It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Although I appreciate many styles of beers, in recent years I confess that I have gravitated toward the dark side, specifically stouts…more specifically barrel-aged stouts… even more specifically bourbon barrel-aged stouts. The Big Bad Baptist has been a favorite for several years now. With my palate, winter, spring, summer, or fall is a lovely time to enjoy a stout. I can savor sips from a bomber for a couple of hours and my palate stays sensitive to the nuances. A bit of chocolate, a hint of coffee, and so smooth. Some whiskey or bourbon-aged beers can be a little too hot, alcoholic for my palate. If I wanted a whiskey, I’d pour a shot.
During the winter, Epic Brewing releases two variants. Triple Barrel Baptist and Big Bad Baptista, both a bit pricier. Big Bad Baptist retails for about $14, Baptista for $16, and Triple Barrel for $20. Each is an outstanding brew. I’m salivating just looking at the photo.
Big Bad Baptista has much stronger coffee notes. The description on the Epic website is spot on.
“Big Bad Baptista is inspired by traditional Mexican coffee, Café de Olla, which is served with cinnamon and piloncillo, an unrefined sugar. The Cinnamon adds another layer of complexity and accentuates the earthy character of Mexican Coffee, but more importantly, it captures the essence of a place and its culture. As beverage geeks we wanted to pay homage to that rich tradition and offer our unique take.
Big Bad Baptista is a combination of Vanilla, Cinnamon, Mexican coffee roasted by Blue Copper, and Solstice Chocolate cacao nibs. It’s luxurious to say the least, with a pleasant warming sensation generated by the cinnamon and alcohol. Enjoying the interplay of chocolate, malt, oak, and spice is the perfect way to spend a cool evening, with friends around a fire.”
Triple Barrel Big Bad Baptist has an even more fascinating process. Again from the website.
” We aged coconut and Blue Copper’s Colombian coffee beans in fresh whiskey barrels, while our imperial stout aged in both rum and whiskey barrels. The trio was then hand blended, creating our most over-the-top version of Big Bad Baptist yet. Best enjoyed slowly, three sips at a time.”
The coconut notes are evident, but not overwhelming. Blended to perfection!
I have bought several bottles of each with the intention of aging them for a year or so, but it seems I always have something to celebrate (solstices, full moons, days ending in “y”). So they don’t last long around here.
Another Epic brew…
This one did last a couple of months in the fridge. I recognize that a large number of folks enjoy pumpkin beers. I do not count myself among them (see my previous post, http://beeredland.com/2015/09/16/pumpkin-schmumpkin-pretty-much-a-fairly-short-rant-and-a-revelation/).
Porter is close in style to stout, at times even overlapping to my palate. Despite my misgivings about pumpkin, I bought this.
- It was from Epic.
- It was a Porter.
- It was bourbon barrel aged.
It was not an unpleasant experience. Spice notes on the front end and a palate clearing hop kick on the back. I can think of lots of ways to use an excess of pumpkins, so making beer with some would be far down the list.
Legal Issues With Epic
One of my favorite Facebook sites is Colorado Let’s Talk Craft Beer (CLTCB for short).
Lots of interesting discussions with minimal, though still existent, pin head commentary.
A recent discussion that I found quite enlightening concerned Epic Brewing and a much smaller brewery, Eddyline, which named one of their beers Epic Day Double IPA.
Two article links here, http://www.westword.com/restaurants/epic-brewing-sues-eddyline-brewing-over-epic-trademark-9681363
This is a link to the discussion on the CLTCB FB site if you care to dig in deeply.
When I first heard of this conflict, I was disappointed in Epic Brewing. I thought it was a matter of the big guys picking on the little guys. However, during the discussion a couple of people familiar with trade laws related that to maintain your rights to a particular brand name you are required to defend it against all uses of the label by entities within the same industry. Epic Brewing could not sue me for developing a foot insole called Mr. Epic, but anything beer-related will necessitate a response or the brewery could lose its right to use the name. I will post about this when there is a decision.
But to end on a lighter note…