Monthly Archives: April 2012

Review of Epic Big Bad Baptist

Hi guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Big Bad Baptist brewed by the Epic Brewing Company located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Once again, a big thanks to Adam Hudak and Stephanie Suratos (The HungryDuo) for supplying me with this brew.  This will be my first time ever trying anything from Epic.

I have release #3 and from the website,, we find this information about the Big Bad Baptist.

Brewed on August 22, 2011.  Packaged on December 9th, 2011.

This delicious coffee/chocolate nib laced beer shows slight hints of whiskey from the barrel aging. Pours an almost pitch black with auburn highlights. It has hints of dark chocolate, bourbon, dark fruits and vanilla oak. This beer is certainly going to keep you warm on a cold winter night.

Sounds great even though Winter has long since past in my neck of the woods.  Who cares though?  Let’s get this thing in the snifter and see what it’s all about.

This beer comes in a 22 oz. bottle and has an ABV of 11.4%.

The Big Bad Baptist poured jet black with absolutely no highlights showing through whatsoever.  The crown was dark tan, creamy, very smooth and tightly compacted.  It formed to a good size with a very easy pour.  The retention time was more than suitable and the lacing was nice and clingy.  The clear alcohol legs were thick and sticky as well.  Once the head finally did settle, it left a ring circling the top of the liquid.  This beer looked great to say the least.

The nose presented tons of heavily roasted espresso and coffee notes.  Mild touches of chocolate with very light bits of whiskey.  A good dose of woodiness started to come through as the brew warmed as well.  Although the nose was somewhat simple, it smelled outstanding.  One of the best and most solid bouquets that I’ve encountered in quite some time.

The taste brought forth a lot of that roasted espresso/coffee bean character.  The whiskey stepped it up a notch or two as well.  The woodiness was polite, balanced and fitting, while a light relish of vanilla did become noticeable.  The bittersweet chocolate helped tie everything together.  The bitterness was of low to medium strength, which let me concentrate on those wonderful malts.  A superb tasting beer.  Harmonized and balanced exceptionally well.

The mouthfeel was mostly full bodied.  Very smooth, chewy, thick and viscous.  The carbonation was great and a nice bit of warmth was felt at the back end and on into the belly.  An exemplary amount of flavor drenched the palate long after each sip.

Man!!!!  This is one awesome beer!!!!  I absolutely loved it.  As I’ve mentioned before, these “Coffee” Stouts are one of my favorite styles and the Big Bad Baptist packed plenty of that roasted coffee aroma and flavor to more than satisfy me (and most anyone else for that matter).  The whiskey and wood really compliment that roasted bean flavor.  The look and drinkability were top notch as well.  Even with an ABV of 11.4%, I didn’t have a problem at all in downing this entire bomber all by myself.  I took my time however, because I really didn’t want the brew to come to an end.  I enjoyed it that much.  If you guys have the opportunity to try Epic Brewing’s Big Bad Baptist….  I would highly recommend it.  Granted, it probably is more suited for cooler weather, but it can be easily handled as the weather warms.  Be sure to let me know what you think when you sample it.  I would really like to hear some other opinions.   

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.75 out of 5
Grade:  A+    

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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Country: USA, Epic


Review of Goose Island Pere Jacques 2011

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to trying the 2011 Pere Jacques brewed by the Goose Island Beer Company located in Chicago, Illinois. 

I’ve never tried this particular Goose Island beer before, but I’ve heard quite a few positive things about it, so I decided to pick up a bottle and give it a go.

From the website,, we find this description of the Pere Jacques. 

Brewed with loads of malt and Belgian yeast, Pere Jacques is a wonderfully fruity, malty ale. Pere Jacques’ complex flavors stand shoulder to shoulder with the Belgian Dubbels enjoyed in the world’s finest beer bars. At the dining table it’s the perfect alternative to a glass of vintage port.

Let’s pour it.

This brew comes in a 22 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 8.0%.

It poured a very nice, semi-clear, reddish/burgundy to brown color.  The crown was decently sized, off white, smooth, creamy and soft.  The retention time was good and lacing looked nice enough.  A small amount of alcohol legs were found when I tilted the chalice as well.

The nose brought forth a decent waft of dark fruit.  Figs and raisins.  A bit of clove along with a light touch of caramel malt.  Some breadiness, yeast and sour dough were accounted for also.  The overall aroma wasn’t quite as boisterous as I though it was going to be.  It was still well balanced and harmonized, but just a touch docile in my opinion.

The taste let the dark fruits loose again.  Mostly figs and raisins.  Spices of clove and very light bits of pepper.  I received a taste of the alcohol also.  It actually tasted a tiny bit medicinal.  Some of that was erased when the bready and yeasty components came into play however.  The sweetness was very subdued.  I really wasn’t getting a whole lot of the caramel malt to be honest.  Toward the end, after the brew had warmed to room temperature, I started to detect the slightest bit of woodiness.  A very nice little treat as I neared the end of the bottle.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Mostly smooth, dry and somewhat chewy.  The carbonation was good and a touch of warmth was felt at the back end.  An agreeable amount of flavor was left covering the palate after each sip too.

Well.  This beer was “ok”.  I definitely think it’s worth a try.  It’s a legitimate Dubbel for sure, however I just didn’t find that it had the “power” or the potency that some of the others that I’ve tried of this style have.  It had a lot of the proper characteristics though and it was fairly easy to drink once I got past the medicinal/cough syrup taste.  I think that it would pair well on a cool night or as an after dinner sipper that’s for sure.  Don’t take my word for it though, pick up a bottle of Pere Jacques 2011 and let me know what you think of it.  I just felt that it fell a bit short.  I will say that I do love the simplicity of the label however.  One of the coolest out there in my opinion.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  It’s always appreciated.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.65 out of 5
Grade:  B 


Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Country: USA, Goose Island


Review of Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat

Hi guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the In-Heat Wheat produced by the Flying Dog Brewery located in Frederick, Maryland.

It’s been sometime since I last had a Flying Dog brew and with the warm weather starting to be an everyday occurrence now, I figured a Hefeweizen might suit the mood.

From the website,, we find this enticing description.

Brewed in the centuries old tradition of German beers, our brewers use more wheat and proprietary yeast to give it the unmistakable character of a flavorful, authentic Hefeweizen. The High proportion of wheat gives In Heat its smooth, full-mouth feel and our special yeast gives it its unique fruity and spicy aroma. 

Let’s give it a taste.

This brew has an ABV of 4.7% and it comes in a 12 oz. bottle.

It poured a very cloudy orange to orange/yellow color.  The head was very white, soft and kind of soapy.  The size was decent, but not quite on par with some of the other Hefe’s I’ve seen.  The retention time was below average and the lacing was sparse.

The nose brought forth hints of banana, orange slices and touches of lemon citrus.  A befitting amount of wheat and grain circled the entire nose while spices of pepper and clove hid underneath to create, all in all, a decent smelling beer.

The taste seemed a little more relaxed than the bouquet.  I still found heavy savors of wheat and grain, however the banana, lemon citrus and orange zest could have used a little more “pop” in my opinion.  Even the spices of clove and pepper seemed a touch meager.  Nothing horrible by any means, but not quite as strong or forthcoming as I was expecting it to be.

The mouthfeel was medium to medium/light bodied.  Very smooth, crisp, refreshing, thirst quenching, a bit snappy and actually quite dry.  The carbonation was good and an “ok” amount of flavor was left behind on the palate after each gulp.

Well, this beer was mostly average in my opinion.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast drinking it and I know that it would fit in perfectly well around the BBQ pit during the heat of Summer.  It’s super easy to drink, straight forward and has no frills attached to it.  Just turn it up and drink.  If you haven’t tried the Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat, pick up a bottle when the sun is blazing and let me know what you think.  As I’ve mentioned several times before, the Hefeweizen style is one that has never blown me away.  I don’t have a problem drinking them, but I’m just having a hard time finding one that continually entices me to seek it out when I go beer shopping.  If you guys have any suggestions be sure to let me know.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.25 out of 5
Grade:  C+ 

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Posted by on April 28, 2012 in Country: USA, Flying Dog

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