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

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Imperial Biscotti Break Natale - Pretty Please With A Cherry On TopImperial Biscotti Break Natale - Pretty Please With A Cherry On Top

Brewed by:
Evil Twin Brewing
New York, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BlastBeats on 10-12-2013

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Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 973
Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is a deep dark brown, nearing black, with an oily beige head that clings to the walls of the snifter. Aromas of roast, chocolate, coffee, cherry, fudge, dark fruit. Less of the biscotti comes through in this version. Cherry character with a robust malt profile. Thick and rich with a healthy amount of chocolate. Cherry sweetness with chocolates, like a gourmet candy bar. Not up to the level of Imperial Biscotti Break. Still, tasty.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very nice beer, even if the flavors are a little different. My overall take here is of dry Scandanavian licorice complemented by cherries- which my wife thinks is a bit like cough syrup, but I like. Don't get her wrong, she doesn't mean overly sweet and medicinal, just that the licorice and cherry combo reminds her of those flavors. Not me, and everything mellows and harmonizes a bit as the beer opens up as it breathes. It ends up becoming downright silky, with a persistent fruity cherry background and roasty licorice and malt notes throughout. Quite pleasant.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours dense pitch black color with a 2 finger dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, tart cherry, toast, dark bread, fudge, vanilla, light nuttiness, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, coffee, and light-moderate tart cherry notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, fudge, toast, dark bread, vanilla, light nuttiness, light tart cherry, and roasted earthiness. Light cherry tartness/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, fudge, toast, dark bread, vanilla, light nuttiness, light tart cherry, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt, coffee, and light-moderate tart cherry flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent imperial coffee porter! All around great complexity, balance, and robustness of dark/roasted malt, coffee, and light-moderate cherry flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of KFBR392
3.41/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

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Photo of zac16125
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a snifter
no bottling dates

A: Opaque black with just over 1 fingers width of mocha colored head, which dissipates down fairly quickly and leaves zero lacing.

S: Chocolate, boozy, cherries, nutty, coffee, roasty.

T: Cherry is prominent, but it tastes like an artificial cherry flavor. I then get roasted malt and coffee, a bit of heavy cream, a nutty character, chocolate syrup, a bit of booze.

M/D: Full bodied but not thick, carbonation on the lower end of the spectrum which is appropriate, ABV is well masked, drinkability is good.

O: Overall, its good, but it doesnt have that magical perfect combination of flavors that the regular IBB has. If anything the cherry takes away from the other components. This is one case in which I certainly prefer the base beer over the variant. Still very much worth a try though.

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Photo of mjpolzin
3.89/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split with Goblinmunkey7

Consumed 5/20/14

Appearance: Deep, dark brown, heavy - pours with a thick, medium-sized tan head - fades to a wispy cap, leaves a few spots of lacing

Smell: Dark, cooked malts, chocolate, and some cooked cherries - dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, and some semisweet chocolate - some cherry skin, cherry flesh, and some chocolate-covered cherries - some caramel and some nuttiness - roasty and lightly burnt malts - definitely smells different than Imperial Biscotti Break, with the cherry flavors interacting in weird ways

Taste: Chocolate, caramel, cherries, and some cooked malts - interesting malt profile, not particularly reminiscent of biscotti (like the base beer), kind of more like a cooked cherry pastry... thing - chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel sweetness, cooked malts, roasted malts, nuts, and lots of cherries - very prominent cherry flavor, adds some sweetness, adds some fleshy, fruity flavor, works well with the other flavors - alcohol is oddly hidden and this is unexpectedly easy to drink

Mouthfeel: On the light side of full body, smooth, nicely carbonated, finishes lightly sticky but not harsh given the high ABV

Overall: Cherries are on top, and underneath, and throughout

I thought adding cherries to Imperial Biscotti Break would make it even more of a beast, but this variation is surprisingly easy to drink. Rich malts, with chocolate, and lots of cherry. But as much as I enjoy cherry, I think the original is more remarkable.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.86/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of barczar
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a tan head that dissipates into a thin ring of foam.

Dark chocolate, dark fruit, roast malt, and a hint of cherry form the aroma.

There's a strong cherry note underlying the flavor profile, which finishes fairly roasty and bitter. Chocolate is overwhelmed by cherry. There's a vanilla note in the finish.

Body is full, with minimal carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

The vanilla and cherry and off-balanced bitter roast notes put this is my least fave of the biscotti I've tried. Great beer, but great competition.

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Photo of bleeps
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jet black, with a small ring of bubbles that doesn't cover the entire beer.

Aroma is coffee with a hint of vanilla.

Taste is a strong coffee stout, with a cherry aftertaste. A small amount of spiciness or tingling lingers on afterwards. Alcohol is definitely there, but not overwhelming.

Carbonation is just right, this beer 'feels' really good as you drink it.

Overall this is outstanding. The base coffee stout is already delicious, and the added cherry is there just enough to add to the brew. Cherry can be a tricky flavor, but this is nicely done and not overwhelming.

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Photo of metter98
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a half finger high dark tan head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of dark bittersweet chocolate are present in the nose along with some hints of sour cherries.
T: The taste follows the smell and has flavors of bitter chocolates along with notes of roasted malts and hints of sour cherries. Only faint bits of alcohol are perceptible.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer drinks a little more than an American Double/Imperial Stout compared to an American Porter given its fuller body and richness of the flavors but is still extremely easy to drink considering its strength as it hides its alcohol very well.

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Photo of Roguer
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great dark brown head, good retention, solid black brew, little lacing.

Stout aroma of cacao and roasted malts. A little cream, maybe a hint of cherry.

Flavor follows the nose. Cacao and cream first hit, followed by a massive dose of roasted barley. Very delicate and mild cherry from the mid palate through the finish. Really dark, really good.

Thick and chewy feel. Full bodied, with a long finish.

This is an excellent imperial porter. It hits every wicket; it's balanced; it doesn't overemphasize any particular flavor. I think a little more cherry would help differentiate it more, but it's very good. Try a bottle.

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Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.35/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of sleepyteacher
2.09/5  rDev -49.3%
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.

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Photo of macher0
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
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 +1.5%
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 +1.2%
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 +3.9%
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 -7.3%
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 +3.2%
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%
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 -6.3%
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 -10.2%
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 +18.7%
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 bylerteck
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
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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Imperial Biscotti Break Natale - Pretty Please With A Cherry On Top from Evil Twin Brewing
4.12 out of 5 based on 973 ratings.
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