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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,926 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,926
Hads: 10,063
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 22.78%
Wants: 408
Gots: 2,235 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Arrogant Bastard Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,926 | Hads: 10,063
Photo of whartontallboy
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge frothy head crowns a nice brown pour and leaves lace all over my snifter. Smell is hoppy and alcoholic with some malt straining to sneak through. The taste is hoptacular, but it's balanced well by a malty sweetness and candied fruit taste. The sweetness hides the alcohol pretty well, and then a nice hop and caramel interplay starts on your tongue. Quite entertaining. I'd label this one as medium-to-full bodied, and the complexities really shine through as it warms up a bit. Not just a clever bit of marketing, this one kicks ass, like all the other Stone brews I've had.

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Photo of dgallina
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear ruby with a mammoth and rocky off-white head. Leaves a foamy layer and very solid lacing on the sides of the glass. Smells thickly and sweetly malty, with strong piney hops and an undercurrent of grapefruits and slight banana-like tropical fruits. Smooth and quite creamy, with powerful and chewy resin-like pine flavors. The initial hop kick is followed-up with chunky sweet caramel malts, which are interwoven with the hop flavors through the drink. Chewy, smooth, and very satisfyingly creamy in the mouth. A really good American-style strong ale.

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Photo of Knuckles
2.08/5  rDev -50.1%
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.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark, ruby-tinted brown. Impressive head of yellowish foam.

Smell: Rich, toasted malt and a huge hop aroma.

Taste: Very toasted, nutty malt with a bouquet of hop flavors that alternatively remind me of grapefruit, dried pine needles, lemongrass and peppery basil. Finishes lingeringly with a bitter dryness.

Body: Crisp, surprisingly light mouthfeel.

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Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very dark jewel like amber with tan and rowdy head.

The first thing I got from this beer was big piney hops, followed quickly by sweet grains and alcohol.

The hops with this beer are massive, high alpha oil tough guys, but they fit quite nicely with the huge malts and ABV. Great caramel flavor.

Good C02, slick and dry finish.

A beer to be reckoned with. I'll usually take a dare, and dares are rarely this pleasurable. Thanks to karst for the treat. Yee-oww!

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Photo of IrishMike
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

'Tis a shame, living in Jersey; no bottle of Stone can be found at any store within this state. Ah well, thanks to the wonderful resource of the online trading forum, i was able to grab a nice 22oz bomber of this. Many thanks to mntlover for the help!

Appearance- Pours a deep copper with a healthy, but not excessive, amount of carbonation rising up from the bottom of the glass. 1" off-white head with excellent retention and small sparkles of lacing all about. Barley-wine esque, with better retention and more carbonation.

Smell- Very nice, i'm a big fan of caramel and this seems to slap on plenty of it. Nice hops round out the nose as well; background floral notes fight, but eventually give up, a losing battle with the strong malt character. Tiny roasted character hiding in there somewhere.

Taste- Ever feel like you've just been slapped after taking a sip of beer? This is only the second time this strange feeling has occured with me, and the other time was with the wayyy wild Old Crusty. Sweet upfront, excellent caramel/toffee/nutty taste that seems to be relatively mild and even "normal". The beer then makes you apologize for ever thinking it was normal for even a second. Hops come in, citrusy/grapefruity, but they are still nice and somewhat subdued. After-taste is a solid slap to your jaw. Pure brutality. I love it. I read other reviews stating that this beer lacks a certain balance, and it's true. But it's polarizing in that sense; a love it or hate it taste if i've ever seen one. I happen to be one of the people that really liked it.

Mouthfeel- Thanks to the brutual bitterness that comes from this brew, the taste will stay in your mouth for a LONG time. That's not a bad thing at all (consdering it tastes great), except after drinking a large amount of it the after-taste does seem to wear you down a little. Very thick and oily.

Drinkability- i could THEORETICALLY see how someone could make this a session brew, but it just isn't my type. Beats me up too badly. Grab a glass here and there, though, and i'll be a happy man. Great taste, just a bit too rugged to be making a frequent trip to.

I read the back label, and Stone made it a point to say that "i probably wouldn't like this beer". Well, i loved it, but i can see how the average macro drinker (the same macros that advertise "say goodbye to aftertaste" these days) would hate this brew with a wild passion. Strong, brutal, and arrogant. What a nice way to start off my experience with Stone.

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Photo of rousee
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Caramel brown with a lush thick 4mm head that holds extremely well. A good tiny-bubbled lace is left on sides of glass. Malty-earthy smell--fairly non-descript--does have some buttery elements not diacetyl-ish though. The taste is a full-on malt assault and quite lovely. Has nuttiness of cashews or hazelnuts. There is little to no bitterness but it does finish slightly too syrupy and sticky. The mouthfeel is fuzzy and syruppy but still quite pleasant. AB on tap is too damn drinkable (7.2abv) --very smooth but maybe a little too sticky--so have water with it. Much better on-tap than in the bottle.

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Photo of jed
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: Comes in a brown, 22 oz bomber with the infamous Stone gargoyle on the front, and a hilarious blurb questioning one's right to consume the beer on the back. No freshness date. Poured into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark, rich chestnut brown — almost amber. Uniform, opaque color throughout the glass. One finger's worth of head w/okay retention. As the head disappears, it leaves behind tons of lacing, uniformly coating the sides of the glass.

Smell: An excellent blend of citrus, hoppy aromas contrasting sweet, caramel malt. Also a hint of light fruit in the aroma.

Taste: A wallop of initial hop bitterness gives way to sweet, malty flavors — almost buttery caramel, and more fruit sweetness. I realize it's the yeast and the malt, but I swear that there's a hint of pineapple in this beer. Throughout the pint, regardless of the dominant flavor, the hops provide an underlying dry bitterness. Finish is dry, with lingering hop flavors and a touch of sweetness. This is one balanced bastard of a beer.

Mouthfeel: Solid mouthfeel, could be a bit smoother but still strong.

Drinkability: I really want to say that this would be a great session beer, but the 7.2% alcohol suggest otherwise. Still, it's rare to find a beer boasting both strong flavor and strong drinkability.

I approached this beer, my first Stone, with trepidation: the cult of the bastard is strong on Beer Advocate. Happily, this is one beer that easily leaves up to the hype. The hops are well balanced by the malt, resulting in a beer that's accessible while packing a huge flavor. We're not worthy.

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Photo of beersarang
3.33/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Hilarious bottle. Love Stone.

Pours a beautiful amber with a voluminous tan head.

Smell is of floral citrucy American hops and lightly toasted malts.

Taste, now I love Ruination, so I'm not afraid of hops. I felt that this beer was out of balance. The malt is strong, alcohol character is strong, and hop character is way strong. "This is an agressive beer." but not well put together. Something feels a little wrong with this, the aftertaste is rather intense and mildly unpleasant. I guess I'm just a little dissapointed with the "flagship" beer of stone. All around a good beer, but get the ruination instead.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with appropriate carbonation.

Not particularly drinkable because of the harshness and the "off balanced-ness"

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Photo of mynie
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wonderful bottle. The little gargoyle man is holding up his stein with a smug look on his face like the guys I hated in high school. Fuck this, I’m being challenged. The back of the bottle contains a hilarious little spiel about how I will hate this beer because I am not sophisticated enough for it.

Pours beautiful. Dark red mixing with ruby hues and a perfect, two finger head. The head lasts too. Wonderful.

Smells of deep hops, varied from floral to zippy, with a distinct zing of alcohol in the mix.

Great balance. Wonderful. Floral and fruity hops up front, followed with a glimpse of alcohol, followed by a great balancing of malt sweetness, and finished up by a dull, lasting bitterness. It’s like getting burned, but in a good way: intense feeling, cessation, a disoriented clam, and then a lingering reminder of the beginning. This is an incredibly complex mix of intense feelings. Very nice.

Not nearly as hoppy as I had thought it would be. But this is a different beer, a better balanced beer, and truly a beer that everybody should try.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

So many beers... so little time. I'm surprised I hadn't reviewed this already (on second thought, I still have a 3 liter of this that has been stowed away for a year or so). Pours a deep copper color with a fluffy off-white head. Some caramel malt sweetness mixed with a tree bark-like earthiness with a lot of piney and citrusy hops in the aroma. Malty and hoppy, balanced rather nicely. The hopping is piney and aggressive and the malt comes across as caramelly, biscuity and a little sweet at times. I wonder how many times this beer has just bitch-slapped some die-hard SNPale Ale drinker in the face.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz. bomber into a 12 oz. toulip glass. Formed a dark brown color with a think and frothy 2 finger head and slight translucence. Color fades a bit to a ruby red when the light gets at it. Decent lacing lined the glass for the entire length of the sample.

Smell is slightly floral and malty. A faint smell of alcohol is present but not enough to let on to its 7.2% ABV.

Taste is quite good. A sharp maltiness to it that finishes nice and crisply. Rather bitter but well balanced so as not to overpower the taste. Rather complex with a lot of flavors mixed but also balanced well. The alcohol kicks in when swallowed and packs a punch. Not over-poweringly alcoholic but a definite punch to let you know its there. A very slight imperial stout character taste to it.

Moderate mouth feel. With slight carbonation coming thru when left for a moment on the palate.

Very drinkable though not something I would have with the main course. Great to have before as an aperitif of sorts. 12oz sampling would be perfect size before a meal. More than that in one continous sitting and the ABV and "arrogant" taste of this beer will takes its toll.

All in all: very well done. I will be having it again soon.

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Photo of Troyone
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured with a two inch head with staying capacity and some lacing, the color is a dark tea with an orange hue, and the carbonation action is moderate.
The smell is a slightly nutty caramel malt; herbal pine, and lime hops; and hints of bubble gum and licorice.
The taste is a heavy sweet bitter with a slightly burnt, nutty, and caramel malt; the herbal pine hops has a finish of grapefruit and lime; and this has hints of bubble gum, butter, vanilla, and licorice in the background.
The mouthfeel has a light to medium feel, a dry minimally syrupy texture, and soft almost flat lively carbonation.
A smooth drinking session beer with 7.2%, another hit from Stone.

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Photo of CVC
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Came in a 22 oz. bomber; served in a pint glass.

Pours a hazy, dark amber/brown color with a two-finger off-white head. Leaves lots of lace. Smells hoppy, herbal, and piney, almost like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but more piney. Tastes strong--piney, bitter, hoppy, alcohol, and goodness. Has a medium-bodied mouthfeel.

Can't say too much about this beer--everything's been said. A kick-ass beer to say the least.

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Photo of sprackops
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 22oz brown bottle with white silkscreened arrogant gargoyle and lettering. Poured into a nonic imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Color is reminiscent of dark amber maple syrup with red legs if held up to the light. Abundant creamy head that lasts a long while, leaving impressive lace behind.

Smell: Pungent citric hops aroma coupled with fruity alcohol esters and scotch-like malt sweetness. Like the Double Bastard, this combination brings pineapples to mind.

Taste: Very complex. Massive piney hop bitterness mingled with dark malts bringing a wide array of flavors to the party. Orange peel and dark fruit seem to dominate, but this brew's all over the place. There is a touch of alcohol and perhaps a faint smokiness near the finish. Bitter hop resins linger on the the lips.

Mouthfeel: Velvety in texture with medium carbonation. Luxurious.

Drinkability: Dangerously drinkable to those who appreciate it, and I certainly do. Given the ABV I had to deduct a point in the interest of my brain cells.

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Photo of BeerFink
4.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decanting my 22oz bomber reveals a cloudy deep red color brew. Pours with an honest two fingers of frothy head, leaving some nice lacing. Excellent head retention. Nice powerful smell. Hoppy characters dominate - plenty of citrous and pine, yet balanced with floral qualities. Some caramel and a dose of alcohol in the nose as well. Taste is oh-so-bold! Aggressive hop profile gives your tongue the boot, but is delicately balanced by sweet caramel and some smooth malt. Full mouthfeel leaves you satisfied. Finish is citrous and sweet at the same time, backed by warming alcohol. Cheers to Stone for quite the ale!

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Photo of Ave
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, what do you say about this beer? It is amazing in almost every way. Looking at it, it is a beautiful thing, deep amber, thick fluffy head. Smelling it, it smells like caramel, maple, bread & fruit. Tasting it… leaves me speechless. This is what beer aspires to be. Thank you Stone, & extra thanks to Mntlover for the trade that made this smile on my face possible.

If aged & served well, this could easily be a straight 5 beer.

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Photo of zacharius
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark reddish color with an off white head that sticks around for the whole glass. Smell is of citrusy hops with a malty backbone with hints of roasted grain. Beer has a malty sweet taste to it with hints of toffee and roasted grains. The malt is balanced with a citrisy hop flavor, and there is a hint of detectable alcohol. Nice thick bodied mouthfeel, a drinkable beer but not something you'd want to have all night long.

If you don't like this beer, you are not worthy.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is dark crimson. Head is light brown and ample. Many rings are left around the insides of my glass. The aroma is nicely hopped with a citrusy smell. A little pine smell is in the mix too. The taste is big on malts and hops. Very complex. Caramel malty sweetness is balanced by citrusy hops taste. Hop flavor lingers of the tongue long after a sip is finished. Arrogant Bastard's taste smooths out even more after it has warmed up a little. There is so much going on here it is hard to describe, but one thing is certain this is a world class beer. However, if you don't like west coast hopped beers, you probably won't like this. After loving this, I must now get my hands on some Double Bastard and Oaked Bastard.

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Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a big beige head that dissipates slowly leaving moderate lacing along the sides of the glass. A beautiful ruby-copper color, nice and clear.

The aroma is full of intense hopiness, lots of floral hops. Seems to be just a hint of rubber or plastic in the nose.

The taste is also intensely hoppy with just an underlying malt sweetness. Just a bit of dark fruits but lots of piney hops. A little more malts would be nice to balance out the hops...maybe i am just not worthy! Again the finish is...hops, hops, hops!

Good carbonation and a nice medium bodied ale!

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Photo of mhowell
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wow. I received this as a gift from an aunt Christmas '03, and have stored it since then, probably not as well as I should have. I decided to open it today. I could smell the hops when I opened the bottle. It reminded me of opening a sealed package of hop flowers at brew time. It poured a reddish brown color, with a perfect tan head. The head held till the end. Lacing means nothing to me, but if it did, this beer would be the definition of 'nice lacing'. This beer tastes great. It goes in smooth, and finishes with a dramatic hop bite. I sampled it at about 58°, and it popped. I think I will call that aunt, and tell her I love her. I can't wait to taste this fresh.

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Photo of DFN
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Arrogant Bastard pours a nice coppery red in color, somewhere between the color of iced tea and Coca-Cola. The head is thick and creamy, tan in color, and lasts a long time.

Overall, the taste is nicely balanced, although more on the hoppy/bitter side than the malty side. Since I prefer a less-bitter brew, this is not a strong point for me. Mouthfeel is good, but there's a "puckery" quality to the beer that I do not find appealing. Overall, I'd rate this about 3.7 because I can tell it's a quality brew, but I won't buy it for myself again.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured clear deep amber golden brown. The head was tan, huge, and long lasting lacing the glass from the rim to the bottom.

The aroma was deeply malty with dark caramel and citrusy grapefruit aromas. The fruity aromas also contained some complexity of dark fruits.

The flavor was more even that anticipated. (This was most likely a somewhat aged bottle). The maltiness and caramel came with a nice hop backbone but not as assertive as with a fresher bottle. The grapefruit and citrusy flavors and bittering were well aged and interestingly complex.

The finish was not quite dry with a nice caramel impression lasting long into the aftertaste. The body was above medium and almost medium full.

22 ounce bottle. Mental note to not overly age the beer, it is nice, but nowhere as Arrogant as when sampled fresh.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a dark copper color, nice bubbly tan head. Sheets of lace follow the brew down the glass. Sweet malt and floral hop scent. There is a sweet caramel front, which is pulverized by intense bitter hops. Some spicy alcohol tones. Med mouth. My friend brough this and the Ruination, and out of the two, id take the the IPA over this. Still damn good.

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Photo of kaszeta
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poors with a medium red-to-amber color, with a darker almost-tan foam. Not too carbonated, and the head doesn't linger long. The aroma was fairly malty, with a good hops edge to it. The taste, however, was much heavier on the hops than the maltiness, but both were present in good proportion. The result was fairly hoppy, but nothing like the typical highly-hopped-so-it's-almost-an-IPA we've all grown used to. The result is fairly smooth, with a nice touch of sweetness to round out the flavor. Very nice, and very drinkable---I'd probably drink more of this if I could actually get it easily in my area. Almost lives up to the hype.

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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,926 ratings.