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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,915 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,915
Hads: 9,993
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 398
Gots: 2,134 | 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: 2,915 | Hads: 9,993
Photo of kels
3.79/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bomber of this with bamadog last night. This is my first experience with AB, and he tells me he thinks the bomber was a little old (no date on bottle). I still liked it a lot, but good to mention just in case this review seems way off.

Appearance: Pours deep reddish-brown with a short, fluffy tan head that fades immediately to a skim. The liquid is clear with light carbonation running throughout, and traces of light, sticky lacing remain.

Smell: Very hardly detectable - only the lightest chewy maltiness comes through.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very sweet, caramelly malts dominate the front end of this brew, followed by sticky, not-too-bitter citrusy hops . The bright, effervescent mouthfeel contributes to the smoothness of the feel, and the aftertaste is slightly bitter and quite sticky.

Drinkability: Really high. There's a nice balance of the flavors going, and it's not nearly as intimidating as the bottle suggests. Perhaps it has mellowed with age.

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Photo of Weissenheimer
3.79/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My pint has a small head which leaves absolutely no lacing on the glass. The color is a dark, slightly reddish-brown. I hold it up to the light, which intensifies the redness and transforms it into a coppery amber. It smells strongly of very sweet grapefruit, even from an arm's length away. The scent carries another association for me, and eventually I drudge up the memory. I double- and triple-check. Yes, I most definitely smell those fuzzy navels of which I drank so many in college.

I take a swig and the fuzzy navel association ends. Pretty much all I'm tasting here is alcohol and grapefruit. I have lots of ideas about the other tastes, but it's almost impossible to listen to them over the shout of the grapefruit. So the following is mostly conjecture.

At first there is simply a strong acidic blast. The alcohol content is apparent at this stage. I keep wanting to say "nutty" but I believe it's just my tongue's astonished reaction as it reels from the shock of citric acid. Once it gets its bearings there is a huge grapefruit wallop followed by a tingling, acidic finish that's identical to what you'd get after taking a bite of - you guessed it - grapefruit. I think that there are some hops lurking in the background, but I'm not sure. And perhaps a little bit of... smokiness? Mesquite???

What's truly astounding here is that I like this beer. Despite my unending loathing for grapefruit, I like this. I've enjoyed drinking a few 22-ounce bottles of this and I know I'll do so again, but it's too strong for me to want to drink more than that at one sitting. Overall it's an enjoyable novelty, but in my opinion it's a bit more gimmicky than the bottle, with all its bragging, would like to admit.

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Photo of Stimack
3.79/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok, finally got my hands on one of these brews. As it seems to be one of the most discussed brews on BA, I was very excited to give it a try.

The brew came in a 22 oz brown bomber, which has a nice different look to it. You have to read the back of the brew, very funny! The brew pours to a deep red color with a nice inch high head that will not break down! The brew has left nice heavy off white lacing on the sides of the glass.

The aromas of this brew are heavy on the hops that give a floral smell, also can notice hints of a fruit essence. Hard to pick out the malt as it seems to be over powered by the hops.

The taste is quite complex, even though it seems to be quite smooth. Can sense some caramel and roasted flavor up front that go nice with the brew. Has a bit of an alcohol taste to it, but not overly strong. The brew finishes with a very noticeable hop punch that smooth out to a somewhat sweet taste? Over all a nice brew, not one of my favorite styles, but I can see why it has the (much deserved) hype.

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Photo of shirfan
3.79/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, clear mahogany-crimson, with massive amounts of off-white lacing.

A more subdued aroma than I had expected; mainly grapefruit, with a bit of caramel malt. Hints of more estery compounds...raisins or prunes, maybe.

A very complex flavor. Seems like it turns the corner into something different 5 or 6 times within a single sip.
Moderate malt, something between a brown ale and a red. Walks the middle ground between sweet and dry, with a bit of nuttiness to the malts as well. There's a sort of muted softness to the mouthfeel, airy even. 7.2 ABV is very well hidden; citrus and mildly floral hops make themselves known without causing a ruckus. Faint hints of tangy orange and raisin echo in the aftertaste. There's a yeasty, bakery-fresh note as well.

For all the propaganda and swagger, this isn't that beastly of a brew...Ruination (or even the "other demon beer", Maudite) would be a better WMD against the unwashed fizzy beer hordes.

A very nicely balanced beer, for sure... really an excellent and quaffable ale. But I'm downgrading it to "Self-Confident Tough Guy With a Soft Spot For Kittens".

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Photo of 50marathons
3.79/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good dark copper color. Lacks something in taste. Seems like a bit of a burnt raisin finish. Good strong ale. Great head when poured into a pint glass from a bottle. Overall a good beer but not my favorite Stone by a long shot.

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Photo of aracauna
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I just wasn't ready. There's an amazing almost belgian-like complexity to the smell and taste, but the bitterness was overwhelming to me. I had trouble getting past the bitterness. There is a factor that may have made this experience more unpleasant than it should have been. I had gotten a mini-hangover a couple of days earlier from beer and I may not have recovered my taste for beer completely. My appreciation for the bitterness in beers is a recently aquired taste and still subject to occasional setbacks.

rerate 8-29-02: It's only been a few months since my original rating and already the "overwhelming bitterness" has changed to easily palateable bitterness. Nice creamy foam pitted head this time. Too dark to be called off-white. Body is reddish brown, nice but not exceptional. Aroma is some sweet malt and a slightly pine-liek hop bite. Flavor bites first, a little interesting maltiness in the middle and some fruitiness (I could have sworn it was peach there a couple of times, but it became more vague after that) It ends with a fairly short, bitter finish.

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Photo of AlesRTasty
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours deep red with a light tan head. Retains some lacing but not too much. Smells of hops linger with a small hint of maltiness. Taste is quite strong, very hoppy. To me it's more of a bittering hop taste and less of a refreshing citrus hop taste you find in an IPA. Much like the smell there is a small hint of malt at the end. I enjoy that the hop flavor lingers in your mouth quite a bit afterwards. Mouthfeel is unexpected. I thought it would be lighter in gravity but to my surprise it was thicker than expected. As for drinkability, I enjoy Stone's other brews more but this isn't bad. I had one a few years ago and despised it but it was quite enjoyable this time around. I think Stone got it right that this isn't for the naive palate, if you do not like it, try something less hoppy and work your way up to it.


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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A : Cherry-mahogany colored body with 80% opacity. The head is giant and popcorn yellow, with tons of IPA-like lacing left behind as it recedes slowly. Initial measurement is at 3 fingers. Simply stunning.

S : Some armpit-like smells, some aged mahogany, faint nut and cellared fruit. Definitely a cousin of the IPA from the aroma.

T : A robust roasted maltiness out front, followed by a fresh slap of wet hop, mixed with grapefruit rind and lemon rind, and then...metallic diarrhea. The finish is slightly smokey but tastes like a blended sweat sock and crushed aluminum pop cans. That finish is...well, it kills the beer. But the more I drink it the better it gets?

F : Dense, substantial, creamy...with moderate carbonation underneath and a dry finish.

O : An interesting tryout, although I wish I could have bought a smaller bottle. I can respect it, but that finish is pretty awful.

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Photo of Foolmonkey
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance was very dark red, with a small tan foam top.
Smell was very sweet and flavorful.

The Taste was big and creamy, and if you weren't ready for the style you'd feel like your mouth just got punched.
Both the mouth feel and drink ability reflect how powerful this ale is. Certainly too flavorful to drink 3 or 4 pints of the stuff. Overall, a good experience from this bastard.

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Photo of tbmurphy89
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep rich brownish red with a half inch creamy head

S- Can really smell the hops coming through on this one, also has a floral essence.

T-The hops really give this a bitter edge. Cant really find the malt in here.

M- Covers the entire mouth

O- its a strong ale high on hops. Not something that Im used to drinking but is still very well built and just a damn good beer.

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Photo of swhitt
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Boom, this is a well known strong and taste-full beer. Pours deliciously red into my pint glass. Head about 1/4" but quickly dissipates, something that I see a lot in higher alcohol beers.

Taste is good, a little too much alcohol from my taste. Orangey and fruit.

The drinkability rates high for this much alcohol but low in general simply because

Double Bastard is way better. A lot of this guy is hype.

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Photo of Damian
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank on-tap at the Publick House, Brookline, MA

Poured a dark mahogany with a one-finger, fizzy, mocha colored head that faded to a thin film which lasted most of the drink. Nice intermittent ridges of lacing.

Smell was malty rich, oakey and woody with some hops lurking in the background.

The taste was intense and complex. On the front end, the beer was malty and somewhat sweet, with noticeable notes of maple syrup. Quickly however, the hops took over and destroyed everything in its path. Hops were quite piney and resinous, and they crescendoed as they moved along the palate. Huge hop bite on the back of the palate. The hops at this point felt sticky. Strong, resonating, hoppy and bitter finish.

Mouthfeel was full-bodied, creamy and smooth.

At 7.2% ABV, the alcohol was hardly detectable. Although the hops may be a bit hard for some to handle, this beer deserves praise for coupling malts and hops in such a unique manner.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful offwhite head that just doesn't come off the glass or dry out.

Smells moderately of herbs, smoke, and flora.

Has a strong taste of burnt tobacco and the blackest of coffee which is quickly masked by the aftertaste.

Extremely bitter aftertaste that stays with you for a long time. The after taste is harsh like eating a lime peel.

I don't think I could have more than one of these in a night unless I felt particularly aggressive.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
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...


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Photo of Bone53
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
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

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Photo of MisterTiat
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
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

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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Photo of Absumaster
3.77/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of gbarron
3.77/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of jaluria
3.77/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of SudNut
3.77/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

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Photo of WyethBednar
3.76/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of skillerified
3.76/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of roundthewaygirls
3.76/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of Naugled
3.76/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,915 ratings.