Some of you may be familiar with the tradition of layering stout on top of ale to create a drink known as a black and tan. For many years I’d say Irish drinkers were limited to Guinness on top of Smithwicks. Mikkeller’s Yin and Yang puts a whole new spin on the idea. Yang is an Imperial Taiji India Pale Ale and Yin is an Imperial Taiji Stout. I have read that Taiji is just something they made up but a quick check of the always reliable Wikipedia tells me that it’s the set of Chinese beliefs often represented by the Yin and Yang symbols.
I had to try the two beers on their own before mixing them, well I didn’t HAVE to, I wanted to! The Yang is an impeccable Imperial IPA. It’s a beautiful amber colour and it’s properly bitter.
Yin is an exceptional Imperial Stout. It’s got roasted mocha type flavours. Gorgeous. I’m just worried about running out of superlatives at this point.
The layering didn’t work out despite the careful pouring of my wife over the back of a spoon. No matter. It still tasted amazing. The good and evil, dark and light, malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness form a uniquely satisfying whole. You really have to try it for yourself. I fear I’m now ruined for other Black and Tans.