The Hillberry Music Festival was last weekend, and it’s hard to imagine it could have been any better. The weather was perfect, the venue was not too crowded, the music was fantastic, and it was a great excuse to camp out under the harvest moon with my wife. Add to that the BYOB friendliness of the venue, and I have zero complaints. The only stipulation on the BYOB was that it must be in cans. My festival beer of choice was Arrogant Bastard Brewing’s (formerly Stone) Arrogant Bastard in the 16 ounce outdoor friendly cans.
Upon returning home, I poured the beer into a glass revealing a beautiful amber, mahogany with a frothed tan head atop. The aroma is quite subdued and surprisingly, for a Stone/Arrogant Bastard Brewing beer, there was little hop aroma detected. Instead, the nose picked up on more of biscuity and bready notes as well as a bit of caramel.
These aromas, however, are inconspicuous in the flavor of the beer. Instead, the front of the tongue gets both a burn from the carbonation and a hop bitterness. The hops soon start a dance with a rather heavy roasted malt bitterness that begins on the side of the tongue and continues as the beer washes down the tongue which is only interrupted by a bit of caramel sweetness down the middle of the tongue. The beer finishes with a bit of oak before a long lingering pine/grass hop aftertaste accentuated by a dark malt bitterness. This beer is uncomplicated with a flavor dominated by the roasted malt and hops, but the interplay of these complimentary flavors means this is not a criticism.
The beer is one of Stone’s/Arrogant Bastard Brewing’s oldest beers and has been bottled for our enjoyment since 1997. But it is now also available in a six pack of 16 ounce cans meaning the beer travels well and is outdoor friendly. Take it on you next adventure or outdoor event, and I bet it can make a great time even better.
Outdoor Friendliness (16 ounce outdoor friendly cans)…9/10
Aroma (subdued and a bit sweet)…6/10
Flavor (beautifully bitter)…8/10
Style-Appropriateness (a great example of the American Strong Ale)…8/10
Alex writes a beer review every other Friday. Two weeks ago he reviewed the North Coast Brewing’s Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XVIII