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:
3,631
Avg:
4.32
pDev:
8.56%
 
 
Wants:
435
Gots:
1,257
For Trade:
127
User Reviews
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Reviews: 606 | Ratings: 3,631
Photo of Scotchboy
3.98/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big Bad Baptist, on-tap @ Bier:Thirty in Bound Crossing. This is Batch #7; not sure how much batch variation has been encountered with this beer. Poured into a snifter, review from notes:

A: Opaque body with a huge tan head (impressive for a BA beer with adjuncts added) that recedes to a constant ring.

S: Tons of coffee with hints of smoke...a bit of boozy sweetness. There is an underlying whiskey note, but no real oak or vanilla, its just spirit.

T: Semi-acrid coffee on the front of the palate, with a moderate roasted malt component...hints of smoke and char again...mocha...the spirit burn on the back of the throat meshes pretty well with the notes of coffee and buried chocolate.

MF: Thinner and closer to medium than full...lighter to medium carbonation, light alcohol presence on the finish.

O: Decent but not great. I don't go gaga for this like a lot of guys buts a solid BA coffee stout.

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Photo of 98green
3.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bomber of batch 56. Look is dark of course. Smell is tons of coffee. Taste follows, plus a bit of bourbon and typical stout elements. Feel brings a nice boozy burn. Not as over the top as other BBA stouts, and maybe that is a good thing. I didn't really love it, but as I rated it I couldn't find anywhere to knock it too much

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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 DenverHopHead
4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 oz bottle with Release #33 on the label; into a snifter.
Appearance - pitch black, with the slightest bit of light coming in at the bottom. Thick, foamy mocha head that recedes quickly into a thin, creamy layer. Lacing is adequate.
Smell - bold espresso, vanilla, chocolate fudge and brownies and a hint of sweet bourbon; this smells incredible!
Taste - starts off with a huge wave of espresso and booze, followed by some oak flavors; was hoping to get a little of the sweetness from the nose, but that never materialized.
Feel - heavy body, but easy to sip! Lacks the complexity that the nose seemed to indicate.
Overall - bold and intense, very enjoyable! Unfortunately, my expectations were higher. I'm aging another bottle, so hopefully this gains strength.

Update after aging almost 1 year.
Flavor is enhanced; the cocoa nibs are much more prominent. Booze is tame, but the overall body is still a bit heavy.

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

A - Pours a midnight black with a one-finger tan foamy head. Light amount of sticky lacing.

S - Aroma of sweet milk chocolate, whiskey, and fresh coffee.

T - Follows the aroma. Nice sweet milk chocolate upfront followed by dark roasted coffee. Finish is bitter coffee and whiskey. Whiskey does produce a nice warmth in the finish.

M - Full bodied with low carbonation. Nice creamy mouthfeel.

O - This is a great coffee forward Imperial Stout. The flavors blend seemlessly together. Awesome.

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours up a fair amount of head which seems to have really good retention. The head is a dark beige/mocha while the body is an opaque, dark chocolate black. Only a few spots of lacing at the moment. Pretty much no lacing at all.

Nose- Delicious, creamy, and rich. Loads of chocolate that begin to suggest fudge. Hints of cherries and raisins. Coffee and roasted notes. Some nuttiness. The aroma from the glass is much more mellow, much more subtle, but not any less delicious. Very milky with slight notes of butter, caramel, toffee, and vanilla. If the taste reflects these notes, this is going to be a damn good beer.

Taste- Starts off with chocolate that quickly turns to fudge and brownie while revealing raisin and cherries and plenty of alcohol. Thick coffee with hints of wood, oak, and vanilla. Very warm on the finish- the tongue tingles with both heat and spice. Lots of bourbon but chocolate and coffee are by far the most dominant notes. Very solid, very good imperial stout. Not in my top ten but definitely worth the price. Some notes of oatmeal and a very complex malt bill that has lots of balance and integration. A few more flavor notes and this would be in the same class as Abyss, Parabola, and Bourbon County. Very well rounded. Some hints of leather and tobacco but these are very slight.

Mouthfeel- Along with the aroma, this is one of the most notable aspects of this beer. Thick and heavy but still rich, creamy, and silky. A slight grittiness on the finish.

Drinkability- Very easygoing. While the heat was upfront in the beginning, it is beginning to hide behind the chocolate and coffee. I will gladly pay 12 dollars for another bottle which I will be aging.

Overall- Solid, very good, almost great beer. If you're a fan of imperial stouts, this is a must try. If you're not, still try it. This beer is definitely more than the sum of its parts. I might even get two more bottles.

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Photo of teromous
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I don't see an actual bottle date on here but the label says Release #51 and SLC # 2667
My bottle also lists 12.7%ABV which is stronger than the ABV listed here.

Appearance: Black body with a short creamy head that is light brown. It is a short head but it maintains a cap for a while then it fades out to a ring. Some spots but no real lacing.

Aroma: I smell some wood aroma married evenly in strength with the scent of coffee. It is a very mellow aroma.

Taste: Up front I get a good chocolate flavor and then this bourbon-like woody flavor. The beer says it is made with coffee and while I did pick up on its aroma I'm not getting any in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: It's a very drinkable beer with a nice dry finish. I wouldn't say it is full bodied but again it has too much presence to be medium bodied. It rests evenly between the two. I would say that it carries a presence of a regular stout vice an imperial one. It just has a little less coating potential on the palate. It is a high ABV beer (12.7%) and it doesn't burn the palate or hamper drinkability at all.

Overall: I would say this is an outstanding chocolate coffee barrel aged imperial stout and I would recommend it and I would drink it again.

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Photo of Treebs
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle served in Darkess snifter. Release #1, big thanks to MarkIntihar for the extra.

A: Pours a jet black with some brown hued edges and nice khaki head that has some nice retention.

S: Solid coffee bean dominates the nose upfront with a touch of roasted malt and a subtle whiskey backend.

T: Again this is coffee forward, but the whiskey barrel is integrated very nicely. The vanilla and caramel flavors blend nicely with the chocolate, coffee and roasted malts. Tastes like a sweeter version of an Irish coffee. No heat, but the alcohol is noticeable.

M: A tad thin in the body with ample carbonation. I would have liked a little thicker mouthfeel. Coffee lingers on palate long after the sip is complete.

O: I though Grand Teton's Wake Up Call was the most coffee forward until his came along. The barrel is well integrated and sort of lingers in the background to let the coffee and roasty qualities really shine.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got on trade! 650ml bottle served at 12deg C in a tulip.

A- Opens well and pours a tiny 1/2" head on a vigorous pour but very brown and thick rich head. That head lased for 3mins before film out.

S- Coco, heat and malt. Touch metallic.

A- Nice balance of coco, coffee and whiskey not of the bourbon kind (or if there is bourbon barrel it's low on the ratio). Rich undertones of coffee and coco. It's all there.

M- Creamy going down but dries out quickly

O- Nice brew. Don't age this one as it won't do anything for it good. Nice to try brew.

Food Pairing

This brew went well with...... Smoked beef brisket on apple wood and hickory.

Enjoy

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Photo of videofrog
4.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch #55 - Cultivar
12.7% ABV

L: Opaque black with a thin beige head that fades into a thin ring.

S: Very coffee forward. Roasted malts, chocolate, and whiskey are all secondary.

T: So delicious. Coffee forward like the nose, but all of the layers of flavors play really nice here. Chocolate sweetness balances out the coffee bitterness. Whiskey and oak blend in nicely, but not as powerfully as most BA stouts.

F: Thick, low carb, dry finish that keeps encouraging another sip.

O: Perfect antidote to a day of endless rain and driving around low water crossings. Drink fresh to enjoy the coffee awesomeness.

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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 Buck89
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Release #60. Poured into a snifter. Beautiful thick opaque dark brown color with a nice resilient tan head. Strong aromas of chocolate, coffee, toast, vanilla, and whiskey. The taste was a nice mix of cocoa, dark roasted malt and an understated whiskey presence. Feel was thick and viscous, but it did not feel overly sweet. Nice warming presence on the back, but the alcohol is not overly noticeable. A huge, beautiful beer.

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really great beer and so underrated. This one is pretty readily available, but it is right on par with other great stouts. Lots of chocolate on the nose and the finish.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was a murky black color with mocha colored bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell - Chocolate is the attention getter in the aroma. The boozy notes are present, though fairly well masked.

Taste - The bourbon notes make the first impression. Chocolate, nice toasty malts, and bourbon create the taste storm. My favorite element is the toastiness of the malts. The taste finishes in a warm after, with little burn.

Mouthfeel - The beer is thick enough to be a stout, but I thick the aging may have eroded the thickness. Carbonation is low, as one might expect.

Overall - I am a little surprised this one is held in high regard. I was not terribly impressed. Still, this is a great BA stout.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.61/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

**
11/07/16
Bottle to snifter.

LOOK: dark black, full, tan head,
AROMA: is lots of cocoa, barley and bourbon are also well represented.
TASTE: chocolate, ash, whiskey.
FEEL: smooth, touch of ash4, dryish , powder.

Really nice stout. Very impressed.

Hate the use of the word "Epic" which is way overused, but this is a tasty brew.


**

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Photo of jooler
4.51/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

pouring this at 35 degrees celsius. little to no head. smell is delicious. loads of coffee and bourbon. initial taste is chocolate and a hint coffee. then a very alcoholic taste plows its way through to end off on a taste that is like those chocolate covered espresso bean. mouthfeel to me for a BBA beer feels a little over carbonated. i like that sludgy feeling. overall, great beer

BTW, this batch is 12.8% abv

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Photo of chugalug06
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great lasting foamy head rises caramel colored and dense. Nice head retention too. Missing a touch of lacing...

Whoa. Let me preface: I despise Hazelnut, but the hazelnut in this brew is done wonderfully. Roasty, bready, tons of coffee, ripe, chocolately, deep, dark and bold. For being full of hazelnut, it's done very well.

A great amount of carbonation, prickly. Harsh initial bite followed by flowing flavors of roasty hazelnut coffee. Bitterness is high and goes very appreciated. Sweetness is that of 80% dark chocolate.

A total mind bender. It's hazelnutty, but doesn't taste or drink hazelnutty. Way recommended @ $13/22oz. IMO, this is one beer best drank cold. One of Epics best beers for sure. Cheers!

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Photo of Raime
3.57/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours black, very very very black with a thing mocha head that leaves no lacing.

S - Not picking up a whole lot here. A bit of coffee and molasses and that's about it.

T - Lots of dark coffee and sweet dark chocolate up front, followed by molasses and oak.

M - Very thick body with moderate carbonation. Almost feels like a chocolate milk or something.

O - Overall, it was a heavy coffee stout , however it isn't overally complex. It's very drinkable for 11.8%.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Release #1 enjoyed with rjochman

A: Pours out of the bottle black and rests in the glass pretty viscous. A big brown head raises up, but recedes quickly. Not a ton of lacing or carbonation that I can see. Wish the head stuck around a bit longer.

S: The aroma on this is really impressive. The amount of coffee and chocolate really blows me away, but the whiskey is really underneath, and understated. While the aroma on this is quite bold the balance is there, which equally as impressive.

T: I've had stouts with coffee in it before, but wow this is a new experience. The aftertaste is exactly the same as when I take a sip of actual coffee. Really blown away about just how much this tastes like coffee. Up front is chocolate, vanilla, and a bit of whiskey. After a brief second, this becomes all about the coffee.

MF: Low carbonation, thick body, and pretty damn drinkable. The finish is so dry. I just can't stop taking sips the taste is so interesting.

O: I thought this was a hit, really glad I tried it. At $12.99 I thought this was definitely worth it. Interested to see how the other releases stack up.

Release #3

A: Just as deep and dark as Release #1 with a better head retention. Nice brown head, with minimal lacing.

S: The smell is a little less balanced. Tons of coffee, but less chocolate and certainly no whiskey at all. Let's see what happens with the taste.

T: The taste is a little better, but still after a few releases I was hoping this would have improved. Ton of coffee, the aftertaste is still similar to drinking an actual cup of coffee, but the chocolate is a bit thin, less vanilla, and again no whiskey.

MF: Not quite as thick. Perhaps this would benefit from some age as Release #1 was clearly better.

O: At $11.99 I think this is definitely still worth it. Expected more, but I still definitely enjoyed it. Wish the barrel aging was a bit more present.

Release #4

A: Black pour with a couple fingers of brown head. The retention and lacing are both wonderful. This is a great looking beer. 4.5

S: Amazingly the smell is all coffee. Can't believe how deep and dark this beer is and for it to be all coffee. The bourbon and oak lie underneath with a strong chocolate character. Great balance, but coffee focused. 4.5

T: Like the aroma, the coffee dominates the taste. A bit too much for me honestly. Bourbon hangs out, making its presence known as the beer warms, but the chocolate and barrel characteristics are secondary to the coffee. I think this needs a few months to balance out. The other dimensions are there. Just not strong enough. 3.5

MF: The body is full and the carbonation is a bit high as well. Big Bad Baptist is crazy drinkable and sports a dry finish. This is a great beer. 4

O: Overall, I wish the coffee was stepped back a bit and the bourbon was more prominent. This beer is top notch, but I'm thinking it needs some age to make all the flavors come together. Not my favorite of the releases, but I would never turn it down. 4

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on top, poured into a snifter. It's deep an dark, an opaque near-black with a tan head that seems to linger longer than on most big stouts.
aroma is big dark chocolate and roast coffee with hints of vanilla and booze. A hint of dark fruit as it warmed a bit.
Huge taste! Dark chocolate and espresso bitterness. A little bit of sweeter milk chocolate mid-sip followed by a finishing bitter assault.
Mouthfeel is medium and creamy.
This was mind expanding when paired with beignets with chocolate sauce. Transcendent.

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Photo of rypkr
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - very nice pour into a snifter. Almost pitched black with lots of foamy head and lacing. One of the most inviting looking stouts I've ever poured.

S - holy chocolate. Lots of green and light roasted coffee too, faint sweet bourbon on the tail end. Truly nice aroma altogether.

T - again, very fresh coffee and a ton of chocolate. Bourbon is there but pretty tame. Faint alcohol presence and a bittering char air malt as it finishes. Bitterness increases as it warms.

M - seemingly too drinkable. It's full and creamy but I'm finding myself sipping this faster than most BB stouts. Wish it had just a bit more "chewyness" to beef it up.

O - good, but not great. A little too bitter and thin for me as well as lacking much barrel flavors.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 22oz bottle into a speiglau barrel aged glass.

Look is pitch black with a half inch tan head.

Arowma is lots of chocolate and vanilla from the bourbon.

Taste is like a bourbon milkshake absolutely delicious.

So good.

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Photo of TBonez477
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Overall a really nice, complex BA Imperial Stout. My only knock on this one was that, even after a year of aging, the barrel gets a little harsh after warming. Actually preferred this one below cellar temp.

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Photo of cvm4
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Release #13

A - Pours pitch black with a dark one finger tan head. Light lacing and alright retention.

S - An overload of dense roasted coffee flavors. Secondary smells of dark chocolate and roasted malts. Not a lot of barrel notes as like I said the coffee is very forward. Not a problem for me as I'm loving this smell.

T - The taste follows the nose except that the barrel characteristics come forth. Still coffee forward, but you can taste the roasted malts, sweet vanilla, dark chocolate and bourbon notes.

M - Medium to full bodied and low carbonation. Very velvety and creamy body with minimum alcohol burn.

O - A delicious coffee stout that will not disappoint those that dig the style.

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Big Bad Baptist from Epic Brewing Company
4.32 out of 5 based on 3,631 ratings.
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