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Feb
21

OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale

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What a difference some oak chips can make! If I compile a list for my readers of “Must Try” beer from this “one a day: no more, no less, no repeats” challenge, then the OAKED Arrogant Bastard will be hard to shake from the top.

I was a little nervous about how this “twin” beer would impact my Beer a Day.net challenge. If the only difference between Arrogant Bastard and OAKED Arrogant Bastard were a few wood chips, then I’d likely find myself squirming when asked if I REALLY only drank one beer a day without repeating all year long.

As luck would have it, the OAKED is in a category all its own.

When I drank the original Arrogant Bastard Ale last night, I enjoyed the beer but had to warm up to it. The piney, spicy hops stayed in my face and just wouldn’t let me relax while I drank the beer — they demanded attention. Ultimately, I pacified both the beast and my abused palate with a pairing of sharp cheddar cheese.

I expected the oak to simply add to the clamor, as one more strong flavor ardently petitioning for redress of some forgotten wrong, more than happy to take its revenge on my weakened taste buds.

But the OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale proved to be far more diplomatic. Rather than rough me up, it seduced me with its fine perfume and soothing taste. In fact, this diminutive bastard (12 ounces) has proven to be one of the highlights of this entire beer drinking challenge.

The OAKED started out in 2003 (near as I can tell) as an experiment, making rare appearances on tap in Southern California and Arizona. In 2004, Stone began releasing OAKED in 3 Litre bottles (complete with a lock — to keep the beer in, or to keep your neighbors out?). The success led, according to the official website, to a “surprise” in 2006:

“We crammed, forced, shoved and cajoled the OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale into itty bitty tiny little 12oz bottles. It did not go willingly. Some Stone peeps got hurt. More emotionally, than physically, but it was definitely both.”

Starting in 2007, the OAKED became readily available in 12 ounce six packs, year-round.

The aroma from this beer is heavenly. I couldn’t keep my nose out of the tulip glass. Halfway through drinking the OAKED, I couldn’t decide if I was getting light-headed because of the 7.2% ABV, or because I was inhaling deeply enough to risk hyperventilation.

While absorbing some of the piney bite, the oak chips add earthiness add a touch of vanilla and mellow the bitterness. Everything I remembered from last night’s original Arrogant Bastard Ale was present, just toned down and fine-tuned.

The more the beer warmed up, the greater the oak’s role became. I spent more time sniffing this delightful beer than I spent drinking it, so the last several sips were close to room temperature in my hands. It finished from the glass tasting as if it were laced with Woodford Reserve, a bourbon with delightful vanilla qualities. And this all comes through — not around, but right up through the middle of — the bitter, citrus back-taste of the original Arrogant Bastard Ale.

Still on my watch list is the Double Bastard Ale (billed as the Angry Brother to the Arrogant Bastard). For one brief moment of elation earlier this week, I thought I would have the opportunity to drink all three Bastards on tap. But then I discovered that Boston’s Bistro & Pub, the “Most Arrogant Bar in America“, isn’t in Boston. It’s in Dayton, OH.

Unless I find Double Bastard someplace on Sunday, my next Stone brew will be on IPA Monday — brace yourselves for the Ruination IPA.

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Categories : Beer a Day

4 Comments

1
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Arrogant Bastard. Double Bastard. Oaked Arrogant Bastard. What a great bunch of beers. Arrogant Bastard was the first “real” beer I ever drank because a guy I respected told me it was his favorite. I could never look at PBR the same again.

You need to hit up the newest beer in the Stone lineup: Sublimely Self-Righteous. It was also known as Stone 11th Anniversary Ale. I had it at Winterfest in Indianapolis. It is in my top two favorite beers of all time.

2
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ahow, thanks for the suggestion, I haven’t tried SSR yet. How would you describe the beer?

PBR and anything by Stone would be a good definition of “opposite end of the spectrum”… :-)

3

Hey Andy,
I admire your determination. A new beer every day for a year-that takes stamina! I agree with ahow628, Stone SSR is an amazing beer. Could be a good one to include. Cheers!
-Matt at Stone

4
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Your review was featured on Sixpacktech.com.

Thanks.

FCG

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