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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

8,701 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,701
Reviews: 2,787
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 261
Gots: 966 | FT: 5
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-15-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Arrogant Bastard Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,701 | Reviews: 2,787 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChuckOlson
2/5  rDev -52%

ChuckOlson, Today at 02:18 AM
Photo of kmk1503
2/5  rDev -52%

kmk1503, Jun 06, 2013
Photo of SMooneyhan
2/5  rDev -52%

SMooneyhan, Oct 18, 2012
Photo of BeerTaster727
2/5  rDev -52%

BeerTaster727, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of ajs4bd
2/5  rDev -52%

ajs4bd, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of SavvyStudent
2/5  rDev -52%

SavvyStudent, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of bstrdo
2/5  rDev -52%

bstrdo, Oct 14, 2013
Photo of bef126
2/5  rDev -52%

bef126, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.03/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clear reddish brown with half inch tan head and some lacing. The aroma is fruity with sweet malt and some spice. The flavor is sweet malt and vanilla in the background of an overpowering bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium full. Stone Arrogant Bastard is just way too bitter, theirs potential in the background. Barely recommended.

B967ierhunter177, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of thehillsbar
2.05/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

wow was this hard to drink. i wound up throwing more than half of the bottle away because it had such a harsh taste & aftertaste that lingered. it was not enjoyable to drink in the least. Maybe some will like it, but I don't get it.
Very, almost too hoppy.

thehillsbar, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of Knuckles
2.05/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I just don't get the accolades this beer gets. This beer is, to me, a very simple but oddly discordant brew. So at the risk of getting flamed, here goes.

Appearance: The color, initially, is attractive. I was able to pour a nice head with little effort, and it's a fairly deep ruby, and not unappealing.

Smell: Fairly malty, but in a cloyingly sweet kind of way. Then, in the finish, there's this weird whiff of hops that really doesn't seem to belong. What in the hell is going on with this beer?

Taste: Malty at the start and in the middle, but not in a way I would view favorably. Almost a brown sugar (dark corn syrup?) kind of sweetness to it, that then has this complete non-sequiteur of a hop finish. Don't get me wrong, I love hops (and when used wisely in an stronger beer, they can be impressive as hell: Pike XXX Stout, for example), but these just don't belong. Are they the wrong type, or just work poorly with the malts? I don't know.

Mouthfeel: Initially, upon seeing the color, I thought this would be a warm, velvety presence in my mouth. Disappointingly enough, it wasn't. Very thin, and just not what I expected.

Drinkability: This beer is comprised of individual elements that simply do not work with each other. The aroma doesn't work with the taste, the malts don't work with the hops, the taste doesn't work with the mouthfeel. What I found, in this tasting, is that the colder the beer is served, the more coherent it is. As you allow it to warm to proper temperatures, the various elements seperate themselves from each other and become even more discordant. Damn thing can't even warm up right.

I've now had this twice in my life (Christmas of 1997, right after it came out, and just now). Both times my impressions were the same, so I won't be having it again. Arrogance is a great marketing tool, I just wish they had a beer that was worth being arrogant about.

Knuckles, Feb 22, 2005
Photo of Jwaks
2.1/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Each time I try this beer, I recall how awful, undrinkable, unpleasing and unbalanced it is. This beer makes me think it is a small west coast american barleywine that may never find a good drinking window. Hop flavor and bitterness is way over the top with some "lip service" malt struggling yet failing horriby to balance the beer. What makes it worse is the assertive and undeniably unpleasant bitterness that lingers far after the first sip. It's anything but pleasing or appetizing making the beer nearly undrinkable.

I admit fully to shitting all over this beer, it's deserved even though it has few small redemeing qualities. One being it's a first in american strong ale craft beers and helped redefine how many americans see and experience beer. I resepect and appreciate what arrogant bastard ale and stone has done to foward craft beer and redefine beer for the majority of beer drinkers. Second, it's an awesome show of american hops even if I disagree with the chosen hop varietys and use; they are clearly at odds with the malt base and their excessive use is way over the top creating disjointed flavors and lack of harmony in the final product.

This beer was not brewed or intended to be a great beer, but only as an over the top small west coast barleywine to match a gimmiky, catchy marketing ploy designed to challenge fizzy yellow beer and micro drinkers alike to try something "better." If there is a FIAT beer, like the US dollar, something that has value only because it or someone says it does, this is it.

Thanks, Stone, but I know you can do better in the American Strong Ale category if you tried to brew a good beer and not sell marketing with a token beer to go with. Please drop the ridiculous, shameless and unecessary marketing and brew a better beer. Sans marketing, a good product sells itself.

Jwaks, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of champ103
2.15/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Ruby/red/brown in color. One finger white head that fades fast and leaves some spotty lace. This turned out to be the best part of the beer. I thought I was in for something special.
S: Lots of pine and citrus hops. A little malt, but very faint. No balance.
T: Overpowering hops, no malt balance at all. Don't get me wrong, I like hops, but some balance needs to be meet. Very dry and bitter. I can also taste a lot of alcohol.
D: Not good. A lot of alcohol burn and very bitter. The high ABV is very noticeable.

The bottle says that many people may not like this beer. They are correct. Not a pleasant beer to drink. I agree, in principle, with what this beer is trying to do (educate people on the difference between macro lager crap and big business), but they failed in my opinion. The key is balance. There is just too much hops and nothing else. Try something else.

champ103, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of jdm
2.17/5  rDev -48%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

this is a visually stunning brew. it is dark red with a huge tan head that has great staying power and that tries to pull the sides of the glass down with it as it dissappears (great lacing). i put my nose to this one and things go south from there. i know everyone tends to like this one, but sorry folks, it smells and tastes an awful lot like grapefruit juice to me. i can taste and smell grain, citrus, and definitely hops but the malt is nearly invisible behind the gaggingly sharp bite of monstrous hops. i can tell from the mouthfeel that they did not spare the malt in manufacture. i appreciate that this could not be a cheap beer to manufacture, but i can't jump on the bandwagon with this one. it is all i can do to finish a whole bottle.

jdm, Jul 20, 2005
Photo of faubs
2.17/5  rDev -48%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I apologize for all you hop hounds out there that cant get enough crammed into a pint glass but the choice of hops is what did this one in. As stated above the nose, appearance and gravity of this one were all good. But the hops. It wasn't that there was too much alpha acid, that I can handle. It was the aftertaste. Too rancid ,very piney. I might have had a bad batch but until i get the chance again my grade will remain low.

faubs, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of StrayteEDGE
2.2/5  rDev -47.2%

StrayteEDGE, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of phissionkorps
2.23/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

When I saw the bottle, I absolutely had to try this beer. Before opening the bottle, I looked it up on this site...I had such high hopes, but then the taste...

This beer is godawful. I have no idea why it got such high reviews. I couldn't even finish the stuff, as my taste buds had decided to mutiny.

phissionkorps, Mar 03, 2007
Photo of tbarris
2.25/5  rDev -46%

tbarris, Mar 05, 2013
Photo of arash1000
2.25/5  rDev -46%

arash1000, Sep 26, 2012
Photo of psmith161
2.25/5  rDev -46%

psmith161, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of cjhofelt
2.28/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bought a bomber of this tonight because I've heard so many raves about it. I have to say, I was afraid this would happen. It's like this whenever the hype about something takes on a life of it's own. I'm surprised by how many of the top reviewers rate this so highly. I consider this "The Emperors New Beer".

I will say, though, the appearance of this beer is exceptional. It's a rich deep copper color with a dense inch or so of beige head. All beers should be this beautiful in a glass. It made me very hopeful that the beer would live up to it's reputation. The head stayed a long time and left an impressive lacing on the glass. It's a very well made beer, as far as looks go.

But those hopes evaporated when I smelled it. Don't get me wrong, I love the smell of hops. But that's all this beer has. Other beers, good beers, have something besides that. This is a very one dimensional beer.

Taste? Well, there again, I love hops, but I don't care to eat them as a meal by themselves. In fact, there isn't much flavor there, just an intense bitterness that overpowers any hop flavors that I know must be there. There is no subtlety to this beer. It's a real sledge-hammer approach to brewing. It reminds me of guys who enter chili cook-offs with the hottest chili that they can make, but forget that it has to taste good, too. It's like Yngwie Malmsteen's guitar playing. Yeah, he's the fastest, but it's not a race. Play something good, we know you have the skills.

Great mouthfeel, though. It has a very creamy body. Very dry without tasting overly alcoholic (which it kinda' is at 7.2%).

Not very drinkable, though. It was a bit of a chore finishing the bomber. I did, though, it was better than the Miller High Life Lite I tried the other day and couldn't finish.

Sorry, but I can't give this beer a better rating than this, I suppose I'm just not "worthy". Flame away, but, really it's a lame beer with a great marketing strategy. At least it's a well made lame beer.

cjhofelt, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of granger10
2.3/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

My first Stone disappointment. This beer did not live up to its hype imo. Pours a ruby red color with darker auburn shades on the side. Sporadic light tan head holds for awhile. Decent lacing along the sides. Aroma is very bitter and sharp. Quite acidic as well. There's some alcohol notes in there too, which I liked. The flavors in this beer simply did not work together. A very sweet caramel/butterscotch taste comes at first but then is soon drowned out by an intensely bitter, slightly piney hoppiness. The hoppiness holds and brings some alcohol fusels in with it and then on the finish the malt comes back with a sickening cloying syrup texture. The finish is horrible. I feel like I need to wash my mouth out with water. This beer is on the thin side and the body can't hold the flavors together. It seems like Stone just threw a bunch of random ingredients into the kettle and this was the horrible result. They have so many good beers, I don't know what happened here.

granger10, Apr 09, 2005
Photo of boxvic
2.35/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I like a few ales, so I went into this expecting to like it (or at least tolerate it). It has a nice dark caramel color; and has a good hoppy smell. It poured with a creamy head. From there it went south for me. I don't want to totally dog the beer like most people do with the macro beers (which aren't all that bad); but I just cannot rate the taste for this very highly.

I'm sure most people will disagree with me, but I had to pour out most of this pint. The head hadn't even dissipated before my stomach started to hurt. I'm not sure if my stomach just didn't like one of the ingredients, or if the hops were just too strong for my stomach. All I know is I couldn't finish it.

boxvic, Oct 21, 2012
Photo of ranger7
2.38/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at the Holy Grail Pub in Plano.
I'm much looking forward to this.

A - A medium to dark brown color. Some head, but not much retention. Good.

S - Very hoppy. Honestly, all I could smell was a strong pine scent that is enhanced after taking a sip. Like a cheap car air-freshener.

T - Strong. Again, hops and an unpleasant piney aftertaste that lingers far too long. Not much balance here, unfortunately.

M - Quite a bit of hop aggressiveness. Some carbonation gives the hops more bite. The feel does improve as the beer warms and loses the carbonation, however.

Summary - I've been wanting to try this brew for a while. I had heard great things about it, and it's extremely popular, but I was left disappointed. It is far too strong in the hop department. I learned that Arrogant Bastard Ale is not my style.
Note: I drank this at the same place as the 90 min Dogfish Head, with the same fish and chips. Not even close to the same experience.

ranger7, Jun 26, 2011
Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,701 ratings.