I Am Worthy!
Beer Reviewed: OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale
Brewery: Stone Brewing Company
As you mature, if you’re an introspective person like I am, you start to reconsider your assumptions and preconceptions. Some time ago I tried an offering from The Stone Brewing Company and I was a bit put off. At the time, I was not enjoying hoppy beers, and I felt like it was for people who were only trying to prove something. Similar to phony tough guys who proved their manhood by downing Suicide Wings at your local bucket of blood.
Interestingly (to me at least), my tastes have changed, and I’m really liking hoppy beers. More neutral ales, like Bass, are a bit too sweet for my regular enjoyment, and I can’t even come close to enjoying a sweeter beer like Newcastle Brown or Boddingtons. This realization and moment of self-actualization has driven me to bigger ales that I’ve previously shied away from.
So here we are. Let us try a beer that I’ve been afraid of and see where this leads!
Quantitative parameters of beer character
- The brewery didn’t provide an IBU rating for this beer, so only my finely tuned objective measurements will suffice in this case. According to The Hitchens Taste Scale, I would put this at about a +4. It has a ton of flavor, so I'd expect the IBU to be in the 40s or 50s.
- This beer has pretty sturdy 7.2% alc/vol. As it warms, it gets more pronounced.
- The color is a darker caramel with good clarity. Using SRM, I would put this at about a 20 on the Lovibond scale.
Qualitative parameters of beer character
- The aroma has a sweet malty nose, but I’m trying desperately to get an oaky smell, and it just isn’t happening. I may be getting a slightly vanilla essence, but I may be projecting.
- The flavor is almost reminiscent of a Porter. I’m getting the chocolatey taste of toasted malt, but still not really getting the oaked flavor.
- The aftertaste has the tannins of an oak aged wine, and I believe that’s where I’m picking up the Oaked flavor.
- The mouthfeel has the slight effervescence of a heavy malted beer. It’s a dull feeling, not in flavor, but the heaviness of a porter or a stout.
- Carbonation for this beer is pretty noticeable in the head. I believe the wine term is “having legs”, which is the residue on the glass when you swirl it around. In this case, when the head deflated, there was a log of residual froth on the glass.
- The temperature range of this beer I think is pretty wide. I can see drinking it very cold, but easily enjoying it warmer, in front of a fire.
Before I first tried this beer, I was concerned about my perception of their reputation of incredibly bitter ales. Also, not realizing the humor/irony in the “You’re Not Worthy” tagline, I thought there was an arrogance of the brewery that was off-putting. I’ve experienced a very eye-opening moment of enjoyment and education that convinced me that I need to try more beers, and forget about my ignorant views! I’ve enjoyed this beer so much, that I will not be afraid to try more from Stone Brewing Company. Try this, and experience the arrogance for yourself!