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Well, Aren't You An Arrogant Bastard?

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Feb 3, 2006 5:15PM

2006_02_bastard3.jpgIt's Super Bowl weekend, which means that sometime shortly after the coin toss we who actually want to- you know, watch the game- will be subjected to a series of mind-numbing commercials featuring farting horses; women with pneumatic breasticles; middle-aged men casually strolling through the Rockies; comic dating situations; and referees penalizing ordinary people; all for the purpose of promoting cheap beer.

The adage "life is too short to drink cheap beer" gets repeated so often that it passes the realm of cliche straight to "say it one more time and I'll sew your lips shut" territory. Everyone knows that a multimillion dollar ad campaign doesn't make a beer taste better; doesn't convince people that drinking Bud Light gives you rhythm; that adding fruit flavors to malt liquor doesn't suddenly make it classy.

A friend of Chicagoist (yes, we have friends) recently came across a beer during yet another visit to Lush Wine and Spirits that demanded our attention, and we're glad that it did. If you have the balls to name your beer "Arrogant Bastard Ale" you better live up to the name. Fortunately this beer from the Stone Brewing Company in San Marcos, California, does. Chicagoist is looking forward to the release of Fat Tire Ale for (legal) public consumption in Chicago in two weeks. Frankly, Arrogant Bastard Ale would puncture those fat tires, wreck the bicycle they're attached to, melt the whole mess down and re-forge it into an ashtray. Following the jump: our review of Arrogant Bastard Ale.

2006_02_bastard1.jpgWhen you first pick up a bottle of Arrogant Bastard Ale and start reading the label, you realize that if ever there was truth in advertising, this beer is the epitome of such. The back of the bottle reads, "This is an aggressive beer. 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." Reading that Chicagoist was damned if a bottle of beer was gonna scare us off. But everything about this beer screams arrogance, right down to the bottle artwork- some of the best we've seen this side of Three Floyd's.

We decanted Arrogant Bastard into a trappist glass to open up the flavor. We were promptly assaulted (not hyperbole) by faint malt, citrus, and floral bouquets on the nose. The beer is deep amber in color; it almost resembles mead in its color. On our first sip our taste buds were assaulted by bitter, toasted hops and an intense flavor. As the beer warmed up that flavor became even more intense, with the malt flavor we picked up on the nose announcing itself on our palate. The finish of Arrogant Bastard is bitter and lingering. It's almost as if the beer wants to pull our tongue down into our throat.

This is one of the best beers we've tasted in a months. If you're looking for an excuse to head down to the near south side and check out Lush, this provides you with the perfect opportunity.