The Beer Equivalent of Initiation Rights
A Review of Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale by Stone Brewing Co.
Posted on 4/22/2011 by Chops
                   
Delicious
Attitude. This beer is oozing with it. The label even famously prepares you for it: ''This is an aggressive beer. You probably won't like it.'' For this very reason, I love Arrogant Bastard Ale. You can't help but admire the big hairy balls of the Stone Brewing Co. They are so confident that their beer is awesome that they actually taunt you on the label.

I highly encourage you to challenge a novice with this beer, if nothing more than for your own amusement. See someone nursing a Sam Adams as if they have somehow found a quality alternative to Budweiser? Buy them a Bastard. And when they damn near launch into convulsions after the first sip, just smile and say, ''now that's a real beer son.''

Needless to say, this is not a beer for the weak. This is not a beer for those who are just entering the world of craft brew. This beer will punch you in the stomach, slap your girlfriend, then drop kick both of you back to the land of fizzy yellow piss waters. But for the seasoned beer lover, this beer is a monstrous delight. Never once have I ever lost respect for Arrogant Bastard. It's as relentless now as it was the first time I tried it.

When you first open the Bastard, the aromas are really intense. To my nose, there are two big dominating scents: hops and grapefruit. It actually smells angry. Once in the glass, you see that deep grumpy copper. It looks fierce, bitter, ferocious. Then comes that first sip. If you're not prepared for it, that first sip will knock you on your ass and continue kicking you while your down. Bastard is extremely front loaded with massive hops. If you can get past the first few insanely bitter seconds, it settles down into a full bodied strong ale with a lot of sour fruit notes, mainly grapefruit.

To say this beer has a strong aftertaste is an understatement. Arrogant Bastard stays with you like a shot of premium whiskey. You have to work to get that taste out of your mouth, so if you don't appreciate those intense hop notes, you're going to be looking for something to take the edge off. But for those of you who appreciate the savageness of this beer, that signature aftertaste is quite the adventure.

So for the fearless among you, I challenge you to your first Arrogant Bastard experience. This is the beer equivalent of initiation rights. If you can't handle this one, you're just not ready for the big leagues.

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Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale by Stone Brewing Co.
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