This Lukcy Basatrd Ale (no, that is not a typo) is a cuvée, a wine term meaning “blend”, of various Arrogant Bastard Variants. This includes the original Arrogant Bastard (now 14 years old), Double Bastard, and Oaked Arrogant Bastard. For a bit of background, I think Arrogant Bastard is a wonderful beer, and I am going to assume you have given it a try. If you haven’t tried it, buy a bottle. Most good beer stores, and even many convenience stores should carry it. If you don’t like it, you likely won’t like this beer either. As for Oaked Bastard doesn’t do anything for me, muddying the clean hoppy profile, while costing much more, and being much harder to find.
While I enjoy Double Bastard, I find that the balance is thrown off, as the ratio of Hop Bitterness (IBUs) to Alcohol breaks down, as there is a saturation limit of IBUs at around 100. Although Stone lists the IBUs as “classified” for all Bastards, I would guess that Arrogant Bastard is near the limit of 100 already. When you up the ABV from 7.2% to 11.2%, the sweetness and residual sugars increase, but the hops cannot increase enough to match, thereby throwing off the profile of Arrogant Bastard. I may write more about these ratios in the future.
As for the Lukcy Basatrd in question, I find it to bring all three of these beers together in a quite enjoyable way, that smoothes over their flaws. The oak becomes a light hint of complexity, like I might expect in a Firestone Walker beer brewing in their oak fermenter, or like an cask-aged British Strong Ale. The fruitier notes from the Double Bastard (most likely caused by the strain on the yeast at higher alcohol levels) bring more fermentation notes, while both versions of Arrogant Bastard ironically lower the alcohol to 8.5%, keeping the malt and hops in (extreme) balance. I find this to be a very enjoyable beer, but at over double the price for a 22oz compared to “normal” Arrogant Bastard, I might not pick up too many of them. However, do it soon, as they have only made one batch so far.Pages: