Big Bad Baptist Reserve
Epic Brewing Company

Big Bad Baptist ReserveBig Bad Baptist Reserve
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #372
Ranked #2,260
4.32 | pDev: 8.1%
Epic Brewing Company
Utah, United States
Big Bad Baptist ReserveBig Bad Baptist Reserve
Notes: The best of the best of the best... of Big Bad Baptist. That’s what Epic Brewing co-founder Dave Cole had in mind when he and his team came up with the idea for Big Bad Baptist Reserve.

Cole and his team took the brewery’s most legendary beer and carefully hand selected a limited number of the most perfect barrels, some rum and some whiskey, from the different batches and projects of the 2017/2018 “Baptist Season” and carefully blended what they thought was something special, a Big Bad Baptist of epic proportions.

The Reserve has only the choicest barrels of this year’s original version of Big Bad Baptist, plus beer from the best barrels from both the Baptista and Triple Barrel Baptist projects. That means it has the faintest touch of barrel-aged coconut, rum, and of course, copious amounts of artisanal coffee and cacao nibs. It does not, however, have any of the spices found in Baptista. It weighs in at 11.7% ABV and “hides every bit of it” according to Epic national sales manager Darin McGregor.
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 69 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours nearly black, appearing opaque black in the glass with a half finger dark khaki head that dissipates to a thick film with light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, milk chocolate, vanilla and coffee, slightly boozy. Flavor is dark toasted malt with light char, milk and dark chocolate, vanilla, light coffee and a touch of molasses. Medium bodied with light to moderate creaminess. Like all other variations of this great stout, fine chocolate and lightly charred malt combined with light whiskey, vanilla and coffee. I'm getting more coffee and chocolate from the Reserve (even more than the chocolate variant I had earlier this year). I am barely able to detect a suggestion of coconut, but would not have noticed it unless I read the description of the blend. Whiskey is present, but not dominating; not getting any rum notes. The description says that this was not blended for crazy flavors and they are correct; nicely integrated with a deft hand with the additional coconut and coffee. Flavorful with good barrel character, a nice blend. Glad I snagged one of these. This year's version is a heftier 13%, a bit boozy, but within reason.

Jun 15, 2020
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a special blend of the best barrels here, a new label on the thing, and the first of these i have seen thats waxed if i remember right, certainly spendy, but it seems worth it, a regal, mature, and complex stout with a ton of character. it has a frothing mocha head, more life than the brandy vanilla one we had the previous evening, and a lot more apparent viscosity too, this is pretty thick, leggy in the glass, and i can immediately smell some alcohol. along with it some barrel char, the sweet raw sugar character of the rum, plenty of coconut from that element of the blend, really quite tropical with the rum and coconut together, some bitter dark chocolate too and a little bit of coffee, way less than the brandy vanilla edition seemed to have, tons of wood. the flavor is sensational, even better than the nose, with the coconut more cohesive and intertwined now, lots of rich chocolate, wet oak, sweet vanilla and toffee, pipe tobacco, and warming alcohol that isnt over the top and less sharp than it smells. the wood is big in here, heavies it up, the dark grain and the cocoa stand out nicely too, and the low end on this is quite robust all up. smooth as can be to drink though, layered, and equal contributions from the rum and the whiskey barrels are obvious. really high quality stuff here, a good buy, and a beer that really doesnt seem to need any cellar time, its already mellow and refined and just drinks luxuriously. a phenomenal blend by any measure!

May 09, 2020
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CraftFan5 from New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

23 April 2020 - Beer #76

Corona Day #42

Price: $19.99 at Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley, CA

Appearance: 5 - looks pretty perfect. Absolutely black with a pleasant tan head consisting of tiny bubbles.

Nose: 5 - I get coconut and rum barrel, which an exceptional combination.

Taste: 4 - underwhelming. I'll be upfront; I am not a big fan of this series. It's usually way too much coffee and way too little barrel. This just doesn't have a whole lot of flavor. I get slight coffee bitterness, a fair amount of coconut, and a bit of barrel.

Mouth: 4 - rather thin, but it is sticky and coat-y.

Overall: 4 - decent, but just not a whole lot going on. Got a couple more from the series in the cellar; hope at least one impresses me.


May 04, 2020
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TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours pitch black with a thin tan head. Good amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma coconut, dark chocolate and and whiskey.

T - The taste is dark chocolate, coffee, coconut, molasses, roasted malts, oak and whiskey.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a soft dry finish.

O - Super tasty barrel aged stout. Great balance of flavors.

Apr 11, 2020
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stevoj from Idaho

4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle at share last night. This was it. My favorite, hands down. Beautiful creamy pour. Big roasty, boozy aroma. Taste is molasses and chocolate, sweet malts, burnt toast, coffee, and a lot of bourbon notes. Velvety and slick. Damn near perfect.

Jan 08, 2020
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce black wax capped bottle, Release #3, 11.6% ABV, SLC #6195 stamped on the label (think it's a 2019 vintage). Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head that stuck around for a while. There's also a good amount of lacing. I like the aroma a lot, the brew smells like cocoa, vanilla, coconut, roasted malt, coffee, whiskey, and some rum. Have to say that the taste pretty much follows the aroma, but there's also the addition of some burnt/charred malt and dark fruity flavors. Barrel character is medium, not strong but not subtle either. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit slick and has a low-moderate amount of carbonation. Overall I thought this was a pretty good brew, definitely worth picking up! $18.99 a bottle.

Nov 16, 2019
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arizcards from Arizona

4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber from the Craft Beer Hop Stop on 8-16-19 for $14.99 (below cost according to the owner). No bottled date but suspect it was in July 2019; consumed on 11-15-19.

Beer poured black with a nice tan head with the original pour.

Nose is very nice, cocoa nibs forward with a good dose of whisky barrel and a touch of vanilla.

Taste is cocoa nibs over a large medium roasted malt base. Some coffee and vanilla are present. Whiskey barrel is melded in nicely, complimenting rather than overwhelming. Finish is well balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and very smooth.

Overall this is a really nice brew, glad i got to try it!

Nov 15, 2019
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brownish black body with a light brown collar. Whiskey, oak, and coffee lead the nose, with bitter chocolate, rum, soil, coconut, and vanilla. Taste leans on the coffee, vanilla, and rum more than the nose indicate, a master of dark flavors but stays pretty bright in the feel all things considered. Scary easy to drink, sticky and chew feel without the weightiness, but gets a little thin in the middle. Is it awkward I think the original BBB is better? This is well worth your time however

Nov 07, 2019
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mschrei from Illinois

4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with thinning cola colored edging. Quickly dissipating tan head and minimal lacing. Smells of coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, mild barrel notes. Taste presents the same flavors in a different order. Chocolate and malt are more up front and stronger, but coffee asserts itself on the back end with astringency. There’s a slight boozy buzz underneath, very subtle. Feel changes as it warms. When cold, it’s thin, lighter bodied. As it warms, it thickens, becomes bigger, bolder. Mouth watering. For almost 12 percent, it’s well disguised. Enjoyable, and quite well done.

Oct 29, 2019
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the 22 oz bomber in a snifter. This mighty Baptist pours a
deep and murky black with dark brown highlights and a nice head
of light brown foam that settles to a thick ring, thin wafting pool, and
displays some nice soapy lacing. Nose of rum barrel, faint bourbon,
dark cocoa, moderate coffee notes, and dark brown sugars mingling
with char and brulee. Flavors....oh dark cocoa and fudge
notes cascade over dark coffee/espresso with hints of cream and
bourbon with sweet dark rum giving notes of coconut and brulee
and a nicely balanced char with vanilla notes. Excellent mouth
feel for such a brew---slick, warming, coating, light carbonation,
full body, and a warm slightly dry and very rich finish.

I am a fan of the series, and think this one hits the mark.
A lot of flavors and a lot of character, almost too much,
but they are all presented well and for such a big brew
it is well balanced.

Excellent work!


Oct 05, 2019
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darktronica from Indiana

3.94/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

What I've always liked about Big Bad Baptist is that it lives up to the Big Bad moniker, with very aggressive coffee experimentation in each batch while still somehow achieving a modicum of balance. I've still enjoyed the double and triple barreled variants, but this one just isn't doing it for me in comparison. It's smooth and the rum barrel in the blend is fairly prominent, but by trade it's lost a lot of the Baptist character. The coffee is really subdued and earthy. I'd rather take the standard.

Sep 07, 2019
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BeardedWalrus from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber into a 10 oz snifter, pours dark black with a hint of brownish on the edges, generating a fingers width of tannish head with very sticky lacing. Nose is dessert levels of rich, roasted malts, milk chocolate, a touch of vanilla and molasses. Taste matches up, with additional bourbon barrel sweetness, light vanilla, and a balancing hint of bitterness. Feels is super chewy, with medium thickness and a lasting aftertaste. Overall another great entry into the Big Bad Baptist lineup, thanks to Hinda65 for sending me this gem.

Sep 02, 2019
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hoptheology from South Dakota

4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle from Hinda65.
Carpe Brew'Em snifter.

Deep motor oil black with a creamy beige head of 1 finger. Recedes to a line shortly after, slight sparse lacing.

Complex nose of tobacco and dark roasted malts, with dark karo syrup, whiskey, coconut, oak, and fruity rum.

Flavor is burnt and roasted malts, dark sugars, tobacco, plum, vinous notes, rum barrel, vintage wood, coffee, slightly fruity yeast, and touches of vanilla. Smooth but firm piney bitterness.

Feel is nicely carbonated, biting, heavy, roasted, dry, and burning. Ends very roasty and very dry.

Overall, this beer is a hit. I still prefer their Triple Barrel Baptist over everything else they've done. Regardless, this is a great barrel aged stout with fantastic complexity and depth. Highly recommended.

Aug 14, 2019
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stortore from Illinois

4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle into a snifter. 2018 bottle. Had 9/1/18.

Pours a dark brown, opaque, with a half inch head and some filmy cling. Aromas of cocoa, roasted malt, coconut, chocolate, vanilla, toffee, coffee, some rum, a little marshmallow. The flavor is rum forward, then malt, cocoa, coffee, chocolate, some vanilla and caramel, light oak and coconut, light whiskey. A little bitterness on the finish. Mostly smooth, a good full body, well carbonated.

The rum barrels and cacao nibs are the stars, but the whiskey barrels are pretty much a rumor. The coffee and coconut show well in the aroma, but less in the flavor- especially the coconut. Very good and enjoyable, but this lags behind the others in the series. Worth a purchase at a little higher price point than the others.

Mar 21, 2019
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beergoot from Colorado

4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Jet black body; fine head, a little thin yet dense and sticky. Deep, rich aroma of roasted and charred grain, cocoa and milk chocolate, a touch of whiskey. The taste reinforces the smell impressions but deeper and fuller; a bit more booze on the taste buds; denser notes of cocoa; leather. Heavy body; silky and oily; coats the palate with semi-sweet dark grain goodness.

An awesome limited release imperial stout that does, like the brewery's description notes, does a pretty fair job of masking (but not totally eliminating) the alcohol presence nor the whiskey barrel aging. Full and rich with some fine complexity and nicely balanced throughout.

Jan 01, 2019
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Hopheadjeffery from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tasted in a Rastal Teku from a bottle on October 5, 2018. Imperial stout brewed with coffee, cacao nibs and coconut added then aged in whiskey and rum barrels. Excellent.

Oct 11, 2018
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csmrx7 from Canada

4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amazing lacing and mocha head. Smell is complex, not overly boosy, flavor is a touch astringent and this will likely get a bit better with age. But drinks very well.

Aug 18, 2018
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Damian from Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Drank from a 1 pt. 6 fluid ounces bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
Served in a tulip

Badass looking label. Love the shiny black text on matte black background. As for the beer, it poured dark brown, bordering on black, and somewhat thinner bodied for the style. The liquid was topped by a frothy, finger-tall, caramel colored crown that fell to a thick, bubbly collar. A wall of streaky lacing trickled down the glass after each sip.

The aroma was amazingly rich and complex. Big, malty and robust. Nice mix of roasted and caramel malts. Loads of darker roast coffee. Raw cacao nibs also came through strong. Somewhat fudgey. Moderately sweet. Lots of fragrant vanilla as well. There was a sweet, rummy quality too. The rum barrels definitely made their presence known. Strong dark fruit notes. Quite raisiny. A touch of cinnamon was detectable as the beer warmed.

The flavor profile was unfortunately much harsher and boozier than the aroma. Roasted malts dominated from start to finish. Quite ashy and acrid. Almost a touch burnt. Bitter espresso appeared in the center. As the beer moved along the palate, the acridness intensified. The beer finished with a sharp, whiskey-like kick and some lingering, ashy bitterness. As the beer warmed, the flavor smoothed out a bit and also turned somewhat sweeter. Subtle dark chocolate notes appeared. Touch of brown sugar too.

Nice creamy, frothy mouthfeel. Fluffy and slick on the palate. Medium-light bodied for the style. The liquid contained a greater-than-average, larger bubbled effervescence. By the drink’s end, the sugars in the beer left a slightly sticky film on my lips.

Like most of the beers in the Big Bad Baptist Series, this was solid but not as impressive as I had hoped. While the aroma was amazingly smooth and complex, the flavor seemed really boozy and rough around the edges. Furthermore, I picked up absolutely no coconut. A decent effort but, given the price point, I definitely would not buy this again.

Jul 09, 2018
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Sirnickatnite from Texas

4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excited about this one. Surprisingly picked this gem up at a corner store out of all places. Says less than 600 cases were made so it makes for a nice find. Apparently the store specializes in craft brews.

Cracked it open and already smell liquor barrel scent and coffee.

Look is amazing, khaki head that recedes to a film over top. Of course black as night. Just as you would like a stout to look.

The smell is difficult to pinpoint. Coffee and char with sweet marshmallowy scent, dark fruit. As it warms I smell bourbon and white rum. Not very boozy though. On second thought somewhat boozy. Tobacco and darkest of chocolate on the back-end.

Taste is smooth, creamy, takes a second to get my palette ready. Sweet tobacco, coffee, chocolate, bourbon, and definitely rum. Taste a lot of barrel, especially the char. Hides the abv well.

Mouthfeel is thicker than the other Baptist variations. Which is a nice plus for this beer.

Overall this beer is a real treat, pick it up if you come across it !

Jul 05, 2018
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superspak from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter; no bottle dating, but is a recent release. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 1 finger dense and rocky khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, nutty medium roasted coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, rum, toasted oak, biscuit, and dark/brown bread; with lighter notes of coconut, marshmallow, fudge brownie, molasses, licorice, smoke, char, dark fruit, herbal, and roast/toast/oak earthiness. Increasing booze in the aromas as it warms, but not too overwhelming. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, cocoa/coffee, and bourbon/rum barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, nutty medium roasted coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, rum, toasted oak, biscuit, and dark/brown bread; with lighter notes of coconut, marshmallow, fudge brownie, molasses, licorice, smoke, char, dark fruit, herbal, and roast/toast/oak earthiness. Light herbal/roast/char bitterness and bourbon/rum/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of milk/dark chocolate, cocoa, nutty coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, rum, toasted oak, biscuit, dark/brown bread, coconut, fudge, molasses, licorice, smoke, char, dark fruit, herbal, and roast/toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, cocoa/coffee, and bourbon/rum barrel flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet and bourbon/rum/oak spiciness balance; with zero cloying/acrid/astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering hop/roast bitterness and bourbon/rum/oak spiciness. Light-medium carbonation and full body; with a very smooth, creamy, silky, velvety, and rich mouthfeel that is fantastic. Light sticky hops, chalky roast, and oak tannins. Mildly increasing warmth of 11.7%, with minimal barrel booziness lingering after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic BBA imperial stout. All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, cocoa/coffee, and bourbon/rum barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the big ABV; with the mildly bitter/drying finish. Not as amazing as the other variants, but still impressive. The coffee and coconut are really lacking. Feels a bit more heavy on the barrel presence(especially rum), but not overwhelming. Great rich malt complexity and barrel integration without being boozy. A highly enjoyable offering as expected.

Jun 09, 2018
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mothman from Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tan head. Black color. Thick.

Great coconut flavor. So real. Cocoa and fudge bomb. Nice big barrel flavor. Bourbon shows more than the rum. Oak. Nice amount of coffee without it being roasted. Thick, full bodied, and full of flavor. Very well done.

May 29, 2018
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Released April 2018; drank 5/19/18 @ the Yarchives.

Black appearance.

A violent pour yielded a nice tan head; frothy lace.

Cream, dark chocolate, mild bourbon & faint fresh earth notes in the nose.

Creamy medium thick mouthfeel.

Burnt caramel & cream flavors up front; Coca Cola & mild whiskey heat notes on the finish.

A bit thin, boozy & odd; this isn't awful, but it's a league below some of it's component parts.

May 20, 2018
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DavidR_9 from California

4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Blend of 3 different 2017 Big Bad Baptist projects. Into snifter

Black body, medium viscosity, really on the thinner side. Khaki head that fizzes out quickly to the rim. The pour is audibly very fizzy and active. Huge coffee nose with a touch of coconut, oak, and earthiness. Nice roasted malts. Reminds me of KBS with a less sharp but still readily present booziness on the nose. Taste is intense roastiness from the malt profile, tons of dark coffee bean and the oily acidic character along with it, and a medium-light boozy note that hits with a bourbon and rum barrel sweetness. Really light oak and coconut on the back end but to be honest the coconut and cacao nibs are pretty much undetectable. Maybe they are overtaken by the coffee bitterness. Mouthfeel is on the thin side, very active carbonation, but this makes the brew extremely drinkable.

This is one of the smoothest blended imperial stouts. If you are a fan of coffee, I would seek this out and give it a whirl.

May 17, 2018
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ArrogantB from Colorado

4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle $18.99. Looks exactly like the Big Bad Baptist you would expect. Flavor and aroma are both good, boozy, don;t get any coconut. This is a solid Baptist variant but I am not sure it is that much better than the last bottle of the regular version I had, my palate is probably not good enough. Still, it is tasty.

May 12, 2018
Big Bad Baptist Reserve from Epic Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 69 ratings