Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Oaked Arrogant Bastard AleOaked Arrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,843 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,843
Hads: 5,081
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 9.79%
Wants: 198
Gots: 517 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 03-15-2003

American-style Strong Ale aged on oak.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,843 | Hads: 5,081
Photo of KarlHungus
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark mahogany color with a large, billowy, tannish-white head. Lacing is thorough, and sticks all over to the sides of the glass. The aroma is of grapefruit, grapes, and oak. The taste is of brash hops, and abrasive oak. It is like drinking a board. Nothing is in harmony. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a decent beer. I guess it could be considered a good beer, if you are looking for something with a lot of flavor, but don't care whether or not those flavors work well together. (539 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby color with an off white head that dissipates quickly to lace on the sides of the glass. The smell is an odd mix of hops, pine, and grapefruit. The taste is of grapefruit and pine with a little beer in there too. I couldn't drink to many of these, in fact I like the non oak version much better. It was nice to try, but not one of my favorites. (361 characters)

Photo of haazer
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Winter Beerfest in Philly.

A- A very dark, ruby/emerald stone appearance. Red and orange tints throughout. No head on this, seems like it may be flat.

S- Cherry aroma is first, followed by earthy and oaky notes.

T- Tastes somewhat like cherry pitts, nice and sweet. Oak flavors and flower petals add a nice herbal flavor. Some hoppiness detected in the background.

M- Very smooth, slightly astringent. Medium bodied brew. Almost no carbonation.

D- Easily drinkable, goes down easy. I have to say I kind've put this beer on a pedestool heading into the festival as one of my must try's and was a little let down. Maybe I'll have to revesit this one later. (675 characters)

Photo of MatthewWilde
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sample: 1 bottle 2012

A: Ruby red with hints of orange, minimal internal carbonation, very minimal head, translucent

S: Quite strange in my opinion, I can appreciate elements of oak and citrus, but it's over powered by a soy sauce/asparagus menagerie of scents that I certainly can't say I enjoy

T: Despite the rave reviews I remain unimpressed, takes on a definite woody characteristic, but any real flavors seem lost this nebulous alcohol-infused void, still nice sweet and bitter balance

M: Pretty smooth, a bit deterred by the nose and flavor, but drinkable, moderate oak aftertaste, and a bit drying on the palate

O: Perhaps I got a rogue bottle, but as it is fresh and the seals are intact I'm confident in declaring this beer over-rated, and while it has some redeemable qualities, not reminiscent of the quality I've come to expect from Stone (855 characters)

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006

A: Color of a ten year tawney. Cloudy and murky, loads of toffee highlights. Head has a medium creaminess, khaki colored.

S: Clay, band aid, caramel, bit of vanilla and over ripe peach.

T: Begins very oakey, extremely oakey actually. Actually oak is all I can taste and not necessarily in a positive way. Its not subtle, there aren't wisps of vanilla, its just oak. That's where the band aid smell came from because its coming thru in the beer too. Finishes lightly fruity and very bitter with more oak. As it warms, some depth does break thru but too little too late.

The thing about the oak is, this beer isn't aged in barrels. Oak chips are added and you can tell. The oak completely dominates the Arrogant Bastard. A good oaking should highlight the flavors, not dominate.

M: Medium body, full mouthfeel. Good carbonation.

D: Don't get me wrong, I still finished every sip of this beer. Perhaps I got a bad bottle but I doubt it. I've got the rest of the six pack to update my reviews if I feel its necessary. I'm a huge fan of barrel aged beers...I love the complexity it adds to the brew. This one simply has too much oak. (1,151 characters)

Photo of chalsk
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Attractive aroma. A sour, vinegar like smell. Nice bodied appearance, but very thin on the palate, watery. The flavor is thin too. A slight bitter, then oak with a malty finish. The poor balance is what turns me off. The different aspects of beer are not working in harmony. (274 characters)

Photo of oggg
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cask @ Real Ale Fest 6/04 Carlsbad

This beer is a hazy/murky brown, with a big bubbled foam. The aroma was just slightly hoppy, with some malt, and the smell of wet wood. On tasting, I got a restrained bitterness coupled with sweet malt and a mild roastiness. It seem to change on me and was sometimes sweet, sometimes dry. I'm not good at picking out vanilla. I just couldn't get a hold of this beer -- not clean enough, not hoppy enough...

I almost wet my pants when this beer appeared at the festival, but I was sorta disappointed when I finally got it. (562 characters)

Photo of Mdog
3.49/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark red-amber, good head and lacing.

Smell: Stuck my nose in while pouring and got nothing but a kind of earthy smell.

Taste: Pine and citrus bitterness at first, then a splash of oaky flavor before a long bitter finish.

Drinkability: I like the 12oz bottle, I don't like the price tag.

Picked up a single of this to try over in Wiscoland. Other than the disappointing smell, this was a pretty solid beer. The oak is present, but not over the top. (464 characters)

Photo of rawfish
3.49/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a ruddy brown color with a dirty sheet colored, finger high head. Tight froth with both great retention and lacing.

Caramel malt with some light chocolate aroma an even mix of vinous dark fruit, medicinal hops, alcohol and oak chips. Steady and heavy aroma that highlights more alcohol and medicinal hops and grape than the chocolate and oak.

Molasses, toffee, simple syrup malt profile. Very sweet in the forefront before medicinal and pine hops smash down the sweetness with a bitter kick that never really gets to it's potential as the oak smooths out this beer. The oak really aids in keeping this going as the sweetness and the bitterness don't get to follow through in the after taste.

Syrupy, viscous but less heavy than it feels on the tongue. Carbonation is average and the oak attempts to create a drying feel. Alcohol is evident despite the strong malt profile.

Higher marks overall because I know in my head that this beer is well built with full flavor and is balanced. The combination of grapey fruit, syrupy malt and medicinal/pine hops is not my favorite. The oak brings out an interesting dimension but only serves to increase the booze and palate bashing flavors. More of a double ESB with oak, not my favorite. (1,240 characters)

Photo of farrago
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Two fingers easy of light tan colored foam, islands of larger bubbles, however, displays very good retention and density, thick brushes of lacing. Light cloud to the redwood colored liquid, near to opaque, more of a zinc orange further out. There's a flatness to the nose, not necessarily a lack of scents per se, just a certain lack of vigor in the vanilla, chocolate base as well as the creamy whiskey notes and golden raisin, red cherry, apricot scents, this leaves extra room for the hops, grains and grasses to assert themselves whereas otherwise they would come off as more contained. Medium-bodied, whipped up and foamy in the mouth to no obvious specific end, More oomph in the caramel, vanilla fudge, mocha flavors, some sweet cedar as well. Same goes for a mild elevation in the nectarine, apricot, pineapple, peach fruit but, truly, not much. Some orange to lemon citrus yet surprisingly light. Seems to depend more on brute power than offering a richer array of flavors. Telltale astringency through the finish puts out any final thought of flavors reverberating. (1,075 characters)

Photo of GolgiIPAratus
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled: 1.5.07

Appearance of this brew is of reddish liquefied light caramel underneath a thick head. Head is dense and colored of a darker shade of eggnog. Some lacing clings.

The aroma is quite hoppy, full of juicy citrus notes. A quite peculiar and unique quality comes through on deeper inhalations, that seems to be a rich earthy honey like smell. And I mean, like, real honey; as in straight from the hive. I can only assume this comes from the wood aging, as it does not smell of what I remember from regular AB.

The flavor is immediately bitter, the particular style of hops jumping up, no doubt. The earthy honey sweetness comes though, and balances with the hop fruitiness. Its carbonation is in the mid range and coats the mouth with hop oiliness.

The beer is quite rich and a slow drinker, one 12 ouncer was more than enough. I liked it, but I didn’t think it really improved upon Arrogant Bastard, so I most likely won’t get it again. With a tag of oak aging, I was hoping for more complexity. The unique aroma & flavor described, really wasn’t that appealing to me, so I was let down somewhat in that respect. But hey, you win some, you lose some. (1,177 characters)

Photo of DrewV
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper-amber with a 2-finger tan head. Oily lace trails down the glass as the head recedes.

S: Somewhat muted, but piney hops make their way to the front. Slight oaky smell, but nothing dramatic. A solid sweet malt base can be detected.

T: Like the original Arrogant Bastard, but slightly less powerful and with a noticeable trailing woodiness. The malt base is stronger than you might expect, almost lager-like. Pretty well balanced overall.

M: Quite thin. Much thinner than I expected from a "big" beer like this. Carbonation definitely needs to be higher.

O: Meh, it's good, but definitely nothing I would seek out again. I guess I was expecting something "bigger", but in fact I found the opposite. Hints of oak, no bourbon, faint vanilla, thin body, and a reserved flavor overall. Plus, it's expensive. All things considered, I'll look elsewhere for my next brew. (875 characters)

Photo of weeare138
3.46/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears a near transparent auburn toned amber with a fluffy, ivory head that slowly fades into a dense, soapy cap. Tons of hearty, scattered lace sticks around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, flowers, mild grapefruit, pineapple, light vanilla, earthy spiciness, and gentle oak tannins that may have been missed had I not known oak chips were added to the mix. Aromas were lighter than anticipated.
Taste is spicy, sweet caramel, overly bitter of grapefruit along with gentle woody tannin flavor.
Mouthfeel is astringent, bitter, medium bodied, sweet, with the balance being out of wack and very little evidence of the American Oak.
Drinkability...I'm not believing the hype with this one. This may be one of the most over-rated beers I've seen on this site IMHO. I'm just not feeling it..."I'm not worthy." (810 characters)

Photo of Marty30
3.46/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into snifter at 45 degrees.

A. Very dark ruby red shines through when I hold it up to the light.About a 2 finger tan head appears as I pour this aggresively,but dissapates very quickly.Decent carbonation.Good sticky laceing.

S. I,m not sure if it's because this was poured right out of the fridge,but I,m not getting to much in the smell. I get hoppy piney notes first and I definately am getting the wood chips also some caramel malts in there,a little faint.

T. Quit hoppy and bitter,Oak definately comes through along with the hop bitterness.Hints of caramel and vanilla possibly,more hopps than I expected,not much else.

M. Medium mouthfeel,carbonation stings my tounge as this goes down.

Overall its not my favorite of the Bastard line up but I like what they did with this.I want to get this again in the future.If you enjoy the style I would say get this. (887 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.46/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 ounce bottle into a brandy snifter.

A: Rich ruby in the shade that grows lighter and more brilliant in the light. A finger of head fades quickly.

S: Soft, sweet, and round. Loads of malt. Floral vanilla? Weird fruit. Cough syrup, but no hops.

T: Completely different from what I had on tap many moons ago. Hops are present as unpleasant bitterness on the end/aftertaste. The rest is aggressively alcoholic (bourbon-y?) malty-vanilla sweetness that is oppressive, but not unpleasant.

M: Carbonation would be a welcome relief from the the vanilla-sweetness of the maintaste. A bit thick/sticky.

O: The beer grows on me, but I am still dubious as to the overall worth. This iteration is a bit malt-heavy for me, with not enough oak (just wannabe bourbon influence). (782 characters)

Photo of Luk13
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brown opaque with small lasting head. Aroma of smoked oak, pepper, leafy hops and vegetables. Taste is very woody and plenty of hops. Damn, so much oak. Great palate, Stone-like. This one was a little too much for me but I can say it was interesting to taste. (259 characters)

Photo of ZAP
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Brilliant cherrywood colored...

S-Fruits (pears and apples) and Citrus(tangerines, oranges,) also some obvious piney notes...caramel maltiness....light vanilla/oak notes evident but it took a few sniffs...also some dark berries.

T-Not as good as the aroma....kind of a flavorless muddled taste....some decent piney bitterness but not a lot more other than a mild oak impression...

M-Medium to full....low carbonation....not as bitter on the finish as on the start...

D-The look and smell of this beer had me excited but it just doesn't do much for me after that...Ok...nothing more.. (589 characters)

Photo of beckje01
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

It poured a dark amer color with some creamy head. The nose was really oaky, but nice. The flavor was a slight oak but not as dry as you would expect from the nose then just lots of hops so you get oak and hops no real malt showing through. Overall its an interesting beer but I would like more malt in there. (322 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

The ber pours a dark brown maber, pretty clear. The head is a very light tan, rising about four fingers and has great retention and lacing.

The aroma is medium in strength with lots of oak to start and a strong alcohol finish, not very appealing or balanced.

The taste sadly loses all the oak that was in the nose. It is replaced by the harsh bitter alcohol that is straight from the regular arrogant bastard. Its just boring here.

The feel is heavy, but a lasting alcohol bitter finish.

Overall, not a big AB fan, the oak doesn't improve it. (598 characters)

Photo of bruachan
3.43/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

nice-looking head. deep red color

i think i smell NW hops, but just maybe. i don't smell much evidence of the oak, however

the oak comes across strongly in the flavor. it's a woodiness that is hard to ignore. robust malt profile, featuring that brown-sugar-and-port-and-butterscotch sweetness that stone is so good at. bitter

not very dynamic, not that i didn't see that coming (380 characters)

Photo of opwog
3.42/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This was cask conditioned "American Oak." I have to say that I was not a big fan of the Oaked Bastard when I had it in the bottle, but I thought that I should still give this one a shot.

Alas, I am still not a fan of the Oaked Bastard on cask either, but for completely different reasons. Where I found the bottled version to be too tight and overly strong with the wood taste and feel, I found the cask to actually be a nicer balance of wood to hops and malts. The head was better and lasted quite a while for a cask. But the biggest problem here is that I think that Bastard is a a beer in any form that has to be served cold. Many beers are fine (or even better) at room temperature, but Bastard is not one of them (IMHO). Overall, as I said before, the balance of elements was better on this one than other Bastards, but that still doesn't mean that it is well balanced across the horizon of all ales. (908 characters)

Photo of katan
3.41/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. no date to be found.

A - Pours an amber color, leaning more towards the red side. Head formation is light, but what was there had a pleasant looking mocha color. Head similar to a porter. No hazing of note.

S - An unusual head. Most a phenolic flavors, with some kind of edgy background that I assume comes from the oak aging. Some fruitiness that at times as been associated with oxidation.

T - Starts off with a light smoky flavor that moves into a very potent phenolic flavor. Finishes with that rough edginess of the wood. The particular wood would be hard to discern, but it is certainly there. Continues big time in the aftertaste.

M - Oily and edgy. Biting and acidic. Alcohol is very warming. Carbonation is noticeable.

D - More of a one off beer. The notes from the wood aging begin to dominate the taste buds. Alcohol, both in flavor and in content, are strong enough to reduce sessionability.

All and all a good beer. Glad I tried it, but I'm guessing this just isn't my style. (1,008 characters)

Photo of enfield249
3.41/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear deep reddish brown with 1 fingers worth of light tan head.

S - Not getting much off this. Slight malt maybe.

T - First I get a nice clean flavor, hard to believe. Then some good roast and malt followed up by hoppy finish. I don't get any alcohol from this, which is surprising.

M - Full and slightly astringent.

D - A bit much for daily drinking, and I don't really taste much if any oak. Worth a try, but not anything supper special. (457 characters)

Photo of far333
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reddish copper colored with a head of off-white foam that rises up thickly and then settles out to a thin cap of uneven soapy bubbles.

Low aroma of floral and citrus hops, faint maltiness.

Flavor of muted malt upfront, citrus hops, and strong woody, earthy flavors. Hints of vanilla poke through, but it's mostly woody. Not so much oaky, just woody and becoming more one-dimensional as I sip.

Moderate carbonation, full mouthfeel, but very tannic and puckery. Average drinkability, I don't think the oak does anything better for an already very good beer. (558 characters)

Photo of JohnnyChicago
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep reddish-brown with a sticky one-finger of head.

S: Smells like the regular version + week old coffee and lumberyard.

T: A bit harsh. The classic Arrogant Bastard seems choked and stifled by the oak. Charred notes finish the beer harsh and the beautiful dance of sweet and bitter that I expect from classic AB is lost in sweaty wood notes.

D: Despite disliking this more than regular AB, this isn't a pain to finish at all. I even begin to enjoy it a bit towards the end.

Overall: This one didn't really do it for me. I mean, its base beer is basically too good to screw up, but the oak seems to detract from the base instead of add. I always avoided this one because the sixers are so damned expensive. I found it sold by the bottle and bought one...so glad I only bought one bottle. Stone, put regular Bastard in sixers and this one in bombers! (911 characters)

Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,843 ratings.