kujo9 (1095) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - DEC 2, 2006
12 oz bottle: Deep amber w/a lasting dark cream colored head. Smooth aroma all around. Oddly enough, some fresh, resiny herba/pineyl hop aroma, mild vanilla and oaky wood aromas. Caramel malt follows, but vanilla & piney hop aromas get stronger as it warms. Mild toasted & bready malts as it warms further. Flavor is balance well overall w/a hint of bitterness. Also very smooth. Lighty woody oak flavor throughout, hints of vanilla; Toasty malt, and herbal hop flavor into the semi dry hop flavored finish. Aftertaste is a bit muddled with a bit of hops and woody oak. Low level of CO2, smooth body, well hidden alc. fuller medium body. It’s AB that’s had the rough edges smoothed out by the wood, as long as you like oak character. The hops share center stage w/ the oak and the malts play second fiddle. Not an earth shattering beer, but worth a second look! merlin48 (656) - Jenkins, Kentucky, USA - DEC 2, 2006
Somewhat of a letdown. Looks nice enough in a snifter, with a hazed chestnut body and small beige head that leaves spiderweb lacing. Aroma is citrusy grapefruit, spruce pine, with hints of caramel. Medium body is well carbonated. Taste is bitter citrus rind, pine, toasty caramel, and and an assertive oak woodiness that borders on astringent. I wish this had been oak aged instead of finsished on oak chips. Oak presence here gives it a chalkiness that I could do without. Definitely worth a try, but at $17 a sixpack in Louisville, I’ll take the original Arrogant Bastard. JoeMcPhee (9427) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 2, 2006
12 oz bottle. Deep brown with a ruby red tint and a thick tan head. Aroma is big and piny with heavy hop resins and a sweet oaky vanilla aroma. Warming brings out light grapefruit character as well. Flavour is quite hoppy with resinous bitterness, strong oaky/tannic characteristics over a sweet malty base. Medium crystal mal flavour is apparent. Oak intensifies as the temperature comes up and also softens the bitterness accentuating the hop flavour and sweet vanilla. Nice enough, but I prefer the regular. kevinthesipper (10) - Matawan, New Jersey, USA - DEC 1, 2006
piney wood aroma, subtle. vibrant rust color, vaguely cloudy with cream head. sweet roasty malt with hoppy bitterness. smooth creamy bite, with lasting hangtime. earthy organic feel. begins in the nose and finishes in the back of the throat, and pleasurable through out. BitchesBrew (716) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - NOV 30, 2006
[bottle] Dark ruby color, with a substantial tan colored head. Aroma is resiny sweet hops and a touch of alcohol. Flavors are that of the usual bastard- sharp hop bitterness, with some really dark malts. The oak character is pretty subtle, adding vanilla and an additional layer of complexity overall.
badnewsbeers (2312) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - NOV 30, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2006 nice addition to the "bastard" series...dark amber body with medium tan head..aroma is largely grapefruit, pine, wood, and sweet malts..flavor is heavy in such hops, and finishes very woody...definite licorice and caramel present as well..nice palate HogTownHarry (6925) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - NOV 29, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 5, 2006 Draught. At Cole’s in Buffalo. Poured deep clear mahogany with a large frothy-creamy beige rocky head. Wood resin aroma, almost burnt, fairly boozy with generic sharp hop bitterness. The taste is very malty - dry, almost burnt malt - lots of dry resiny wood notes and a hint of grape leaves in the finish - simple, and it took a while for me to warm to it, but it’s pretty classy. The body is only just so-so, but it’s nicely astringent, with solid carbonation, and a very well-balanced malt/alcohol/burnt oak finish. Sophisticated, if slightly burnt. tjthresh (1873) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - NOV 29, 2006
12 ounce bottle from my SS winter 06. Same cough syrup red color with a decent tan head. I honestly do see my difference between this the the regular stuff. Lots of spicey and piney hop aroma. Huge bitterness. Long agressive finish. The oak here is subtle at best. For some reason, I am enjoying this more that the regular bottle I had a couple of weeks ago. milewide (2250) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - NOV 29, 2006
Nicely bitter from start to finish. Amber color. Oak flavor is very modest and not worth the upcharge from regular ABA which I think is better. TAR (2765) - Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA - NOV 28, 2006
Strawberry orange in color. Creamy dollop of ivory froth clings nicely with each sip. Spruce tips, lemon oil, nutty Crystal, and rhubarb esters comprise the aroma. Hints of aniseed and vanillin. Vigorous swirls reveal some puttylike yeast. Tight, fluffy carbonation. Delicate hop-derived acidity immediately buckles the cheeks, though a resinous hop sting and a juicy rush of esters quickly neutralize it. Nutty Crystal is deep rooted and contributes a firm caramelized sweetness. Wood sneakily arises and lends a vibrant spiciness and a smidgeon of vanillin, as well as a coarse dryness, which mirrors and complements the leafy-hop elements. Hop bitterness remains sharp and poignant, and steadily progresses before it ultimately culminates into a fresh integratioin of blood oranges and peach skin caressed with surprisingly clean and understated oak. Becomes a bit sweet toward the latter half of the bottle, as the abundance of fruitiness and slight yeastiness fatigues the palate. That said, this is a surprisingly good example from a seemingly declining brewery.