WHAT'S GOIN' ON: Harpoon's Leviathan Barleywine Style Ale ($2.95) is an "English Barleywine" with a 10% ABV, hailing from Boston, Massachusetts... This vague as all hell interpretation of an English style ale features "a distinct malt backbone balanced by a unique blend of hops." She's keeping the mystery with her for a more interesting encounter perhaps. But what's this? Enter the self-proclaimed "Aggressive Bitch-Slappin" (not an exact quote) brew that throws "sex appeal" out the window and goes straight for the jugular! That time of the month other jugular, that is. Har har. Stone's OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale ($3.55) is an "American Strong Ale" coming out of Escondido, California with an ABV of 7.2%, and features a true... Rapist's wit.
HOW IT WENT DOWN: These two beers formed to create a copper toned brew that is grainy as all fuck! During the pours its yellowish eggshell khaki colored head was growing all over the place. As I hold this big ass mug up to the light and above for a toast, I know that the shit has indeed, just got real.
The scent of this combination is utterly sweet and toasty... like fruity syrup dripping on heated wood, sizzling and wet. An abundance of barley malt come through first, and while the malt dominates for the most part, the hops appear to be crackling in the distance, like embers in a bonfire.
Though the taste goes through several small phases, it is bittersweet all around from beginning to end. But a very sweet bittersweet nonetheless. No sour or foul notes to be had. The two beers play off of each other, and seemingly duel it out on the taste buds at first. Try as it may, the candy like sweetness from the Leviathan becomes engulfed and injected upon by the grassy hops and oak chips from the Arrogant Bastard. It all blends together quite well however and in the end doesn't seem that these two brews are very far apart. As it warms more of the hops get their chance to shine through, and eventually leave this concoction with a medicinal taste almost like cough syrup.
The mouth feel is light, thin and frothy. It's a little bit sticky feeling, and coats evenly.
This merging of brews taste quite pleasant, if a bit underwhelming. Oak aging sometimes compromises a brews natural integrity, for better or worse, but it's always an entirely different monster. From what I've noticed in my limited experience with oak aged beers, it that the original formulas become a lot more mellowed out and subdued. Subdued... yet flavorful, interesting, and unique. This mix is far from a striking blow, but is still some quality stuff. I'd take it over NyQuil any day... wait a minute ...that gives me an idea.