Grand Cru
Evil Twin Brewing

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American Strong Ale
4.32 | pDev: 5.32%
Evil Twin Brewing
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Maple bourbon barrel aged stout and barleywine style ale blend.
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Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 39 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ThaneMcC
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Woo! Saw this gem during a recent trip to a craft beer store in the great first state..Delaware
Poured from a can into a tulip- inky black, FB of khaki head that resolves quickly. Smells of roasted malts, bourbon, maple syrup- taste is sweet malty- vanilla, chocolate, wood notes from the bourbon and then some raisin, dark fruits and barley wine notes- mouthfeels is milky with scant effervescence and a little acidity to keep this sweet miss from becoming cloying.
Well hidden abv- reminds me of a smoother cbs (perhaps from the barley wine?)
So sad that this was discontinued- must return to Delaware to buy out their remaining lot...

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce can into snifter, canned in 2019. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a small fairly dense tan head with solid retention, that reduces to a minimal spotty lace cap that lingers. Minimal lacing on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, roasted nuts, and dark/brown bread/crust; with lighter notes of coconut, milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, licorice, raisin, plum, fig, date, apple, smoke, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast/toast/oaky earthiness. Minimal booze in the aromas as it warms. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready/light roasted malts, maple bourbon barrels, and light earthy hop/fruity yeast notes; with big strength. Taste of huge caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, roasted nuts, and dark/brown bread/crust; with lighter notes of coconut, milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, licorice, raisin, plum, fig, date, apple, smoke, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast/toast/oaky earthiness. Mild herbal, grassy, peppery, roasted bitterness; and bourbon/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, roasted nuts, dark/brown bread/crust, milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, licorice, dark fruit, smoke, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, pepper, and yeast/toast/oaky earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malts, maple bourbon barrels, and light earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; with a solid malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and no cloying sweetness after the finish. Lightly increasing drynss from lingering bitter/spiciness. Light-medium carbonation and very full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/slick/bready, and lightly syrupy/sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is great. Lightly increasing warmth of 12.5%, with mild lingering barrel booze lingering after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic strong ale. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malts, maple bourbon barrels, and light earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV, with the mildly bitter/spicy/drying finish. Great soft feel for the ABV, not overly boozy/tannic. Fantastic balance of super rich malts and maple bourbon barrel presence/integration; with light earthy hops and restrained fruity yeast. Not overly sweet/heavy from lingering dryness. A highly enjoyable offering, and outstanding style example as expected of the brewery.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black with a big mocha head.

Very roasty character and big bourbon presence on the nose.
A bit of smokiness and estery notes from the bourbon.
The barleywine part is not dominating
The mouthfeel is thick

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Photo of DokiDokiLitFam
4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown. Two fingers of head with medium lacing.

Nose is malt, bourbon, brown sugar. Not getting any maple like I was suspecting.

Taste is a lot more. Sweet bourbon stout right out of the gate. Getting a little maple now. And some savory flavor reminiscent of mixed nuts. Pecans perhaps? The barleywine isn't too strong. But it rounds out the stout aspect really well, making it seem lighter than your typical stout.

Small amount of carbonation. Not quite thick but not thin either. A good balance.

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Photo of lastmango
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with a two-finger dark khaki fizzy head that quickly dissipated. Light lacing. Nose is light bourbon, maple, vanilla and caramel. A very complex flavor yielding layers of bourbon barrel, malt, maple, vanilla, dark fruit, and caramel. The bourbon runs through all sips. Maple is light but noticeable. A bit of black licorice on the finish that lingers. Booze becomes noticeable right away and warms the soul. At 12.5% ABV, one has to be careful. The body is full and creamy with light carbonation. What a stunning blend of stout and barley-wine flavor and a terrific sipper! Evil Twin continues to impress the Hell out of me!

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Photo of darktronica
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pint can poured to an IPA glass. Pours black with only a thin layer of head that dissipates quickly. Leaves specks all over the side of the glass as you drink it. Bold flavors, and in contrast to a previous reviewer, I get more barleywine notes than stout--perhaps a difference in palate combined with a difference in temperature. In any case, plenty of vanilla, brown sugar, dark stone fruits, and moderate barrel character. The maple is not a huge player, which I like, but it has enough that in combination with the stout, it dries out the finish nicely.

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Photo of BB1313
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16oz can poured into a tulip. Pours almost black with a small khaki head that fades leaving decent retention and okay lacing. The aromas have a nice blend of bourbon, chocolate, maple and caramel. Some vanilla and coconut. Some dark fruits. Subtle hints of black cherry. Lots of malts. The flavors basically follow the nose. Lots of milk chocolate along with some more caramel. Some toffee in the mix. More dark fruits. Some raisins. The maple and bourbon really comes through without completely dominating. It's on the sweeter side, mostly due to the maple bourbon barrel, but it's not cloying or over the top. Strong malt backbone. Alcohol is well hidden. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's smooth and dangerously drinkable. This beer is the epitome of being dangerously drinkable.

This is a really nice brew. It's more on the stout side and less on the barleywine side, but the barleywine characteristics are there. The maple bourbon barrel comes through and really works. This one is bold, but balance is the key with this one. Nice aromas and flavors. The craftsmanship is on point. Well done. I really like it.

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Photo of CaptainHate
4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a stovepipe into a DFH tulip. Dark brown body with a normal but quickly disappearing tan head. Smell was of boozy bourbon maple sugar with a malt underpinning. The booze actually tickled deep in my nose which is strange because it's very well hidden in the taste, in which the maple is prominent along with vanilla and chocolate and other complexities bouncing off the malts. Mouthfeel got nicked a bit because the carbonation seems nonexistent but should we really split hairs on a 4.25?

I'm sorry this is a one off because they get everything right here. When I saw this at the local bottle shop it said "buy me". I'm going back for more tomorrow.

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Photo of CHickman
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black color with a foamy 2 finger tan colored head that was packed with very tiny bubbles, dissipating slowly and making a crackling sound as it left spotty lacing and foamy rings as it went down. Looks good for a blend of two strong ales which packs a 12.5% ABV.

Smells sweet with the maple syrup and oaky bourbon barrel notes striking first. That sweetness includes barrel notes, dark chocolate, rum soaked malt, bourbon, molasses, brown sugar, red wine, dark fruit like raisins and plum, grappa, toffee, light vanilla and port wine. Complex and better balanced as it warms, It's a nice mix of the rich malts.

Tastes of maple syrup, bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, toffee, caramel, red wine/merlot, dark fruits like dates, raisin and plum, molasses, grapes or currants, wheat bread, champagne, some minor piney hop accents, floral hops and then biscotti. It's really complex and the maple, bourbon and chocolate miexs well with the oaky presence, light char and piney accents. This hides the ABV well and allows the sweetness to blend with the roasty parts, which then trail off with the maple bourbon barrel sweetness. Very smooth for a 12.5% ABV, this was a treat.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter glass from the can.

Appearance: Semi thick dark brown body coming off a touch translucent with medium bubbles creating a tan head which a touch lighter than your normal light brown. Head was roughly half a finger's length with the initial pour but settles quick before first sip.

Smell: whiskey and camrale aroma which comes off strong with raisin and touch of chocolate feel.

Taste: Complex mixture of toffee, whiskey and chocolate. This beer is absolutely all over the place with touches of wood that offset the whiskey and slightly deep alcohol feel. It's literally a dessert in a glass, especially if this one is your finisher for the night.

Mouth: very sticky beer with a medium carbonation and an absolutely full body.

Overall: might be the best evil twin beer ever made, very little to none tweaking to be done what this bro. Comes off as a classic. Salud!

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Photo of Buck89
3.99/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: a chocolate brown color with a faint tan head.
Aroma: caramel with faint maple, vanilla, plum, and faint bourbon.
Taste: the bourbon is more prominent on the palate but not overbearing. Caramel, stone fruit, chocolate, and vanilla notes were all there. The maple sweetness was very restrained in a good way. The barleywine was all there on the finish.
Feel: full-bodied but not overly sweet for the size of this one.
Overall: an interesting beer. Fun but not earth-shattering.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown color with mocha head. Aroma has bourbon, toffee and some dried fruits. Taste is sweet at first with maple, bourbon and toffee, gets more bitter with baker's chocolate flavor on the finish. Medium plus body with soft carbonation. Quite good, bourbon is well integrated.

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Photo of jzlyo
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is roasted malts and nutty English malts//slight scotch. The flavor is malts, mild scotch, fruit, earthy/roasty notes and a slightly sweet/tart/warming alcoholic finish.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the tall boy can in a snifter. This lovely beast pours a
dark muddled blackish brown with some cola highlights and a
nice head of tan foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin light
swirling layer, and shows light lacing. Nose of bourbon, maple,
dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, moderate char, and dark
fruit notes with some wine elements in there as well. Flavors
expand on the nose with dark chocolate, dark brown sugars,
mild maple, rich sweet bourbon with a hint of vanilla, dark
fruit notes of blackberry and prune, and a dark coffee
mingling with currants on the rear with some oak
coming though with warming booze. Exceptional
mouth feel; full body, smooth, slick, coating, rich,
warming, low carbonation, and a rich malt forward
finish that is not so sweet that it is overwhelming.

Overall---this is excellence!


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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.39/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing opaque black in the glass with a thin brown head that quickly dissipates to patches with light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, dried plums, dates, light bourbon and a hint of maple. Flavor is similar, dark toasted malt, bourbon, maple, dark dried fruit with lingering maple and vanilla. Medium bodied with light creaminess. This tastes exactly like a blend of stout and barleywine, similar to many of the nicely blended strong ales out there, but with a distinct maple note throughout. The flavor was so mellow that it was a little underwhelming at fist taste, but the flavors opened up and got mor complex throught he taste. The maple really develops slowly, but is distinct in the finish. Beautifully blended and flavorful, the ABV is well hidden. Glad this was only a 16 oz can, it would have been too easy to drink a bomber of this. Evil Twin is great with stouts and apparently adept at blending too. Looking forward to others in the future.

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Photo of bobv
4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. can.
Moderate pour yields a 1/2 inch tan head over a black body with some lacing. Head dissipates down to a ring in a couple minutes. Nose of booze from the bourbon barrel, followed by maple, vanilla, caramel, and some dark fruit and a bit of oak. Taste mirrors nose, but with dark fruit aromas now more like dried dark fruit (cherries, cranberries) flavors. Nice feel and as it warms the harshness of the booze mellows quite a bit and this blend of Impy Stout and Barleywine becomes way more easy to drink.

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Photo of DoghouseReilly3946
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Date: Its Evil Twin, there is no date, why did I bother to check? Consumed on 02/16/19.

Appearance: Pours out a dark ruby leaning toward black color with a khaki colored head the fizzes away in seconds. Once in the glass, Grand Cru has the traditional black imperial stout look.

Aroma: A blast of bourbon and oak barrel hits the nose much harder than anticipated which is followed by raisin and dates. A little further back there are the assorted malt aromas which bring some coffee notes and roast into the fold. The maple is here but almost as a reserved component that underlines the whole beer. This smells fantastic, very multifaceted and exhibits the best elements of stouts and barleywines. The rich, sweet, and bitter aromas are very enticing.

Taste: From beginning to finish, the bourbon runs all throughout the taste. Beneath that healthy quantity of bourbon runs a mass of raisins and dates giving the beer an almost Belgian Strong Dark Ale vibe or perhaps dark red wine as well. The finish wraps things more like a lighter stout with some slightly bitter roast qualities and bourbon heat with oak that dries the beer out just a little. The bourbon heat is more warming and has no real burn or any offensive aspect to it. This beer has a sweetness to it, but it thankfully isn't overly sweet, all things considered. I'm not getting much maple yet but it is still about fifty something degrees so perhaps its coming. The mouthfeel on Grand Cru is quite heavy and has a stickiness to it, maybe there is some of that maple barrel and barleywine ale at work. When it gets closer to room temp, the whole beer melds together very well creating a well rounded barrel aged stout barleywine flavor that flows between sweet and savory with glee. The maple is really a secondary barrel flavor here, but this is a very pleasant beer and a successful mix of two distinct styles.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25


Can to goblet.

LOOK: dark black pour. big medium brown head. fades quickly and struggles to retain.
AROMA: bourbon is big and first, but softened by wood, maple, brandy. Fig and apple sit in there also.
TASTE: maple cola, bourbon. Touches of leather, dark fruits, and tobacco linger around. Very tasty.
FEEL: mostly full body; flat, sticky finish.

Very good blend.


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Photo of BEERchitect
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful, elegant, effortless and graceful, the beer that Evil Twin dubs as their Grand Cru employs the blending of two of the strongest beers of the beer family- imperial stout and barleywine. Furthermore, placing that blend in the international cheat code for beer ratings, the maple bourbon barrel aging only ups the ante on decadence.

Very dark brown with crimson edges, the dark and tawny appearance is as devilish as it is masculine and ominous. As a delicate necklace of foam mounts on the surface, the lavish scent of port wine wraps around a fruity, savory maple, chocolate and coffee perfume. As a jammy sweetness coats the tongue, its toffee, maple, brown sugar and burnt caramel flavors double down on its decadence.

Rather than any intense roast coming in stout waves, the sweet roast is akin to sugar laced espresso except with those macerated preserves flavor of the port-like barleywine. Dark fruits of grape, plum, fig and dates give the taste an earthy, nearly tobacco-like character to go along with the coffee and cocoa underpinnings. Whisky spice brings a late palate of coconut, vanilla, toasted oak and caramelized warmth to soothe the senses and satisfy the sweet tooth.

Full, sweet and continued savory favors accompany a rounded and clinging boozy sweetness deep into a long aftertaste of port, sherry and madeira; but with a caramel and chocolate covered coffee bean flavor for a taste that's not best paired with dessert but replaces dessert altogether.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maple bourbon barrel stout and barleywine blend...

Cola-colored pour looks essentially black in the glass with some translucent brown edging... Center pour didn't produce much head and within moments I had a clean glassy black surface... Got quadrupel-like aromas on the nose - lots of fig, raisin, prune, and plum - maybe a whiff of cocoa or maple or vanilla... On the sip the flavors all seemed more peer, the dark fruits were edged with maple and vanilla, with a molasses element in the background and some suggestions of chocolate and coffee... Body was medium-weight but full-feeling - not dense, but a little sticky, with no palpable carbonation... I'm not particularly impressed - reminds me of Firestone's Anniversary Ales - probably a hit or miss kinda thing when you blend beers together... I wasn't excited by it, but it was good...

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Photo of Giantsquid
4.88/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark as expected with a small head that sticks around. Good lacing
Smell is heavy maple with heavy barrel character
Taste is off the charts delicious. Maple sits on the palate but the barrel and barley wine notes keep it from registering as too sweet. It is a little sweet but very enjoyable. There’s some alcohol there too that keeps things in check.
Feel is perfect. Nice medium carbonation.
Excellent brew. Looking forward to the Evil Twin opening!

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Grand Cru from Evil Twin Brewing
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 39 ratings