Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

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2,889 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,889
Hads: 9,863
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 380
Gots: 1,997 | 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: 2,889 | Hads: 9,863
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)

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

A- Dark, reddish brown with a tan head that has great retention and leaves a sticky lace.

S- Sweet malts, dark fruits (prune) and notes of floral hops.

T- Sweet and toasted malts with notes of caramel. Alcohol notes dance around the tongue. The sweetness is balanced well with an assertive hop fill. Finish is dry with some dark fruity flavors that linger.

M- Medium to full body with a perfect carbonation level.

D- One of my favorite beers to date. Would gladly drink it all the time. (490 characters)

Photo of fireman10
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

i am not the biggest ale fan...until now. this ale is a wonderful blend of hoppy, bitter, and full body greatness...with a slight trace of an exotic spice from some small tribal community in southern Iran that i've never heard of. At first the inexperienced drinker may find this beer a bit vulgar, cocky and downright mean...but as the offensive posturing of this beer starts to mellow down and slides smoothly down your throat, you will find yourself begging for yet another fake beating. by the fourth gulp, you will be writing love notes. (542 characters)

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

Hmmmm. I've had this beer a few times before and I have always enjoyed it, but tonight its just not as aggressive as I remember it. Still very good, but not as insanely hoppy as I thought it was.

Appearance is a nice dark brown almost reddish color with a huge three finger head. It smells great with a strong hoppy, floral and sweet aroma. This ale is clean and fresh tasting with plenty of hops, however there is less residual bitterness than in Stone IPA. The hoppy freshness is balanced with some malty sweetness and hints of toastiness. There is some fruity (perhaps grapefruit rind?) taste mixed in there as well. While there is a significant hoppy character to this brew, it is a delicious beer I could drink often. There is no need to be intimidated by the label or the name, if you enjoy Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Liberty Ale you will probably like this one as well. Cheers! (884 characters)

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

Oh glorious Beer God.

This is a beer for which, to possess, I would lay much on the altar of sacrifice.

A - Pours a reddish brown, almost exactly the color of the bottle. Beautiful, nuggety head with amazing lacing and retention.

S - I just died. In a good way.
The carmely malt is big here, but the caged beast of the hops are growling in the distance. Sharp, toasty, mostly sweet and only a tad citrusy, the nose is a fantastic allusion of things to come.

T - Wonderful complexity. Chocolates and light coffee overtones provide harmony to the melody of sweet carmel malts and hoppy bitterness. This is a HUGE beer. Delightfully complex, yet impeccably balanced. This is one for the ages. I prefer the oaked version, but only slightly.

M - Indulgent, medium to heavy body, The pour was thick, and the mouthfeel is correspondent.

D - Why can't all beers beer this good? (882 characters)

Photo of steelerguy
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - The beer poured a very nice and clear, dark bown with some copper hues. I could tell just by the way it looked that there was going to be some tasty toasted and caramel malt flavors in there.

S - A nice malty smell with some hop character. I was actually expecting to smell a little more hop but the malt took over. Certainly not a weakness, but I thought the smell was only good.

T - Wow! Now this is what a strong ale should taste like. Nice, strong malt flavors, that fade to be replaced by some tasty esters, and then the hops kick in. I was actually expecting the hops to be over the top, but not at all. The bold and sweet malt flavor completely balance out the strong hop character making it feel perfectly balanced.

M - I really liked the mouthfeel. The carbonation was perfect and the beer was very silky to me as it hit the tongue. Then you would get a slight "tingle" as the carbonation and alcohol would play.

D - An extremely drinkable beer. Although no session beer, it is so well balanced that it could almost be one. Although this would not allow you to appreciate it's complexity and could leave you feeling like you got your ass kicked.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. I actually was thinking it was going to be over the top with all the arrogant marketing and from what I had heard. This was far from what I experienced, it was a very complex and well balanced beer. One that I will certainly be enjoying again. (1,444 characters)

Photo of bditty187
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark cherry red hue with brownish highlights, there was almost two fingers of beige head. The retention was excellent. As I quaffed this nectar plenty of sticky lace was produced. The nose is a magnificent blend of sweet caramel malts and very assertive hops. The aroma has great potency. The invitation of the bouquet accurately portrays what awaits the palate; plenty of critic/grapefruit notes, pleasantly harsh, bitter. Oh yeah the hops govern or so it seems! The sweet caramel malts are not forgotten. The alcohol stands alone, stark naked, and imposing in its manhood. The forwardness is well conceived and adds tremendous complexity and enjoyment. The lingering acidicness and bitterness begs your senses to take another sip and I gladly did. It is almost full-bodied, ideally firm carbonated. This is a perfectly powerful quaff. I wish I had another or a dozen!

Thank you Morris729 for this awesome beer! (915 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle tells me that I'm not worthy.
Let's find out.

A: Nice deep brownish-crimson color with thick, even tan head and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: Strong hoppy smell that lets you know your drinking a beer that doesn't mess around. There's also some malt and a bit of sweet fruitiness in the smell as well. Nice combination.

T: A heavy, bitter hop flavor hits you right off-the-bat, but it's not the "Eew, this beer tastes awful" kind of taste that you get with some beers. It's more of a "Yeah. This beer is hardcore!" I'd call it a "kick" but it stays throughout each and every sip and in the after-taste as well. So, by definition, it's not really a "kick" it's more like a "strangle-hold." The strong hop flavor is complimented very nicely by the same malt sweetness that you get in the smell.

M: Crisp, smooth, medium-bodied. The carbonation is just right.

D: This beer is most certainly drinkable, but only for one who appreciates good beer. I could go with this stuff all night long, but that wouldn't do the beer justice. After a couple of 22oz bottles, I would switch to some other "buzz maintainer" that I won't need to taste.

If you're used to drinking the common beers of the big 3 (Miller/Bud/Coors) don't try to broaden your experience with this stuff, because it will probably turn you off, but if you're reading this review, you'll be fine. Just below the "Arrogant Bastard Ale" on the bottle you see the quote "You're Not Worthy" and they were RIGHT. I was NOT worthy before I became a beer advocate. (1,582 characters)

Photo of Biscuit033
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear deep amber with large light tan fluffy head that clings to the glass as it receeds.

S: Strong citrus, caramel, and some butterscotch. There nose is very strong and layered.

T: Bright citus hops hit you almost immediately as well as some mint, caramel (great malt backbone), a little roasted notes, some faint dark chocolate, and a nice slight tingle of alcohol that creates a crisp dry finish.

M: Creamy, crisp, and dry.

D: The flavors are layered one after another which makes me want to drink sip after sip to find more flavors. Not something to party all night with but nice to have a bomber while hanging out alone. (632 characters)

Photo of StoutishDan
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked this brew up at Trader Joe's for only $4.50. Elsewhere I had seen it for much more than my wife would prefer me spending.

22 oz bottle poured into one of my Brooklyn Brewery Pint glass.

A - Holy mother of the beer gods, this one is beautiful! Darker than I expected. Deep, rich mahogany color. Decent head, but very sticky lacing. It's leaving nice rings after each sip just how I like it. Looks beautiful!

S - Piney and spicy hops. Very complex. Sweet and spicy maltiness. Carmel-brown sugar smell going on. Can't pend too much time simply sniffing this beer. It begs to be tasted.

T - Bitter hops. So nice, though! Very hoppy Strong Ale. It has all the right qualities you'd expect from Stone. Bold hoppiness up front and through the mid pallet 'experience' followed up with a sweet roasty carmel malt at the end, right before a flood of that sam bitterness - the roastiness sticks around.

O - Has to be one of my new favorite beers. I like the roasty flavors at the finish. My ranking out of 100 is a solid 99. Do they have six packs of this beer? Please! The 22 oz are too small.

I'm not sure if this is the case with other reviewers - and I mean no disrespect by comparing such a phenomenal beer with another brewery, but I found Arrogant Bastard to be a bolder version of New Belgium's Fall Seasonal Red Hoptober. I know I know, "it's nothing like it," I get it, but the bouquet is similar (less hoppy, of course) and the roasted barley is almost right at Hoptober's.

Maybe I'm the only one. (1,511 characters)

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,889 ratings.