A Baptist and a Catholic Walk Into a Bar | Drink | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
DONATE

A Baptist and a Catholic Walk Into a Bar 

Not the start of a bad joke—it's two beers and variations on a theme.

Pin It
Favorite
MIKE RIEDEL
  • Mike Riedel

Epic - Baptist in the Rye: Epic strayed from the bourbon beaten path on this brew by aging it in 100 percent rye whiskey barrels, which should add unique peppery notes and deep earthy tones to this version of Big Bad Baptist. As my nose hovers over the dark tan head, I get notes of oak, vanilla, sweet cream, dark chocolate and fudge brownies—really nice, with some definite whisky character and a touch of molasses, too. It comes across with more sweetness, including vanilla cream and fudgy chocolate character. And the appearance follows the aroma, with an opaque black pour and no carbonation evident. The head slowly fades to a full, creamy cap and clings to the sides of the glass; a slight wisp and ring remain, leaving decent lacing down the glass. Like all of the Big Bad Baptist stouts, this one looks good.

Oak, whiskey, sweet cream, vanilla and coconut appear in the taste up front, making for something really decadent. Some wood and alcohol follow at the swallow, with more sweet creamy flavors. A big and lingering finish features all the good stuff, including oak, whisky, sweet vanilla, milk and dark chocolate, bigger chocolate fudge and some roasted coffee flavors. There's a bit of alcohol as well, but the flavor is wonderful here, with a fuller body and medium levels of carbonation. It's creamy enough on the palate, weighty, and goes down fine with a somewhat mouth-coating finish. Some minor heat lingers, but not nearly as much as you might expect for the 11.5 percent ABV.

Overall: They should just do rye whiskey 100 percent of the time. The regular Big Bad Baptists are great as is, but this variation is outstanding. The barrel flavors work great here without ever getting overly boozy or harsh, while still remaining restrained enough to let the hefty base stout play a major role. The combination is a sweet, vanilla, chocolate-fudgey wonderland. I loved it, and perhaps enjoyed this version just a touch more than the others.

Bewilder - Vitruvian Lager: This is a beer made in collaboration with The Leonardo in Salt Lake City. It features all Italian malts and French hops. A light pour into a Pilsner glass produced a bright, mostly clear golden hue, with a huge meringue head. I could smell the hops before I was even finished pouring it, a wonderfully complex hop nose of spicy, floral, citric and resiny pine from the Franco hop blend with a sweet malt background.

The taste is a pleasant walk through alpha-acid land. The hops are on full display without being too bitter. There is a nice semi sweet Vienna-like malt backbone that combines with the hops for great balanced flavor that almost totally hides the 5.0 percent alcohol. This great example of the style emphasizes the correct characteristics and hops. The finish is great, only slightly drying from the hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is nice, but not too weighty and lets you know the beer has some heft. The drinkability is high, such that I'm almost drinking it too fast to review.

Overall: I hope Bewilder makes this a regular offering. I realize that the ingredients aren't exactly common, but it seems to hit all the right notes, and it would be a lager that could separate them from the pack.

Though Vitruvian Lager is limited, it is available in many ways: in 16-ounce cans, on draft and, if the cans disappear, you can fill your growlers and get crowlers of this brewery- and The Leonardo-exclusive offering. Baptist in the Rye is a seasonal release, and can be found now at Epic's State Street brewery in 22-ounce bottles. Soon you will be able to snag this from DABC stores, so keep your eyes open for it there as well. As always, cheers!

Pin It
Favorite

Tags:

More by Mike Riedel

  • A Brewery Re-born

    Park City Brewery rises from the ashes to become something more.
    • Nov 24, 2021
  • Off the Beaten Path

    The road less traveled reveals two rugged lagers made for the adventurous palate.
    • Nov 18, 2021
  • Ghost Hunting

    On the trail of two beverages with spirited spiciness.
    • Nov 10, 2021
  • More »

Latest in Drink

  • A Brewery Re-born

    Park City Brewery rises from the ashes to become something more.
    • Nov 24, 2021
  • Off the Beaten Path

    The road less traveled reveals two rugged lagers made for the adventurous palate.
    • Nov 18, 2021
  • Ghost Hunting

    On the trail of two beverages with spirited spiciness.
    • Nov 10, 2021
  • More »

© 2021 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation