In the world of imperial stouts filled with various dessert-like additions, Epic Quadruple Barrel Big Bad Baptist stands alone. This big bottle of ridiculous is how you make a decadent pastry stout.
Big Bad Baptist was supposed to be released under another name – Jack Mormon Imperial Stout, back in 2011. Epic Brewing made a barrel-aged imperial stout brewed with Jack Mormon roasters coffee. Unfortunately, the state of Utah rejected the “Mormon” name, even though it was a homage to their coffee roaster.
Brewery co-founder Dave Cole is a California Baptist and decided to integrate his real-life “Big Bad Baptist” roots into the name.
In that first year, Big Bad Baptist scored a 100 on RateBeer.com, and still maintains that high mark today.
Since the launch, variants of this coveted imperial stout have been released, including a Double Barrel, Triple Barrel, and Big Bad Baptista Imperial Stout. Each one takes a creative step forward. Now there’s Epic Quadruple Barrel Baptist and it really is the best Baptist we’ve ever had.
The brewers at Epic racked their imperial stout to both whiskey and rum barrels. Meanwhile, the team barrel-aged their own coffee beans, coconuts, and almonds. Basically, the only thing that’s not barrel-aged is the cocoa nibs. You might read all that and think, there’s just too much going on here.
You’re not wrong. There are some imperial stouts out there that are packed with chocolate, vanilla, strawberries, lactose, even cookies, and cereal. Some taste great. Some of these coveted imperial stouts are just muddled in flavor. That’s how Epic got this beer right. Scroll up and read everything the brewery put in the beer. Now read the next paragraph.
Every flavor is present in every sip. Your first taste starts with this rich, chocolaty imperial stout which gives way to a balance of subtle almond, coffee, and coconuts that finishes with a mix of vanilla oak and toasted rum sugar. That’s what blew us away. All these flavors are very much there in a beautiful balance, from start to finish. To us, that’s the crossroad of imagination and brewing talent. Epic didn’t just throw all the buzz-worthy additions to a barrel-aged imperial stout and expect a line outside. This is a symphony of barrel blending, and we were some morose tipsy folks when the bottle ran dry.
Epic Quadruple Barrel Big Bad Baptist is available in 22-ounce bottles – an extremely limited release hitting distribution now.
Hops: Nugget, Chinook, Cascade.
Malts: Muntons Maris Otter Malt, Briess 2-Row Brewers Malt, Crystal Muntons, Weyermann Light Munich Malt I, 2-Row Chocolate Malt 2-Row Black Malt, Roasted Barley.
Availability: 22oz Bottles. Extremely Limited Release.
Debut: Late Oct/Nov 2018
Old Bust Head Barrel Aged Gold Cup Imperial Stout returns to the brewery on October 13th, one of only a handful of times this beer has been bottled.
On a recent trip to Virginia, we discovered Old Bust Brewing, tucked away from the countryside of Vint Hill, Virginia. You’d think a brewery that seems off the beaten path would boast a standard lineup of IPAs and pale ales on tap. This is where we found Barrel Aged Gold Cup and its badass lineup of variants.
The base Russian imperial stout is fantastic. Boozy, roasty, velvety with a touch of chocolate and espresso. Barrel Aged Gold Cup is a barrel-aged dream. Bittersweet chocolate and strong coffee flavors melt perfectly against the oaky vanilla bourbon barrels.
The brewery regulars are already clued into this beer’s reputation. The last release sold out in a matter of hours.
Old Bust Head Barrel Aged Gold Cup will be available in bottles once again on Saturday, October 13th in 16.9-ounce bottles. Start making some friends in Virginia.
Availability: 16.9oz Bottles
Latest Return: 10/13/18
Image: Beer Street Journal
Founders CBS will return to the brewery’s Barrel-Aged lineup again on November 2nd. This time the horse is missing its rider.
One of the most demanded beers in Grand Rapids, Michigan based Founders Brewing’s lineup is CBS, aka Canadian Breakfast Stout.
The imperial stout is brewed with a blend of coffee and imported chocolates, then aged in spent bourbon barrels that have most recently been aging pure Michigan maple syrup. Folks go insane at the mere mention of this beer.
The first time the world saw bottles of this release was in October of 2011, as the second release in the brewery’s Backstage Series.
Since then, the Backstage Series has grown eventually morphing into the Barrel-Aged Series. Fans begged, but CBS was still missing from the lineup until December of last year.
The brewery has officially confirmed that Founders CBS will be available again in the Grand Rapids taproom and distribution for a third time (in bottles) on November 2nd. This time – the horse has thrown its iconic Canadian Mountie rider. Why? The Royal Canadian Mounted Police filed a legal cease & desist over the depiction of the Mountie seen below. We know it’s not a titillating story, but it solves the mystery behind the horse with no rider on the upcoming bottle.
Great Divide Chai Yeti a new variation on the brewery’s widely popular imperial stout is returning for another fall.
“Yeti” is synonymous in the beer world with a big, highly rated imperial stout. Variants include Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti, Espresso Yeti, Oak Aged Yeti, and Oatmeal Yeti. Last fall, the brewery released Velvet Yeti, a nitrogen infused edition. Now, Yeti is spending some time with a few exotic spices.
Great Divide Chai Yeti is brewed with a plethora of chai spices, including cinnamon, green cardamom, black pepper, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla. The brewery states this beer is a nod to Yeti’s home region of the Himalayas.
Our beloved Yeti is going back to its roots with this Himalayan-inspired variation. Traditional Chai spices of cinnamon, green cardamom, black pepper, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla blend seemlessly with Yeti’s rich, roasted malt backbone for a spicy beast fit to tackle Everest.
Great Divide Chai Yeti is a 22-ounce bottle and draft release, available now through December 2018.
Atlanta Brewing Hype Whale Reserve will be available at the brewery on September 22nd.
This release started in 2017 with Hype Whale, Atlanta Brewing’s imperial stout, being added to Buffalo Trace barrels. It’s been resting patiently until now.
22-ounce bottles of Atlanta Brewing Hype Whale will be available at the brewery on September 22nd at 12 noon.
New Holland Banana Coconut Dragon’s Milk will join the “Reserve” lineup of Dragon’s Milk inspired releases.
The Holland, Michigan based brewery’s Dragon’s Milk is easily one of the most iconic barrel-aged imperial stouts in America. Dating as far back as 2014, the brewery started releasing variants to this stout under the “Reserve” moniker. The series has gotten more and more interesting ever since.
This fall, a new limited release rises from the wood – New Holland Banana Coconut Dragon’s Milk. As the name suggests, the brewery aged the imperial stout on bananas, plantains, and coconuts. This fall pastry stout is 11% alcohol by volume.
This release is ridiculous. Phenomenal. Addictive even. The banana balances perfectly with the coconut, which both give way to the chocolatey, oaky vanilla nuances from the wood. This beer is balanced, rich, and nothing short of incredible. If you ask us, drink this beer in abundance. It may win the title as best Reserve Series release yet.
New Holland Banana Coconut Dragon’s Milk is available in 12-ounce bottles and draft as a limited release.
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft. Limited Release.
Debut: September 2018
11% ABV, 30 IBUs
Three Taverns Double Smack will be available at the Decatur, Georgia based brewery on September 8th.
The brewery celebrated their 4th anniversary last November and a pastry stout dubbed Morning Stout came with it. The breakfast inspired beer is a coffee milk stout brewed with maple, bacon, and bananas. In March, the brewery canned the flavor blast in 12-ounce cans.
In September, Three Taverns Double Smack, an even bigger version of Morning Smack will debut at the brewery.
400 bottles of this boozier version go on sale at 11 am, aged for 11 months in fresh bourbon barrels. Limited to 2 per person.