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BEER REVIEW: The Bastards

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The Bastards…

Today I wanted to try something I hadn’t really done of before, and that was try a Lateral or Horizontal style tasting. Wonder what I mean? Well, most of you have heard of a Vertical tasting I’m sure (The term was borrowed from the wine industry originally)– this is where you sample the same style of beer but from various breweries, region, or vintages. The type of tasting I went for was similar in that I would be trying the same beer, from the same brewery, only offered three different ways. There was the potential of a fourth in this series called Oaked Arrogant Bastard, however I opted out of this primarily for the fact that Oaked Arrogant Bastard is a 12oz bottle and I wanted to focus on Stone’s bombers. Kind of a silly reason sure, but whatever. 

So with that said, I proceeded to find out if I was worthy or not, seeing the very first bottle I opened told me on the label “You’re not worthy”. We’ll see about that…

Technical Critique

Stone Brewing – Arrogant Bastard

ARROGANT BASTARD

Vintage: 2012 – 7.2%

Pour: 22oz bottle into Imperial Pint.

Aroma: Hops, lots of hops and notes of caramel.

Appearance: DEEP amber. Amazing color depth really. Off white head.

Flavor: Big malt with just the right amount of hop balance. I wish I knew what hop structure they were using.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, appropriate carbonation, and a minimal alcohol warming.

Overall Impression: This is as solid of an offering for the style as I’d say possible. Strong ales are not a style that I gravitate to, so it is a style that I admit, remains under appreciated for sure.

Comments: This is arguably one of the more refined beers on the market for the style. Time and time again I’ve been wowed by the paradox of its simplistic complexity.

Grade: A

Shouts: n/a

Next up…

Stone Brewing – Double Bastard

DOUBLE BASTARD

Vintage: 2012 – 11.2%

Pour: 22oz bottle into an Imperial Pint.

Aroma: Solid offering of hops, though the malt characteristics plowed their way to the front quickly.

Appearance: Again… DEEP amber. Amazing color depth really. Off white head.

Flavor: The sweetness that can only be Briess. Malty, caramel and hops. Delicious but a bit cloying w/ the unfermented sugars.

Mouthfeel: Solid full-body backbone, appropriate carbonation, and an acceptable level of alcohol warming.

Overall Impression: This was a tasty, solid offering from Stone. Perfect backbone for a beer north of 11%, though while it may be a personal thing, I struggle with the unfermented sugars that are a classic Briess trait.

Comments: This beer is mean, very mean. I’m surprised I survived, let alone moved on to Lukcy Basartd.

Grade: B+

Shouts: n/a

Finally…

Stone Brewing – Lukcy Basartd

LUKCY BASARTD

Vintage: 2012 – 8.5%

Pour: 22oz bottle into an Imperial Pint.

Aroma: Huge hop. HOPS. And more hops. Did I say hops? 

Appearance: Yet again… DEEP amber. Amazing color depth really. Off white head.

Flavor: Nicely malted, residual sweetness present as in the previous two, hops everywhere. And I do mean everywhere.

Mouthfeel: Juicy backbone, appropriate carbonation, and nicely hidden alcohol.

Overall Impression: I was warned that this was a doozy of a beer. Maybe not as high in ABV as Double Bastard, but at 8.5% this one capped me off for the night. I may have to get this one more time to try it alone w/out the devastated palate.

Comments: I do believe this was actually a blend of the Arrogant Bastard, Oaked Arrogant Bastard and Double Bastard brands. Interesting because the hop character in this was nothing like that of its brothers. HUGE hops presence. And just a heads up, don’t try to read the back of this bottle with even the slightest buzz going on. It hurts.

Grade: A

Shouts: n/a

In conclusion…

Next time I do any sort of tasting that involves bombers though, I will make sure to have others around to help with consumption–yikes. Overall however, this was one wickedly awesome tasting. Stone rarely disappoints me, and this session was no different.

Author: Sawyer

There is always time for a pint.

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