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The unofficial theme of my stout season lineup seems to have become “go big.”   Although that wasn’t the intention going in, my next beer from Utah and Colorado based Epic Brewing Company certainly keeps that streak going.

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Beer Name: Big Bad Baptist

Brewer: Epic Brewing Company

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 12.6%

Description: An imperial stout aged in whiskey barrels and brewed with cocoa nibs and coffee.  A stamp on the label let me know that this particular bottle was part of Release #73, the exact specs of which you can find in the link.  The bomber went for $15 at my usual stop in Downtown Boston.

Appearance: It poured thick and black, topped off by a dark tan foam which fairly quickly faded down to lacing.

Smell: Sweet chocolate fudge with a touch of roasty heat on the end.  The longer the beer sat, the more apparent the whiskey barrel influence became.  Very bold and intense.

Taste: Picked up right where the smell left off.  Upfront was mainly sweet malts, fudge, and gooey chocolate cake batter.  The finish brought on very subtle hints of light roast coffee and ended with a sweet heat to close things out.  There was a noticeable alcohol presence, but overall the ABV was hidden amazingly well.  Even when the whiskey picked up a bit at warmer temperatures, the flavors remained distinct and the beer never got overly boozy.

Mouthfeel: Thick and velvety smooth.  Very low carbonation helped make this feel almost heavy in my mouth.

Hype: Can’t recall the specifics, but I’d heard good things about this in the past.  Always reassuring when the price starts to creep up a bit.

Overall: Is this beer even legal in Utah?  Seriously, though, putting my regional biases aside this brew was excellent.  My second WOW! beer of the season.  I loved everything about it with all aspects registering as superlative in my book.  I especially loved the heat from the whiskey barrels and the fudgy sweetness was splendid.  Also worth noting, I paid significantly more attention to the smell and feel while drinking this than I usually do.  High marks all around, my highest recommendations on this one.

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