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Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Oaked Arrogant Bastard AleOaked Arrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,848 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,848
Hads: 5,113
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 19.81%
Wants: 207
Gots: 541 | FT: 4
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: 1,848 | Hads: 5,113
Photo of MisSigsFan
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"This is an aggressive ale..." but you most certainly will like it. Pours that signature Bastard darkish red color with a 1.5 finger bone-white head. Head is extremely smooth with great lacing. The smell is very similar to that of the standard Bastard, but with just a hint of the oak chips at the very end. The taste is actually quite different from the standard ABA. This time, sweetness, biterness, and oakiness dominate, with just a bit of pine at the end. The mouth is also quite similar to the original Bastard. Smooth, yet leaves the biterness lingering. Overall, I'm won over. Honestly, I'd probably buy this over the original any day, but unfortunately, it's not as common. Good thing I'm from San Diego!

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Photo of kvgomps
3.08/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a rich mahogany with a ton of effervescence when held up to the light. A 1 inch head with good retention and a ton of wood on the nose. I'm gonna guess that's oak.

The taste is sort of flat and undefined upfront but this gives way to a strongly overpowering bitter oak profile. This isn't all that different from chewing on tree bark. Even has that sort of medicinal bitter pine flavor on the tongue minutes after the sip. Almost feels like whatever little balance was present in the original has now been sapped out.

Well, I don't care for the taste but it has some things going for it - the appearance and mouthfeel do win it some points. Unfortunately these pale in comparison to the taste for me. I enjoy barrel aged beers so I'm a bit surprised at this one. I'm guessing this is a polarizing brew. Still though, worth trying once.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into sniffer glass. Did a side-by-side comparison with this oak aged version and the regular Arrogant Bastard, so this will be a review and comparative analysis.

A- Pours a hazy ruby with a thick, cream color head. Absolutely beautiful beer. Fantastic lacing. Color seems to be slightly lighter than the AB, but tough to see a difference there. Slightly less pronounced head as well, but to be expected after being put through the aging process. Just about a finger.

S- Wow. Here is where we start to see the separation from the regular AB. Aroma has some similarities to the reg AB with some floral hop and pine notes, but the oak aged version takes it to another level with the oak presence. Sweeter, maltier smell with earthy hints of wood and vanilla. More pungent that reg AB. Absolutely delicious smelling!

T- Glorious. Citrus hops up front, but less pronounced than reg AB. Biscuit flavors. Sweet malty base. Swirl of flavors taking place. Takes you on an extra twist from reg AB as the oak backbone of this beer takes over. Notes of brown sugar, molasses, vanilla. Did Stone actually find a way to make this beer smoother? I think so. Oak creates a smooth finish of a terrific scotch. Very little bitterness. Touch of alcohol, but well hidden. Not overpowering.

M- mid body. Velvety smooth as it coats your mouth. Good carbonation remains. Very similar to reg AB

O- to my delight, it actually found a way to top the regular bastard. The oak backbone really takes over and takes this beer on a nice ride to another level. Hops are less of a highlight with this one, but the balance is just amazing. One of my favorite beers i have had to date.

$10.99 for a 4 pk

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.81/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pretty good one finger of head for an oaked beer. The body is a dark brown color.
The aroma is mild oak with a dose of milled barley.
The taste has a mild oak all around, which rounds out the Arrogant Bastard. The bold malt and hop profile is still there, just mellowed out a bit. It's good.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
A great beer and too easy to drink.

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Photo of LuDookie
3.07/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Poured this from the bottle into a mug.

Looked and smelled good, dark.

First taste was bitterness, and water. I hate when I can pick up on the water in a beer. Besides that it did have a decent body, and I appreciate dark beers, but I have just never been able to appreciate any of the Arrogant Bastard brews.

Mouthfeel was pretty carbonated and bitter. If you like bitter, you will like this one, but not the most bitter I've had.

Overall, I finished it. That's about it.

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Photo of AmitC
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with enjoy by date of 03/14/13. So about a month before its best drinking age.

Color is dark copper or almost deep ruby-brown. Huge hints of red color. Maroon or chestnut color would be a better description. About one finger thick light tan colored head that stays for only some time. Decent lacing on the sides. Some minor bubbles.

Aroma is a mix of toasty malts, resinous hops and very very slight wood. Some very vague vanilla comes through in the nose as well. Overall strength is mild. Oak aging via chips has resulted in a subdued aroma as far as oak, wooden and vanilla fragrances are concerned. Hop aroma is not strong either. Drinks like an old ale. Alcohol does not come through.

Flavor is again very subdued. Very malt forward and strictly less hops than in its non-oaked counterpart. Slight bitterness in the finish. Caramel and toasted malts along with resinous and piney hops.

Mouth feel is medium bodied. Moderate to low carbonation. Drinks very easy and smooth. Hides the alcohol, though there is not much to hide at just above 7%.

Non-Oaked version is slightly better.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.37/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- One-finger off-white head. Several minute-long retention. Nice lacing and good carbonation. Auburn color with low clarity. Hazy and appealing.

S- Strong dark smells, yeast and some booze scents. Definitely some wood chips.

T- Bitter, deep and aggressive. Definite wooden taste that fights with the booze for control of the bitterness. Not an ideal taste, but I suppose I knew what I was getting into.

M- Smooth and very dry. Malty feel in the end.

O- Meh. Not my preferred style, but not as bad as some of the recent offerings I've had from Stone. Maybe I'm just not in the right mood to enjoy it to the extent it seems most people have.

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Photo of thegodfather1076
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Presentation: Bottle is awesome as Stone bottles always are. All graphics and text are painted on. Label has the typical Stone gargoyle holding a beer mug with great font. Very eye-catching. States that it is Ale aged with American Oak Wood chips, ABV info, and says “You're not worthy.”! On the back label it gives the definition of arrogance, a small but arrogant description of the beer, a small but arrogant back story on beer, web info, and states “The Arrogant Bastard Wood. Would You?”! Cap states “Arrogant Bastard Ale”.

Appearance: After allowing this to warm for 10min I poured AB out of its 12oz bottle into a 16oz snifter. Pours out a deep brownish red that is very cloudy and has a 1 ½ finger cream colored head of a medium to thick density. Lacing is phenomenal! Heading retention is excellent lasting 7min 30sec before fading to a thick coating a ring.

Smell/Aroma: Aroma is amazing. A floral herbal scent hits the nose right off start with a strong citrus hop scent rising through next. A nice oak backbone is detectable the entire time. Phenomenal!!!

Flavor/Taste: A strong pine hop bitterness is tasted first followed directly by a sweet but bitter grapefruit taste. A roasted malt backbone comes through on the finish. Really great!!! All this rest atop an oak backbone.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: On the thicker side of medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel and average carbonation. Extremely drinkable!!!!

Overall/Comments: Wow!!! One of the better beers that I've ever had! Super complex in every aspect with a great nose and a flavor profile that takes the drinker on an adventure!! The oak was awesome!!

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Photo of ElSid
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The Beers of California


Bottled Date: None

A: Deep brown with a washed khaki head of foam which is minimal and dissipates to bubbles that cling to the glass.

S: Caramel sweet with a burnt, woody edge. There is a nice fresh, earth and pine hop presence in the nose.

T: The malt is caramel and brown sugar sweet and is the fortified foundation to this brew. The wood is there, again with a burnt edge. The hops add balance with a moderate grapefruit and strongly earthy bitterness.

M: Oh so smooth with a full body and just enough carbonation.

O: One of the standouts of the Stone brew line. The oak presence adds a layer to the already strong and well balanced brew that features big and sweet malt along with refreshing and crisp hops.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.61/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark red with nice head. Aroma of pine hops and faint oak. Definite malt presence. Flavor has a nice oak up front and strong toffee malt. Hops give it a crisp finish. The dry sharp oak seems to wash out some of the nice regular arrogant bastard malt sweetness that balanced this beer. Not bad, but need to be in the mood for some oakiness for sure. A bit like chewing on a piece of wood.

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Photo of arfenhouse
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber color with big white head. Good lacing and retention.

S: Getting caramel, toffee, with some bread for the malts. Equally strong pine and grapefruit. One difference from the regular AB is a bit of vanilla scent near the beginning.

T: Very similar to regular AB; Sweet toasted bread, and caramel. Hops come in strong with lots of citrus (grapefruit, orange) and some pine. Hop character is a little smaller compared to the regular AB. Finishes with a long oaky aftertaste which reminds me of the smoked characteristic in a good whiskey.

M: A bit thick with medium-high carbonation. Fits the style and overall aggressiveness of the beer.

O: Good beer that is very much like the original AB. A small difference in the nose and a mellowing of the bitterness in the taste. To make up for the less bitterness there is a good oaky flavor that adds to the complexity of the beer.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Sprecher snifter glass

Appearance- Blood red in color with 1 finger of tan head that dissipates to a sheet that covers the beers surface. Leaves a good amount of sticky lacing.

Smell- I get lots of sweet tropical fruit, that similar to an IPA. Also, getting a vanilla and a little pine.

Taste- Up front you get a lot of hops flavors including some citrus and earthy ones. Then this is followed with a nice long oaky/woody finish. Quite enjoyable actually.

Mouthfeel- Pretty much what I would consider a medium body which to me is perfect for the style.

Overall- Very enjoyable mellow beer. My only gripe would be that the flavor profile could have used a little more sweetness to counter act the oaky and earthy notes.

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Photo of spoony
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes dated December 28, 2012.

From a 12 oz bottle into a globe glass.

A-An agressive pour produced almost two fingers of pillowy, tan head. The head was slow to fade and left a lot of lace on the glass. The brew was dark brown with ruby highlights and mostly clear.

S-Smell was an assertive aroma of piny, resinous hops, some toasty oak, molasses sweetness and tan malts.

T-Taste was also dominated by piny, resinous hops. Behind the hops are flavors of sweet bourbon and oak, and a touch of chocolate from the wood.

M-The brew is medium to heavy in body with low carbonation and a slightly oily feel.

O-Nice to review a true classic and one of the beers that got me into beer nearly a decade ago. It is a close call between this Bastard and the standard, non-oaked version. Both are great beers, but I think the oak imparts some additional character that pushes this version over the top.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Cocky Ale presented itself quite beautifully. A Reddish hue mix with copper, there was a stout presentable head and loads of carbonation.

The aroma was casual but noticeable. Hints of hoppy pine with a bit of malt, very pleasant but not as strong as I hoped.

The taste is interesting...the pine notes of the hops are evident but I caught a touch of caramel near the end. There's a malt presence but its fleeting and it finishes with the metallic taste of the hops. The metallic taste lingers for too long and lends to a lower impression in mouthfeel.

In all...enjoyable!

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Photo of MDDMD
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-beautiful copper color with a nice light tan head and good lacing

S-citrus, pine, caramel malt, oaky nuances, slight floral

T-malt, caramel, pine, citrus, nice oak presence, solid bitter hop finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth and slightly silky mouthfeel, alcohol well-disguised

O-a solid strong ale with a nice oak presence a nice complement to the regular version

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Photo of KingSlayer
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a semitranslucid brown caramel color full bodied fluid, good carbonation, formed 2 and a half fingers of light beige dense head, good retention, good lacing.

S: wonderful striking aroma of a delicate balance between malts and floral and bitter pine hops, little metalic undertone.

T: malty when first sipped, progresses to an aftertaste predominating a bitter palate that reminds those bitter resiny pine hops oils mentioned before, a little metalic as well.

M: somewhere from mid to full body, well carbonated.

O: loved it, will have again, a little bit strong alcohol wise, so keep that in mind while sessioning.

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Photo of erickehoe
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep amber color with ¼ inch cream head. Head appears to have viscosity of whipped cream. No real lacing to speak of.

Smell: Caramelly, molasses-like. Bananas and rum. Oaky.

Taste: Surprisingly balanced, based on the smell and oak-aging. Not too sweet. Starts with gentle, bubbly carbonation followed by a creamy, rich mouthfeel. Hop bitterness comes through fairly strong for the style. Definitely tasting the oak and maltiness as it finishes, and a warm heat exudes from the alcohol.

Overall: Pleasing aromas and a very well-balanced beer. A little thinner than I imagined, but other than that it is high-quality.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.55/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a dismal head that quickly reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper crimson color with good clarity and only a small amount of slow moving bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Caramel and toasted Malts ,Citrus, and other fruity notes.

Taste: Citrus, oak, vanilla, bitterness, caramel, chocolate, and bready notes.

Mouthfeel: Subltely smooth, low to medium carbonation, medium bodied, and easy to drink.

Overall: A nice offering by Stone. For some reason, this hop bomb is a bit much.

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Photo of ubenumber2
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass , Nice 2 finger head that had a slight brownish color , nice lacing and the smell was wonderful and complex to me , picked up on some earthy smells that were very appealing.

Full bodied ale , a very nice mouthful with just the right amount of carbonation

The taste is wonderful , a nice blend of malt , hops and earthy flavors with not one over powering the other , one of the best Ive ever had

I love this beer , I am going to try and find a clone recipe and see how close I can get , but until then I will be keeping a 4 pack in the fridge in short intervals

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Photo of lordofstarside
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Enjoy by 1/15/13 date

Pours a rich mahogany with a finger and a half of head. Mild carbonation, good retention and lacing. So far so good. Aroma of hops, some citrus, oak, with some sweet caramel malts making a rigid backbone. Taste follows the nose well, strong up front hops with a tinge of citrus, smokey oak, caramel, some toffee, with sweet malts bringing them all together. Mouth is pretty good as well, strong bitterness, thick full body, with a sticky resin and dry finish. Very easy to drink. Overall a good idea that turned out to be a great one. I prefer this over the regular bastard any day

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Photo of TheBigLebrewski
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is enjoyably as expected. Has a little bit of that extra translucence that comes with macro-production, but the deep amber coloring is gorgeous and the head and retention is perfect.

Smell also betrays some macro qualities, but it's an enjoyable scent to say the least.

The taste of this beer is fucking awesome. A wonderful amount of wood (though I'd take a touch more), and very well balanced to boot. An improvement of the Arrogant Bastard.

Could go for a bit more hoppy crispness in the mouthfeel, but it's damn solid none the less. Just a touch more mellow than desired, particularly for a 'wood-chipped' beer. This is, in my opinion, the only quality of the beer that is inferior to the original AB.

Overall, a wonderfully accessible, albeit entry-level wood-affected beer. There are, of course, many with a more genuine wood contribution. But in terms of a widely accessible high quality brew... I'll have another.

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Photo of GoldHorde
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Arrogant Bastard Ale hails from a category that I'm not...um..."skilled" in; certainly not an expert. I do not prefer brown or Belgian ales so I was actually surprised to find this complex a "flavor profile" from a category named American Strong Ale. Generally I do not like the schmaltzy aftertaste of standard ales (English, Belgian and Brown) preferring instead those of the highly hopped IPA category. This beer has harnessed my curiosity to explore the ale experiments a bit more. Very nice beer - copper tone with a limited head but a strident aftertaste of hop. I wouldn't refuse this beer - even at an IPA Beer Bust.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-12-01 in Lancaster, PA at The Fridge

A - Light mahogany / copper color with a short, off-white head with goodlacing.

S - Floral hops, citrus, pine, touch of sweet malt and wood. Not very strong but there were food odors present.

T - Burnt sugar, roasted grain, citrus, pine, toffee, nutty. The hop bitterness is more muted than in the regular AB but the woody oak character more than makes up for it.

M - Medium-heavy body and light-medium carbonation. Substantial. Resinous.

O - Very enjoybable. The oak aging really enhanced the character of this brew and raisted the rating quite a bit for me. Good stuff.

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Photo of templar316
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Duval tulip/\Really suprised at how much the mouthfeel has softened on this one! Not much of a fan of the Stone palate wrecker hop blast style although I can recognize it as good beer... This is really nice. 2008 bottle that's been chillin' in my cellar makes me wish I'd saved a couple more. Deep Amber, great head after 4 years in the bottle. Piney citrus hops are still readily apparent on the nose but the flavor really shines! A smooth operator flavor; quick piney blast, smooth creamy bitterness and soft tea. With an oak finish and smooth, smooth hoperator finish I could drink this all night!

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Photo of portia99
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from the first bottling of this (at least that made it to Massachusetts...by my rough calculations, this has been in the cellar from 2004) poured into an Old Guardian glass. Lets see how this has held up.

A - Bottle opens with a nice firm crack of carbonation. Pours a bit muddy and dirty and with a bit of a darker brown color. A finger cap of a tan foam lingers for a minute or so and leaves behind a thick and foamy collar around the edge of the glass.

S - Rich caramel up front, a touch of oak, molasses, hint of burnt sugar and faint vanilla. Not much left for any hops...after 8 years - not surprised. This give the impression of being a nice barleywine.

T - Somewhat mellow..and perhaps not quite as arrogant. This is very smooth. Woody oak is prominant on the first sip and lingers from start to finish. Layered heavily with various sweet and malty flavors - caramel, toffee, brown sugar. Surprisingly crisp hop bitterness as well. Vanilla and burnt sugar slightly reminiscient of creme brulee. Everything works very well together...there are no hard edges here...goes down super easy.

M - Very smooth, velvety, creamy. Body is medium. Carbonation is medium/low with a foaminess and creaminess about it. Gives a sweeter impression, but overall balance is excellent. Woody aspects and clean hop bitterness play off the sugary flavors quite well. Alcohol is not at all evident.

O - Having been an Arrogant Bastard fan from day 1, I recall being very excited when this oaked version hit store shelves. I also remember being shocked by the $18/6pk price but buying it anyway. Sadly, I recall not being at all impressed by this beer fresh, finding it quite harsh and not very enjoyable...hence a primary reason this has been sitting quietly in my cellar for 8 years. So, when I stumbled upon this bottle I figured it was as good a time as any to give it another try. What I find now is a truly excellent beer that has held up very well and improved greatly with age. The balance here is just about perfect and the flavors have mellowed a bit and blended together to create a beer that truly surprised me. Not sure I have the patience anymore to lay a beer down for 8 years (at least intentionally), but I am really hoping that I have another of these vintage bottles hiding in a dark corner of my cellar collection.

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Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,848 ratings.