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Beer – #1,095 – Epic – Epicurean Coffee and Fig (2018)

Epicurean Coffee & Fig (2018) – after a couple years gap it has made a welcome return.  Or I missed it totally  You’ll completely care that in post 1,094 I drank a 2015 version, with a missed result (#SpoilerAlert it wasn’t good).

I feel quite up to date and modern now that I’m only drinking beer 2 years old.

Potentially best  in mid 2021

Epicurean Coffee & Fig (2018) is now in a 500ml bottle, which is a shame, it is 8% ABV and has 50 IBU Things, around 240 calories a serve size, this is 3.2 standard drinks in NZ

This Coffee and Fig stout is  brewed in the style that is a  Stout – Imperial,  and is Brewed for Epic Brewing Company (NZ) by Steam Brewing Company in Auckland.

Tiny teeny beer

The Epicurean series is a celebration of the flavours and aromas that can be found within the diverse range of ingredients that brewers and chefs alike use in their creations.  This beer is a culmination of hours of celebration, experimentation, cogitation and libation.  And a sprinkling dehydrated fitness
After much demand we are bring back our famous Coffee & Fig Stout. We found that many people weren’t sharing the beer as we had intended and enjoying it all for themselves. Therefore this time we have bottled it in a more manageable 500ml bottle. We still encourage you to share it with a friends so you can share the experience together.
2018 vintage uses Brazilian Toffee Coffee Beans, roasted for us by Kerry at L’Affare and is made with diced dry Turkish Figs, Brazilian Toffee Coffee Beans, and Toasted Philippine Coconut.
Coffee & Fig has the aroma of fresh roasted coffee, with hint of strawberries, peaches and dried fruit followed up in the flavour by roasted malt character, toasted coconut and a rich dark fruit finish.
Perfect breakfast or dessert beer.
This beer should age well over the next 5 years. As it develops in the bottle the coffee notes slowly decrease and the rich fruit cake notes develop from the dried figs.
Potentially best drinking in mid 2021

So, What could possibly go wrong?

Two things “Now in smaller bottles as … many people weren’t sharing the beer as we had intended and enjoying it all for themselves.” I’m calling BS on that claim, and if it was true,  and it isn’t, they’d have done both the 500 and 750 versions. Be honest with your audience and income stream and don’t pretend you know best, you made an decision based on an ROI. 

Second “Potentially best drinking in mid 2021″  Based on my recent experience this seems fanciful 

So, that aside, and MrsPhil calling out that I sounded ‘drunk” and “what was I doing” and then not knowing what “Rubber Sou;’ or “Help” were, things are going smoothly.

There’s less a milk Chocolate (lactose) aroma in this, but it is there.

The pour is outstanding and the head along a darker proper coffee coloured affair of light but firm delight sits atop.

The aroma brings you back to earth as there is nothing that dominates and it’s a bit quiet and unassuming.

Looks to deceive

So the taste. I wish I had something nice to write and say about this, but I don’t and can’t. For me this really lacks fullness and that bit puffy cheek feeling that I’d really like to get, even if it’s a bit faux,  it adds that expected quality, and the illusion of something perhaps, for me it’d make this beer.  But it’s not there, and there’s nothing int he beer profile that would lead you to believe that this the the brewers bowing to public pressure, reducing the amount you can buy in one bottle, and delivering a top shelf beer.

It’s just not a good beer, by which I mean and I only mean that for me this is not a beer that I’m enjoying. Don’t come at a me with your hot takes and whataboutism, this is not a beer that  moved me, or could move me, and I can’t think that in 6 month it’s going to suddenly gather about itself some body or soul.

Soul? Where did that come from? Well now that I blurted that out, perhaps that is what this beer should be about and  what it really lacks. I remember vividly the first time I had the first version of this  beer, at 16 Tun in Auckland many years ago, don’t make me look it up, and fell in love with the idea and the idea that this had depth, ethics and a dream delivered about it.

This seems a bit rinse-repeat, and that’s just fine, but there are other similar beer that are just better.

So is it a bad Stout? No, no its’ not a bad stout, it’s a very acceptable stout, It is what a stout should be and is all those things. Is it the Stout that the backstory and label promise, because honestly  you think in reading that you you are about to  get something that’s pretty decadent and inspirational, and forward thinking, taking you to a new place or a finely delivered experience from a master.

I don’t think I’ve been this triggered with disappointment for a while. I think the disappointment is all on me, an my expectations.

Because I’ve had this before I didn’t want to cloud or sway my opinion, the last time I had this I honestly thought it was near perfect, writing  only two words “outstanding, really”,  What I’m having now it not that. It’s not. It’s just not.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 7 of its things from the thing.  A beer that either can’t or won’t age an improve or that I’ve treated badly. You can still get these, I think, in stores, but I’m not going to go another in the hope that their beer fridge is better than my fridge.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? Liquorland in Forrest Hill, Auckland
  • Am I enjoying it? Nope
  • Would I have another? Nope, but clearly fresh is best in this instance.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Clearly the brewer thinks I should and has berated me about sharing it and not enjoying it for myself, but they are wrong, I’d be embarrassed about this if I read all the backstory and the unwritten promise that goes with it.

Music for this:  Rubber Soul (Remastered) by The Beatles on the Spotify of you wondered what your parents though was good.


Imperial stouts are usually extremely dark brown to black in color with flavors that are intensely malty, deeply roasted and sometimes with accents of dark fruit (raisin, fig) or milk sourness. The bitterness is typically medium and often the low sie of that. Imperial stouts are strong and often exceed 8% by volume.


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