Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

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2,891 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,891
Hads: 9,868
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 381
Gots: 2,002 | 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: 2,891 | Hads: 9,868
Photo of BitteBier
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4 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)

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

Served as a very deep copper colored beer with moderate off-white head.
Smell is loaded with piney and grassy hops with a light sweet malt character in the background.
Taste is fantastic. I don't often give 5's for any beer, this one deserves it. The way it balances the strong hop essences with an equally strong malt presence is perfect.
Take malt and hops balance perfectly at the finish to continue the presentation of a great beer.
The drinkability is limited only by the alcohol content. (493 characters)

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

Pours a dark brown-orange with little head that quickly fades. Looks extremely viscous when pouring. Moderate-light bubble columns.

Smells of some sweet fruit, caramel, biscuit, and piney hops. Lots more flavor in there, too...I expect more as it warms up.

Flavor is huge. Lots of caramel and biscuit sweetness, and a hops sledgehammer to balance them out. Awesome diacetyl/buttery notes as the hops vie with the malts for palatal domination.

Mouthfeel is awesome as well, largely because of the aforesaid buttery smoothness. The hops are hanging in my throat, though not in my mouth so much. Smooth. Does not finish very cleanly, but it's the hoppy "coated" feeling like what Ruination gives you, it's not a cloying (eww) or anything like that.

Drinkability is good, abv is not even too terribly high. Only downside would be that if you werent planning on Arrogant Bastard all night, you'd have to have one hell of a beer to follow this one with. I believe this would overpower most others. (1,006 characters)

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

What a great beer! Too bad you can't get it in Illinois. My friend Jay says I'm a wussy because I don't drink a lot of good beer because I'm allergic to it. But Stone's Arrogant Bastard is a notable exception. It has a crisp taste that goes down very smooth, with a complex flavor not unlike my last three girlfriends. The flavor and the color can vary sometimes, also like my girlfriends. (389 characters)

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

From begining this ale is wonderful, the mouthfull of fruitiness that is lifted into the palate and then the onl thing is the more drinks I get into this wonderful concogtion the less I tend to like it, but either way I still like this drink and in my opinion not a drink for everyone.. (286 characters)

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

Pretty opaque reddish brown color in my snifter. Has a perfect tan creamy head that sticks around with great lacing when swirled. This beer has a perfect nose. Sweet and malty with floral hops. Brings good sweetness to the tongue. Not at all cloying. The sweet on the front balances well with the back of the tongue bitterness. Mouthfeel is perfect for my taste, great effervescence, slightly sticky. Bitterness on the finish sticks around a bit too long for my taste and is the one and ONLY drawback, but overall, an almost perfect drinking experience. (553 characters)

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

Finally. I get to try the famous Arrogant Bastard.

Pours clear deep ruby with a creamy head.

Smell is malty dark fruit, earthy hoppiness and spices.

Taste is aggressive hops and robust caramel roasted malt. This is a huge flavor - but amazingly balanced. Wonderfully complex. Finish is crisp. Dark fruit sweetness and bittter hops lingers on the pallet.

Mouthfeel is full bodied without being oily.

This is a great beer. What more needs to be said?

A heart felt thanks to Bashiba for getting this Bastard to me!!! (532 characters)

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

Poured from a bomber into an imperial pint glass...

S - Signature Stone aroma. Citrus and grapefruit from West coast hops. As it warms, a malty sweetness emerges.

A - Two-finger tan head. Deep reddish-brown, iced-tea color. Slight haze. Delicate sticky lacing.

T - Impressive but not overbearing bitterness upfront. Citrus, pine, grapefruit rind hop flavor follows and a subtle maltiness protrudes in the middle. Sweetness increases as the beer warms. Finishes lightly burnt with a mild roasty quality and lingering hop bitterness. Slight detection of alcohol with warmth. Balance trends more to the hops, but malt profile is well represented especially as it warms.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - Not sure why it took me so long to rate this, but I basically concur with all that has been said in the past. This is a stellar beer and one of my favorites. Certainly deserves its Arrogance. (913 characters)

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

Appearance: 1" off white head with good retention leaving sheets of lacing all along the glass. Reddish brown body. Looks like a hearty brew, but certainly not as menacing as the gargoyle on the bottle.

Smell: It's Christmas in October as pine hops fill my nostrils. Citrus hops & a sweet caramel malt also make their presence felt.

Taste: A quick touch of caramel malt up front & a taste of alcohol chased away by the onslaught of citric, bitter hops. Simply fabulous.

Mouthfeel: Near full body w/ light carbonation - very smooth with a warming finish from the alcohol. Somehow all flavors are present in the aftertaste (though again bitter hops are strongest) & the hop burps follow.

Drinkability: This one's not for children, but as long as you're a hop-head, the abv (7.2%) is the only thing that would keep you from drinking mass quantities. A truly excellent brew - and an absolute bleeping crime I can't get this in Oklahoma.

And if things weren't good enough, this was a perfect compliment to a cannoli & a 1-0 Pens victory over the Rangers. P-E-N-S Pens Pens Pens!!! (1,080 characters)

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

The bastard and I enjoyed a 6 hour ride home together. We then sat down, both tired and a little cranky at 1:30 in the morning after a great long weekend with a total of 12-13 hours of driving. I poured the bastard into a glass, and he punched me in the face with an intense hop aroma. His deep dark amber appearance covered in a pillow of off-white foam was not quite as tough as his bite.

I take a swallow, and the bastard hits me again. This time right below my rib cage in the kidneys. It appears that this bastard is herre to make an impression and give me a beating. A load of hops comes with the blow. I am engulfed in masses of body and flavor. He is up in my face as I unleash a burp, and he then realizes his own strength. I breathe out and have a grassy, spicy taste, almost like chewing on hops. The bastard backs away thinking that I possess the intense hop character that he does. It gives me time to shoot in for another gulp of the delicious nectar. Another blow from the bastard nearly knocks me out of my chair with flavors that are out of this world. On and on the battle goes until I eventually finish this wonderful brew.

I cannot really call it a battle because it was wonderful to drink. However, a beer like the bastard may want to remain unopened and untasted to just stare down those who wish to consume him.

This is simply one of the finest brews I have ever had. It is so intense with flavor and aroma. Very full of body with hops that could make many men cry. I cannot wait to meet with this one again. (1,543 characters)

Photo of dancinwillie
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Dark red, with an impressive 2 finger light tan head. head drops a bit upon resting, leaving some nice lacing.

S: Citrus, and floral hop, with a bit of bready malt.

T: A strong hop presence, with citrus/ pine hops up front, which is what I expected, but also bready malt flavors hit you quickly as well. almost a maple syrup sweetness way down in there. Every drink I take seems to highlight a different aspect. Although I expected it to be rather unbalanced, but I really feel it is one of the more balanced beers I've had in awhile. It's certainly well hopped, but good solid malt backbone here, that can really take it. Very tasty indeed.

M: Good level of carbonation. Somewhat thick mouthfeel, but I think it fits with the plan just fine.

D: I will definitely drink this many more times. It is quite assuredly one of the finer beers I have tried in long time. I don't know if this is considered "extreme" or not, but for my tastes, it's almost simple, and I sincerely mean that as an absolute compliment. And for $3.99 for a bomber, I think I'll have at least 2 in my refrigerator at all times. (1,105 characters)

Photo of diabecktic
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This translucent, dark cherry-red brew yields ~3 fingers of frothy, light-tan head. Bubbles slowly rise, lending an airy weight to the aforementioned head. Retention (~1 fingers linger) and lacing are both excellent throughout the entire tasting.

The nose is extremely complex. I find that notes of grapefruit, pine-like hops are dominant to a toasted caramel malt. I can't quite discern which spices complement the product, but they are somewhat sweet and earthy (nutmeg and/or allspice?).

Much like the nose, the flavor is - as the bottle proclaims - aggressive and excellent. The bitterness seems to come before the malt character, but the balance is nearly perfect; flavors are as described in the smell portion of the review. As the beer warms, I find that the flavors become more well-defined as a subtle buttery taste makes itself known.

Given the variety and intensity of flavors, I'm suprised that this beer isn't too lively when sitting in the mouth. The beer is ever-so-slightly oily, but the medium body and restrained carbonation keep things from getting out of control.

The alcohol content is restrained fairly well for being ~7.2%. This beer is definately one to sip on for two reasons: the alcohol will creep up on you, and the complexity of the flavors are incredibly. You're missing out if you don't sip on this one.

This brew is simply outstanding. Though clearly a clever marketing gimmick, the folks at Stone Brewing Company have every right to be arrogant about this product. The diversity of flavors and aromas might not be for everyone, but if you appreciate extremely well-made craft beers, you will find this beer exceptionally enjoyable. I was thoroughly impressed and I will try more beers from this brewery in the future. (1,815 characters)

Photo of stingrayvr6
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

WOW. Poured a beautiful amber with a thick, frothy cream colored head with great retention and super sticky. Great lacing. Smell is malty then very oily with hops. Citrus like. Taste starts out malty and earthy, roasty even, then goes to very bitter floral hops. Tremendously complex, excellent beer. I could drink this all night. (330 characters)

Photo of Eisen
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had this beer sitting around my apartment for awile and decided it was time to finaly open it up. I picked up a bomer at Pike Street Beer and Wine in seattle for $4.69. I may not be worthy but I definatally was impressed.
The appearance is a nice red/amper toped of with a gostly white, fluffy head, of which leaves a thick and scatered lacing. The smell is alchool and a tuch of hops; I will admit my sense of smell s not very good. The taste of the beer itself is wonderfully balanced palate of alchool fussle oils. I searved it at room temp. and that may be why I get mostly alchool, but that is not bad. This is a strong ale. Even if I cannot taste the hops or grain, they are there working together to balance the beer as a 12 year casking would for wiskey; I suppose that is why the barrel aged version is acclaimed strongly. The mouthfeel is slytle sticky but not unplesant at all. I am not a fan of strong ales but I could drink this from sun rise to sun set. (974 characters)

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,891 ratings.