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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,654 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,654
Reviews: 2,786
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 259
Gots: 954 | FT: 5
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-15-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,654 | Reviews: 2,786 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by rickyleepotts:
Photo of rickyleepotts
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have had this beer before, but I don’t remember what it tastes like. After reading how this beer got started, I can’t wait to drink it. I LOVE a good hoppy beer, and while this one was once thought too hoppy, I am glad they decided to bottle it. I also like the story behind it… with one co-founder thinking it was horrible and the other thinking it was the best beer he had ever had. It was also fun to learn that this beer is the most sold in 22 ounce bottles. It must be good!

In the Glass: It is darker than I expected. I guess reading about how hoppy it is, I expected it to be the color of a typical IPA. I guess with the label and the name, it is anything but typical. I am a big fan of Stone, and pretty much every beer they make is loaded with aroma and flavor and always satisfies.

Nose: Imagine taking a bag of wet hops, letting them set outside, and then thrown into a bottle. Holy crap, this beer smells amazing. It doesn’t smell like hops, rather wet, dirty, rotten hops. But that’s OK. I like hops regardless of the aroma. On a second sniff I am getting more dark fruit notes and a little fig at the finish.

Flavor: Holy hops. This beer is LOADED with those same dirty wet hops you were smelling. They are deep and darker on the palate, too. The punch of hops that you expect from a big IPA isn’t there until the swallow. I am not sure why I keep calling this an IPA. It’s not. It’s a strong ale. But they have similar characteristics. When taking a second sip, I quickly realize why this beer is such a good seller. It’s smooth, extremely complex as it slides across the palate, and the aftertaste (which we will get to) is big and lasting.

Mouthfeel: A lot of beer doesn’t do much on the tongue. This one changes shape three or four times on the palate. At first it’s smooth and weak, then those hops start punching you along the way. Then the wet dirty flavors that I mentioned hit, and hops run wild. When you swallow, the bitterness kicks up and you are waiting for an impressive (and it is) aftertaste. It is everything I expected this large beer to be.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is big. It starts off with a load of hops, then quickly finishes into a dry and bitter flavor. The dryness sticks around, too. The ABV isn’t outrageous, but big enough that one or two of these bottles by yourself could do some damage. The beer is also extremely affordable, so ordering a couple of these might be possible if you can find the right spot. They have a few other versions of this, one that is aged in oak barrels. Haven’t had that one next to this one to compare, but man… Arrogant Bastard Ale is amazing.

I was VERY impressed with this beer. The label might scare you, focused on a devil drinking beer… but as you drink this, imagine what beers of old used to taste like. I can see this beer being shared in a foreign land toasted by a bonfire telling stories of a younger day. No more daydreaming here… let’s drink. Bottoms up, people!

Arrogant Bastard Ale – The bottle says: “arr-ro-gance (air’s gas) n. – The act or quality of being arrogant; haughty; undue assumption; overbearing conceit.

“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 a safer and more familiar terrify – 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 lower common denominator represents the height of tyranny – a virtual form of keeping the consumer barefoot and stupid. Bastard Ale openly challenged the tyrannical overlords 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!

“Ingredients: Nothing but the finest barley, most aggressive hops, clearest water, our proprietary yeast strain and abundant arrogance.”

rickyleepotts, Jul 25, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

oberon, Jul 06, 2003
Photo of Kurpius
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
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

Kurpius, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of Photobeeguy
4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photobeeguy, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of davemarc87
4/5  rDev -4.1%

davemarc87, Apr 24, 2014
Photo of RoyalT
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

RoyalT, Aug 22, 2003
Photo of aszatk01
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

aszatk01, Nov 10, 2012
Photo of Bmm281
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Bmm281, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of legalag11
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

legalag11, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

DaPeculierDane, May 30, 2006
Photo of tectactoe
4.1/5  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.

tectactoe, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of ExtraStout
4.38/5  rDev +5%
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.

ExtraStout, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of TCHopCraver
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

TCHopCraver, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of MadScientist
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

MadScientist, Mar 22, 2013
Photo of jono0101
4/5  rDev -4.1%

jono0101, May 18, 2013
Photo of npala86
4/5  rDev -4.1%

npala86, Aug 08, 2013
Photo of tbryan5
4/5  rDev -4.1%

tbryan5, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of J2L
4/5  rDev -4.1%

J2L, Oct 28, 2012
Photo of GameOfBeers
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%

GameOfBeers, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of Shakerman
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Shakerman, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of ricksrealm
4/5  rDev -4.1%

ricksrealm, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of BenTherHppedThat
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

BenTherHppedThat, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of ajkiser12
4/5  rDev -4.1%

ajkiser12, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of Breen
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Breen, Jun 03, 2012
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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,654 ratings.