Now that summer has finally settled in, beer aficionados all around (notably the fans of the dark and malty side of the beer spectrum) are now seeking out new, seasonally appropriate beers. Sweat-inducing temperatures have made drinking stouts practically unimaginable, but bright and hoppy beers like ales and IPAs often times just don’t cut it for stout lovers, coming across as subpar compared to the flavor and complexity captured by their darker brethren. Fortunately, Evil Twin has a beer for such a predicament: Molotov Cocktail, an imperial IPA that practically oozes complexity.
At first sight, Molotov Cocktail fits the cookie-cutter description for the typical imperial IPA. Light on its effervescence, the beer pours heavy and thick, almost syrupy, with a dark amber tint. The former qualities resonate with Evil Twin, which is notable for its reliance on all things imperial. However, the beer shows its IPA side in its nose, with citrus notes that recall idyllic summer vacation days spent playing in the grapefruit groves down South. You have those memories too, right?
Contrary to the bottle’s description, the beer doesn’t pack that much of a hop-fest. This is not such a bad thing. Focusing the brew’s flavor less on the hops actually makes Molotov Cocktail stand out beyond the confines of a hop-driven experiment. The taste begins first with sweet citrus and floral notes, coupled with a big honey flavor that kisses the tongue. Just before falling into a disgusting sugary mess, a flash of the bright and hoppy bitterness all-to-familiar with IPAs bites down, cutting through the sweetness. It’s kind of like the opposite effect of sucking on a Sour Patch Kid. When the bottle clangs on the table a final time, with that sad sound of emptiness, you’re left to enjoy the hoppy aftertaste that is enveloped with a mild sweetness.
Although imperial IPAs often find themselves categorized with double IPAs (double the standard ABV), this beer boasts an even heftier alcohol content (13% ABV). However, the characteristic sharpness that usually comes with such an abundance of alcohol slips past you almost completely unnoticed.
Regardless of whether you’re simply a stout lover seeking an alternative to satiate your needs during these hotter days, or simply trying to get a bit more adventuresome with your beer selection this summer, Molotov Cocktail is definitely a worthy contender. Just be careful when going for seconds, as it isn’t surprising to find yourself already a bit buzzed from your first Molotov Cocktail when reaching for bottle number two.
Brewery: Evil Twin in conjunction with Two Roads Brewing Co.
City: Stratford, Conn.
Style: Imperial IPA
Availability: Year round, 12 oz. bottles