Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout Review
Epic, it’s not just an adjective anymore. Last night I managed to secure myself a limited small batch beer known as the Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout produced by Epic Brewing Company. Hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah, Epic Brewing founders David Cole and Peter Erickson, along with brew master Kevin Crompton, have been crafting these highly prized and sought after “strong” beers since 2008. According to Epic, the three of them are “admittedly, beer geeks, foodies and epic adventure junkies with a passion for making and drinking fine ales and lagers.” With those intentions in mind, I can certainly say that without a doubt they have more than succeeded with their tenebrous powerhouse brew, Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout.
As soon as the bottle was opened and poured the aroma of dark roasted coffee, rich chocolate and smoky whiskey demanded my attention. As I took my first sip the initial burst of flavor was overwhelming and instantly two words came to mind, “Super Potent”. However, as that first sip waned the powerful hops began to melt away leaving a rich coffee and smooth whiskey finish. At first I was a little concerned that the whiskey barreling may have been an extra step best avoided, but while it is quite noticeable, it remains subdued and never overpowers the sweetness of the imperial stout.
Another real triumph is that the coco nibs, although very prevalent and rich, never transition into the bitter finish attributed to most chocolate based craft brews. It’s not very often that brewers manage to find the perfect balance between both strength and drinkability; however, the Big Bad Baptist stands proudly in defiance of the status quo.
The nearly pitch black Imperial Stout is surprisingly drinkable once the initial cacophony of distinct flavors begin to mellow and die down. In the end, Epic brewing has created a true standout amongst its craft beer brethren, touting a perfect synergy between rich, sweet and smoky flavor combinations that manage to complement each other nicely while avoiding ever becoming cloying, bitter or overbearing. Although this one is definitely a no-brainer as far as purchasing is concerned, it may be a tad difficult to come across. You better hurry though; Epic only produces about 1,800 individually sold, oversized bottles of Big Bad Baptist each year making it a very small batch release. However, don’t be dissuaded, this is one brew that is absolutely worth the time and effort and price it may take to track it down. So begin your quest now and welcome the Big Bad Baptist into your home this holiday season!!
Price: 14.xx per bottle
Characteristics: Strong, rich chocolate notes blended seamlessly with roasted coffee and smoky whiskey.
Verdict: If You Can Find It, Buy Now!