Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Oaked Arrogant Bastard AleOaked Arrogant Bastard Ale

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1,844 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,844
Hads: 5,090
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 11.93%
Wants: 205
Gots: 525 | 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
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Reviews: 1,844 | Hads: 5,090
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark reddish-amber color with a tan head. The aroma is pine and orange hops along with some oaked notes. I also detect some alcohol in the aroma. The flavor is a great mix of caramel malt and orange citrus. The oak then comes in, with the addition of some vanilla notes. Low to medium bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

A very good beer. The oak aging has really toned down the bitterness from the regular, non-oaked version.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

01/07/05- On tap at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- Served in a tulip glass (damn! was hoping for a pint)

Appearance- Great orange-brown color with a nice big creamy head and nice lacing.

Smell- Possibly the best smelling beer I have ever put my nose to. So much malt, hops, fruity, flowers and oak put together.

Taste- The first thing that I noticed were the hops. Not to bitter, but just enough to entice me to drink more. Then the malt hit me. Rather dark and caramel flavored malt which mixed in perfect with the hops. To top it all off, it had an extra oak flavor that put it over the edge.

Mouthfeel- Medium to highly carbonated, but still goes down ultra easy.

Drinkability- One of the best beers I have ever had. Everything comes together so well in this beer. How I wish they had this beer in the bomber size bottles.

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Photo of billab914
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone RIS snifter. Pours dark amber, nearly ruby in color with a two finger off-white head. Very nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma has a lot of caramel with some oak woodiness to it as well. There is also a hoppy citrusy aroma going on as well that is very appealing. Taste is sweet with some caramel and also hoppy with some grapefruit flavors. The oak also comes through with some wood and vanilla tones. Lots of flavors going in this one making it very complex.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, I really enjoyed this one. The oak gives it a nice complex flavor but also makes it pretty smooth drinking.

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Photo of Gavage
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear dark copper in color with a thick fluffy 2" head that lasts forever. Nice lacing develops.

Smell: caramel and woody overtones are predominant. Some fruity tones linger in the background.

Taste: roasted malts, woody, vanilla, plums, raisins, a touch of grapefruit citrus and alcohol. A decent bitterness rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: smooth throughout. Long aftertaste. Medium-heavy in body.

Drinkability: the old reliable bastard with a twist. Nice change of pace from the standard and it peaks your interest. Nice beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Extra thanks to colts9016, bottle dated consume by Apr 14-2011. Well better do this and re-review it, lets see if this makes a difference, instead of drink one that was 2 months past. Poured both into a nonic and a snifter.

This head is much bigger and darker than I remember and has more retention on the nonic, lots of cap action. Great looking beer even in a nonic or snifter

Smell is grapefruity and less malty than before, a little hint of wood, and slightly less brown sugar. Where did that grapefruit go last time?

Taste is super chocolaty, with hints of tannic wood and super big hop presence on the finish! Wow this is a HUGE difference it's like a chocolate hop slight tannic wood blast!

Overall much improved! Hops do make a difference and must have mellowed the hops out sitting around a bit last time. This is much better and very different when fresh.


old review Feb 20-2011

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter. Thanks to TKEAnmial for the bottle. It is a little old at enjoy by Dec 2nd 2010... hmmm... it is a strong ale so this should be okay, but we are a little late to the party. At least the late Nosferatu I had was flat out fantastic so let's see how this compares.

Pours an amber color out of the bottle and a nice light tan head. Sits on a dark red body with some nice hues against the light. Head has lots of staying power and some big boozy thick legs with spotty lacing.

Smell is kind of buttery diacetyl, with faint sweet caramel and dark brown sugars in the back. Very much into movie theatre popcorn territory. Not a very distinct or varied nose on this.

Faint tannin like in mid palate, a fairly good wood "like" character surprisingly in the swallow but with some hop bitter sharpness. Missing a bit of pronounced flavor and starting to mellow but still a bit sharp in alcohol.

For a strong ale this is passable even at this age, but I think a fresher one would have been a little more dynamic.

old rating

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a frothy, amber-tan colored head that is a bit on the thin side. The beer is a hazy orange-amber color when held up to the light, otherwise it is a straight up amber color. The aroma is herbal and citrusy with notes of tangerine, orange, perhaps a bit of mint, lemon basil. The oak is really not all that noticeable in the nose at this point. There is some woodiness up front and it seems to be interacting in interesting ways with the hops, creating aromatics that I can't quite put my finger on, but they are definitely not in the regular Arrogant Bastard.

The taste has a nice full mouth-feel to it an the hops are still quite raw and aggressive. Underneath this though is the oak; most notable as a tannic and astringent note in the finish. The beer is perhaps a bit too cold right now, but the flavors I can taste are orange, grapefruit, a sort of raw grassy herbal note, sweet caramel malt (which accentuates the citrus notes), menthol in the finish, and even a bit of tobacco.

The beer is quite tasty, but the oak is fairly subtle at this point. In the end this is a good thing, because if the oak was heavy handed it would really clash with the fresh, vibrant hoppiness that is characteristic of this beer. When paired with some Mexican food the Oak character really starts to become noticeable; it becomes much more woody with a pronounced buttery-oak type note in both the aroma and taste. But it still does not dominate the overall hoppy quality of this beer. This is a solid beer all around, and one which I enjoyed trying.

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

Happy to get the chance to try this one on tap at Redbones in Somerville, didn't know it was available on tap, as I had only seen the super sized bottles. Anyway, poured the expected dark dark murky amber, with a tan, thick head, and leaving tons of sheeting and sticky lacing. Nose of heavy malts and some coca-cola. Strong, heady brew, lots of malty/hoppy goodness, more cola, vanilla, dark honey and Stone ballysness, oak/wood present but certaintly not overpowering, would love to have the chance to do a side by side tasting of the oaked and non oaked versions. Fine brew from the Stone crew.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Hulmeville inn with my buddy erik on a Saturday night. I have not had this in years and last time was in a bottle and it was oaky as all hell.

Oaked Bastard is a dark shaded brown with some redness if you look towards the light. A nice cream/tannish foam up above with tightness and stickiness on the glass. Smells fairly oaky, I remember it being extreme in the past. Infact with more sniffs it comes out a bunch. Under that a strong ale presence with a bunch of caramel and some alcohol with dark fruit and nuts. Tasting this from a fresh keg keeps up stone's rep for me. I don't buy their beer often but when I do, I know I will at least like it. Oak, wood, caramel, toasted malt out the ying yang, almonds, vanilla, and some nice citrusy hops to top it off. Feel is above medium with a solid structure, some alcohol as well but not much, carbed up nice. A nice Oaked beer that is readily available, i'll need to revisit a bottle to see how that goes, but this tap version is nice.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found a single 12 oz bottle at $2.19 from Town and Country in Fullerton. To stick with the Stone family, I'm going to pour this beer into my Old Guardian glass. On to the beer:

Wow, what a beauty this is. Perfect size creamy head, dark red in color. The nose brings tropical piney fruits and charred wood. You can definitely find the oak chips in the taste. It carries out a flame-smoked flavor as it is balanced by the sweetness of the beer, which by the way isn't so dominate in this offering. Woody in the aftertaste. If you're into Arrogant Bastard Ale, this is a great change-up from the regular.

So what's the next version of the Arrogant Bastard series, Oaked Double Bastard Ale?

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

Ok, well I've had the regular AB, so I thought I'd see how this differs.
Same amber, brownish color as the AB. Perhaps a bit darker. Good foaming head.
Smells of grapefruit, lemon, flowers and pine (or is it oak?) I thought it was more pine, but maybe that's from the hops.
Tastes very nice. Good citrus/grapfruit taste. Blends nice with the malt. There's the oak. A bit more of a 'tinge' of oak. Nice rich flavor. Combines well with more of the fruity flavors
A good feel. Light syrup. a bit thicker than AB.
Can drink very easily

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours a dark murky brown, with a tan head, about 1-finger thick, leaves good lacing as the beer is drunk.

S: The weaker point of the beer for me, I wasn't getting much smell, though some good malts and woodiness came through in what I did smell.

T: Smooth, much smoother than the regular Arrogant Bastard for me, similar flavours though, a lot of malt, with some peat and smoke, presumably from the oak aging, with some woody, piney hops to balnce it out.

M: Smooth, as I stated before, robust, but mellow as compared to the original.

D: A very good beer, a change-up on the original Arrogant Bastard, but I like both styles very much.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown 12 Oz bottle, poured into a Westmalle chalice. Reviewed on 4th July!

Looked good, a rich creamy tanned head sat on top of a clear body, the body being a redwood browny red colour.

I liked this a lot more than the normal Arrogant Bastard, seemed have more of everything.

The aroma reminded me of Belgian beers, maybe the yeast esters, or the heady mix of hop and malts that produced the smells that excite me.

The taste was heavy and rich, no hints of the oak wood chips though in the flavour or smell.

The hops gave a true bitterness, while the malt content tried to balance the brew somewhat.

Enjoyable, but not a beer I could drink all night, or on a regular basis, just a little to 'in your face' for me.

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

Single from Bocktown Beer and Grill

Appears dark red with a short white head and lacing. The aroma has a smooth mixture of the citrus hops and oak. It comes off like one note, making it unlike other hoppy beers. There's a dry, woody flavor, not like your normal oak, it seems like there's more spice to it. The hops are big with spicy citrus juice and a dry grapefruit finish that lasts long into the aftertaste. Yummy.

Now this is an American strong ale. Big, bold, and completely out there.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poured on-tap into a snifter. Dark mahogony brown with a small off white head that returns upon agitating and leaves lace.

S. Stone yeast aroma, big fruit/hop notes.

T. Layers of complexities. Definately some grapefruit/earthy/piney hops met by a caramel malt body. You can really taste the nutty dryness the oak provides to this beer. Slight roasted undertones. Light fruits come to the palate like very ripe cherry. Bourbon notes.

m. Full bodied and chewey but not too heavy.

D. This is a big beer. Its a kick ass beer. Good to sip and I would have to reccommend you let this one get to 50 degrees to really get all the flavors.

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Photo of Kelp
3.35/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Darker red than the arrogant bastard. Also a bit darker head that doesn't grow as high and very little lacing to it.

Smells like hops, pine,caramel malts, and a hint of bourbon at the end.

Tastes a lot like the original at first. The hops right up front then a caramel flavor followed by the piney taste. It finishes however with a weird bourbon flavor. Somehow it just doesn't taste right to me. Like they used pressboard bourbon barrels or something.

Medium bodied decent carbonation to it. Nice and smooth right up til the end when the wood chip flavor kicks in.

I truthfully wouldn't ever get this on my own. I just don't like the flavor that the "oaked" adds to it. I'll drink, but only when I am not the one paying for it.

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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.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Cloudy dark amber pour, two finger light beige head that recedes to a nice sticky lace and a bubbly cap floating on top.
Boozy raisin, fig, date, faint black cherry, rich caramel and toffee, faint wood and vanilla, subtle citrus and pine. Smells nice.
Taste surprises in the start with very bitter citrus (lots of grapefruit and unripe orange peel), throwing the hops straight to you face, but things turn around in a few seconds. Fruitiness develops for a bit, sweet with faint peach, tangerine, subtle dark grape, even some tropical notes (mango mostly), but is quickly cut short by caramel and burnt toffee (light maltiness tho), leading to a mostly bitter finish. Huge grassy hops, dried flower petals (perfumey and bitter), pine resin, with those oak chips bringing a dusty earthiness, a tree-bark kinda feel, quite rough and bitter also.
Warm bitter finish doesn't leave much else to the aftertaste except a big concentrated leafy hoppiness. Medium body and carbonation, kinda chewy.
It's nice that the oak chips enhance the hops, ergo the bitterness. A very rough beer that many people are probably not ready for, before being worthy. Aggressive, but rewarding.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle last week. Pours a dark brown with a head that fades quickly to a thin cap. Some slight lacing. Smells slightly sour and woody- not acetic, but some wood sourness. There are also earthy/spicy hops and some rough tannins. The taste is somewhat similar, the somewhat harsh and spicy taste of the regular arrogant bastard has been smoothed out by the oak, but the oak introduces its own version of roughness. Nevertheless, its still fairly tasty as it is a fairly harmonious union between oak and hops and malt. Mouthfeel is a little tannic and rough- could be smoother. I miss some of the vanilla notes that come from full barrel aging. Just okay, and probably not worth the money.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at the Stone Brewery into a pint glass. The beer is a cloudy brown/amber color with no head. Smells are earthy, with hints of nut and wood aromas. Very well blended nose. Initial taste is a hop forward flavor, which is very well balanced with a malty-sweet and wood taste. The beer is round and full bodied in mouth, with a smooth, bitter finish. The beer also maintains the bitterness with a hoppy aftertaste. It was surprisingly easy to drink despite the bold flavors.

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Photo of liamt07
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from AJ's Fine Foods in on North Central in Phoenix. Enjoy by date of January 16, 2011. 12oz bottle into a chalice.

Poured a deep ruby red with some mahogany highlights. A yellowish off-white head leaves some lacing and moderate retention. Smell of some dark fruits and lots of malt notes, vaguely reminiscent of the regular Arrogant Bastard (AB). Lots of woody oak character, with a bit of butterscotch and vanilla. Some subdued hop notes in the periphery. Taste has more oak and vanilla qualities, and takes on a feel that comes across like a thinner and lighter AB Some brown sugar, substantial malt notes and hopping that again, vaguely reminds me of the regular AB. A bit of alcohol at the finish as well. Body is a bit disappointing, would've appreciated it to be as big as the standard AB is. Carbonation is a light medium. Not bad on the whole, but the big and bold flavours of AB appear to be lost or subdued - however, I suspect that this may have origins in bottle freshness.

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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."

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Photo of Zorro
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a mildly hazed reddish brown colored beer with a good tan head that is bordering on light brown.

Smell is very herbal and hoppy to the nose. The malt here comes through as mostly caramel and biscuit. I can smell a bit of oak here but this is still very much a highly hopped ale.

Taste begins neural and a bit bitter but it is toned down a bit from the regular arrogant bastard. I can easily taste the oak influence here and it does seem to have added some toffee, vanilla and dryness to the beer. Strangely the oak seems to have added or make detectable a slight metallic taste in this beer.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is fine but I really think I prefer the regular version better.

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Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


On tap at Stone.

A: Transparent reddish brown with a beige head. 

S: Oak and caramel with some bready notes and a dash of vanilla. Grapefruit is present, and pine is pervasive.

T: Oak and caramel with a moderate bitterness. Hops are piney and grapefruity. Oak provides depth and enhances the base beer. Finish is dry and bitter with warming and caramel.

M: Upper medium body with upper moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and dry with some astringency. Oak is drying on the palate.

Overall: I prefer this to regular Arrogant Bastard. A nice American Strong Ale.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep and delicious red-brown colour, with a massive head of yellow-beige foaming bubbles that leave extraordinary lacing. Extremely thick and viscous coming out of the bottle, and it even looks heavy and languid sitting in the glass. A really, really good looking beer.

Big hop fragrance on the nose, which mingles charismatically with the even bigger oak character to give a freshly pungent melange which is not unlike woodsmoke and gunpowder. Oak is huge on this thing, giving wood and resin characters, and depth like crazy. Yeah, when Stone do something, they do it to the logical extreme.

Taste has robust depth - lots of hop bitterness and a dark, almost roasty character come through, with a woody oak hint floating around the corners. The oak is certainly more prominent on the nose, but it's here as well, just mingled with, and subdued by, the other, stronger and more dominant characteristics, leaving a slight woody sweetness that reminds me of pecan pie. Mouthfeel is initially smooth, but tingled with carbonation through the back.

An excellent beer, and one which is surprisingly drinkable for its strength, depth and aggression. It has actually been some time since I sampled the plain Arrogant Bastard (if you can ever really use that description of it), so it's hard to compare it to the original, but this has such depth, such fullness of character, and such robust arrogance, that it stands by itself as a stellar and wonderful example of the American brewer's craft.

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Photo of biegaman
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From 12oz bottle. Painfully descriptive as always.
Pours with a tapioca coloured head, a thick outside rim would stay, also leaves thick sheets of lacing. A very sullied, fairly dark, ruby coloured body. Plenty of different shades are showcased in the light. A vineous, resiny, hop addled aroma. A good blend of hops, the oak very present. Drinkability exceptional, even with the higher alchohol percentage I could see drinking this all night. The oak very ripe in the mouthfeel. Nice sticky aftertaste that lingers. Offers great complexity in the taste. Slightly sweet notes, really smooth malts. Grew even smoother as it warms - certainly let this one warm, allow the flavours to really come out.
Thanks for another incredible beer Dr.Jay!

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Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,844 ratings.