Welcome to beer/cigar review Wednesday where we take a look at any notable (and some not-so-notable) beers and cigars from the past week. We did not have an episode last week because I was still busy polishing off leftover bubbly and hard cider but we’re back with the program this week! This episode is a little light as I’m just now getting back into my regular mode but it’s coming to you now nonetheless.
Let’s start with our beer selections:
Epic Big Bad Baptist
Hailing from Epic Brewing Company in Salt Lake City, Utah, Big Bad Baptist is an whiskey barrel aged American Imperial Stout brewed over cocoa nibs and coffee beans. It weighs in at a staggering 13% ABV and an unspecified IBU and gravity (trade secret perhaps?). Whatever the case, Big Bad Baptist is definitely big and bad!
Pours a jet black as an imperial stout should. One finger of milk chocolate colored head which recedes to a thin ring. Big, complex aroma of alcohol, roasted malt, coffee, cocoa and whiskey. Bold flavors of caramel and roasted malt, a hint of vanilla, rich semi-sweet chocolate on the middle of the palate and finishes strong with a dark roast coffee and warming whiskey. Substantial burn on the way down. Thick, chewy body and low carbonation. Smooth as silk and damn near chuggable.
This beer is everything a good imperial stout should be and more: bold flavors, thick body and complex. Definitely hard to find fault with this one and it sure gets top marks from me. Rating: 5/5.
Now for this week’s cigar selections:
Room 101 Payback Chavala
Payback is a newer series from Room 101 cigars. The Chavala variation is a 5″ x 50 RG robusto size and, despite being produced in the Honduras, is a Nicaraguan puro.
First light revealed a loose draw with a huge volume of smoke output. Medium-full body flavors of a sweet cream on the draw and a big pepper/spice blast on the finish and retrohale. Just into the cigar the pepper/spice dials back a bit bringing through a tinge of vanilla on the draw. This remained consistent through just over half of the cigar when it went to a slightly sweet earth and straight tobacco on the draw and going to a woody retrohale, leaving the pepper/spice. Ending the cigar at just over an hour with the first hot draw, more than ample time for a robusto. Mild-medium nicotine strength.
Excellent construction with an even burn all the way down not requiring any touchups. Ash holds on for about a third of the cigar at a time. Though the last third didn’t suit my palate, I’m not complaining because I could use this as a quick 40 minute smoke at an insane(ly low) price point for the quality. You just can’t beat these for a bargain smoke (I paid like $5.50 for a single at my local tobacconist and Texas has a fairly hefty tobacco tax) and as such I’m going to rate it accordingly at a 4.5/5.