Though the style ‘imperial porter’ doesn’t actually exist, the term certainly suits this beer best. On the dark end of the nose are chocolate, cocoa powder, coffee, and smoke, with sweet highlights of strawberry, caramel, molasses, vanilla, balsamic or soy tinged alcohol. On the tongue, lots of sweet chocolate malts up front, tasting sort of like caramel drizzled fudge. Rich dark chocolate lays it on thick. Midway, a dense sweetness settles in like molasses, and dark fruits begin to surface with an astringent sourness, reminiscent of soy sauce or port wine with shades of fruit like raisins, dates, and grapes. Herb-toned hops couple together with flavors of coffee, leaving a bitter note that escalates into a bittersweet end. Vanilla mellows things out with a good warmth. Hints of cocoa powder trail off, leaving with a dry feel. Some alcoholic ‘off–flavors’ are present, which is where those dark fruit flavors come from. This could be seen as either a major distraction, or a critical asset depending on your taste. Mouthfeel is nearly full-bodied, viscous with low carbonation, dry, sticky, and mildly warming.
There is so much fruity sweetness on the palate, it becomes the secondary focus next to the roasted chocolate flavors. Hops and their faint bitterness are almost like background noise. The focus is clearly on sweet malts, and sometimes that’s what tastes best. This is a great sipper that’s certain to satisfy your chocolate craving, and there’s plenty of alcohol to satisfy that other craving. Despite the strengths, it actually drinks with considerable ease. Evil Twin has continued to remind me that their beer is worth the money. I recommend this to those of you who love double stouts, those with a palate big enough to really dig it.