Big Bad Baptist Reserve
Epic Brewing Company

Big Bad Baptist ReserveBig Bad Baptist Reserve
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #665
Ranked #4,800
4.27 | pDev: 4.68%
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: 12 | Ratings: 36
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of stortore
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of beergoot
4.14/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of csmrx7
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of Damian
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of Sirnickatnite
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
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 !

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Photo of superspak
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of mothman
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.92/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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Photo of DavidR_9
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Big Bad Baptist Reserve from Epic Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 36 ratings