Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 8,190 | Reviews: 2,761 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Caj1:
4.54/5 rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
I thought "Why the hell not?" last night and bought the 22oz. bomber with the characteristic arrogant gargoyle on the front and freshness date printed on the shoulder of the bottle (09/28/13, we're good). I was kind of surprised to see this at my local Kroger supermarket. Who'd have thought the supermarket would have any craft beer worth drinking at all? At the time of this writing, I am reviewing this as I drink. Bottoms up.
I popped the top in this bad boy and poured it into my trusty pint glass, where I got a very nice, rich, relatively clear ruby brown with a very small amount of haze (from the hops maybe?), small yet numerous carbonation bubbles rising lazily to the surface and two fingers of creamy head that takes its time to dissipate; five minutes after the pour and there's still about a finger of head, good sign. There's a lot of lacing at first, but instead of sticking to the side of the glass it slides back down into the beer. That's alright, no points off here. The immediate scent is of fruity, citrusy hops, some estery notes, a touch of grass and grapefruit; this reminds me of how a standard IPA first smells, except there's more bready malt scent. Speaking of malt, the beer smells wonderfully sweet with just a hint of a toast and some caramel that bursts through the initial hops scent. There's also a little bit of yeast (not a great deal at all, just a tiny bit) and likewise a tiny bit of alcohol buried deep in this complex bouquet of beer smell.
Taking the first sip now and all I can think is that the description on the back of the bottle did not lie at all, this is a very complex beer with a lot of depth and character. It's warmed up a few degrees and the taste follows suit with the smell, hops are the initial taste. God, I can taste those hops oils quite nicely, fruity, piney, grassy and bitter, but not overwhelmingly so. A little bit of alcohol and carbonation sting is present on the tongue after a moment, but it's not a big deal. After a few seconds there's some hops spiciness that takes its time working to the front of the palate. The flavor of the hops mellows a bit after the swallow, and the malt comes through in the aftertaste, very sweet and kind of sticky. A little bit of caramel, but not a whole lot. I'm a little bit surprised to say that the malt takes its sweet time coming to the forefront. I want to say it's smothered by the hops, but at the same time it isn't; it's simply satisfied to take a mellow backseat to the hops flavor. About a minute after swallowing the beer the malt comes through with more strength and sweetness, and the hops weaken a bit until only their most floral pine and grass notes remain, and they linger quite nicely on the tongue. A little bit longer and the biscuit and caramel flavors predominate, with just a hint of grass left. The mouthfeel is in the light-medium range, clean and a little bit oily from the hops, plus a little bit of alcohol burn. The sugar from the malt and head makes the lips a little bit sticky, no big deal really. It goes down smooth and is a joy to drink all around.
This, gentlemen (and ladies) is a damn fine beer. I have a hard time finding anything to complain about at all, and the only thing that I really didn't fully enjoy, the fact that it's not quite sweet enough, is more a matter of personal taste in my opinion. Don't be offput by this arrogant bastard, because his attitude is really more of a façade to hide the rich and decadently complex character and flavor profile beneath. I will definitely be placing Stone's beers on my to drink list.
Cheers to good health and good beer.
Serving type: bottle
07-29-2013 04:19:20 | More by Caj1
More User Reviews:
3.95/5 rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12oz bottle from a sample pack, poured into a pint glass. Enjoy by 9/5/14
Pours a deep reddish copper with a large slightly off white head. Decent carbonation, thick lacing.
Getting a very malty aroma
As the bottle states, this is an aggressive tasting beer, a bit boozy at times. Malts and hops battle it out, hops winning early on, before roasted malts pack a punch at the end. Lots of carbonation & bitterness on the tongue, and the heavily roasted malts in the back of the mouth.
Overall, it's good, but personally, I much prefer the oak aged version.
Serving type: bottle
07-28-2014 03:41:26 | More by MikeWard
Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,190 ratings.