So, just a couple days ago, I posted that The AHA recently posted their 2010 Zymurgy Best Beers In America Poll, and that I had not had very many of them.
Since then, I stopped at the liquor store. I wanted to buy Russian River Pliny the Elder (#1 on the list), but I could not find it. Disappointing. Instead, I picked up Arrogant Bastard and Dogfish Head's 90 minute IPA. So, now I've tried 3 of the top 5. I've had 4 of the top 10, and 10 on the list. I'll feel pretty good about myself if I can taste 5 or 10 more on the list.
Both Arrogant Bastard and Dogfish Head's 90 minute IPA are fine beers. Of course, neither of these are locally brewed, so they are pretty expensive. I do not know for sure, but I assume if I were in a more local liquor store to either of these, they would be fresher than the beer I got.
Personally, for the cost, I would just as soon drink a local Imperial IPA as I would the 90 minute. I do not think it is any better than the New Belgium Ranger IPA, for example. It very well could change my opinion if I were to get one fresh out of the brewery, but Delaware is a long way from Colorado, so my Colorado beers are going to be fresher than anything I'll drink from Dogfish Head. IPA is not really my preferred style of beer anyway. Because of that, I do not really have one of my beers to compare to the 90 minute IPA.
Arrogant Bastard is a very interesting beer. To me, it tastes like a more bitter, less hoppy version of the SheppyBrew Quarter Life Crisis, which is a beer style that I really do like. And yes, as arrogant as it might sound, I like my beer better than I like Arrogant Bastard. Again, freshness might be a factor in the "sample" I got. Plus, I think it is somewhat human nature to prefer something that I, a home-brewer, created over another beer. That being said, if you were to offer me an Arrogant Bastard, I would not hesitate to accept. The beer is deep red in color, and aggressively bitter throughout the drink. It has a nice malty / caramelly background with a healthy dose of American citrusy and piney hops and maybe just a touch of roasted malts. It is really what I would call the perfect combination of flavors ... except mine just blends them better (IMAO).
Anyway... there you go. I am on my way to trying more of the best beers in America.