Thursday, August 21, 2008


Ever since I read about this SIAMESE TWIN ALE from Santa Cruz, CA’s UNCOMMON BREWERS on William Brand’s beer blog, I’d been itching to try it. I guess I was – and continue to be – excited by this new push toward introducing exotic ingredients, fruits and spices in beer, and the notion of an Asian-themed ale sounded at least worth trying. There’s this other brewer up in Seattle called LAUGHING BUDDHA, who appear to be doing similar things – in fact that’s their entire shtick: high-quality, craft-brewed Asian-inspired ales (as opposed to lagers like SINGHA and whatnot). I’m totally ready to throw down with their stuff, and in fact just negotiated a highly contentious, excruciatingly-negotiated deal to “import” some of it to my house.

Anyway, let’s talk about this SIAMESE TWIN ALE, how about? I stumbled upon a can (!) – a tall boy can! – at a café (River Street Café & Cheese Shop) in Santa Cruz whilst traveling last week, and though I’m not much of a “daytime drinker”, this discovery was just way too exciting to pass up. I’m a bit chagrined to say, though – and this is with the utmost in respect & admiration for what UNCOMMON BREWERS are going for here – that it falls far more into the “curiosity” camp than it does the must-drink camp. At first you’re hit with a big whiff-n-taste of lemongrass, right like it came from your plate of Thai food rather than from the drink next to it. Definitely an “Asian” taste, so score one for the brewer.

It also has the look and the mouthfeel of a Belgian dubbel, and weighs in at a hefty 8.5% ABV. You get really bittering tastes of lime and thai spices, along with coriander as you’d find in a much more muted fashion in a witbier. It was not an easy-drinking beer, and it did not strike me as something that would be great to wash down a particular plate of food with. It struck me instead as a bold experiment that looks better on paper than it does in your mouth. Worth one try only. I’ll still drink whatever their next concoction is, just because I’m still pretty intrigued with their mission & vision & all that. 5.5/10.

1 comment:

Tonopah Slim said...

I had this at Monks Kettle last week and was blown away. Felt the spices were actually quite subtle, and as a dubbel alone it held its head high.