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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,900 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,900
Hads: 9,917
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 382
Gots: 2,046 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Arrogant Bastard Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,900 | Hads: 9,917
Photo of oidrink
1.98/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Taste like asprin... effin hate it so much.. yuck! I had that taste on the tip of my tounge that was numbing. I thought it would be awesome without that nasty taste. Its however smooth.. If they change that taste I would engage another drink. Its not horrible but maybe you should buy 1 22oz. and try it out... who knows you might like it. It also was like 4 dollars at a store in Portland oregon. (397 characters)

Photo of vitesse
2.04/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

the beer looks nice and the bottle tries hard to stand out, but that's about all i like about this beer. the hops are just so overbearing that it left me with a muddy/earthy flavor in my mouth. have you ever smelled plain ole raw hop pellets before used for brewing? that's what this beer tastes like. there's absolutely no malty sweetness to balance it out either. yeah it masks the alcohol well, but so what? this beer is just so gimmicky to me. hops are great for adding bitterness and aroma, but this beer uses way too much of them. (536 characters)

Photo of Knuckles
2.08/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I just don't get the accolades this beer gets. This beer is, to me, a very simple but oddly discordant brew. So at the risk of getting flamed, here goes.

Appearance: The color, initially, is attractive. I was able to pour a nice head with little effort, and it's a fairly deep ruby, and not unappealing.

Smell: Fairly malty, but in a cloyingly sweet kind of way. Then, in the finish, there's this weird whiff of hops that really doesn't seem to belong. What in the hell is going on with this beer?

Taste: Malty at the start and in the middle, but not in a way I would view favorably. Almost a brown sugar (dark corn syrup?) kind of sweetness to it, that then has this complete non-sequiteur of a hop finish. Don't get me wrong, I love hops (and when used wisely in an stronger beer, they can be impressive as hell: Pike XXX Stout, for example), but these just don't belong. Are they the wrong type, or just work poorly with the malts? I don't know.

Mouthfeel: Initially, upon seeing the color, I thought this would be a warm, velvety presence in my mouth. Disappointingly enough, it wasn't. Very thin, and just not what I expected.

Drinkability: This beer is comprised of individual elements that simply do not work with each other. The aroma doesn't work with the taste, the malts don't work with the hops, the taste doesn't work with the mouthfeel. What I found, in this tasting, is that the colder the beer is served, the more coherent it is. As you allow it to warm to proper temperatures, the various elements seperate themselves from each other and become even more discordant. Damn thing can't even warm up right.

I've now had this twice in my life (Christmas of 1997, right after it came out, and just now). Both times my impressions were the same, so I won't be having it again. Arrogance is a great marketing tool, I just wish they had a beer that was worth being arrogant about. (1,909 characters)

Photo of thehillsbar
2.1/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

wow was this hard to drink. i wound up throwing more than half of the bottle away because it had such a harsh taste & aftertaste that lingered. it was not enjoyable to drink in the least. Maybe some will like it, but I don't get it.
Very, almost too hoppy. (256 characters)

Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.1/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clear reddish brown with half inch tan head and some lacing. The aroma is fruity with sweet malt and some spice. The flavor is sweet malt and vanilla in the background of an overpowering bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium full. Stone Arrogant Bastard is just way too bitter, theirs potential in the background. Barely recommended. (339 characters)

Photo of Jwaks
2.14/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Each time I try this beer, I recall how awful, undrinkable, unpleasing and unbalanced it is. This beer makes me think it is a small west coast american barleywine that may never find a good drinking window. Hop flavor and bitterness is way over the top with some "lip service" malt struggling yet failing horriby to balance the beer. What makes it worse is the assertive and undeniably unpleasant bitterness that lingers far after the first sip. It's anything but pleasing or appetizing making the beer nearly undrinkable.

I admit fully to shitting all over this beer, it's deserved even though it has few small redemeing qualities. One being it's a first in american strong ale craft beers and helped redefine how many americans see and experience beer. I resepect and appreciate what arrogant bastard ale and stone has done to foward craft beer and redefine beer for the majority of beer drinkers. Second, it's an awesome show of american hops even if I disagree with the chosen hop varietys and use; they are clearly at odds with the malt base and their excessive use is way over the top creating disjointed flavors and lack of harmony in the final product.

This beer was not brewed or intended to be a great beer, but only as an over the top small west coast barleywine to match a gimmiky, catchy marketing ploy designed to challenge fizzy yellow beer and micro drinkers alike to try something "better." If there is a FIAT beer, like the US dollar, something that has value only because it or someone says it does, this is it.

Thanks, Stone, but I know you can do better in the American Strong Ale category if you tried to brew a good beer and not sell marketing with a token beer to go with. Please drop the ridiculous, shameless and unecessary marketing and brew a better beer. Sans marketing, a good product sells itself. (1,832 characters)

Photo of champ103
2.19/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Ruby/red/brown in color. One finger white head that fades fast and leaves some spotty lace. This turned out to be the best part of the beer. I thought I was in for something special.
S: Lots of pine and citrus hops. A little malt, but very faint. No balance.
T: Overpowering hops, no malt balance at all. Don't get me wrong, I like hops, but some balance needs to be meet. Very dry and bitter. I can also taste a lot of alcohol.
D: Not good. A lot of alcohol burn and very bitter. The high ABV is very noticeable.

The bottle says that many people may not like this beer. They are correct. Not a pleasant beer to drink. I agree, in principle, with what this beer is trying to do (educate people on the difference between macro lager crap and big business), but they failed in my opinion. The key is balance. There is just too much hops and nothing else. Try something else. (876 characters)

Photo of jdm
2.25/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

this is a visually stunning brew. it is dark red with a huge tan head that has great staying power and that tries to pull the sides of the glass down with it as it dissappears (great lacing). i put my nose to this one and things go south from there. i know everyone tends to like this one, but sorry folks, it smells and tastes an awful lot like grapefruit juice to me. i can taste and smell grain, citrus, and definitely hops but the malt is nearly invisible behind the gaggingly sharp bite of monstrous hops. i can tell from the mouthfeel that they did not spare the malt in manufacture. i appreciate that this could not be a cheap beer to manufacture, but i can't jump on the bandwagon with this one. it is all i can do to finish a whole bottle. (748 characters)

Photo of faubs
2.3/5  rDev -45%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I apologize for all you hop hounds out there that cant get enough crammed into a pint glass but the choice of hops is what did this one in. As stated above the nose, appearance and gravity of this one were all good. But the hops. It wasn't that there was too much alpha acid, that I can handle. It was the aftertaste. Too rancid ,very piney. I might have had a bad batch but until i get the chance again my grade will remain low. (429 characters)

Photo of cjhofelt
2.3/5  rDev -45%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bought a bomber of this tonight because I've heard so many raves about it. I have to say, I was afraid this would happen. It's like this whenever the hype about something takes on a life of it's own. I'm surprised by how many of the top reviewers rate this so highly. I consider this "The Emperors New Beer".

I will say, though, the appearance of this beer is exceptional. It's a rich deep copper color with a dense inch or so of beige head. All beers should be this beautiful in a glass. It made me very hopeful that the beer would live up to it's reputation. The head stayed a long time and left an impressive lacing on the glass. It's a very well made beer, as far as looks go.

But those hopes evaporated when I smelled it. Don't get me wrong, I love the smell of hops. But that's all this beer has. Other beers, good beers, have something besides that. This is a very one dimensional beer.

Taste? Well, there again, I love hops, but I don't care to eat them as a meal by themselves. In fact, there isn't much flavor there, just an intense bitterness that overpowers any hop flavors that I know must be there. There is no subtlety to this beer. It's a real sledge-hammer approach to brewing. It reminds me of guys who enter chili cook-offs with the hottest chili that they can make, but forget that it has to taste good, too. It's like Yngwie Malmsteen's guitar playing. Yeah, he's the fastest, but it's not a race. Play something good, we know you have the skills.

Great mouthfeel, though. It has a very creamy body. Very dry without tasting overly alcoholic (which it kinda' is at 7.2%).

Not very drinkable, though. It was a bit of a chore finishing the bomber. I did, though, it was better than the Miller High Life Lite I tried the other day and couldn't finish.

Sorry, but I can't give this beer a better rating than this, I suppose I'm just not "worthy". Flame away, but, really it's a lame beer with a great marketing strategy. At least it's a well made lame beer. (1,992 characters)

Photo of phissionkorps
2.35/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

When I saw the bottle, I absolutely had to try this beer. Before opening the bottle, I looked it up on this site...I had such high hopes, but then the taste...

This beer is godawful. I have no idea why it got such high reviews. I couldn't even finish the stuff, as my taste buds had decided to mutiny. (304 characters)

Photo of granger10
2.38/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

My first Stone disappointment. This beer did not live up to its hype imo. Pours a ruby red color with darker auburn shades on the side. Sporadic light tan head holds for awhile. Decent lacing along the sides. Aroma is very bitter and sharp. Quite acidic as well. There's some alcohol notes in there too, which I liked. The flavors in this beer simply did not work together. A very sweet caramel/butterscotch taste comes at first but then is soon drowned out by an intensely bitter, slightly piney hoppiness. The hoppiness holds and brings some alcohol fusels in with it and then on the finish the malt comes back with a sickening cloying syrup texture. The finish is horrible. I feel like I need to wash my mouth out with water. This beer is on the thin side and the body can't hold the flavors together. It seems like Stone just threw a bunch of random ingredients into the kettle and this was the horrible result. They have so many good beers, I don't know what happened here. (978 characters)

Photo of KRussell
2.4/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Unfortunately, I can't even review this beer now and the reasons are listed below.

I've been drinking this for years now. Every time I visit my local establishment which has had Arrogant Bastard since day 1, I get a draft glass of it. It used to be great but has suffered from inconsistencies over the last couple years. I had some today from a keg and it tasted more like an IPA than arrogant bastard. I've had some in the past that tasted more like a Yuengling. I thought maybe it was a keg issue so I grabbed some in a bottle and it tasted different in the bottle also.

I'm starting to think that the bourbon and oaked versions were just batches that didn't turn out right. Unfortunately, Stone has some work to do to get this beer consistent and tasking like it used to. (782 characters)

Photo of ranger7
2.41/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at the Holy Grail Pub in Plano.
I'm much looking forward to this.

A - A medium to dark brown color. Some head, but not much retention. Good.

S - Very hoppy. Honestly, all I could smell was a strong pine scent that is enhanced after taking a sip. Like a cheap car air-freshener.

T - Strong. Again, hops and an unpleasant piney aftertaste that lingers far too long. Not much balance here, unfortunately.

M - Quite a bit of hop aggressiveness. Some carbonation gives the hops more bite. The feel does improve as the beer warms and loses the carbonation, however.

Summary - I've been wanting to try this brew for a while. I had heard great things about it, and it's extremely popular, but I was left disappointed. It is far too strong in the hop department. I learned that Arrogant Bastard Ale is not my style.
Note: I drank this at the same place as the 90 min Dogfish Head, with the same fish and chips. Not even close to the same experience. (952 characters)

Photo of delmarnate
2.44/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I waited a long time to try this beer, and it was not worth the wait. The appearance is amazing, with a deep amber burgundy color. The taste is overwhelming hop from the outset. The aftertaste is almost like sucking a grapefruit. There is no complexity. It is all hops. Not worth it, even for a hop lover. (305 characters)

Photo of mhpalmer
2.44/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured into a tulip, a hazy almost-opaque reddish brown. Thick tan head made of mostly tiny bubbles with a few large ones interspersed. The head lasted pretty long, and leaves a ring around the edge and a little foamy glob in the middle that I like to save for the last sip like shooting an oyster. The sticky head leaves some nice lacing on the glass that leaves rings as I drink it down.

Smells like caramel and grass with just a touch of grapefruit, and pretty solidly that. There's not a lot going on in the aroma, which is nice. I learned the KISS principle in high school, and that was probably the best thing I learned there.

Taste is malty and bready up front with a nice floral hop finish. The middle of the taste is sort of musky-fruity. There is a strong and long-lasting alcoholic and bitter after-taste. The more of it I drink, the more I taste the grapefruit character from the hops.

Mouthfeel is a bit thick. Could use a bit more carbonation to lighten it up. Also, the alcoholic/bitter aftertaste is very off-putting and lasts an inordinate amount of time.

Drinkability: Okay, I get it...you're a big beer. And you don't really care what I think about you, you arrogant bastard. If you did, you might make yourself a bit more drinkable. This beer is harsh in my opinion. That isn't to say I don't like it, I can be a bit masochistic from time to time. I just wouldn't ever drink two of these in a row (in fact, I only finished THIS bottle because I can't bear to waste beer), but I suppose that isn't the point of a beer like this. Then again, what IS the point of a beer like this?

Eerie side note: On my second pour, the foamy glob that I noted before actually became three separate globs that looked just like a smiley face. Is that the gargoyle's soul laughing at me for not getting the joke? I must not be worthy... (1,842 characters)

Photo of honeybrewer
2.46/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Quite an original looking label; it's nice to see something different. This beer poors a nice copper color, with a good white head that fades away pretty quick. Looks appealing.
The smell is nothing remarkable; moderate hop aroma in no way prepares you for what is coming.
Intense, hot, overpowering hop flavor. Very sharp, very bitter. As it warms this mellows just enough that I can get a taste of the malt behind the hops. Definetly needs to go with a big rare steak.
Definetly for the dedicated hop lovers only. From the arrogance on the label I was expecting a beer with big full malt and hop flavors, but all I got was the hops. I didn't really like this beer, but that does not mean it isn't any good. If you like to chew on mouthsfull of hops, this brew is for you. (776 characters)

Photo of TechMyst
2.5/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I thought I was sophisticated enough to enjoy a brew like this. But I tried a bomber of this while vacatining out in Arizona (since I cannot recieve this in IL yet.) and I can't really say I like it. Too much going on , caramel, fruit, overload...I'd rather have an Eye of the Hawk by Mendocino. (295 characters)

Photo of boxvic
2.5/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I like a few ales, so I went into this expecting to like it (or at least tolerate it). It has a nice dark caramel color; and has a good hoppy smell. It poured with a creamy head. From there it went south for me. I don't want to totally dog the beer like most people do with the macro beers (which aren't all that bad); but I just cannot rate the taste for this very highly.

I'm sure most people will disagree with me, but I had to pour out most of this pint. The head hadn't even dissipated before my stomach started to hurt. I'm not sure if my stomach just didn't like one of the ingredients, or if the hops were just too strong for my stomach. All I know is I couldn't finish it. (683 characters)

Photo of GabeBoise
2.5/5  rDev -40.2%

This beer showcases the ultra bitter approach to hops that was popular in the late nineties. This is the kind of beer that caused me to switch to wine and other beverages. The new school of hoppy beers showcase flavor and aroma elements to balance the bitterness. In the bastard, bitterness is forefront and dominant. A very unpleasant beer to drink. (350 characters)

Photo of deebo
2.51/5  rDev -40%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I'm not much of a NW hop fan when done in arrogant fashion so didn't expect to care for this one-but gave it a try at a beer tasing.

A-light clear brown with a weak head
S-Yep its hoppy, citrusy/piney, touch of malted barley
T-Decent upfront malted barley flavor quickly taken over by grapefruit, resin like hops.
M-Decent, but lingers
D-I could drink one if in a pinch.

Definitely an arrogant bastard-me no like, but good for you hop heads. (443 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.53/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1 pt 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Three finger head of good cream, nice thickness, and good retention. Colour is a dark copper colour. Semitransparent.

Sm: Musty caramel, nuts, and fair cream. A mild strength aroma.

T: Caramel ridden body alongside some very slight roast notes. A little cream is present. Generally, it's a bit simply built. The nuts don't come through. It's not really well balanced, but it could be worse.

Mf: Pretty smooth and pretty wet. Doesn't really suit the flavours of the body.

Dr: Too difficult to drink for the ABV. The flavours are a damned distraction. The price is higher than it should be. It's far from awful, but I wouldn't have it again. (809 characters)

Photo of kaboose72
2.54/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

HOP CITY

A- A Clear deep red mahogany, copper color.

S- Smells of HOPS

T- HAs a long lasting after taste.

D- Very strong and distinct beer. This is the beer that turned me away from strong HOP beers.

guess i got drink if given again. but will not by ever (260 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
2.58/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Re-review because I never cared for my first review.

A: Pours a reddish mahogany with a well-retaining beige head.

S: Bitter, resiny pine hops, dark fruit, caramel.

T: As in the nose, bitter hops lead the way. The emphasis on bitter pine needles and resin is something I've never gotten accustomed to with this beer. Mild citrus elements in the mid-taste, which transition into caramel and dark fruit. The finish is a piney hop punch again.

M: Medium-full bodied with tons of sticky, lingering bitterness. I prefer a cleaner flavor profile, one that doesn't totally ruin your palate. But that's arguably my own shortcoming.

O: I've never enjoyed this beer, and I can't figure out why. I like Stone, I like hoppy beers (is that redundant?), but the particular flavor profile here rubs me the wrong way, whether I have it on tap or out of the bottle. Ah well, more for everyone else. (891 characters)

Photo of calise1122
2.59/5  rDev -38%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Man, It really has been far too long since I’ve had the beer. Like I said before – I got a bit annoyed from their beers a few years back and sort of stopped buying them. Not in any boycott or shit like that, just fell off my grocery list.

Anyway, I let the bomber get a little closer to room temp and poured into a skinny tulip. It pours a dark, mahogany brown with a frothy sweat stained white head that pours a few fingers thick and then dimples and craters quickly on the surface, but holds on tight to the sides of the glass leaving a nice lacing. 3 minutes go by and the head settles down to a nice foamy surface about a half inch thick with rings sticking around up north.

For a dark brown ale, it is crystal clear. Very filtered and I can almost make out Aceves’s beer gut through the glass if I hold still long enough. Held up to the light, you get a little coca cola ruby red/brown at the base of the glass. Nice looking beer – certainly looks like a strong ale.

Haven’t smelt this beer in a long time, but oddly enough it smells the same, familiar. A weird smell I think – very bitter, very hoppy… but the pine aroma is supported by the foundation of grain, caramel, toffee aroma beneath it.

Maybe it’s because I just had a DIPA… but I think it has a pretty “watery” mouthfeel compared to last time I had it. It finishes sticky enough… but I feel like it may have been “thicker” in my memory. Taste? Boozy, hoppy, grainy, chewy caramel – but a lack of balance if you ask me. The hops smack you around a bit with grapefruit/citrus… but its not that great citrus flavor that you cherish in a really well balanced and appropriately hopped beer. Just swinging its big grapefruit dick around with no abandon... I guess that's what an Arrogant Bastard does.

Wouldn’t say I’d get this again soon. I like a beer that is balanced – even when its high alcohol. There are plenty of 7+ ABV beers that are fantastically balanced… but this unfortunately (in my opinion) is not one of them. It doesn’t have much flow to it if that makes any sense… starts a bit watery in mouthfeel, ends very sticky. Starts out way to hoppy – filled with grapefruit.. ends with a not so great burnt caramel flavor. Awkward more than Arrogant... and I like big ass, hoppy, aggressive beers...

But it did look really nice. (2,353 characters)

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