Brew Review: Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale

The Stone Brewing Co. is not the type of brewery to get involved in any marketing schemes; especially not with their Arrogant Bastard brand. As a matter of fact, they make several references to how pointless "multi-million dollar ad campaigns" are right on their bottles. It's a bit of a pisser though because they could have had one hell of an ad campaign had they partnered up with Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. See where I'm going with this?

Let's face it, the hallmark Tarantino touches are already there. There's the dictionary definition of one of the key words in the title. There's the long-winded passages describing the beer in language that would make for a very quotable monologue should Brad Pitt or Samuel Jackson perform it. Alas! It was not meant to be and we are left with the brew minus a star-studded marketing campaign to wash away our dreams of what might've been.

I've had Arrogant Bastard before, but I haven't had it with American oak wood chips. Curious, I grabbed a bottle.

Taste: Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale's bottle describes the beer as an "aggressive ale," going as far as to say "you probably won't like it" because "it is quite doubtful that you have the taste sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth." Simply put, they're right. The flavor is rich and delicious as it hits your mouth before turning violently strong as it passes over your tongue. This brew is 7.2 percent alcohol by volume and it tastes like it. If you can stomach something like a Dogfish Head 90-Minute I.P.A., this should be quite enjoyable.

I got mine: at Rose and Crown in Heritage Square Park.

Goes with: the fight against complacency. So sayeth the bottle: "Passion threatens the complacent, and fills them with fear. Fear of the new, the deep and the different. We, on the other hand, seek it out."

Verdict: Like some of the beers aged in bourbon barrels that I've tried, there is a subtle almost acidic undertone to this brew. That combined with the increased alcohol content makes for one powerful flavor profile. Hang with the bastard...even if he's got a little wood.

Happy drinking!


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