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Two Roads Route of All Evil

November 26, 2014

A few years ago, when they first started cropping up with any sort of frequency, Black IPAs (or Black Ales, or American Pale Ales, or whatever people want to call them) were a fun sort of treat. A unique product of the American craft beer community that blended a love of hops with roasted malt and any number of other flavors to create something distinct and intriguing. Nowadays though, it feels like every brewery has one, and they all have that similar pine-and-chocolate flavor. Being a fan of Two Roads, I was intrigued by the Route of All Evil but can tell you now it’s a pretty straightforward beer.

It pours the traditional black color with a fluffy white head that lets you parse out that this is a dark IPA and not a stout. The scent is mostly composed of piney hops with a touch of milk chocolate. The stout heritage comes through with a creamy mouthfeel and thick body, which is slightly heavier than normal. Finally, the beer starts with a warm roasted malt taste that rolls directly into the piney, earthy, hop finish.

The Route of All Evil is by no means a bad beer, it’s good and it’s perfect for this time of year. However, it just seems that with each passing black ale or black IPA that I have, my enjoyment of them diminishes. What was once a bold new frontier is becoming a standardized style whose flavors I enjoy but find predictable.

Alas, I look to the horizon with fear and trepidation, for surely whatever comes next will seem frightening and wrong, then novel and interesting, and then end up like the Black IPA; delicious but disappointing.

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