Home > American Strong Ale > Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard

Rating: 3.7

A bit of an odd one now for what will be my first beer from Arrogant Brewing but one that follows on from the Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale I had in March 2013 as well as the Arrogant Bastard Ale I reviewed the next month. The reason this is my third Arrogant Bastard beer but only my first from the brewery is because the beers were originally brewed under by Stone in California but since 2015 this line of beers has been brewed independently from Stone. Although still based in California, Arrogant Brewing is somewhat of a gypsy brewery and the beers are now brewed in collaboration with other breweries around the world, including Brewdog in Scotland which is the reason I was able to grab a bottle of this one recently. The beer is one of about three year-round Arrogant beers and is actually one that I tried earlier this year in a Brewdog bar but wasn’t to sure about which is one of the reason I decided to order a bottle online when last placing an order.


Appearance (4/5): This one pours a dark caramel to mahogany brown colour and it’s slightly hazy into the bargain, although it did look a touch lighter towards the bottom of the glass. The head was a nice one though, sitting just under a half a centimetre tall and foamy with a few bubbles sitting on the surface too. It was a light tan colour with a bit of break-up towards one side of the surface but on the whole it was a nice looking beer with decent head retention given the abv. of the drink.
Aroma (8/10): This one opens with quite a strong, sticky-sweet nose that features a lot of toffee and caramel aromas alongside some darker fruits; mostly figs, dates and plums featuring at this early stage. There was a touch of alcohol coming through that hinted at the bourbon from the barrels this one was aged in and this was followed by a sweet vanilla or butterscotch smell that had some oak notes backing it up. The beer seemed complex on the nose and there was quite a lot going on but thankfully the balance was a good one and there was a faint pine and citrus finish that hinted at a subtle bitterness too.
Taste (6/10): Kicking off from where the nose finished, this one starts quite sweet with a combination of toffee and caramel malts opening things up before being followed by a bourbon taste that was quite a bit stronger than the nose had hinted at but didn’t quite overpower. There was some dark fruits again with the figs and plums from the nose featuring here as well but also some raisins as well. Towards the end of the beer some further sweetness was imparted thanks to the usual sugars but also some of the vanilla from the nose before some pine, oak and citrus touches rounded things off completely.
Palate (4/5): A somewhat thick offering, this one sat somewhere around medium bodied and was definitely quite a strong beer from the start. There was a nice amount of sweetness throughout this one, initially thanks to the caramel and toffee flavours but also from the darker fruits and sugars that followed. There was a good balance to the beer as well, despite the relatively strong abv. and the bourbon flavours it was never a hard one to drink; it went down quite easily in fact and was enjoyable into the bargain.

Overall (14/20): Quite a nice one from Arrogant Brewing here, the beer was definitely stronger than I’d expected going in, despite the fact I knew it was an 8.1% beer when I cracked it open. There was a lot of bourbon and alcohol flavours around the middle of the beer and plenty of darker fruits helped enhance these flavours. I enjoyed the early caramel touches though and the vanilla sweetness that came from the oak was pleasant too. I’m still not convinced it’s a beer I’ll have again but it was a nice one to sip away at and I’m glad I got to try it.

Brewed In: Escondido, California, United States of America
Brewery: Arrogant Brewing
First Brewed: 2009 (Brewery since 2015)
Type: American Strong Ale
Abv: 8.1%
Serving: Bottle (355ml)
Purchased: Brewdog.com
Price: £5.00

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