Salt Lake City, Utah — Look who just rode into town, a posse of Baptists; Big, Bad, Baptists and it looks like their packing more than just bold flavor and 1oo% barrel aged character. You better mind your step and stay on their good side. These fella’s mean business.
Epic is not just a result it’s a process, and we’re constantly pushing the boundaries by asking how you make a world class beer better. As a result of that process we have some very exciting additions to one of our favorite beers, Big Bad Baptist.
The idea behind Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist was born when our friends at HotBox Roasters, based out of Longmont, CO told us they’ve been aging green coffee beans in retired spirits barrels. Our eyes widened at the possibilities, it was like a new frontier of flavor had been opened up.
Green coffee beans are like sponges, they soak up the aromas and flavors of their environment. If you put them in a used whiskey barrel, you’ll get notes of toffee, vanilla, oak, and campfire alongside the beans natural fruity and roasted flavors. The barrel aged coffees coming from HotBox are some of the most exciting and truly unique coffees we’ve tasted. We selected their single origin Ethopian Yirgacheffe for its bright blueberry and pomegranate flavors. It’s a major departure from the classic Columbian and Central American flavor profile we normally select for Big Bad Baptist but with the additional flavor contribution from the whiskey barrel and Hot Box’s carful roasting, the coffee comes to the forefront of the beer and really showcases the unique process.
To accommodate the bold flavors of the coffee we sourced equally creative and maliciously crafted cacao nibs from Solstice Chocolate. Solstice Chocolate is a small artisan chocolate maker based out of Salt Lake City. They specialize in sourcing exotic, organically grown cacao from around the world. Each single origin cacao is roasted in house to bring out its inherent characteristics.
Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist is the cream of the crop with only the choicest barrels selected for the blend, barrel-aged single-origin coffee, artisanal micro-batch cacao nibs, and our ceaseless passion for style.
Big Bad Baptista is inspired by traditional Mexican coffee, Café de Olla, which is served with cinnamon and piloncillo, an unrefined sugar. The Cinnamon adds another layer of complexity and accentuates the earthy character of Mexican Coffee, but more importantly, it captures the essence of a place and its culture. As beverage geeks we wanted to pay homage to that rich tradition and offer our unique take.
Big Bad Baptista is a combination of Vanilla, Cinnamon, Mexican coffee roasted by Blue Copper, and Solstice Chocolate cacao nibs. It’s luxurious to say the least, with a pleasant warming sensation generated by the cinnamon and alcohol. Enjoying the interplay of chocolate, malt, oak, and spice is the perfect way to spend a cool evening, with friends around a fire.
This year’s Big Bad Baptist features three coffee roasters, Blue Copper Coffee from Salt Lake City, Novo Coffee based in Denver, and Dark Horse Coffee out of San Diego. We’ve worked with each roaster to select a coffee blend that enhances the flavor profile of the Imperial Stout coming out of the cask.
From Blue Copper, we feature their Mexican & Guatemalan Blend as well as a batch with their El Salvador Blend. We worked closely with the roasters at Blue Copper to fine tune these coffees to accentuate the fruity notes found in both the roasted barley and cacao nibs with hits of Bergamot, Cardamom, and under ripe stone fruit.
Our good friends at Novo take their espresso blend, Ethiopia, Columbia, and Panama origins, just a little darker than normal to highlight rich notes of milk chocolate, caramel toffee, and blueberry which play wonderfully with the vanilla and toasted marshmallow flavors from the whiskey casks.
A new partner with us this season is Dark Horse Coffee from San Diego and they’re roasting some prenominal coffee. After tasting through their lineup we decided their “Best Friend Blend” was well suited to Big Bad Baptist and our partnership too. The blend is a combination of Guatemalan and Brazilian origins which offers a rich chocolate flavor and toasted nut aroma to the beer, similar to toffy or Christmas peanut brittle.
Big Bad Baptist is on its way across the country now and will be appearing on shelves during October. Double Barrel Big Bad Baptist and Big Bad Baptista will follow shortly with releases in November. Be sure to look for 2016 Rare Release labels and don’t forget to grab an extra for the cellar.