There are some beers that fly under the radar and are pretty damn good. Quietly celebrated…nay, appreciated…by beer geeks far and wide.

Then there are beers like Stone Arrogant Bastard. They know it’s superior, and don’t apologize for it. They don’t need to. In fact, they taunt you with it. Just read the back of the bottle. Because odds are, you can’t handle the aggressive nature of this ale. It’ll make you weep. First with joy, then in fear that you may not try another beer of this ilk again. Arrogant Bastard is kind of like that smug, know-it-all prick you went to high school with, who for sure was never going to get anywhere in life. How could he, being such a self-centered jerk? Except he shows up at your 10-year high school reunion driving a Gumpert Apollo, wearing a Huntsman double breasted suit, and carting his huge balls in a wheelbarrow in front of him. Yep, he’s that guy. And this is that beer. Oh Stone…you magnificent bastard.

I don’t have a lot of words for this one. Kind of like trying to verbosely explain the power of Guernica. You’re just supposed to take it in and keep your mouth shut. First thing I noticed was the pour…a deep chocolately red river of goodness. Not a ton of head, but a richly complex and inviting smell of toffee and alcohol. Somewhat of a biscuity or burnt malt flavor, especially as it warms up, followed by a sharp hop bitterness that sits on the back of your tongue. Best of both worlds.

I’m a little disappointed that this is the third offering from Stone that I’ve tried, the other two being a limited edition and anniversary release. Wish I would have made Arrogant Bastard the opener.

Rating: A