Shall one compare thee to a fair beer,
Not even this perfect porter before thou will do thee justice.
Thou art more complex, brave and cunning.
Thou have changed more than a brew will ever.
Thou may be lil’, but thy mind is greater than words can speak and beer will ever taste.
Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, founder of Evil Twin Brewing, seems like something of an independent thinker. The name of one of his beers, an imperial stout called Soft Dookie, was inspired by the brewer changing the diaper of his young son. Jarnit-Bjergsø is the brother of Mikkel Borg Bergsø, of Mikkeller fame. Industry folks have told me there's a sibling rivalry between the two.
So the quote above, written on the bottle of Lil' B, an Evil Twin imperial porter, should serve as a sort of representation of the complexity of the beer and the man who makes it. Evil Twin is a phantom brewery, meaning there is no physical brewery. The beers are made at various locations around the world. This one was made at Westbrook Brewing Company in South Carolina.
Lil 'B pours as black as squid ink. After what seems like too long, a coffee-colored head forms. You get the sense you could put this beer in your car in a pinch and make it home without ruining vital engine parts.
The beer smells of chocolate and coffee, though not overwhelmingly so. The mouthfeel is thick. Chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits (figs, raisins) are the predominant flavors, but I also get lingering oatmeal. If you weren't sitting down to read the stats on this beer, you will be shortly after: the beer weighs in at 11.5 percent alcohol. A 1-pint, 6-ounce bottle retails for around $18. I bought mine at the exceptionally well-curated Bayview Liquors in South Boston, a must-visit store for craft beer lovers.