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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: 9,924
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 384
Gots: 2,054 | 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: 9,924
Photo of m_hall
4.69/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. Beer pours a clear, deep amber-brown with a thick, pillow-y two-finger tan head that falls slowly to a fillm, leaving copious sticky lacing.

This beer is extremely aromatic- even before actually nosing you'll pick up floral hops, bread, banana, and spicy/citric notes. Would make a wonderful air-freshener.

Flavor wise, the front end of beer has smooth, deep malt sweetness, rich, but not toasted.There is a subtle but discernible alcoholic warmth-it lets you know it's there, but it's well-harmonized with everything else that's going on. All this is offset by an ample wash of grapefruit-like hop bitterness, leading towards a dry finish. Very complex- every sip of this seems to be just a slight bit different than the last, especially as the beer warms in the glass. It's definitely an aggressive beer, as the label promises, but at the same time, very balanced.

Mouthfeel is smooth, slightly oily, lingers in the mouth, almost like a good whiskey. Carbonation is fairly moderate.

Overall, this is a remarkable, fascinating beer... best way I could describe it is like a marriage of a Belgian Ale with an American IPA, and I think fans of either style could find a great deal to love here, with the rich malts skillfully set against aggressive hop bitterness. Powerful, challenging, but rewarding to those who can step up to it. We are not worthy, indeed. (1,408 characters)

Photo of Antoine
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Definitely a beer that knocked me off my feet but still tastes really good.

Hoppiest beer out there but has a finish that doesn't make you regret getting it.

I grab a pint of Arrogant Bastard and Stone IPA pretty much every weekend. (236 characters)

Photo of samtrillo
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Beautiful and rich amber mahogany with a slightly tan head.

Nose is a bit piney and grapefruity with caramel malt.

Oily and smooth mouthfeel. Very bitter at the end. Tastes of caramel malt, bitter grapefruit and blood orange. Smokiness to it with a bit of vanilla.

A lesser brewery might try to catch your attention and call this a mahogany IPA or an Amber IPA; because it is bitter and really showcases the hops and the malt. Not Stone, though. (451 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber enjoyed in a Lagunitas mason jar glass. The label is frankly awesome, "yellow beer drinker" insulting arrogance at its finest. The beer is a murky opaque reddish brown with a comfortable two fingers of notably dark yellow-tan creamy head. Makes me think smoky bar room. Aroma is well-toasted grains, resinous peppery and citrus rind hops, a whiff of raisins, fruity pipe tobacco, aromatic alcohol. Somehow strikes dark/malty and fresh/fruity chords at the same time. The palate starts with bitter spicy hops, some grapefruit peel and flower water, and quickly transitions to nutty toasted malts surprising devoid of toffee or caramel flavors (although these are down there in the mix). A grainy bitterness like burnt Ovaltine and graham crackers coupled with hints of chocolate and walnut. Ample alcohol flavor but this is skillfully done by design. I am getting some peach and more floral notes late. Perhaps a little coffee. Could be the most adept use of fusel alcohols I've yet to sample. Producing a nice warmth about two-thirds through but no (or little) hop burn. Despite these big flavors, the brew is silky smooth yet still rather thick. Caresses the palate. The heavy malts persist all the way through into the finish, which seems astonishingly dry for such a malty brew. The hops are the coda as well as the intro. Has to be experienced to be believed and obviously I'd snag any variants that should enter this still nascent but fortunately growing craft beer market. A near religious experience, on par with Ruination or nearly so. (1,550 characters)

Photo of Apellonious
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber from FMcD's poured into a tulip glass. No dating found.

A - Pours a dark bown with red/orange highlights. One finger head with good sticky lace retention on the slide of the glass.

S - Dark fruit, pine, plum, vanilla, grains

T - Very similar to the nose, initial malt and sweetness, but the hops take over on the finish.

M - Moderately low carbonation, very thick, somewhat sticky.

O - Had this many times, odd that I never reviewed it. Must be because it is so darn tasty. A great crossover to fall/winter beverage. (537 characters)

Photo of AirBob
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Notes from 10/31/14

A- 4 fingers of yellowish white bubbly head. Ruby-brown body. Great retention and lacing. Crazy head.

S - Sweet malts. Tons of citrus (lemon) and a little pine.

T - Get a lot of citrus up front (lemon with plenty of bitterness). Nice sweet bready malt backbone. Finishes with more citrus and a lot of bitterness.

M - Full bodied. Low-medium carbonation.

O - A little too bitter for my liking but still excellent. (444 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this great ale many times, but never reviewed it. Today I bought the box set of four bastards, and I'm looking forward to having a couple.

It is menacing looking in the glass. Dark brown with a reasonable head. The it's pretty hoppy and almost dank.

The taste is dark and bitter, very appropriate for the style. It bites nicely and will stand up to any food. The aftertaste is very bitter. Although it is boozy, the malty taste is way low.

Overall this is a first rate ale. (487 characters)

Photo of T100Mark
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A 22 ounce bomber poured into a shaker pint glass. I'm a sucker for silk screened labels!

Appearance - A beautiful ruby red color. Great clarity. Big, dense, tan head. Great lacing. A very good looking beer.

Smell - Steak on the grill.

Taste - Wow! The malt has a burnt toast/Marmite flavor to it. I also tasted Angostura Bitters. The beer has strong herbal overtones. The hops and the malt seem to be fighting for your attention.

Mouth - Oily. Moderate carbonation.

Overall - I was happily surprised to find that this beer was not just another Stone hop bomb. This beer reminds me, a little, of Sierra Nevada's Torpedo IPA (another beer with a little too much of everything). A very enjoyable ale, just make sure you are sitting down when you take the first sip. (772 characters)

Photo of LakeCreekBev
4/5  rDev -4.3%

The negatives I had with this beer were purely a matter of taste. This is a complex but balanced beer that I'm sure many people will enjoy, but just not my favorite. My taste would rate this a 3.75, but my beer reviewer self would give it a 4.25, so I split the difference at a 4. (282 characters)

Photo of HamdenHector
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: clear; medium brown; 1 finger light brown head that receded slowly to a thin cap; nice lacing;

S: very restrained nose; what is there is malt sweetness;

T: very smooth and well balance; malt up front; at mid-palate, a little grapefruit rind flavor and bitterness kicks in; moderate bitterness on the finish; ABV is well hidden;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; slightly dry finish;

O: really nice beer; (417 characters)

Photo of Aotidae
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Poors a dark amber, with rich red undertones. Head was a light caramel.
Smells of musky hops, slight grapefruit, and blood orange. Perhaps some mango undertones, raison, and spice.
Tastes vegetal, pine resin, some grapefruit rind, raisons, and dried dark fruits. Some caramel present, and some thing I can't quite put my finger on. It finishes with a quick sharp bitterness that fades into more of a sensation than a flavor. Overall, I would recommend this to those who like to question what they are tasting. (513 characters)

Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark reddish-brown with a two-finger off-white head. Lots of heavy sticky lacing.

S - Aromas of grassy hops and biscuity malts.

T - The flavor starts with a light cherry sweetness and than turns into a hop assualt. The hops produce a good deal of bitterness. The finish has a lingering grapefruit rind aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - Solid beer and hard to beat for the price. Definetly a must try for any beer fan. (494 characters)

Photo of Woody86
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Aromatic with a bitter hops finish in the end.

It had been a while since I had this beer so I figured I would pick it up and review it again. This beer is, as reputed, a very good beer. Pours nicely with a nice thick head. Very aromatic, the aromas are probably subjective to the drinker as there is not really a noticeable aroma that stands out above the rest to me and other individuals I have spoken with have their own opinions as to what truly stands out in this beer. (The same goes for the taste)

Easier drinking than they state on their label in the back; pretty hard not to like this beer unless your moving from a straight horse pess pilsner.

More hops than anticipated but I like it.

Salut (709 characters)

Photo of nextbottleplease
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Since so many people wrote how it pours, etc. I'll just say - the taste is worthy of the name. It's bold, arrogant and in a way overwhelming. Really hard to forget and I often want to go back to it. I wrote a bit more some time ago - http://nextbottleplease.com/?p=162 . (270 characters)

Photo of BenwayPHD
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Pours a dark reddish brown with a yellow tinted two finger head. The smell is a perfect balance between the hops and the sweet beady malt. Caramel, orange, vanilla, candy. The flavor is also a perfect balance. It's bitter, very bitter, but there is also a nutty sweetness. It's hard to honestly review this beer as it has been an old standard of mine. The First Craft Beer I Ever had. (386 characters)

Photo of dcscientist
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Funny name, serious beer. A little stronger than most ales, but worth the kick. This beer put Stone on the map, but they do so much more now. Good introduction to the brewery. (178 characters)

Photo of LiamMichaelAriel
4/5  rDev -4.3%

1st thoughts: Arrogant Bastard Ale is probably the most popular American Strong Ale in New England. The first bomber from Stone Brewing Company (Escondido, CA) to make a play on the shelves of package stores throughout the bay state.

Review: Pours medium brown/red-ish in color with a moderate to sticky head. A hoppy yet smooth with a medium finish. A blast of hops upon first contact the taste smooths out and leaves with a killer bite.

Price: $6.75 for 1pint. (Boston, Mass.)

ABV:7.2% (491 characters)

Photo of GJ40
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%

As I hophead, I don't venture into the American Strong category often but of course Stone makes the deviation easy. Fantastic malts with just enough hops to keep it interesting. Between the artwork, appearance, aroma and flavor, what's not to love about this beer? (266 characters)

Photo of barleybutt
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Poured aggressively in a standard pint glass.
A: amber dark red. Reminded multiple people in the room of cherry wood. A light foamy head, a few inches tall, formed but dissipated quickly after the pour.
S: More yeast than anything. Fresh biscuits on the head and light citrus undertones.
T: Strong upfront chocolate followed by dry citrus - most reminiscent of grapefruit rind.
M: Medium. Light carbonation and a dry bitter finish.
O: Very drinkable and affordable. There is little to no alcohol in the taste despite the medium/big body. The roasted chocolate upfront is usually something I don't like, but this brew did it well. I would be happy with another. (673 characters)

Photo of TimZebGir
3.6/5  rDev -13.9%

A: Deep ruby brown with light foamy head(3/3)
S: Light fruitiness...cherry?...citrusy hop notes (8/12)
T: Fruity notes on tip of tongue blend toward malty and bitter finish. Strong hang, like unripe grapefruit or strong coffee in the after-taste. ...do I detect wood?(14/20)
F: Medium body and carbonation with very dry finish (4/5)
O: Really hard to pin down the subtle notes in this one. Drank it with a friend, and we both had a hard time finding words. (7/10)
36/50 (472 characters)

Photo of mpedara429
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

A; Pours out a murky reddish copper. Two fingers of khaki head that wouldn't leave me alone.

S: Very bready. Subtle hint of fruit like strawberry and cherry.

T: Hoppy licorice. Strawberry and cherry from the nose mixed with an earthy, grassy hop. Delicious.

M: Medium sticky body with medium carb. Slightly tannic bite.

O: Very solid. The hoppiness is what sets this one apart. A great "go to" because of the availability in my area. (438 characters)

Photo of Webbey
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

24oz. bottle poured to glass.

Appearance: A light amber hue, very clear and has extremely nice lacing on the glass. About a 1.5 to 2 finger head (poured this one pretty sloppy so the head was nearly 3 inches at first).

Smell: Extremely grassy, full of hop notes and a slight hint of orange. After tasting, you can barely notice a hint of the malt upon a huge sniff of the beer.

Taste: A quick hit of sweetness followed by a smash in the face of hops, hops and more hops. This is essentially an IPA on steroids (categorized as Strong Ale but you get the picture). At the finish you can notice a quick hit of coffee notes and malt. The bitterness hangs around a bit after a few sips.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, not a very heavy carbonation but just enough. Bitterness all around this brew but, hey, that's the style!

Overall: This is your typical West Coast hop bomb of a brew. It is delicious but for myself, I could only take a pint of it and then I had to move on. A 3.75 rating because it hits everything it's supposed to but that West Coast purposeful hop attack really isn't my favorite thing in the world. Worth a try and a great brewery to go visit! (1,159 characters)

Photo of ArchimedesSox
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Pours a dark, copper color in a 20oz pub glass from a pretty aggressive pour creating a 4 inch head on top that lingers a while leaving nice lacing down the glass.

Smell is of piney hops with a little malt pressence in the background. I also get an alcohol medicinal smell in there as well.

Taste has those piney hops up front. Malts come in in the middle of the taste but not enough for my taste. The aftertaste is dominated by the hops with a resinous medicinal type of taste. It is not as unpleasant as it sounds but that is the best way I know to describe it.

Mouthfeel is medium to full. Bubbles are pretty small and creamy which has created a really dense head that is still lingering on the top as I am half way through the glass.

Overall a really good beer. This is the first Strong Ale I have had and I am not sure why this is not considered an IPA. It pretty much fits that bill in my opinion. I cant think of a time where this would serve a purpose that an IPA could not fill in. Never the less a good impression for me from Stone as this is my first offering from them, and I look forward to some of their others. (1,147 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
3.99/5  rDev -4.5%

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. No date visible on the bottle but the variety pack says Enjoy By Oct. 30.

A- Pours a reddish medium brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming an 1/8 inch head and exhibits a resilient sheet of lacing.

S- Toasty malt and some semi-strong booze fume. Also some hop aroma trailing behind.

T- It's funny. There's a lot of flavor here but, since there's equal parts bitter, sweet, alcohol and toasty, they all come together and even out in the end. I would call it balance but the taste is still quite aggressive overall. I feel like the bitterness might outweigh all else though when everything's said and done.

M- Slightly creamy with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- This is a very multi-dimensional beer that I haven't revisited in quite some time. While nothing really jumps out at me that's special about it, I admire its decent complexity and assertive flavors, even if it is lacking a bit of character. This is a beer that was monumental in its time, was influential to a lot of people new to craft beer and I'm no exception.

A- 4.25 S- 3.75 T- 4 M- 4.25 O- 3.99 (1,155 characters)

Photo of rcairney1
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

I revisited this after a couple years. The older I get the better good beer tastes. Actually did the revisiting with my brother in law, who hadn't had it in a while either. We both found this beer outstanding, again. It is very good. I would recommend trying and re-trying. If you haven't had it in a while, do yourself a favor and get some of this arrogant bastard between your lips ASAP. (395 characters)

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