Vail drink reviews: More hops than a possessed rabbit | VailDaily.com
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Vail drink reviews: More hops than a possessed rabbit

Vail Daily staff reportsVail, CO Colorado
Vail DailyVail drink reviews: Arrogant Bastard Ale
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VAIL, Colorado This is one of my favorite heavy-hitting beers, for a few reasons.The logos fantastic. Just look at it. I want this logo on my motorcycle helmetThe front of the label boasts, Youre not worthy. The marketing pitch on the back of the bottle fairly drips with arrogance and condescension. You probably wont like it, the label boasts. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth.The guys from Stone Brewing actually believe all this, in a good-humored way. At least theyve been arrogantly good-humored when theyve come to the annual Big Beers Belgians and Barleywines heavy-brew festival in Vail.Then theres the beer itself. Its almost red as the devils cape, theres an almost-meaty head on the glass if you pour it right, and the aroma if you can be patient enough to let the beer open up a little bit fairly reeks of highly-hopped danger.Theres plenty of hoppiness, but its balanced nicely with malt and the rest of the flavors. Make no mistake, though, this has more hops than a possessed rabbit.The result is a big, bold dare I say, arrogant brew that can leave a drinker staring at the glass in a mild state of wonder. Every bomber is the same: You pour, stare for a minute and take a sip. Even if youre not worthy, the big-beer lover will almost invariably say: Damn, thats good!Pay attention, though: This stuff checks in at a heady 7.2 percent alcohol. More than one or two, and troubles going to find you. But youll have a really good time at least until the gargoyle on the label smashes you in the face with his mug.You can find this beer at West Vail Liquor Mart, Alpine Wine & Spirits in West Vail, Avon Liquor, Eagle Ranch Wine & Spirits, Riverwalk Wine & Spirits in Edwards, Pier 13 Liquor in Eagle-Vail and Village Warehouse Wines in Avon.Scott N. Miller, Business Editor

The once-obscure Spanish grape Albarino is rapidly emerging as one of the best white-wine varietals in California. Few white grapes display as much complexity when young and fresh and that beats oak aging in many ways. This crisp wine from the alter ego label of Bonny Doon Vineyard in Monterey County, Calif., bursts on the palate with vibrant flavors of orange, lime, sweet pea, pear, herbs and even a dollop of cherry. Enjoy it this year especially through the spring and summer. It wont get any better. Serve with: Shellfish, tilapia.You can find this wine at Eagle Ranch Wine & Spirits.Michael Dresser, L.A. Times/Washington Post News Service

This is a flat-out spectacular pinot noir from the neighborhood of the movie Sideways. Youll never crave merlot again after experiencing the velvety smoothness and perfect pitch of this medium-bodied but intensely penetrating red wine. Theres an almost electric purity to its black-cherry flavor that just screams pinot. This wine, from Santa Ynez Valley in California, captures the style of a $150 French Burgundy but adds an extra measure of California fruit. Wonderful!Serve with: Pork, veal and grilled tuna.Visit http://www.rusack.com for more information. Michael Dresser, L.A. Times/Washington Post News Service


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