Imperial Doughnut Break - Evil Twin Brewing

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Imperial Doughnut BreakImperial Doughnut Break

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1,242 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,242
Reviews: 145
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 8.59%
Wants: 124
Gots: 270 | FT: 38
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: Netdigger2 on 02-25-2013

Did the flavors of sugar and bitter sweet almonds and coffee in Imperial Biscotti Break also make you sentimental? Now we topped it off with insane amounts of doughnuts. This all time American favorite is making it’s way back into the spotlight and we at Evil Twin Brewing are not letting a tasty trend pass us by without taking it to the next level. Drink it with great gusto - Forza Doughnuts.
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Ratings: 1,242 | Reviews: 145
Reviews by macrosmatic:
Photo of macrosmatic
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. Had on-tap at Mr. Dunderbak's. Served in a goblet.

A: Very dark brown and essentially opaque. Has a thin tan ring of foam by the time it makes it to the table, and low visible carbonation.

S: Coffee, dark roasted malts, lactose sweetness, and some undertones of chocolate.

T: Follows the nose almost exactly - nice creamy coffee with good lactose presence with supporting roasted dark malt bitterness. Has a sweet milky with roast in the hang.

M: Nice thick, creamy body for a porter. The sizeable ABV is well-hidden, and fairly low carbonation sensation.

O: Well, I wasn't sure exactly what to expect going in to this. It doesn't taste like doughnuts at all (unlike the Rogue attempts). Perhaps it's a beer to have with doughnuts? Either way, enjoyable and easy to drink for such a big beer. Perhaps not world-class, but very well-done.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

It really doesn't matter what kind of game it is. Don't get me wrong, biscotti is a very nice pastry, but doughnuts win every time! Right?

Opening with a deep, dark "bark" brown color, its cocoa-rich haze keeps the ale looking lighter than black and allows for a certain rusty muck to pronounce. A thick, moussey head builds upon the beer like rich mocha lather. Strong in retention and lace, the ale simply looks like a milkshake.

Rich aromas are a balanced blend of both chocolate and coffee. Coffee house in its make up, the dense scent of latte pulls forth. If it were not for the spicy booze note that lurks in the background, the heavy whipping cream, vanilla, candied almond, over-cooked caramel aromas would have suggested java-infused milkshakes instead of porter.

Its super-creamy and full flavor is all-things-mocha. Soft chocolate flavors wcrap around nutty columbian blend coffee for a smooth and robust taste. Shying away from the roast of espresso or the bitterness of cocoa, the taste favors a sweeter and maltier balance with its caramel, cream, vanilla, almond, brown sugar and starchy brownie batter culmination. With no real "doughnut" taste present (aside from a mild powdered sugar type of confectioner's sweetness), the ale is masterfully woven together for a sultry and decadent taste. The rise of alcohol is caught somewhere between sweet bourbon and spicy rum but is obviously dwarfed by dextrin-rich maltiness.

Its silky-smooth texture is akin to drinking malted milkshakes because of its creamy body that's unwavering. As its milky texture slowly dissolves, it reveals its warm alcohol spiciness even through it's a long-lingering malty-sweet finish.

This "Imperial Porter" is fantastic in every way. With so much acclaim with the doughnut infusion, the actual taste of doughnuts are rarely noticed in the ale- a lot of imagination is required here. But the real problem with the beer is that the "Imperial Biscotti Break" came first. As that is a better ale, this one simply struggles to live up to expectations.

Photo of Roguer
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Completely black liquid topped by a huge, dense, very dark brown head. Good retention, and flat, wide lacing.

Smells like a regular - but good! - imperial stout. Chocolate and black coffee ride along with a more basic roasted barley aroma. Very little, if any, sour fruit; nothing particularly resembling a doughnut, either. There is a hint of syrupy, brown sugary, almost liquorice-like sweetness. I could fool myself into thinking this smells like a glazed doughnut, I suppose.

Thick, chocolate, sweet flavor; unbelievably so. Again, one could easily fool themselves into thinking this tastes like a doughnut, just because it's so incredibly thick and sweet. Really, it tastes like a great, sweet imperial stout: tons of chocolate (both sweet and dark); waves of roasted barley (but neither metallic nor tart in presentation); black coffee toward the back-end; a hint of banana.

Incredibly thick and chewy mouthfeel. Think: Ten-FIDY, Speedway Stout, Founders Imperial Stout. Maybe even thicker. A hint of alcohol warmth both in the mouth and on the way down. Sticky coating that lasts.

This is truly a world-class imperial stout. I instantly put it up there with the best non-BA stouts I've ever had (see: above). It's sweet enough to be a dessert stout, but not so sweet that it can't be a breakfast stout. Evil Twin puts out yet another phenomenal stout.

Photo of russpowell
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours thick as oil & black with a sliver of mocha head, there is some visible bubbles. Nice ily sheen, zero head retention or lacing

S: Dark fruit & dark chocolate, & whisper of booze

T: Dark chocolate, a little iron, licorice, molasses & charred grain & MAYBE some doughnut up front. Baker's chocolate, charred grain,& dryness as this warms. Finishes dry, slightly boozey with dark chocolate, & a little caramel, plus some coffee late

MF: Chewy, lively carbonation, thins out a bit once warm

Pretty good for what it is, but give me Biscotti Break any day. Enjoyed it, but over priced, & a little unrefined, Evil Twin I will continue to roll the dice on you, but probably wouldn't if I lived back in Colorado still

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

In a teku glass the beer was a black color with a small tan head.

Strong coffee aroma, some chocolate. A sweet background.

Very nice taste. Strong coffee/chicory. Semisweet chocolate. A bit of booze. Very sweet background.

Full-bodied. Dark and mysterious.

Very good beer.

Photo of Swongler
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap in a wine glass at Tørst in Brooklyn, NY.

A - Thick silky close-to-black appearance. Little less than a finger of head that disappeared fairly quickly. Stuck nicely to the side of the wine glass it was served in.

S - Coffee, toast, caramel, fresh dirt, and of course, glazed doughnuts.

T- Tasted a lot like a slightly sweeter Parabola without bourbon. Heavy and boozy. Slight taste of dates or prunes or raisins. A bit of toast. Slight sugary quality with a strong black coffee. Booze is decently hidden, but still apparent.

M - Thick but not hard to drink. Definitely a sipping beer. Felt great going down after a massive steak dinner.

Overall - Really good stuff. A bit complicated for an Evil Twin brew, but I think that is why I liked it. Another reviewer called it on par with biscotti break. I would agree with him/her.

Bottom line: if I saw this on the shelf of a store in California, I would pick up a bottle or two, no question.

Photo of gibgink
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

I really didn't pick up the doughnuts in this one, but still a very well done beer. I was glad I was able to try this one.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer smells exactly like a glazed doughnut with a cup of coffee nearby. It pours a deep dense chestnut brown with a tan to brown thin foam cap. The beer has legs. The palate is exceptionally creamy rich, combining coffee and chocolate at the front end with glazed doughnut gradually increasing to enter your awareness by the middle to the aftertaste. The beer has just enough roast to balance the doughnut, alcohol and malt flavors. The body is chewy, warming with a little heat on the end along with a touch of espresso coffee roast astringency in the finish. The carbonation is medium low.

Photo of dohm179
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very impressive but a little much with its sweetness

Photo of 3toes
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The Imperial Doughnut Break has been brewed for a national release (albeit extremely limited)! Brewed with 86 dozen doughnuts from Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts in Charleston, SC.

Appearance: Pours a deep black color with a tan/caramel head that dissipates moderately quickly, leaving a thin lacing for the remainder.

Smell: Typical porter notes, but not overly strong. I wish they had been more prominent, but still very good, hints of coffee, malts, dark chocolate, and a faint smell of sugary/yeasty sweetness kind of buried down in there. Tried a heavier pour on my second glass to try and release some more aromatics, but it didn't seem to change much. Again, the smell is good, just wish it was a bit stronger.

Taste: Wow... So you've got your typical porter notes up front: coffee, malts, dark chocolate... Then near the back in you get this awesome sweetness that comes through. Very distinct yeasty-baked-goods type of sweetness. Not overpowering, but it's definitely there near the backend and it just makes you want to take another taste. And another, and another...

Mouthfeel: Moderately light. This is billed as an "Imperial Porter," so you get all the strength of and Imperial, but not the thick syrupy feel of an Imperial Stout.

Overall: I had high hopes for this beer and was not disappointed. I was a bit afraid of the outcome given how let-down I was by Rogue's attempt at a doughnut beer a few years ago.

It has all of the aspects you'd want out of a dessert beer without being overly sweet or too crammed with crazy flavors that make it undrinkable. Definitely pick it up if you can find a bottle.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On tap @ Final Gravity in Roseville, CA 12/13/14

Appearance - Served up in a 11.5oz snifter with a half finger of head. The brew is black with cola brown edging. Doesn't do much to hold onto that half finger's worth of head, as it quickly breaks down to a near barren surface and a razor thin ring around the edge. Small spots of lace with little stick.

Smell - Aroma is a combination of sweet and boozy. Brown sugar, molasses and bready sweetness.

Taste - Starts sweet, than an earthy metallic character creeps into the finish, but the sugary sweetness prevails, then becomes overwhelming sip after sip until it's a cloying mess.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied with healthy carbonation. Sticky, syrupy texture.

Overall - I'd be lying if I didn't say I was disappointed with this one. A bit too sweet with a strange, metallic and earthy finish.The smell says donut, but the flavor is a mess. Nothing I'd care to have again.

Photo of spacecake9
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a beautiful brown head. This is one of those beers that straddles the line between porter and stout. The aroma is not very strong. Flavor is coffee and chocolate with a sweet edge. I don't get donuts anywhere in this beer. Overall I like it but not as much as the Imperial Biscotti Break. Evil Twin is moving up my list of favorite breweries.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Pours a dense, 1 finger dark mocha colored head with moderate retention. Beer is dense and pitch black. Lacing is thick and layered with good stick and big, oily legs. A monster of a beer.

Nose is cocoa, chocolate, fudge and a weirdly distinct breadiness. Sweet, deep and very aromatic. Nice.

Opens chocolate, fudge and cocoa. Mocha and roasted malt bittersweetness in the middle with a touch of booze and dark fruit to finish. Really sugary. Finishes with a slight bit of sweet soy sauce, coffee and fudge. Sweet and cocoa aftertaste. Not hint of "doughnut" but this is still pretty good.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth and goes down smooth and rich. Finishes messy with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. A great complement to the flavor.

Not as good as on tap but this is one delicious beer. The doughnut part is a pretty good gimmick but it certainly is different from the base beer. Worth trying.

Photo of RickS95
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Looks fab. Leaves the bottle like an oil slick. It's thick and black. An 8 ball in a glass. The brown head forms slowly, growing to just over a finger thick. It's creamy. Retention is moderate, though the bubbles never fully leave the party, leaving a thick ring around the edges. Lacing is thick and uniformly spotty.

It smells like it should...a chocolate donut. You can smell the sweet, along with chocolate, coffee, and alcohol. A little vanilla here and there. Due to the chocolate and high ABV, the scents take on a liqueur quality.

Yeah, this works. There's a marriage between the chocolate and coffee that balances the taste. Eventually the chocolate emerges, but the alcohol tempers it and keeps it in line. Bittersweet chocolate and alcohol linger on the tongue til the next sip.

For something so high in alcohol, it's amazingly smooth and creamy. It's a tad on the sweet side, but again, the roasted coffee and alcohol keep it balanced. It's heavy and full-bodied, but it's not really a sipper despite 11.5 %.

Overall, this is one of my favorites. Maybe not something to drink every night, but one a weekend would do a body good. No real faults with the beer and not much to improve. Very well put together gimmicky kind of beer.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with a big khaki head. Medium collar. Nice surface wisps.

Smell - Coffee. Sharp coffee aroma. Sweet chocolate. I don't get anything reminiscent of a doughnut.

Taste - Sweet chocolate. Caramel. Coffee. Some vanilla. Pretty tasty, really. The finish is bitter coffee.

Mouthfeel - Bitter coffee. Sweet. A little boozy. Some sharp flavors from the coffee.

Overall - I don't get the doughnut thing, but it's a good beer.

Photo of thagr81us
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

"***Brewvival Exclusive***

Biscotti Break was an early Evil Twin release, a big American porter made with toasted almonds, vanilla, and coffee beans. Imperial Biscotti Break stepped things up a notch - a significant ABV increase, more toasted almonds, more vanilla, and more coffee (this time a custom espresso roast from Charleston Coffee Roasters). IBB topped countless "favorite beer" lists for 2012, a true breakthrough favorite among beer geekdom.

While this all sounds great, Americans aren't big on biscotti. No sir, here in 'Merica, we prefer other sweet breakfast treats. Like doughnuts.

This is Imperial Biscotti Break made with doughnuts.

If you have any questions, please refer to this description from Scott, reproduced here verbatim:

"Yeah, Imperial Biscotti Break made with addition of actual doughnuts. Yeah, real, ready to eat, actual doughnuts used as an ingredient."

Had this one at Brewvival 2013! Poured by Jeppe himself! Served from tap into a Brewvival sample shaker. Poured basically black with a half finger brown head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, doughnuts, dark fruit, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, dark fruit, sweet alcohol, and (you guessed it) doughnuts. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I was a massive fan of the base brew for this one if I am honest. The addition of doughnuts really took it to a new level. This note of sweetness really binded every other aspect going on in the base brew and enhanced it for my palate. I really am glad I got the chance to try this one and plan to make my own version in my glass next time I have an Imperial Biscotti Break. Just sayin'.

Photo of larryarms847
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep black and slightly thin, but slick like motor oil and a pencil thin layer of light brown foam.

Chocolate, coffee, and donuts!

Huge chocolate and coffee flavor with a other notes of roasted malt and chocolate donuts and glaze.

Heavy-bodied, light carbonation, a bit too sweet for my taste.

Overall, while this certainly lives up to it's name, it is more of a dessert beer to share with friends or family than one to knock back alone.

Photo of morimech
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Produced and bottled for Evil Twin Brewing at Westbrook Brewing Co.

Dark rich brown color with a sizeable head that had great retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass. The fluid looks thick and viscous.

Aroma of dark chocolate, cake batter, icing, and a bit of coffee. Also alcohol is detectable but does come off as boozy.

Drinking this does not really remind me of donuts. It does remind me of a malt bill that European brewers prefer in their big, dark beers. Really sweet almost saccharine. The only thing breaking the sweetness is the alcohol. Hints of chocolate, coffee, and maybe some cherries.

Thick, rich, bold, and outstandingly carbonated. So smooth and nicely textured. Perfect.

I did enjoy this more than Imperial Biscotti Break which did not live up to the hype or label claims. This one did not live up to the label claims either but overall I thought it had more qualities that I found enjoyable.

Photo of TheSleepyMonkey
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Superb aroma, coffee, chocolate, booze. I get a ton of chocolate, hints of toffee, vanilla, very sweet but not cloying. Great mouthfeel I've come to expect from evil twin stouts. Delicious like dessert

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed from the 22 oz bomber in a Delirium snifter, this fantastic (porter?!?) imperial stout pours a thick oily black with a dark tan frothy head that slowly dissipates to a thin coating layer and a beautiful ring with frothy clinging lacing. Nose of rich roasted coffee, thick sweet dark chocolate, moderate booze with warmth, and deeply roasted malts. Flavors are EXCELLENT. Coffee and chocolate ganache compete to a strong sweet malt backbone that is not overdone. Espresso flavors win out in the end and on the aftertaste with a slick, smooth, creamy mouth feel with just the right amount of carbonation and a strong alcohol warmth that makes this a year round fantastic desert imperial stout. Awesome. A new standard that will be hard to surpass.

Photo of Bung
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz. Pretty thick looking black pour, some brown accents. Ring of off white head.

Aroma, Roasty malt, chocolate, toffee and a sugary molasses. Quite sweet.

Taste, Thankfully not as sweet. Roast malt, fudge, both big. Milk chocolate. Not as sugary as the aroma though. Dryer cocoa and coffee bitterness in the finish. Lingers very nicely.

Full body, coats nicely, alcohol non existent. You really have to search for the donut after the aroma to me. Great dessert type brew, but not over the top liquid sugar like some of the Southern Tier offerings.

Photo of gillagorilla
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Mahaffey's, poured into a goblet (4/8/14, from notes, $10, served @ correct temp.)

A: Pitch black. No head. Ok lacing.

S: Sweet roasted malt and that's about it.

T: Regular stout. Don't get a lot of donuts or even sweetness. Roasted malt and not too sweet. Not very exciting.

M: Even carbonation and prickly.

O: This was quite a let down. However, I'm glad that I got to try. Now, I only need to get my hands on some BA IBB, but that probably won't happen because it is crazy expensive.

Photo of Copernicandream
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22oz bottle into snifters.

A: Thick deep jet black, somewhat viscous pour with an initially expansive and voluminous mocha colored head head that quickly imploded leaving only a thing ring of brown foam that leaves no lacing.

S: Simple; roasted malt, chocolate, sugar, and alcohol. Based on the description expected more of a bread-like malt profile from the doughnuts. The most obvious component is a bipolar argument between roasted malt and straight-up booze.

T: Roasted malts, chocolate donuts (subtler than expected - but obvious), a little sweeter than your average imperial stout (I know this is a "porter" but it quacks like a stout). Some subtle dark fruit esters. An obvious alcohol warming on the late palate and long into the aftertaste. The donut component while mild, is unique, but otherwise this is somewhat unremarkable.

M: Moderate to thick feel with mild amounts of fine rising carbonation.

O: Let me first say, I was excited for this one and saved it for a special occasion. Unfortunately, I was very underwhelmed based on the price point. It's not a bad beer by any means, but it really doesn't stand out from an average imperial stout. The chocolate component is pretty mild and the bready malt from the donuts seems to have just been eaten up by the yeast, yielding a somewhat harsh hooch brew. I think the "donut" flavor would have been better enhanced with the addition of limited amounts of nutmeg and allspice.

Yet another good Evil Twin beer that doesn't really stand up to the price point.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a decent amount of lacing. The brew smells like roasted malt, bittersweet and milk chocolate, coffee, and some molasses. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some vanilla and doughy/bready malt. But yeah, it tastes like what I imagine a chocolate/coffee doughnut would be. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's coating and creamy with moderate carbonation. The 11.5% ABV is pretty well hidden! I think it's a pretty good overall brew, it's sweet tasting, but not as sweet as I expected it to be. There's a good balance between the sweet and bitter flavors. Definitely worth a try, I wouldn't mind picking up another bottle of this soon.

Photo of Rutager
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance. Pours pretty darn black and fairly viscous with two fingers of creamy thick brown head, moderate retention.

Smell. Dark roast coffee and almond, chocolate liqueur.

Taste. Coffee to start with a bit of that almond from the nose. Massive dark and semi-sweet chocolate takes over quickly, some grassy hops in there too. Maybe getting a touch of frosting if I look for it, but most likely my imagination.

Mouthfeel. Pretty full bodied, medium-low carbonation.

Overall. Not getting much in the way of doughnut, but a darn fine stout.

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Imperial Doughnut Break from Evil Twin Brewing
93 out of 100 based on 1,242 ratings.