by Hop Nation USA's Adam
There. It’s done. The G'n'R reference is already taken care of in the title. Now we can get to the actual review of Evil Twin’s You’re In the Jungle Baby! The latest offering from Evil Twin is a big imperial stout that does everything in its power to sock you in the mouth. Before the top is even popped on the futuristic leopard printed can, a quick scan shows that this beer means business. A listed ABV of 12% lets the drinker in on what may come. The big booze on this beer is not the headline though. Nor is the nose, which honestly, at best only gives up the inclusion of cocoa nibs in the recipe. The look of the beer doesn’t give you any help either, as the darkness of this beer still won’t give you any hints of the real danger within, let alone let light through. Admittedly, it does look nice with its big tan head sitting on top of it after a transfer out of the 12 oz. can and into your favorite glass.
Like any good jungle cat, you only know you’re under attack when it’s too late. The first sip. Holy cow the first sip. That’s when the heat reveals itself. In Episode 29(click to listen), we tried our hand at some spicy beers. One of the chief downfalls of one of the beers we tried was the lack of spiciness. It was touted as spicy, but it left us hanging. You’re In the Jungle Baby! pulls a 180 to that, and over delivers on spiciness on what I thought was supposed to be a nice little zing. I’ll blame that one on the label, who calls out the use of pasilla chilies. Pasillas are not particularly known for their heat, so not much was expected. Wrong. So very wrong. Not often does a beer make me cuss, but this one did. The heat takes hold of your throat, and doesn’t let you forget that this big cat got the best of you. It’s what takes this beer from just another spicy offering to a forerunner in the spicy beer category. I doubt that pepperheads would be disappointed by this beer.
Fortunately for those who don’t use ghost peppers for a little extra kick on their tacos, once you get used to the heat, the other characteristics of the beer do start to poke through. The chocolate notes that showed up in the sniff test break free and add a nice smoothness. Additionally, even though the beer is 12% ABV, there isn’t much in terms of booziness to be had, so this is a bit of a sneak attack beer.
Evil Twin, in collaboration with Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery of Athens Ohio, has brought out something that delivers on both drinkability and spiciness. Neither of which I was expecting when I pulled this can from the beer fridge.
4.25 Hobbes out of 5