Stone Brewing 'Arrogant Bastard Bourbon Barrel Aged' Ale

Stone Arrogant Bastard Bourbon Barrel Aged Ale 1
Stone Brewing 'Arrogant Bastard Bourbon Barrel Aged' Ale. 8.1% abv. Dark ruby color with finger of foamy ivory head. Superb retention and lace. Nose of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, distant oak. Round botanicals and herbal hops emerges as the temp rises. Front taste of brown sugar, bourbon, mellow wood notes on the back end. Aftertaste of ample bittersweet herbal hops, toffee, burnt sugar. Full body. Mouthfeel is hot, round, creamy, carby, clingy.

This is an outstanding beer. The addition of aging in bourbon barrels transforms the well-known strong hoppy ale into a worthy barley wine. The wood expression and boozy notes are well established throughout, from the thick aroma to the sweet herbal aftertaste. Outstanding beer. Strongly recommended.

I had this wonderful beer side-by-side with the standard Arrogant Bastard, legendary beer in its own right. It was an interesting comparison. I've had AB numerous times since its creation. That delicious herbal hoppy profile was over-the-cliff in its day, and is still considered aggressive with its IBU today, but the barrel aging truly mellowed out the hop bite without completely smothering it in bourbon or wood. If you can, grab a bottle of each and have a little mini-vertical for yourself. 

From the brewery:

"I awake from a slumber that’s been anything but peaceful. I don’t take kindly to idling and I am anything but neutral. Life has nothing to do with killing time, and the knowledge that months have passed since the onset of my sequestering in this pitch-black oaken tomb (albeit a barrel flush with brilliant aromas of vanilla and char) does not sit well. But then comes a tingle followed by rejuvenating warmth, signs that something is different…something has changed…and for the better. I feel stronger yet somehow more nimble and refined. I feel even more self-assured, and my vision for what is good and right, honest and true, is as laser-sharp as the brawny, bawdy, liquid Arrogance that shall further advance my battle against all things mediocre and geared toward the lowest common denominator. I have been born anew and, in the process, anointed with vibrant, inspiring, previously unexperienced character, all while maintaining everything I am and have always been—bold, bullish, unadulterated, and yes, Arrogant. Are you Worthy of quaffing a beverage of this intensity, irreverence and quality craftsmanship? Not likely, but for those who “get it,” I know my time in this bourbon barrel has not been wasted. Cheers to you, enlightened imbiber. On second thought, cheers to me!"

“I didn’t give you permission to pick me up, let alone drink me. Being gropes as you mutter to yourself taxes my patience. While I am a master of social complexities and articulate thought, clearly you are not. I embody the pinnacle of intellectual and artistic fulfillment, while you bring the baggage of preconceived notions, which only distract. Yet, I’ll I’ve you one chance: Aspire to free your mind. Use a crowbar if you must. Approach me with openness, unsullied by your irrelevant “life experience,” or leave me alone. No, you don’t have to put up with this. Go tweet your precious insights about me. Thrill yourself by imagining your three or 30,000 followers hanging on your every work. OMG, they’re waiting to read the thought you just had. Now close your mouth and either set me down or do your worst. What’s that? You’re going to drink a fizzy yellow beer out of spite? Self-flagellate all you like, tiger. Proclaim your unworthiness to whoever will listen.”
[source: bottle]

Stone Arrogant Bastard Bourbon Barrel Aged Ale 2

Stone Arrogant Bastard Bourbon Barrel Aged Ale 3

Stone Arrogant Bastard Bourbon Barrel Aged Ale 4

Stone Arrogant Bastard Bourbon Barrel Aged Ale 5

Stone Arrogant Bastard Bourbon Barrel Aged Ale 6
Two Arrogant Bastards were tasted that evening. The classic standard and the bourbon barrel aged gem. Nice little flight.