When I walked into King’s back in March 2018 I never thought it would become my “happy place,” nor did I think I would meet so many amazing people.
One such person, Kevin Schiro, has become a very close friend to me. He had this idea to buy a whole box of Big Bad Baptist Reserve (12 bottles) to which I said I would split with him and we can try it over time to see how it ages. After a little research, I found it’s not something you should really age too much so our plan of one bottle per person a year changed to two bottles per person a year.
Who knows… that may not last because someone is a little free spirited and likes to just throw shit out there that I, on occasion, role with! I also decided to write about it each time because of course everyone wants to know what happens with the beer overtime! Okay maybe not… but I like to pretend and gives me an excuse to write about beer and an evolving friendship.
Epic Brewing Company was founded in 2008 out in Salt Lake City, Utah by two “Epic” adventurers. Which better company to pick from!? The commitment to keeping the art in their beer by doing smaller, limited batches proves that the passion is still very much alive within the company.
This lovely stout gets a different type of dark coffee beans that are used each year so the variation and taste changes. As mentioned, Epic Brewing makes only a limited amount each year so the interest to try it year after year lasts with craft beer lovers. As in the title, Big and Bad is very spot on to the bold flavors in this barrel aged stout.
Kevin and I decided that Thanksgiving seemed like a fitting day to open the first two bottles. The first bottle rushed in with intense flavor with it’s dark bitter coffee and chocolate and ended with that whiskey burn. The smell was a lot more mellow than the taste, which made me think you get the coconut more on the nose because I couldn’t pick up notes on the taste. Compared to coffee and cocoa beans, coconut is a more mellow flavor profile. Whiskey and Rum barrel aging always makes me think that the beer will be more sweet boozey, but I didn’t get that from this first bottle. Bozzey for an 11.5% isn’t shocking in my book, but the rum didn’t shine through to me. There is a lingering smokey type taste on the tongue and the carbonation is low making it super smooth before that boozey throat burn.
Before opening the second bottle, Kevin had the bright idea to have his friend bring over some cigars and sadly I can’t remember which one was bought, but man was that an amazing decision.
The amount of flavor that was changed as the result of smoking a cigar with the beer blew my mind. I’m not rehearsed in cigar flavoring or anything like that, but this isn’t my first time pairing my beer with a cigar. The beer tasted straight up like chocolate and marshmallows.
It was a little cooler outside, we were sitting by a little outside fire pit and smoking/drinking so maybe that all led into a camping type vibe in my mind, which lead to the thought of s’mores. Who knows, maybe all in my head but the beer was now a lot more sweet, less coffee notes for sure and the boozey burn wasn’t there. The coconut and rum I was lacking before was coming through full force now. Kevin and I decided cigars have to be present next go around!
Holiday’s are not always easy and for me it’s pretty rare I actually get to spend time with my family. Being able to express the gratitude I have for the welcoming atomsphere that Kevin’s family always have brings me at a loss for words. Super rare situation for me! Positive vibes are really all we can ask for in life. You’d be hard pressed to find someone else who can more consistently surround themselves with positive people or exhibit those attributes himself than Kevin. He holds true to his motto: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Not a moment goes by that I do not feel elated that tipsy me asked this random bartender a bunch of questions about himself that sparked into having this wonderful person in my life!
Thanksgiving was awhile ago, but I hope everyone had wonderful holidays! I appreciate all the reads, encouragement to keep writing and people who have been willing to embark on this adventure with me. 2020 is going to bring forth a lot more new moments on this craft beer adventure and I can’t wait to write about each of them and the wonderful people!
“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
Stay tuned for March, the two year friendiversary, for the next take on Epic’s Big Bap Baptist Reserve and see if the beer and friendship ages beautifully.