Thursday, December 18, 2008
One plus one equals three. Pretty good math for a CPA, eh? One plus one definitely equals three when your talking about enjoying Stone Brewing Company's full line of Bastard Ales. One Stone Arrogant Bastard followed up with a Stone Double Bastard (one arrogant bastard + one double bastard = three bastards).
Well the 2008 Double Bastard starting hitting the shelves a couple of weeks ago and it was only a matter of time before Meg and I picked up a bomber of this bad boy. I thought it would be a good idea to also pick up one of the regular Arrogant Bastard and do a side by side comparison. Here goes:
This has been one of my favorite beers for years. What's not to like? A big hoppy American strong ale that's available all year round, yes please.
Smell: Massive hop smell as well as toasted grains, fruity esters and alcohol.
Appearance: Reddish brown in color with an off-white lace. Really frothy, and sticky head that retains remarkably well.
Taste: Rich, full and complex. Big malty sweetness with caramel, chocolate and toasted/roasted flavours. Fantastic raw hop profile, very coarse. The hoppiness helps to balance all the malt flavors. Very assertive when cold, as it warms up the beer becomes smoother.
As its name implies this beer means business.
Smell: Very sweet smelling, caramel and pineapple.
Appearance: Pours a thick brown with garnet highlights. a relatively fast-fading off-white head that leaves a ring of solid, foamy lace.
Taste: Crazy sweet! but in a good way. More of a berry sweetness, with far less maltiness than the regular Arrogant Bastard. Chewy and sticky mothfeel. There's also a very nice spicy bitterness that lingers well past the end of the sip, a very piney hop profile. The alcohol is very present, but this should not be a surprise since it's 10.5% ABV.
This would be a great one to age and to see the complexity of this beer reach full maturity.
Conclusion, I love the regular Arrogant Bastard and I think that its just more approachable. The double bastard at over 10% is tough to get through by oneself (they only come in 22oz. bottles ... they also come in this size, seriously). If you are in to big beers that push the limit, pick up two double bastards and have one now and age the second for a year or two.
PS- I was inspired by this bastard-off and I think that I will be brewing something akin to Arrogant Bastard this week to have on draft around the house.