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Entries in Stone Brewing Co. (5)


Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale

No matter how many different beers you drink, there are always a few that hold a special place in your heart, and fridge.  For me, Arrogant Bastard has been one of those beers for many years now.  I always have a few bottles on hand, and if I encounter it on tap, odds are that’s what I’ll be drinking.

As the marketing implies, Arrogant Bastard is a big brash beer that doesn’t hold anything back.  Many are surprised to learn that it’s “only” 7.2% abv after trying it for the first time, because of the big, bold, boozy flavors.  It pours with a nice robust cream colored head that clings to the glass, and will hang around for quite some time.  There’s a fair amount of malty aroma mixed with a sweet booziness that’s a sign of things to come. When you take the first sip, your taste buds scream out that they’re getting the same experience your nose did, just turned to 11.  There are big bold toasted malts, a nice hit of bitter hops (though this is not at all an overly hopped beer), a hint of syrupy sweetness, and a warming alcohol finish.  You then get a slightly bitter aftertaste reminiscent to green wood.  The level of carbonation is perfect for the style, and the alcohol makes itself known without distracting from the flavors and experience of the beer.  The mouthfeel isn’t quite as thick as you’d expect, but this is a heavy setting beer, so one or two should do it for an evening.

When I think of strong ales Arrogant Bastard comes to mind as the quintessential example of the style.  It’s truly a beer that hits the bull’s-eye on what it’s trying to accomplish without any gimmicks.  So, as I enjoy this Arrogant Bastard, I’m reminded why it’s always had a place in my fridge, and always will as long as it’s made.



Stone Pale Ale


Stone makes some truly wonderful big beers, but what happens when the brewer of liquid arrogance takes a stab at a lighter brew?  Well if their pale ale is any sign, Stone is far from a one trick pony.  

The beer pours a nice dark red color with a creamy white head that doesn't hang around forever, but long enough to be appreciated.  As far as the aroma is concerned you get hints of subtle hops and biscuity malts.  At the first sip you get those same biscuity malt notes with an undercurrent of grassy hops, but without the floral sharpness that you get in IPA's.  Wrapping things up there's a slightly bitter finish that is almost reminiscent of an ESB.  At only 5.4% abv and with a light clean mouthfeel, you could drink this refreshing brew all night.  Were I to encounter this on tap at the local neighborhood bar, there's no doubt in my mind that it'd become my usual.  Kudos to Stone for proving that you can have a great session beer without sacrificing any of the flavor you expect from a brew with a bit more backbone.


Stone Double Bastard Ale


Those that know me well know I'm a huge fan of Stone brewing.  There are those in the beer world that claim they're a one trick pony, but if that were the case I maintain that they wouldn't have the fan base and staying power in the brewing world that they've exhibited.  For those of you unfamiliar with the brand, Stone brewing is famous for brewing big brash beers and for doing so since before it was popular to do so.  The beer I'm drinking this evening, Double Bastard Ale, is essentially their Arrogant Bastard Ale product turned to 11.    

This is a man's beer (though I know plenty of awesome beer loving women who would love it).  When drinking Double Bastard, Edward Teach (Blackbeard) comes to mind, in that this would be a beer that a man who lit his beard on fire when he went into battle would cherish.  Part of that is obviously inspired by Stone's brilliant marketing, but after a swig or two, you realize that the marketing is in response to the beer and not the other way around.  

Probably the most aromatic beer than I can think of, and pours wito h an decent head.  Flavors are strong and run from sweet, to bitter, to boozy, to grassy, to hoppy, and son.  Suffice to say there's a lot going on with this beer, but it all comes together well.  It makes no attempt to hide the 10.5% abv and in this case that's a good thing.  This is a beer that inspirers one to go pillaging and marauding. 

In closing, I could say a lot about Double Bastard, but probably the best endorsement that I can give it is while I always have a wide selection of beers aviliable in my fride, Double Bastard and Arrogant Bastard are two beers that I always make a point of having on hand.



Stone Smoked Porter

Pours dark, but not completely opaque, with a healthy head that has a lot of staying power.  Malty with just a hint of smoke.  At only 5.9% abv this would make a good session beer given that it isn't as heavy as some porters and doesn't knock you over with strong flavors.  Not Stone's best offering, but it's still a very drinkable beer.



Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale


It's no secret that I'm a big fan of most of the brews that come out of Stone Brewing Co., and this one is certainly not an exception. They start with a base of the classic love it or hate it flavor that Arrogant Bastard is famous for, and then add a smooth oak flavor on top of that. Adding oak to beer seems to be the trend of the day in the beer world, a trend I'm happy to see, but Stone's offering in this segment really stands out as long as you appreciate the big brash flavors of Arrogant Bastard. Hoppy (but not floral), bitter, brash, and oaky. This is a beer that you will more often than not find in my refrigerator, and I don't see that changing any time soon.