I scored an Epic Triple Double this weekend!

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2017-11-18_15-11-00_432If you are into basketball at all, you know what a Triple Double is.  For those who are not basketball fans, a Triple Double is when a player achieves double digits (i.e. 10 or more) in three of the major statistical categories – points, rebounds, assists, steals or blocks.  Achieving a Triple Double is a difficult feat for most and is usually reserved for the more skilled players.

I’m excited to share the news that I scored a Stout Triple Double this weekend – thanks to the good people at Epic Brewing!  I enjoyed their Triple Barrel Big Bad Baptist and their Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist all in the same weekend!

Epic has really upped their Stout game in the past couple of years.  Their OG or franchise Stout is Big Bad Baptist (BBB) – a coffee stout that is barrel aged.  The neat thing about BBB is that each year the Epic brewmasters choose a different coffee to add to the base BBB stout, creating different “releases”.  Each release has it’s own flavor profile which makes each release different, unique, and makes for some tasty release comparisons!

Two years ago they introduced Son of a Baptist (SoB), a non barrel aged coffee stout.  With SoB,  Epic partnered with a number of regionally located coffee roasters to simultaneously release different regional variants.   Last year, the Baptist family expanded with Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist and Big Bad Baptista.   Double Barrel introduced the concept of Barrel Aged Coffee to the Baptist lineup while Baptista is Epic’s salute to Mexico with the addition of cinnamon, vanilla, cacao nibs and a blend of Mexican coffees!

I must admit that Big Bad Baptista was my favorite — until Epic went one step further and introduced Triple Barrel Big Bad Baptist this year.  Triple Barrel is an intoxicating 2017-11-18_15-12-47_336nectar of barrel aged Stout (Big Bad Baptist), barrel aged coffee, and barrel aged coconut!!   Yes, you read that right!  Epic put shaved coconut into barrels and let the coconut absorb the flavors that barrels can impart over time.  They also added some rum barrels into the aging process and the result is magic.

Opening up a bottle of Triple Barrel BBB the first aroma is coconut.  The flavor profile are complex layers of coffee, rum, coconut, whiskey, chocolate all wrapped around a wonderful base Stout.  The mouthfeel is just right and the swallow is smooth with just a hint of the coconut.  It was one of those Stouts that you are actually sad when the bottle is empty!

2017-11-19_15-04-01_247Next up is the Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist.  It’s Big Bad Baptist with the addition of barrel aged coffee……coffee that’s been aged in whiskey barrels.  A totally different flavor profile,  more boozy and less sweet than Triple Barrel, as you might expect.  However, I can taste more of the base stout than I could with the Triple Barrel.   I 2017-11-19_15-07-23_595suspect that’s what the Epic brewmasters were hoping for…very different flavor profiles across the Baptist family.  Just what a family should be…..same stout heritage, but different personalities!

At the end of it….do I have a new favorite?  Well, like a parent, the right answer is that they are all good in their own way.    Epic really has their act together when it comes to stouts…… the Triple Barrel Stout has the perfect balance of coconut sweetness and barrel aging.  Big Bad Baptista has the spice profile that I really like.  Double Barrel has a great profile of barrel aged coffee and BBB.   Lastly, the OG Big Bad Baptist hits the sweet spot for a barrel aged coffee Stout.   As in any family, you don’t have a preferred child; you love them all the same yet each have their different personalities.  While each has their positives, my favorite (for now) is Triple Barrel Big Bad Baptist.  The sweetness of the coconut really complements the bourbon flavor and the faint rum barrel flavor added an entirely new dimension to the aroma and taste. I’m glad I have another bottle to sample and review in the coming months!!

I’m proud of my Epic Triple Double this weekend!  It was quite the taste journey and I would be happy to take that trip again!!

Until next time….have a stoutstanding week!!

 

 

 

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The Stout Hall of Fame – Nominees?

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Saluting the wonderful Stout with an International Stout Day on November 2 made me start to think about a Stout Hall of Fame.  If we were to start a Stout Hall of Fame, what Stouts would be part of the initial class?  What do you think?  If I think about the rules for induction, this is what I come up with:

  1. The Stout has to be available for at least 5 years
  2. It has to be available at least regionally, if not nationally
  3. No brewery only releases…..for now!

As I consider what Stouts should be inducted, here are my top nominees…in no particular order:

  1. Founders Breakfast Stout
  2. Founders KBS
  3. Bell’s Expedition Stout
  4. Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout
  5. Firestone Walker Parabola
  6. Surly Darkness
  7. Perennial Abraxas
  8. Alesmith Speedway Stout
  9. Deschutes The Abyss
  10. Cigar City Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout
  11. Oskar Blues TENFIDY
  12. Guinness Draught
  13. Prairie Artisan Ales BOMB!
  14. Epic Brewing Big Bad Baptist
  15. Westbrook Mexican Cake
  16. Stone Russian Imperial Stout

I’m sure there are many that I didn’t include, but I tried to consider those Stouts that are considered the “standard” of their style.   I struggled a bit with not including brewery only releases, but I think for an inaugural class, the nominees should have some amount of distribution.

What do you think?  Who would be in your inaugural class of the Stout Hall of Fame?? What worthy Stouts did I omit?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

All about the Stout!

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So the annual celebration of Stout has come and gone….Thursday, November 2 was International Stout Day2017-11-02_18-39-30_168…..and as Mrs. Stoutwhisperer so appropriately asked, “Why is it on a Thursday?”  Good question….wouldn’t a celebration of Stout be more appropriate on a Friday or Saturday?  As I write this, I’m enjoying a 2016 Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout…..which is a 14.3% ABV Stout.  That’s best savored on the weekend, wouldn’t you agree?  Well, no matter the day of the week,  I think it’s great that the Craft Beer community comes together for one day to salute the Stout and give this amazing style of beer the due that it deserves.

2017-11-04_15-11-57_164While we’re talking about saluting the Stout, when in the heck are we going to get a Stout emoji?  The good people at Guinness have tried to start a movement on social media to influence the emoji makers to create a Stout emoji.   Apple just released an update that included 70 new emojis…..but no Stout emoji.  Really, how hard is it?  Take a tulip glass and put a dark liquid in it….and you have a Stout emoji.  C’mon, let’s get a Stout emoji!!!

As you may have noticed, it’s Stout season.  As I comb through social media, I see a lot of Stout releases in the coming weeks…..it’s great to see!!  For a Stout devotee like me, it’s a wonderful thing….I wish I could get a bottle of every release!  That would cover me for the entire year – even during the warm summer months when there is a “Stout Drought”!

That’s my quest for the rest of the year….I’m looking for those local breweries who release those amazing under the radar Stouts!  Send me your Stouts and I’ll determine if you stack up!  Reach out to me – comment on this blog or contact me via my social media outlets (@stoutwhisperer) and we can work out the details.  Some breweries have already agreed to send me their Stouts….but I’m looking for more!!

If you are a brewer of Stouts, I want you to send me your Stouts and let me give them the Stoutwhisperer review!  How does it pour?  How does it smell…I love the aroma of Stouts!  How does it taste?  What about the swallow?  Is it smooth?  Does the taste change as it warms?

If you are a homebrewer or a larger brewery, I want to taste, smell and enjoy your Stout!!   Reach out to me!!  If you earn it, I’ll give you the love you deserve!

Make your week at Stoutstanding one!