Friday, June 30, 2006

OH YOU ARROGANT BASTARD

As discussed previously in these pages, STONE BREWING from Escondido, CA are hot hot hot right about now, routinely making their way into every beer connoisseur’s Top 10 lists and beer cellars, popping up on taps and in speciality stores the nation over, and winning awards hand over fist at the various festivals across the US. I’m pretty late to the Stone party, having only had my second example of their wares – the outstanding 9TH ANNIVERSARY ALE – just a couple of months ago. A little over a week ago I returned, this time with my hyper-critical beer blogging eye and my “rating notebook” in hand, to the only other Stone product I’d previously consumed, the much-heralded ARROGANT BASTARD ALE, which I believe is their “flagship brand”. This is classified as an “American Strong Ale”, to which I say, “isn’t it indeed”. It comes up really bold and upfront with hops like you wouldn’t believe, but also with a sweetness and all-around fresh taste that is just too great for words. Its dark amber color has you thinking it’s going to be like a bitter Belgian dubbel, but instead you get this curveball fruit taste and a rich, pleasing hop-based scent. Maybe some caramel going on as well. I don’t know, it’s real strong drink and probably not something you’d want to throw back over and over, but as a one-off this is one of the finest beers I’ve enjoyed this month – this year even! 9/10!

1 comment:

tedo said...

I really enjoyed my first taste of Arrogant Bastard and almost did feel that I wasn't worthy. Stone makes some pretty interesting brew's, check out the Stone IPA, its pretty good.