Holy crap am I excited. Here before me I have a glass of Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Company out of Escondido, California. Stone is not available in my state of Minnesota and though I have had the opportunity to sample their India Pale Ale this most coveted ale has avoided my grasp. Luckily for me I was inÂ the land of Wisconsin this weekend where they do distribute Stone, for an awesome bike race on an ice covered lake. Though I’ve never walked and fallen so much in a bike race in my life it was a jolly time complete with a bonfire on the lake afterwords and much beer was brought home. This ale pours a very dark ruby hue that almost looks black if you don’t put it near light. When put to a light some gets through but very little. Head is as massive as this brew is arrogant, producing a solid three fingers plus of nice slightly tan off white head that remains for many minutes. Aroma is marvelous, simply bursting with different scents that make me want to sip this ale all the quicker. Strong floral hop tones complimented by wonderful sweet but heavy and robust malts and some nice bitterness. There is a tiny bit of alcohol on the nose but it mostly smells like a complex well crafted amber ale that is heavy on both hop and malt. Boy am I hungry for this beer. Flavor is no real surprise, more malt heavy than the aroma but it’s all there. Deep hoppy bitterness that is well balanced though not hidden by strong malt flavors ending with a bit of sweetness to cleanse the palate but then bitter again in the after taste. People always comment upon the intensity of this ale and surely they are correct but I almost expected it to be more unruley. This ale does a marvelous job of showcasing what one can really do with a bunch of quality hop and malt if you are not afraid to experiment. There are so many flavors in this ale I won’t even try to list the notes I detect. Unquestionably one of the best beers I have ever had the opportunity to enjoy even with its simple 7.2% ABV. If you are a fan of big adventurous beers, particularly hoppy ones (not to diminish the massive malt profile of this brew) you have no excuse not to try this beer. If you do not like seriously flavorful ales then please, as the label suggests (less politely) stay away. Give it a shot and ride your bike.