Epic Brewing - Epicurean Coffee & Fig
- ABV: 8%
- Serving Temperature: 54–61° F
- Suggested Glassware: Snifter or Bordeaux Glass
Epic Brewing’s releases are barely hitting the States right now, and most members will likely be most familiar with their hoppy stuff: Armageddon IPA, Pale Ale, Hop Zombie, etc. Their Epicurean Coffee & Fig made a similar impact on our tasting panel: an impressively unique, totally out-there imperial oatmeal stout with a bunch of great additions. This has Turkish figs added, and was conditioned on toasted coconut from the Philippines. It’s also been matured on Kenyan Karen coffee beans that were roasted locally at the Caffe L’Affare in Wellington.
U.S. distribution of Epicurean has been limited to 100 small cases or so—the majority going to high-end bottle shops like the one at Vermont’s Hill Farmstead. We can’t readily recall an imperial stout we’ve had that was anything like this, with all three of its core ingredients—its coffee, coconuts, and figs—coming through with purpose. This pours jet-black: dense, dark, and a bit viscous, with modestly sized medium-brown foam on top. The aromatics spill out.
Up first: tons of roasted coffee followed by subtler notes of milk chocolate. There’s a bitter aspect to both that never builds too much, with the toasted coconut sitting farther back, and the figs waiting to appear more fully in the taste. The aroma gives a great coffee stout aspect though: nicely roasted with just a hint of smooth oatmeal. On first taste, like that, one gets a clear impression of exactly what this beer’s about: figs show through fresh and green, like an ideal play off the coffee. And toasted coconut beautifully fills out the secondary notes: with a toasty, slightly tropical backdrop that, here, works so great alongside that fig-ness and coffee.
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