REVIEW: Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Company

Quick Characteristics
Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Location: Escondido, CA
Style: American Strong Ale
ABV: 7.20%
IBU: CLASSIFIED
Appearance: Polished Mahogany, Stout Tan Foam
Aroma: Oaky Vanilla
Flavor: Sweet Malt, Hoppy Bitterness with Hints of Caramel & Vanilla
Availability: Year-Round

I honestly have yet to try a beer from Stone Brewing that I don’t like. Granted, I haven’t tried all of their beers and some are pretty hard to come-by, but to varying degrees I’ve found each one that I have been able to try pretty outstanding. To my knowledge the Oaked Arrogant Bastard is the exact same recipe as the original Arrogant Bastard with the addition of being aged on oak chips.

Oak and beer have a long history. Oak barrels were widely used in the storing of beer for a long time, but ironically many brewers went to great lengths to keep their beer from picking up much of the flavor imparted by the wood. Some even went so far as to line the inside of the barrels with brewers pitch to minimize contact between the beer and wood. This can definitely be understood in some cases, not all beer styles (especially a lot of the lighter styles), favor oak flavor. The styles most associated with oak and other wood aging are heavier darker beers, such as, Old Ales, Stouts, Porters, Dark IPA’s and Browns (and sours). Arrogant bastard being an American Heavy falls nicely into the beer styles that do benefit from the added complexities gathered from time in contact with oak.

“Glass-trapped darkness delicately cloaked in balancing act with ag’ed oak”

The bottle has the usual artwork endemic to Stone Brewery; stylized gargoyle (this one holding a beer mug), with the words “You’re Not Worthy” across the bottom, and the usual tirade is on the back of the bottle, which incidentally, if you’ve never tried Stone Brewing company, their very funny monologs, alone are worth buying a sampling of their beer. The one for both the Oaked and regular Arrogant Bastard starts with, “This is an aggressive ale. You probably won’t like it.” Sounds like a challenge to me.
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REVIEW: 90 Shilling Ale from Odell Brewing Company

Quick Characteristics
Brewery: Odell Brewing Co.
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Style: Scottish Ale
ABV: 5.30%
IBU: 27
Appearance: Copper, Slightly Red with Off-White Foam
Aroma: Bread, Biscuit & Big Malt
Flavor: Sweet Malty Characters; Faint Hoppiness
Availability: Year-Round
Pairs With: Roasted Pork or Quail; Dark Chocolate or Caramel Desserts

Odell Brewing Company is another one of those success stories. You know the ones, a home brewer goes pro and ends up a grand success. Those stories, the ones that, as home brewers and beer coinsures, we have a mixed bag of emotions about. We love to know that if one of us bravely stepped off the boat into the wide ocean and took the plunge, there’s a chance we’d come up kicking water and swimming hard at some point. But we also kinda hate them because they’ve gone before us, and are “there” already, making a living, doing something truly loved. Well, Odell is a grandfather on the craft brew scene, so don’t get your feathers too ruffled.

Founder, Doug Odell, along with his wife Wynne, and sister Corki got their start in 1989, which is, on a craft brewery timeline, the beginnings of the post probation climb back into popularity. There was only one other craft brewery operating in Colorado when they started, now there are probably over 200. So, they’ve been brewing for a while. They know their stuff.
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