Several weeks ago, I was invited to The Alemonger’s hacienda for a bit of beer tasting and beer trading (I brought back some beer from Maine, and he brought back some beer from Tennessee). In addition to the beers that we sampled that night, he also gave me a couple bottles to take home. One of them was Prism Brewing Company’s Love is evoL, a beer brewed with strawberries and jalapeño peppers.
When he handed me this bottle of Love is evoL, he didn’t tell me anything about it. He usually gives me a bit of background, or at least tells me whether he actually liked it or not. This time around, I got nothing! All I had to go by were the not so random words that were printed on the label. While I’m no stranger to funky beer ingredients (I’m looking at you Indra Kunindra!), the strawberry and jalapeño pepper combination had me a bit concerned. It was almost as if The Alemonger’s lack of Craft Beer commentary was his way of saying, “Here you go. I dare you to drink it!”. To that I say, “Challenge accepted!”.
Before I get to my review, here is a bit more information about this beer taken directly from the Prism Brewing Company website:
Some say that Love is evil. We say if you spell love backwards its evol. Our brown Ale represents that notion with the love of strawberries and the evil nature of Jalapenos. Leaving some seeds in and some seeds out we balance the spiciness and flavor of the Jalapenos which meld well with the acidity of the strawberries. Using earthy English hops combined with some traditional American ones we’ve created something special for your tongue. So don’t be shy, and tell us… did you find love or evol?
- Malt Bill: Special Pale, Wheat, Light Crystal, Cara-8, chocolate, & Black
- Hops: Northern Brewer
- Technical Details: #We add 100 pounds of strawberries & 10 pounds of Jalapenos
They certainly put a lot of stuff into this beer! Let’s find out if all of this effort was worth it…
- Appearance: Murky brown color with a hint of redness when held up to the light. Thick tan foam that tops out at about an inch. Settles down to an eighth of an inch which lingers for quite awhile.
- Aroma: Smoky jalapeno pepper is front and center followed immediately by a distinct strawberry jam scent.
- Taste: Creamy mouthfeel with a bit of fizzy carbonation. Very malty with just a hint of hop bitterness. The strawberry flavors show up at mid-palate, but they’re not as sweet as I was expecting. I’d say they were lightly tart with just a hint of sweetness. The jalapeno makes an appearance at the finish and adds a spicy tingle to your tongue and gums. There’s also a touch of peppery smokiness in the aftertaste.
- ABV: 5.5%
I don’t know if it’s because my expectations were set really low (I thought for sure that this beer would go the way of the Lancaster Strawberry Wheat, i.e. that it would suck), but thankfully I was pleasantly surprised, and found Love is evoL to be quite intriguing. My favorite part is the jalapeño pepper flavor that shows up at the end because that mild spiciness kept me going back for another sip to see if the heat would intensify as I reached the bottom of my glass. My only real complaint is that I wish it were a bit more hoppy since I think that would have brightened up the fruit flavors a bit more. Other than that, I found Love is evoL to be an interesting diversion.