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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: 9,925
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 384
Gots: 2,055 | 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: 9,925
Photo of Shamgar
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber.

appearance: held up to the light this thing is a deep rubby color with hint's of golden brown in the bottom of the glass. Nice 1 inch head that dies down to a filmy head within a few minutes but stays with the rest of the drink. Nice lacing.

smell: hops, and that distinct Stone mixture of hops, followed by a toasted malt behind this.

taste: That is delightful. Hops up front, followed by nice malt flavors that are slightly toasted, with a dry hop finish. The smell and the taste are very similar to each other.

mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lighter than the taste would suggest, which is a good thing. Not too much carbonation.

drinkabiliy: this bomber went down smoothly. I could drink more, not the 7.2 percent abv discouraging me here, just feel like I need to change up the after taste after a little while.

Great brew, cheers!! (851 characters)

Photo of pibbxtrasucks
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a rich amber color with a thick head that lingers. Very hoppy aroma. Bold taste with hints of fruit and extreme hoppyness. This beer makes me so hoppy. Good carbonation makes this beer feel good in your mouth. Leaves a bitter aftertaste which is nice. Overall this is one of my favorite beers. If you can get your hands on it, buy it. You will be impressed. (373 characters)

Photo of Bryan17
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Very dark ruby color. Head is 1.5 inches, lingers substantially, nice tan color.
Smell: Malty caramel.
Taste: Excellent; not as "aggressive" as the bottle says. Strong malt followed by the sharp bite of hops at the finish. Almost sweet.
Mouthfeel: Creamy. Perfect amount of carbonation. One of the best feeling beers I've had.
Overall: One of the best beers I've tasted. Nothing to criticize. (406 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a dark amber hazy with a white head with good lacing
S-aroma of caramel and zesty citrus hits you
T-has a taste of roasted malt, caramel and pine/grassy
M-great mouth feel high bitterness that is balanced with the malt
I love this beer give, me a another (262 characters)

Photo of StaveHooks
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy dark amber copper with a 2 finger foamy off-white head with excellent retention.

S - Fresh grapefruit citrus, earthy pine, plums, toasted malt

T - A bounty of fresh grapefruit rushes in with huge flavor and bitterness. A resiny pine shows up towards the finish. The caramel malt has a roasted fruit character and provides just enough sweetness to counteract the complex hops. Aftertaste is nutty and bitter with the malt still lingering on the palate.

M - Full bodied with good carbonation.

A citrus wonderland along with a carameled fruit malt makes mouth happy. Complex hop profile that keep going and going. Just an awesome brew. (656 characters)

Photo of BigBen61
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer with my meal at Pazzo's in Lexington, KY not long ago. I think the ratings of all the other beer advocates speak for themselves but I just had to review this beer. If you have ever had the opportunity to try Stone's Ruination and thought...WOW...I love hops but that could be toned down just a bit then this is the beer for you. For my palate, very similar to the ruination with a bit more maltiness and a bit less of the piney bitterness.

A-Beautiful...poured from 22oz. bomber into a pint glass. Not a heck of a lot of head when poured correctly but it's wonderful reddish brown color more than made up for the lack of head aesthetically.
S-Again, Very Impressive with a pretty complex floral/pine/citrus hop aroma. I'm not expert so I can't pick out all the little aromas just yet but the hops are sure in full bouquet here.
T-Obviously, as with any great beer this is where it blew me away. Rich nuttiness to balance and intense (but not too intense) hoppy bitterness and as smooth a beer for the ABV and Hop content as I've ever seen.
M-The carbonation in my bottle was a bit higher initially than I preferred but I took my time with this one and it played out well within a few minutes of being in my glass.
D-More drinkable than it's big bro (Ruination) but still not a beer that you could knock back for hours on end.

Overall, If you haven't tried this...then what the heck are you waiting for. (1,424 characters)

Photo of Breen
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour/Appearance: Deep chestnut brown with a red hue. 1 finger head slowly dissipated with moderate glass lacing.

Smell: Lemon citrus and a floral bouquet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and low carbonation

Taste: Lemon and grass hops with a bit of caramel up front. A complex beer with changing taste throughout from less bitter up front to more bitter towards the middle. Rather complex, yet well-balanced on the whole.

Overall: When I first tasted this ale I said "wow." Though I've tasted many ales, and even several with the same characteristics described above, there was something about this particular one that stood out from the crowd in a positive way from the first sip. (678 characters)

Photo of sictyrannis
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap, served in a pint glass:

Very dark, luscious auburn. Clarifies to having more of a reddish tint the longer it's in a glass, and looks very good. Pours with a one-finger head that dissipates and leaves a lacing of bubbles.

Smell is not as strong as would be expected, but is very inviting and pretty complex. Slight pine aroma, with overtones of plums, and amazing blend of hops.

Very strong on the hops with a malty aftertaste and undertones of chocolate and coffee. Simply put, this beer tastes amazing--and its aftertaste is very fresh. It was difficult for me to notice the alcohol. The different layers of flavor make this very enjoyable. It hits hard at first, and eventually eases up.

Medium to full body, leaves a taste of plums on the mouth. It finishes clean and really feels like a great beer--just the proper thickness. Very smooth.

I could knock these back pretty quickly, and am tempted to--but the flavor complexity forces me to savor it. It goes down very easy, and is one of my favorite beers. (1,021 characters)

Photo of sponberg
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful dark reddish brown color. The aroma is hoppy, roasty, fruity - very complex.

Starts out with an assertive citrusy hop bitterness that's almost immediately joined by roasty toasty chewy malt - again, very complex. There are a lot of different flavors going on, all of them slapping your tastebuds around for kicks, and finding them all is a LOT of fun. The brew maintains its flavor balance throughout the sip, leaving the alcohol content well in the background. The roasty, bitter, and citrusy flavor contribute to a kind of "rough" mouthfeel that suits the beer well. It finishes as it started, with lingering roastiness, bitterness, hoppiness, and toasty maltiness and you heading back to the keg for another.

Aside - Thanks to the guy who decided we WERE worthy to try this beer and hauled a keg up from Pennsylvania to his place for a bunch of us to enjoy. (876 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oh, wow....draft version of this beer is entirely different.
Same sweet malts...same hop bite....same everlasting aftertaste, but oh so much more mellow...so much more balanced than the bottled version.
Incredible experience.
This becomes a very, VERY drinkable brew, to the point of being dangerous.
Hats off, Stone.
Woo Hoo (330 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A blurred cherrywood river rages through its channel, spitting ample khaki froth.
Rich toffee malts and pine hops scents accompany the rushing water. Black cherries and rum-soaked pineapple provide fascinating olfactory flourishes.

The dam bursts as a massive wall of liquid caramel rushes forward. Coating and blanketing sweetness, but not sticky. The tsunami rushes past orange groves, stripping the peels clean off the fruits. The wall of malt-laden water gains speed and attains a buttery diacetyl within its depths. The wave consumes pineapple plantations and ravishes cherry orchards. In its wake resides a sense of twisted, charred strawberries.

Down the road, the civilians pile hop-sandbag after hop-sandbag, in preparation for the ensuing blast. Pine boards are hammered up against all windows and doors. Resinious anticipation.

It works.

The fluid malten beast smashes against the hoppy barriers and is pushed back. At the crux, lightly roasty nougat clashes with a pink grapefruit bitterness . Neither one giving way. A stand still. No advances made. No property lost, and just a few alcoholic ripples reach town.. An upswell of vanilla-tinged celebration ensues.

A complicated situation, it was. A test of malt heft versus hoppy assertion culminating in perfectly heavy, splendidly carbonated, and ultimately consumable collision. (1,362 characters)

Photo of WickedSluggy
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep brown developing a full rich head of tan colored foam that continues to stick in tight rings - not lace

S - Rich and roasted aroma.

T - Also rich and roasted. Slightly sweet and nicely bittered. Well balanced flavor with lingering bitterness. Full satisfying flavor.

M - Full-bodied and sticky

D - Delightful. Very easy to appreciate despite the ironic warning on the bottle, "you probably won't like it." No - you probably will love it (449 characters)

Photo of HoustonTX
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark, ruby brown color. Nice, thick head, about 1 1/2 inches thick.
Lacing is amazing, and a sight to behold.

S - Pleasant, and aromatic.

T - Wonderful hoppy flavor, grapefruit/cherry is apparent to help with balance, aftertaste is bitter and dry, yet still well balanced.

M - Dry and creamy.

D - Excellent, as the alchohol is well disguised.

Overall, this is one of my favorite beers. A must try. (422 characters)

Photo of CBlack85
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass

Appearance: this beer pours a ruby color with about two fingers worth of foamy head. A fair ammount of lacing. This is a beautiful looking beer.

Smell: This beer has a definate hoppy citrus smell. Very complex, I can barely smell the alcohol aroma until the beer warms up abit.

Taste: Hoppy initial taste with a grapefruit hint on the back of your tongue. A slightly malty undertone.

Mouthfeel: Not much carbonation, fairly smooth

Drinkability: Once you have started with this beer it is very difficult to switch gears and drink anything else. A very big beer, although I think I still prefer Oaked Arrogant Bastard.

"You are not worthy"...Indeed (697 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up while in Las Vegas. Brown 22 oz. bomber with the typical silk-screened Stone label, but the gargoyle looks meaner on this one. The blurb on the back is priceless, reminds me of The Great Gazoo off of the Flintstones, dumb dumbs. "Perhaps you're mouthing your words as you read this"--classic.

Definitely not a beer for the general masses, but what do they know, I love this stuff. Pours out a clear chestnut hue, a rich garnet when held to the light, damn sexy! Thick creamy off-white head, impressive retention with a tight cap almost all the way down. A tight wall of lacing also forms down the glass. The nose starts off with intense grapefruit rind hops, the malt gasps for breath as it quickly surfaces, only to be drowned in the hop goodness once again. Almost a bready malt presence, as fleeting as it is. The flavour is initially a smack-down of intense hops and grains, wrasslin' with one another, and you get so caught up in the action, it becomes pointless and far too distracting to begin breaking down the action into an anal play-by-play, you are simply swept along for the ride. A rich meaty malt becomes more apparent as the beer warms up, nearly toasted and caramel, making the gladiators easier to distinguish. Farther down the glass the flavour becomes more complex, but you get so caught up in the action that it takes a micro-biologist to create a spread-sheet for you to break down all the subtle moves and combinations into a discernable mode of operation. After a quick glance at the spread-sheet you are impressed, but proceed to throw it over your shoulder, in order to fully appreciate what is going on without being beaten over the head with the details. The flavour is duelling it out enough as it is. The mouthfeel is rich and velvety, and very inviting considering the extremes of the flavour, a plush welcome mat that you want to use as a bath towel after stepping out of the hot tub with a few frisky members of your preferred gender of attraction. I want more of this stuff, and I want it now, I was a total mud-skipping retard for only grabbing one bottle of this in my travels. Like that annoying dog in the Taco Bell commercials, it's time to make a run for the border. I'll pay the duty required for a box of this stuff--gimme, gimme, gimme! (2,293 characters)

Photo of megahurts4
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone Brewing Arrogant Bastard Ale

Appearance: Plum red, good lacing, and a large head that dissipates.

Smell: Citrus, fruity hops.

Taste: Floral hops, faint citrus, fruits like satsumas, and subtle malts near the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium with a lingering bitterness, yet smooth.

Great Beer! If you love IPA's, this will please you. It is a very well crafted beer. The lingering bitterness leaves you wanting more. (426 characters)

Photo of Miles2go
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into pint glass

A: Copper in color with a cloudy appearance. Roughly 1 finger of uneven head which held on.

S: Soft on smell and slightly sweet.

T: Sweet and citrus with a bitter hop kick. A slow build to a numbing effect on the tongue.

M: Mild to moderate carbonation and medium in body.

D: Ready for another halfway through the first pour. Complex taste yet smooth for the ABV. A winner for sure. (416 characters)

Photo of BeerCon5
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served in a stein

Poured a hazy, dark amber color with about 2 inches of fluffy tan head that slowly dissipated to a thin ring that created lacing that lasted throughout the beer.

The fruity pineapple/citrus scent dominates, also a scant alcohol scent.

The taste was of roasty malts, pineapple with a slightly bitter hoppy finish.

Light, smooth feel with good carbonation.

It was easy to drink one bomber, but I'm not sure if I could go beyond. This is probably the best tasting beer I've tried so far. (507 characters)

Photo of Charlottini
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Arrogant Bastard is one of my favorite go-to meals. Yes, I said meals. It's also especially excellent with "big food", such as red meat dishes. It arrives menacing and dark in color, strong in flavor, and it's alarmingly easy to drink despite it's massive personality. It won't overpower your food, but if you like strong beers, this one is just amazing. I've enjoyed it out of a bottle and from a tap. I think the tap version is slightly more fabulous, but both are positively fantastic. (488 characters)

Photo of satchmo91
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found at a local store in the 22oz bomber, and poured into a tall beer glass.

A- Very Dark amber with a carmel-coloured, thick head. Very lightly carbonated.

S- Full-bodied abbey ale aroma. Very malty and sweet with a heavy juniper-berry note.

T- Full-bodied with a strong hop bitterness. Alchohol and juniper notes come out. Malty. This beer has a nice floral quality about it. They advertise it as being impossible to drink, but for a beer drinker who likes bold flavour, this beer is just right.

M- Medium-heavy body with dry mouthfeel. You taste the tang of carbonation more than you see in the glass. Lingering bitter with juniper notes stick around.

D- Again, if a strong, hoppy beer is your thing, you will enjoy this beer; if you prefer lighter beers, most likely not. (782 characters)

Photo of Mikecap
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This was one of my first forays into the aggressive hop-foward west coast beers, and I have never looked back.

Pours a deep brown color, almost black in appearance with a slight whitish head.

The smell recalls citrus notes with pine and maybe even some oak in there, the hops are certainly at the forefront and Stone makes no attempt to hide that.

Powerful malt and hop flavors dominate the brew, bitter without being too bitter, plus some sweet notes of citrus and caramel. Absolutely delicious.

Certainly a bold mouthfeel that captures the essence of the style. Although classified as a strong ale, I put it more towards Black IPA on the spectrum thanks to the hops and intensive, but smooth finish.

Overall one of my favorite beers out there, and a true product of the fine men at Stone. (796 characters)

Photo of steamingheap
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Deep red in the glass with a quickly collapsing head.

Aroma - Piney hops and roasted malt with the hops dominating. Strong aroma - no need to bury your nose in the glass to get a whiff of this one.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Full mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. The flavor keeps your mouth busy. Starts with malt and some sweet caramel with roasted flavors. Then for a half second, you notice that this one has some alcohol right before the hop flavor takes over thorough a dry finish and into the aftertaste. Every time I take a drink, I notice some new detail, but the general description above holds true.

Drinkability - I am not worthy, but fortunately they still let me buy a bottle and taste this fantastic brew. I wouldn't want this at a summer picnic after a day in the sun, but fortunately for me it is February. This is highly drinkable and enjoyable as there is nothing about the complex profile that isn't incredibly enjoyable. (1,008 characters)

Photo of estlinska
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber, poured in a shaker. Pours a deep, dark amber color with some definite ruby-red shining through. Small bubbles race up to a large, frothy head of about 3cm of beige. The head lingers and leaves thick lacing on the glass; a thin film of head remains throughout and leaves a ring to the bottom of the glass. I love the nose of this beer. The hops are by far the dominant force with bright citrusy smells of grapefruit and maybe a touch of orange along with resiny pine. There right behind it, is a backbone of caramel malt, very sweet and definitely very present. I loved taking deep wafts of this one. The taste was hops forward; more citrus and pine note, like on the nose, and blooming on your palate. As the hops develop, there is a good balance with the sweet malts that keep the hops ever so slightly in check. The mouthfeel is almost creamy, but not quite, maybe a touch oily with a long bitter finish. Overall, I have had this beer (along with many others) before I found this site, so I waited till I got it again to give it justice. I think I had it before I had really developed my palate, because I had not remembered this one as good as I found it today. I think it is another example of a beer that makes use of very aggressive hops with good balance with the malt. Very tasty and I will buy it everytime I see it. (1,333 characters)

Photo of ZachStone625
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Definitely a great beer, when people ask me about it or I try to describe it, I can only say "intense" or "aggressive" in a pathetic one word wrapup. Then I follow it with suggesting they try it, as I haven't yet found anything quite so unique.

As the entertaining script on the side of the bottle suggests, this beer isn't for the faint at heart. If you think ubiquitous beerwater in 12 oz cans is something to be resentful of, get a bottle of this pronto. Heavy, punch in the face malts give way to a left hook of double-IPA worthy hoppiness that is tolerable only due to how amazingly balanced this ale is. And at 7.2%, it gets the job done, flavorfully, enjoyably, and satisfactorily. If you have ever complained in your life about having a bland beer, treat yourself to this. Beer lovers of all kinds will find their preferred flavor in an extreme amount, whether a nice sweet red on tap is your go-to or a triple IPA is in your fridge growler, this beer freaking delivers.

The thick head and carbonation also serve as a nice buffer. Enjoy with care, you can never just have one... (1,088 characters)

Photo of BrewMaster
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the usual 22 oz bomber into an Arrogant Bastard flute-like glass. It has a nice creamy head that cascades beautifully down the sides. The color is a mild reddish amber with a very slight orange tint. The aroma on this beer is simply beautiful. Very sweet with an abundance of floral hoppiness and some earthy, pine scent from the hops as well. Very inviting. The flavor is splendid with a sweet hoppy bitterness from the start. It is very aggressive on the palate with the pine flavor of the hops leading the way. It is not offensive, but strong in a good way. The malt is very clean and crisp with notes of cherry, caramel and berries. The beer is very well hopped but it is not overdone. There is definately a great malt/hop balance that makes this beer splendid. (777 characters)

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