Arrogant Bastard Double Bastard in the Rye
Brewed by: Arrogant Bastard Brewing Co.
Beer Classification and Specs
- Style: Ale
- Variation: American Strong, Barrel Aged
- Limited: Yes
- ABV: 12.7%
- IBU: N/A
Notes: Double Bastard ale aged in Templeton Rye Whiskey barrels.
Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients
This beer is a close relative of Southern Charred, Double Bastard Ale’s bourbon barrel-bolstered incarnation. This one is just as mind-blowing and intense, yet with elevated spice and vanilla character from the barrels. Rye whiskey melds midpalate with Double Bastard Ale’s colossal hop and malt presence, adding dimension to the beer’s already deep caramel-like flavors.
Additional: Aged in Templeton Rye Whiskey barrels
More Double Bastard in the Rye Images
Artwork: Red wood grain texture with “Double Bastard in the Rye” in distressed font.
Color: Murky brown, burnt caramel tone.
Aroma: Light notes of pepper with malt and vanilla.
Arrived in: 500ML Bottle
Served in: Snifter
One of the dying breeds in craft beer is the good ‘ol American Strong Ale. Lucky for craft beer drinkers who appreciate that particular style, Stone Brewing Company Arrogant Bastard Brewing Company* has kept several options in production, with their stellar lineup of Arrogant Bastard Ales.
Although I see why many drinkers gravitate to Stone’s tasty IPAs, what really piques my interest are their high gravity ales, especially the growing family tree of Arrogant Bastards. We are good for a couple bombers of the Bastard a year, and we have yet to be disappointed in their evolving list of variants including blending, chili peppers, barrel aging, and espresso. (Double Depth Charged was one of best beers released in 2015).
What they did for this particular iteration, was take their Double Bastard, which is 11% ABV vs the original formula at 7%. Then it was aged in Templeton Rye Whiskey barrels for an un-disclosed amount of time. The end result was one pissed off bastard that packed a wallop at 12.7% ABV. This barrel aged monster (err… gargoyle) was not for the faint of heart, and I will admit I underestimated it to start.
For being so vain, this Arrogant Bastard was really not much to look at. But what do you expect from an already heavy ale sitting in a barrel for months on end? Its caramel, reddish-brownish tones were still there, but the ale got even murkier, with a quick-to-die head.
What Bastard in the Rye was lacking in appearance, it made up for in aroma. Hoping for huge barrel notes, I went with the largest snifter we own and it smelled good to be right. This ale delivered musty and earthy maltiness you would find in a barleywine, only soaked in vanilla and dashed with pepper. There were plenty of hot whiskey fumes to inhale as well.
Most barrel aged ales tend to thin out once they are introduced to their wooden vessels, but if memory served, this Double Bastard seemed to get chewier. It started off strong with Arrogant Bastard’s thick and sweet malty caramel lineage, until the rye barrel character really started to dominate.
From there, its earthy maltiness was splashed with vanilla, followed up by spicy rye in the finish. The added bonus was after the peppery spice wore down, there was an excess of boozy residual heat left on the palate, as if I was actually sipping on a glass of rye whiskey.
If you don’t like high gravity ales, whiskey, or both — don’t even bother with this one. Like the pull cork said, “you’re not worthy”, and partway through the glass I was beginning to question if I was even worthy myself…
Final Score: 4.5/5
More breweries need to follow in Arrogant Bastard Brewing Company’s shoes, and brew over-the-top envelope pushers like Double Bastard in the Rye. I loved this overpowering beast since it successfully married two of my favorite drinks: hearty ale and whiskey.
* In 2015 Stone Brewing Company spun their Arrogant Bastard releases into their own brand, brewed by Arrogant Bastard Brewing Company.