Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

9,814 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,814
Reviews: 2,967
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 375
Gots: 1,946 | FT: 10
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: kbub6f on 11-15-2000

This is an aggressive ale. You probably won't like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory–maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beverage will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make things taste better. Perhaps you're mouthing your words as you read this.

At Stone Brewing, we believe that pandering to the lowest common denominator represents the height of tyranny - a virtual form of keeping the consumer barefoot and stupid. Brought forth upon an unsuspecting public in 1997, Arrogant Bastard Ale openly challenged the tyrannical overlords who were brazenly attempting to keep Americans chained in the shackles of poor taste. As the progenitor of its style, Arrogant Bastard Ale has reveled in its unprecedented and uncompromising celebration of intensity. There have been many nods to Arrogant Bastard Ale…even outright attempts to copy it… but only one can ever embody the true nature of liquid Arrogance!
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,814 | Reviews: 2,967
Reviews by andyo:
Photo of andyo
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid beer. I'm really starting to like old ales.

Split a bomber with my wife. First thing I noticed was a nice and thick head. No real aroma to speak of. Nice dark ruby red color. Taste was very thin, and bitter as all get out! As this beer warmed up it became more complex. Nice doughy flavors with some fruit and a faint whisky finish. Hey, that's what I tasted at least!

A real nice beer! As I stated earlier, I'm really starting to like these beers. After having an Old Woody (thnks to Weefishheads), and trying a Batch 6000 a few weeks ago, I'm starting to favor this style more and more.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber with a silk screen painted label of the "Stone Brewing Gargoyle" which wards off impurities that would otherwise taint the sanctity of the brew. Though this gargoyle is a bit different ... he has an arrogant look to him, basically saying you are not worthy of this brew. The back of the label is freagin' halarious! More arrogance, teasing. No, double dog daring you to try the beer.

Appearance: Deep reddish brown in colour with an appealing off-white lace. Really frothy, sticky and retains remarkably well.

Smell: Coarse hop are all over the nose, as are toasted grains, fruity esters and alcohol. Very aromatic.

Taste: Medium bodied, yet rich, full and complex. Smooth, especially as it warms. Big malty sweetness with caramel, chocolate and toasted/roasted flavours. Alcohol prickliness teases the palate then the brew kicks its ass with an assertive hop profile. It's raw, coarse, a bit prickly itself, mildly rind-like. Helps to balance the huge malt flavours. Finishes with a lingering sweetness, caramel, roasted coffee. A bit grain/dry too.

Notes: Hugely complex. Its arrogance is indeed correct. As stated on the label, if you do not have the "taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth" then you may not like it. Or rather, go drink your safe beer wimp. It's rather aggressive, but oh so damn good (in an evil, not worthy way). Just beware before you drink. This beer is not for the faint of heart.

Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown with medium sticky head,aroma is somewhat hoppy and maybe a little orange-like.Taste is pretty hoppy and zesty to begin with,with some nutty tones as well as caramel tones on the palate.Wow this is a complex brew,have heard alot of stuff about this one,now I know why.

Photo of dacrza1
4.56/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

DATE TASTED: February 6, 2015... GLASSWARE: HopDevil nonick... OCCASION: Cavs going for thirteen in a row--tying a franchise record?... APPEARANCE: serious dark brown body with steady effervescence; thick as snow, creamy, chunky off-white head that craters and clings... AROMA: instant pineapple and peach erupt; earthier textures blanket the scent with caramel malts and some interesting yeasts... PALATE: a powerful, mouth-awakening grip that tingles the teeth to the ears; creamy, formidable, and crunchy--in other words, a balanced ale...TASTE: as expected, a brutal malt swamp that holds its ground against a hop-laden West Coast citrus pucker--quite agreeable in its arrogance; love the lingering bitterness on the tongue and teeth, even as the strength of the malt dissipates...OVERALL: an American classic that lives up to its hype again and again--attractive, strong, assertive, alcoholic, reasonably priced and available in bombers or sixes; a versatile and instant mood changer, despite the Cavs' losing...

Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Okay, you Arrogant Bastard, it's time to get served.

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous copper/brown into a tulip glass. A nice, foamy tan head with decent lacing adorns the crown of the glass.

Aroma: Strong earth tones. A pungent smell, almost like being in a cavern. And there's a cedar-like, forest quality to it as well.

Taste: I was expecting to get knocked on my backside by the hops, but that didn't happen. Instead, the complexity of the flavors slowly rolled over me like a tide. This is a very well-balanced ale. Again, there's that earthy taste to it, along with a gentle carbonation that tickles the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and bitter on the back end, but not overly so. A nice, almost sandy tingle all the way through.

Overall: "Complex" is generally a word bereft of true meaning, but if you want to get an idea what beer drinkers mean when they say it's "complex," then drink this. The tongue-in-cheek reference to being unworthy because you lack the sophistication to truly appreciate this beer actually comes through. I like it. I am very impressed.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber enjoyed in a Lagunitas mason jar glass. The label is frankly awesome, "yellow beer drinker" insulting arrogance at its finest. The beer is a murky opaque reddish brown with a comfortable two fingers of notably dark yellow-tan creamy head. Makes me think smoky bar room. Aroma is well-toasted grains, resinous peppery and citrus rind hops, a whiff of raisins, fruity pipe tobacco, aromatic alcohol. Somehow strikes dark/malty and fresh/fruity chords at the same time. The palate starts with bitter spicy hops, some grapefruit peel and flower water, and quickly transitions to nutty toasted malts surprising devoid of toffee or caramel flavors (although these are down there in the mix). A grainy bitterness like burnt Ovaltine and graham crackers coupled with hints of chocolate and walnut. Ample alcohol flavor but this is skillfully done by design. I am getting some peach and more floral notes late. Perhaps a little coffee. Could be the most adept use of fusel alcohols I've yet to sample. Producing a nice warmth about two-thirds through but no (or little) hop burn. Despite these big flavors, the brew is silky smooth yet still rather thick. Caresses the palate. The heavy malts persist all the way through into the finish, which seems astonishingly dry for such a malty brew. The hops are the coda as well as the intro. Has to be experienced to be believed and obviously I'd snag any variants that should enter this still nascent but fortunately growing craft beer market. A near religious experience, on par with Ruination or nearly so.

Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

12oz bottle poured into a 20oz Firestone glass.What can you say just another solid beer from stone.Great beer that is easy to find here in California.7.2 ABV will get the job done nicely.If you have not tried this give it a try.I think you will like it.

Photo of JackieKu
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had Double Bastard, and I assumed this one would share most characters with it. However, the assumption is pretty wrong, this bottle is much more like a DIPA, hoppy (floral and citrus) and bitter. i.e. It's not as balanced as its bigger bother, which is more similar to barleywine. Nevertheless, it's still a decent American style beer.

Photo of Trapperryan
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This ale is not a first time lets try a ipa if you've never had one before.

Photo of KomodoDragon
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

greater than one inch cream colored head aloft a deep copper cloudy active brew

hints of dark fruits, earthy tones.

creamy malt flavors, very biscuity, some plum, almost a ginger or root beer tone. Also a noticeable lingering spice finish. Accompanied by, of course, hop bitterness.

Very bubbly, but very snooth; big bodied but easy drinking. delicious

Photo of Kurpius
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted really good, no harsh aftertaste, poured nice with a finger and half head, nice aroma. Had one bottle and wish i had a couple more....highly recommend this California beer and will be enjoying another very soon. Very filling beer as well and i think it would go great with a backyard bbq

Photo of Photobeeguy
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a nice brown color with a quarter inch creamy head. Malty flavor with a good hop hit, but not overly bitter. Very balanced and easy drinking. Flavors really show through as the beer warms slightly. Aroma is roasty and mildly hoppy. This is a beer that sets the standard for quality and drinkability.

Photo of RoyalT
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Simply gorgeous. The deep, shiny brown flavor held some ruby coloring, and the brownish head built well (not overly so), and went down sensually.

Smell – The hops come out right away in this one. They are raw and aggressive, as if they are still in the ground. There’s a hint of something fruity as well, although I wasn’t able to make it out. It’s very sugary, like a carrot or maybe something man made (perhaps highly refined table sugar).

Taste – How did I not pick up the malt in the nose? I assumed that I was in for an unbalanced hop attack, yet the balance is amazing. This is unbelievable!

This one is a perfect mix of hops, malts, fruits, and sugars, and boy are they big. There’s a ton of fun in this bottle. The aromatic floral hops are evenly complimented by quality malts, sugars, and about a hundred different fruits. You could spend all day calling these ones out.

Mouthfeel – Little carbonation but a fine, smoothy foaminess on the cheeks. This one is very lively, yet not overpoweringly so.

Drinkability – I can’t stop drinking this beer.

Comments – I’m sure that it’ll label me the green newbie with his eyes caught in the headlights, but I’m falling all over myself drinking this beer. This will replace my cocaine/crack/tobacco/heroin/pot/obsessive-compulsive knuckle-cracking habits all at once. Why would I hit the pipe when I could tap the Bastard?

Seriously, this one is astounding. These guys have to be Stone crazy. The oak-aged Arrogant Bastard reviews certainly have my interest at this point. The, “Fluid malten beast,” (Classic Coke) just made a new fan.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Jupiter in Berkeley.

Pours a dark crimson into one of Jupiter’s hoity-toity pint glasses. Medium thickness whitish head that quickly dissipates. Heavily loaded caramel base with powerful grapefruit and juniper aromas. Blistering hoppiness that manages to not overwhelm the strong caramel body. Some nice toast and roasted character. Wonderfully balanced. Quite impressive really. This beer has a reason to be arrogant. Body is firm. Finish is mouth coating maintaining its outstanding balance. Surprisingly drinkable.

Photo of tectactoe
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

They always have Arrogant Bastard on tap at a pub close to my house. Pours a deep ruby shade of brown with a thin head that leaves tremendous lacing. I've found that many of Stone's brews leave awesome lacing, and this one is certainly no exception. The initial whiff has a floral essence with plenty of hops and flowers, which is quickly followed up by a nice helping of toasted malts and grains. The taste has pronounced bitterness from the hops up front that quickly becomes mellowed out and balanced by a deep, sweet caramel flavor with roasted barley and a hint of earthy and coffee flavors. The bitterness is nearly a whim by the end, but clearly leaves an impression on your tongue, teasing you to drink more. The mouth is somewhat thick, very smooth, and a bit creamy.

This beer contains a solid amount of malt flavor as well as hop flavor and does an incredibly nice job of balancing the two in near perfect harmony - one of the hardest tasks when making beer. This is a beer that I have had many times, and I'm sure many more times to come.

Photo of ExtraStout
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a big tan head, the beer is ruby brown in color. Smells sweet, citric, alcoholy. Almost no carbonation. From the first sip the alcohol makes its presence known. Bitter throughout with a nutty-bitter slightly astringent aftertaste, which really lingers. A faint mustiness can be tasted, which seems odd and out of place. A real hoppy kick in the crotch. I wanted to like this beer more, and I consider myself a hophead, but it was a little too bitter/astringent without enough balancing maltiness for me.

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes made on 10/29/10.

A: Pours an exquisite dark mahogany, bordering on brown, with a one finger beige head that results from a medium pour into a snifter. The head slowly goes away and leaves little onion-looking guys and some big old bubbles in the film that retains on top of the beer. Thick, chunky lacing coats the side of my glass.

S: A grassy, citrus hop smell leaps out of the glass and into my nose. Lemon, lime, and orange meld with freshly cut grass to create a great, fresh smell. A caramel malt backbone adds a thick sweetness to the smell and the house yeast contributes a dry biscuit presence.

T: The citrus, grass, and bitter hops assert their bold flavor immediately, then the caramel malt mellows out the flavor until the bittering hops kick in and leave my mouth with a very dry, tobacco-like aftertaste.

M: The feel of this beer is varied and intriguing. The hops ride their bitterness bike all over my mouth for the duration of the sip, while the sweeter malt element provide a nice coating, medium bodied experience for my palate.

D: Arrogant Bastard has a really enjoyable flavor and a solid mouthfeel that lead to a solid beer that I will enjoy many more times in the future. It's strange, though... maybe I've just gotten so used to drinking big, bold beer, but AB is not nearly the beast that I remember it being when I first tried it. Now I just think of it as a well crafted, solid beer.

Photo of MadScientist
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: A copper colored beer with great clarity. The head is made of long lasting, rocky tan foam that leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: A moderately-strong malt aroma with moderate citrus hops that has a touch of tropical fruit. The malt has a light caramel character and a touch of that barley wine, malt complexity going on with undertones of chocolate and toast. There is a light floral alcohol note.

T: Moderately-strong hops bitterness with moderate caramel malt sweetness. There is a light bit of graininess to the malt flavor along with some chocolate and toasted bread flavors. There is a moderate amount of citrus hops flavor that is mostly a lemon-lime type of a flavor. The balance is fairly bitter with an of dry finish. A linger hops bitterness and citrus flavor in the aftertaste along with a touch of alcohol sweetness.

M: A warming beer with a medium body and moderately-strong carbonation. The alcohol warms you all the way down to you belly.

O: A great, got to, aggressively hopped beer that drinks like a fresh Americanized version of an Old Ale. This beer could hold it's own when paired with a spicy owing to how strong the flavors are or the bitterness could easily cut through a rich fatty dish. I'd enjoy this with pot roast of beef stew myself.

Photo of Breen
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour/Appearance: Deep chestnut brown with a red hue. 1 finger head slowly dissipated with moderate glass lacing.

Smell: Lemon citrus and a floral bouquet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and low carbonation

Taste: Lemon and grass hops with a bit of caramel up front. A complex beer with changing taste throughout from less bitter up front to more bitter towards the middle. Rather complex, yet well-balanced on the whole.

Overall: When I first tasted this ale I said "wow." Though I've tasted many ales, and even several with the same characteristics described above, there was something about this particular one that stood out from the crowd in a positive way from the first sip.

Photo of steelerguy
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - The beer poured a very nice and clear, dark bown with some copper hues. I could tell just by the way it looked that there was going to be some tasty toasted and caramel malt flavors in there.

S - A nice malty smell with some hop character. I was actually expecting to smell a little more hop but the malt took over. Certainly not a weakness, but I thought the smell was only good.

T - Wow! Now this is what a strong ale should taste like. Nice, strong malt flavors, that fade to be replaced by some tasty esters, and then the hops kick in. I was actually expecting the hops to be over the top, but not at all. The bold and sweet malt flavor completely balance out the strong hop character making it feel perfectly balanced.

M - I really liked the mouthfeel. The carbonation was perfect and the beer was very silky to me as it hit the tongue. Then you would get a slight "tingle" as the carbonation and alcohol would play.

D - An extremely drinkable beer. Although no session beer, it is so well balanced that it could almost be one. Although this would not allow you to appreciate it's complexity and could leave you feeling like you got your ass kicked.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. I actually was thinking it was going to be over the top with all the arrogant marketing and from what I had heard. This was far from what I experienced, it was a very complex and well balanced beer. One that I will certainly be enjoying again.

Photo of Dmann
4.92/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! After all of my friends hyping this beer up I took the plunge and and I ever glad I did! This has got to be the best smelling beer I have ever had. After I poured it, I let it sit for awhile and warm a bit and took in the aroma that had hints of pine and carmel. The beer bursted with flavor once it hit my mouth and just opened up, dominated by hops but I could taste the malt sneek in there before the great hoppy finnish. I'm glad this is a year 'round brew because it will be a regular in my fridge from now on.

Photo of newk340
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer 1 of Bastard Bash.

A: gorgeous belgian pour, a deep mahogany with a thick foamy head that leaves spotty lacing.

S: fine smelling malts and wheats permeate the nostrils.

T: way more hops than expected, nearly drinking like a pale ale, excellent malt and barley flavors.

MF/D: sizzling tingle of hops tickle the tongue but dissipate for a smooth swallow, a sessionable belgian that i will continue to buy. hits harder than 7.2%.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours for the bomber a deep opaque red with some orange tones as well. A small head forms on my glass but doesn't stick around very long. This is a very nicely colored ale and it looks good in the glass. The initial smell is of rich caramel malts and floral hops. This one smells bitter on the nose...there are some alcohol and fruit tones (plums/raisins) as well.

After waiting a few minutes, I take the first taste. Wow..this packs a punch. A nice malt profile hits first and then a wonderful melding of bitter floral hops follows right behind it. The sweet malt flavors and the bitter flavors bring the ale together remarkably well. The biterness lingers a bit but you don't hear me complaining. A slightly roasted, fruity flavor comes through as well...quite a bit going on here.

The mouthfeel is just the way I like it. Wonderfully smooth body with just the right about of carbonation so it goes down easy. Drinkability is good on this one as well...I could see myself having a few Bastards with no problem! I only wish Stone was available in Illinois...arghhh!! A great ale that I hope I will have the chance to indulge in many times in the future. Muchas gracias to blitheringidiot for the opportunity to prove myself worthy.

Photo of blitz134
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice thick off white/light tan head which bloomed quite voracisouly upon pouring. A nice 1/4" layer stuck around for the entire session and left the thickest lacing I have ever seen on any beer. Body was a transparent deep garnet red. I was gonna give a 4.5 for the appearance, but I'm really amazed at the lacing and head retention on this.

Smell has a fairly strong hop presence which includes a good deal of grapefruit. Also included was a good bit of caramel candy sweet malt backbone. Subtle hints of fresh fruits were also present including tangerine.

The taste is hard to define for me. It definately finishes well with a bitter hit of resin hops. There is a good spiciness from this as well. Malt plays a fairly prominant role with bready sweet nuances. This is a very balanced brew. Not as complex as I was expecting, but good overall. Somewhat of a mix between a west coast IPA and a good barleywine.

Mouthfeel is fairly full and coats the mouth well but doesn't linger for too long. A decent amount of carbonation leads to a nice crispness. Drinkability is very good with this one. Flavors are crafted together nicely and the alcohol level is low enough to where two bombers could be enjoyed at a reasonable pace without getting sloppy. A nice refreshing mouthfeel add to making this a highly drinkable beer.

More bottles will be coming home with me in the future. This is only my second Stone brew, and I've been thoroughly impressed thus far.

Photo of nickadams2
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Uptown Grille in Commerce, Michigan.

I,ve read the bottle and its full of shit. Chances are you are worthy of this beer.My wife who hates beer took a sip of mine and said "mmm fruity!". Highly overrated in my opinion.

A_ Dark reddish brown almost purple with a thin off white head. Moderate lacing.

S_Hops and fruit. Not much else.

T_Pretty sweet and fruity. Some caramel malt coming through but subdued by the hops and fruit. Taste kind of like a watered down IPA. (Had this many times at Uptown and went to a Two Hearted as soon as I finished.)

M_Medium bodied moderately carbonated.

D_Would make for a good session but I find this beer unworthy. (Irony!)

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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,814 ratings.