There was a Sawdust City Brewing Co. tap takeover going on during a recent visit to east end Toronto standout The Only Cafe. As I'm a longtime fan of Sawdust City's excellent Lone Pine IPA, the pride of Gravenhust, Ontario, I jumped at the chance to try a pour of Twin Pines Imperial IPA, it's big, bad relation. According to the Sawdust City website, this chunky IIPA clocks in at 8.8% alcohol and 88 IBUs.
Twin Pines arrived with a hazy, slightly rusty orange look. It came covered with a thick and very persistent cream head. It had a boisterous nose that blathered on about grapefruit, tropical, and bitter notes. Full bodied and boozy, Twin Pines had a formidable flavour--at times too sweet, but building to a dank, resinous "hopsplosion." There were juicy citrus notes, but it was really the sticky resin that made me sit up and take notice. Unlike Line Pine, there isn't a heavy focus here on evergreen notes, though it does appear as a whisper.
Twin Pines lacked the artful modesty of its Lone Pine forebear, but it certainly packed a heady punch and a ton of flavour into a pint of ale. Another beaut from one of the under appreciated, under the radar, bright lights of Ontario's always improving craft beer scene.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10.