by JR Harlan
It might come as a surprise to learn that people are brewing some damn fine beer in Utah. Epic Brewing is one of the breweries making a name for themselves from a state a lot of people associate with teetotalers. I’ve had a few of their offerings, including Utah Sage Saison on tap, which was excellent. But today is International Stout Day, and I’ve decided to celebrate with Epic’s Big Bad Baptist imperial stout.
Big Bad Baptist is released in series, each series aged in different barrels and with different coffees. The bottle I picked up was #6. From Epic’s website:
“Brewed on December 6, 2011. Packaged on September 4, 2012. The first release of 2012 boasts a new coffee flavor, Caffé Ibis Sumatra Dark, and was aged primarily in whiskey barrels, rather than bourbon. The coffee offers floral aromas with notes of plum and sweet caramel. Additional hints of dark chocolate, whiskey, and fruit will definitely keep you warm.”
Very warm, this thing is boozy and sweet. Coffee notes in the aroma before the head dissipates, but then it disappears and the whiskey and dark fruit aromas take over. Coffee is back for the tasting, as is the whiskey – big whiskey tastes pairs nicely with the dark roasted coffee. The aftertaste is bitter, but that’s also where the caramel and chocolate flavors show up. And the chocolate really comes back after a burp (excuse me). Damn fine beer, damn big beer, at 10.7% ABV it’ll get you nice and toasty.
Big Bad Baptist retails for around $10 for a 22 ounce bottle. It’s worth it to splurge on a big beer every once in a while, and as far as barrel aged beers go, $10 is a good price.
Epic’s brews are available in twelve states and Washington DC. To see if it’s available where you live, check out their beer directory.