Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard

Total Score: 8.15/10 Wood1Caramel1Coriander1Tulipglass1

With another milestone review looming on the horizon (#650) I’ve got some fantastic brews awaiting patient wordsmithing from the good Doctor with number 650 being an extra special [hint: think of the most highly rated beer in the world] drop… the excitement in these quarters is palatable. Then I will be taking a sabbatical from reviews for a while (even though I am unaware of the concept of a sabbatical). Anyway let’s not diminish the significance of this review: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard, a modern classic, and perhaps my first Bourbon Barrel-Aged beer – this is going to be a treat!

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy russet/coppery body with a nice dense khaki blanket on top – dreams are made of brews that look this tasty, my dreams, yes I dream of tasty beers – what do you dream of? Piles of money on a bed with semi-naked models laying in it? Yeah that’s a pretty nice dream, I’ll trade you for it. 9/10.

S: Rich caramel malts, and dare I say Bourbon? [Yes, yes I dare say]. With hints of vanilla, woody tones and fruit cake characters… sounds like a party I can get down with, bring it on you Arrogant Bastard! 9/10.

T: Woody/char notes upfront give way to a slight alcohol touch, then vanilla/caramel/fruit cake follows obediently. Tasty drop this. Finish as a woody/herbal bitter note. There’s more wood in this brew than a lumberjacks wet dream… too much wood? No? Was the lumberjack analogy too much? OK I will dispense with the tasteless jokes from… NOW. Overall balance leans a bit towards a bitter finish, I suspect aging would bring out a bit more sweetness (the bottle date of this being 25/07/15). 8/10.

M: Medium bodied with hop oils present and a light but dense carbonation. 7/10.

D: Too much hop bitterness in this one, but again this beer was crafted to be cellared and hop characters tend to pare back with a good old fashioned cellaring, too bad I’m an impatient bastard… hmmm, maybe I should brew and release a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Impatient Bastard for those of us who can’t wait for a beer to age? Who’s in for that idea? Overall though BBAAB never strays far from being tasty despite the hops. 5/7: Would taste again. Seriously though D = 8/10.

Food match: Bourbon Barrel-Aged beef with smoked trout potato salad and something else smoked… ham or something – smoked meat platter – done.

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