To ring in the New Year, I decided to try something new… Well, not new at all but a few beers that collectively make the wait worth it. Some I have had many times, some I have only had a couple of times, and one I have had no times. That brings us to tonight. The night where everyone thinks they are going to make a change in their life but the only thing that will change is the beer that I’m drinking tonight. Will you make the change or will you be the same time and time again. You Are Not Worthy? You have no idea. But listen to this. I Know I Am.
The back of every Stone bottle always has great stories or representations of why we love and why Stone is here. Was Arrogant Bastard the brain child of the owners at a time when fancy beer was unknown and unliked or was it just a mishap that happened to be for the greatest of drinkers?
“We were doing some single hop experiments, working on the grist bill for the pale ale,” he said. One evening he[Steve Wagner] and co-founder Greg Koch sat down to taste one of the batches three weeks after it was brewed. Wagner took a sip and realized that he needed to consult his copious brewing notes. “Oh, man, I screwed up,” he told Koch. He’d added a far larger dose of hops than he had intended, and the beer was off the charts in terms of bitterness. Koch tasted the beer, then told Wagner it was the best beer he had ever drunk.”
He knew that this beer was going to be one of the best sellers in the 22oz format and from that time on, in 1997, they would make history. Which brings me to the beer.
Beer Number 23: Arrogant Bastard
The hop aroma on this beer are so piney and resiny that it just screaming to get into my mouth. The bitterness plays games with my mind going from level one of search and destroy to level take the next sip. Deep caramel a bit of raisin and piney tones that linger on the edge of your tongue finish with a bit of alcohol when you sit there playing with your mouth not believing what you just drank. The evolution of this beer is one for the ages. Sure, this beer stayed exactly the same but the next few are variations that are released for those who do find themselves to be worthy. As noted by the founders,
This is an aggressive ale. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory–maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign…
It only gets worse from there…
In 2000, for Stones 4th anniversary they decided to release an ale that was only fit for those whose eyes have been opened. The world of real beer, though, many were NOT Worthy, was further released upon the land.
Warning: Double Bastard Ale is not to be wasted on the tentative or weak. Only the Worthy are invited, and then only at your own risk. If you have even a modicum of hesitation, DO NOT buy this bottle. Instead, leave it for a Worthy soul who has already matriculated to the sublime ecstasy of what those in the know refer to as “Liquid Arrogance.”
Off the nose of this beer the Arrogance really comes through and once again, inviting you to come in. On first sips all that you taste is the most amazing beverage in the world. It is great now, but also great with several years on it. Very thick and chewy, malty with dark toffee roast. The citrus and pine come back for this one but with even more power than before. They want to see who can really stand up to their challenge especially when the alcohol comes in the lightly clean everything away. It sneaks in there not letting you know the truth, but at 11.2%… Ye Shall Know the Bastard, and the Bastard Shall Set You Free.
Take the amazing beer that was and oak age it to the point where only those who are truly worthy can handle it. That is Oaked Arrogant Bastard. Flavor coming from two angles. The oak coats the mouth which then brings on the pine, citrus, and maltiness which proceeds to dry the mouth inviting, once again another sip. A beer among Kings would be nothing less than this.
When they all come together blended it is the epitome of Liquid Arrogance. Lukcy Basartd. Very creamy and hops forcing themselves upon you. Pine and citrus but toasted this time. The oak lingers and assaults your soul. The burnt caramel flavors pick out the weak of tongue to the great ones of humanity. Like they say, this one is not for the faint of heart. Take your pick of the Bastards and celebrate to all that is right in the world.
978 Bottles Of Beer To Go!