Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale
I love the original Bastard, but have never had the Oaked variety. 12 oz bottle, gotten in trade at a FTH function a couple of months back.
Appearance: Deep, dark red, opaque, almost stout-like in its quality, but tinged a deep crimson. Thick off-white head that leaves significant lacing. Highly enticing. 4.5/5
Smell: Sweet, hints of cherries, but with a strong hoppiness. The oak is very present here, overpowering the more subtle aromas. Still, it helps the sweetness of the overall scent and makes this a different experience from the original. 4.0/5
Taste: It's like drinking an apple tree. No, seriously. Strong fruit overtones, mostly apples but with a touch of citrus, following closely by the oaky undertones (hence the branches) and finishing with that hop bite (the leaves). It has the kind of woodsy flavor that I associate with cider, but this tastes like no cider you can imagine. It's a big off-putting at first, but... what the hell? It's fucking Stone, right? It grows on my palate quickly, just like all the other Stone beers. 4.5/5
Mouthfeel: Magnificent, as always with Stone. Thick, amazingly so. Like liquid bread. The hops are more subdued than in the normal Bastard, making this go down clean and easy. 5.0/5
Drinkability: It takes a minute to get used to, but this might go down even more easily than Arrogant Bastard. The oak helps to balance the other flavors, and while I don't think this is quite as good as the original beer, I'd definitely like to keep a few of these on-hand for the occasional taste. Fans of the original brew should give it a shot. 4.5/5