Arrogant Bastard Ale - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Arrogant Consortia

Arrogant Bastard Ale - Bourbon Barrel-AgedArrogant Bastard Ale - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
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American Strong Ale
Ranked #106
Ranked #12,118
3.91 | pDev: 10.49%
Arrogant Consortia
California, United States
Very Good
Arrogant Bastard Ale - Bourbon Barrel-AgedArrogant Bastard Ale - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Notes: I awake from a slumber that’s been anything but peaceful. I feel stronger yet somehow more nimble and refined. I have been born anew and, in the process, anointed with vibrant, inspiring, previously unexperienced character, all while maintaining everything I am and have always been—bold, bullish, unadulterated, and yes, Arrogant. Are you Worthy of quaffing a beverage of this intensity, irreverence and quality craftsmanship? Not likely, but for those who “get it,” I know my time in this bourbon barrel has not been wasted. Cheers to you, enlightened imbiber. On second thought, cheers to me!
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Photo of Tony210
4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark amber, minimal head. Fantastic malty, molasses aroma. Great malty flavor, lots of molasses, pervasive bitterness. Fairly syrupy. Overall a great beer, this one was aged 3 years.

12 oz bottle dated 7/28/16
4.5 rating

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Photo of Harrison8
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky brown that looks like muddy river water with a hint of red. Head is a finger in height, khaki in color, and retains well. Aroma reaches out and grabs the nose with notes of resiny, dank, piney, citrusy hops, follow by dark, char bourbon characters. It smells like a hop forward, biting IPA until it gets washed over by whiskey. Flavor profile follows the nose, but with less harshness. Notes of piney, citrusy, resiny hops are the initial hit. Bourbon with a kiss of char compliments the hops, and adds a little balance to the mix. Resiny hop notes cling to the tongue after the hop-bourbon clash. Mouth feel is medium in thickness with a little velvety smoothness that develops to a light creaminess at the very end. Overall, it's an odd ale, but it does so well. It feels well maintained and balanced despite the dichotomy between the hops and bourbon.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 12oz bottle. 02/14/16 bottle consumed on 9/24/19. Having not tasted a fresh one, I would still say this has aged well, mellowing in character.

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Photo of FLima
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber brown color with a thin head.
Aroma with predominant notes of Bourbon, some of their yeast, apple puree and tea leaves.
Bold flavor with notes of Bourbon, oak, toasted malts, spices, floral and herbal hops, the expected Bastard yeast, tea bags and a bit of cherries. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium to full body with appropriate carbonation.
Bourbon dominated the Arrogant Bastard, but you can still feel it in the background.

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Photo of eugene17pluto
3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottled on Feb 2019 and drinking June 2019 (4-5 months old)

It's an alright beer with less flavor than Founder's and Allagash barrel aged beers

It's also higher in bitterness than these other beers so if you like bitter IPA's and you think a lot of beers are too sweet, you might like this.

I don't think I'll be buying again and sticking with Founders and Allagash for barrel aged series

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, with the stamped bottling date of '04/24/16'.
Color of the beer in the narrower bottom section of the glass is medium amber, with the beer in the wider main section of the glass being dark amber. Initial pour did not product much of a head, but there is an off white cap that sticks around. Each sip leaves behind a scattered pattern of lacing spots.
Aroma is woody and full of caramel and vanilla, with a discernible smell of whiskey barrel.
Taste still has lots of bourbon barrel character, with a definite woody note, and added caramel and vanilla. Some bitter hops at the end.
Medium plus mouth feel. Smooth, syrupy texture. Good carbonation.
Good chewy strong ale, with a remarkable appearance and forward flavors despite its age.

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Photo of puck1225
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Dark golden brown with a good foamy head and lacing. Fruity and woodsy smell and taste. A hint of booze, but fairly light. Overall pretty good.

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Photo of VoxRationis
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) bottle into nonic glass; bottled August 11th 2018.
A: Pours deep red, basically almost brown in appearance, with a two finger, foamy, off-white head, solid retentions, and rings of fluffy lacing.
S: Aromas of caramel to molasses, brown sugar, and Irish whiskey.
T: Semisweet to sweet. The palate basically follows the nose, although much more caramel than molasses. The bitterness offsets some of the sweetness, but not the booziness.
M: Medium to full bodied with solid, persistent carbonation. A bit slick/oily on the palate.
O: I enjoyed it, but do not envision a circumstance where I would order it again.

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Photo of depechemode1983
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber brown with a beige head. Retention is moderate and leaves a good amount of lacing.

Lots of bourbon in the nose. Wood, sweet vanilla and caramel dominate. Its extremely aromatic. The alcohol is tame as well.

Bourbon, wood, caramel malts and a bitter piney hoppiness backbone that was not in the nose.

The mouthfeel is smooth, and with medium carbonation.

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Photo of Livyatan1996
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

needed something to really kick me while i'm down. sixer of these seemed like they'd do just that. so far it's working. deep, dark red beer with a big off white head that's left some lace stickier than my hands. nose is a lot of caramel and brown sugar sweetness, with a boozy bite and some earthy bitterness. taste has a lot of earthy hops, almost burnt sugars and bourbon, all mixing together and sometimes fighting to sit atop. the caramel malt sweetness keeps things in line. drinks really well, not as much alcohol as expected and leaves an aftertaste that just doesn't quit, so i keep drinking more.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

6pack bought at Liquor Shed, $17.12. I see a stamped date of August 11th 2018.

It pours dark red with an inch of off white foam, lots of sticky lacing.

I get notes of Bourbon, brown sugar, aggressive hop bitterness, caramel malt in the smell.

The hoppiness and Bourbon are battling for palate dominance in the taste. Brown sugar and caramel add some sweetness. Brown sugar tastes burnt at various times during the session. The alcohol is hidden pretty well.

Mouthfeel is good.

I like it but I prefer the regular Arrogant Bastard.

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Photo of Radome
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted from a 12 oz bottle.
I am a fan of the base beer and also a huge fan of spirit-barrel aged beers. This one is enjoyable and worth drinking, but a bit harsh in flavor to me, due to the super-high hops bitterness combining with the bourbon. I'm sure that is what the brewer's intended, in the spirit of the original beer, but I prefer the flavors of malt-forward beers that have been barrel-aged.

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Photo of Claude-Irishman
4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks a chestnut brown with a beige creamy/foamy head. Noticeable lacing in glass. Smells like mild bourbon, earthy,hops, fresh biscuit,mild vanilla,mild smoke. Taste is delicious. The bourbon and hops co mingle in the first sip, followed by superb caramel malts. Feels about perfect for an American ale. I am not sure why this is not rated higher. What more could one want from a beer?

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Photo of antonyliu
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter


Pours a dark plum/prune red with a foamy beige-cream color head, quickly dissipating to a non-moving lace on glass; Active effervescent bubbles coming up the side like a Belgian; Semi-clear with only 20-25% light getting through.

Smells of bourbon right away, with sweet toffee, spices, soaked fruit, and toasted coconut

Taste is bourbon-soaked dark fruit; oak, prunes, molasses sweet, cherry; finishes bitter, boozy, and wood-spice; Taste sits on tongue long after.

high carbonation, light/thin body


Though something of the taste and finish felt off-balanced to me, this is a fun beer to try/drink when in the mood for complexity, character, depth, and the style. Purchased 12oz bottle for $3.99 in Southern California.

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Photo of bgillespie
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Deep brownish red, almost purple, with a thin head

Smell: Smells like bourbon, which kind of overpowers everything. Some sweetness

Taste: Again, taste like bourban, but get more sweetness of caramel and brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: Dense and sticky, low carbonation

Overall: An interestting beer as most of the liqour aged beers are. Something different

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A 12oz bottle with no visible BB date. Gifted to me a while back as part of a secret santa beermail. The bourbon barrel-aged version of Arrogant Bastard....

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A deep, hazy reddish-marmalade hue with plentiful floating sediment and good carbonation. Yields a massive head of fluffy beige foam that lasts for a few minutes before subsiding to a patchy surface layer. Some lacing.

S: Aroma of rich bourbon character with hints of sweet caramel malt, brown sugar, mild bourbon, wood, ale yeast, subtle resinous hops, faint spice and a touch of vanilla. Excellent.

T: Tastes of bourbon-infused ale with notes of caramel malt, brown sugar, bourbon, wood, ale yeast, modest pine resin, dank weed, spice and faint vanilla. The booze is well hidden. Somewhat sweet, followed by a substantial hop-driven bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with lively carbonation and great body. Somewhat astringent; dries the palate. Aftertaste of bourbon barrel, caramel malt, brown sugar, pine resin, ale yeast and spice.

O: Very nice, though the bourbon character overrides the original ale to a substantial degree. Looks good, while the aroma and flavour are rich with bourbon notes, caramel malt, brown sugar, ale yeast and resinous hops. Great body. A big beer with a big character - ideal to round out a session. If you like barrel-aged brews then this is worth sampling.

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Photo of StevenTowne
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a six pack of this beer after trying a growler of regular Arrogant Bastard. Came home with the 6 pack and chilled a single bottle in the freezer as I intended to drink it soon. It is an excellent beer. Slightly calmer then regular arrogant. More full bodied, full of rich flavor, and a hint of bourbon and oak but not too much. The next part of this story is interesting. I grabbed a second bottle. It was not nearly as cold as the first. Slightly less than room temp. Say 50 deg F. It was exploding with a richer smell, texture, and flavor that was just awesome. This beer truly shines slightly warmer. I would recommend not over chilling. Take out of the fridge some time before drinking. Or just chill in a cool cellar. Great job on this beer?

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Photo of drmeto
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

-pours a clear ruby-brown with a small,frothy,offwhite head
-medium carbonation visible
-very small particle floaties visible
-raisins,coconut,plums,caramel,molasses,vanilla,slight oak
-bitter tanins,grapefruit,grassy,nutty,spicy
-high bitterniss for the style
-low to medium carbonation
-medium body
-alcohol noticeable
It has a definitive bourbon BA note to it, but the barrel doesn't completely take the Beer over.
Not better or worse than the normal Arrogant Bastard, just different.
A really good Beer.

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Photo of Snowcrash000
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark amber coloration with a medium, creamy head. Smells of caramel malt, vanilla and a hint of pine and Bourbon. Taste follows the nose, with a caramel, biscuity malt backbone and some toffee, chocolate and red berries, complemented by hoppy notes of citrus and pine. There's also a big vanilla presence and just a tiny hint of Bourbon. This beer really improves as it warms, the Bourbon coming out more, especially in the nose, but also on the tongue a little, although there still isn't a lot of it. Compared to non-BBA AB, this has considerably less pine and bitterness, although this may also be due to the bottle being 18 months old. All in all, this is a more mellow Bastard, both due to the heavy vanilla presence and less hop bite.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.29/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

So my brother brought a sixer to college football Saturday. Big fuffy head and medium brown body. Nose is smoky and hoppy with a little dark fruit and booze.

There is a lot to like here. Big, boozy blast with great smoothness and balance. They are still making very good beer in Escondido.

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Photo of kevanb
3.17/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, undated, poured into a Stone Brewing RIS snifter glass.

The beer pours a dark amber color, reddish hues, faint clarity with a thick, bone colored head, about two fingers tall with good retention and lots of lace. The aroma is pretty nice, a lot like non aged arrogant bastard, nice assertive hop character, earthy and piney with lots of amber and caramel malts, light barrel character and soft bourbon heat. The flavors are decent, strong piney hop, lots of bourbon, bitter wood, amber grain, a bit of smokiness, not well balanced. The mouthfeel is awful, very thin, very carbonated, struggles to coat the tongue and mouth, does nothing to help the beer at all and finishes crisply and dryly.

Verdict: An okay beer at best from Stone/Arrogant Brewing. Very mediocre in terms of balance and expression, the barrel aging really hurts what is a nice base beer and ruins some of the better aspects while not imparting anything of value. Drinkable, yes, desirable, no.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$ 15.00 (Including tax)/six pack of 12 oz bottles ($ 0.208/oz) at Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA.
Bottled on 07/30/17. Stored on the shelf at store, then at 42 degrees in my reefer. Served at 54 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Aroma – Incredibly weak. By really horning it, I think I am picking up a hint of bourbon, but that could just be my imagination. It does, however, pick up as the beer further warms.
Head – Small (Maximum one cm, aggressive pour), tan, dense, average retention, diminishing to an irregular three to five mm ring fed by effervescence and a thin partial layer with a rocky hillock.
Lacing – Good. Nearly complete rings of tiny bubbles connected by thin columns.
Body – Dark amber, cloudy and opaque, effervescent.
Flavor – Begins with a little bourbon but quickly becomes a bit bitter. Actually, the bitterness has a long hang time, something totally unexpected from either BBA or the regular bastard. No malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate – Bordering on thin, watery, soft carbonation.
Impression: A little diacetyl would have helped this version of Arrogant Bastard. While I’m not a big fan of AB, I am of bourbon barrel aging. This seems to combine the worst aspects of both. The only positive thing I can say is at least it’s relatively cheap. Now, on whom can I pawn off the rest of the six-pack?
Appearance 4, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3, Palate 3, Overall 3.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into an unmarked pint glass.

A: Mildly hazy caramel brown with a thick creamy tan head. Copious small bubble carbonation bubbles.

S: Surprisingly subdued here. Caramel, toffee and some bourbon – but not a big nose.

T: Caramel malts, bourbon with charred oak, big toffee flavor, and some ethanol sweetness. Despite being a fresh bottle, there seems to be a touch of oxidation, perhaps from time spent in the barrel? Some citrus rind hops show up near the swallow.

M: Medium to a bit light-bodied for style. Good carbonation sensation, and the alcohol presence seems quite restrained for a BBA strong ale.

O: Enjoyable, and really a nice offering for a 6-pack of 12 oz. bottles. I do think it offers an improvement over the base beer, which has never been a personal favorite.

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

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep mahogany topped with a finger and a half of dense off white head that fades slowly and leaves minimal lacing
S: Smells of faded hops and some light caramel malt with a little vanilla
T: Taste is bitter faded hops with some caramel and more hop bitterness. Hint of oak with a little vanilla. Very light on bourbon influence. The swallow is more bitter oily hops with some more oak with a little caramel and vanilla.
M: The mouthfeel on this beer is on the heavier side of medium with a slightly oily feel on the palate. the level of carbonation is a little high for the style and is slightly prickly. the beer does have a dry finish which helps things out.
O: Overall surprisingly bitter with a lack of barrel influence. This one could probably have used a little more time in the barrels. Not a bad beer but the oaked bastard has better wood flavor.

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Photo of Blackop555
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours Amber. Foamy, medium, tan had that last shortly.

Smells earthy, caramel, Pine. Bourbon and oaky vanilla hints.

Tastes citrus peel, Pine, earthy and light bready malt. Followed by Oaky and vanilla hints. Finishes dry with a quite bitter earthy linger. Medium body and creamy medium carbonation.

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Photo of SevenBeersDaily
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I like this far more than the regular Arrogant Bastard Ale. It is better balanced in my opinion - not as rough around the edges. The bourbon barrel is just strong enough to be noticed, but doesn't dominate or overwhelm in any way. Some people have a bias against this company, and that's why you see a couple of terrible reviews of this outstanding product. Don't listen to them. This is definitely worth trying - often!

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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Arrogant Consortia
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 1501 ratings