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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 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)

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

Wow. Maybe I really AM not worthy to be trying this! This is not a beer for the meek and the mild; perfectly suited to my tastes, and my favorite style. I love this beer. It pours a nice reddish brown with a two finger, off white head. Very strong nose full of hops, pine needles, fruit (pineapple?), and malts. Truly awe-inspiring!

The hops in this one hit you over the head like a runaway tractor trailer. NOT for the weak! Excellent, full bodied, highly potent flavors just as bold as the hop character, but very enjoyable. Alcohol is noticeable, but not unpleasant. It should A smooth drinking brew, but rather strong for an extended session beer, unless you don't mind crawling on your knees! This is an exceptional example of the style, and the double will probably send me into orbit.... CHEERS to Stone Brewing once again!! (834 characters)

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

This is definatly not a beer for everyone. It even says it on its label, Its a stron ale with lots of hops and malts a dark color with a aroma that tells you its an Arrogant Bartard. Worth a try if you are looking for something different. Has to be one of my favorite Stone Brew. (279 characters)

Photo of Clinterjack
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful beer. I don't get the aroma, it's not nearly as telling as the taste. We drink beer for the taste primarily, so I rank this beer highly. I enjoy the hoppy, burnt malt taste, it's one of North America's best. The aroma has bread, malt, and pungent hops undertones, it's just not prevalent to me. The taste is the key, it's outstanding.

Rich amber color, a beautiful red.

Thick, frothy head that dissipates quickly, lacing was moderate.

Aroma is mild, does not give an accurate portrayal of the flavors.

Taste is nice, pungent hops, intense compared to most American ales. (587 characters)

Photo of beergeek279
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served as a sample at the Penn Festival. The color was a dark amber, with a good bit of head retention. The smell was a distinct mix of hops and malts. The taste was quite hoppy like an IPA, but somehow much more than that. The mouthfeel seemed a bit heavy, but not to the point of a stout. As for drinkability, I would gladly have another, and another, and another......

This was served on the hour, every hour, and without fail there was a line 5-10 minutes before, even though most had had the beer before. The Bastard had fallen off the Top 50 for a while, but I'm glad to see it back as this is truly one of the great beers of the American microbeer revolution. From the wonderful reverse psychology of the painted-on label to the wonderful contents inside, this is a beer that should be on everyone's favorite list! (824 characters)

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

Dark opaque reddish brown. Thick, rocky brownish head and gooey lace.

Pine sap and rustic malt are rioting on the aroma.

Jumping pine bitterness on first taste. The hops are chewy yet, are not harsh or rough. The key word is balance. Earth dryness on the finish. Long beautiful bitter aftertaste. Rustic barley flavor supporting the luscious hops and the concealing the alcohol.

Smooth, but not creamy, slightly slick with hops oils.

I was just going to give this a 4.0 for looks, then I took the bottle into consideration. (537 characters)

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

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into my favorite pint glass

Appearance: Beautiful orange-brown beer with light beige head. About two fingers with good retention and impressive lacing.

Smell: Nice balance here. Sweet malts are there, but there is no doubt that hops live here.

Taste: Wow! There is a lot of depth to this flavor. Outstanding! The hops, piney and earthy, are absolutely the centerpiece of this beer, but the malt comes through to give wonderful balance to this brew. Slight alcohol warming lets you know its working.

Mouthfeel: With so many flavors going on in this beer, it is a mouthful. Medium-bodied feel gives room for the explosion of flavors that lie beneath.

Drinkability: On flavor alone, I could drink this all night long. However, with the amped-up abv, I believe it best to limit these to one or two in a sitting.

Highly recommended beer! There is so much going on in this beer that it is better experienced than explained. I keep a spare in the fridge to share with any misguided friends that wonder in with inferior beer in their arms. At least for once they get to experience what a real beer is all about. (1,148 characters)

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

&Great Beer But holy crap the size of the bottle! I was a few beers in decided to have just one more & want to try another new beer. So I ordered an Arrogant Bastard & the Beastly Beer came in a 1 pint 6 oz bottle.

I wasn't sold on the marketing on the bottle, It's just some winged demon, But I was impressed by the size.
The smell was somewhat hoppy but not too over powering.

The color was A nice dark carmel beer pouring into my mug with a lot of head. A great flavor with a good portion of hops to start out then blending into a sweet fruity carmel flavor. A top 10 beer on my list. (590 characters)

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

Presentation: bottle from Village Bottle Shoppe in W. Lafayette, IN poured into a goblet

A: beautiful dark bronze beer with lighter ruby highlights around the edges, and a thick off white head on top that persists for a long time, leaving a very solid lace from the top down.

S: an aggresive, sinus clearing hop and massive malt backbone to support it. Strong biscuity and sweet malt hop without any roast or toast in it---just malt. Bitter hop on top, resinous pine on pine action, some fruity but not floral underneath, but you have to dig for it.

T: bit caramel and sweet malt stands out with the massive hop fighting for your attention. Semi-dry finish that bitter but the sweetness if trying to fight through but dying in the effort. Lingering dry puckering in the mouth from big hop, piney and aromatic. As it warms, dark fruit, raisins, plums come out, and it has a very earthy, woodsy, almost oak flavor underneath.

M: chewy. Won't go away. Aggressive.

D: for me, no worries. It could be a very overwhelming beer for some, and unique compared to a double red or a DIPA. Some of the integration of taste that is come along for DIPAs is completely absent here, and just big on big fighting it out, and you need to be ok with that to have it linger in your mouth. If not, lower this score.

Overall: I'm a bit nostalgic about this beer, as a draft of this in California was really my introduction to extreme beer. Granted it's not that extreme today, but still a fantastic beer that is a joy to drink . (1,517 characters)

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

Um...wow. My beermate and I raved about this one from start to finish. Some beers are interesting in a novel way; others are simply good and balanced. This one is both and then some. Pours a unique ruby-brown color with a respectable amount of head and some active carbonation. From the moment the beer hits the glass, the smell bloodies your nose with a barrage of grapefruit. As the beer warms and the citrus hops scatter a bit, some pleasant malts are detectable as well. The grapefruit notes carry over to the taste, but the flavors evolve nicely over time. By the time I was done, the hops were fading to a dry Scotch-like malty flavor. In between is something of a caramely balance of flavors. Resins cling a lot at first though not unpleasantly. As the taste gives way to malts, the mouthfeel likewise gives way to a richer, softer texture. Despite its intensity, this one is very drinkable. This will be one to savor in the future, as well as to expose my yellow beer-drinking friends to what an assertive, creative brewer can do. (1,038 characters)

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

I never drink it out of the bottle. I have to pour into a glass to see the gorgeous amber color. The smell is unmistakable and I take a whiff before every drink. The taste is everything the bottle says and pairs with many Pub foods. Drinkability makes my first choice if I grab a beer from Stone. A good beer to take the training wheels off and really dive into the beer community. (381 characters)

Photo of kshizzle101
4.66/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 22oz bomber into pint glass

A - dark reddish with a thick 3 inch head. thick lacing as it's drunk down

S - smells of booze, pine, caramel, with a deep malt background

T - pine hops come through strong, carmely and malty background with a strong after taste of booze. there is something sweet going on here too but i can't quite place my fingers on it - possibly dark fruits like cherry or plum

M - exactly how it should be. sticky, but very drinkable - even at 22oz at a time!

Overall - One of my favorites - I'll never get sick of this beer. Not quite perfect, but about as close as you can get. (613 characters)

Photo of DoShek
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - poured into a snifter with two fingers of tan head, beer is a deep amber with some crimson color, head subsides over a few minutes to a thin layer and solid ring where beer meets glass

Smell - piney hops, brown sugar/molasses notes, grapefruit aromas, some toffee or caramel as well, as the Bastard warmed hints pineapple came forth as well

Taste - light malt sweetness on the front that gives away to pine and citrus hop flavors, the hop profile sticks to the palate until the next sip, also picking up some slight bread and biscuit, as the beer warms it balances enough to make sure the hops aren't overpowering but still leaving them in the forefront

Mouthfeel - very full and smooth, slight astringency, great carbonation

Drinkability - this Bastard is magnificent, would definitely drink again

I had been waiting to try Arrogant Bastard until I developed the taste for hops and am glad that did. This is a great beer that I don't think I would have fully appreciated before. I'm proud to say that I am worthy! (1,032 characters)

Photo of Villa
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drink this beer while in Las Vegas trip really enjoy it a lot,

brought 4 home.

Very aggressive message on the label, definitely arrogant style.

Love it, its one of the best beers ever had.

Hope to see it soon in Puerto Rico so I can drink a lot more and

share with local homebrewers (293 characters)

Photo of mbunje
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber. Tried this with a piece of pizza,NY style, itallian sausage. Enough about that.

Dark Brown/Mahogany color, off-white head and lacing. 1" head on moderate pour, lots of lacing.

Smells like the entrance to the garden of eden: citrus, cherries, malt.

Taste is hoppy (like a Christmas tree) with bittersweet chocolate finish.

Not super oily, but leaves a smooth hop bitterness. As stated with smell, very well balanced with subtle malt taste. Could be...perfect?

Drinkability: Could drink 4-5 bombers, but at 7.2% that would end my night too early.

Bottom Line: "It is so choice, I highly recommend it if you have the means". (665 characters)

Photo of Jon
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, clear copper color with a nice tan-hued head. Leaves giant trails of lace down the glass. Smell is very inviting with big notes of fresh hops, caramel malt, etc. This is an incredibly tasty brew. Hops hit you at first, followed by a more than sufficient caramel malt backbone that supports the bitterness nicely. Mouthfeel is quite smooth and for a brew of its magnitude (7.2%), AB drinks quite easily. I'm glad I finally got to try this one. Arrogance is bliss. (476 characters)

Photo of raid765
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near perfect ruby brown color with minimal carbonation.The smell is deep and rich, but not at all overpowering. The taste is a surprising combination of depth of flavor, smoothness, and pure potency. The hops and the malt stand alone on their own merits, but are delivered in a perfect balance. The mouthfeel is unusually light for beer of this nature, but not at all disappointing. As one of the best beers I have ever tasted, the drinkability is good to say the least. (478 characters)

Photo of ZorPrime
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought in New York, NY. Tasted on March 2nd, 2009.

Awesome! and I don't have to say more...


Pours as a dark amber color. Surprising... was thinking it was yellow... can't say why 'tho. Nevertheless, very good looking beer with a nice head formation that show good lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Hops with same roasted malts.

Taste: Bitter, Bitter... nice! Taste is more malty bitter than hops bitter. Very well balanced beer. Maybe some caramel notes? Not sure, will have to get another one! woohoo. :)

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a thin texture. Very drinkable... could drink this one all evening. However, after one, I would say, the bastard hit me good! :)

This beer is bitter from the start to the finish of each sip. Like I said above, simply awesome... (775 characters)

Photo of erosier
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an awesome beer. It pours a nice amber color from the bottle with a nice lacy thick tan colored head. The aroma is of roasted malts and great flowery hoppy aroma. The taste is excellent! The malts come through as the base and the hoppy bitterness follows through to the end. The mouthfeel is excellent and it is velvety especially for a beer of this gravity. The drinkability is excellent. I could drink alot of these if I could. This beer is awesome, pick it up if you can. (482 characters)

Photo of gentlebubbles
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cold, the hops overwhelm all else with a blast of grapefruit rind. Let the Bastard warm up though, and he becomes quite the charming gentleman.

This is a perfectly lovely beer, starting with the beautiful white froth on cola-colored beer with a red-copper glint on the bottom. It's very fragrant, sweet raisin and sharp hops rising to each breath.

When I drink, I find a big alcohol warmth and tiny bubbles. The hops provide a piercing, pure bitterness like a spike on which rests caramel, raisins, very ripe pears, and a wedge of cheese.

It reminds me of Old Peculiar, only more drinkable. (608 characters)

Photo of TheFlern
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Khaki head and a nice maple coloring. Good lacing.

Smell: Balanced between sharp hop notes and roasty malt notes.

Taste: Hoppy fruitiness up front with a nice transition to the malt flavor as it sits on the pallet. It finished leaving a nice manly and delicious bitterness just urging you to enjoy the next sip, if you are worthy.

Mouthfeel: Nice and smooth. It doesn't attack the pallet with too much carbonation and feels like a nice strong ale should feel like in your mouth.

Drinkability: No need to rush through this one. Sit back and enjoy the ride as the beer warms up and the flavors come out. One tall boy should be a nights worth of moderate drinking when you're just chillin out after a busy day. (727 characters)

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