Of Yang and Yin

Beer Review: Evil Twin Yin/Evil Twin Yang Blend

Style: Yin-Imperial Taiji Stout, Yang-Imperial Taiji IPA

ABV: 10% (both)

Drink if you like: Chinese philosophy, perfect harmony, Cagney and Lacey.


One of the most fundamental concepts in Traditional Chinese Medicine is that of Yin and Yang. This term is used to describe forces that are opposite, yet cannot exist without each other. Each gives rise to the other as they interrelate. Many natural dualities are thought of as physical manifestations of the yin-yang concept. For example, there would be no day without night, no leader without a follower, no Duke boys without Boss Hog.

These yin-yang forces are considered opposite and contrary, but can also be seen as complementary and at times, harmonious. This harmonious balance can often be detected the easiest by our taste buds. Bacon and chocolate, mango and chili, and even Imperial IPAs and Imperial Stouts. Yes, I just went there.

Achieve inner peace with beer.  Bow to your master.  There is no spoon.
Achieve inner peace with beer. Bow to your master. There is no spoon.

Evil Twin Yin (Imperial Taiji Stout) and Evil Twin Yang (Imperial Taiji IPA) couldn’t be more opposite, yet were designed, with much thought, by the fine brewers at Evil Twin to congenially coexist as one. Further, the term “Taiji” is a Chinese cosmological term for the “Supreme Ultimate” state of undifferentiated absolute and infinite potentiality.

Dissecting these forces separately, we find that Yin pours pitch black with a thick mocha colored head. The smell is very complex with the expected roasted malt and espresso aromas, accompanied by cocoa, light alcohol and wood smoke. The taste follows true to the smell with bitter chocolate, coffee, licorice, spice, and roasted malts.

Yang pours a hazy orange color with an eggshell white fluffy head. The smell is overwhelming with citrus, evergreen hops, and sweet malts. The taste contains flavors of bread, sweet malt, citrus, and an herbal hop finish.

Alone, these beers hold their own, but together they form a “Supreme Ultimate” Black and Tan experience. You can actually pour these over a spoon and they will layer as you stare and snap a few photos. You’ll want to blend them well prior to drinking because that is where the magic happens.

Blended, you will find that these two bold beers work in unison to bring the best of both to your palate. Bitter pine flavors and a touch of citrus from the Yang that perfectly balanced the roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and coffee of Yin. We suggest blending these 50/50 at first and then tweaking the mix to suit your preferences.  We found enlightenment at a 80% Yin (stout) and 20% Yang (IPA) blend.

Evil Twin bottles a pre-blended version (Evil Twin Yin & Yang), but where’s the fun in that?

If you’re into blending, please also see our previous article.

We gave each of these beers 4.5 Diamonds:

You can find this beer at the following locations:
The Ridge Wine & Spirits – Little Rock
Poinsett Package – Harrisburg
Palarm Creek Liquor – North Little Rock
Grapevine Wine & Spirits – Little Rock
Lake Liquor – Maumelle
Hillcrest Liquor and Fine Wines – Little Rock
Liquor to Go – Fayetteville
MacAdoodles – Springdale
Flying Saucer – Little Rock
Liquor World – Fayetteville
Springhill Wine & Spirits – Little Rock
Jack’s Package Store – Mountain Home
Sullivant’s Liquor – Little Rock
107 Liquor – Sherwood
Midtowne Wine & Spirits – Little Rock
Spirits Fine Wines – Little Rock
The Wine Rack & Spirits Shoppe – Hot Springs
Colonial Wine & Spirits – Little Rock
Celebrations Fine Wine – Arkadelphia


2 thoughts on “Of Yang and Yin

  1. Rex says:

    I’m not much on Cagney and Lacey, but may give this blend a try. I will for sure be getting some Yang to drink all by itsownself.

    Is Boss Hog the Yin or the Yang?

  2. arbeergeek says:

    Try it out, Rex. Yang by itsownself is great as well.

    Boss Hog is definitely the Yang in the Duke Boys scenario. Just as Boss Hog’s hat is the Yang to the Yin of Daisy Duke’s shorts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s