from the label (and website) of Stone Brewing Company’s Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale:
This is an aggressive beer. 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 aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beer will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make a beer taste better. Perhaps you’re mouthing your words as you read this.
Too many strive towards complacency as a goal. We grow up thinking that the ability to become complacent is the equivalence of success in life. True Arrogant Bastards know that this could not be further from the truth. The real beauty, richness and depth in life can only be found if the journey through life itself is looked upon as a constant chance to learn, live and find life’s passion. Passion threatens the complacent, and fills them with fear. Fear of the new, the deep and the different. We, on the other hand, seek it out. Endlessly, joyously…and aggressively. To this end we bring you the “OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale.” Another reward for those seeking new sources of passion, and another point of dissension for those who are not.
Yes, all of that text is on the back of the bottle, the crammed in everything else to make room for their hipster, “cooler than you” manifesto to bitter beers. I have a problem with people who let products they purchase define them as a person, as if consumption is a viable alternative to living (Privateer Press’ Page five is another example of such.) This is further compounded by the implication that taste is an objective measurement and that the only enjoyable beer is a very hoppy one.
Okay, maybe that is just an aggressive marketing campaign, and maybe it appeals to someone, I don’t know who, but someone. It doesn’t tell us anything about the beer. Okay, let’s talk about it’s the beer. Right off I’m going to tell you that this is the hoppiest beer I’ve ever had. I don’t know if Stone Brewing knows makes anything other than hop beers… but, if you don’t like them then don’t bother with this week’s beer. The beer smells toasted, almost burnt with hints of wood and citrus. At first taste the hops hit you hard: bitter, bitter, bitter. Letting the beer rest on your tongue you can get hints of the oak and coffee and then the bitterness returns and that is what sticks with you.
I don’t like hoppy beers, so you can guess, I wasn’t too fond of this beer. People told me that my palate wasn’t developed enough to taste all the subtleties in this beer and that might be true. I know what I like though and what I don’t like. I don’t like hoppy beers, it doesn’t get much hoppier than Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale.
Rating (out of five):