meathookjones (245) - Sterling, Virginia, USA - DEC 3, 2004
2003 edition in the 22oz bomber. The bigger brother to Arrogant Bastard pours a brown color with reddish highlight and a minimal tan head unless poured very aggressively. The head drops quickly to a bubbly ring leaving a nice lacing around the glass. Quite the strong aroma on this one, with plenty of sweet malts, earthy hops, fruits and a touch of alcohol. This one definitely brings a big taste to the plate with a sweet fruity malt upfront that settles into a bitter hop bite. This one has a similar taste to arrogant bastard but upped several notches and a few more complexities are thrown in. A very complex tasting beer indeed, maybe having a 3 liter at one sitting can help unravel some of these complexities. Mouthfeel is amazing, full and creamy with perfect carbonation. Drinkability is perfect, there is only slight alcohol tastes and scents so that never slows the consumption. This is a near perfect beer in my opinion and I look forward to this years release as this was my last bottle. Highly recommended to all except people new to craft beer because this will knock them on their arse. jeffin7 (613) - Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - NOV 30, 2004
Pours dark rusty red with a medium tan head that fades to a thin layer and remains. Aroma of slightly sticky sweet malt and piney hops. Flavor is caramel, maple syrup, toffee, all cut by bitter piney slightly citrusy hops. The flavor qualities are pretty standard for american strongs; however it is near perfectly balance and it has a excellent layered depth making it not a standard american strong but the standard/quintessential american strong ale. hopdog (12584) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 30, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 5, 2005 Poured a medium Mahagony color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas and tastes of caramel, molasses, and brown sugar. Lightly sweet with a bitter finish (nice balance). You could definitley smell and taste the Alcohol in this one. Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - NOV 29, 2004
Pours dark amber with a decent white head that lasts awhile. Malty caramel aroma up front. Initial taste is malt fading to caramel and hops. Flavors twist and turn. Agree with a lot of people that has some barley wine characteristics to it. Shared bottle with a couple people. I am going to buy another for myself. Pailhead (6540) - Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA - NOV 28, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 17, 2005 Bottle: Real sweet and fruity malt aroma. Citrus and caramel. Some grapefruit hops in there, but real sweet grapefruit. Pours a dark reddish-brown with a off-white head that is short lasting. Kind of like a barley wine up front with the malty banana bread flavor and ends with a real nice citrus hop finish. Real thick and syrupy. Alcohol is covered up real well. Has a little warming affect, but not an alcohol taste. Kind of like a barley wine and a IIPA in one. I like this much better than the regular AB (by 1.2 points to be exact). This is great!!! The more you drink the more the barley wine characteristics increase as the IIPA finish characteristics decrease. Okay, I take the back. The flavors have a way of just flowing as they please. One minute it’s the barley wine flavors taking over, the next it’s the IIPA flavors jumping in.
Goblincat (399) - Petersburg, Michigan, USA - NOV 28, 2004
Nice dark reddish-brown pour. Hop and barley nose. Huge assault on the mouth in terms of a large amount of flavors. Sour fruit, hops, alcohol, spices, sugar, some malt... Almost overwhelming, yet very nice. gsteph (325) - knoxville, Tennessee, USA - NOV 28, 2004
Deep brown with red highlights. Frothy tan head with great retention. Sticky. Grapefruit aroma (like Arrogant Bastard) , sweet this time, slight hoppiness. Two observations: When colder than 55 hop flavor and abrasiveness abounds. Above 55 flavor mellows and sweet candied grapefruit jumps out. Almost comparable to a barley wine for sweetness. Definite sugared grapefruit, the sweetness is not overpowering and stomach turning, but a great blend with the warming alcohol. Great blend of malt and hops. This stuff is on. Palatable, for anyone with an adventurous mind. Great consistency. Typical of Stone. JFGrind (2047) - Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 26, 2004
Enjoyable American Strong Ale. Not an overbearing of hoppiness. Nice blend of malt sweetness and hop bitterness. Alcohol hidden well. MayorQuimby (100) - Santa Barbara, California, USA - NOV 25, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 23, 2005 Rerate, 2005 bottle. With another year of beer drinking experience, I feel that I was a bit on the naive side a year ago with my first rating. Not that this is a bad beer by any stretch, it and it’s little brother (ABA) have really been the definition of the broad American Strong Ale to me. Pours a deep ruby color. Last year’s bottle had a frothy white head, while this time around it just wasn’t quite as nice-looking. Fairly clear, bubbles rising from the bottom of my glass. The aroma was rather alcoholic, which isn’t surprising at 10%. Also kind of caramelly, toffee notes. Is that a bit of oak? The alcohol kind of overpowers everything in the nose. Sweet sweet sweet malts, then a kick of hops in the finish. This is a story in contrasts for sure. Bitterness from hops is very citrusy, a bit resiny. Alcohol peeks its way into there too. Good balance between the three, all are potent but none seems dominant. A year ago I loved the sweet malts, but now I think it could stand to be a bit dryer -- it’s almost cloying (emphasis on almost). Then again, maybe this beer is about excess, which it has in spades, and I shouldn’t be so critical. Mouthfeel is on the syrupy side. Very rich and robust, carbonation seemed a bit dull. Alcohol lightens the mouthfeel a bit, but’s it’s still a monstrous beer. This brew unabashedly lives up to all of its expectations, but maybe a bit too much. Certainly a fine ale, but an additional year of beer drinking has put it into a better perspective (I mean, that’s the point of re-rates, isn’t it?). DYCSoccer17 (3698) - Woodland, California, USA - NOV 24, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 4, 2007 Bottle 2004. Aroma really escapes me. I detect nothing but some ethanol notes and maybe a touch of smokiness. Maybe some slight bitter hoppiness in there. Transparent ruby garnet color with a big frothy light tan head with lots of lacing. Start is fruity and vinous similar to a barleywine. Big booze burn in the middle with some astringency leading into a nice malty sweet finish. This is another OK, overrated Stone beer IMO. I have various reasons for thinking this (4/5/7/4/14 3.4).------RE-RA 2007 BOTTLE. Aroma has some notes of pineapple and some ethanol present, too. A little piney with a touch of malt sweetness. This is really quite ethanolic. Transparent ruby-amber body with a pretty small, futile off-yellowish head. Sweet, chewy, sugary maltiness present initially. Becomes a little burnt and roasted in the middle. Finishes with tons of booze and bitter grapefruity hops. Pretty unbalanced and not overly enjoyable. Score reflects most recent re-rating.