It was a crisp, clear Saturday afternoon. The wife was away at a conference in San Francisco, the kids were playing in the back yard, and I was attempting to read Stephen King’s 11/22/63 on my Nexus 7 tablet as I sat on my patio. I was about two pages into a new chapter when I heard someone whistling off to my left. When I turned my head, I was greeted by a grinning Wookie that was poking his head out of his sliding patio door and waving a bottle of Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye in my general direction. He asked if I wanted one, but since it was only 2PM, I summoned up some willpower and resisted his generous offer.
About 30 or 40 minutes later, Limpd steps out his back door and starts walking across his lawn with three bottles of Lithuanian swill beer and two bottles of the fantastic Great Lakes Alchemy Hour Double IPA in his hands. As Limpd was making his way to my patio, The Wookie let out a wicked laugh and immediately walked back to his house to get some tasting glasses. It was at this point that I knew my willpower had been shattered (truth be told, I never had much willpower to begin with).
During this mini tasting session, I pretty much avoided the Lithuanian swill (just a wee sip of each) and limited myself to a couple small pours of the Alchemy Hour Double IPA (I was on duty afterall!). Once the first bottle of Alchemy Hour was finished, I decided to take advantage of the situation, i.e. a relatively quiet Saturday afternoon with no more errands to run, and ran into my kitchen to grab the can of Uncommon Brewers Siamese Twin Ale that you see in the above photo. We then proceeded to give this beer a try.
I have seen this beer on the shelf at WineWorks in Marlton, NJ on several occasions, but never bothered to pick up a can until two weeks ago. I purchased this beer because I was intrigued by the exotic ingredients and because I liked the look of the art work on the shiny silver can.
There’s a long tradition in Belgian brewing of using exotic spices to enhance a beer’s flavor. Although many have been tried, coriander is undoubtedly the king. In tribute to this heritage we present to you our Siamese Twin Ale.
It is a traditional Belgian-style Double seasoned with coriander and entirely uncommon Thai spices. At first surprising, the floral notes of lemongrass and sharper bite of kaffir lime blend with the deep malt of this double to produce a dangerously drinkable beer.
Served alongside a fiery curry or enjoyed on its own, the Twin brings a taste of the tropics to every occasion. And who doesn’t need a taste of the tropics every now and then?
Let’s find out if this beer is any good…
- Appearance: Murky, burnished copper color. Zero head or lacing.
- Aroma: Caramel flavored malt with perhaps a hint of lime off in the distance. Given that this beer is brewed with kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and coriander, I was expecting so much more from the nose.
- Taste: Very lightly carbonated. Though it tasted better than I expected given what little I got from the nose, it was far from great. Lots of caramel malt and a touch of lime. Also quite boozy! And I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but I did get a bit of an Indian Curry note in the aftertaste. Or maybe I didn’t taste that at all and it was simply the power of suggestion after reading what was written on the side of the can. I’m not really sure.
- ABV: 8.5%
When I read all of the exotic ingredients that were used in the brewing of this beer, my first thought was Ballast Point’s Indra Kunindra, which is a beer that I really enjoyed. There is nothing subtle about that Ballast Point beer! The flavors are huge, and you can pick out each and every ingredient that went into the making of that beer.
Unfortunately, the Siamese Twin Ale is no match for the Indra Kunindra. While this beer was far from dreadful (that’s how The Wookie described it), it wasn’t anything special either. Basically, it was just ok, which is a pity given all of the interesting stuff that went into the making of this beer.