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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,901 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,901
Hads: 9,921
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 384
Gots: 2,051 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-15-2000

This is an aggressive ale. You probably won't like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory–maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beverage will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make things taste better. Perhaps you're mouthing your words as you read this.

At Stone Brewing, we believe that pandering to the lowest common denominator represents the height of tyranny - a virtual form of keeping the consumer barefoot and stupid. Brought forth upon an unsuspecting public in 1997, Arrogant Bastard Ale openly challenged the tyrannical overlords who were brazenly attempting to keep Americans chained in the shackles of poor taste. As the progenitor of its style, Arrogant Bastard Ale has reveled in its unprecedented and uncompromising celebration of intensity. There have been many nods to Arrogant Bastard Ale…even outright attempts to copy it… but only one can ever embody the true nature of liquid Arrogance!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,901 | Hads: 9,921
Photo of shandy
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

There's nothing I can say that hasn't been said before and I rarely, if ever, post a review.

Last night however we flooded in our street after storms that haven't been seen in this area within living memory. Our house escaped thankfully but I spent the day clearing out the one room that flooded and the garden which was shot to shit and, of course, helping the neighbours with whatever needed doing.

I've been abstaining from beer for Feb Fast which, given that we're only on the 5th, means I haven't gone too long although today also marks my 1 week without beer anniversary.

Anyway, after a truly awful 24 hours I decided a beer was in order and where did I turn? Arrogant Bastard. It's been over a year since i tried this beer and tonight there could have been no better beer I could have selected. It was all in one package. The malt, the hops the mouthfeel. Everything hit the spot and funnily what I'd actually been craving over the past few days was a real citrus driven IPA. This wasn't it but it was the better for it. I made the right choice putting those other beers back. The gargoyle spoke to me.

The rain has been off today so I'm going to have another beer.

Oíche mhaith (1,192 characters)

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I go back and forth wether I like this or Ruination more. RARELY does a beer come along that is new and original. Something that hasn't been done yet. Hoppy and bitter, alcoholic and deep. Color is somewhat amber and non flattering, hiding the truth. Head holds its own thru the entire course (292 characters)

Photo of Avantyawn
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 ounce bomber into pint glass. My first try of this beer and boy am I impressed...

A: Deep translucent brown with reddish hue, thick head with large bubbles, tons of lacing down the glass as I drink more and more.

S: Sweet caramel and some sweet floral fruitiness, strawberry jam, sweet tarts, gentle malt presence and a touch of alcohol at the end.

T: What a nice surprise this beer is. I am getting more and more into Stone with each beer I sample. Tastes like a rustic deep strong IPA. Slightly sweet and salty, sour, bitter, fruity. Very dry bitter ending but there is enough of a nice oily taste here that the bitterness is not overwhelming. It just borders on that aesthetic.

M: Delicious fresh hop oils. Strong but not overpowering carbonation. Medium thick but with a light smooth finish. Excellent!

D: I am pounding this bomber, it just hits the spot amazingly well after walking around the city for a few hours. I had a slightly rough throat, I would say this is an excellent beer for allergies or a slight sore throat form a cold. When I have a cold I like bitter soothing hoppy beers , this would fit the bill. Exceptional drinkabilty. Amazing beer. (1,168 characters)

Photo of MSchae1017
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was tasted in a snifter from the 22oz bottle.

This beer pours a brownish ruby amber with a frothy tan head that holds quite nicely with an even film and plenty of lacing. The smell is of toasted malts and HOPS! The taste is also fantastic. Its malty up front with the toasted malts and then it hits you afterwards with a huge amount of flavorful hops. The mouthfeel is a great body and has a nice carbonation. Overall, a great beer. (443 characters)

Photo of boulevard2
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber with no freshness date

Pours thick carmel colored almost looks like iced tea. Smells sweet and delicious so many characteristics I don't know where to start, grapes, malt , hops and caramel. The taste is smooth and creamy with hops , malts, caramel and honey . This is a stellar beer and I would put this beer up against any other and be on top .I now understand and deem myself worthy ...thank you Stone Brewing! (428 characters)

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

yes! this is the reason i came back to the states for a visit!

dark, DARK amber, pretty gem-like clear despite the bottle conditioning. awesome head and lacing.

great citrusy, fruity, piney hop aroma, almost perfume-like. hint of toasted malts.

hearty, malty flavor, with a nice strong kick of hops. really well balanced and amazingly smooth. i just can't get enough of this! (378 characters)

Photo of KKB
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A – A gorgeous deep copper/ caramel with a tight-bubbled light beige head. A good looking beer, it starts leaving lacing around the edges from the get go as the head recedes.

S – Am I worthy? If ever a head could smell intimidating this is it: Over-hopped, ridiculous amounts of malt—arrogant indeed. The smell contains sharp, citrus hops as well as a concrete malt overtone that probably should clash, but doesn’t…at all. One of the best noses out there, IMO.

T – It’s a meal, you know? It’s an experience, it’s a delight, a lark, a song, an adventure. The taste is just so bold, and in a way typifies Stone brewery in my opinion. This beer should be an overwrought undertaking—it’s too much—so many hops, so much malt, so much character, it ought to overwhelm. And yet it does not, it is simply… great. One of the best things out there. Beautifully sweet and caramel-esque from the malty goodness, powerfully bitter and floral from the huge hoppy content, and these two super powers balance one another out. It’s very impressive, it’s very good—I see where the arrogance stems from.

M – The mouthfeel is just like this strong ale, it is bold, it is concrete, but it is just right for this beer. It has a medium body, very light carbonation with a bitterness on the palate due to the hops

O – This aint my first rodayo kid, I’ve been drinking his arrogance for a minute now. And I must say, that this is one of my favorite brews, from one of my favorite breweries on the planet. It is not nearly as intimidating as you may think it is, it just has so much flavor, and it is beautiful thing. Go beer, go, stone, go arrogance. DELICIOUS!

Ps. Ignore the 4 for the overall. I am only giving it that to balance it out to the score that I think this beer deserves. A 4.63 is utterly appropriate, and I think I gave each of the categories an accurate score, but with the overall being 4.5 the score for the beer was somewhat too high, so I lowered the overall. (1,997 characters)

Photo of wl0307
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased from the BSF bar of GBBF 2008; coming in a 1 Pt. 6Fl. Oz. brown bomber bottle, served cool in Tripel Karmeliet's branded long-stemmed, tulip-shaped goblet;

A: pours an ultra elegant dark mahogany hue, coming with fairly good clarity and moderate, fine fizziness; the dark beige creamy froth comes thin but tight and creamy, lasting loyally throughout the drink.
S: tell me what's the difference b/w this and an "American DIPA"?... maybe the colour and (by inference) how much dark malt takes up the overall percentage of the ingredients. Apart from that, the aroma here is just as marvellous as any heavily hopped American ale - the creamy malt, sweet nutty, sweet coffee-ish, raisiny and longan-fruity façade cannot prevent the rich, spongy, thickly aromatic hoppiness from sneaking through. The fantastic lychee-ish hops are truly pleasantly pronounced but not quite as sharp or lively as other heavily hopped ales by Stone, maybe due to the equally assertive presence of complex and oily maltiness.
T: simply sublime - the lubricating hoppy swallow of grapefruits and lychees fruits along with lots of mixed dried fruits is never far from semi-toasted walnuts and jammy malts; the aftertaste develops seamlessly following the tail of the main flavour, not so sharp but rather 3D-structured bitter, as a sign of interaction b/w dark/lightly-toasted malts and quality hops. The finish goes especially enticing but deep, where the chewy part of the almost roast tea-ish hops creeps down the palate and renders a dry but soothingly bitter finish down the wings of the tongue. Not to be ignored is a delicate touch of black cherry, licorice and spice that adds to the overall complexity. This is an Anglo-American hybrid ale at its best, I reckon.
M&D: due to successful bottling, the palate is really fresh and helps to lift the weight by a good margin with only the necessary dose of soft carbonation; the flavour profile is balanced, deep, yet overall surprisingly approachable - I find myself in deep thought about the structure of this ale and blissful imagination of how it might have tasted on the cask-conditioned form... Truly, a "well-hopped premium bitter" like this (this is how I appreciate this ale, regardless of any self-acclaimed beer style imposed here or by Stone, which it hasn't) shouldn't be an "Arrogant Bastard" in any sense. Frankly, I've never been able to grasp the humour (or pretentiousness) of Stone's beer-naming "strategy" (on top of lines and lines of unnecessary/redundant/quite uninformative explanation on the back label for many ales they bottle), which is quite a failure; but, I loyally love their beers. This AB is firmly on my top 3 from this brewery (so far) without a doubt. Being this drinkable and approachable, I almost feel I can stick to this ale the whole night... (2,825 characters)

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is amber in color with some extreme red notes. One of the reddest beers Ive ever seen. Small khaki head layers the top of the glass.

The nose is very piney and citrusy. Awesome hop aroma.

A thrashing amount of citrus and bittersweet hops make for quite a bold taste. Earthy, piney, resiny. A welcomed kick in the palate with this ale.

The mouthfeel is soft and creamy, yet still decently carbonated.

The drinkability is decent, but the heavy flavor would make it difficult to enjoy several of these. (513 characters)

Photo of jtw5877
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Xlperro for the sample. Nice dark color with a thick tanish head. Nice hop smell. I first notice the citrusy grassy hops, yet the maltiness is right there too. Great drinkability, I could drink this all night, if it wasn't for the 7+ alcohol. I love it. (267 characters)

Photo of BigDRS
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. ... am I worthy?

A - Color is a deep amber with a rich, thick tan head. Tons of tiny bubbles linger in the head and retention is awesome. Lacing is also top notch. A suburb visual specimen.

S - The nose is very interesting. Lots of caramel notes up front, with a little roasted/nutty character and some hops in the background.

T - The caramel and nuts from the nose are there, with a nice hop bitterness on the back end. There's a nice bit of sweetness right in the middle of everything on my palate with just a bit of dark fruit. This is a really, really great tasting beer.

M - Mouthfeel is good, but I'd like just a bit more carbonation to make this a 5/5. There is a slight syrupy quality to this beer that I really enjoy.

O - This is an awesome beer for anyone who thinks they're worthy. (843 characters)

Photo of OSUbrewman
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first round with the bastard, and I'm looking forward to more in the future.

Poured from the traditional 22 oz. Bomber:

Appearance: A brilliant amber hue with a fluffy 2-finger off white head. Fantastic retention and attractive lacing.

Smell: Hoppy and Flowery (makes the mouth water ;-))

Taste: Definitely not a disappointment in the hops department! Hops dominate the taste but are not overpowering or off-putting by any means.

Mouthfeel- Smooth. Goes down great with lingering hops in the finish.

Drinkability- Definitely a good session, if you ca afford it. High ABV might get you as well...

For the uninitiated, the "You're not worthy" moniker may apply (as it may take a slightly more refined palate to appreciate this one), but for those looking for a hoppy "bastard" of a brew you should look no further! (837 characters)

Photo of Moxley
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a nice 3-way tasting with fellow BA members Pleepleus and Hyland24. I'd love to get nasty one day.

A - A first time drinker of this beer may think it will over flow when pouring it into a glass, but this arrogant bastard magically forms a perfect deep amber body with a thick 1 ½ inch tan head leaving you feeling like you truly are not worthy to drink this beer. And let me not forget to mention the heavy, heavy, doily-like lacing that dominates the walls of the glass until the bitter sweet end.

This is a mother fuckin' good lookin' beer. I'd give this one a 10 if that were an option. Immediately reminded me of the way Guinness looks as its swirling, opaque-black body forms its perfect head.

S - Lots of malty sweetness with a strong maple, toffee aroma and nutty undertones.

T - Nice balanced malt flavor with a bitter sweet finish. Also picked up on some coffee nuances thanks to Pleepleus' seasoned beer palate.

M&D - Thick and creamy and seriously smooth. Minimal carbonation, perfectly balanced body. Hyland24 makes a very good observation - it's quite heavy for an ale and you certainly wouldn't guess you were drinking a beer with a 7.2 ABV.

So, unless you want to become an arrogant bastard please drink responsibly. (1,248 characters)

Photo of MusicmanSD
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Simply put one of the best, most complex beers I have ever tasted. The appearance is amazing. Dark, ruby red/brown tint with a caramel colored head that leaves uber Belgian-like amounts of lacing and never dissipates throughout being drunk. Probably has the best head retention I've ever seen out of a pint glass. The smell is actually pretty sweet, not bitter like the bottle and company suggests. Very cocoa and caramel like. The taste is the amazing part. The 7.2% is very well hidden leaving you to actually be able to scarf some arrogance down fairly fast, but why would you do that anyways?...Many, many different flavors bombarding your mouth at once. The mouthfeel is fairly heavy, but not sticky, which is perfect for me. Creamy once you get to the head. In fact, about the last 1% of the pour is pure cream. Awesome. Drinkability is damn good for how strong this beer is. There are just so many good aspects it’s amazing. Everyone must try this. Gotta love the bottle too! (983 characters)

Photo of XXVII
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: dark amber with a thick frothy head

Smell: woody with a malting as that is sweet and lingers

Taste: oak and a subtle smoke followed by sweetness and finally a malty bitterness tht lingers lastly

Mouthfeel: feels much lighter than it looks. Leaves a slight stickiness on my lips

Overall: very good ale. I will be adding this to my regular purchases. A good change of pace from the normal high hoppiness I've been smashing regularly. (447 characters)

Photo of tastybeer
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tantalizing crisp mahogany red and amber in color with a slightly orange tinted tan creamy head. Head lasts nicely for the duration and creates small bits of lacing here and there. Awesomely complex aroma loaded with sweet + spicey malts and ripe juicy hops. Juicy pineapples, pears, apricots...and plenty more. A flavor explosion on the palate. Nice combination of hops and malts. Bitterness and dryness come through in the awesome finish. Highly drinkble even with the intensity of flavor.

Defnitely a favorite. (516 characters)

Photo of poriggity
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to have some of this stuff on tap at my local watering hole, The Belle.

A= Ruby red/brownish color, with a cream colored head, barely transparent when held into the light.
S= Smelled very sweet, with slight hopiness to it. It was very nice smelling, and made me want to drink it IMMEDIATELY!
T= Very nutty/sweet flavor, with lots of hopiness in it. It was very complex and changed about half way down the glass. It was OUTSTANDING.
M= When it hit my mouth, it was very heady, but also very nice feeling.
D= I am a lightweight, so I can only drink a couple of these at a time before I get my butt kicked. My biggest problem is, this beer is SO good that I drink it fast, and it goes straight to my head. Overall, I would buy this beer by the case if I could find it.
Scott (792 characters)

Photo of Stubbie1
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hot Dam! What a brew!
Pours a red/ruby color leading to a fine creamy tan head. The head slowly gave away to a thick lace that held on to the very bottom of the glass. The aroma was great hops and a strong citrus smell, grapefruit comes to mind. The taste is just as satisfying as the aroma. Malt with a bold attack of hops. Great carbonation and drink ability! A must for all to try! (385 characters)

Photo of KBoudreau66
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle..."You're not worthy"

And by the way this brew pours I seriously may not be worthy. It has a deep mahogany/ amber color with a small tan head that will leave a lot of lacing down the glass. Beautiful looking beer. It's almost a shame to have to drink it.

Smells of smokey/toasted malts, floral hops and a nice sweet, fruit aroma in the undertone. Slight alcohol aroma in the background.

Tastes of toasted caramel malts, hops, a pleasant sweet flavor, and a little bit of alcohol phenols in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but borderlines full bodied. Rich, smooth, slightly carbonated and just all around excellent.

This is the first offering I had from Stone brewery and I have never turned back. This beer is well balanced, rich, complex. It has all of the qualities one would look for in an excellent beer. Easily a world class brew in my opinion. (897 characters)

Photo of BeaBeerWife
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best of class. Still uncertain what the class is! Dark Double IPA??? American Strong Ale I guess!

Certainly one that should be mandatory for all IPA lovers to try.

Big Complex beer, I highly recommend having one of these on an empty stomach BEFORE dinner. You will then appreciate all of what it has to offer. Drinking with a meal would just be too complex! :)

This brewery continues to amaze me. Need to visit it someday. (425 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this draft at Collin's, near Pioneer Square in Seattle.

Lots of depth to the flavour of this big brew.

Excellent bitter/sweet balance, spicey undertones, moderate-to-heavy mouthfeel.

Very drinkable... it takes time for your taste buds to decipher the complex flavours. (284 characters)

Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is very special. I've had AB many, many times, but this will be my first AB since I quit smoking--I'm curious about the effect on my perception. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into an AB pint glass.

A: Deep ruby red when held up to the light. Great head, about 1 1/2", like puffy clouds, leaving slight lacing.

S: Deep, sweet malt with light scents of citrus and pine. Swirling brings out bread/biscuit, pistachio, and mandarin orange. A great array of scents, with a faint souciant of alcohol.

T: A crisp citric bite, but then roasty, really, really malty and smoky. Then the citrus (grapefruit) returns, mingled with aromatic floral notes that dance on your palate. The aftertaste is drying, sweet-tasting, and slightly floral.

M: Medium-bodied, goes down really easily. The hops and roastiness may assault your palate a bit, but the dry quality ensures refreshment.

D: Still one of my favorite beers, in terms of this category. The flavors are so well-mingled, it's very crisp and refreshing. It's excessive, sure, but that doesn't mean it doesn't drink well.

Personal note: The increased level of my smell and taste since I quit smoking is incredible. I highly recommend quitting to anyone who really enjoys beer--going through the "quitter's flu" is more than offset by the pleasure I get at enjoying beer on new levels. (1,345 characters)

Photo of HappyHourHero
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On a whim I checked to see if I had reviewed this beer during one of the other 100 times I've drank a bottle. Turns out I haven't, but that may make this the first of the 1100+ reviews for Arrogant Bastard carried out in Germany. Thanks to the misses for brining this back with her. Enough of stuff you don't care about...

Poured an amazingly fine light-brown head that looked like it belonged on a Stout, and left strings of lace. Deep mahogany colored beer has a ruby glow when back lit. Aroma is bursting with pineapple along with candy sugar, alcohol, and rum. A half ton of citrus hop flavor rides a firm base of malty goodness. Finishes fairly bitter, but with lots of flavor to balance it out. The bitterness doesn't seem to disappear completely, and builds up over time. Innnnteresting. While the body is full the mouthfeel is soft and smooth making for a soothing drink. Boy do I miss this beer. (907 characters)

Photo of manahansf
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear with a gorgeous ruby red color and topped with a thick creamy, off white head. The aroma is big and bold scents of citrus hops with hints of malty sweetness. The flavor mirrors the aroma with big generous helpings of citrus hop bitterness balanced well with sweet malt background. The body is light, crisp, and carbonated with moderate levels of fizz. The finish is a gentle fading of the citrus flavors and leaves with just a hint of warming alcohol. (463 characters)

Photo of beermanbrian
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber - great label

Pours a dark amber/red color. An off white head rises and dissipates quickly but this beer leaves some of the stickiest lacing i've ever seen. Strong smell of hops but it is balanced with caramel malt smell. My initial taste impression was that this is too sweet but that quickly changed to WOW. What a great balance of powerful hops and huge malt taste. The bottle says that "you are not worthy," i'm glad i didn't listen. Mouthfeel is nice with a smooth dry finish. The high ABV shows through slightly at the end. Moderate carbonation level that dosn't distract from enjoying the feel of this on the tongue. You certainly won't sit down and drink 3 or more of these in a sitting but i could enjoy one of these every night. I highly recomend. (773 characters)

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