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Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Oaked Arrogant Bastard AleOaked Arrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,033 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,033
Reviews: 1,847
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 11.9%
Wants: 188
Gots: 484 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 03-15-2003

American-style Strong Ale aged on oak.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,033 | Reviews: 1,847 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bobsy
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The drink pours a dark mahogany, and the tan head leaves generous sheets of lacing. Mmm...citrus and pine in the aroma, along with some oak and vanilla. This should be interesting. At first the flavour isn't as bitter as I expected, and I can taste tobacco leaves amongst a smooth vanilla-caramel sweetness. Then the pine and citrus flavours kick in, bringing a good deal of oak along for the ride, before tailing off into a pleasing bitterness. The body is medium, extremely smooth, and delicious. This is one relaxing drink.

I had extremely high expectations for this after really enjoying a bottle of Ruination I brought back from vacation, and I'm really pleased to say that I was not disappointed.

Photo of prototypic
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It pours a dark brown color with a hint of red in there. Head is off white and a massive two and a half fingers. Head stuck around quite a while and a beautiful web of lace lined the glass.

Smell: Very complex. Citrus scents (grapefruit, orange, mango, and maybe some pineapple) blend with rich caramel malts and give it a very sweet aroma. Hops are big and piney. To my surprise it does have a bit of a wood chip smell in there.

Taste: Very malty and sweet up front. Citrus flavors add to the mix, but aren't quite as pronounced in taste. Hops are piney and bitter. It actually balances pretty well. The wood chip or oak is noticeable, but it only adds to its distinctive character.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied. Carbonation level is excellent. At 7.2%, it's a little on the heavier side, but extremely smooth and drinkable. This is a Stone classic.

Photo of LeftyBWS
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.
A: Rich amber-orange color mix, almost layered. Some visible carbonation up the sides. Full and thick head on the pour, but it falls down to a half-inch-thick layer that sticks. The head is off-white to tan in color, kinda frothy.
S: Full of hearty malt scents and an underlying hop smell as well. The first whiff was almost overwhelming. Takes me a few whiffs to figure out what’s there. There’s definitely some chocolate, caramel, citrus hops, berries. If I try to ignore the heavy malts, I get a nose-filling and airy but pungent bourbon smell. Maybe some sweet scents too, like honey?
T: Smooth and sweet malts, caramels and fruit lead the way. Gives way to a soft malty taste that is backed by a little hop taste, something floral and almost citrusy. Finish is creamy and smooth almost sweet, but then the lingering taste is a bit of alcohol. Overall, it is indeed complex and powerful, very flavorful, but not overwhelmingly so, and it does leave me wanting another mouthful to taste and explore.
M: Full bodied and mouth-filling, definitely. Sweet, bitter, and malty all at once. Noticeable alcohol presence, especially in the finish.
D: Kinda tough, to be sure, but the taste does leave me wanting more, and that counts for something.

Photo of deapokid
4.61/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Distinct and totally original, this Oaked Arrogant Bastard takes the balls out flavor of the traditional model and ups the ante ten fold.

Taking on a hoppy aroma and amber color, this tough guy has a soft white head with uber-thick lace and a big bubbly flavor.

Even with woody undercurrents, this ale was surprisingly smooth and tasty - even a bit fruity.

With all this flavor and distinction, it's no surprise that Stone decided to make this a wide release and not leave it sequestered to West Coast pubs and eateries.

*Update from 2/21/2010:

I wish I had elaborated on this one a bit more the first time around. On the umpteenth try, this beer's smoky and deep woody finish is so smooth and subtle that the sweet amber notes are often easy to overlook.

This is an ale of such magnitude that it's nearly impossible to comprehend all of the complex flavors at once. An absolute masterpiece.

Photo of AaronHomoya
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle I was quite excited to try.

Pours an auburn color with a nice, light tan head. Great lacing from this sticky beer.

Great aroma with sweet, spicy, citrus hops blending marvelously with vanilla and oak. Overall a smooth aroma, if one can describe smells such.

I wasn't sure going in how aggressive, bitter hoppiness would mix with oak, but it is genius. The flavor is once again quite smooth with sweetness, oak and then hop flavors. This finishes with a building, still aggressive hop bitterness. Taste is rich and complex, somewhat like a hopped up scotch.

Mouthfeel is good and the drinkability is solid for such an arrogant beer. Certainly a fine creation by Stone.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle a cloudy dark tea color with a light beige head and very little lacing.

Aroma of caramel, brown sugar, citrusy hops, sweet malts, and a light oakiness.

The taste is lightly sweet a perfect balance of sharp hops and malts with plenty of caramel and citrus notes. The alcohol is present but well-hidden.

Medium mouthfeel, smooth and lightly carbonated.

What a terrific beer! Easy to drink but not easy to stop drinking.

Photo of Traquairlover
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Reddish brown with good clarity, formed a small light tan head of small and medium bubbles which dissipated leaving good lacing, light but steady carbonation with small bubbles.

S = Very complex nose. I get floral, piney hops scents, together with an almost honey sweetness, and slight smokey odors which are probably coming from the oak chips. This is an exceptional nose, it smells like an IPA to which much more has been added.

T = Very satisfying taste which doesn't quite keep up with the smell, but comes close. There is a very sweet smokey malted flavor, but the bitterness of the hops is there the whole time cutting through it and carrying with it some citrusy lemon flavors through mid-palate and into the finish which is long and slightly, but not overpoweringly, bitter. I like this better than the unoaked Arrogant Bastard which is a very good beer. The complexities are great and well balanced.

M = Medium body, with light, almost foamy carbonation, leaves a good mouth coating that really aids the entire taste experience but especially the finish.

D = This is very drinkable. The only problem may be stopping yourself before having too much given the ABV.

Photo of Tilley4
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Loved this baby. Quite a bit more than the regular AB.

Nice reddish brown murky pour with a decent head and lacing and awesome aroma of hops and earth. I think the oak adds what I thought was missing in the original. Some smokiness.

This tastes awesome. Hoppy as hell with a wonderful earthiness and maltiness lingering around in the background. I wish I could get this around my area.

All that is left is the Double Bastard and I just received a bottle in a trade yesterday so I'm trying it next.

Photo of lightindarkness
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz of goodness

A terrific looking pour - 2 inches of frothy head stick atop a hazed reddish brown with good copper color coming through in the light. Also in the light, some larger carbonation bubbles rise slowly but consistently from around the glass.

Smells of malt, bright and clean. Hits with rich roasted grains and light caramel, along with some smooth coconut milk and very faint zestiness of lemongrass.

Taste is very satisfying and unique, with a dominant flat middle tone of grain and lighter malts that spreads to a balance of richness and brighter bitter flavors throughout the sip. Rich woody tannins play on the tongue adding to the hop bitterness but with a much more raw grab on the palate. Supported by a wash of light caramel it finishes with some wood, earthy root, strong roasted grains, and herb. Not notably sweet, but just enough so to hold the balance.

Lingers in the mouth with a slight oily feel and some mild astringency. Leaves a lightly sticky hold. Overall very nicely balanced between bitter and full in a well bodied, full flavored brew. Carbonation is good for taste and body. A pleasing beer with good drinkability.

Photo of medic25
4.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up at Halftime Beverages (loading up on the good stuff CT can't get...). Dark brown/orange color, with a big frothy head. Nice hoppy aroma, with a little bit of citrus. Taste is incredible! Powerful hops, but in now way overwhelming. I don't know if it's the oak chips that soften things, but this is probably the smoothest beer in this class I've ever tried. For 7.2% it is extremely easy drinking; I could actually see this as a session beer. This is one I'll have to load up on the next time I go out of state.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I thought the bitterness in this beer was really interesting and tasted good.

This beer poured a brilliant red with minimal head composed of tiny bubbles. This beer was very evidently hoppy, and the hoppiness was earthy and unique and very interesting. Flavor was citrus-y and earthy and VERY bitter, which I thought was delicious. Mouthfeel was astringently bitter and, according to my notes, "a bit weird."

Still, this is definitely something not to be missed. I would highly recommend it.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.67/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

As an aside, the first time I reviewed Oaked ABA, 12/1/2006, I was a both inebriated and inexperienced with the review process

Overall: B 3.65; A-4.5 S-4.0 T-3.5 M-2.5 D-3.0

Hopefully, it will impress me a bit more this time around.

12 oz. bottle pours a hazy, brownish amber body with a khaki head that retreats to a large patch of bubbles and a foam ring. Good retention & lacing. The aroma is very good: a blend of a wildflowers, orange zest, cedar resin, and gobs of caramel malt.

Now, I immensely enjoy the taste of both Arrogant and Double Bastard Ale (I also enjoy alot of oak-aged beers). But the oaken notes in this brew just don't do that much for me. Sure, it's big and bold and complex as hell, but it doesn't hold a flame to the enjoyable Double/ArrogantB Ales. Nevertheless, the oak does add some bitter, vanilla, palate-busting enjoyment to the usual malty, caramel, hop-rich taste of the Arrogant family. However, the blend is just too disparate for my liking. Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than ABA, but the hops and oak seem to compete to "out-bitter" each other on the finish.

So where does that leave me? About the same as my original assessment, surprisingly. Complexity and flavor-changes? You betcha. Drinkable brew? Not exactly...I'll be aging my last bottle for a while to see if it improves.

Photo of allergictomacros
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark, dark, dark brown with a creamy, sticky, tan head. Initial aroma is fruity and floral - notes of dark fruit, some molasses, grapes. Initial taste is pungent raisins and prunes, and an earthy, woody flavour. Initial mouthfeel is medium bodied with an astringent edge, and a soft carbonation. Bitterness is very strongly balanced initially, and explodes in the finish with a long, drying aftertaste. Take 2 brings out some coffee-like aromas and a graininess. Still very astringent in the mouth but from floral hoppiness comes through with a grapefruitiness. No question, this is a big flavourful beer, and challenging to say the least. As far as the oak goes, I like the woody flavour I guess, but could do with a little less astringency.

Photo of brdc
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks ddddeac for this one.
Small capped bottle, poured into a pint glass.

Dark brown with multiple reddish highlights, it is capped by a nice, creamy and thick light tan head that unfortunately goes down quite fast, leaving only a thin collar but some lacing.
Aroma is pleasant, hoppy as expected, mostly pines, but it also has a caramel, malty aroma that if it does not come all the way to forefront, it stays in the back all the time providing a nice balance. There might also be some woodiness and vanilla in the background, although that is minimal.
Full bodied, it is hoppy and bitter as expected, piney again, with the same caramelized malty notes, along with some definite woodiness. Well balanced, it is a very good brew, but not fantastic. I believe aging this might improve it a bit.

Photo of livedrinkbeer
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Being an AB fan I was curious of the oak wood chips. This was my first experience with an oaked ale.
A- dark, amber, brown thick foamy tan head that rises quikly, very thick.
S- sweet, woody, hoppy smell
T- not as hoppy as the original arogant bastard as the oak chips mellow it out. Rich flavor, reminds me of a rich hoppy amber ale.
M- rich, thick, and good
D- the only thing wrong with the drinkability is the price at 13.99 a six pack ,even though you will not be disappointed a pleaser for sure.

Photo of metalitool
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a single bottle of this from my favorite beer playground, knowing that I wouldn't be able to find this (or anything from Stone in my state).

While it is clearly not a Red (Irish) ale, it is the first red colored beer that I have liked. While it is an excellent beer its not quite as exciting as I had hoped for....but my expectations for a stronger taste of the wood aging may have been misplaced.

I havent tried Arrogant Bastard so I cant differentiate the oak from what it was otherwise. Not too much head from the beer, but a healthy dose of hops (while strong, hops are far toned down from Stone IPA....which is a great beer...with the less hops it is quite a lot more drinkable, which while making for pleasant drinking, quite painful at $16/six-pack where i saw it.

Overall, an excellent beer but i dont think that i would pony up the additional $10/sixpack if it was sitting next to Stone IPA on the shelf.

Beer is deceptively smooth (I'm really not noticing that its 7.2% abv, which while I am used to that, it seems to be disappearing quite quickly (so yes, i like it!....just not quite what i expected, which was a heck of a lot). And in all fairness, I may not be educated enough to distinguish wood aging unless it is quite pungent, which wouldnt necessarily be the best way of presenting said aroma/taste.

Photo of maddogruss
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a glass mug.

A: Pours an amber body with a small head and minimal lacing. A slightly reddish undertone was noted in the color of the body.

S: A slightly floral, earthy smell. Wood was evident as well. Malts were evident

T: A nice, malty taste with a slight spiciness in the taste. There seemed to be an oak chip aftertaste that was not uninvited and helped balance the beer overall.

M: Very smooth and silky. Prett good carbonation as well.

D: Defintely a drinkable beer. Nice and smooth body with a spicy taste made it a fairly enjoyable beer. The oak taste did well to round out the malts. Definitely a good brew.

Photo of MDekker
3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My 100th review!

I'll admit that I opened this bottle past its date, but only by a couple weeks.

It pours out a dark ruby brown with a finger of off-white head. Nice lacing as I drank it. Looks good.

At first I could smell the woody, barrel aromas. Some whiffs of alcohol. Mostly very sweet.

The taste disappointed me some. It was quite oakish and woody, which was stronger than I expected, and this really accentuated the bitterness at the end. It was complemented by a black licorice flavor that was OK.

In the mouth it was good - smooth. Mostly went down fine, but the bitter flavor was bothering me at the end.

Photo of dsa7783
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried Stone’s IPA and liked it… had high hopes for this one with all the buzz surrounding the arrogant bastard, and to tell the truth, wasn’t disappointed… Copped a single 12oz from Gary’s in Madison for almost $3.00… The oak flavor really comes through… slightly bitter but very unique and different…. Appearance was exceptional… ruby-red to light brown with a frothy head… smell was somewhat bland – more so than I had expected for a beer of this quality and reputation, and the drinkability was limited by its hefty alcohol percentage… otherwise, an all-around outstanding brew that certainly warrants recognition… enjoyed this one… Recommended…

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky brown with reddish hues that has a lighter tan head. Nose is mild alcohol with some mild hops. Overall not the kick in the nose I would have expected. Flavor is a combination of wood and a tingling alcohol presence. Hops are definitely there in a deep way. Feel has a lot of carbonation to it and the liquid is pretty well bodied. I have to say that I distinctly remember my first time trying Arrogant Bastard and it left an impression. This seems to be a far cry from it and I want to say it is more subdued. Decent, but not as great as I would expect it to be.

Photo of mattcrill
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Citrus hops and carmel malts. Candied grapefruits and a deep, resinous hop aroma woft out of the glass.

Appearance: Deep copper-red pour with a sticky tan cap.

Flavor: Carmel and citrus peel. Slightly metallic but blends well with the hop and malt profile. A pleasant background earthiness that I assume is from the oak. Very subtle and understated. Pleasant bready and grainy notes emerge as the beer warms. Finish is bitter, crisp, and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, slightly oily, and medium carbonation.

Overall impression: A lightly oaked, highly hopped, American strong ale (I say barleywine but I defer to the brewer). One of the better oaked beers as it adds character and does not overpower the beer. Worth a shot once but for the price, it probably won't be in my regular rotation. Still, Stone delivers yet again.

Photo of Jedimaster1
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a duvel-type tulip.

A: Dark burgundy with a tan head.

S: Citrus hops and a bit of malt -- malt though barely noticeable.

T: Sweet, slightly caramel, smooth malt can be enjoyed with intense the hops showing up at the end. The taste of oak can be detected at the end. This brew for me appears more malty than the standard AB (if memory serves me well).

M: Smooth with a bit of carbonation. No real alcohol taste unlike the standard AB.

D: Too easy to drink. Smooth as heck and gets smoother as it warms.

I prefer this one over the regular AB. It is a great a brew and the oak only makes it more drinkable. Man, Stone keeps impressing me with its many brews.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep red brown with good head and moderate lace. The nose is more like double bastard than the original. Can still smell that classic arrogant hop smell, but also a thin creamy smell and just a hint of the oak. The taste follows the nose. Good hop flavors through the first taste. Then a creamy oaky, with slight vanilla taste in the middle. Then hop layers abound and the finish has some hop bitterness, but nothing like arrogant bastard. I the oak hit this bastard over the head. Nowhere near as savage as the original, but in my opinion better. The abv is very well hidden, and the oak adds a nice new layer of flavor. Pick it up and age a few for a year or two. goodness. go stone.

Photo of seaoflament
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a muddy brown color with very little head, probably still too cold.

Aromas of caramel, citrus, ripe orange, toasted bread, hints of wood and sweet fruits. I also pick up some earthy notes and flower petals.

Taste of wood and vanilla upfront with a great combination of caramel and bread. A bit of citrus hops and some more earthy flavors. Dates, figs, prunes and a bit of smoke as well.

Well carbonated and pretty easy to drink but it's not a type of beer I would drink all night, but great on a cold day/night.

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.22/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown (tea colored when you hold it to light) not a lot of head, modest lacing. Aroma is woody grapefruit. Tastes hoppy with toasted caramel malt. The oak really comes through in the taste, I don’t think it improves on regular Arrogant Bastard without oak. The oak gives it an interesting new twist but Arrogant Bastard is already a damn good beer that is hard to improve on. That said I enjoyed drinking this beer. The flavor was interesting and complex with a nice bitter finish. The mouthfeel was full, carbonation was a little light. I probably won't drink this again since the Arrogant Bastard and Double Bastard are better.

Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 5,033 ratings.