As the wonderful Stone Brewing does not distribute to my fine state of Minnesota yet I was lucky enough to get this brew from a lovely acquaintance my friends from The Beer Genome Project introduced me to on our Dark Lord Day trip named Sarah. While not an unobtainable brew by any means I am always happy to consume anything from Stone and as a massive fan of their Arrogant Bastard Ale I have wanted to try this brew for some time. As usual this cleanly illustrated, gargoyle laden, 22oz bottle (2009 Release) has a delightful paragraph on the back that proceeds to thoroughly insult those unworthy who dare attempt consuming this fine beverage. Onto the important things. Pours a deep dark mahogany hue that is relatively translucent, though you will only notice if you hold it up to the light as it is quite dark. Two fingers of full off white head blossoms from the brew and lasts for a few minutes reducing to about a millimeter around the surface of the beer and leaving a small amount of lacing. Aromas of dark sweet malts, caramel, and soft plum are present reminding me of a rich Barleywine. Surprisingly gentle hop notes, likely due to age as this beer is roughly 6 months old. Strong flavors of molasses, plum, alcohol, toasted malt and a solid hop bitterness as well as gentle notes of citrus, pine contrast with sweet malts giving this bitter ale a surprising level of synchronicity. Body is on the heavy side and the mouthfeel is full but enjoyably clean. With a 10.5% ABV this arrogant ale is certainly no joke, particularly if you are consuming the bottle on your own. Definitely a solid ale that reminds me of a bitter barleywine with a bit of extra hop flavor. I am now very curious to see how different the hop presence is in this brew when it is first bottled. If you enjoy Strong Ales or Barleywines and aren’t opposed to bitterness this should be right up your alley, provided your worthy. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
Arrogant Note: When looking up information related to this brew I discovered that a company called Carlsbad Gourmet makes a line of Stone endorsed seasonings based off a number of their brews including hot sauces that reflect the entire Arrogant Bastard line. I know I’m late to the game but all i can say is fuck yea! I need to get these. All of them. Soon.