May 15, 2018

Epic Big Bad Baptist

Epic Brewing’s Big Bad Baptist is one of those imperial stouts that I had heard of in chatting with other shop patrons or beer drinkers, but had never crossed paths with until just recently. First, it was a teading draft sample while spending way to much money at one local store. And then a couple of weeks later, I found a couple of bottles on another adventure. This big, boozy barrel-aged stout certainly fulfilled expectations and then some over the course of a cold March afternoon.

This particular bottle was from release #98 but still retains the same basic recipe from the previous iterations — it uses cocoa nibs and and coffee beans — prior to heading into Bourbon barrels. The end result is a surprisingly robust imperial stout with smooth Bourbon, dark roast coffee, a hint of cocoa and a healthy hop bitterness. I was worried that Big Bad Baptist (10.8% ABV) was going to be fairly cloying considering it delivered a good amount of cocoa notes in the aroma. That hop bite, however, helps keep that sweetness and cocoa influence in check as everything swells smoothly before heading into the long lasting and warming finish.

Big Bad Baptist is an excellent imperial stout. The flavor is well rounded and full with a smooth barrel influence that helps accentuate the base elements wonderfully. It’s a viscous and robust brew that teeters on the edge between sweetness and robustness, balancing cocoa with wonderful roast and hop bitterness. Put simply, this is a stupid good beer.