Jan 12, 2015

Stone Brewing Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard Ale

Stone Brewing’s Arrogant Bastard Ale is one of those iconic beers that probably has affected every craft beer drinker at some point in their drinking career. It may not be as legendary as Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, but when it comes time to have your teeth kicked in by an aggressively hoppy IPA, this is the beer that often comes to mind. The brewery has had fun with their flagship throughout the years much to the delight of the beer’s many loyal followers.

Whether it be their big Double Bastard, an oaked version or a pair of diabolical blends (Crime and Punishment), the company has released a variety of permutations — many of which I have thoroughly enjoyed. This, however, is my first encounter with their Bourbon Barrel-Aged version outside of any sort of blend.

And, what a beer it is. You’ve got a beer that was already in-your-face and is now even more so. I may not be worthy, but I don’t care!


The brew pours a rusty copper in color with a large stack of creamy, beige foam. Sticky lacing webs across the glass as the head slowly falls.

Stone Brewing Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard Ale photo


A big, resinous, piney hope character leads the way for grapefruit, a smooth bourbony aroma, light wood and soft caramel.


The bourbon influence on this beer isn’t subtle by any means, but it’s also not a diva, in that it screams for all of your attention. The beer has a strong, bitter hop profile you expect from Arrogant Bastard with an appropriate amount of wood and bourbon. Vanilla and caramel linger in the background. For a 7.8% ABV brew, the heat on this one is pretty dang apparent as it warms the chest solidly.


Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard Ale is a wonderful brew with an excellent combination of flavors. The company has taken a great beer and made it that much more enjoyable — for wood-aged fans, that is. Those deemed unworthy will want to pass on this brew. Better yet, ship your bottles on over my way.

Rating: 4/5

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