It’s almost universal that we dread sequels. Batman & Robin and Star Wars Episode I are a handful of obvious reasons why this is the case. The original is just going to be better. Evil Twin’s Even More Denmark 2014, however, is The Godfather: Part II, a sequential success.
The original Even More Denmark (EMD), Evil Twin’s first collaboration with artisanal chocolatiers Chocopologie, did not have such chronological fortune. As the spiritual successor to Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø’s world-renowned Even More Jesus imperial stout, it had big shoes to fill. EMD bore similar burly qualities such as roasted malt flavors and a thick, milkshake-like mouthfeel, but unfortunately, the chocolate was too upfront. It was like drowning your taste buds in Willy Wonka’s chocolate river.
Fortunately, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø learned. After a few weeks in the beer lab, the gypsy brewer decided on subtlety, choosing a cocoa IPA rather than another chocolate stout. This is not any sort of black IPA, as the pour reveals an amber-colored body that builds into a quarter finger’s worth of white head. Even in the nose, EMD 2014 wears the standard IPA suit proudly. Powerful aromas of freshly chopped pineapple and grapefruit dominate, although sweeter malty notes sneak their way into the aromatic mix.
Continuing where the nose leaves off, Even More Denmark 2014’s taste slaps the tongue silly with a barrage of bittersweet flavors. Tropical fruitiness from the citra hops dance around the mouth, leaving the biting aftertaste all too familiar to hopheads. Just before having to question the beverage’s dearth of Chocopologie’s trade ingredient, an M&M-like sweetness graces the lips. It’s nothing close to eating straight chocolate, but given last year’s option, it’s a good fit.
It’s a surprise that after bottling beer after beer teeming with complex flavor profiles, Evil Twin finally gives exactly what the bottle reads: a bounty of hops filled with a melted Nestlé center. It may seem a little unorthodox at first, but Even More Denmark 2014 turns out to be a harmonious meeting space for IPA and dark beer lovers around.
Brewery: Evil Twin
City: Stratford, Conn.
Style: Cocoa IPA
Availability: Limited, 22 oz. bottles