local bottle shop and served into a Guinness stem-goblet glass in me parents’ gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado during my annual Christmas tasting. Reviewed live. Expectations are extremely high; I loved imperial biscotti break. 11.5% ABV confirmed. 2013 vintage. Reviewed as an imperial stout because the label clearly identifies it as such.

Served cold – straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with biscotti.

A: No bubble show forms as it’s poured.

Pours a half finger wide head of gorgeous khaki colour. Good thickness and creaminess. Smooth consistency. Soft complexion.

Body colour is an opaque dark solid black. No floating yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it’s a very respectable appearance for the style. I’m really looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Coffee/java/espresso, chocolate malt, dark malts, dark chocolate, light cream, caramel, cream, chocolate milk, and faint roasted barley.

No alcohol, hop character, or yeast character comes through.

T: Dark malts, caramel, chocolate malts, dark chocolate, luscious milk chocolate, vague light coffee/espresso, bourbon (great vanilla and oak), biscotti - sure, and light wood.

Alcohol is buried. No yeast character or hop character.

Extremely balanced. Build is gestalt, with few flaws. Great depth of flavour. Ideal duration and intensity of flavour. Fantastic complexity and subtlety. A nuanced and intricate brew. Incredibly tasty.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and creamy. Great presence and body. Perfect weight on the palate. Very soft. Almost delicate. Feels custom-tailored to the flavour profile.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or rough.

Dr: I'd definitely get it again. Great stuff from Evil Twin - maybe his best work. Incredible execution. As McDonald's would say, I'm lovin' it. I'm very impressed. He's giving Mikkel a run for his money in classic Evil Twin fashion. Very drinkable stuff. I could easily kill a bottle of this alone.


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Photo of jws6w7
3.97/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

one of the most overrated beers ive had yet. it was solid, but nothing special. there are many, many stouts, regular and ba, that are better than this.

Good beer, I am glad I got to try once. Ridiculously over priced however, for such an underwhelming beer.

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Photo of timc100
4.06/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice barrel aged imperial stout. The coffee, chocolate and bourbon work well together but lacks richness compared to many others on the shelf. Very smooth, medium bodied not very viscous or heavy, rounded flavors and a medium finish.

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Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out with a fudge brown colored liquid; even with a hard pour, not much head is raised and the bubbles quickly pop and fade; quite leggy, however, with streaks of mocha dots line the chalice

Smell: Dark chocolate, coffee, toasted almond, oak, vanilla and Bourbon

Taste: Very roasty, with chocolate and coffee flavors dominant, up front; in the middle, the Bourbon barrel adds another dimension, bringing vanilla and oak; the almond "Biscotti" arrives, after the swallow, bringing with it a sweeter edge that lingers into the finish; boozy and big

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation; warmth in the gullet

Overall: Of the three in this series that I have tried so far, I prefer the lighter bodied cherry version; this one is big and bold and will take some time to mellow out; a good beer but not worth anywhere near the price it commands at the bottle shop

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Photo of aleigator
4.09/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a viscous, motor oil black color, with a small mohagony head, fading to a small lacing at the edge of the glass. The head yields huge bubbles, turning to decadent alcohol legs after swirling.

Smells of moldy bitter chocolate, tons of fudge, a whiff of caramel and tobacco, tied together by a huge amount of roasted malts and bourbon soaked wood bark. While the Bourbon doubtlessly has a hot sting to it, it is well entangled into the beers soothing, rich malt qualities, creating a nutella like creaminess, as for a subtle hazelnuts layer on top.

Has a low carbonation, leaving the spotlight on the beers full body, revealing a stunning creaminess, creating a silk mouthfeel, despite the hot Bourbon burn during the finish.

While it begins earthy, with a profound roastiness to it, the beer develops a pungent, bitter dark chocolate character, mellowed by whipped cream and marshmellows. This balanced impression helps toffee, fudge and wooden vanilla to come up, while a tongue numbing sharpness follows immediately, once matured, dry oak hits the tastebuds. Profound Bourbon punches at the back of the throat for a short glance, producing a dry peak, balanced by mellow toffee, molasses and fresh brewed espresso. Leaves the palate as silk as during its beginning, while finishing way sweeter, to tame the very prominent, spicy Bourbon.

There is a bit of an ambivalence going on in this for me. The beer produces a fantastic, utmost smooth mouthfeel, finding its antagonist in the equally profound Bourbon, which almost creates a certain harshness, numbing my palate. The same is true for a nutella like sweetness on the one hand, and dark bitter chocolate on the other. This beer is extreme. I find it astonishing that it is still able to exhibit a convincing balance, resulting in a sipper you can wrap your head around the whole evening.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.18/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with a nice khaki head. Reddish tinge at the edges.

Smell - Light bourbon, but nice. Oak. Lots of chocolate. Coffee.

Taste - Coffee is stronger. Lots of chocolate. Bourbon blends nicely. Bitter and roasty in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Bitter and roasty. Medium body.

Overall - Really nice. The bourbon barrel, to its credit, doesn't mask the great flavors of the base.

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Photo of stakem
4.19/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber into a snifter. The brew appears black in color with a dark brown head that is quick to fade leaving some spotty lace on the glass. A swirl revives a few bubbles.

The smell is tangy with bourbon. More whiffs reveal licorice, oak, caramel, toffee and roasted grain to char like earth. Overall a pleasantly complex aroma with the bourbon being bold but not dominating.

The taste includes plenty of roast and some tangy bourbon forward alcohol. Mid-palate are flavors of oak, licorice, coffee and dark raisony alcohol. A touch of toasted coconut is present in the finish which is really nice.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is nice and I appreciate the opportunity to try it but I really believe I actually prefer the base beer more.

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Photo of pants678
4.22/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black with brown head.

Bourbon and cookie dough, one of the better noses, really.

Bourbon's more backseat flavor, notes of amaretto and oak. Vanilla? Maybe. Dialed back version of the Doughnut Break and with a cookie twist. Robust but not a shock or punch to the mouth. Could stand to be more forward. Not worth $30, IMO.

Stout, not a porter. Not particularly smooth, has a good edge to it.

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Photo of spoony
4.24/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 650 to a snifter. (I edited my "rating" based on notes taken during this review).

A-The beer is dark, but not quite black in color. The head is thin and very dark dark brown. Retention is minimal; just a few seconds before it fades to a collar. The beer shimmers in the light and doesn't reveal much carbonation.

S-The aroma is a bit hot and harsh at first, with lots of bourbon heat and fusel alcohol coming through. My schnoz soon adjusts and I sniff hot fudge, drip coffee, raspy oak, caramel, a touch of cream, vanilla, marshmallow, some raisin, and a bit of bitter almond. Complex, but hot.

T-The taste is similar to the smell: lots of bourbon barrel here. I get oak, vanilla, caramel, a touch of cream, some fudge, raisin, fig, as well as bitter coffee grounds and almond on the finish.

M-The feel is thick and slightly syrupy on this older bottle (at least a year in my cellar). Carbonation is lower than average.

O-I had tasted this before and really loved it, but this full review left me a little less blown away. Don't get me wrong, this is a very, very good beer with layers of flavors, but I found it too hot and aggressive to compete with my favorite beers in this style, e.g., Uncle Jacobs. I guess I like my bourbon barrel stouts to have more smooth character and I think that the adjuncts here multiply the bitterness and harshness that the style typically possesses. Anyway, glad I finally pulled the trigger on drinking my bottle.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.25/5  rDev -6%

Smelling lots of oak, tobacco, almond, bitter chocolate sweetness. Getting vanilla, chocolate, bourbon with only a whisp of sweetness. Super smooth and dry. Really awesome. Could be a touch thicker.

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Photo of Flight317
4.25/5  rDev -6%

After having the original and bourbon versions they are both pretty tasty. Both sweet as can be to mask a high ABV. When it's out of the refrigerator you get a lot of the sweet flavors like some vanilla, chocolate, coffee like flavors. As it warms SOME bourbon comes out with some dark fruit flavors and a bit more of a booze flavor. This one goes down very easy but I wish I got a bit more from the barrel. I don't like bourbon by itself but I've come to appreciate it in my stouts and this one doesn't deliver as much as I'd like. I'd drink it again but not going to make my top 5 by any means.

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Photo of cbutova
4.26/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Stoutfest IV reviews dump.

Thanks for holding this bottle for me Kimbozz. Probably like 8 months old; 2014 most likely.

A- Pitch black pour from the bomber into six glasses for Stoutfest IV. A nutty light brown, foamy head rises up to a finger with decent retention. Small-ish ring drops spotty lacing.

S- Rich and dessert forward like the original but with a medium Bourbon barrel influence. Toasted almonds, deep fudgey chocolate, slight cherry-truffle, deep roast coffee and the barrel. The wooden vessel leaves a peppery whiskey, light vanilla and deep toast wooden feel.

T- Chocolate, biscotti, Bourbon and big malts combine to make some sort of truffley dessert brew. The whiskey and barrel flavors really get strong at this juncture with hot Bourbon, caramel, vanilla sweets and old wood. Buttery toasted almonds, cherry dessert, deep bitter cocoa powder, charred barley, slight whiskey sour and fudge.

MF- Big body but actually somewhat thinner than I would imagine probably due to the massive ABV and the added barrel whiskey. Medium high carbonation and a slick frothy texture. Finishes rather warm.

The classic dessert-esque Biscotti Break flavor with large portion of whiskey at least in the flavor. To me the combination is very well done and it almost tops the original.

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Photo of lewzer99
4.31/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: pours pitch black, with a thin short lived head
S: some chocolate, a lot of bourbon
T: delicious, chocolate, a lot of caramel, oak notes, some pitted fruits and some bourbony booze. Complex, but drinkable
M: medium bodied, and a little syrupy
Overall: terrific, a truelly great stout. Only not incredible part is the nose.

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Photo of mynie
4.34/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap (!) at the Beer Hall/Lava Lounge in Waterloo, Iowa. They also claimed, inexplicably, to have a keg of Prairie's Bomb! in the back, but I wasn't able to use my massive beer sway to get them to tap it.

Pours dark. Yep.

Smells dark and boozy. Lots of chocolate, coffee, bourbon and cologne. More burny than anything, and while it packs a mighty and enjoyable wallop there's no real defining trait that sets it apart from the approximately 35,000 other high ABV barrel-aged stouts that have recently flooded the market.

Tastes, very near the same. A nicely intense rush of several degrees of blackness. But, again, nothing you can really hang your hat on. It's still very enjoyable and very competently brewed, though.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle from the recent 2013 release, poured into a Darkness goblet last night, 12/7/2013.

Pours a oily black body, not super viscous appearing but is quite opaque. Minimal mocha head, not much retention nor lacing.

Nose is sweet milk chocolate, coffee that's somewhere between fresh and stale, baked almonds and a generous amount of barrel vanilla. Phenomenal. Not much of oak barrel in the nose. The vanilla is a winner here.

Flavour profile is fairly nutty, with a nice bit of cocoa and coffee bitterness. It does resemble a piece of biscotti dipped in bourbon first and then dipped in dark chocolate. Quite a bit less vanilla flavours than in the nose. Overall profile is something that I haven't tasted in a lot of other barrel-aged stouts.. not necessarily better, but certainly different.

Decent body- medium-full bodied biased towards medium, enough carbonation to enjoy the beer. Sipper because of the flavours, but not because of any heat- its not hot at all.

Enjoyable, interesting BA stout. Its worth trying once especially if you're a fan of the regular IBB.

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Photo of mothman
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Almonds, toffee, caramel, amaretto, bourbon, and oak. Very warming, but not hot. Vanilla. Chocolate and cocoa. Coffee and roast in the finish. Very solid offering.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%

Poured from the 22 oz bottle into a snifter glass.
Pours jet black, little to no head.
Smells of light bourbon and deep dark roasted malts.
Tastes like coffee a touch of chocolate and a lot of roast.
Finishes velvety and smooth.
A drinkable big Imperial Stout. Delicious!

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The first batch that I had of this beer was overly barrel heavy and strong on the soy sauce nose and flavor.

The second batch was far better, integrating the sweetness of the base beer with the positive characteristics of the barrels it aged in.

The most recent bottling was a much better beer. Fortunately, this was the batch I purchased additional bottles of during a local sale.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.35/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

hard to imagine regular imperial biscotti break improving much. its truly one of the better examples of the style around, and unique enough to be picked out of any crowd of beers. this bourbon edition adds another layer or two of flavor to an already insane beer, and makes the mouthfeel as good as any beer out there. the beer seems shinier than i remember it, radiant in a globe glass, with a clean separation between head and beer. in addition to the cookie-like malt character and heavy barley roast of the base beer, this version has quite a bit more vanilla to it, fresh beans, warming. it also has a little higher alcohol presence than i remember in the base beer too, not sloppy or hot, but just more sturdy. the flavor explodes vanilla, chocolate, licorice, cocoa powder, hot tar, birch tea, chocolate covered espresso beans, and even dried figs. its not as messy as it sounds though, each element well integrated with the next. oak and warming alcohols round it out, smooth as they come. so much body, its almost syrupy, but it somehow finishes clean for what it is, slippery rather than sticky, an uncommon and unexpected feature, but a memorable one. a bottle to share for sure, and one to savor, as it certainly opens up with temperature. maybe a bottle to cellar too, but i cant see it improving much, what would you want to change about it? some of evil twins best work here, no doubt about it.

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Photo of TWStandley
4.36/5  rDev -3.5%

Poured from the bottle into a tasting glass.

Appeared a thick, oily black color with a light brown head that disappeared quickly.

Smells of roasted malts, dark chocolate and alcohol.

Tastes like a melted Hershey's special dark. One of the most chocolate dominant beers I have had. Quite delicious and very rich.

Mouthfeel is thick and velvety. A bit of heat on the backend.

Overall this is a delicious dessert stout. Awesome.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.36/5  rDev -3.5%

Bottle in trade. Excited for this one. Pours thick, viscous pitch black with a little more than a finger of dark brown head that settles creamy espresso colored. Beautiful aroma of anise, roast, chocolate, bourbon, coffee, vanilla, caramel. Flavor is very sweet as expected, with a surprising amount of anise/licorice up front, chocolate covered raisins, some coffee roastiness, bourbon, molasses, light vanilla, and some definite oxidized metallic flavors. Bourbon is very smooth, and the booze here is extremely smooth. Huge body, beefed up even from the base version, with medium low carbonation. Everything about this is really nice, but the metallic note is more present than most any other beer I've tried, and that makes me sad because it does take away from the rich dessert flavor that is in here. Don't get me wrong, it's really good, but I would like to try this again some time, hopefully with a bottle that doesn't have these qualities. I think it would push up the score a good .4-.5 points and putting it in the truly world class category for me.

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Photo of smitty4657
4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Great pour - little thick with a light brown foam. Nose is even better - chocolate, a bit of bourbon, mocha. Taste is fantastic. Rich and thick, the alcohol is masked well and the chocolate, vanilla, cookie dough flavors are delicious. One of the best beers I had in 2013.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.38/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a MadTree snifter. The pour is very black and viscous with about a finger of light brown head that quickly gets swallowed up by the rest of the beer. I get lots of rich malt and bourbon notes on the nose. They complement other aromas of dark chocolate, oak, and vanilla.

The beer has a full body, a slick, oily feel, and an exquisite flavor. Loads of sweet malt, milk chocolate, and toffee flavors greet you up front. I find that the oak notes from the barrel seem to arrive before the bourbon notes do, lending some vanilla and caramel-like flavors to the hodgepodge of sweetness before the bourbon does its thing. It charges in (like it does), but never gets out of control. It blends with all the sweet notes and provides alcohol warmth and boozy richness to the flavor, bringing to mind an after-dinner liqueur. A hint of dark fruit tinges the flavor (possibly also a hint of coconut) and joins the bourbon and chocolate on the finish. Not what I would call dangerously drinkable. It's more of a sipper. Oddly, the feel seems thin under all that sweetness, but it's still fairly creamy.

I was always under the impression that the standard Imperial Biscotti Break was a very sweet, coffee-flavored imperial stout. I found that beer to be quite well-balanced and not intensely sweet at all. Now THIS beer (the Bourbon barrel aged version), is very sweet indeed. I don't get any coffee out of it at all, but I do get loads of toffee, chocolate, and bourbon and those flavors play very nicely on my palate. I'm not going to drink this whole bottle in one night. I'm going to enjoy it over a few nights and evaluate it each time. I hope Evil Twin makes this stuff again (and again and again!). Definitely worth seeking out. Pick this up if you find it.

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Imperial Biscotti Break Bourbon Barrel Aged from Evil Twin Brewing
98 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.