Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

9,810 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,810
Reviews: 2,967
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 375
Gots: 1,945 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,810 | Reviews: 2,967
Photo of faernt
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just opened this beer and sat down to read the forum. I've had it before and bought more because it tastes good. Well I have to stop and review it now. It's an IPA but it's more. I went through a hophead phase and am now into the malt. the IPA scene doesn't speak to me. But this Arrogant Bastard does. This beer is hoppy! It's also sweet and bitter and thick. It smells bittersweet. OK it's the bittersweet taste that makes this beer so beguiling.

It's well-made. It has a beautiful head that, if poured roughly, becomes somewhat rocky. The small bubbled head creates irregular lace down the glass. I am using a chalice. The dark copper color is very clear.The smell is hoppy but then the bittersweet comes into play. Is this one playing with unfermentables as a primary influence? I'm no homebrewer but it makes me want to know why this beer works this way.
There is body here. I suppose I should call it mouthfeel but it is so substantial.
It is attractive. I bought it again because it continued to remind me of how complex a beer can be.

Photo of kwakwhore
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first time I had this beer I was definitely unworthy and incapable of appreciating its full worth. I decided to wait to review it until after I had had it a few more times. Had the other two members of the Bastards, double and oak-aged, and finally came back to this one. Times, and my taste buds, have definitely changed.
A: Dark, reddish, brown pour into a La Fin du Monde tulip. Long lasting light tan head which leaves copious lacing on the glass.
S: Some hops and some dark fruit on the nose.
T: This is one hell of a beer on the tongue. Hops and malt form an inseparable synthesis on the front end, a bit of bready/biscuity malt in the middle, and a two stage bitter, hoppy finish. The finish subsides to the point that you think it's over with and then you get an extra shot of grapefruit hop bitterness. Bitter chocolate becomes more and more prominent and some roasted porter-like accents emerge as the temperature warms up.
M: Lush silky mouthfeel which is rounded off by some understated carbonation.
D: I shared this bomber with someone special and I'm very glad I did because I brought another convert over to the Bastard, but I could easily have finished this on my own(and have done so in the past). For a beer of its strength it is way too easy to drink.
The original dark, hoppy ale from Stone, the first of several. Every time I drink this beer I taste different things, and no, my lips are NOT moving as I write this, but my mouth is watering at the thought of second bottle I still have.

Photo of blsfreak
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At first, I did not like this one. It is bitter....but it grew on me and is now one of my favorites. The name really fits the beer. The high abv discourages me from drinking more than a pint at a time, especially if I am driving. The sight of the empty keg by the back door broke my heart, till I was told there was another keg in the cooler. This is the beer I wait to drink all day at work, it makes everything all better. Good thing I work in a bar with great beer on tap. I actually have tried to get my friends to try this and you know the response I get. When I found some at the local liquor store, the guy asked me if I was sure I wanted to pay for that crap. People need educated. This is an amazing beer, just not for the weak and unworthy....and yes, I am worthy.

Photo of Oakenator
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On a cold tap in a chilled glass so not ideal for flavor profiling, but still this beer rocks. From just the looks of it this beer is the standard to measure others by. Dark amber with a hint of ruby. Full ivory head and excellent lacing. Smells of caramel and other darker malts. Ample hops are present but are extremely well balanced by the malt. Not too strong yet not soft. Near perfection.

Photo of jar2574
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice looking beer. Ruby red color when held up to light, dark red/brown color otherwise. Good head, and retains its head throughout the session. Great lacing the whole way down.

Smells extremely sweet and hoppy. The hops are of the pine-smelling variety.

Tastes excellent. Complex. Honey sweetness up front, then loads of piney hops, then a crisp dry finish. Great blend of sweetness and hops.

Great mouthfeel. Perfect density, and blend of creaminess and hoppiness is very nice.

Where else can you find a ruby colored, sweet, hoppy, high ABV beer? I'm sure one exists but I haven't seen it. This beer earns the right to be arrogant.

Photo of chargerfanjess
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle. Loads of caramel with tons of hoppy nose. Upon first sip very caramel flavors and very high spicy bitterness. This beer is exceptionally clear with a amber to red color. Very nice tight white head. excellent mouthfeel and top notch finish

Photo of Kuaff
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Ah, Arrogant Bastard. A very common craft beer, but a superb one. I poured this bomber into a snifter at cellar temperature.

The head on this bastard is a thick, two-finger, off white mass of foam which sticks around for quite a while. The color of the beer is a deep, dark transparent ruby. It looks like blood, but not quite as oqaque. Awesome.

It smells like pure hops, pine, and lemon, with a bit of caramel or honey-like sweetness.

The taste has a citric, hoppy tang, along with some sweet maltiness. Once the aftertaste kicks in, I get thorough hop flavor and bitterness. The bitterness shines through more than anything else as the "thesis statement" of this brew. However, there may be some other aspects in here that I can't quite identify (maybe some spices and nuttiness?). It's complex, and oh so satisfying.

This beer has a medium thickness, and a pretty lively carbonation. Feels real comfortable.

A damn solid ale available all over the place at a great price, and guaranteed not to dissapoint. It's easy to take something like this for granted, but its ultimate excellence cannot be denied.

Photo of lovindahops
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

final brew of the evening. Tapping off a disappointing night of a Sam Winter Variety. This was my SAVE THE EVENING BREW!

A- a gorgeous amber red brew with dark colors wrapping around the glass. A fantastic head tops off the brew with lacing galore. I am sorry... but this brew screams deliverance

S- a great balance of malt and hops. This is prime time Am strong. The pine and citrus absolutely tackle the malt and just blend to excellence. Great!

T- an unprecedented assault of flavor. Roasted malt is enrobed in pine and warm grapefruit flavors. The brew is totally balanced with flavor. Literally, a picturesque exhibition of malt and hops... in equilibrium

M- syrupy and carbonated. Flavor lingers which is great

D- arrogant bastard exhibits excellence in the form of a crafted brew. While the alcohol makes it somewhat of a sipper... the flavor and taste counter that aspect. I could take two bombers and call it a night

Photo of patrickbateman
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite beers. Has a high drinkability factor, mostly because it tastes so good. Deep color and full of complexity. It goes perfectly with a nice filet mignon. We started with this as our dinner beer, and it moved itself to our after dinner beer as well. Killer.

Photo of Diesel76
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was my first beer ever from Stone Brewing. It was on tap at a local sports bar... and I loved it. Great taste, great appearance... it is what a good ale should be!

My next trip to BevMo and I saw some of their other beers, I knew I was in for a treat. A tasty treat! Bravo Stone Brewing!

Photo of jlandis
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into Chimay Chalice

A - Beautiful deep ruby in color with a thin white head

S - Malty grapefruit goodness.

T - Bitter up front with tons of grapefruit hops and a solid malt backbone. There are also a lot of earthy, woody flavors that start to come through. Carmel and remnants of dark fruit.

M - Solid carbonation that perfectly compliments the bitter flavor on your tongue.

D- This is an amazing beer that I grown to love over the years. This was my first craft beer that I purchased when I was 21 and I hated everything about it. Now it had become one of my favorites. One bomber fills the chalice twice and that is plenty for me.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Found this on tap here in Lexington. What a treat. The beer was a deep ruby red color, with a 1.5 finger of headThe nose is very sweet grapefruit hops dipped in caramel. The flavor is sweet, very mellow hops that linger. The hop is nicely citrus. The feel is thick and the drinkability is not to be topped. What an easy drinking beer. I love it. Always have, always will.

Photo of acevenom
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a brandy snifter. Pours deep caramel brown with a large soapy light tan head. The head retains well, dissipating slowly to leave some lacing on the side of the glass. There are aromas of big malts and resinous hops. It has an earthy smell. There's a nice big caramel malt backbone in the taste that brings some mild sweetness and breadiness to the table. There are some nice piney malts that balance the malt flavors. It's a well balanced flavor with a hoppy aftertaste. The alcohol is not detectable in the taste. The body is medium to full with adequate carbonation. The beer is smooth and the drinkability is very high. Overall, this is an excellent beer and worth all the praise it gets. It is an excellent accompaniment for a meal that also has big flavors or if you're looking for a beer to have with a steak dinner.

Photo of Rguardian989
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This will be my first formal/written beer review, what a way to start.

Poured from a bomber bottle into a large wine glass

A - Wow. dark reddish amber color with an offwhite head with pretty good staying power. laces pretty well.

S - Malty upfront with caramel and hops lingering under

T - This is how a beer should taste. All the notes present in the smell are also in the flavor. Nice and malty in the front and finishes with a tasty bittering hop finish that lingers to the next sip. Well balanced in this man's opinion. I love it.

M- Good viscosity with carbonation. Compliments the flavor and makes you wish it could stay there for longer.

D - definitely could have a few of these in a row with no trouble.

Notes: This is a very very good beer. In my top five easily. It might not be something a novice beer drinker would take to easily but that's simply because they aren't worthy...yet.

Photo of yesyouam
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Arrogant Bastard is a crystal-clear mahogany ale that is quite sparkling and is adorned with a small, rocky, light muscovado-colored head that is mostly diminishing and leaves tenacious lacing all the way down the glass. The aroma is mostly of grapefruit from the hops, followed by rich malt that is slightly sweet. There are hints of nuts, resin, plum, honey and vanilla. It is medium-to-full bodied with slightly soft carbonation. It is ever so smooth. It is well-bittered, lightly sweet and perhaps a bit umami. It starts citrusy and turns wooden. The aftertaste is on the long side and exhibits notes of oak, pine and juniper. The balance is superb. This really hit the spot. It's a great representation of how an American strong ale can be.
(rated Jun 30, 2007)

Photo of kbeck001
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Great ale. A tad over priced. Excellent treat once in a while.

Photo of elmocoso
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With every drink there seems to be a virtual carnival on the tongue, and I don’t mean the kind with dirty Carnie meth-heads putting together highly mechanical equipment after a long night of screwing the Penny-toss gal that helped to score him some crank. I’m talking about a little kid walking down the Midway his first time, holding his fathers hand and thinking that if there is a god, he must run a carnival, because this truly IS what life is all about.

This is the first time I have drank this beer and I am in love with it. It is Sexy and Seductive and I am the bumbling virgin who has stumbled into its trap. I think I need a cigarette.

Photo of HardTarget
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on-tap at the Flying Saucer, Ft. Worth
All comments made in comparison to bottled Arrogant Bastard
Aroma: Much more pleasant and hoppy. Juicy (I’m guessing Cascade) grapefruit hops on a more subtle malt base.
Appearance: Dark amber, clear, with a beige head that left a few lace marks.
Flavor: Much more mellow and blended flavors than the bottle. The hops just pop out, they taste fresh and aggressive, but not as, well, arrogant. The malt base just seems to fit better in the overall taste. Except for the fresh hop aroma and flavors, I would guess the keg had aged a bit, which is not out of the realm of possibility.
Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy with a little hop pucker and chew. It just seemed creamier.
Overall Impression: Extremely enjoyable. I may have to learn to age a few bottles to see if they mellow out to where the kegs seem to be. Where the bottles seem like a full frontal assault on every sensory organ you own, this is more of a controlled takeover, an authoritative, methodical full Swedish massage of every sensory organ you own. If you know the Bastard and you see him on tap, pay a visit. Strongly recommended

Photo of SensorySupernova
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Dark red-amber with a pale head that dissipated leaving a ton of lacing.

Smell: Piney and floral hops.

Taste: Moderate hop bitterness up front, yeast, followed by a sturdy roast malt backbone with a moderate bitterness on the back end. A bit of alcohol taste at the end, but not much.

Mouthfeel: Medium thickness and carbonation.

Overall: Amazing beer. Tons of malt, tons of hops, tons of flavor all around! All the different aspects meld together well.

Photo of McNealc31
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Unrelenting, sticky beige head, real hop power in the nose with some malt breadiness behind it. A big kick from the hops up front followed by spicy black pepper, sweet bread, and a dry, grassy, excessively bitter finish.

It's so aggressive, but I can't stop drinking it. All around, it's an outstanding beer with bold, complex flavors and Stone, as always, provides the perfect attitude.

I feel it gets overlooked sometimes by some of the rarer and seasonal beers, but it's one of the best out there. Perhaps it's becoming ubiquitous in the craft beer world. However, you can't go wrong with Arrogant Bastard.

Photo of Hagbard
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Arrogant Bastard is easily one of my favorite beers. When I realized I've never gotten around to writing a review, I thought it would be fitting that I'll most likely earn my mug with this review. This bastard is a deep amber. It has fairly good clarity and a thick tan head forms from the pour. The aroma is powerful, resplendent with piney hops and an overriding maltiness that seems easily to be the equal of the hops. The taste is a wonderfully complex interplay of malty sweetness and hoppy biterness. The hops provide a piney oiliness that coats the tongue and creates an almost mouth puckering effect. This is cut rather quickly by the huge malt base that exists and all of a sudden I can't figure out whether the overriding taste is bitter or sweet. During the swallow, the alcohol provides a bit of a burn down the throat and warms the stomach. This beer is truly an experience. The aftertaste, mostly hops, lasts well after the swallow due to the mouth coating feel of the beer. Very sticky and chewy. The drinkability isn't great due to the stickiness and intense flavors. The 22oz bottle is plenty. Still, it's a beer I would never turn down. I mentioned earlier, one of my favorites, the interplay bertween sweetness and bitterness is truly amazing.

Photo of madpentzer
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a 22 oz. bottle from my neighborhood liquor store. It poured a deep red brown with a two-finger head. Wonderful citrusy hop aroma. Has an initial hop bite followed by a sweet, carmel malt flavor. Though this beer is strong, its medium body makes for smooth drinking. This is not only my favorite American strong ale, it is my favorite beer period.

Photo of MJR
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pretty reddish color with perfect clarity. A tan head starts out big, shrinks to a respectable cap, and leaves lots of lace down the side of the glass.

Smell: Incredible aroma of fresh's raw, spicy, and pungent with lots of grapefruit and pine. A touch of sweet malt hides deep underneath the hop blitzkrieg.

Taste: This brew has a solid backbone of malt that comes across as caramelly, fruity, and slightly roasted. But that foundation gets beat down by a huge bitchslap of bitter hops. Flavors of pine, citrus, and grapefruit commit 3rd degree assault on my tastebuds, and I love every precious drop! There's a nice dose of alcohol in here as well. The hop flavor turns into a faint, burnt character on the tail end. Amazing...

Mouthfeel: Very full-bodied with a slighty, syrupy mouthfeel. Finishes with a dry edge from the alcohol.

Drinkability: To be honest, I'd love to drink this all night, but I'd really pay the price in the morning. It's so aggressive in flavor, yet so easy to down...that's a scary combination!!

Photo of eclaycamp
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Living in Kansas, I don't often have the opportunity to get great fresh beer from the coasts. Sure, we have access to big breweries like Sierra Nevada, Rogue, and Samuel Adams, but we don't have access to those "chic" breweries. One such name is Stone, a brewery that I've always admired from afar but never had the opportunity to sample. On a recent trip to Denver I made it a point to seek out a bevy of beers that I just can't get here locally, including several from Stone. For tonight, I figured that I may as well start with the beer that is arguably Stone's most famous, Arrogant Bastard. I have to admit that I'm both nervous and excited to try this beer. This one is a 22 ounce bomber, with the famous Stone Gargoyle on the front. As if I wasn't intimidated enough there's the phrase "You're Not Worthy" greeting me as I crack the bottle open.

I'm treating this beer as I would a Belgian, as surprisingly outside the name I know very little about it. So that means that I'm using my Chimay chalice. Blasphemy you say? Well, considering the name is Arrogant Bastard, I figured it appropriate. Pours similarly to a Belgian beer as well, a deep amber color. The color is the first thing that surprises me about this beer, as it's much darker, bordering on brown, than I expected. Half inch head that dissipates but leaves a fine bubbly lacing along the sides of the glass. Nice.

Aroma is surprisingly malty. Considering Stone's profile (i.e. California, I was expecting this to be quite hoppy, but again that's not the case. It's a complex smell, and my first thought was of pretzels, like the big soft pretzels you can get on a street corner. There's some sweetness to the malt aroma as well, kind of like a French loaf or something similar. I want to say that there are some faint fruit aromas, like figs or other dark fruits. This aroma is just fantastic. I could smell it all day.

Mouthfeel is pretty tremendous. It's thick without being syrupy, full without being sticky. While the hops were not present in the nose there's this super huge lingering bitterness that smothers your palate, choking it from the front to the back with your first drink. And again, the Arrogant Bastard surprises me, as it tastes like nothing I was expecting. There's this huge, full-on malt sweetness up front, which gives way to a dryness before heading into the bitterness at the end. I attribute the middle dryness to house character that seems to be present in all of Stone's beers. When tasting the beer I'm surprised at how fruity it really is, as I get these huge hits of raisin and fig on my palate. What's amazing is how the sweetness just evaporates in the middle, giving way to this dryness and then the big bitterness. It's a really incredible feat to move from the sweet to dry realm so quickly.

This is a Belgian beer without the Belgian yeast. Arrogant Bastard only gets better the longer you let it warm up. The fruit flavors and malt profile are amplified the closer that it gets to room temperature. It's a delicious beer, and I can easily see why so many people enjoy it. Overall I'm quite impressed with it, and I have absolutely nothing to add but "wow."

Photo of scooter231
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah, Bastard. I've had so many bottles of this and never reviewed it- I figured it was about time. Bottle is one of, if not, my favorites. Warns you right off the bat that you probably won't like it- which is why I had to try it. To prove them right, or, hopefully, wrong.

Beautiful looking beer. Deep red/ruby color, lots of tan head that balances perfectly with it. Lacing all down the glass. Almost too pretty to drink. Smell is hoppy, with lots of burnt/roasted scents coming through. A bit of floral scents as well. Intriguing, to say the least.

Taste is just amazing. Lots of coffee and roasted flavors. Espresso. Bitter. Hoppy- and these hops aren't shy, either. There's a subtle sweetness in there, a bit of caramel. The sweet, bitter, roasted flavors all harmonize perfectly- a complex flavor for those who can handle it.

Mouthfeel is chewy, smooth. Bitey after you take a sip. Drinkable for those who enjoy it, definitely. Awesome beer.

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 9,810 ratings.