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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,459 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7459
Reviews: 2739
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 12.44%

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
Ratings: 7,459 | Reviews: 2,739 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of kdmorse


4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Arrives glowing orange against the sun setting off in the distance. Topped with 1" of sticky whitish head. Head lingers for quite some time before fading. Leaves amazing lacing all the way down the glass. Smells of hearty hops backed up with with loads of sweet malt. A hop moster, but a balanced hop monster. Chewy in the mouth and light on carbonation. Love to drink it, but it is a workout.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2006 23:04:19 | More by kdmorse
Photo of RDAdams


4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The most difficult part of this review was trying to define the color of the ale. Without my 64 color crayola set, it's difficult. It's a light opaque amber brown and clear when you hold it up to the light. The head is full, beautiful, and well-retained.

Smell: The aroma jumps out at you with all its complexities. You inhale the full spectrum of the malts and the hops. My wife is my arbiter of beer. She does not care for beer that much. She took eook a whiff of the aroma of this beer and said "Now that's a beer."

Taste: It isn't enough that it tastes great. It coats your entire mouth and into your throat with enough that the taste lingers on for minutes. And the taste is so exceptional that you wind up sipping the beer so that you don't waste a drop of the taste.

Mouthfeel: Women claim that I chew my beer, I say I move it around in my mouth and savor it until the chill is gone before swallowing. If we eliminate the taste from mouthfeel, the beer is somewhat thin for a beer with such a powerful taste.

Drinkability: This beer is clearly not for everyone. It is not a beer you would give to a man or a woman dying of thirst or an aficionado of American swill. To me it is awesome; to others I don't know.

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2006 19:58:42 | More by RDAdams
Photo of ColoradoBobs


2.83/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Old Chicago, downtown Denver, CO.

Served too cold in a chilled mug. Poured with no head: just an off-white ring that left good lacing. Cloudy plain brown. Smell is malty front, with hop side notes. Taste is the opposite: very hoppy foreground (pine, metallic, bitter) with just a hint of malt background. The bartender sold me this by saying it was balanced and complex. Those who know me also know I'm a malt-lover, and so take it with a grain of salt when I say that I didn't find it either balanced or complex. Overtly hoppy and bitter (too much so for my taste!), with hardly any malt presence. Even after I let it sit and warm up, it was still too one-dimensionally hop-dominated.
Decent mouthfeel (its best feature), and fairly drinkable. I've had one, now. Probably not again, and certainly not for $4.75 (plus tip) for a pint.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2006 23:12:59 | More by ColoradoBobs
Photo of Applesauce1


4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got the Arrogant Bastard on tap at Skipper's Bar and Grill in Athens, OH.

Bartender poured it into a plastic pint and got about a half-inch head off the tap. Dark color, almost black. Smelled great. Had some hops and something else in there (can't put my finger on it). Taste is great, this is definitely my favorite American Strong Ale. Hoppy flavor with some smokiness. Overall, a great beer. I like to get at least one of these everytime I head to Skipper's.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2006 16:35:44 | More by Applesauce1
Photo of bignick


2.95/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I find this beer to unbalanced and unimpressive. I looks good enough, other than that, isn't all that great. I have no problem with agressive hops...in fact, double bastard is one of my favorites because it is more balanced. However, the lack of sweetness to balance the strong hop profile of Arrogant Bastard leads to a very undrinkable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2006 04:43:32 | More by bignick
Photo of Calico

New York

3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby/mahogany. Head fades away leaving a lovely lacing.

Malty, slight esters in the nose, maybe a little diacetyl. The hops taunt and tantalize even in the aroma. Then, on the first sip, the hops take hold of the tongue and stick to it, very slowly fading away.

Quite carbonated. Nicely warming. ABV is apparent, but this is not the big scary beer it makes itself out to be. Next to a Big A IPA, for instance, it faints away. Still, it's one I drink on a fairly frequent basis. I ordered another one.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2006 16:46:37 | More by Calico
Photo of skillerified


3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark red color. Two finger head that fades to a decent cap with some lacing on the glass.

Scent was dark berries and cherry for me. A little hoppy citrus as well.

Taste is nice. Strong cherry flavor early is smashed by hoppy bitterness at the middle. The bitterness lasts throughout. It's a strong bitterness, but not a bad one. It's enjoyable despite the marketing telling you otherwise.

Medium bodied. Light carbonation. A bit slick actually. The finish is long. Not necessarily an impressive mouthfeel.

This wasn't my first one and it won't be my last, so it's pretty drinkable. I do usually tend to switch to something a little sweeter after one of these though. I think it's the cherry flavor that makes me want to go sweet after a pint of this.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2006 04:49:41 | More by skillerified
Photo of maddamish


4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber brown in color. Small head when served. nice lacing however.

Smell: Sweet smelling beer. Grape and sugar notes.

Taste: Hoppy with grape notes. I was really blown away with how good this beer tasted. I could have drank this all night but this is one of those beers that will creep up on you. Be careful if you are not drinking this at home.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2005 02:44:06 | More by maddamish
Photo of SwillinBrew


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

One of my favorite brews so i thought i'd finally review it. Had on tap at Heroes in Fullerton.

A - a beautiful rich mohogany copper with a solid finger of bone white head. Nice lace down my glass. Color is really fantastic.
S - Mmmm, you will salivate. A wall of crisp grapefruit hit your nose then leans over towards a sweeter malt on the end... but the grapefruit is still present.
T - More grapefruit and you definitely know the hops are still here. Citrus grapefruit invade your tonge leading towards a milder sweet plum or dark fruit flavor. A great taste for damn sure.
M&Dr - Mouthfeel is solid with perfect carbonation that is ever present like scrubbing bubbles, not harsh but smooth if you can believe. I can drink this until i fall like a fresh cut tree. Way to go Stone.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2005 00:53:28 | More by SwillinBrew
Photo of Terp96

North Carolina

4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Flying Sauce, Addison, TX for $2.50 a pint.

Pours a deep mahogony with a slightly off white head. The one finger thick head has excellent retention as evidenced by the extensive lacing down my glass.

Smell is ridiculous. I mean this in a fantastically complex way. You know from the first whiff that everything is there. A citrusy hop aroma with ripened, dark fruit. Bitter and sweet all wrapped up in one glass.

Taste is equally as fine. A syrupy sweetness of plum, raisins, fig??, followed by the hop bomb finish. This one is punishing but you come crawling back for another sip every time.

Mouthfeel is excellent as well. The syrupy sweetness lingers throughout and changes as you move down the glass. Very sweet at first but more finished and refined at the end. Conversly, the hop bitterness remains the same throughout. One of the most complex beers I have ever had.

The drinkability of this one is the only fault. This is a big beer and you get reminded of this often. I would say it is too complex to have as your regular beer. You want to savor this one and revisit it occassionally because I guarantee it will seem different everytime.

"Thank you sir. May I have another!!!"

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2005 14:50:03 | More by Terp96
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.15/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Stone- Arrogant Bastard Ale

On tap at Isaac Newton's- Newtown, PA

Appearance- dark mahogany brown with a small thick tan head. Heavy lacing through half the pint.
Smell- lots of roasted hops slight pine.
Taste- toasted/ roasted hops- very strong, slight floral/ pine hop taste. Thick maltiness as well.
Mouthfeel- thick, oily, slight alcohol presence, a pleasent aftertaste but a little rough at first.

Overall- my 2nd time having the Arrogant bastard and it was better this time around. Still a little tough on my taste buds. My 2 hardcore craft beer drinking years aren't enough yet to really appriciate this beer, or I simply just don't think its all that!?!
I was expecting strong floral/ citrus hops (which I now love) and didn't quite get it. Worth a pint but not a 6er or case.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2005 16:06:12 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beer you find yourself coming across all the time while perusing this site and the news is almost always good but I had never noticed it available out here on the island or any of the other ridiculous places I've lived since I started appreciating good beer a few years back. Then my non beer drinking little sister moved to Brooklyn, bless her heart and it's like I've been reborn with all the good beers that are suddenly within my reach. Today enjoyed the famed Bastard on tap at the atlantic Chip Shop on the Avenue of the same name in Brooklyn Heights and I can say without exaggeration that with this one, you can believe the hype.
Served in a proper imperial pint glass, this Bastard is dark brown with nice ruby highlights and an attractive but thin head that didn't last. The smell was bursting with hops and shadowed by mild bouquets of metal and alcohol. I can't explain it so well, but it smell's better than my description.
The taste is again showered in delicious hops with a nicely bitter aftertaste that gives way to a mellowness that stays in the mouth long after the swallow. This beer is very pleasant to your mouth with a smooth, crisp bite that breaks at the right time.
This is a beer that is so meticulously crafted that it's brilliance makes it seem simple and is truly a satisfying drink. Maybe a bit too much alcohol and kamikaze hops for binging but I can attest that having one with lunch is close to nirvana.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2005 07:21:12 | More by daliandragon
Photo of poluti


4.88/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer bottled and enjoyed it immensely. I decided to hold off on the review until I could find it on tap. It pours a cloudy tan head with a deep amber color- with a tinge of orange. This beer smells bittersweet. It has a very deep floral scent and multiple layers of hops. The hops definitely do not match the color of the beer. The smell prepares you for the hoppy bang you get from your first sip. It has a fantastic kick on the back of the tongue with the malt gently balancing it at the tip of the tongue. The tongue is lightly coated before it kicks you. This is a very hoppy, very potent beer. I would only recommend this to people who love hops and would advise them not to rate any beers for awhile after having this one because the hops dominate your tastebuds for awhile.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2005 06:12:24 | More by poluti
Photo of Celt44

New York

4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a dark amber with creamy head right out of the growler. Lacing lasts throughout.
Aroma is a beautiful floral combo of chocolate,licorice, and pine - alcohol aroma is present.
Taste is exceptional for the ABV. Chocolate is present along with hints of coffee - very smooth with a beautifully bitter hop bite finish.
Alcohol is present but not overbearing. The best strong ale I've ever had. This one will be residing in my fridge this winter!

Serving type: growler

11-05-2005 20:38:53 | More by Celt44
Photo of veggiemafia


4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Fathead's with a veggie sub.

Never reviewed this one til now, always liked it really well, though.

Dark red, brown rust color with sticky lace most of the way through the glass. Nice light khaki up top, almost like some stouts.

Smells great, all fruity hops, oranges, pears, green apples with a lingering maltiness somewhere in the back there.

Great taste, citrusy, fruity, above all else, holy crap hoppy. I understand this is a beer that tries to be overbearing, but I don't think it's remotely unpleasant and never is it just too much. (Although Double Bastard may be another story, never been able to get it, so I'm excited for Monday.) Can't taste the alcohol until maybe the last little bit of the glass, but it's also not unpleasant at all. Kind of how you can taste the alcohol in a tripel, as opposed to something like how you can taste it in Old Rasputin.

Slick, but really well carbonated, smooth, with a nice twang from the even, steady carbonation.

Drinkability...well, this a huge beer, big alcohol content, really bitter. I am not worthy...of more than 2 or maybe 3 in a sitting.

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2005 05:59:23 | More by veggiemafia
Photo of edmundfitzoil


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

I had this one on tap and poured into a standard pint glass.

The beer poured a very deep reddish brown with a thick foamy of off white head that peaked up a little over the top of the glass. The head retained incredibly well, and it left plenty of fine lacing on the side of the glass. The aroma is of huge a huge hop character and also some fruity scents. The taste is big too: big hops and big malts. Everything flavor-wise bounces off around the high alcohol content, which oddly enough is a part of this beer: an integral part of the flavor. A medium to heavy mouthfeel comes with this too, and although the alcohol is high and registers on the palant its still highly drinkable.

The "Arrogance" of the gargoyle who adorns the bottle, which I've had but not reviewed, and the tap handle is appropriate, and it's true throughout this beer. Not just the taste but everything that really goes along with this beer. Arrogant Bastard is not for everyone; it's probably too big to for many tastes. But I would recommend this to anyone. I like it a lot, but trying a beer of this nature, which has garnered a sort of mythical following, is worth trying for anyone.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2005 15:46:30 | More by edmundfitzoil
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

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

I had this draft at Collin's, near Pioneer Square in Seattle.

Lots of depth to the flavour of this big brew.

Excellent bitter/sweet balance, spicey undertones, moderate-to-heavy mouthfeel.

Very drinkable... it takes time for your taste buds to decipher the complex flavours.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2005 17:11:43 | More by Derek
Photo of DogFood11


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

The appearance was great, big frothy head and dark rich color...Inviting. Smell was a bit alcohol but also mad hops.

It has a sweet side to the malts but for the most part its earthy and coffee undertones. Hops are mad, crazy, insane and off the charts especially towards the finish. Not too sweet like some chocolate type beers just a nice bitter hop and an added bitterness from the burnt malts.

Notes: Once again another winner from Stone Brewing. I get the sense that they trial run beers for years because when they release a beer it is refined. Winner. Very complex offering with a nice malt depth alongside bigtime overhopping. Although this is not a sessioner it recieves plenty of attention at this household.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2005 00:21:51 | More by DogFood11
Photo of BEERchitect


4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have always said it, Arrogant Bastard is the best invention in beer that has borne a true American Signature.

Malt!...Hops!....I might have given it back right then, right there if the bottle had not taunted be so. Bold aromas of caramelized malts, sweet dark fruits. Toasty and complcex. Waters the palate.

Deep mohogany in color. Ultimately clear. Dense tan head falls to about 1" and remains. Very nice lacing. A thick pour with medium carbonation.

Imediate assault of an aggressive malt and hop blend. Sweet caramels, figs, dates, a bit of licorice, vanilla, cherries....and a kitchen sink. (it's all in there). Agressive hop flavoring quickly rounds out this full-to-thick bodied delight. Bittering is well within balance of the malt. Complex through the body and gaining through the finish with the higher detection of alcohol. Viscosity to the mouth is not as great as I had expected from the appearance. Finishes nicely, not too drying or tacky for a high gravity or high alcohol beer.

Bittering hops dominate and mask subtle sweetness left in the background. Flavors of those dark fruits linger for quite a while. Well attenuated, melanoiden laiden, yet creamy and full-magical!

The malt bill seems characteristic of a bold Dopplebock, yet hopped with a ton of Chinook- much like an Imperial IPA. A monster yeast gives a complex and rich fruit flavor. It's not a sipper, but we won't be doing keg-stands with this one either. A beer that has won my respect, regardless what the bottle might say.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2005 14:26:03 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Lnedrive14


4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is a bastard! It is also incredibly tasty and complex, and quite a bit more drinkable than I expected.

It poured a very dark amber with a two-finger head. It looked so pretty, I almost didn't want to ruin it by drinking it.

The smell was just as robust as the taste. Overwhelmingly malty, but not as hoppy as I expected after reading these reviews.

The taste was like an explosion. I first felt the power of the alcohol and the malt. After letting it sit in my mouth, the hops started to take over, that left a residue in my throat for a few minutes. A very complex beer, but very tasty.

Much more drinkable than one would think for a beer that has a warning that it is not for the faint of heart. I could definitely throw back of a couple of these, enjoying them all the way down.

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2005 14:50:02 | More by Lnedrive14
Photo of bceaglejoe


3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: This beer poured a very dark amber color into a traditional pint glass. There was about a finger-thick head that had reasonably good retention. It looked moderately carbonated. A floral hop aroma was the most prevalent scent on the nose. It wasn't overpowering, however. There were slight hints of malts in the nose as well.

Tasting: As expected, the hops were very strong on the tongue. The bitterness was not unpleasant, however, because the taste was balanced with some malt sweetness. Ester characteristics came across. This was a medium to heavy-bodied beer with slight tinges of alcohol on the tongue. This is a little harder to drink in succession due to the higher alcohol content.

Overall, this was an enjoyable beer, and I would pair it with heartier foods. It's a bold beer that will challenge your taste buds if you aren't really used to over-the-top hoppy beers.

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2005 01:46:30 | More by bceaglejoe
Photo of Higravity


3.45/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not overly impressed with this beer. It has had such a large hype, but it falls short. Sure it is hoppy with lots of course rough hops that give way to a little fruityness and while I like the hop combo the much bragged about malt complexity it two dimensional, sweet caramel meets grain. The alcohol gives it a good body and rounds out the flavor of the malt but sip after sip the malt complexity is just not there and since they brag about it, points are shaven off the taste. I will have to try this again in the bottle as the keg may have diminished the taste to be fair. Still a nice beer and I could put a 22oz in my session any day.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2005 17:46:12 | More by Higravity
Photo of BuckSpin


4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Perhaps the prettiest beer I have seen - just a stunning deep cherry amber in color with a magnificent 2" head of tight cream foam that clung like rings on a tree. Nose was of course hoppy with a sweet lightness to it - unusual for such a great visual. Hops right up front on the tongue, then flavors like bread and some sweetness. The term "sweet bitter" came to mind. The only drawback is a noticable chalky aftertaste I could really do without. A very enjoyable drink.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2005 23:11:25 | More by BuckSpin
Photo of swamiswamu


4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Chumley's in Indianapolis

This beer is trully a different beast on tap than it is out of a bottle. The garnet color was offset well by a tannish head that stuck around quite awhile. While there's some balance, this beer is all about hops. A sip is like taking a bite out of a grapefruit. Great beer to sip, but one is enough.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2005 21:24:23 | More by swamiswamu
Photo of carln26


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

How do you start with this beer. Deep mahogany with ruby highlights. Thin light brown head. Nose is dates and figs from the malt along with grapefruit orange with a mild doughy character. Great depth of flavor with layers of sweetness from the malt. It starts as candy, changes to the date/fig component and becomes spicy like a carrot cake after a while. Smooth mouth feel medium drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2005 20:53:15 | More by carln26
Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 7,459 ratings.