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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,901 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
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 Pegasus
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apprearance: Light reddish-amber in color, quite clear, with a moderate off-white head and slight carbonation.

Aroma: Sweet, honey-like aroma with mild hops, not really all that pronounced.

Taste: Rich, but mild character, with an emphasis on the malts, rather than the hops, with the most notable flavor being caramel. Finishes with a mild and lingering hop bitterness.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, with just the slightest hits of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A rich and elegant beer, to be consumed with reverence. (532 characters)

Photo of makoshark
4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I liked this beer so much I got the appropriate glassware from Stone Brewing. Of course the marketing is a great starter for this beer, but there is much more to this beer than just the marketing!

It pours a clear amber beautiful tan head. The aroma is a very strong hop and malt smell. I love strong hop beers, and this one gives you the hops along with very complex flavors. This beer is not for people who don't like full flavor in their beers! (450 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
4.87/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! I could swear that every time I picked up my class for a sniff or a drink, I was drinking a different brew. The first sips were quite hoppy, though not overbearing. The next few drinks contained caramel and toffee, and the next few drinks after that contained orange and other fruity tastes. This is a very complex brew. It is a shame that the text on the label is true for the majority of beer drinkers, at least in the U.S. I particularly loved the following: "Questions or comments? If you don't like this beer, keep it to yourself -- we don't want to hear from any sniverling yellow-beer-drinkin' wimps, 'cause this beer wasn't made for you."

Anyways, back to the review... the beer poured a dark nutty brown color. The head wasn't nearly as impressive as the Stone IPA I sampled the previous night, though it seemed to leave at least a quarter inch of foam throughout the whole 22 ounces, so the beer was at least protected from the O2. The lacing was unlike any I'd ever witnessed, however. The smell, as I mentioned earlier, seemed to change from time to time, though it always kept a pleasant hoppy aroma.

The taste was so dynamic I couldn't not give it a 5, along with the complexities of the mouthfeel as the brew is swished to different parts of the palate. Although I wanted another one immediately after finishing, the drinkability isn't quite perfect for such a heavy and complex brew, but it is damn near. I only wish I didn't have to order Stone brews off the internet to enjoy them from home. (1,520 characters)

Photo of watermelonman
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured to a great glowing dark red with a nice big head that lasted fairly well. The lacing looks good too.

In terms of flavor, this isn't one to disappoint. There's huge flavor everywhere, delivering layers of potent taste. The hops are huge and completely dominating in the finish. The mouthfeel is a little bit harsh but still good. (343 characters)

Photo of apintofknowledge
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The ale poured a deep dark coppery color, with a creamy head. The aroma was earthy, in a good way. All good so far… Now for the taste – Rich sweet toasty malt while at the same time I tasted the spicy hops. Definitely nice when both flavors come through at once, when one doesn’t linger longer or overpower the other. Very rich in flavor, complex but very drinkable… nothing bland about this brew. A definite beer to have on hand for any occasion. (451 characters)

Photo of Dithyramb
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Had the big bomber bottle with the uniquely arrogant creature on the label. Paid just $5.99 for it in PA this last week. Has an interesting description on the back, with a definition of arrogance. No born on or freshness dating, but the top of my bottle top had “8 years” on it.
Pours a thick and cloudy dark brown with a dark tan head formed by slow rising carbonation. This would epitomize what my macro friends would call “dark beer.”
Smells like a caramel covered pinecone.
This is a chewy beverage. The initial rush of hop residue is subsidized with a thick caramel maltiness. Coats and smoothes as it flows down, finishing hoppy and sweet. The great flavor is held up with an excellent body and mouthfeel.
I wouldn’t have too many, but drinkable nonetheless. (775 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 Globetrotter
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sure wish the arrogance would stretch all the way to Moscow. Procured in Tennessee, shipped to Russia via air, opened on 12/8/04, my bomber looks and feels just like the picture - pure attitude. Label professes ingredients purely in conformance with the purity law. If there is freshness info here, I'm not smart enough to find it. Not worthy!

Pours a clear dark copper/pale brown under a 1.5 finger off-white head that fades fairly quickly to slightly chunky film leaving some OK lace. The nose is flowery hops, mollified slightly by some sweet grain. The mouth is very prickly and fairly heavy, with asyrupy consistency I'm not sure I like. Pretty complex taste profile, with plum and grain prominent early, followed by lots of truly aggressive hops, coming on flowery, then coniferous, drowning out the malt and burying the fruit. The finish comes on espresso bitter, completing the survey of hops flavors. I'd say the arrogance is justified. (948 characters)

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanksgiving evening treat. A deep amber hue, with a thin and reserved tan head. On the nose are the ever-present left coast hops, some fresh fruit to include grapefruit, these are sinus-cleansing aromas. The taste is more of an experience – thick and chewy off the cuff, rich and massively hopped up; caramel and licorice are noted up front. The citrus hop offerings come to life as she warms, just a touch dry, the body is very sweet and oh so smooth; the palate is cleansed by this massive brew! In addition, some sugary and cotton candy tastings left to graze the palate, add some raisin and oak flavorings – yeah you’ll find them all. Roasted malts and were hops mentioned? A massive beer, a huge beer, and a dang fine creation to be savored by many! (758 characters)

Photo of HochFliegen
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice redish brown color with a good tan creamy head.
Smell was dominated by the spicy hoppness with a clean citrus or pine like scent in there as well. Nice carmel sweetness of the malts as well even some toast or bread like scent. The taste was full of malt flavor right off the bat. Then the hops hit and mellows the sweetness. Its sort of a rough transition when I first had the hop taste but it mellows and adds a degree of complexity to the beer that is amazing. This beer was very complex and full of flavor and body. Just hope I can find some more. (559 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Jeez, I'm only the 490th review. It's about time I showed up. And that is only thanks to Gueuzedude who so kindly provided a sample for me. Thanks to a great BA.
Aroma is a wonderfully spicy hoppiness with a shot of citrus and more grassiness. A bit of sweet malt and oxidation with a hint of alcohol.
Pours clear amber of reds and brown. Large tan heaad that recedes slowly to form a rocky cap. Leaves lots of lacing and that cool line of foam after every drink.
I served this a little warm which I think ended up being good. Hop intensity noted first and throughout the drink and a very long finish. The malt forms a base, but isn't all that flavorful. It improves in time with an ever increasing sweetness as it warms. This is pleasing. There is an oxidation taste that hints at sherry flavors.
Really nice ale smoothness that helps buffer the sharpness of the hops bite. Adequate carbonation to create some fullness. Medium thickness.
This is really quite good. I'm to sure why this isn't a double IPA. The slight oxidation seems to be the only thing that makes it a strong ale, but it really is slight. Nonetheless is deserves the accolades and the high BA ranking. A hop lovers delight.
"I'm not worthy."
As an addendum, the intensity of the hops seemed to have a negative effect on my well-being the next day. It's different than a "hang-over" from the alcohol. I've had it with other highly hopped beers before, but this one seemed the worst. (1,458 characters)

Photo of KroMagnon
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer has a nice head, a rather unusual shade of yellow - almost like a butterfinger bar, and it looks particularly striking over the very dark shade of amber for the beer itself. The head lasts and subsides lightly. The aroma features a heavy dose of malt along with some caramel notes and a slightly cooked syrup note - strangely I had trouble detecting much in the way of esters or hops. But flavorwise, I get a great thick maltiness coupled with a huge hop flavor, and a great complexity with nuances of cherry, chocolate, and toffee blending with clear malt presence and sharp bitterness. Again, though, the beer surprises me because I don't get quite a strike of bitterness at the end - overall the flavor is much more balanced and the hops seem more for flavor than bitterness. Awesome!! (797 characters)

Photo of GreenWBush
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmm ... it appears that I do not have logged my original review for the Bastard, so I guess there's nothing to directly compare against. Alas:

Amber with tan creeping-vine lace. Settling quickly to wee carbonation with large, interspersed bubbles.

After a year or so this beer still reeks with malty-booze but the hop presence is clearly less at the forefront. The leafy, herbal qualities of the hops have quelled down to a harsh, weirdly scotch-like presence amongst the notably high prescence of alcohol. The citrus, grapefruit qualities are gone too, replaced not with any real rounded qualities except for a slight butteriness that was not there before.

This now seems kind of like a smaller, hoppier, strong ale. Slight metallic flavors abound, with no to little sweetness makes it lose points. Any bready or doughiness is burned off by that almost stale hop-kick.

Still, pretty smooth on the palate. Each sip gives you a nice little warm buzz in the stomach, and I could imagine how this on-tap would get really addictive. I'll stick with it fresh though, thanks. (1,082 characters)

Photo of clvand0
3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This beer is quite different out of the bottle than it is on tap, so I feel compelled to write about it again. Comes only in a 22oz bomber. It pours a dark amber color with a large white head that doesn't ever go away and leaves lots of pretty lacing on the glass. The aroma is very strong with the pine hops, but has a caramel malt backing it up. The flavor is much more 'arrogant' from the bottle than from the tap. Less smooth. Very aggressive hop flavor that masks most of the malts. It's still really good, but if you can get this on tap, try that version. (561 characters)

Photo of Maestro
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is heavy. The head is quite thick and tan and stays for the whole pint. The beer is a dark red. Smell is fruity with lots of biscuit and toast. The beer is very malty. I would say that the hops are almost subdued, a nice change for a Stone Beer. There are hints of berries and slight dry wine characteristics. Mouthfeel is very chewy and a bit sticky. Drinkability, we'll just say pace yourself. (405 characters)

Photo of trancefishy
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark nutty brown colour, with a thinish off white head.
Smells like toffee and nuts, hardly an hops in the nose.
Taste is many things coming at you at once. You’ve got caramel, fruitcake, and some oily hops. Quite the blast from the past. Good complexity. Balance is there, but it’s still very hoppy. The malt is a bit underrepresented, but, that’s what this beer is all about. In your face action. Really lively taste, lots of busy flavours teeming about your palate to create some sort of bastardly tapestry. great mouthfeel.
Good beer, no kidding. Get it. (572 characters)

Photo of oelergud
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark ruby body, light tan head, rocky in appearance with full range of bubbles, great retention and lace. low carbonation.
The nose is sweet spicy hoppyness, coarse and rough.
Increadibly sweet upfront, honey, brown sugars and molasses followed by a rush of hoppy spice rolling over the tongue. Very complex and very well balanced brew. Aftertaste is lingering sweet then a hoppy sensation.
Full body leaving some coating.
Great drinkability just watch the abv.

-Oelergud (478 characters)

Photo of nogoodreason
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clean, clear amber. No chill haze. Head is fine white, without much retention. Breath in, and your nose is filled with clean malty goodness and heavy raisin presence. Another inhalation brings piney, citric hops presence. Smells sweet and strong, with a gorgeous, ragged hop presence.

Medium bodied, with smooth light carbonation and a sweet caramel and raisin taste with some alcohol apparent. At first, the hop bitterness is subdued, keeping the pleasing brown ale-like maltiness at the forefront. As it goes, the hops become more intense, floral slightly, citric and piney. It gets harsher and more aggressive, finishing with an easy-going rasin and a lingering piney bitterness around the edges. Really a beautiful ale, all malt and hops, almost a defintion of what American microbrewing is about. Lovely. (812 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, rich garnet body with a rabid, frothy, light-tan head.
Aromas of sweet, candy-ish malt are strong, but so are the piney, scotch-tape hops. Oh yeah.
Big sweet malt flavors up front. Pineapple and candied fruit set against a caramelly background. Huge hops come in midway to balance out the sweetness. Pine resin with deliciously spicy notes. Finish is bitter, with lingering sweetness. Big, bold body; chewy feel. It might destroy my palate (even though I think I’m worthy), but I don’t care. One of my favorites or one of my favorite styles. (552 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Found this on tap here in Lexington. What a treat. The beer was a deep ruby red color, with a 1.5 finger of headThe nose is very sweet grapefruit hops dipped in caramel. The flavor is sweet, very mellow hops that linger. The hop is nicely citrus. The feel is thick and the drinkability is not to be topped. What an easy drinking beer. I love it. Always have, always will. (371 characters)

Photo of kennyo
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What could I say that the other 472 bastards didn't. This is one of my favorite beers. Is it great? Its not a New Belgium LaFolie or a Southhampton Grand Cru, but man do I luv this stuff.

Mahogany brown with a white head. Aroma is malty, alcohol, citrus, hops, bubblegum. Taste is everything good, malt, hop biterness, alcohol, malt, malt, and morre malt. For a big tasting, 7.2% brew, this things goes down to quick.

What a great drinking beer to review for my 50th one. (478 characters)

Photo of santoslhalper
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purs a deep auburn brown witha thich tan head. Great lacing. Smells very piney and fruity. Tastes ridiculously hoppy with a nice caramel taste coming through. Very great tasting. My taste buds experience an absolute overload. What am I tasting? Thank you Stone for making this amazing beer. The statement on the back of the bottle says it all. Definitly one of the best beers I've had to date. Keeps coming up with new flavors the further I get down the beer. Amazing. Highly recommended. I've heard so much about this brew, finally got to try it, and it's definitly worth the hype. (582 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark crimson coloration, thick'n'rich'n'cloudy, under a perfunctory whitish head.
Aroma: a big hit of juicy fruit, deep, dark ones, grapes and berries and cherries and more, a rich elixir..definitely got the barleywine thing going on, zesty, spicy, loaded with flavor...'bout time I taste, eh?
Big, chewy, grabbiness on the palate, full and thick, powerful, and omnipresent, digs in and in, climbs and clambers about the senses, not trying to dominate, but doing it anyway, through virtue of the fullness of flavor...zing, zing, zing, again, I sing, this is deliciousness pressed into service and doing double-time, brothers,...Lordy, it's loveliness, indeed, thick and full on the palate, wow, rich and tasty, sets the senses a'spin, leaves the soul reeling...mine is, I luxuriate in the pleasures of this brew, and they are aplenty!
I'm drooling of the day I can visit San Diego and try it fresh on-tap, maybe other versions, the Oak-Aged, as well?
As it is, this is a supreme brew, a just king, who wisely judges the imbibers from his throne...if thou art not worthy, tarry not 'round these vessels, seek a softer, sadder brew for you..let only those who can claim worthiness hoist a chalice of this finest ale!
Got to be one of America's best barleywines, bar none!!!
I could rant on some more, for the bottle is not yet finished, but let it be known, that this ale has powers over me, bewitches and bewilders, and all in the best sense, for I leave the normal earthly realm to visit sublimer planes, all courtesy of this bottle!
Good Lordy-Lou!
I am sent, in the most sensational way, lifted, aloft, delivered, dropped beyond the heavens into a metaphysical stratosphere beyond human reckoning...
Yes, I proclaim it "good"....and will merely melt and luxuriate at the rest of the consumption of this rare delicacy...I envy you Cali types who can snort this back with the ease of an ordinary day.... (1,913 characters)

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was almost afraid to try this brew - considering it's held in high esteem here on BA I figured it was likely to be a bitter hop monster. Thankfully my apprehensions were unfounded as this was a delightfully well balanced brew.

The beer pours a wonderful orange brown with a thick tan head. The head lasted for quite some time and left plenty of lacing along the glass.

The smell was very inviting - lots of warm malt notes, a sweet hint of alcohol and a subtle spicy note reminiscent of nutmeg. The taste was perfectly balanced - plenty of sweet malt notes to start and a very slow blooming hop aftertaste. After every sip I'd think "gee, hardly any hops" only to find ten seconds later a strong (though mellow) hop echo. There was a very pleasant nutty flavor that complimented this brew's brown ale heritage. The alcohol burn was a bit much and probably the only detraction from the taste but then again it is a 'strong ale' so that's to be expected. The taste was bold but far from overpowering and as complex and rewarding as any zinfandel.

Mouthfeel was fine though not outstanding. There was a pleasant overall smoothness to the brew that was quite enjoyable. Drinkability was very high - now that I've tasted this Arrogant Bastard I'm going to make sure there's always one in the back of my fridge waiting for a good friend who appreciates good beer. (1,368 characters)

Photo of Skidz
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle obtained by my bro in a collaboration. Part 3 of the 4 part Stone tasting.

Pours out burnt sienna and sits dark orange-red in the glass with a large foamy tan head.

Smells of citrus fruit (grapefruit, orange), sweet malts lie underneath. Peppery and woody with a bark-like aroma. Hops cover everything. Very unique aroma. I said, "summer strawberries in a hay field," while my brother said, "Watermelon Bubblicious."

Bitterness comes up strong on you, but sweet malts enter soon. Quite hoppy, nutty and very bitter. More sweet citrus fruits come out in the mouth along with a hint of caramel.

Clean with good carbonation; tickling but not overbearing. An easy ale to dring with a great mouth and a top-notch nose. (732 characters)

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