Gowanus Brewery

Arrogant Bastard v. Olde Nash!! by Jeremy
December 14, 2007, 12:00 am
Filed under: beer, double ipa, review

The two beers are, not surprisingly, similar–bold, rich barley flavors, explosive hops, dry finish. The primary difference for me comes from the varying hop intensities. As I complained before, my California Imperial Pale Ale, or Olde Nash, seems unbalanced, the hops overshadowing the barley and grains. Oddly, the Arrogant Bastard Ale, which I thought was excellent before, seems unbalanced now. It doesn’t have enough hops! Not enough to warrant its name, anyway. The ABA is overall more drinkable if only because the lack of hops means it’s slightly less bitter. On the other hand, ON’s flavor is much more interesting. It’s full on all fronts.

In the aroma, the ABA has a fruitiness that must be the grapfruitiness that I read about at BeerAdvocate. Both beers have a sweetness in the nose, but they are completely distinct. ON’s aroma is, in fact, dominated by the Chinook hops that went into it. Having plenty of opportunity’s to become familiar those hops, it’s unmistakable to me.

The ABA has a reddish-copper color that’s lighter, though otherwise similar, to ON.

For mouthfeel, the ABA is slightly lighter than ON. The ABA is more viscous than, for example, a pale ale, whereas ON is more like a regular medium-to-full bodied brew.

Both beers have a similar, tan-colored head stand, but the ABA’s disappears almost instantly once in the glass. It leaves thin wisps of foam in the center of the glass and a fine ring of bubbles around the edge.

I can’t believe how different these two beers are. I’m floored. On the bright side, head to head, my beer’s better. Yeah that’s right. Of course, now I’m the arrogant bastard.


3 Comments so far
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Dear Jeremy, hops as you are learning have a profound effect on the finished brew. Take Saranac Imperial IPA, brewed with ten different malts and ten different hops. Take Longshot winner IPA, which will be delayed in production because obtaining the hop varieties required for the recipe is very difficult. I know you were speaking of ABA, but I am on an India Pale Ale roll! I once had an IPA from Michigan that was brewed using Maris Otter malts. Now that was truly different.
The Beer Doctor

Comment by beerdoctor

You’re right. Hops seem to really be running the show for a lot of beers. I recently had a Lagunitas IPA, which was excellent, and read on the label that it takes 43 different varieties of hops and 65 varieties of hops to make that beer. Now that’s a surefire way to strike a unique flavor!

Comment by gowanusbrewer

[…] Hop about my first and only experimentation with dry hopping. My personal favorite is probably the Arrogant Bastard v. Olde Nash!!! post from December where I pit my homebrew clone against its commercial counterpart (you can […]

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