Certified Evil | Lucky Bucket Brewing Co.

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Certified EvilCertified Evil
253 Ratings
Certified EvilCertified Evil

Brewed by:
Lucky Bucket Brewing Co.
Nebraska, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Certified Evil is the result of a 2008 collaboration project with Todd Ashman of Fifty Fifty Brewing in Truckee, California and Matt Van Wyk of Oakshire Brewing in Eugene, Oregon. Each brewer set out to create a dark Belgian strong ale with their own unique spin on the style. Since the first collaboration, six new breweries have been added to the project to invent a truly unique beer. This beer is properly named Certified Evil.
The new Certified Evil recipe is more complex and interesting than the brew from 2008. This new beer blends Certified Evil aged in Cabernet barrels for one year with a younger batch of oaked aged Certified Evil. The combination makes for a vibrant yet smooth and elegant taste. The recipe also includes a wide variety of complex sugars including turbinado sugar, molasses and honey. The result is an amazingly complex beer. Truly a must try to any craft beer lover.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 253 |  Reviews: 96
Reviews by titosupertramp:
Photo of titosupertramp
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Reddish brown color. Thick two fingers of tan head leave a nice looking film and nice, but sparse lacing.

S: Pretty sweet on the nose. Brown sugar and molasses stand out in front. Roasted malts, dark fruits..there's a tart smell that you can probably attribute to the cabernet barrels or raisin juice.

T: Taste isn't quite as sweet as the nose. Sugar and molasses are still there, but everything else is in better balance. Belgian yeast, dark fruits, spiciness, orange, licorice. As this warms, the roasted malts become more pronounced. The alcohol is present, but not distracting.

M: Not quite as thick or chewy as you would expect from such a large beer, but not too bad. Just a slight burn from the alcohol.

O: For a 12.5%, this is a pretty drinkable beer. With all the trouble they took to make Certified Evil, I'd expect a little more complexity..maybe there's too much going on. Either way, this a pretty good beer that I'll likely purchase again.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of MLoxxer
3.99/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I bought a four pack of twelve ounce bottles at the local Trader Joes after seeing it listed on Beer Advocate as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Upon visiting Lucky Bucket’s website I learned that the brewer classes it as an Imperial Porter (why not a stout?). Disappointedly I decided to open the one I had chilling in my refrigerator to make room for other beers. When I first started pouring this beer I noticed that the liquid was very dark and suspected that it wouldn’t produce much of a head. So I raised the height of the bottle above the snifter so as to increase velocity and induce some outgassing. To my surprise a healthy brown colored layer of foam was produced that nearly overfilled the glass. Additionally this head produced some very nice lacing, hats off to Lucky Bucket for the nice aesthetics. This beer’s flavor is robust with a nice roasty malt start and finishes with a trace of hoppy bitterness. If you like American ales brewed in the Britannic black beer tradition this one is worth looking into. Oh and Beer Advocate you really need to re-class this beer, I have no idea why you note it as a Belgian Strong Dark, there is nothing Belgian about it.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in 2010. Darkest raisin brown with smoky apricot highlights along the edges of the glass and a thickish slice of coffee-with-cream colored foam. Barrel-aged beer of this ABV (roughly 10.0%) doesn't often impress from a head and lace standpoint. Still, not a bad looker.

The nose is too tame, especially given everything that was added to this brew. Besides the usual four ingredients: brown sugar, raisin juice, molasses, cardamom, orange peel, cabernet barrel-aging and oak barrel-aging. Warming helps just enough to pull the score to an above-average perch.

Certified Evil, first brewed by LBBC in '09, is essentially the '08 version of Collaborative Evil from Flossmoor Station, a beer that Matt Van Wyk collaborated on with the Lucky Bucket brewer (and one other). To my knowledge, that BSDA wasn't barrel-aged.

For whatever reason, the flavor profile isn't knocking my socks off, largely because the expected complexity just isn't there. On a positive note, the alcohol is expertly masked and the beer is wonderfully drinkable from an 'ease of' perspective.

As in the nose, several more degrees opens things up a bit. Despite the use of turbinado sugar, molasses, honey and raisins (website)... or brown sugar, molasses and raisin juice (label)... Certified Evil isn't that sweet. The tanginess of the citrus peel is overdone, the spiciness of the cardamom is underdone, and the red wine vinousness is just right.

The mouthfeel is not worthy of a double-digit ABV BSDA. It's only passingly creamy on the finish, isn't full enough, and the bubbles are a little on the buzzy side in the upper half of the bottle. Looking back at my Collaborative Evil 2008 review, it wasn't stellar in this arena either.

Certified Evil is my third Lucky Bucket offering and is my second favorite, behind IPA. Perhaps the ingredients list (including two types of barrel-aging) is too long. It seems oxymoronic, but simplifying things might actually result in more complex beer on the palate. Stranger things have happened.

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Photo of Icehouse57
4.42/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very nice, very complex tasting brew. I was lucky enough to try this at the actual brewery.... standing beside some old chardonnay barrels where the next batch of CE sat... very cool. For what its worth, I believe they said the ABV was 12.5%.

Appearance- Dark brown, nearly black with a slight amber hue. Slightly opaque, as I don't think this was filtered, nor should it have been, as far as I'm concerned.

Smell- Vinous, oaky, almost a raisin bread smell, without the cinnamon. A touch of molasses as the last reviewer said.

Taste- In a word... COMPLEX. NEVER have I tasted a beer with so much going on. Not in a bad way; quite the contrary. Starts out with sweet maltiness and roastiness... almost like a porter. Not as roasty or sweet as a porter... Maybe more similar to a sweet or milk stout at the beginning. That gave way to dark aged cherries....Or what I might imagine they'd taste like. Some raisin and a touch of honey character seem to be there too. Then a citrus wallop, as you can taste the Lucky Bucket IPA that has been infused into the 2009 version. Then, after the first taste, you realize you can actually pick up the citrusy hops from the IPA in the aroma as well. A truly unique beer, that is very complex. BRAVO

Mouthfeel- A little thick, somewhat silky. Despite the strong alcohol content, no burn.

Drinkability- Not as drinkable as many... but how many 12.5% ABV beers are? Still, goes down very nice...Not cloying at all. So complex, its got my taste buds waiting for another shot!

I would like to try this beer a little warmer. I had it in the low 40's... and it was still very complex. I am going to have to find it, buy a bottle, and get it at the right temp. I'd say lower to mid 50s would bring out all this beer has to offer, which is PLENTY!

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Photo of warnerry
2.98/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours dark brown with two fingers of airy light tan head. Decent retention and some lacing.

S - I swear the first aroma I got after pouring this was similar to those Wet Ones wipes, kind of soapy and chemical. Luckily, subsequent whiffs are more promising. Some raisin and plum, and herbal hop presence. Maybe some chocolate and wine. There is a lot going on, but it never really came together for me.

T - Again, many elements of a BSDA, but with an herbal hop presence, some wine, and a faint tartness. Not sure if this is in the early stages of infection, or just odd. I wish there was a little less acidity to let the fruits and chocolate shine through. Finishes with some hop bitterness. Not sure what to think of this. It seemed like after each sip I was pretty sure I didn't want any more, then a few seconds later I was intrigued enough to go back for more. Does that mean I like it? I can't seem to convince myself of that. Still, while it is not particularly appealing, it isn't bad tasting either.

M - Medium mouthfeel with some tartness and a somewhat bitter, dry finish. Seemed a little thinner than it should have been.

O - Points for originality, and some good things going on, but can't see myself wanting this again.

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Photo of bsp77
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into glass.

Appearance: Near black with nice tan head.

Smell: Molasses, honey, ripe dark fruit, chocolate and licorice.

Taste: Seems almost like a Stout at first, with chocolate and molasses leading the way. Then it gets a lot fruiter with ripe plums, raisins, dates, and licorice. Some oak, honey and light spiciness on the finish, but the ripe fruit comes through stronger.

Feel: Thick, chewy body that could use a lighter touch or some more dryness. Maybe more honey was needed to lighten and dry out the finish.

Overall: Interesting combination of a Stout and a Dark Belgian Ale. Happy to have tried it, but a little too much ripe fruit sweetness for the beer to gel as well as I had hoped.

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Photo of jaminjohnson
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of deebo
2.52/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A-One finger of tan head, that laces the glass as you drink. Black
S-Dark malt aroma. Some sweetness (molasses, brown sugar) warm spice-apparently cardamom.
T-Heavy burnt malt with a touch of astringency. Not sure if from hops or malt-lingers a bit but not overpowering. As this one warms up it becomes bittersweet and unbalanced.
M-Plenty of tingly CO2 bite. A bit thin and a touch oily. Alcohol is well hidden.
D-Lack of balance limits its drinkability for me, but I suppose that is a good thing cause it's strength is noticeable.
O-Nothing too exciting about this one. Think I'll pass on buying this again.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

The Certified evil came out of a nitro tap and was served in a pint glass. Solid black in colour and had a dark brown foam lingering on top. Smelled malty and of roasty grains, and tasted just like a malty porter. The alcohol content can really be tasted in this ale. Bitter roasted grains and hops lingered on into the aftertaste, including a distinct oakiness and a slightly sour mid-body. Complex and fun to drink.

Would I buy this beer again? Maybe.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: A black elixir fills the glass topped by a 2” tan froth that hugs the side of the glass.
S: Faint wine aromas with light roast, dark sugars, citrus, fruit.
T: This is a hop driven beer backed by rich dark sugar flavors, dark dried fruit, orange, citrus, and a little wineyness. Not a lot of coffee or chocolate.
F: Excellent creamy texture with fine soft carbonation and a medium to a little above on the body.
O: For as dark as it is, I am surprised there is nott more coffee and chocolate flavors. Easy to drink.

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Photo of Oelschlager
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of frankiepop
2.63/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My past experience with Lucky Bucket was not too exciting. This beer is excititng? Is this a quality beer? I think so. Do i like this bitter brew? Not really. I like maltier sweetness. However, this beer looks nice and has a nice faint aroma.

The flavor is quite complex and ends bitterly on the palate. Let's transitions into . It's really fizzy. That may be a benefit.

Miles Davis Live Evil cd is a good pairing !!!

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Photo of rwathree
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black and almost completely opaque. When I hold it up to light, the tiniest bit of brown shows at the top. The light-brown head is small and disappears fast, but it leaves a long-lasting lace. Love just how dark this beer is.

S: First aroma is sweet grapes; after that, brown sugar, subdued phenols. Inviting, but also threatens to be too sweet. I'd like to smell some more malt in there.

T: Nice, complex taste. Rich red wine, pleasant alcohol heat, strong roasted coffee, and a short rush of floral hops in the finish. Given the ABV, the alcohol isn't overpowering.

M: Full and creamy, with moderate carbonation.

This is a frighteningly drinkable beer. The ABV isn't listed, and I once made the mistake of drinking more than one of these in a night - not a good idea. That said, very good beer. Wish the smell was as complex as the taste, but well done.

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Photo of Rowsdower
4.75/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of bigolwilly
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of RDW
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of bpascale
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of weonfire
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of optimator705
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of DantooineBBQ
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of beerbrains
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of Eric_H
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of augustgarage
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Harriet tulip.

Opaque bistre body with a dark tan head - short but creamy and lasting; pasty lacing, superior retention.

Sour nose with burnt sugar and roast malt in the nose. The oak aging overwhelms the base malt, adding tart vinuous flavors throughout. Mild bitterness...hints of stewed fruit and (noble?) hops. Finishes tart and somewhat smokey.

Medium-full bodied, effervescent, and chewy mouthfeel.

I wasn't expecting a "sour," though this crosses into that territory. Complex, but maybe more interesting than pleasant.

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Photo of andesite83
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lucky Bucket "Certified Evil"
12 oz., no apparent freshness date

Woah! I was told this was a Belgian golden strong ale but I was misled! Let me take a look at the label... ... ... "a dark, ominous and oak aged creation..." - well that's just my style :) Let's see...

It pours an opaque black body beneath a dark-tan, chocolate head that drops shortly and leaves little lace behind. Hmmm, that could be disappointing... I'd like to see a better head on it.

There's chocolate in the aroma, and a little bit of fruit: cherry, apple, and perhaps date; all atop a solidly dark-chocolate maltiness that's sprinkled with coffee-like roastiness and cocoa.

Quite often, the flavor of most beers simply mimic the aroma, and that's the case here except that it's amplified - this is one rich beer! Fortunately, it's not overdone. It teems with dark malt chocolate and near-coffee, but it doesn't become overpowering - perhaps because the malt base is kept in check: it's medium-full / full-medium in body but still fermented through, and dry. It delivers a little bit of yeast in the nose, along with and followed by the roasted coffee and dark chocolate notes that are slightly accented by a light sugary note. Hops work their way in, but they can gain only equal footing at best, mainly appearing across the middle and then mostly in the finish, which is dry, chocolatey, woody, somewhat roasty, and threaded through with bright red berries and a gently vinous note. Wow! Nice finish - this is where it's complexity lies. As it fades, it becomes darkly bitter and acidic, showing a lot of its oak, but also brightened by its fruitiness (which saves it from going too far to the dry side).

An impressive strong dark beer that packs a whollop! I'd suggest you let it warm up slightly to get the most out of it.

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Certified Evil from Lucky Bucket Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 253 ratings