Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 8,122 | Reviews: 2,758 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by stevenseg:
4.03/5 rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I love Michigan. I can stop at any major party store and be greeted with a bevy of high-quality alcoholic concoctions of malted barley and hops. The four-hour drive to Grand Blanc from Columbus, Ohio is tiring in its own right, but my need for sleep was great enough to prompt me to stop by a BP gas station and pick up a 22oz bomber of Arrogant Bastard ale, the famed hoppy amber ale from Stone Brewing out of Escondido, California.
I poured the chilled bottle - about 45 degrees of chill - into a pint glass provided by my gracious host. This brew is hard to incorrectly pour, as long as I adhered to the 45%/50%/90% rule. AB poured a deep and rich rusty color with about 70% opacity. The head formed a nice off white layer on top, which never really dissipated, but rather formed very prominent lacing rings with every sip. That's the making of a more full-bodied ale than its thinner amber counterparts.
Stone Brewing is very consistent with the hops character of its beers, and Arrogant Bastard is no exception. The nose is citrusy with lightly-roasted malt sweetness. The alcohol content tries to bust through with a bit of aromatic pungency, but the 7.2% ABV is relatively well-hidden.
The lacing is beautiful...there is almost a solid coat around the entire glass. Of course, I am drinking at a higher temperature right now than Steve Wagner, Stone brewmaster, had intended (approximately 50 degrees). Higher temperatures = heavier body. It's beautiful regardless. The bittering hops make up the prominent character, lingering on the back of the palate between drinks. The fruit-like sweet lightly-roasted malts are more of an accent. Big malt flavor with bigger hops. The hops generate a grapefruit-like bitter character on the palate, but not so much in the nose.
I love fuller-bodied beers. The carbonation is very well done, and the viscosity renders this beer extremely smooth, perfectly adept to travelling down my throat. Try taking your time to let the beer warm up a bit. The characteristics that make this beer unique will emerge. Drink the first 11oz of a bomber at around 40-45 degrees and the last at 50-55 degrees. You'll notice the "arrogance" of this brew hit you right in the face.
With such a high alcohol content for an amber, Arrogant Bastard needs to be handled with caution. It's sweetness and hop balance will beg for you to spend a night with your nose in the air, but if you're not careful that same nose you thumbed at light lager drinkers all night long may end up facing the bottom of the toilet. One bomber at a time, young padawan, and ride the complexity of this brew to an appreciation of the best of beers. Cheers mate!
Serving type: bottle
02-08-2010 05:51:07 | More by stevenseg
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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,122 ratings.