Big Bad Baptist | Epic Brewing Company

BA SCORE
96
world-class
606 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:
606
Ratings:
3,634
Avg:
4.32
pDev:
8.56%
 
 
Wants:
433
Gots:
1,259
For Trade:
128
User Reviews
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Reviews: 606 | Ratings: 3,634
Photo of Avast
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite imperial stouts I've ever had. Great body, pours a smooth, deep black color. Beautiful dark copper head. Right off the bat you can smell the coffee and chocolate. First taste is a bitter bite from the whiskey cask aging and the acidity from the coffee. Smooths out with a wonderful dark chocolate finish. I love this beer. Perfect for a cold winter night. Make sure you share, its a big boy.

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Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, batch 1; bottled 9/22/2011. Pours pitch black color with a small dense tan head with good retention; that reduces to a very thin cap that lingers. Some decent spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of huge dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, toffee, vanilla, whiskey, oak, molasses, toast, and light char. Fantastic aromas with awesome balance and complexity. Taste of big roasted coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, roasted malt, molasses, toffee, whiskey, oak, molasses, and toast. Light bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, coffee, whiskey, oak, toast, molasses, caramel, toffee, and vanilla on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance of the barrel flavors with the beer; no overwhelming whiskey flavors at all. Medium carbonation and full bodied; with a nice creamy, slick, and thick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely fantastic barrel aged imperial stout! Great balance of flavors with the barrel aging; and very smooth to sip on for being 11.7%. This is the easier to find substitute for KBS in my book.

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Photo of portia99
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle (release #3, 11.4% ABV) courtesy of hoppymcgee. Thanks again Greg! Poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours an almost pitch black color that is quite opaque in the glass. A finger of dense, dark brown head lingers for a minute or two and falls slowly to the surface leaving a foamy collar and some lacing on the glass.

S - From a distance to the glass, my first impression is a chocolate donut. Closer inspection changes this and reveals much more. Serious coffee which smells great, dark chocolate, faint hints of whiskey, a bit of char, lots of dark roasted malt. Actually reminds me quite a bit to a KBS. I hope this tastes as good as it smells.

T - Coffee is still front and center in the flavor but perhaps is second in intensity behind a prominent charcoal and burnt toast aspect. Cocoa nibs come thru nicely especially towards the finish. Barrel is extremely subtle but definitely adds a layer of nuance. Doesn't quite stand up to KBS or its own aroma, but this is really, really good.

M - Medium bodied with a lower level carbonation that is a touch tingly...or is that the whiskey? If it is the whiskey it is really the only evidence of the spirit in the mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden, no heat at all, flavor contribution is subtle but complementary. Maybe the weakest aspect of this beer, but that is a bit nit-picky and definitely speaks to how good the other aspects of this stout are.

O - Very glad Greg suggested this one to me...honestly hadn't heard of it at the time and had to look it up. This is one of the better imperial stouts I've had recently...really like the powerful coffee flavors, subtle barrel treatment, amazing aroma. Would really like to get another bottle of this one somewhere down the road.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to beeruser for sharing this one at a recent tasting! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller oversized wine glass. Poured pitch black with a half finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, coffee, caramel, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of roasted malt, coffee, cream, wood, sweet alcohol, and espresso. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew. I truly went into this brew not expecting to like what I found. Fortunately, I was QUITE surprised! This thing really amazed me with all the flavors and aromas I got off it. They were so intense throughout while still remaining balanced. This one really wowed everyone at the tasting that evening. If you have constant access to this, I definitely envy you. If you don’t, you need to get this thing on your palate STAT!

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Photo of ao125
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've drank a number of beers, and done a number of beer reviews, but there are few things that come even remotely close to this beer.

The only way I can describe it is like: "Drinking a midnight-black and thick, glass of chocolate-covered espresso beans".

It's sweet.
It's filling.
It's difficult as hell to get through a whole bottle on your own.

But it's also quite delicious.

Definitely a dessert beer of "Epic" proportions.

The "Big Bad Baptist" name also fits, if you think about this as "coffee and donuts after church"... now I just need to find a church that serves it.

Hands down, one of my favorite beers. I've tried batches #1, #3, and #4.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from release #4 (bottled on 1/23/12) poured in to CBS snifter.

A - Poured black. One finger of bubbly espresso coloured head that receded to a thin layer. Some light lacing.

S - Whiskey up front that gives way to a bold espresso aroma, charred oak and cocoa nibs. The overall nose is very bitter with noticeable alcohol.

T - Massive espresso flavours up front that give way to whiskey, charred oak and heavily roasted chocolate malts. Bitter cocoa nibs are present as well, which combine with the espresso to create an almost overpowering bitterness that dominate the palate, somewhat muting the barrel aging qualities; but that is not a bad thing, as it allows the flavours to integrate well with good balance.

M - Medium to full body. Somewhat viscous. Light carbonation.

O - A little to heavy on the coffee but very good. Will be interesting to see what happens to my other bottle with a year or so of age on it.

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Photo of brstls4drmrs
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A--pours a dark, thick, opaque liquid with a perfectly thin caramel head. Good lacing occurs with some froth sticking to the glass.

S--dark chocolate malts, earth, coffee, burnt vanilla bean.

T--coffee and strong malts. Faint dark chocolate with some burnt, dark fruits.

M--thick and slightly creamy as temp rises. Finish sticks around for a while which is quite pleasing.

O--great brew. Would definitely get more of this.

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

Batch #2. Bottled 11/28/11 and brewed with Tanzanian Rimini coffee (from Epic's website). Poured from a bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Very dark pour. Lightly carbonated. Thin tan head with rapid dissipation. The nose has a lot of coffee on it. GOOD coffee. It smells like fine roasted coffee beans (not bitter old coffee). There's so much coffee on it, I don't seem to get much else.

Very interesting flavor. The strong coffee components come in very quickly and hit you with their bitterness. My first impression was one of disappointment for having missed out on any malty sweetness. However, the bitterness is not overwhelming and at mid-palate, some oak and cocoa flavors join in and match their bitterness to that of the coffee. At the back of the palate, there's a bit of alcohol warmth and a slight touch of whiskey that lingers a bit on the finish with the coffee. The body is very full and the mouthfeel is slightly oily and mouthcoating.

You gotta love a beer from Utah called ``Big Bad Baptist". I would love to give this beer higher marks simply because it's one of the ``coffee-est'' stouts I've had, but it's just a little too bitter for me to rate it any higher than I have. Still, it has a lot of flavor and if you like bitter beers, you'll probably flip over this. For me, it would have been better with a bit more sweetness to balance out all that coffee and cocoa. Also, for a whiskey barrel-aged beer, it doesn't have much vanilla or bourbon flavor to it. Still, a solid and enjoyable beer that I may buy again simply to see how it ages. Recommended.

Edit - Batch #25 (1/18/14) - Heavenly nose that explodes with rich coffee and bittersweet chocolate. The flavor is divine. I can't believe I actually thought this beer was bitter the first time I had it. Wow! So glad I came back to try this beer again after having been around the block a few times. Really delightful coffee flavor. Upgrades to the scores, Holmes! This stuff is da (coffee) BOMB! Very reminiscent of KBS.

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Photo of vkv822
3.93/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on-tap at Belmont Station.
from notes.

Pours black with a foamy, creamy looking light brown head.

Big chocolate and faint roast.

More chocolate and roast coffee in the taste as well.

Medium-light body with bubbly, medium carbonation.

Enjoyable Imperial Stout, chocolate and coffee for the most part, with the body sitting slightly on the lighter side for the style.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

HUGE thanks to VegasBeerMan...

A: Pours a pitch black motor oil slime with a full finger of mocha colored head. The foam settles fairly quickly leaving a nice frothy ring around the edges of the glass.

S: The nose is coffee, chocolate, roast, ans smoked meat. It's the perfect balance of everything wonderful in an Imp Stout. Damn. I want to drink this beer immediately.

T: Mmm. Great sweet malt up front mixed with char and barrel aged greatness. I get chocolate and more chared wonder as this beer comes through in the middle. The finish is pure milk chocolate and roast. Absolutely fantastic.

M: Full bodied beer. This beer is silky smooth, coating, and lingers forever. It's perfect.

O: This beer is killer! I had no expectations before I opened the bottle, and now I want a case more. This is one of the best/most memorable BA beers I've had in a long, long, long, long ass time. This beer is glorious.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

this is an absolutely insane bottle of beer, dont ever pass up a chance to drink one of these. it pours inky black, thick, and dangerous. smell is coffee, dark dark pure cocoa, burnt barley, and pipe tobacco. the taste is unbeatable to me, and i almost never give out 5's. this surpases the abyss to me on flavor, really. fantastically rich brewed coffee up front with lots of woodsy, burning, organic matter hitting in the middle. big semisweet chocolate flavors come in just past the halfway point, followed by fresh tobacco tones and a syrupy sugar cane alcoholic tingle. this all rides on a slow rolling wave of the fullest body you can imagine and mellow carbonation just enough to keep it moving. a touch sludgy though, and maybe a good one to share around for the fainter of heart. gets downright hot boozy as it warms up, and is a definite slow sipper. if there is a better imperial stout on the planet, bring it to me, because this one is absolutely magic. black magic! best beer ive had from epic, and the highlight of my beer tour of utah. world class

edit: this has some real variability batch to batch, and while the first one i had was the king of the heap, i have appreciated each one, but liked the first one more than all of them by far. bumping down a few scores just a nudge to reflect that.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally tried it after Ted and others bugged me for like 3 months.

Pours black with a small white head. Then the smell. Holy shit its coffee. Like lots of coffee. bitter coffee and dark chocolate and oak in the taste. Light body, low carbonation, and lots of coffee. There wasnt as much bourbon as I was expecting, but it gets the job done.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A coffee story from intro to epilogue. Black as night, oily texture, sweeter side with chocolate. The coffee wafts, it is much more coffee composition than coffee stouts. Some roasted malt. Good for what it is, it is surprisingly drinkable at 11% abv.

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Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing.

Pours a big, blackish brown with a mountain of brown head that has great retention. The nose is big and robust with an immense coffee aroma and faint chocolate. The flavor is dominated by coffee with some rich, roasted malts and underlying chocolate. There is a faint, citrusy hop finish that adds a little balance to the richness of the malts. The mouthfeel is definitely full bodied, very smooth, and well carbonated.

This was a great stout. The coffee was immense and intense, the alcohol is big and warm, the flavor was profound, but at the same time it was drinkable and smooth. It was all around enjoyable.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a tan like head. In the aroma, coffee, chocolate, and a note of alcohol. In the taste, dry coffee and balanced with a sweet cocoa, with notes of alcohol all the way through. A smooth and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a note of dry coffee and small alcohol in the aftertaste. Dry coffee balanced with sweet cocoa, with a nice alcohol presence, very nice.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.8/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. $11.40 from Pints O'Plenty.

Appearance: Pitch black. Good looking tan colored head with surprisingly goog retention. Nice looking spotty lacing.

Smell: Strong coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Caramel, vanilla, a hint of smoke, and a bit of leather.

Taste: Its on the bitter-roasty side, and a bit of heat and bitterness from the whiskey barrels accentuates this. Residual sweetness from the malt and the sweeter cocoa and vanilla flavors balance it somewhat, but this one stays a bit on the harsh side due to roasty bitterness and alcohol burn. There is nice complexity of flavors, but its out of balance at this stage of its life.

Mouthfeel: The body if the beer is nice and big, but is cut and thinned by the hot alcohol. The burn steals what would otherwise be a big, soft, fullmouthfeel. Still pretty good though.

Overall: I think this beer needs some time to mellow and meld. There are lots of nice flavors that I think will come together nicely. I wish I had one to age. This beer is probably better than my review numbers indicate.

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Photo of BrewsoBrewco
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours and opaque black with a creamy head that quickly dissipates away from the beer.

S-rich chocolate, espresso, and even an almost milky smell. Also hints of whiskey on the nose. Not to prominent for a whiskey aged beer. Subtle but nice.

T-I first get whiskey, follow by chocolate and then the coffee hit. The whiskey is subtle in the taste but does great for for balancing out such a big beer. The cocoa provides a great transition into coffee which is really isn't overpowering, but provides such an awesome taste. The whiskey comes back through and provides a great backbone throughout.

M-Rich, with a long lingering taste. Like a strong cup of coffee in a great way. Every sip it gets better

O-I think this is an awesome beer. The coffee and cocoa come through in such a great way. Not overly subtle not over-powering. The whiskey comes through very nicely. It isn't overpowering and is definitely present. In some cases I would like a little more whiskey flavor, but it's still awesome. i think they did a great job. Awesome beer.

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Photo of dfernandez77
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance:
Dark brown like bittersweet bakers chocolate. Clear but dark enough light barely penetrates. Medium dark tan head that dissipates to creamy tan foam.

smell:
Bittersweet chocolate, vanilla caramel, butterscotch, espresso, and dulce de leche. Amazing rich depth and complexity.

taste:
All of the richness and characteristics of the aroma. Like a smooth 70% Cacao chocolate, with vanilla, espresso, and sweetened condensed milk. Super phat roasty malts well balanced with the cacao bitterness. Like a beerTiramisu mouthgasm.

mouthfeel:
Big slippery fat oat stout assault, then the slight dry astringency is all over your tongue. Finishes inexplicably simultaneously slippery and dry. Crazy complex.

overall:
OMFG! Stunning. Sign me up for a barrel. Give me a huge Chalice full accompanied by a Tiramisu soaked in French roast espresso with secret layers of blackberry jam. Amazing.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a tulip glass. This is from batch # 3.

Pours pitch black in the glass, with a finger of rich milk chocolate colored head. This retains with a strong ½ finger of froth, throwing up a robust cascade that quickly descends down and drenches the sides of the glass with spotty foam. The aroma smells robust to say the least, with notes of coffee and cocoa just erupting in the nose before giving way to flavors of vanilla, coconut, and more chocolate (which only picks up steam as this warms). The bourbon barrel rides along on the edges of this with some warmth but I have to say, that’s it’s the coffee here that really controls the nose overall.

The taste is quite rich up front, with a delicious mélange of chocolate, coffee, and vanilla, which runs into a wall of barrel character across the back that gives this some intenseness and finishes this dry, burnt, and warm. I think that decadent mix of flavors being up front helps, as it spreads out over the profile and aids in smoothing the rougher edges of this out. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a nice chewy creaminess in the mouth that prickles the tongue a bit as well. The ABV itself is pretty well hid itself except for adding a little extra sweetness to this, with the bourbon here mostly giving this any burn that it has.

I’m usually more of a fan of balance in barrel-aged beers and this beer doesn’t excel at that, with coffee dominating in some areas, sweetness in others, and then bourbon yet again in other areas, but this just worked for me. Maybe it’s because each facet of this didn’t overly crowd the others but I found this to be a quite a pleasant sipper with a killer hidden ABV for 11%. Definitely pick this up though if you like coffee beers, as it is very well done in this.

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Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by Lunch the other day thanks! He told me it was described to him as a "poor man's KBS" but since this is slightly more expensive than KBS and not as good, I didn't understand why anyone would say that.

Beer is black with a thin tan head, low retention, some lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is nice, coffee, sweet, a little chocolate, mild vanilla, no oak or bourbon.

I wouldn't have guessed this was a bourbon stout. I still don't really think so. This is a coffee stout to me, the coffee bitterness is there, the flavors are mostly sweetness up front, malt and a nice coffee finish. I liked it but probably won't have it again.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.41/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 3/9/12
*From notes

-- Bomber split with my Pops, which is always a pleasure. --

A: Dark, velvety brown. A generous pour yields a dense 1.5 finger head. Creamy, thick lacing follows as the head begins to fall.

S: Really green. Overly so, in fact. It's freshly harvest coffee beans to the max. It's all a bit much for me.

T: Not a whole lot of bourbon here, sadly. Really, when they say "coffee infused", they aren't kidding. Sure, there's some chocolate here, but that green coffee vibe simply can't be shaken. In your face doesn't begin to describe it.

M: Now that's more like it. One of the thicker ADIS's I've encountered the last few weeks. Creamy like heavy whipping cream.

O: Where's the balance here? The coffee is untamed and out of control. I don't think aging will do much good, as there's not enough whiskey booze to keep it in check. Not a bad beer, but there's certainly better and more readily available Imperial Stouts on the market.

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Photo of gford217
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle.

Pours dark mahogany out of the bottle but settles in close to black in the glass with a modest but thick tan head.

Man does this smell good, at least for a coffee lover like me. It's full of freshly roasted coffee beans. Some bitter chocolate and heavily roasted malts underneath, but the coffee is dominant in the nose.

Taste is like a big iced mocha. The chocolate is subtle in the nose but not in the taste where the chocolate is right up there with the roasted coffee. Roasted malts and some lactose creaminess. Wonderful taste.

The mouthfeel is much thicker and creamier than I was expecting from the pour. It's right up there with the big boys in terms of feel.

I'm reviewing this beer as a coffee lover and, because of that, it's an outstanding beer. One of the better coffee impy stouts I've had. Even if you're not a coffee fan, you should try this, but if you like coffee stouts, get this. Now.

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Photo of johnnybgood1999
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poors pitch black with a mellow, brown cocoa head. Smells like a delicous mocha coffee. Vanilla and bourbon are noticeable secondary notes.
On the first sip, Big Baptist coats the tongue with a well balanced mix of cocoa and coffee. The coffee blend tastes like a quality brand was used, very robust and quasi espresso flavors come through. The chocolate was dark, sweet, and bitter. This made me happy, as I prefer dark chocolate versus super sweet in my beers. Vanilla, bourbon, and oak are present throughout, but become more pronounced on the back end of the palate. The mouthfeel is viscous, yet pleasantly light enough. Baptist drinks smooth and easy. I actually wanted more after I finished my bomber. Overall, this was an impressive beer that I rank right up there with The Abyss, but slightly below Goose Island BCBS. I can't compare it to KBS, as the only one I was able to procure mysteriously disappeared a year ago from my fridge. Yes, I'm still crying about that. Baptist fills a niche that I'm fond of; a beer you want when you can't tackle a bigger BCBS type brew. My first beer from Epic and it will not be my last. Very nicely done.

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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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Big Bad Baptist from Epic Brewing Company
4.32 out of 5 based on 3,634 ratings.
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