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Big Bad Baptist | Epic Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
96
world-class
586 Reviews
Big Bad BaptistBig Bad Baptist
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Epic Brewing Company
Utah, United States
epicbrewing.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
It’s Big, it’s Bad, Whiskey &/or Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, with Coffee and Cocoa Nibs.

http://www.epicbrewing.com/the-beers/exponential-series/item/635-big-bad-baptist-imperial-stout

ABV varies by batch

Added by JohnGalt1 on 09-30-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
586
Ratings:
3,554
Avg:
4.32
pDev:
21.3%
 
 
Wants:
435
Gots:
1,224
For Trade:
126
User Reviews
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Reviews: 586 | Ratings: 3,554
Reviews by gleemonger:
Photo of gleemonger
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pitch black with a thin, creamy brown head, that dissipates pretty quickly leaving just a pleasant little cap, followed by some lacing down the glass. Very nice.

Picking up just about everything they say is in it, starting with some strong chocolate, followed by roasted malts, coffee, booze, and a little whiskey. Strong and complex, but doesn't smell super pungeant or anything. Super interesting and delicious smelling.

Getting all of the above from the flavor as well, with the chocolate leading off again - a kind of mix between dark chocolate and sweet milk chocolate. The coffee and roast is mellow, but definitely there. I get just the faintest hint of whiskey at the back end, and very little alcohol presence despite the massive size. This is one amazing imperial stout, I must say.

Nice and heavy with a light carbonation bite to round it out. Smooth and creamy and delicate - definitely like a dessert and what I love about a great imperial stout.

This is definitely one of my new favorite imperial stouts! Amazingly smooth and complex yet not over the top at all - everything blends totally perfectly and doesn't bury the rest. I would love to always have this one on hand for those times when I want a massive beer, for sure.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #58 (November 2011):

LOOK: Pitch black, impressive head

SMELL: Exotic coffee, dark chocolate, soft charcoal, burnt currants, vanilla, booze, wood

TASTE: Thick, syrupy, smooth, bitter char, wood, booze, espresso, cocoa powder, faint vanilla

This beer is a beast! Usually you don't see such grace and balance with bigger Stouts. From roasted, wood, booze and sweetness, it all comes together. Seriously, this one gives some of the more hyped Imperial Stouts something to think about. A true ticker, beer geek, hunter or whatever, should be seeking this brew out.

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Photo of ljjpowers
4.59/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Full disclosure: I’ve sampled Epic’s Big Bad Baptist before. From the source. In Salt Lake City. And I don’t remember doing it. At all. Four hours prior to takeoff, my friend and I decided to stop off at the brewery and proceeded to order every beer on tap. Every. Single. One. I know that the Baptist was mixed into that enormous “flight” somewhere, but I can’t recall where it landed. It sounded good… I mean, how can you go wrong with coffee, whiskey, and cocoa nibs? But with a sober mind and a clean palate, does it deliver? Is it worthy? Well…

The short answer is yes: it does deliver and it is worthy. Pouring the Baptist is an adventure in and of itself— the liquid settles quickly into a pitch-black pool after mocha-tinged lacing falls gracefully from the top of the glass. As if on a blind date, the beer opens up after taking the proper amount of time to get to know it. Aromas are subtle at first, but fresh-ground coffee, strong whiskey, and bitter chocolate are immediately noticeable. A few minutes after that, wood, vanilla, roasted malt, tobacco, and molasses emanate from the glass. The taste of this beer is unrivaled in many respects, as the Baptist allows the drinker to taste everything that it has to offer without tasting too much of anything. The mouthfeel is also much more intense than what would be expected of a barrel aged stout. While imparting rich flavor, barrels tend to mellow, balance, and smooth brews. This is not true of Epic’s barrel aged beauty. Swigs go down with a pleasant burn that mimics a less-intense whiskey shot. The striking taste of alcohol then fades to a lingering chocolate/tobacco aftertaste. And though I don’t remember our first encounter (nor do I remember passing through the security line at SLC), you can be assured that I won’t forget this experience. And I’ll be back for more.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft, at the Aces and Ales, Las Vegas, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a half of a finger of chocolate-colored head that dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Tons of roasted malt up front, imparting notes of freshly toasted pumpernickel bread, followed by some dark chocolate aromas, caramel and brown sugar. Rich.

Taste: Strong flavors of roasted malt up front, imparting notes of freshly toasted pumpernickel bread, a touch of freshly roasted coffee and smoke, followed by some dark chocolate-like bitterness, dark molasses, brown sugar-like sweetness and a touch of star anise or licorice. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Very chewy, very creamy and smooth, as there is no carbonation what-so-ever in this beer. With an ABV of 11.8%, there is a very pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is an excellent beer! I love the strong flavors of malt, dark chocolate and dark molasses/brown sugar-like sweetness as well as the creamy mouthfeel. Delicious!

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Photo of metter98
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is absolutely jet black in color. It poured with a two finger high dark tan head that died down a bit and left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a small collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of coffee beans n the nose along with some hints of roasted malts.
T: The taste shares some similarities with the smell in terms of flavors of coffee beans and also has notes of whiskey and hints of roasted malts The roasted toffee beans linger throuh the finish and overall become stronger as the beers wrms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: For a beer of this strength, the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Note: Batch #10

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Photo of ilikebeer03
4.59/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

release # 36 poured into snifter.

A: jet black with a half finger of tan head. recedes to a ring around the glass with traces in the center. slight lacing. good considering 12.4 ABV according to the bottle.

S: fresh roasted coffee upfront, slight chocolate, a bit of bourbon/oak, dark malts

T: delicious. fresh coffee is upfront followed by a bit of chocolate, a hint of oaky vanilla, and just a touch of bourbon on the finish. alcohol is well hidden, though there is a slight burn on the finish. I would like just a bit more bourbon to come through.

M: thick and creamy. low carbonation, as it appropriate for the style.

O: this is an incredible beer. I'll definitely be seeking this out again.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
3.98/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Received this as an extra in trade with BA BrettHead. Enjoyed out of a 22 oz brown bomber with a production date of October 2013. Poured into an oversized 33 oz snifter.

Appearance (4.0) - Pours a rich, dark brown that pretty much comes across as black. Holding it up to the light reveals some shades of charred wood brown, but it's not very capable of letting light through at all. Atop the body sits a half to three-quarters finger of mocha colored foam that provides a blanket of head with just a few places where a larger bubble has burst, revealing the dark liquid beneath. Retention is moderate and before long, that blanket has turned into an intermittently dispersed film. Lacing is almost nonexistent, save for a few speckles on the sides of the glass as I drink it down.

Smell (4.0) - I'm a bit surprised at how well the coffee continues to power through 10 months later. I've never had this fresh, so I don't know how aggressive it is normally, but to me, there is just a really nice amount of the roasty brew infused into this beer. French roast and bittersweet chocolate interplay up front, and there is a hint of oak and whiskey hidden behind the pleasant bitterness from the coffee/cacao.

Taste (4.0) - Here, the coffee seems to have succumbed to the extended time period, but what's left is a nice roasted highlight to the roasted grains and malts contained therein. At this point, it hits the palate with the essence of coffee, rather than being a straight-up assault of arabica. This allows the bittersweet and chocolatey goodness of the nibs to shine, providing a nice sweet counterpoint to the more astringent elements of the barrel, with notes of whiskey, vanilla and wood.

Mouthfeel (3.75) - Medium-to-full bodied, with moderate-to-low carbonation. It's a bit thin, but not unpleasantly so, and that is to be expected from barrel-aged beers, I suppose. There is a lingering but pleasant bitterness on the palate after the beer is long gone. Makes for a great digestif.

Overall (4.0), a really nice barrel-aged beer. I'm happy to have been able to try this one, but since it's ultimately no easier for me to get than any of my favorite, hard-to-acquire barrel-aged imperial stouts, I'm not likely to have it much moving forward. At the very least, it has me curious to try some of Epic's other offerings, as this was my first.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Release # 17 - October 2013.

A - Black, solid, with red-brown highlights, and slight traces of tan head.

S - Barrel, booze, hints of vanilla, chocolate, and grassy hop notes.

T - Following the nose, the front is a wall of whiskey booze notes, woody and full. The middle comes in with big coffee and bitter chocolate notes, acidic. Flashes of char, tobacco and ash underlie the roast core. The close is narrows to a bitter line, hops coming in here with the bitter grassiness, but mostly this is the bitterness of deeply, profoundly roasted malts and coffee.

M - Silky and full, slightly oily and slick. Bitterness is present and the booze is hot and forward. This is not a beer that hides its walloping ABV.

O - Don't ignore the "Big Bad" here. This is a monster beer, fat and full, ready to lay you down in the river. Drinking it is an experience, with each drink offering up new elements. A masterly brew.

 920 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Surly Goat in West Hollywood, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is absolutely fantastic with dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and huge coffee bean and coffee ground aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt and a flavor very similar to tiramisu that has been dusted with cocoa powder and coffee grounds. There is a nice roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a medium body. Overall, this is a good stout with an outstanding aroma but the taste just doesn't match up.

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Photo of bman13
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The holy grail of all stouts ever created. Tastes like liquid cocoa puffs with just a little bit of coffee and booze. This one went down in just a matter of minutes, it was that good. Way better than any other stout I've had, even better than world class BCBS in my opinion. Will be buying this WHENEVER I see it. Never in a million years would I have guessed that it was 11.5% ABV. almost too easy to drink. Batch #48 I believe.

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Photo of Stingraystripe
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very complex, and lots going on. Successive releases have toned down the complexity, and made for a much more cohesive taste. A good 20-30 minutes at room temp does so much for BBB.

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Photo of sicilian
4.89/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Jet Black appearance with minimal head. Blast of Coffee small and cocoa with little whiskey smell unless you really concentrate on knowing its supposed to be there.

Reminds me a lot of Founders Imperial Stout since it isn't real heavy on the Whiskey flavors(which is a good thing) and has similar mouth feel. I was sort of worried the Whiskey would overpower the other flavors but the coffee comes blasting through but isn't bitter. The cocoa is an awesome background flavor and I can barely taste the Whiskey but you know it s there.. I didn't think I could find an imperial stout I enjoyed more than FIS and Narwhal(with its unique licorice flavor) but this one is EPIC...

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Photo of biboergosum
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle (Batch #50, 'Blue Copper', @12.6% ABV). Every December 5th, in honour of the American Repeal Day, I extract the biggest, baddest Yankee-brewed offering from my cellar to review. Turns out that this year, I couldn't have had a better option: Big Bad Baptist!

This beer pours a solid black abyss, with the scantest of basal mahogany edges when pressed to the cold glow of the monitor screen, and one skinny-ass finger of weakly foamy, and mostly just bubbly brown head, which leaves some decent arctic iceberg profile lace around the glass as things gently get a move on.

It smells of charred black coffee, grainy caramel malt, bittersweet chocolate, earthy licorice root, gritty American whiskey barrels - corn-fed booze and wood, mostly - a strange dark fruitiness, and some tame weedy, leafy, and musty hoppiness. The taste is rich medium chocolate fudge, fading day-old coffee grounds, toffee-flecked caramel malt, those Scandinavian licorice candies, surprisingly subtle barrel astringencies - a bit of vanilla and rye whiskey-soaked staves - and a generic earthy bitterness.

The bubbles are fairly laid-back, but perform well enough via their supportive frothiness, the body a dense medium-heavy weight, and rather smooth, with a heady and robust creaminess. It finishes sweet, but in a generally moderated sense - the char, coffee, and a mildly acrid booziness seeing to that.

Wowee - for such a high ABV stout, you'd hardly know it, and the chocolate and coffee work together like old buds, with just enough barrel content to make ya happy, without hitting you over the head with it. This Baptist fulfilled my quota and my belly tonight, with big, bad aplomb - but make no mistake, I'm not losing my religion, as my religion is damned (sorry) good beer.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Batch # 54, bottled 09/16/15 according to their website

Appearance - Pours black with dark cola brown edging with a dark tan, half finger width head. Sub-par retention, then dissipates to a mostly barren surface with a thin ring around the edge. Lacing consists isn't much outside a few small spots.

Smell - Coffee and a fudgy 'chocolate syrup' character really stand out in the aroma. Mild whiskey notes sit well beneath.

Taste - Follows the nose. Fudgy chocolate with lesser 'iced coffee' flavors of roast and a touch of caramel. Just enough whiskey character, with hints of leather, oak, vanilla and general booziness, to let you know it's there without overrunning the entire experience. The finish consists of earthy coffee character with lesser fudgy sweetness, and it lingers beautifully.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full in body with low carbonation. Super creamy texture that coats the mouth without much syrupy stickiness. Goes down stupid easy and finishes somewhat dry.

Overall - Oh wow, this is a beauty. So much flavor that seamlessly comes together to deliver an amazing drinking experience. I would gladly trade for this again, and I'll definitely keep an eye out the next time I travel to SoCal or Reno.

 1,221 characters

Photo of socon67
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer has nice bourbon notes, great chocolate flavor, and is a rich malty beer. Balance is great. Right there with BCBS.

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Photo of russpowell
4.68/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

This was brewed in SLC, # 2072 then some numbers I can't read...

Pours ebony with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. Great lacing & head retention, very bubbly...

S: Coffee, chocolate, a little bit of red pepper

T: All the nose is here up front; loads of coffee, a little caramel as well. Seems like a little barrel hiding in the background as this warms. Much coffee & chille heat, some more caramel sweetness, mocha as well. Finishes with heat, dryness, caramel, & much coffee...

MF: Medium bodied, warming, & firm carbonation. Thins as touch as this warms, still pretty nice...

Drinks so easy for the style, I liked it a little more on tap. This on the must purchase list the next time I'm back where this is feasible. LOVED this...

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Photo of jwall76
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I don't know why it took me so long to try this but now that I have I can't drink this enough. Simply amazing.

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

Release #55 12.7% abv

A: Poured into a DFH snifter to a deep black beer topped by a finger of dark tan head that fades to a small mat on top of the beer with some lacing
S: Smells of huge fresh roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate. There may be some whiskey barrel notes hiding in the back too but the coffee is the star of the show on the nose
T: Taste is roasted coffee, dark chocolate, a little vanilla and caramel, some slight oak comes in as well. Big roasted malt as well with some slight charred wood. Swallow is a little alcohol but mostly chocolate and coffee with some lingering barrel notes and some roasted malt
M: this beer is pretty full in body with soft but adequate carbonation and a slightly dry finish
O: A world class American Imperial Stout. Great flavors and great complexity yet still very drinkable. This is up there with the Eclipse beers from FiftyFifty. If you see this you need to buy it.

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Photo of stortore
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce into a snifter, release #40, 11.5%, maybe batch 1977 bottled 10/13/2014.

Pours dark, no head but lacing on the sides while drinking. Smells oaky, vanilla, buttery (?). Whatever, smells really nice. Tastes of vanilla, whiskey, some oak. Get some coffee on the back end. This is beautifully blended. Really smooth drinking, almost creamy.

First beer from Epic and it's a big winner. Can't get this where I live, wish I would have bought a second. Don't know if all the releases are this good, but you should buy it if you see it.

 546 characters

Photo of TheRougeBastard
3.98/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is one big beer in terms of taste, feel, and effect! Poured black as black can be and thick with minimal head. The 11.7%abv wasn't hidden at all and smacked you with each swig. Notes of roasted cocoa beans, dark chocolate and vanilla(?) were there along with the alcohol. As it got warmer in the glass, the bite got bolder. All in all, I enjoyed this bad boy from the folks at Epic, just glad I was safely at home as this one easily brought out the drunkard in me:)

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

Release 45 poured into a tulip glass at cellar temp.. L: dark brown color, nice 1/4 inch head that hangs around. S: fresh coffee, chocolate, malt, vanilla, touch of bourbon. T: follows suit: coffee, chocolate, with oak and vanilla. the bourbon is slight here, but there's no alcohol either. the finish is really smooth on this one. M: silky, creamy, very nice carbonation.

Fresh off some other coffee stouts, I gotta say I'm impressed with this one. Have another that I'm aging, so that'll be fun. But I'll echo others in saying that this is overlooked. If you see it and you like the style, pick one up!

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep black body, creamy chestnut head. Nose is spectacularly rich, a candy store of molasses, caramel, toasted marshmallow, and dark chocolate. Give it a sip, though, and you've got a lot more than that...especially first off, as warm, woody bourbon flavors comes rippling over the front end. Keep sipping and you see that the palate stays in that mode, condensed, powerful, but adding layer upon layer as the drink goes on: first chewy, chocolate-covered fruit, then crisp, smoky, and toasty (think chocolate-covered pretzel), and finally finishing with the spice of clove and fresh ginger. In all, this is a gorgeous beer. The only problem I have is that, like I said before, it really doesn't expand. It's a concentrated experience, never quite as full-bodied and lingering as other top contenders in its class. But still, just because it isn't the best, that doesn't mean that what's contained in this bottle isn't pure magic. Overall, this stout is nothing less than extraordinary. Cheers!

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Photo of robbrockjr
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Solid brew.
Nice smell, great taste. Very easy drinking

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Photo of Dunkelganger4
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Lucifer goblet...irony indeed....
Appearance: motor oil black with a thin beige head.
Aroma:Coffee, chocolate, whiskey
Flavor: The cocoa nibs are the first flavor detected, which impart a slight dry, roasty quality to the beer. Also, the coffee is quite prevalent while the whiskey and barrel-derived vanilla notes lay more in the background providing complexity without taking away from the two prominent flavors. There's almost no alcohol present, which makes this beer quite dangerous.
Mouthfeel: Silky smooth and quite viscous.
Overall: An incredible BBA imperial stout that stands out from the other drunken BBA imperial stouts that seem to saturate the market.

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Photo of chrismann65
4.84/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Batch # 36 ABV = 12.4 % . Very nice Imperial stout brewed with Cocoa Nibs, coffee , aged in whiskey Barrels !!! This is a great stout coffee forward with smooth cocoa dark flavor . Just got better as , I drank it over 2 hours & the last sip was the best !! Wow I will look for more of this A.S.A.P.!! Epic , very well done great job !! Thanks for brewing A Top A++ Beer that will age well with time !! Love this beer !!! WOW !!!

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Big Bad Baptist from Epic Brewing Company
4.32 out of 5 based on 3,554 ratings.
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