Arrogant Bastard Brewing Company – 2016 Release: Punishment [12.0%] 4.77/5 (6)

Arrogant Bastard Brewing Co. (United States/CA) – Punishment: Double Bastard Ale Aged in Kentucky Straight Bourbon Barrels with Peppers Added [12.0%]


‘Although many find only pain in this beer, chile pepper connoisseurs, daredevils and masochists proclaim it a fine, intense and enlightening experience. Never intended for the timid, Punishment is the capsaicin-throttled spawn of the beer behemoth Double Bastard Ale. Months of aging in Kentucky bourbon barrels intensify this beast of a beer’s already massive flavors, while the unceremonious addition of chile peppers (jalapeño, serrano, Freshno and more) morphs it into a truly punishing beer.’ 

Drawn Off Unfiltered – Aged In Kentucky Bourbon Barrels

‘Punishment was first concocted in 2010, when Greg Koch annihilated a barrel-aged batch of Double Bastard Ale by adding his estate-grown chile peppers. In this year’s brew, the flavors of Double Bastard Ale have been further enhanced by the bourbon barrel aging. The addition of chile peppers to the beer adds lingering flavors in the finish of subtle tropical fruit and some layers of heat that meld with the toffee, caramel malt and hop flavors.’

– Hops: Classified*. Chinook‘ Single Hopped*.

– Malts: Classified*.

[ ABV: 12.0% IBU: 82* OG: Unknown* ]

– Available: Seasonal Special Release, 16.9oz/500ml Bottles.

I picked this up from the crew at Beer Cartel in Sydney. It’s an expensive brew and to be honest I am slightly scared of what’s in store for me. With that being said Arrogant Bastard Brewing has never let me down, and this is certainly no exception.

 I open the bottle and take a sniff, instantly I can feel the heat inside my sinuses and my nose starts to run. Punishment pours a deep crimson-amber colour, slightly hazy with pieces of sediment and barrel char still suspended in the mix. The head froths up roughly a centimeter or two, then quickly dissipates leaving resinous and gnarly looking lacing on the sides of the glass. I take another sniff, by now my lips, nose, and eyes are starting to prickle. Ready for a taste? Ready. First taste is surprisingly gentle, the mouth-feel is soft, creamy and slightly viscous. After roughly 2-3 seconds of sitting on the palate you start to get that tell tale sign of spice. Before you realise what has hit you there is chilli, peppers, jalapeño and white pepper bashing your mouth. However, despite the onslaught of heat the original Double Bastard Ale still shines through. Peppers, jalapeño, roasted barley, toffee, green capsicum, and chilli are dominant, with some lighter notes of grapefruit, pine, apricot, stewed fruits and plum lingering on the palate. The bourbon barrel adds depth and complexity, bringing with it huge notes of American oak, bourbon, vanilla and butterscotch. All in all this beer is insane. An absolute must try and quite simply an awesome ale. 

What we have here is not just a spiced ale, it is a thoroughly enjoyable, delicious and memorable drinking experience. We can understand that this might not be for everyone, putting the heat aside though, this is an excellent experience. Awesome brew. Too much? Never.

– Overall: [ 91.25/100 ] – Style: [ 94.5/100 ]

– Taste: [ 90.75/100 ] Aroma: [ 92.5/100

– Would We Buy It Again?: [ My bowels say no, my heart says yes. ] 

– Affordable?: [ No. However you pay for the experience here. More than worth it. ] 

– Feedback/Tips: [ Not really sure where you could take this. Just make it again. ] 

– Day Or Night?: [ Evening without a doubt. ]

– Arrogant Bastard Brewing 2016 Punishment: 1 Word Review: [ Merciless. ] 

– Our Favourite Part Of: Arrogant Bastard Punishment: [ The bourbon barrel influence coupled with the heat. ] 

‘Since being unleashed upon the unsuspecting public in 1997, Arrogant Bastard Ale has challenged fizzy yellow beer drinkers in great numbers with its celebration of intensity. Its quality and depth of flavor was aggressive–just like its head-on attack on the lies and tyranny of corporate beer giants bent on profit rather than producing quality beer.’


‘In the fall of 1995, the co-founders of Stone Brewing, Greg Koch & Steve Wagner, were working to perfect the recipe for Stone Pale Ale. Only something went wrong… or more accurately; intensely right. Call it a recipe malfunction or divine enlightenment; Greg and Steve knew something special awaited them after a bit of time and fermentation. The brewers tried their aggressively flavored invention and reacted accordingly, “Wow!…Yeah. Hmm. Oh! Oh…hell yeah! What are we going to do with a beer like this? Nobody is going to be able to handle it.”

The beer haunted the brewers. It told them what its name should be. Said Greg, “We did not create it. I did not name it. It was already there. We were just the first mortals to have stumbled upon it. Steve was the first to discover how to brew the beer and I was the first to realize what its name already was.”

And on November 1, 1997, Arrogant Bastard Ale was finally released into the world. A beer unlike any other at the time.’


‘Massively successful and arrogant as ever, Arrogant Bastard officially split from Stone Brewing in 2015 under his own brewing moniker, Arrogant Brewing, to accelerate his assault on those guilty of macro-industry deceit by perpetrating their heinous crimes against ales and lagers of true quality and depth. 

The modern incarnation of Liquid Arrogance will no longer be contained to a single libation, but rather head an entire brewery dedicated to aggressive beers that require taste and sophistication to enjoy. Maybe you’ve heard of those things, but probably not.’

– Visit Arrogant Bastard Brewing Company:

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