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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,900 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,900
Hads: 9,918
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 383
Gots: 2,047 | 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: 2,900 | Hads: 9,918
Photo of iabeerbaron
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber color pour. An off white head that was very thick. Some great, lacing that sticks.Smell of caramel, malts, and hops. The flavor was dark fruit, malty and little piny with the sweetness of caramel to round it out. A very bold beer with a lot going on but very easy to drink and enjoy. A well done brew! (307 characters)

Photo of RyanLigeia
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Clear amber color with a decent head that sticks around for a while and leaves lots of lacing.

Smell- Smells very hoppy with some malt sweetness in there too. In a blind test I'd probably guess it was an IPA.

Taste- Same as smell. It tastes very similar to an IPA with hints of caramel and other mildly sweet flavors that balance out the bite of the hoppiness a little. It packs a bit of a punch and has a lasting piny hop IPA taste.

Mouthfeel- Some good carbination that goes nicely with the flavor of the beer.

Overall- Overall I give it a 4 1/2. Great beer for the price and the availability is very convenient. Not one of my favorites by Stone but it's a good plan b when nothing else in the store catches your eye. (737 characters)

Photo of afausser
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass at McGrady's in Charlottsville.

Appearance: A very deep, translucent copper. Okay lacing, but I'm not particularly impressed by that or by the lack of head/head retention. Of course, this could have something to do with the pour, but in my experience there was little to no head and what there was did not last.

Smell: I wasn't able to get too much out of this one, but it was also served in a pint glass, so I'll have to give it another try later and see if my opinion changes. What I was able to get were grains, sweet malts and citrus--lemon and grapefruit. Nothing too surprising, but decent.

Taste: Very, very hoppy, and along with that, the taste of very bitter (but delicious) grapefruit. Heavy bread flavors, as well as a hint of caramel.

Mouthfeel: One of the best parts of this beer, in my opinion. Not too much carbonation--good with this much flavor--and it goes down pretty smoothly. Not much of an aftertaste considering the amount of hops, and what is present is a light grapefruit. Additionally, I'm not noticing any warming, (which I do like sometimes, but works well with the taste of this one). I approve.

Drinkability: A decent, drinkable beer, which hopefully will be more appreciated when I try it outside of a bar and in a proper glass. (1,289 characters)

Photo of Retsinis
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. Bomber.

The bottle art alone is unmistakable, along with the long "epitaph" like statements on the back.

On Appearance, it pours a dark copper-brown in color with a good few inches of head that retains well. The head is sticky throughout, and hold to the glass wall. Cloudy haze is also noticeable, even though it is a dark brown.

On Aroma, caramel malt scents are present, but the hops are the most upfront to me. Citrus and grapefruit being the most prevalent.

On Taste, just as with the nose, smooth caramel malt flavor up front, quickly followed by citric hops, finishing with roasted malt notes. The Toasty notes linger on the palate as well, as does the sharp hop flavor.

On Mouth feel, medium, with a light amount of carbonation, but the hop bite make up for that. Alcohol is less noticeable to me, but my ABV average is about 8% lately anyway.

It is quite drinkable.

While the beers reputation is such an established one in the craft beer scene, in my humble opinion, the recipe has been a bit eclipsed by other similar beers in the last few years, but on its own, it is still a solidly good beer, with its flavor profile still being almost unmistakable. (1,197 characters)

Photo of Ragedman
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reading all the reviews of Arrogant Bastard I was expecting this wonderful beer full of flavor and easy drinkability. Arrogant Bastard is full of flavor. Grapefruit and hops are the most powerful. At first the taste is smooth and once finished a bitter taste lingeres in the back of your mouth. From the outside Arrogant Bastards looks and smells amazing. Dark orange/brown color and I found it to smell very sweet with some hoppy overtones. What set me back was the drinkabilty toward the end of the 22oz bottle. It started to taste like dandilion flowers and had warmed up a bit much. Needless to say for anyone looking for a strong ale with alot of flavor Arrogant Bastard hits the mark. (690 characters)

Photo of Kelp
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice ruby red red hue as it pours into my glass. Two fingers of head grow. Fades at a decent rate slight lacing.

Medium hops smell, along with pine and light caramel finish.

A quick hop bite right off the bat. Followed by the maltiness of the beer and finishing with a piney after taste.

Medium body to the beer smooth across the tongue. Good but not great feel to it.

I couldn't drink more than one, maybe two. Not really my cup of beer as they say. Good once in a great while. (484 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours reddish with soft head. Aroma is bready biscuits, caramel, assertive pine hops. Taste has nice caramel and booze flavor, with a pine bitter crisp finish to balance things out. A complex and strong beer, dry, and assertive. Medium slick palate, medium carbonation. Very nice. (280 characters)

Photo of Jadjunk
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brewed in the style of an American Strong Ale. Available as a year round release in 22 oz. bottles, 12 oz. bottled 6 packs and on standard draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a Stone Brewing pint glass. Served above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy foam head of a golden-caramel tone over a mildly hazy copper body with light, lively carbonation. Retention is very good and lacing is moderate and draped. 4.5

(Smell) Bready, biscuity caramel grains and syrups, ample fruity and piney hops with a moderate bitterness, relatively clean and simple overall despite a moderate potency, the malt and hop characters are perceptibly dominant in the aroma. 3.75

(Taste) Smooth, bready caramel malts forward with a low sweetness, fairly dry with a moderate hop profile of piney, resinous and light citrus hops. Finishes smooth and moderately dry with a lingering malt dryness and a light piney hop note with a subtle bitterness. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) The texture is slick, lightly creamy, clean and moderately dry. Carbonation is light, generating a modest frothiness and a faintly crisp finish. Balance is slightly hoppy bitter and grainy over sweet. Alcohol presence is light and there are no notable off characters. 3.75

(Overall) My first foray into Arrogant Bastard Ale came in my early years of drinking, as one of my very first craft beers, and it genuinely took me by surprise at how startling the flavor profiles were. Nearly 5 years and a much more seasoned (or weakened) palate later, it's not pulling the same weight that it once did with me in particular, as I find the hops and malt character much milder now than I did then, and the striking lack of malt sweetness unusual. It is much more drinkable now than I found 2010, although I would only find myself visiting this beer on rare occasions. It continues to carry an excellent price tag per bottle, which is one reason I recommend this beer to budding craft ale connoisseurs, as it demonstrated to me early on that there was a great deal of flavor to enjoy in craft-brewed ales, this is a good starting point for many who want to explore this potential. 3.75

Stone Brewing Co.'s
Arrogant Bastard Ale
3.7/5.00 (2,187 characters)

Photo of dunit697
3.69/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Let me start out by saying I am not a big Stone fan. I think the hops are normally a bit extreme. This beer is no exception, I tried grading very objectively and most standards its a good beer. I personally only recommend Stone Beer's in general if you love hops to death. I can say I won't be buying this one again. (316 characters)

Photo of AndIWantYou
3.69/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally! I've been meaning to try out the venerable AB since.. well.. since I discovered good beer. My last attempt met with failure when Vintage Cellar was temporarily out of stock, but here it is today. 24 ounce bottle with the devil on the front and a lot of talk on the back...

I love the cranberry red color of this beer. The cappucino head was not something I expected (I would have guessed white or off-white) and didn't stick around too long. Smells much sweeter than it tastes; the hops cut the sweetness just enough. A little hop bitterness and a little alcohol warmth. Almost a vodka-like quality when I swallow (not so much the alcohol but the flavors). Fills the mouth with just enough body but not overly much.

I'm not sure this beer lives up to the hype on the bottle, though. Sure, most people don't like strong beers like this, but I don't think it's any less palatable to a BMCer than a DFH 60 Minute or even a SNPA. (940 characters)

Photo of brushtachio
3.69/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I looked at this beer after pouring it into my glass and thought "this is what all beer should look like" beautiful glowing amber color and a dense long lasting head that looked positively sculptural as it receded.

The aroma was dominated by bitter hop tones and the taste followed suit. Short-lived (im talking did-I-taste-it-or- just- imagine- it short- lived) caramel malt follows by big hops. That's the story. I haven't drank much of this style so I don't know if this is typical for it. Certainly the makers were looking for a big hoppy ale and they did it well. Still not as drinkable as some other beers (IPAs mostly) that also featured this same dominant trait. (672 characters)

Photo of Robert_Ray
3.69/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I like to be adventurous and I knew what I was getting into when I bought it, but I was hoping for a little less of the hop after taste back-end and more of the sweet malt front-end.

It taste very similar to several of the popular IPA's and I am just not an IPA fan. I don't blame this Bastard.

For a guy that absolutely loves Belgian Ales, I should have known better. I think that I will try and recap it and give it to one of my adult kids (who loves IPA) . I will then open a Belgian style Tripel and enjoy. (513 characters)

Photo of zplug123
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Maple-brown color, good head with attractive lacing that lasts for the whole time

S: Definitely strong hops aroma, pine/spice with a hint of malt sweetness

T: The hoppiness is apparent at the beginning, with a lingering mouthfeel. Subsequent sips exhibit a malt sweetness underneath, but overall strong and hop-bitter.

M: The carbonation lets it stick to the palette for a few seconds, definitely pleasant due to appropriate carbonation level. The hop resin feeling is definitely overbearing, but otherwise smooth.

D: I have half of a 22 oz bottle while I shared the rest with my brother, a good beer to sip and talk about, but definitely not anywhere on my top list. (674 characters)

Photo of Stigs
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

an old classic...one of my first craft beers. been awhile so i ordered a 16oz pour at fatheads, english-style pint glass.

A - bit over a finger of frothy, very light tan colored foam which just wouldnt go away. already covering the glass with a thin film which eventually sticks to it like glue. the beer is dark, dark amber in color and relatively clear. impressive.

S - hops, very heavy on the pine with a slightly citrusy sweet vibe at the end. sharp sweet caramel malt struggles for attention.

T - sharp and dark roasted malts coat the tongue before a massively bitter piney hop attack. hints of grapefruit and a lightly floral touch as well. a little one sided and everything seems to be fighting for attention at once instead of playing nicely.

M - a bit astringent...i know its meant to be bitter but with the aid of strong prickly carbonation it distracts from the flavors a bit. very dry finish with lingering piney bitterness.

D - arrogant indeed. right up a lot of craft drinker's alley, and i like them as hoppy and robust as they come but this is just lacking some grace, control. too many bold flavors at once do not leave much room for anything else. hits the spot on certain days, this must not be one of them. (1,232 characters)

Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass:

A: pours a dark brown and leaves the same colored body with a soft lumpy creamy looking half finger head. The head lasted about a good three minutes. The lacing was mild in that there wasn't any rings or any foamy leftovers.

S: mainly the hops in front through a nice bitter sort of way. Some malts appear in the background as she warms.

T: mild bitterness backed up by some citrus and hops.

M: medium sort of body and comes across somewhat surprisingly smooth. Still, there's a decent sort of sessionable aspect to it.

O: this is a decent beer, nothing to scream about. I guess I just thought it would've been better but hey I'd still have it again. (674 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ignite!

A: Reddish brown color with a thin tan head.

S: Big malty aroma with some citrus hops and a good amount of resin.

T: I started out loving this beer, then I hated it, and now I'm back to liking it again. Big, chewy malt throughout, citrus hop resin and a good amount of booze. (298 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 20 oz. bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: A beautiful dark red amber. Magnificent head with surprisingly creaminess and retention. Good lacing.

S: Hoptastic! Crisp hops overwhelm my nose mingling with malty sweetness.

T: After such a strong start, I was a bit let down by the taste. It's not thin, exactly, but rather unsupported. It's a very nice ale with excellent hops undergirded by malt. Other than that, it's a very nice ale with excellent...You get the picture. Bitter aftertaste lingers, pleasant at first, but fading with time.

M: Average. I don't really have much to say. Hops have a mild drying taste.

D: Starts strong, but doesn't quite hold out. The more I drank, the less I liked it. Still, all around, a very solid choice. Avoid if you dislike hops. Not a problem for me though, and I think grab another someday soonish. (849 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a shaker pint, Arrogant Bastard is clear ruddy brown, with a huge light khaki head that subsides to thick skim leaving moderate lace.

The nose is caramel malt and citrus hops, but not the same brightness as an IPA, they form an interesting combination that is more then the sum of the parts. Frankly, I'd prefer the hops unadulterated.

The taste is initially malty and grainy, but is quickly obliterated by the hops, finishes dry and bitter. I wonder how fresh the hops are, here they come across more grassy/leafy then much citrus or pine that I would expect. While the taste is pretty strong, it's not the richest strong ale, which is good because the finish quickly beckons another sip.

Light bodied for the style, moderate carbonation.

This is pretty drinkable for the style, but it's ultimately not the most memorable or inspiring ale. (887 characters)

Photo of rvdoorn
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: The beer pours a an amber brown color with a nice off white head.
Smell: Fruits and piney hops
Taste: Fruits and piney hops again, malts and caramel sweetness.Finish is hppy bitter
Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, medium body
Overall: Nice beer, a bit too sweet for the style (279 characters)

Photo of jeffsala
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark Brown with reddish hues. Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bomber. Very nice head that lingers in the glass.

S - Malty with sweet tones. Lightly hopped with citrus and pine smells present.

T - There is a lot going on with this brew. The malt hits first and then a pine/citrus tone as an aftertaste. It's an interesting beer and definitely well crafted, but not to the point where would put it on my top 10 list.

M - Rich and Satisfying. The ABV is not to noticeable and agreeable aftertaste.

D - To me this is a one and done beer as least when presented in the bottle. I remember a somewhat different experience when I had it on Draft at Mad Mex in State College PA. I would like to try it again on tap and then revise this review if the experience is different. (783 characters)

Photo of BrewSomerville
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Aroma: Citrusy, malty-sweet smelling, pine, grass, dirty hops.

Looks: Copper with amber/ red highlights. Big cream coloured head. Some lace.

Taste: Ruby red grapefruit, pine, malty taste reminded me of the candy; Big red foot. Orange peel. Good bitterness that you can feel at the back of your tongue.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Lower than average carbonation.

Overall, I like it very much. I would drink it more often if it were lower in alcohol and if I could find some in smaller bottles. (502 characters)

Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a 1 finger head that recedes quickly. Sweet nose, with notes of hops. Some dark malts, spice (pinch of nutmeg?), hint of citrus and a dash of hops compose a rather banal flavor profile. Nice and light, yet almost creamy mouthfeel. This is a good craft beer, but not a great one - and not worth the $6 a bomber. Maybe a 6-er is a better format for this very sessionable beer. (398 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle into goblet on 4/27/09. Thanks to FooFaa for sharing.

A - Poured an attractive clear ruby red body with one-finger beige head that settled into a patchy film and yielded some elaborate lacing on the sides of the glass.

S - Sweet and sugary nose with an earthy hop character and a hint of floral notes. I also detect a dark fruit presence that suggests raisins and apricots.

T - Dark fruit notes up front with the aforementioned raisins and apricots paired with a subtle resiny hop character and earthy notes, albeit a bit restrained. Definitely not as aggressively hopped as I was anticipating. Hop presence is a bit muted overall.

M - Medium body with a warm, bristly mouthfeel and slight syrupy texture. Mild bitterness on the palate.

D - I found this to be good but not mild-blowing. Perhaps the bottle was slightly past its prime. I would like to sample this on tap soon, because I know there is potential here. With a name like Arrogant Bastard, it HAS to be good, right? (996 characters)

Photo of Daniellobo
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice draft pour, but while it feels a bit more assertive on the hop profile than bottled versions it is close to compromising a bit the richness and balanced experienced there.

Presentation: 16 oz draft offering. Menu offers a fair one liner description and brewery location. Served in a pilsner-like glass.

A - Deep amber color with a fine off-white foamy head. Fine retention and showy lacing as it goes down to an assertive surface lid.

S - Smell is not particularly assertive, It has a faint not of sweet caramel malt notes with a citrus hoppy hint.

T - Taste remains far more assertive and rich than the smell. There is still a good sense of malt and somewhat fruity flavor finished, but the rich citrus hoppy bite takes a far more prominent role than what it does on the bottle.

M - Fine carbonation on a medium to full bodied beer. Creamy and smooth feel.

D - Still drinkable on tap but feels like a different beast, not far from other versions but while good maybe a bit less memorable.

Notes: Remains a nice offering on tap, but feels a bit subdued... Too cold probably and the glassware is fair but not ideal. (1,129 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
3.67/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into my Duvel glass. No bottle date or drink by date present. Awesome looking label though.

(A)- Pours a medium reddish brown/mahogany that has a slight cloudiness to it. The off white head was at least 3-fingers and is still staying strong! Its almost thick like Cool Whip!

(S)- Rather closed and tight in the smell department. However, I am getting a mix of hops and malts. A small bite of some spice and lemon-pine coming through.

(T)- Wow, serious hops blast at the beginning that really coats the tongue with the telltale bitter, lemony-citrus pine essences of hops. It then mellows out at the end into an interesting tea-like flavor; like a fruity Earl Grey or Darjeeling tea with some honeyed malty sweetness.

(M)- It has a good carbonation level that intermixes well with everything else. The 7.2% alcohol is hidden really well, so it can be deceiving! Its got a good bite to it, but is also smooth on the finish. Good complexities of both flavor and texture. It actually reminds me of Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot Barleywine to a certain extent.

(D)- The balance of bitter and sweet really brings out some complex flavors in this guy. The alcohol is hard to find amidst the bittersweetness, but it could sneak up on you after a few, but I definitely wouldnt mind having 2-3 of these no problem. (1,324 characters)

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,900 ratings.