Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 8,225 | Reviews: 2,761 | Display Reviews Only:
4.03/5 rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
As always, I review (mostly) to style (ala BJCP), modified (a bit, not too much) by personal taste (contra BJCP), or else certain beers, which are excellent exemplars of styles I do not prefer (like this IPA), would receive consistently lower marks than beers which are poor exemplars of my favourite styles.
As always, I review live, and not from notes.
My palate is accustomed to Belgian malt-bombs, and not hoppier American ales. This was one of my first craft beers ever, probably my fourth or fifth. I'm quite drunk, and, of course, my ratings are subject to change upon sobriety and/or further bottles being consumed.
Presentation: 22 fl oz bomber, $5.99, from Stone Brewing, poured in to Samuel Adam's imperial pint nonic glass (my Stone Brewery pint glass is in use by my wife), about 40ºF and warming as I write the review.
A: Crystal-clear dark, dark red or heavily burnt amber colour, bordering on the light brown. On a normal pour, three fingers of rocky, nearly off-white, head are left, which recede very slowly, leaving a heavy and rocky lacing down the sides of the glass, and never quite retreating in to something that can be called a "crown and ring" as opposed to a "head".
S: Citrus and floral hops. A tiny whiff of alcohol. I think there's a bit of bready yeast in there. It's more complex than I would have thought, but hard to describe as the hops are overwhelming. The smell is mildly reminiscent of marijuana, although not as much as the Maharaja or other "Californian" hopped beers. This is shaping up to be much more of an IPA than an "American Strong Ale".
T: Buttery yet sharp hops completely dominate the initial flavour. The mid-palate opens up to some warming, but quite smooth, alcohol (more present for 7.2% ABV than my Trappist-adjust palate is used to, but still quite good). There's a strong pull of unsweetened iced tea on the mid-palate all the way through the finish. There's a bit of caramel and strong roasted malts flavours. I don't get any sweetness at all: the hops dominate the malt in this, to my palate. Astringent. Somewhat complex: there are more flavours than I hath described. Excellent IPA. I don't know what "American Strong Ale" is supposed to be like. Sounds too much like an ale version of malt liquor lager.
M: Rich and smooth, with a bit of prickliness in there on the mid- and back-palates due to the carbonation.
O: I don't drink many IPAs, but of the roughly ten or twelve that I've had, this is a fine example, and a good beer in its own right. Unlike a Belgian Quad/BSDA, it doesn't become better as it warms. It's best cool/cold. As it warms, it's not bad, but not as good: Belgians get better. Not as much up my alley as my standard dark and malty Belgians, not as bitter as an absolute hop-bomb like Hop Stoopid (Lagunitas), it's worth trying if you like malty beers, as long as you don't hate hops. If you hate hops:
"You can't handle the Bastard."
To IPA style: 90/100
To taste: 74/100
Serving type: bottle
04-02-2013 17:37:45 | More by Chrysostom
Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,225 ratings.