December 2013 Archives

Big Bad Baptist

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NCM_0094.JPGSo I had heard some positives about Big Bad Baptist from Epic Brewing Co. It gets a 96 on Beer Advocate. It pours a dark brown, almost black. It has a great coffee aroma. Medium bodied with a mild tannin tang, it has nice malt undertones. This is a very good coffee beer. It is comparable to Founders Breakfast Stout, Terrapin Wake and Bake, or Sixpoint 3 Beans. Light bodied with minimal unfermentable sugars it's not a Big, Bad Imperial Stout. If anything is big or bad, it would just be the omnipresent coffee character. This is a great breakfast beer. Put up against evening sipping ales, this one would fall flat on it's face. But to it's defense I don't think it is stylistically supposed to be a full bodied, high gravity ale. I should also mention this is batch 17. Since Epic uses different coffee for different batches. My overall impression has been this, first sip was very disappointing, I thought 'never gonna get this one again, even though it's good', then as I continued to sip it grew on me. I realized my expectations where not aligned with the style. As I sipped I got the slight dry chalkiness of the cocoa nibs, the underlying complexities and boldness of the coffee. So from the start of this bottle to the end my opinions have done a 150, not a 180. I thought it was decent to start with, but it has progressed from decent to maybe one of the best coffee beers I have ever had.

Whenever I have a coffee beer like this I want to do a side by side. Here is the issue with coffee side by sides. You have to do them all when the ales are super fresh. My Sixpoint 3 Beans is now a year old as is my Wake n' Bake. So neither is any good for a side by side. I am getting some 2013 Wake n' Bake and have fresh Breakfast stout. So I need to get to it when the WnB arrives. The time for my Sixpoint side by side went out the door last winter. If someone wants to send me a fresh 3 Beans that would be awesome. It is no longer distributed in West Michigan (shoot me an e-mail and I will send you some locals in return). I really want to do this. I honestly have no idea where each stands having them all at different times.

Back to the Big Bad Baptist, I just got some mild hops on the palate as it warmed. So yes, this is a good ale if you love breakfast beers. I do, especially when I have the week off work and I can start drinking before lunch.

4 Elf Party - This weekend!


Founders - Sweet Repute

Sweet_Repute.JPGThis week saw the release of Founders Sweet Repute. Sweet Repute is a maple syrup bourbon barrel aged wheat wine. It is formerly known as Nemesis 2009. Founders discontinued the Nemesis series due to infringement issues with a copyright claimed by DuClaw brewing.

A light brass color, with huge notes of caramel on the nose - this is a very balanced wheat wine. The hops are not dominant, just perfect. I find it to be reminiscent of Boltcutter. The barrel aging adds a very smooth balanced character. Nothing is over the top about this ale. I mean that in a good way, no one flavor dominates over the others. The other great thing about this ale, is that at present, there is plenty to go around. I would recommend picking up a bottle to try, and one to age. Although it doesn't need any aging what so ever. I put this pretty high on my list of backstage releases. Maybe right next to CBS. Fortunately the hype associated with the Goose Island releases has overshadowed Sweet Repute and allowed it to slip in under the radar.

Two Beers - Jive Espresso Stout

jive.jpgI have just spent the last few hours writing a paper for an economics class. It has pretty much drained my soul of any meaningful prose. Somehow I managed to at least turn it into a paper about food. Something semi-culinary beats economics, but it's still miles away from ale. If I had a lick of economic sense I would brew everything and leave the whale chasing and beer hunting to everyone else. If I was really Mr.Fiscal I suppose I would just give up drinking.

Wow just mentioning such a thought seems to bring my fingers to a halt. But I don't really care too much about economics. It interests me only so much as it relates to funding necessary expenditures, like surviving stout season without having to sell off any organs. Oh yes, this was supposed to be a review of Two Beers Jive Espresso Stout. It was good. A dark mahogany, decent head, aroma and flavor simular to Great Lakes - Blackout Stout. It has a nice nuttiness and had the extreme smoothness of a well made oatmeal stout. Personally I prefer a deeper richer stout with more unfermented sugars. But you can't knock a solid stout just because it has a reasonable original gravity. It was pretty balanced, medium to full bodied, no off character. I'd probably buy it again.

Winter Beer Festival 2014

Tickets went on sale at 10:00 AM today. It looks like the website is beyond slow. Unfortunately this is becoming pretty common. Some folks, like Three Floyds, have their stuff together and there is little, if any ticket purchasing delay. It would seem more often than not however, that these websites just can't handle the traffic generated by geeked beer fans.

The good news... there are still tickets left!



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This page is an archive of entries from December 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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