Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard | Arrogant Brewing

very good
1,411 Ratings
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Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant BastardBourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard

Brewed by:
Arrogant Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

Added by morebeergood on 04-24-2009

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Ratings: 1,411 |  Reviews: 303
Photo of andrewh995
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark dark ruby red with little head. Smells of light bourbon, dark fruits, hops, and vanilla. Tastes of bourbon, hops, vanilla, and citrus. Medium body with light carbonation. Overall a really good beer, I just prefer the original AB.

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Photo of WilliamBrasky
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of sjrider
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Bdubz94
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz cellar temp dated 2/10/17-- about 3 months-- poured into a snifter.

Leaves a mighty foamy 2-finger tan head. Pours a deep ruby color, completely transparent-- no haze at all. Very carbonated judging by the bubbles streaming up. Head sticks around for quite a while leaving thick lacing.

You can definitely smell the bourbon--vanilla, caramel, leather, and booze. Dark fruit--raisins, dates, and grapes. Some malts as well. All in all, a well rounded aroma with nothing standing out too much. Smells a bit like dark red.. A bit faint is my only complaint.

Taste has vanilla and bourbon, quite a bitter finish but without a hoppy pine taste--could be because this bottle is 3 months old.

Mouthfeel is carbonated and dry. Not too heavy.

Overall, I think the bourbon is added nicely here. It doesn't dominate but certainly stands at the front. Having never had a beer of this style before, I would compare it to a barrel aged barley wine with some Belgian Quad character (dark fruit). Definitely unique, definitely good, but definitely not my favorite. A bit more sweetness to balance out the bitter finish would have been appreciated.

 1,145 characters

Photo of DaveCash
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Kuges
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of Mortarforker
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jjamadorphd
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

For a brewer who has such a great reputation and I had so much of an expectation on this brew, and then this happened...

Pours out a nice caramel colored liquid, a weak head, but it does have some decent lacing. The smell is truly something special as it has an almost perfect blend of booziness and stout scent. But here's where things feel off the wagon - the mouthfeel was way too carbonated for my taste, the taste itself was decent but I was expecting more. It kept my overall rating for this beer much lower than I expected, but still, I will keep an eye out for these as they're at least pretty decent.

 613 characters

Photo of themegamancave
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of bryanlindsey12345
2/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of kojevergas
1.66/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Ah, Stone Brewing (or, Arrogant Bastard Brewing Co., now, I guess) - one of the only outfits out there putting out bottles with both " Ale aged in bourbon barrels" and "Drink fresh" on the label. Masters of employing contradictory marketing fads on the same beer. A marketing company that happens to produce beer. Let's see what this bourbon barrel aged variant of one of the booziest messes I've ever tried has in store for me.

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Elaborate screen print label with red and grey text. Pry-off crown cap. 12 fl oz. Cost was $3.99 at a Whole Paycheck in NYC.

8.10% ABV. "Aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels." "American strong ale" (per their website).

HEAD: Pours a little too much foam even with a gentle pour, suggesting overcarbonation. Khaki in colour, with a nice frothy consistency and plenty of creaminess and softness for an American strong ale (catch-all category that that's become...). Retains rather well (for ~7 minutes) given the ABV and bourbon barrel aging, leaving a nice thick coating of lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Deep dark amber. Translucent and transparent, without any yeast/lees visible within.

In spite of its seeming overcarbonation, it's generally inviting. I note no unique or special attributes, but for a beer in a "style" without any rigid body colour specifications or other conventions for Stone/Arrogant to adhere to, it's appealing.

AROMA: Bourbon soaked dark fruit, caramel, sweet amber malts, caramelized dates, barrel sugar sweetness, raisin, brown sugar, beet sugar, cherry skin, faint oak, pie crust, plum, fig, prune, and still more amber malt sweetness. Rich and malty, with a moderately high sweetness.

Bourbon barrel aromatics are nice, with faint oak and bourbon-soaked fruit leading the way. Those hoping for toasted coconut, rich white oak, or vanilla/vanillin will be let down, but it's got a good basic bourbon barrel character judging by the aroma.

I do get some mild herbal hop aromatics, but it's hardly a hop-emphatic ale.

Suggests a warm but complex ale. Inviting, sure.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Ugh - stale cherry juice and prune juice give this a geriatric bend, evoking the kind of homeopathic juice blend one would expect a constipated grandmother to be downing at an Arizona retirement community. Disgustingly thick (on the open) to boot, hitting the palate with a slick oily gushed mouthfeel that doesn't let up - it's about as far away from refreshing as you can get in terms of texture. Syrupy yet medium-bodied, lacking the chewy texture that would play best with the sweet malt backbone.

Heavy-handed with its flavours, hitting hard on shallow yet bold flavours of dark fruit, sludgy amber malt sweetness, beet sugar, caramel, a metallic off-flavour, and a bourbon barrel character so generic it tastes artificial (as though Stone/Arrogant invented bourbon barrel extract and then put a few drops in each bottle prior to releasing this).

Though syrupy and thick up front, it's somehow also thin in the third act, hitting both terrible ends of the mouthfeel spectrum.

I don't know if words like "balance" or "harmony" even belong in a review of this ale, so I won't even go into how lackluster this is in terms of both. I'll give it this - it's complex (actually, complicated by be a more accurate descriptor) and it's bold.

Shockingly warm for a relatively moderate ABV of 8.10%, sitting uncomfortably in the stomach. Off-puttingly parchingly dry. For a beer marketed so heavily against "fizzy yellow stuff," this sure makes me want to reach for a bottle of some. I guess according to Stone's marketing, that makes me "unworthy" or whathaveyou...luckily other cheaper beers can be head in the same style that are just better outright.

OVERALL: I occasionally try Stone/Arrogant brewing beers hoping I'll suddenly see what everyone else seems to, but it's boozy messes like these (and overhopped bitter-bombs like Ruination) that keep me off the brewery for months until I again forget just how much Stone tends to irritate me. What I didn't count on was this beer's taste being more obnoxious than its loud marketing. A chore to drink, Bourbon Barrel Aged Arrogant Bastard is best left to this beer's core demographic: novices brand spanking new to craft beer who after one sip of this abruptly become blind adherents to Stone's carefully manufactured image of arrogant superiority.

I'd advise picking up a vastly superior (and much cheaper) beer in the American strong ale category (e.g. Lagunitas Brown Shugga); this is - to put it succinctly - pretty fucking horrid.

F (1.66) / AVOID

 4,599 characters

Photo of jwmoore
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of VRH
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jmh21
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mmorris15
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jeremiah_Nelson
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of coasterfreak75
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pour: deep crimson red with a one finger head that quickly dissapated and left a small white ring around the top. Nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: heavy earthy malts with hints of citrus hop spice, undertones of whiskey in the rear of the nose.

Drink: standard Arrogant Bastard kick in the teeth up front, then just when you expect that hop oil to coat your mouth something strange happens, there is a sweet undertone with heavy bourbon character. The finish is a slight lingering bourbon flavor.

Feel: quite light for the style. Suprisingly drinkable.

Overall: being a fan of Arrogant Bastard I was suprised by the sweet tones in this beer. It almost seemed strange, but yet satisfying to have a slightly toned down but yet very rich Bastard. This beer did not dissapoint.

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Photo of szmnnl99
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of KensWorld
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Birdgang88
4.51/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of socon67
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of xcdarrel17
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Love the smell, but taste falls a little flat.

46 characters

Photo of beaulabauve
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard from Arrogant Brewing
3.89 out of 5 based on 1,411 ratings.
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