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
Atlanta, Georgia’s Monday Night Brewing will have some whiskey bragging rights to go alongside their beer lineup. The brewery has an ongoing collaboration with American Spirit Works.
This story starts 5 years ago, with Monday Night co-founder Joel Iverson living next door to American Spirit co-founder Charlie Thompson. The businesses were born literally next door to each other. From a fermentation standpoint, brewing and distilling have a lot in common, so Monday NIght’s head brewer Adam Bishop and ASW’s distiller Justin Manglitz had a lot to talk about.
Monday Night Scottish-style Single Malt Whiskey starts with a mash full of cherrywood smoked malt, the same used in their flagship Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale. The mash was transferred 5 miles down the road using the highly scientific “renting a Penske truck” method. ASW distilled the mash and transferred it to white oak quarter casks.
Fortunately, our patience has paid off. Like the mighty Scottish badger, this Scotch-style Whiskey has a pleasant bite and will burrow into your belly with a smooth, slightly sweet, and delightfully smoky finish. – Monday Night Brewing
Monday Night Scottish-style Single Malt Whiskey is available in 750-milliliter bottles at Atlanta area liquor stores again in late-August and September.
Image: Beer Street Journal
Every beer collaboration is born out of friendship and mutual respect for one another’s brewing passions. In this case, the fermented love spans 2,000 miles. Introducing Firestone Walker / Creature Comforts Mother’s Milk.
The base beer is a milk stout that has been aging for nearly a year in rye whiskey barrels – a very intentional move. According to Eric Ponce, Firestone Walker’s barrel program manager, the sweetness of bourbon barrels would have been too cloying. “We designed the base beer with the intent of aging it in rye whiskey barrels—we thought it would be the perfect marriage. The dash of salt just makes everything pop on the palate,” he explains in a recent press release.
Mother’s Milk will be available to all attendees of this weekend’s Firestone Walker Invitational. 12-ounce bottles will be available at the brewery on June 2nd.
Availability: 12oz Bottles. Limited Release
Image: Firestone Walker
Rogue Oregon Single Malt Whiskey has debuted, the first 5-year aged spirit by the brewery/distillery.
Every bit of the Single Malt Whiskey has Rogue’s fingerprint on it. The brewery grew the malt on Rogue Farms. The yeast is Rogue’s Proprietary Pacman Yeast. It was distilled on site in Newport, Oregon, and transferred to barrels Rogue coopered and toasted onsite. Then, of course, bottled by hand.
Oregon Single Malt Whiskey opens with an attractive aroma of floral honey, peach and mango. Medium-to-full bodied, the aromas slowly transition to lush, ripe fruit and brown spice.
Rogue Oregon Single Malt Whiskey is available in year-round at select retailers in 750-milliliter bottles.
Style: Single Malt Whiskey
Availability: 750ml Bottles
Debut: February 2018
80 Proof, 40% ABV
Image: Rogue Spirits
Hoppin Frog Barrel Aged Gavel Slammer will be available on Black Friday.
Huge. Best descriptor for this big beer. On Black Friday, Hoppin Frog Barrel Aged Gavel Slammer. The 17.2% alcohol by volume dark has been aged in brewery selected whiskey barrels.
Barrel-aged over-the-top ale like no other, with a truly magnificent character from aging in select whiskey barrels. Rich, aromatic, lively and dark, with layer after layer of roasted, toasted, and caramelized malts, beautifully balanced from the oak barrel. We’ve done our part, slamming the hammer down for freedom from alcohol limits.
Hoppin Frog Barrel Aged Gavel Slammer will be available in 12-ounce bottles at 10 am on November 24th.
Style: American Strong Ale (Barrel Aged. Whiskey.)
Availability: 12oz Bottles. Brewery only release.
17.4%, 65 IBUs
Hi-Wire Sour Pumpkin Ale is all over the flavor map. That’s a good thing. There’s a lot going on in this beer.
As fall creeps in, Asheville, North Carolina based Hi-Wire Brewing has released Sour Pumpkin Ale. Put the pumpkin spiced latte down because things are about to get a little weird.
After spending time wandering around local Rayburn Farm, Hi-Wire was struck with the idea of sourcing a beer from a single farm source. Sure, this is a pumpkin ale so you’re probably thinking something with pumpkins, cinnamon, and cloves. Make it taste like pie and ship it, right? Wrong.
Let’s talk pre-barrel. The base beer spent time in stainless steel tanks, with roasted delicata pumpkins, cinnamon basil, and blue ginger. Blue ginger is a Hawaiian variety known for its superior flavor. Cinnamon basil is also called Mexican spice basil. Methyl cinnamate found in the cultivar gives off flavors of the cinnamon spice when the leaves are crushed.
If this beer is already sounding unique, Hi-Wire isn’t done yet. After three months in stainless steel, the beer was split into rum, whiskey, and red wine barrels for six months, then blended back again. There’s nothing “basic” about this creation.
At this point, it is downright impossible to use something as simple as “pie” to describe Hi-Wire Sour Pumpkin Ale. It just doesn’t fit. Sour Pumpkin is aggressively sour as you dive in, melding into a light wash of ginger and cinnamon. As the beer warms, the blend of barrels are fighting for palate domination. Honestly, we think the rum won. This is no simple wild ale, with typical flavors. Everything about this beer is unpredictable in the best of ways. Speaking in the spirit of Hi-Wire’s hometown of Asheville, “Keep Fall Weird.”
Hi-Wire Sour Pumpkin Ale is a limited, 375-milliliter bottle release. Not for the faint of heart (or palate).
Style: American Wild/Sour Alehttp://beerstreetjournal.com/tag/american-wild-ales/ (w/ Pumpkin. Blue Ginger. Cinnamon Basil. Barrel Aged. Whiskey. Red Wine. Rum.)
Availability: 375ml Bottles
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Hi-Wire Blackberry Sour joins the Asheville, North Carolina based brewery’s sour & wild lineup on April 1st.
18 months of fermentation were required to make Hi-wire Blackberry Sour, a blend of stainless steel, rye whiskey, red wine and North Carolina rum barrel ales.
Think blackberry jam, brett, and oak in this balanced and drinkable ale.
Hi-Wire Blackberry Sour can be purchased in 750ml bottles on Saturday, April 1st at the brewery’s South Slope location.
Image: Hi-Wire Brewing