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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,901 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,901
Hads: 9,928
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 386
Gots: 2,061 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,901 | Hads: 9,928
Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into BJ's Brewery 2011 Father's Day special pint glass...

A - Pours mahogany with a one finger tan head on a fairly aggressive pour. There is a good amount of head retention to be had and a little slippery lace...

S - Citrus fruits, caramel, and hops. Smells a little burnt...

T - Grapefruit and various other citrus fruits. Caramel makes a small appearance, but citrus fruits and hops are definitely the main attraction here. Ends with a good dose of bittering hops and some lingering grapefruit...

M - Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Creamy and smooth...

O - A solid brew, but not something that is in my constant rotation. Double bastard is an overall better brew in my opinion, but the price is definitely right for this one...

Cheers... (787 characters)

Photo of Bone53
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: clear amber color with a finger or two tan head

Smell: Sweet (mainly caramel, light toffee) and bready malts, piney and light citrus hops

Taste: Lighter on the malt than i would have guessed from the nose. I get sweet bready malt upfront then mid palate and finish is all piney and bittering hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body and goes down very, very smooth. Pretty aggressive bitterness throughout

Overall: This is an average strong ale for me. The aromas had some promise but i was disappointed in the taste. Theres not enough malt to balance out the hops. I thinks its too hoppy and bitter for the style. I really enjoy a few of Stones' IPAs but i personally feel they are a bit overrated as a whole. Ill probably pass on this one from now on. Cant really go wrong at $5 a bomber though (799 characters)

Photo of MisterTiat
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Beautiful amber color, creamy thick head, off white, little yellowish brownish, lacing is good, not fantastic.

S: strong hop, piney smell. Balanced with some roastiness

T: Complex. Earthy hop notes at the back of the tongue and throat, sweet maltiness at the tip of the tongue, roastiness comes in along the sides. Taste of hops lingers long after finishing.

M: Feels good, rolls around of tongue pleasantly, not fantastic but good

D: With such full flavor it is hard to drink a bunch of these, and also dont expect to be able to sample other beers after this one, the hops stick to the mouth (599 characters)

Photo of SLeffler27
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

SRM 17-20 (deep rich copper) clear with a modest creamy off-white head that lasts, while dispensing a fine coating of lace on a Cisco fisheye pint glass.

A good balance of caramel and pine resin with earthiness and dried hay in the background.

Quite bitter through and through as expected. Caramel mixes with pinesap and grapefruit. This one lacks layers of complexity and is best at proper temperature. The finish is long and tasty.

A medium body with creamy texture punctuated by modest carbonation and light astringency. Alcohol is as expected.

This is an iconic and certainly enjoyable beer. However, it has never been, for me, a standout as the hype would lead one to believe. I find it enjoyable after a long day while talking with friends and eating fried food. (772 characters)

Photo of Absumaster
3.77/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A murky brown, reddish beer with lots of carbonation and a creamy head that collapses almost immediately.

Smell is strong malty with some smoke and a good dose of alcohol. The hops are abundant and are citric and resinous.

Taste is strong bitter with citric hops that show a bit rough edges. Maltiness is not as strong as the smell would make me suspect, but it still is heavy on the malt. The alcohol is warming and mouthfeel is sweet and a little thick. (458 characters)

Photo of gbarron
3.77/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 22 oz. 'bomber.' No dating or other notations on the bottle giving it's age.

A - dark ruby. Slight protein haze, it appears. Head is off-white, beads up about a finger width's, then dissipates. What's left is a little, muddled pool of bubbles. Nice lacing.

S - strong, citrusy, grapey, piney hop smell. Not sure of the type, probably cascades or another NW american hop variety. Sweet malt aroma in the background.

T - grapefruit! Strong, NW american hop flavor - citrus, grapefruit. Strong bitterness evident and dominating malt flavor. Slight malt sweetness in the background, but hops are upfront. Not only very bitter, but very strong hop flavor as well. Impossible to dissect the malt bill here due to the hop dominance. Some toasty malt flavor. Bitterness strong, but not overwhelming to me.

M - medium bodied, low cabonation. Mouthfeel a little sticky, don't know if its from the hops or malt.

D - surprisingly drinkable given the bitterness, mouthfeel, and alcohol content.

Overall, a tasty brew, but I'm a little surprised at all the really high ratings. Basically this reminds me of an over-hopped Anchor Liberty Ale. (1,159 characters)

Photo of jaluria
3.77/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color but is still translucent with minimal carbonation and a tan-colored head that has good retention and is rather thick. I detect a lot of malt, some yeast, and some dried fruit aromas. Very interesting and appealing. The taste is complex and rich with a hoppy bitterness upfront followed by a strong malt presence. A bit of warming alcohol sensation as well. The aftertaste is sour and lingers longer after each sip. A bit of astringent taste over time in the back of my throat. A very good beer that is enjoyable, but the aftertaste reduces the drinkability in my book. One of Stone's best brews. (620 characters)

Photo of SudNut
3.77/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The back label left me cackling like a chuckle monkey!

After the pre-opening entertainment I poured the 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass. The pretty amber glow with a lacy brown head makes me all warm inside. Chug the suds!

The smell while good was a little limp wristed. The typical suspects were present a light piney grapefruit aroma. I guess I was expecting more, but the taste, oh the taste, mmm. Amplify the smell by at least 3X. Like licking a grapefruit in a pine forest, POW! I mean that in a good way.

Take it for a tour around the molars and you really notice the grapefruit hoppy taste with pine undertones. Swallow it down for sweet malty pine tree bliss.

Gave it lower drinkability because of ABV. This is a very good beer. (741 characters)

Photo of WyethBednar
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not my favorite strong ale ever, but it definitely lives up to the promise on the label of being an "aggressive beer."

Appearance: Beautiful glossy burgundy color, with a nice cream colored head. Carbonation is immediately apparent. Good lacing.

Smell: Up front hops presence, a little bit of a vegetable smell, and, this being on the strong side of ales, a definite kick of alcohol in the nose.

Taste: Pretty good. Very complex, for sure. Huge hops presence, and in the aftertaste theres a pretty strong note of vegetables (can't place it exactly, I wanna say celery or kale, something in that realm) that give this a really savory flavor. Probably not for everyone, but I was intrigued.

Mouthfeel: Alright. Not amazing. Carbonation seemed a little low once I actually tasted it, which was surprising since it was so prevalent in the appearance. You can feel the alcohol in your throat in the aftertaste.

Pretty good strong ale, not gonna be in my top 5 or anything, but I enjoyed it. (990 characters)

Photo of skillerified
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark red color. Two finger head that fades to a decent cap with some lacing on the glass.

Scent was dark berries and cherry for me. A little hoppy citrus as well.

Taste is nice. Strong cherry flavor early is smashed by hoppy bitterness at the middle. The bitterness lasts throughout. It's a strong bitterness, but not a bad one. It's enjoyable despite the marketing telling you otherwise.

Medium bodied. Light carbonation. A bit slick actually. The finish is long. Not necessarily an impressive mouthfeel.

This wasn't my first one and it won't be my last, so it's pretty drinkable. I do usually tend to switch to something a little sweeter after one of these though. I think it's the cherry flavor that makes me want to go sweet after a pint of this. (762 characters)

Photo of roundthewaygirls
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip glass.

A: dark, hazy. appears brown. ruby tint shines through when held up to the light. got a little carried away with the pour. three fingers of frothy, off-white head. substantial lacing.

S: piney stone hop profile. caramel notes. burnt toast or biscuit. sugar or molasses. maybe something citrusy buried in the malts.

T: hops up front. malt bomb. mostly sticky molasses with a hint of caramel. more dimensional than the smell. The sweetness is offset by the burnt toast, bready character. there's a certain dryness to it that doesn't come from the hops. definitely burnt malts, but maybe wood notes as well. don't really pick up on the alcohol.

M: medium bodied. slight carbonation on the tip of the tongue. burnt malts and hops really resonate on the palate.

O: love stone. this one is a little deeper and darker than their ipas. complex malts. not particularly refreshing, but i think it follows through on its intention. bold brew for bold nights. (980 characters)

Photo of Naugled
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served in tulip

a: nice appearance, great head and color. rich dense foam and retention, dark tan color and silky. dark crystal clear copper color. the looks might be the best part of the beer

s: some aroma but light, not as up front as I was expecting. nice spicy hop aroma with rich malt in the background but it doesn't punch you in the face

t: good flavor, spicy hops, a lot of bitterness, maybe too much and deep caramel flavors with a big sweetness that is cut well with the hops

m: big mouth feel, but with good carbonation crispness. the lingering bitterness is ok for awhile but then becomes annoying

d: not very drinkable. ok for a big beer, hop heads might disagree. (682 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark brown with yellow highlights with a finger of head that left good blotchy lacing on the glass.

S: nice citrus hoppy aromas with a good malt presence thae had a little caramel coming through.

T: the hops were more potent on the taste with citrus grapefruit that propeled the bitterness which had a decent malt backbone and caramel accents.

M: the brew was medium body with a fair amount of carbonation that had a citric hop bitter oily finish.

D: drank very good and I feel like this beer is way better on tap and goes good paired with crab, calamari, and lobster. (584 characters)

Photo of foglemgs
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

A: pours a nice rich caramel color, with a foamy head that dissipates slowly and laces the glass.

S: was a bit flat on the nose, with strong notes of hops

T: a very tasty brew - quite hoppy with a (not unpleasant) bitter aftertaste

M: not my favorite here - too highly carbonated

Overall, Arrogant Bastard is a fine beer, though I enjoy other offerings from Stone a bit more (like their Imperial Russian Stout). (457 characters)

Photo of kennylopez
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber 1pint 6oz bottle into a globe glass.

Appearance: a dark brown, finger and a half worth of tan white thin bubbly head.

Smells: like a malty extremely well hopped brew with a toffee sweet sort of hint.

Tastes: a bitter punch in the front that blends great as it warms in my mouth. the heavy carbonation reminds me of a lighter old style ale taste which is full of layers.

Mouthfeel: a nice tingle of alcohol bite. carbonated and dry with the finish which quenches the thirst and make you want more. a staple in my cellar and never disappointed when I break into a bottle. (593 characters)

Photo of Chizoad
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I haven't had this beer in ages. I was not prepared the first time I drank it. Hated it. 2nd go, I am prepared but still I find it a little too much. Arrogant indeed.

Stupendous pour. Dark brown liquid with small bits of gold around the edges. Huge creamy tan head that sticks around until you decide to rinse out the glass.

The smell doesn't even hint at what is to come. Very quiet with only some suggestion that there's malt in this. The color has to tell you otherwise unless it's like that caramel-color-added Newcastle crap. I guess there's some subtle hop aroma too.

The flavor is nearly overwhelming in bitterness. At first there's a pleasant malt flavor, but within seconds that is obliterated by a deep resinous sticky bitterness. Not a lot of complexity in the hops here either. Imagine licking a sap-filled pine tree, but in a good way. Don't get your tongue stuck.

The carbonation is so-so. For the style it's ok, but I prefer it a little less fluffy. The real downer though is the persistent bitterness. No remorse in this one.

Drinkability is ok. Expect to finish your bomber and stop after that. Unless you accidentally purchased a double jeroboam and are by yourself on a Friday night, to which I say good luck sir. See you in the afterlife. (1,263 characters)

Photo of Jimmys
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a slightly hazed but mostly clear bright ruby red. reasonable lacing. big brown/red head.

S: the toffee interacts with a very aggressive american hopping. very floral hop aroma.

T: chocolate and coffee. similar toffee flavor as in the nose. a firm hopping makes this more of an american barleywine in my opinion. just a touch of alcohol.

M: mild, but spritly carbonation. medium to full body.

D: very tasty. sweet yet assertively bitter. glad i picked up one of these bombers. (484 characters)

Photo of whatthehull
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Voice Noted

Poured into a New Belgium snifter

A a beautiful coffee, blood red with a huge 3 finger head and nice lacing

S malty! Sweet hop, maybe some oak, barley, rice, and maybe some sap and more hops

T - huge barley up front, followed by a earthy malt with a bit of sweet, floral hop, oak, a bit of yeast, maybe some tart berries or cherries, and finishes with a huge malt and bittersweet hops

M - heavy, almost tannic, lingers with a huge bittersweet hop

D - pretty nice. Not balanced but not overwhelming. If you like beer, this is a staple

Final thought - big but easy to drink huge but not overwhelming. Just wish this one came in a six pack (660 characters)

Photo of JLaw55
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was interesting. Not really a mind blower, but I do have quite a bit of respect for this beer. There are plenty of layers of complexity behind this brew and it hides it's higher ABV very well. The malt is the most dominant flavor here, with the rich, slightly sweet roasted flavors staying front and center. Layers of caramel, oak, and earthiness popping up as it settles on your tongue. Hints of coffee and hops begin to pop up toward the end. The hops give a slight balance to the carefully crafted layers of flavor put forth by the malt. This beer has a certain level of drinkability that keeps you coming back for another sip. There is a slight carbonation that prickles the tongue throughout and keeps this brew dancing on your tongue.

Not going to knock your socks off, but it is a pleasant experience and a great example of balance between malt and hops, while still keeping the malt in the forefront. I think it may be a bit over rated here, but is still worth a try and a possible revisit.

Would drink again. May even seek this one out from time to time. (1,070 characters)

Photo of PeatReek
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours with a huge tan-beige head, very deep copper/brown body, but still crystal clear enough to be see-throughable even at this deep shade. Looks yummy.

Aroma: hops! Citrusy and a bit grassy. Lemon, with nutty undertones (but in a good way!). I can smell a nice, deep meaty hop flavor coming on. Mouth watering.

Taste & mouthfeel: A little hoppy up front, though not quite as I was expecting from the nose. That's OK, though. Initial hop flavor gives way immediately to a huge round sweetness and thick, chewy body. Sweetness is more along the lines of caramel; not as bready as I had expected. Sweetness is well-balanced by a smooth bitterness late in the sip. The alcohol flavor is very pronounced; I've had smoother 7.2% beers. Unfortunately has a somewhat sour bitterness in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: Hoo mama. So conflicted. The delicious aroma keeps me chugging this bomber, but I'm pretty sure I won't be having a second. (955 characters)

Photo of echoes
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a glass.

A: Pours with a huge head. 1:1 ratio of foam to beer. Dissipates very slowly and leaves a light lacing. Some carbonation. A redish-amber color (also reminds me of root beer if it was red).

S: Excellent smell! Can smell roasted something (hops, wheat?), possibly a hint of maple, and a little floral/citrus smell.

T: Damn! This IS a STRONG ALE. Biiterness & alcohol taste doesn't hit until the end. Roasted hops taste along with a caramel make for a great taste with a bitter twist at the end: it isn't just the alcohol but a VERY crisp/strong citrus taste (grapefruit possibly but kind of soapy). A complex ale this is!

M: Feels good & smooth on the palate. Smooth with slight bubbly carbonation.

D: Shocks the palate in the end. Personally, I don't think I could have more than another 1/2-whole bottle.

This is clearly for the beer drinker who appreciates complex tastes & enjoys something different. Initially I can't say this goes down easy. Don't get me wrong, I like this beer for being different and the taste, yet it is quite bitter at the end for me but this is the type of beer I would enjoy learning to love with time. (1,154 characters)

Photo of wrcraigl
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is my go to. It has a great taste and is easy to get anywhere for the reasonable price. I have had this on draught as well and its even better. If you are an ale fan this is one to try or retry. I would like to try and make my own personal brew similar to this one. (275 characters)

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a balloon glass.

The beer is a ruby prune color. The cream colored head recedes to a mass of bubbles in the middle, with a wisp everywhere else. Good random sticky lacing. The beer smells woody, and of alcohol. But it's a nice warm oak aroma, maybe some caramel malts in their too. Taste is a combination of caramel sweet malts and burnt hop oak wood. The finish leaves sweetness and hop bitterness. There's balance here. The mouthfeel is dry and slightly heavy, a wee bit of an alcohol presence.

Overall, a nice sipper, for sure. I'm not really familiar with the style, so this didn't strike any emotion in me. If I were drinking this on my deck in 65 degree Autumn weather, I might rejoice. But it's 106 outside, and I'm in my basement. (754 characters)

Photo of Webbey
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

24oz. bottle poured to glass.

Appearance: A light amber hue, very clear and has extremely nice lacing on the glass. About a 1.5 to 2 finger head (poured this one pretty sloppy so the head was nearly 3 inches at first).

Smell: Extremely grassy, full of hop notes and a slight hint of orange. After tasting, you can barely notice a hint of the malt upon a huge sniff of the beer.

Taste: A quick hit of sweetness followed by a smash in the face of hops, hops and more hops. This is essentially an IPA on steroids (categorized as Strong Ale but you get the picture). At the finish you can notice a quick hit of coffee notes and malt. The bitterness hangs around a bit after a few sips.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, not a very heavy carbonation but just enough. Bitterness all around this brew but, hey, that's the style!

Overall: This is your typical West Coast hop bomb of a brew. It is delicious but for myself, I could only take a pint of it and then I had to move on. A 3.75 rating because it hits everything it's supposed to but that West Coast purposeful hop attack really isn't my favorite thing in the world. Worth a try and a great brewery to go visit! (1,159 characters)

Photo of rfabian
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tumbler it forms a nice 20 mm head that leaves lots of lacing. The appearance is fairly clear amber. The aroma is a harbinger of the hop taste to follow, piney some would say. I think it's more on the grassy side with some grapefruit, especially in the finish. The taste is strongly hoppy and moderately bitter with good malt highlights. This is a full bodied brew, a pint of which leaves me satisfied. (416 characters)

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,901 ratings.