Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

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2,888 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,888
Hads: 9,861
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 381
Gots: 1,990 | 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: 2,888 | Hads: 9,861
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 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)

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

Pours a dark caramel color with big off-white/tan soapy frothy head foam.

Smells of moss with woody-caramel malt tones.

Tastes mildly spicy with a high hop bitterness.

Mad hop content beautifully balances the intial sweet malt nose.

Medium-weight feel in the mouth with plenty of hop oil in attendance.

Gargoyles abound in this brew. "Yellow fizzy beer drinkers" beware indeed. (392 characters)

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

From a 22oz. brown bottle, poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance is a clear, dark burgundy color, with about 2 fingers worth of tan, creamy head. Lacing was good down the glass sides.

Aromas are very strong hops, with pronounced citrus notes and a floral quality as well. The alcohol also is evident in the nose.

Taste is a big, bold and complex thing. The alcohol makes itself known, as well does the powerful hop bitterness. There is some malt sweetness, but the hops seem to overpower the malts. Crisp beer that seemed to mellow (just a little) as it warmed.

The aftertaste is bitter, but does offer some sweetness in the finish. The body is medium and carbonation high.

Overall this is a powerful, raw brew that kicks tail. The intense bitterness was not really my thing, but this is a beer to be respected! (816 characters)

Photo of beckje01
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Amber color with a thick creamy head and no activity.

S- Clean hop nose light and nice

T- Big hop kick in the front, somewhat aggressive but backs off and is very approachable overall. It's a nice taste.

M- Creamy with a touch of activity.

D- Very drinkable and very nice. (279 characters)

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

Presentation: This beer poured a very dark amber color into a traditional pint glass. There was about a finger-thick head that had reasonably good retention. It looked moderately carbonated. A floral hop aroma was the most prevalent scent on the nose. It wasn't overpowering, however. There were slight hints of malts in the nose as well.

Tasting: As expected, the hops were very strong on the tongue. The bitterness was not unpleasant, however, because the taste was balanced with some malt sweetness. Ester characteristics came across. This was a medium to heavy-bodied beer with slight tinges of alcohol on the tongue. This is a little harder to drink in succession due to the higher alcohol content.

Overall, this was an enjoyable beer, and I would pair it with heartier foods. It's a bold beer that will challenge your taste buds if you aren't really used to over-the-top hoppy beers. (895 characters)

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Poured from a bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Bright amber, with nice thick and light colored head. The head lasted a very long time, and left a nice coating on the inside of the glass.

Smell: Pleasant, with a strong hops bitterness in the aroma. There is some sweet and citrus aromas, but the hops dominate.

Taste: A nice mix of hops and citrus flavors, that make for an interesting and complex Pale Ale. There is a nice after-taste, that lasts for a while but not too long.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp, with a medium body.

Overall: This is an interesting and complex Pale Ale. (587 characters)

Photo of melbow
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great head. Potent smell. Bitter but balanced. Definitely a good beer and I'm never unhappy having one, but never have I thought, "man I could really go for an arrogant bastard..." There are so many better beers out there today. (228 characters)

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

From: Binny's in Champaign, IL
Date: None listed
Glass: New Belgium Globe

Stone's Arrogant Bastard is a hearty, malt-forward brew (at least on this tasting; I remember it being more hop-forward before?) that focuses on robust, caramel-like malt with a hint of roast alongside grapefruit-like bitter hops. Generally enjoyable, but I'm hoping this was an old bottle, meaning I need to retry this, as the first bottle I had was interesting with its hops and definitely superb to what I'm rating now.

Pours a 2cm, light tan head of small (bottom) and large (top) bubbles with fairly poor retention. While retention is mediocre, the head leaves good amounts of lacing along sides of glass, eventually reducing to a thin lacing atop the entire body. Body is transparent dark amber brown, with light making the tones lighter and bringing out a reddish tint. Carbonation is readily visible along sides and middle of glass.

Aroma is robust, of fairly heavy brown and caramel malts, soil, wood barrels, slightly bitter and pine-like hops, and a bit of ethanol.

Opens with significant amounts of caramel-like malt sweetness, transitioning to a fairly substantial grapefruit-like hop bitterness with thick malt undertones by mid-palate. Back of the palate brings out some mild roasted malt flavors along with continued hop bitterness and mild ethanol. Aftertaste is of lingering hop bitterness alongside caramel-like malt sweetness. I recall this having a substantial amount more hop flavor, particularly interesting tropical fruit flavors. I wonder if this is an older bottle, well past its prime.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy bodied, with mid-level carbonation that is able to create a somewhat foamy, smooth mouthfeel. Closes out expectedly dry. (1,743 characters)

Photo of mjaskula
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark amber brown with a thick tan head. The head thins but sticks around, with a large amount of lacing.

Aroma is strong hops. Taste is very hoppy, with strong hop bitterness and spice, and a background of malts. The big flavors stay in your mouth. While I wouldn't exactly call this easy drinking, I could definitely drink a few of these. (394 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aromas of caramel malts and fruity hops. Light pine and tropical fruit.

The tastes is bitter up front with lots of West Coast hops; all kinds of pine and grapefruit. Mixed in are some light caramel and bready malts, but not much. Medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall this is a pretty good strong ale. A little much on the bitterness for my liking but definitely a great brew none-the-less. (400 characters)

Photo of beeragent
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a bomber. The beer poured a dark brown, forming a creamy 1 1/2 inch head. Lots of thick lacing on the glass. The aroma is a strong balanced mix of hops and malts. Nothing really different, but still good. The taste is a good balanced mix of hops and sweet malt, with a hint of caramel in the middle, and a slight alcoholic finish. Medium mouthfeel. Overall, not a bad beer. I could definitely see drinking this again. Makes a good session ale IMO. (477 characters)

Photo of Qbdoo
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Great looking almond color with a full, frothy head. Aroma doesn't jump out at you but it's got a nice malty scent with a bit of hoppiness. Generally, that's how the taste goes as well, though the malt flavor is fairly complex with hints of brown sugar and molasses. There's a touch of hoppy bitterness as well, especially in the finish. Texture is surprisingly frothy - lighter and bubblier in feel than you would expect for the style. I found that letting this warm a good deal smoothed out the bitterness and brought out the complexity of the malt. A recognized classic and a really solid beer, but one that I always want to like a bit more than I actually do. (663 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bomber of this at my local grocery while getting some ingredients for dinner. Best by 10/21/09 stamped on the side. Poured into my pint glass.

Pours a dirty copper with a HUGE tan head on top. Minimal bubbles rising through. Excellent retention - this looks like a milk shake. Leaves tons of sticky lace and webbing all over the glass. The scent is a little underwhelming. I'm trying to get something out of this, but it's being quite abstinent. Some mild toffee and strawberry Twizzlers is about all I can grasp.

The body is a little slick and oily. Carbonation level is moderate. On to the flavor. Mmmm. Hops! Nice bittering hops right away, but not overly so; this is balanced like crazy. Lots of sweet toffee and caramel even the contest. There's a bit of a charred bread on the finish. Leaves a mildly bitter aftertaste. This is a great strong ale. Why did it take me so long to try this one?! (912 characters)

Photo of Homebrew35
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a bomber dated best by 9-11-2011
Pours one and a half fingers worth of fairly creamy light brown to tan head. Some lacing sticks to the glass, a good cap sits behind as the head dissipates.

Smells quite honestly like B.O. Wow this is a new one for me. Maybe its skunked but I'm not sure based based on the age, usually the born date is three months before the best by date. This also smells fruity, citrusy, carmel, piney, dank hoppy ness.

Taste blends quite well, piney, Carmel, citrus, juicy oranges.

Mouthfeel is medium. Medium carbonation. The finish is quite a bit of lingering piney, resinous coating oily hops.

Overall this is a solid American strong ale offering. I'm glad I've finally tried this. I'll easily get this one again if I know its fresh. Thank you stone for the bottle dating.
6$ a bomber (818 characters)

Photo of LPorter33
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber from Martignetti's

Appearance = nice looking dark red, rust brown with just a speck of transparency. Good 1/4'' head which took awhile to fade. Noticable carbonation. Impressive lacing.

Smell = Great fruit like scent detectable - plums & pears. A definite sweet malt presence along with some powerful hops. This smells like it will be very well balanced.

Taste = This definitely packs a punch. Quite bitter upfront but ends with a toasted coffee malt flavor and a tiny bit of sweetness from the malt. Hop kick initially is decent. It's slightly too rough though - I wish they could hide the alcohol just a tiny bit more. It's still an impressive beer with a lot of flavor. I do think it's slightly overrated.

Overall = Definitely try it if you haven't. I wouldn't necessarily seek it out again but would certainly accept one if it came across my path. (877 characters)

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,888 ratings.