I’ve been doing this for almost a year now and my tendency when I do a review is to seek out a beer I think is interesting and new to me. Well gee? Why not one I drink all the time? I have three to four beers that I’ve never reviewed that I consider among my favorites. They appear regularly in my drinking sessions. I thought I’d end that today.
Let’s start by playing (cue Sponge Bob voice) …. I M A G I N A T I O N…. You’re a brewery and you’ve just brewed a beer, a pretty damn good beer you think and it’s time to put a label on the bottle to entice people to buy it. Great words, kind words, words that pull them to your product, words that coax them to your bottle, words that make them want to buy your beer . After all, you don’t want to put words on your label that make you look conceited, or cocky, or (dare I say it) arrogant?
Well, apparently not if you’re the guys from Stone Brewing. Oh sure, the words “You’re Not Worthy” on the label under the name might initially look like a funny joke. And after all, you like funny jokes. Those are the kinds of witty things that make you pick up a beer and see what it’s all about. And then you turn the bottle over and read the paragraph on the back and wonder if they’re still just being witty:
“This is an aggressive ale. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory–maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beverage will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make things taste better. Perhaps you’re mouthing your words as you read this.”
Confident, witty, good natured fun? or Arrogant? Let’s see.
“Hello Greg (Koch)! It’s Ed over at The Dogs of Beer! I was wondering if you could do me a favor?”
“Absolutely, Ed. But wait, now that I have you on the phone. Don’t you still owe me $66 from last month’s poker game?”
“Me? Ahhhhhhh, no…..I don’t think sooooo. Are you sure you’re not thinking of Liquor Store Bear?”
“Liquor Sto….? He can’t even drive! How the hell would he owe me $66 dollars from last month’s poker game? Ok..look…whatever. What do you want?”
“Well, I’m reviewing Arrogant Bastard and I’m writing the THEM section. I can’t find anything about it on your website. I was wondering if you could tell me what’s in …..”
What? Well hell, see if you ever get your $66! Well the label says it has 7.2% ABV. Don’t say I don’t do my homework….
ME: Arrogant Bastard pours dark brown with a light head that ends up as a thin film of bubbles across the top of the glass. The nose is full of caramel malt laced with a light spice hop character. That same caramel hits the front of the mouth along with slight chocolate/toffee notes and a spiciness which moves to the back of the mouth to a lingering, spicy hop bitterness. The after taste has a pronounced syrupy stickiness but never manages to lose that spiciness that pulls the whole profile together. Have I mentioned the spice? I might have forgotten that.
This is flat out one of my favorite beers. I rarely “recommend” beers as everyone’s palette is different and I’ve had to many instances where something I love didn’t go over well to someone that I recommended it to. But in this case I’m going say if you haven’t tried Arrogant Bastard yet, pick up a bottle. Whether you love it or not, I want you to remember one thing – you ARE worthy.
Time for another beer.