Route of All Evil Black Ale

Route of All Evil Black IPA
Six Pack, $12.49++, 7.5%

Purchased at Maximum Beverage, West Hartford

2rTerrifying. This beer is terrifying. Oogity boogity boo.

Okay, not really, but if you were to pour this into a glass sitting on a nice wooden table or a new white tablecloth, you are doomed… Doomed to hell.

The Route of All Evil Black IPA is way overly carbonated, with big, giant, frothy bubbles that seem to grow like those black “snake” things we had as kids. The foam is brown and foamy and rather gross looking. Like pure Santorum, I tells ya.

So as I waited an hour for the foam to subside, I read the bottle:

Two Roads says:

“Experience the DARKER side of Two Roads. A Two Roads ale that will HAUNT you 4 Ever! CRACK OPEN! A journey into darkness. TASTE! What happens when GOOD BEER TURNS EVIL! DRINK IN! The darker side of winter!”

Oooookaaaaay. Not their best effort – from a brewery who has done and exemplary job of labeling and naming over their short history. (Then again, if they were referencing the ruination of your carpet or table due to the over-carbonation, then yeah, spot on!)

BigHeadI remember a time, oh, about a year ago, when “black IPA’s” were rare and weird. Now? Now I love them. I love Firestone Walker’s Wookey Jack and I love 21st Ammendment’s Back in Black. I’m such a name dropper, I know. And I can’t wait for locals NEBCO or Beer’d to try their hand at the black ale style.

For me, the balance of the hops and the malts in black IPA’s are one of the best things in beerdom. And with Two Roads, let’s be honest – their IPA’s are just above average and their maltier beers, like Henry’s Farm, are not even that good.

So yeah, label writer, I did approach this beer with trepidation. (Sidenote: I also approached it with a certain sense of annoyance. Two Roads hyped its release incessantly, strongly implying that if you didn’t race out and buy it TODAY, it would be gone tomorrow. I found this absurd for a number of reasons, and like the jerk I can be, spent months tweeting about its continued existence at my local package store. Let’s just say that when the flowers were blooming five months later, Route of All Evil could still be had – from the discount pyramid.)

Once the foam became manageable, I drank. And wow, I really liked the beer. The pine/citrus notes were there, but so were the malts and deeper flavors. There was a slight off chemical note, but it was well-hidden behind the profile of a classic black ale.

I was actually happy to have an entire 6-pack of the stuff, even if the $13+ I spent on it was probably a buck or two too much.

In the end, and despite the absurd amount of head and lacing, I’d put Route of All Evil in the top 3 or 4 Two Roads efforts.

Overall Rating: B+
Rating vs. Similar style: A-

Two Roads Brewing Company
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