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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Guest Blogging at Brew Studs

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I’ve found that part of the fun and enjoyment of the craft beer experience is learning.  Learning takes various styles and forms – tasting and sampling different Stouts is one of them! – but another is reading about the world of craft beer and keeping up with new releases, industry trends, regulatory news, and other beer related news.  That puts me in front of my computer screen reading the numerous beer blogs that my peers write on a regular basis.  There are many quality blogs out there focused on the craft beer scene.  One of them, Brew Studs, is a great compendium of news, information, feature stories, reviews and opinion about the craft beer industry.  The neat part about Brew Studs is that it is a very collaborative blog.  Jeremy Fultz, the editor/publisher, encourages and welcomes contributions from the community of readers and craft beer aficionados.   My good fortune has given me the opportunity to write two blogposts for Brew Studs- one about aging and cellaring beer which I wrote in April 2016 and the one that just got posted yesterday about local sourcing and collaboration between Ohio-based Breweries and Coffee Roasters – the “Bean to Brew” trend!

It was a great article to write, as I learned much about the Ohio beer and coffee scene.  I spoke with John Haggerty, Brewmaster of Warped Wing, who gave me some amazing insights16230605_711576212354571_7366109581132431360_n into the world of brewing, the partnership with Press Coffee Bar and their upcoming release of Pirogue, a Belgian Black Tripel which uses Press’s WoodBurl coffee.  John also shared some of the future plans he has up his sleeve (I promised not to tell, but the craft beer fans in Dayton will be pleased!).  I also gained some good perspective from the other side of the Ohio River in Kentucky from Braxton Brewing and their custom Starter coffee collaboration with Carabello Coffee.  I also exchanged emails with other Ohio breweries and coffee roasters, such as Six Shooter Coffee and Twisted River Coffee Roaster, who shared with me their ideas and opinions about collaborating with local brewers and others in their local communities.  It really is a vibrant scene in Ohio, which surely is replicated all over the country in small towns and big cities.  I also braxton-small-craft-beer-brewery-cincinnatiwrote about Epic Brewing and their local/national release of Son of a Baptist, a coffee stout made in partnership with 12 local/regional coffee roasters.  They took a local idea and are applying it at a national level.  The version that just hit the North Carolina market uses coffee from Dynamite Roasting Co.in Black Mountain, NC.   These wonderful examples of craft beer breweries and coffee craft-beer-epic-son-of-a-baptist-cansroaster collaborations made me realize and appreciate the hard work, passion, and commitment these artisans have for their work….and that we need to patronize these local establishments whenever we can. They put in long hours at odd times to bring us the highest quality brews possible- coffee or beer – and we should show our support by the cup or glass!

I urge you to head over to Brew Studs, peruse the website, give the Bean to Brew article a read and learn more about local sourcing and collaboration in practice through the eyes of those Ohio brewers and coffee roasters!

After you are done, come on back and share your local craft beer/coffee collaborations that you think are worthy of recognition!!

 

 

2016 – a Stoutstanding year!

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The end of every calendar year brings a certain amount of rear view mirror reflection and windshield resolutions.  This year is no different.  I tend to look back, take stock of successes, failures, and learnings, and commit to improvement during the coming year.  As I look back at my stout life in 2016, this was the year where I started to walk the talk. This blog, my social media presence, trades, first release events – really just making an overall commitment to being the Stoutwhisperer!  It also enabled me to meet many great people who share the same passion for craftbeer and stouts that I have…..and it has allowed me to taste and review more than my fair share of amazing Stouts!

As I look back on the Stouts I’ve had the privilege to enjoy and taste in 2016, it’s fairly easy to separate those that have really made an impression on me……and those are the Stouts I’d like to recognize on this blogpost.  Before we go any further, I clearly realize that I’ve barely scratched the stout surface as there are so many I didn’t taste this year and there are some that are in my cellar that I haven’t opened…..and that’s a function of my tasting schedule!  I’ll get to them in due time – and the beauty of being the Stoutwhisperer is that aging Stouts isn’t a bad thing!   Now if I were the IPAwhisperer, I’d be in trouble!!

On to the awards:

Best Stout Pour:

Oskar Blues TENFIDY, Raleigh Brewing BA The Miller’s Toll, Southern Tier Choklat Oranj, Alesmith Speedway Stout, Westbrook Siberian Black Magic Panther and any Stout on Nitro!

I happen to like a bit of a foamy head on my Stouts, so when I pour my Stouts, I try and aim for around 1/2 to 3/4 inch of head on the pour.   I think that helps the various aromas contained in the Stout to be released and savored (see Best Aroma award above).  Some Stouts just pour better than others and when they pour well and create a nice foamy head, it’s a beautiful thing…and it photographs well!  This award recognizes those Stouts that had an especially nice pour and retained a nice foamy head.  I also included all Stouts on Nitro because I love watching all of the tiny nitrogen bubbles rise to the top!!

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Best Aroma:  

Prairie Paradise (draft),  Buxton/Omnipollo Yellow Belly, Big Boss Brewing Root Beer Stout2016-12-31_20-25-32_000

After the Pour, the next thing I go for is the aroma.  What does it smell like?  What flavor notes can I pick up?  These three really stand out from all the others I’ve had this year.  Amazing Vanilla on the Paradise, Butterfinger (Peanut and Biscuit) on the Yellow Belly, and true Root Beer on the Root Beer Stout…I could have smelled these and been very happy!  Glad I was able to enjoy the liquid as well…and had a great ice cream float with the Big Boss Root Beer Stout!

Surprise Stouts:

Stillwater On Fleek, Birdsong Brewing MexiCali Stout, Twin Leaf Brewery MDXXI, Blue Mountain Dark Hollow, Alchemist Beelzebub, Lagunitas High West-ified Stout

Each of these were pleasant surprises in their own way…either through my not knowing the brewery, or having low expectations.  In each case, these Stouts made me seek out more and that’s a good thing.  Give them a try!

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Best Beercation location: Asheville, NC

Asheville is an wonderful place to visit, even without the incredible number of craft beer breweries!  Located in the mountains of western North Carolina, it’s a beautiful place to wander around and get lost in their various neighborhoods.  Add their vibrant craft beer scene and it becomes a must visit for any craft beer lover.  Read my blogpost from a couple of months ago that provides a nice overview of the long weekend my two sons and I had in Asheville – Oskar Blues, New Belgium, Sierra Nevada, Burial, Wicked Weed and many others too numerous to mention.  The food is amazing as well – make sure and stop by Vortex Doughnuts in the morning and Buxton Hall BBQ in the evening – they are both in the South Slope area of Asheville!

Most Stoutstanding Breweries:  

In my opinion, these two Breweries seemed to separate themselves from the pack for their creativity and innovation and should be recognized!

Prairie Artisan Ales

Prairie took their Bomb! and Noir lineups to another level in 2016….wonderful flavors and spices  – Vanilla, Coffee, Pirate, Prairie, and Christmas.  Add an innovative barrel aging program – Apple Brandy Barrel, Sherry Barrel, Oak Barrel, Bourbon Barrel, Rum Barrel….and the combination of flavors and barrels make for an impressive and highly in demand lineup!  Of special note was the one brewery only draft release that I was fortunate to get a 16oz. growler of – Cinnamon Pecan Bomb!  That was one of the highlights of the year for me….incredible flavor palate which I was very fortunate to taste!  Special thanks to Michael of Tulsa for the extra effort in getting and shipping that growler to me!!  Lastly, I hear that Paradise (Vanilla) is coming off the line soon and will be available in bottles!  Can’t wait for that one!

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Epic Brewing

Epic Brewing took their Big Bad Baptist program and created an entire family!  They started with Son of a Baptist by engaging local coffee roasters all across the country to create 12 separate versions of Son of a Baptist, a non barrel aged coffee Stout.  More recently, they aged their coffee beans in whiskey barrels and added it to BBB, creating Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist.  Next, they went south of the border and brewed Big Bad Baptista, a relative of BBB but using Mexican coffee, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Finally, they just released Son of a Baptist in 12oz cans….again using different local coffee roasters to create regional variants of SoB!  The Epic team was indeed busy this year and their creativity and innovation has paid off!

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2016 Stout of this World All-Stout Team

As I look back at my various tastings over 2016, these are the ones that really made me take notice or made me want more.  They challenged all of my senses and expectations and happily and easily surpassed them…..

Prairie Artisan Ales Pirate Bomb!2016-03-18_210739939_544F9_iOS

2016-12-02_17-21-18_857Epic Brewing Big Bad Baptist

Epic Brewing Big Bad Baptista2016-12-03_15-39-47_927

2016-11-13_15-36-52_718Bell’s Brewery Black Note Stout

Prairie Artisan Ales Cinnamon Pecan Bomb!2016-10-07_17-04-46_338

2016-03-26_202511511_CBE20_iOSRaleigh Brewing Double BA The Miller’s Toll

Southern Pines Drunken Vigils2016-10-23_15-41-41_515

2016-07-16_192807305_60953_iOSGoose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout

Dark Horse Plead the 5th2016-01-09_205936305_E6A42_iOS

2016-11-20_15-06-32_390Westbrook Siberian Black Magic Panther

Prairie Artisan Ales Pirate Paradise2016-10-22_15-45-47_525

2016-11-12_15-44-03_506-2016-11-13t00_44_53-408Oskar Blues Java Barrel Aged TENFIDY

 

That puts a wrap on 2016!

Love to get your comments on any of these!  That’s the beauty of Stouts – everyone’s taste is different!  Help me select my Stout list for 2017 – share your favorite Stouts with us.  Looking to expand my horizons and need your input!

I’m looking forward to a Stoutstanding year and I’ll be sure to bring you along for the journey.   Follow me on Instagram and Twitter (both @Stoutwhisperer) and keep reading my blogposts!!

Happy New Year and with apologies to the Star Wars fans out there….

May the Stout be with you!

My 2nd Annual Epic Weekend!

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Long time readers of this blog will recall my post back in May that reviewed the release of Epic Brewing’s Son of a Baptist, a non barrel aged version of Big Bad Baptist brewed with a assortment of local coffee beans.  Here in North Carolina, we were treated to the version made with Larry’s Coffee.  That was a wonderful stout and a great weekend!

Fast forward to today…..the innovative brewmasters at Epic recently decided to add a couple of members to the Baptist family:
Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist, where the green coffee beans are aged in bourbon barrels for an added punch of bourbon depth and flavor

Big Bad Baptista, where Big Bad Baptist travels to Mexico and adds cinnamon, vanilla, special cacao nibs and Mexican coffee to complement the Big Bad Baptist Stout flavor

The good people at Epic (thanks Matthew!) provided me with an early preview of these relatives of Big Bad Baptist for which I am very thankful for.  I set aside this weekend to sample each and provide my feedback/thoughts.

Friday – Big Bad Baptist (release #73)

As always, Big Bad Baptist delivers an amazing taste experience.  This is a Stout that has 2016-12-02_17-21-18_857just the right flavor notes.  This release of BBB used the Guatemalan Blend of Blue Copper Coffee which provided a nice smoothness to the overall taste.  While there definitely is a barrel flavor to BBB, there is also a smoothness to it.  The coffee and the cocoa nibs really help to balance the taste.  As I’ve said before, Big Bad Baptist is one of my go to Stouts, as I can always count on it’s amazing taste and consistency.   It’s one of my baseline standard Stouts and is one that I can count on when I just need that reset as to what a barrel aged Stout should taste like.

Saturday – Big Bad Baptista (release #1)

Not sure what to expect, but after tasting and savoring the spices and flavors, this is my clear favorite.  I must admit to having a bias toward Stouts with some flavor and spice to 2016-12-03_15-39-44_970them so it’s not altogether surprising that Baptista had me at hello.  From the first sip to the final swallow, I was mesmerized.  Cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa nibs and coffee notes took over and really captured all of my senses.  Baptista hit all of the right notes for me and I can’t wait to open another bottle!  This was the best of the weekend.

Sunday – Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist (release #1)

After Baptista, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  DBBBB 2016-12-04_15-10-24_906differentiates itself by using coffee beans that were aged in bourbon barrels, adding additional complexity and depth.  I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to differentiate DBBBB from BBB, but indeed I could.  It’s tough to explain, but DBBBB had a bit more “woodiness” to it versus BBB.  It was quite enjoyable to savor this on a Sunday afternoon watching NFL RedZone.   DBBBB engaged me and is a worthy relative of BBB!

After taste testing all three, it was clear that they are all different from each other and hit different taste profiles.  For me, Big Bad Baptista was the clear winner, but I could also understand how others would be attracted to Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist or Big Bad Baptist, as each are complex and have taste profiles and characteristics that are attractive.

That’s the beauty about the art and science of brewing Stouts.  The variations of coffee, cocoa nibs, malts, and other added variants can make such an incredible difference in the nose and taste of a Stout.  Throw in the variations of barrel aging – the type of barrel (bourbon, scotch, rum, wine, tequila), the distiller and the time spent in the barrel all also impact the depth of flavor and the taste.  Some have a wonderful smoothness to them, others have a bit of a bite to them which tend to mellow over time.

The brewmasters at Epic certainly seem to have the recipe down….they stay true to what makes Big Bad Baptist so successful yet are willing to venture out and introduce us to others in the Baptist family.  Usually there are some bad apples in every family, but as far as I’m concerned, every Epic Baptist Stout is one that I would seek out!

Thanks to the good people at Epic Brewing, I’ve been baptized again!  Thanks again for the early release and keep up the incredible work!!  I’m already looking forward to my next Epic weekend!!

 

Back from the summer Stout Drought!

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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted….sometimes life gets in the way!  I think I had my own “stout drought” with this blog!  With the release of Founder’s Breakfast Stout, I took the opportunity to rededicate myself to posting on a more regular basis, which should be easier with stout season soon to be upon us.  A few observations from the last couple of months:

  • Prairie Artisan Ales is putting out the most interesting and tasty stouts.  Aside from their franchise BOMB!, recent releases of Pirate BOMB!, Apple Brandy Barrel Noir, and most recently Paradise are all worthy of your wallet, no matter the cost.  I was especially surprised at Paradise, which is a draught/draft/tap only release.  Paradise is the most forward vanilla stout I have ever tasted.  I’m a big vanilla fan and I’m 2016-08-23_225552000_28B55_iOSusually disappointed when a brewery touts a stout with vanilla notes – but PAA delivered with Paradise!  Just smelling this stout was worth the price of the pour but the liquid delivered as well…..and I just read a blog post that PAA will be selling a brewery only release of Pirate Paradise!   No way I can make it to Krebs, OK, but if they are able to get this right, Pirate Paradise could the Stout of the Year.  Just wish I had a way to get my hands on one (perhaps if someone from Prairie is reading this….)!
  • Brewpublik, the beer delivery startup, is the real deal!  I signed up for their premium concierge plan and I’ve been getting some amazing stouts delivered to my 2016-04-23_224300576_11E31_iOShouse!  I’m able to select my “crate” and also take advantage of their Instagram flash sales of more scarce beers as well (see bp_reserve).  If you are in their coverage areas (Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Charleston, San Francisco), I highly recommend them.  If you aren’t, keep an eye on them (or drop them a note), as they are rapidly expanding into more markets.

 

 

 

  • I enjoy visiting some old friends during the Stout Drought summer months and have reaffirmed my affinity for
    • Founders Breakfast Stout
    • Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (I was lucky – no infections)
    • Oskar Blues Ten Fidy
    • Dark Horse Brewing Plead the Fifth
    • Raleigh Brewing Miller’s Toll
    • Epic Brewing Big Bad Baptist
  • I’ve been intrigued by Stouts from overseas.  I’ve enjoyed some great Stouts from 2016-09-02_212354485_904B3_iOSIceland, Denmark, and Norway!  In fact last night I had Garun from Borg Brugghus in
    Iceland, which had the most licorice taste in any stout I’ve had.  Really interesting taste which I liked in a 12oz. bottle…..any more and it would have been too much!  If you are looking for some variety in your stouts, I would recommend looking across the pond and giving some foreign stouts some love…..

 

 

 

That’s about all for now….about to head into a Labor Day weekend.  I’ll be back soon with some more news and musings about Stouts!

My Epic Weekend!

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Epic Brewing is best known in the Stout world for Big Bad Baptist,  a 12%ABV Bourbon barrel-aged Stout that has a large legion of followers (now including me!).  Based in Salt 2016-04-30_124127401_CFA26_iOSLake City, Utah,  Epic is in the midst of one of the more ambitious brewing projects I have seen in quite a while.   The Epic team is releasing not 1, not 2, but 14 variations of Son of a Baptist, a non-barrel aged relative of BBB.  The brains behind the brew at Epic is also a coffee lover, so a request went out to find coffee roasters that would be willing to collaborate on small batches of Stout.  The request was to submit beans that would enhance the flavor profile of a Stout.   They selected 14 roasters and made 14 different versions of Son of a Baptist.   Roasters from California to Virginia, Michigan to Texas made the cut….and so did a local Raleigh, North Carolina roaster, Larry’s Coffee!  Larry’s Coffee is a socially and environmentally responsible coffee roaster based in Raleigh.  They roast some amazing coffee and they clearly have fun doing it!  I went on a tour of their facility about 5 years ago and have been a fan (and consumer) ever since.  I especially like their cold brew offering!

To celebrate the occasion, Epic hosted a release party last week at Pharmacy Bottle + Beverage in Cary, NC where the Larry’s Coffee version was introduced for the first time! James from Epic was the host for the release party and he did a great job sharing stories about Son of a Baptist as well as offering some samples of upcoming summer brews from Epic!  2016-04-27_235310000_53607_iOS Peter and Ryan from Larry’s Coffee were there to answer questions and they also had the Peruvian coffee that was used in the beer available to sample as brewed coffee!  Neat touch!  Peter told me that they selected the Peruvian coffee beans for their chocolate notes and the way it would compliment the malts in the Stout. They were right on, as my review will attest.  Pharmacy was very crowded on Wednesday evening and as I looked around, I saw many of the patrons with a glass of Son of a Baptist in their hand!   Hats off to James, Peter, Ryan, and the Pharmacy team!

The good people at Epic (thanks, Matthew!) graciously sent me a sample of Son of a Baptist made with coffee from Portola Coffee Lab in Southern California.  Portola’s Terra Incognita espresso blend was selected for their version of SoB.  This blend is comprised of Ethiopian Harrar and Colombian Cauca beans.   I find it quite amazing how the flavors of Stout beer change and evolve depending on the coffee bean used…and I assume that’s what the Epic Brewmaster was going for, so mission accomplished!

On to the Epic reviews!!

Epic Brewing Company – Big Bad Baptist

April 30, 2016 – I’ve had this bottle in my beer cellar for about 6 months now. I’m not altogether sure what I was waiting for but with the release of Son of a Baptist, I thought it was high time to break this Bourbon barrel-aged Big Bad boy open and see if all of the positive online reviews are merited.  Epic makes BBB in various “releases” using different dark roasted coffee; I had the privilege of tasting release #61, which was brewed with Caffe Ibis coffee in February, 2015 and packed in October, 2015. This release came in at 12.1%ABV and is bottled in a 22oz. bomber.

2016-04-30_202852000_A7E8D_iOSAfter taking it out of the fridge and letting it sit for an hour to bring it to around 50-55 degrees, I opened it and let it pour. It BBB was a beautiful jet black with a nice foamy head. Once the photo opp was over, I lifted the glass to my nose and was bombarded with some amazing aromas.   Usually there is one scent that dominates and overwhelms; Big Bad Baptist provided me with equal notes of coffee, chocolate, and bourbon! Each aroma was incredibly layered and I could detect each scent, which I must say is a first from all of my tastings.   Either my nose is better at differentiating scents or this is foreshadowing what’s to come.

My first sip confirmed it – this is a Stout that is smooth, balanced, and complex! I could taste the coffee blended with the chocolate, along with the slight booziness of the bourbon. The mouthfeel was medium and the aftertaste was smooth. As I continued my taste journey, I marveled at the attention to detail that is required to get this Stout so balanced and smooth.   This is a Stout that deserves every bit of recognition and praise that it gets!  I enjoyed every single sip of Big Bad Baptist and it delivered that smooth, balanced taste all the way to the bottom of the glass!!  Kudos to the Epic Brewmaster!

I guarantee that Big Bad Baptist will always have a place in my Stout House and that is one of the highest compliments I can pay a Stout!

Stout of this World rating: 4.5 bombers

Epic Brewing Company – Son of a Baptist

May 1, 2016 – Coming off of my Big Bad Baptist experience the day before, I had to reset my expectations for Son of a Baptist.  Son of a Baptist is a relative of BBB in that it is the same base Stout but with two significant differences: Son is not Bourbon barrel-aged and that Son has about 14 variants.  Epic was able to partner with about 14 different coffee roasters across the country and used their recommended beans to create Stouts such that each variation has a different flavor profile.  The outcome shows how different coffee beans can influence the ultimate flavor of the Stout.  Pretty unique and an incredible labor of love!  It must have been quite a job first to source out different coffee roasters then brew different batches highlighting the flavors and notes from the coffee!

I was able to taste the Larry’s Coffee version at the release party last Wednesday.  I found it to be quite good and thought the coffee was very complementary to the Stout and it 2016-05-03_001557000_52A6A_iOSworked well!  I was hoping for a similar experience when I opened a bottle of Son using coffee from Portola Coffee Lab, a Southern California roaster. This version clocked in at 7.9%ABV in its 22oz. bomber.

As with BBB, I took Son out of the fridge and let it sit for an hour before I opened it. The pour was similar to Big Bad Baptist as it was a jet black pour and a nice foamy head that hung in there for quite some time. The aroma was pure coffee – didn’t get any chocolate scent in Son.   The first sip was quite tasty, with some nice coffee notes, not overwhelming with a medium mouthfeel. The aftertaste was smooth and went down easy. Subsequent tastes mirrored the first with the only difference was that as it warmed, the mouthfeel got a bit thicker – which I like – though it never got to the “tongue coating” stage.

I really enjoyed Son of a Baptist – I appreciate the creativity and effort the Epic Brewing team put forth in this “series” of a single Stout.   With the lower ABV, I could easily see myself savoring this on a summer evening.

Current plans call for Epic to release these variations in 12oz. cans later this year – great idea!  One recommendation would be to take a page from the Terrapin playbook and release mixed 4 packs, so we can taste and sample the differences across the various coffees.  I’m happy to support Larry’s Coffee as my local roaster, but tasting the different flavor profiles is a good way to showcase the Son of a Baptist series!

Stout of this World rating: 4.0 bombers