J. Wakefield Brewing | Bake Kujira: Burnt Titanium
With Wakefest 2022 quickly approaching, it made sense to feature this monstrous pastry stout from the team at J. Wakefield Brewing. A more exclusive and sought-after riff off of a JWake favorite Big Poppa, Bake Kujira exemplifies what this brewery constantly strives to do with their high gravity releases.
Located in the heart of Miami, Florida’s Wynwood Arts District, this 15-barrel brewhouse has always striven to create beers beyond the norm. Known for their big, bold pastry stouts and renowned sours, owner & brewmaster Johnathan Wakefield and his team have also been known to brew everything in between.
Bake Kujira is a limited expression showcasing J. Wakefield’s famous Big Poppa stout base. Typically brewed with coconut, vanilla and Mostra coffee, these exclusive Bake Kujira offerings typically come out once a year during Wakefest and look to take an already powerful stout base even further. 2021 saw the release of three different Bake Kujira releases: Titanium, Burnt Titanium and Illuminating. Burnt Titanium is the rarest of the three. It is the Big Poppa base that was Double Barrel aged in Copper & Kings VSOP and Old Forrester Birthday Bourbon Barrels, then treated with coconut, toasted coconut, Mostra Kopi Luwak coffee & Peruvian vanilla. This product was a collaboration between LIFEXLLAB, Moksa Brewing and Mostra Coffee.
This beer pours with a motor oil thickness. Small traces of brown carbonation dance around the top of the glass, accompanied by floating chunks of coconut.
A lot of coffee and coconut come through immediately on the nose. One of the most intriguing elements of this beer and many others from J. Wakefield is the Kopi Luwak coffee addition. Kopi Luwak coffee is incredibly expensive and uniquely sourced; it is produced from coffee beans that are partially digested by the Indonesian palm civet and then excreted. The more you know!
What I loved about this beer is that although clearly falling under the umbrella of pastry, the barrel aging cuts the richness in a way that really balances out the beer. While the nose runs more adjunct-heavy with coconut and coffee, the palate showcases a great balanced richness. Chocolate fudge and vanilla interplay with a brandy-forward twang; caramel and coconut softens the finish and emerges more with temperature and time in the glass.
One of the best qualities of Bake is the weight and overall smoothness for such a high gravity beer. This is one the best I’ve found in terms of a stout that so successfully masks such a high ABV. That said, at 17% there was definitely some warmth on the finish, but zero ethanol burn or lingering bitterness from alcohol or adjuncts.
As the name implies, this is not an easy beer to obtain. That said, if you can ever snag one, it’ll be worth whatever it took. Keep an eye out for a new lineup at Wakefest 2022. Regardless of which Bake Kujira you track down, you’ll be happy you did.