Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Stone Brewing Co. Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale
I'm kind of funny sometimes. Tired of the overly assertive IPAs that seem to be all over the place right now, I sought relief from a beer that's exponentially more assertive! I know that’s hardly logical, but this bad boy was exactly what the doctor ordered. Yes indeed! There’s no denying that Oaked Arrogant Bastard is all it's cracked up to be: a big, bold beer that is not for the faint of heart. But here’s the thing: it's as delicious as it is assertive. Stone won't reveal the IBU count, but I'm guessing that it dwarfs the hoppiness of all those beers I write off as "too bitter". The key to this ale's awesomeness, then, is that it brings the malts BIG TIME. And that's the way it ought to be. If you're going to brew a "big" beer but the only thing big about it is the hops, then you're only half way there. Maybe that's what bothers me about a lot of IPAs: the floral/grapefruit hop bite is dialed up so high that you just don't taste anything else. I like hops, but I love malts. With rich notes of vanilla and caramel, Oaked Arrogant Bastard comes on like a malt bomb. Then it quickly sends you across the room with a hefty hop kick. Thank you, sir. May I have another? What a wonderfully complex and rich flavored ale this is! It's bitter and sweet and fruity and grainy and even a little woodsy from the oak chip aging. Mmmmmm! Far from a typically one dimensional hop monster, this ass-kicker of an ale is everything that's good about a beer...times ten! I think I paid something along the lines of $5.50 for one bottle of the stuff, and even at that price I got a real bargain. Without a doubt: one of the best beers on earth!