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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: 9,926
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 386
Gots: 2,059 | 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: 2,901 | Hads: 9,926
Photo of bigchris1313
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A middle-brown, somewhere around Diet Coke, perhaps.

Smell: I really don't know where to go. The "thing" gives off some bitterness, yet it's almost bittersweet in smell.

Taste: This beer's slogan really says it all: "You're not worthy." That's really true. I didn't review this beer until I'd been drinking it for a long while, and I'm glad that I waited. It's not really sweet, but somehow it can be. All the while you are bombarded by bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Not that thick, but thicker than most ales.

Drinkability: If for nothing more than people asking, "What is that?," replying, "Arrogant Batard," and then the inevitable, "No way!," this beer is certainly worth drinking. On top of the fact that people think I'm crazy, the brew is delicious. (773 characters)

Photo of poundboy
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I give this beer my first five in any catorgory. Appearancewise, this one just can't be beat. Split the Pint 9 oz bottle between two pint glasses. Dark copper to amber in color, with the most interesting head I have ever seen out of a bottle. It was less than a 1/4 of an inch think, but dense and creamy as if it was poured draught or from a nitro can. Left traces of lace all over the glass.
This is a very well crafted beer. In most heavily hopped beers, all I taste is the hops. But with this one, I could taste the hop bitterness, the hop floweriness, tons of aroma, plus the malt sweetness.
In terms of taste, this one falls somewhere between a barelywine and an IPA. No real unusual or extraordinary tastes for the style of beer that it is. It is just a fine example of a hoppy American Microbrew. (808 characters)

Photo of bultrey
4.79/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When this beer is fresh and served at the right temperature, it is a revelation. It is, quite simply, the most flattering reflection of the few quality ingredients that go in to making this beer. I feel like I'm at the brewery when I smell this -- fresh amber-roasted barley, and fresh picked hops flowers collide to make an incomporable aroma. The taste is more of the same. Do you want to know what high-quality, unadulterated roasted barley tastes like? Drink this. Do you want to see what pure, concentrated hop flower oil tastes like? Drink this. Oh, I suppose I could go on about nuances of vanilla, and hints of peatiness, and blah, blah, blah. But in a world that is full of beer that cuts corners and utilizes cute gimmicks and eventually loses sight of the goal, Arrogant Bastard reminds us: give yeast something great to work with, and it will produce something greater.

10-25-04 -- Re-reviewed after tasting this on draft at O'Brien's in San Diego last week. Just a totally different beer, even better. Hints of maple and a little whiskey peatiness come through. Hops and malt seem even better balanced. Fan-friggin-tastic. (1,138 characters)

Photo of claytri
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured a great clear amber with a nice tan head. The aroma was very strong and consisted of hops over burnt malt, it was simple but effective. It had a strong hop taste with burnt malt in the background. The feel was oily with an extremly dry finish. I happened to be in Irvine for a few days and decided to take the opportunity to find an AB and sample it. I found mine at the Yardhouse, and it was worth the effort. The beer definately was well put together and would be a hallmark for it's style. The amount of hops would always put this on my alternate list though. (572 characters)

Photo of gbontrag
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for the putdowns on the bottle. I like the sarcasm and in-your-face "are you down with craft beer, or are you pussy?"--attitude.

Take a sniff...Spruce resin, orange flowers, malty malt, WOW! This is like taking a hit from a 6 foot bong! It's an aromatic orangatuan climbing up my nose, and playing my ole-factory like a jungle gym. The dryness outta shrink my head fast enough to make a headhunter cry with joy as he decorates his tent post with my shriveled, devil-puckered up mug. Astringent but not aseptic; this brewed creation has plenty of expression. In a Barry White voice this beer says to my taste buds, "Hello taste babies, I'm gonna make love to you." The taste babes are passing out all over my mouth. What a hit! There's a little smoky, and a lot of sweet malt. A citric rind-like burn on the top of my mouth. This brew is so warm, feels stronger then it says. Man it's taut in the mouth like a live wire with all those hops. There's enough malt to fill your mouth though. Don't be worried about being bored with this munster. The beautiful thick, velvety, steamed milk froth is clinging all over the glass like sex juices after intercourse. What happened in that mug?

Sip and chug your way through 2/3 of a bomber, then kick back and let it warm up. As it warms up you should find yourself contemplating all the naughty things you want to do to satisfy your lover. Sip the last third of this brew saying those things with your eyes. This is a McNasty beer that will have it's way with you, and you should share that feeling. (1,553 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up while in Las Vegas. Brown 22 oz. bomber with the typical silk-screened Stone label, but the gargoyle looks meaner on this one. The blurb on the back is priceless, reminds me of The Great Gazoo off of the Flintstones, dumb dumbs. "Perhaps you're mouthing your words as you read this"--classic.

Definitely not a beer for the general masses, but what do they know, I love this stuff. Pours out a clear chestnut hue, a rich garnet when held to the light, damn sexy! Thick creamy off-white head, impressive retention with a tight cap almost all the way down. A tight wall of lacing also forms down the glass. The nose starts off with intense grapefruit rind hops, the malt gasps for breath as it quickly surfaces, only to be drowned in the hop goodness once again. Almost a bready malt presence, as fleeting as it is. The flavour is initially a smack-down of intense hops and grains, wrasslin' with one another, and you get so caught up in the action, it becomes pointless and far too distracting to begin breaking down the action into an anal play-by-play, you are simply swept along for the ride. A rich meaty malt becomes more apparent as the beer warms up, nearly toasted and caramel, making the gladiators easier to distinguish. Farther down the glass the flavour becomes more complex, but you get so caught up in the action that it takes a micro-biologist to create a spread-sheet for you to break down all the subtle moves and combinations into a discernable mode of operation. After a quick glance at the spread-sheet you are impressed, but proceed to throw it over your shoulder, in order to fully appreciate what is going on without being beaten over the head with the details. The flavour is duelling it out enough as it is. The mouthfeel is rich and velvety, and very inviting considering the extremes of the flavour, a plush welcome mat that you want to use as a bath towel after stepping out of the hot tub with a few frisky members of your preferred gender of attraction. I want more of this stuff, and I want it now, I was a total mud-skipping retard for only grabbing one bottle of this in my travels. Like that annoying dog in the Taco Bell commercials, it's time to make a run for the border. I'll pay the duty required for a box of this stuff--gimme, gimme, gimme! (2,293 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours for the bomber a deep opaque red with some orange tones as well. A small head forms on my glass but doesn't stick around very long. This is a very nicely colored ale and it looks good in the glass. The initial smell is of rich caramel malts and floral hops. This one smells bitter on the nose...there are some alcohol and fruit tones (plums/raisins) as well.

After waiting a few minutes, I take the first taste. Wow..this packs a punch. A nice malt profile hits first and then a wonderful melding of bitter floral hops follows right behind it. The sweet malt flavors and the bitter flavors bring the ale together remarkably well. The biterness lingers a bit but you don't hear me complaining. A slightly roasted, fruity flavor comes through as well...quite a bit going on here.

The mouthfeel is just the way I like it. Wonderfully smooth body with just the right about of carbonation so it goes down easy. Drinkability is good on this one as well...I could see myself having a few Bastards with no problem! I only wish Stone was available in Illinois...arghhh!! A great ale that I hope I will have the chance to indulge in many times in the future. Muchas gracias to blitheringidiot for the opportunity to prove myself worthy. (1,248 characters)

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

Brown Bomber with a fun and humorous label. I could not find any freshness dating. I purchased this at an Albertson’s in Beaumont, TX of all places.

The beer pours a nice bronze with a decent head and excellent lacing.

The beer smells of slightly roasted and smoked malts. Hints of pine and citrus round out the aroma.

The taste is finely balanced and fairly complex. The initial impression is sweetness followed by a medium hop bite. Hints of caramel and smoky molasses. The beer becomes bitterer as it warms and I get a little bit of background fruit (plum) taste. The taste just coats your mouth, which is ok by me.

Smooth silky mouthfeel with excellent low carbonation, which seems to suit this beer perfectly. This is a very easy beer to drink and is enjoyable from start to finish. Glad I finally got my hands one! (834 characters)

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

Pours a very dark thick-looking amber, but not quite brown. Big puffy head on this one, laces the glass. It smells so good I don't want to drink it. Just kidding, of course I do. Tastes good, not exactly what I was expecting for some reason. I thought it would be more "arrogant." The hops are defintely in full effect, with a mellow malt backdrop. A little piney/grapefruity taste to it. As it goes down I can pick up on the alchohol and there's a likeable bitterness to it, maybe that's the arrogant part? Mouthfeel is pretty standard (for good beer that is), nothing exceptional, but it's a good feeling. I could definately drink this beer all night, it's very good. I think I was expecting to be shocked by something out of this world judging by the other reviews... This is a sturdy, tasty beer, worthy of enjoying for sure.. but I won't be craving it like I do some of my other favorites.

Edit: I've since changed my mind about the Bastard. It's bumped up from "good beer" to "kick ass beer". I think maybe I was looking for some sort of crazy intense taste when I tried it the first time and therefore overlooked the fact that this is an incredible awesomely balanced beer, with a bite. And I definately do crave it frequently, in contradiction to what the original review says. Go git it! (1,299 characters)

Photo of oracle
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was a growler, consumed about 5 hours after initial pouring.

Beer poured a clear, deep amber with generous 2 inch tan head. Head thinned to thin film fairly quickly but never went away entirely. It also left generous lacing for 3/4 of the beer.

I've had this beer many times, so I knew to leave it to warm up for a couple of minutes before I started drinking it.

Smell is a combination of deep malt and light citrusy hops. Heavy alcohol in the nose as well.

Taste is incredibly intense. Starts off with a heavy 1-2 punch of sharp malt and very bitter hops. Other flavors come in the middle,
Fruit (mostly plum) and floral. Strong alcohol flavor in the middle as well.

Finish is very strongly bitter, but not unpleasant.

I lowered the drinkability score simply because this beer is simply too intense to drink a lot of in one sitting.

An excellent beer to server with meals. (902 characters)

Photo of sutcliff
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a powerful brew and a joy to drink. For me, it a beer to enjoy occasionally but one I look forward to savoring. The magnum hops are a delight for the hop lovers. The aroma was rich and pungent. The malty background is smooth. The head was minimal. The color was warm brown and inviting. (294 characters)

Photo of masterbruewer
3.57/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured a reddish brown with steady carbonation. Thick off-white head, good lacing.

The smell is sweet malt with a hint of grape Kool-Aid. A little creamy smell as well.

The taste starts with a hop wallop and malt slap. Then other flavors waft in and out. A carmel cream flavor, grape Kool-Aid, and chocolate liquer, are floating about in there.

The mouthfeel is a little harsh. A strong alcohol taste and a good hop bite. This one's not for everybody.

Drinkability is low, by design I think, there's a lot to this beer, and most of it is in your face. (563 characters)

Photo of AlexJ
4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone could pee in a bottle, hop it up and I would probably drink it. Their beer are nothing if not extraordinary. Read the bottle first, the copy sends shivers of apprehension up your spine-Am I worthy? As it turns out, yes! Pours a beautiful garnet color with a lingering head and tons of lacing on my goblet. Malt and hops fight it out for the nose. An immediate punch in the mouth of hops. Raisens, moist fruit cake, port? Very complex and intense. I savored every drop. Like all dank beers, it should be drank cellar temp. I have a few of em stashed in the cellar, can't wait to see what time does to this Stone potion! (624 characters)

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

This was my first Stone beer and I finally understand all of the comments about how extreme they are. From a 22 oz. bomber bottle, it poured a beautiful mahogany color (one of the best looking colors I've seen), very clear, with a small head that remained in some capacity throughout the drink and left nice lacing as I drank. From the fridge, the aroma was slightly sweet with a big citrus punch and the smell of new carpeting (anyone else get that - beermail me). As it warmed, more malty aromas became evident - raisins, brown sugar, fresh bread. The taste at first nearly knocked me on my ass. I wasn't ready (and mabye "not worthy" as the bottle suggests) for what I experienced. The first taste started out slightly sweet and all of a sudden, my tongue was blasted with a bitterness I've never experienced before; it stayed with me for longer than any other bitter taste in my life. Cold from the fridge, this thing is a hop monster and seemingly nearly out of balance. As it warms, it really starts to come to life though. It gets sweeter and fruitier and either the bitter hops begin to fade or you just get used to the punch they pack... I'm still not sure. Either way, this is a very complex and balanced (but to the extreme) beer. Mouthfeel is medium carbonation, medium bodied, smooth and creamy - really nice. I knocked it down a notch on drinkability because the flavors are so extreme that it can be challenging to drink and the high ABV starts warming you up pretty quickly. I drank the second part of this bomber alongside a bowl of really spicy, cajun (no tomatoes) jambalaya which contained andouille sausage, chicken, peppers and onions, drenched in hot sauce and it stood up to it and complimented it extremely well. This beer would be great alongside any big flavor foods. (1,794 characters)

Photo of rugger
4.74/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this beer a-lot. I wish that I could buy it locally here in Arkansas, but hey I can't have my cake and eat it too can I?
22oz bottle that you can't bring yourself to throw away, however you can only keep so many.
Pours a beautiful amber copper color witha nice perfectly formed head with great retention and then to top it off great lacing. The smell comes in big with malty sweetness and a big citrusy hops aroma. The taste is also big with malty sweetness and citrusy hops with a hint of rasins from the special B malt that I think they probably use. The mouthfeel is pure bliss for big beer/big hops lovers. I could drink these all day, or at least until I passed out. Did I mention that I love this beer? I highly recommend it to anyone that hasn't tried it. (772 characters)

Photo of Padron4KM
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle.
Pours a dark muddy copper color, with a decent tan head. Spotty lacing.
Citrus and pine dominate the aroma, with some raisin hiding in the back.
Flavor starts off malty sweet with a grapefruity finish.
Alcohol is well hidden, until you finish the bottle. :-) (276 characters)

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

The bottle design is great. I love the copy on the back. What a great touch. It adds to the beer. Stone rocks.

This beer pours a deep mahogany color with a hearty, tan-colored head. The head tenaciously clings to every inch of the glass. The aroma is reminiscent of warm pumpernickel bread ... and a good bit of honey. A stout flavor, with strong overtones of yeast and hops. Just the right amount of smooth and creamy. A very hearty, well-made ale. I quite enjoyed it. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys darker beer. (525 characters)

Photo of Jacobob10
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great appearance. Pours out a ruby color with a light tan head. A slight amount of lacing left on the glass, but great head retention. The aroma was full of caramel and molasses combined with citrus hops. Reminded me mostly of grapefruit. This is a full bodied beer with a creamy/chewy texture. Lively carbonation with a light alcoholic finish. Very heavy on the palate, but it coats your mouth very well. I would definitely want to try some more of these. But be careful, this beer will leave you a little tipsy!

Overall, a superb domestic brew with a lot of complexity. A must try!
----------
Edited on 3/20/2015. Dropped the rating from 4.82 to 4.31 after having it again recently. (686 characters)

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

Presentation: 22 oz bottle poured into a 20 oz glass.

Appearance: Mahogany colored beer with nice amount of head. Excellent clarity.

Smell: Grapefruity hop aroma with some malt creeping through.

Taste: Wow! This is hoppy. If you love big citrusy American hops (and I do) then this is for you. Hop flavor dominates, but there is some sweet maltiness as well. This beer has an aggressively hoppy taste.


Overall impression: If you love high alcohol, heavily hopped beers, this is for you. (500 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep opaque brown colored beer with a medium head with standard retention. Aroma is very powerful and consist mostly of what I think to be hops, a sweet and bitter type of hops though. Taste is quite unique for me (I think this is my first foray into the strong American Ale type) and consist mostly of some strong bitter hops and underline by some very subtle sweetness. Wow, this is like being hit on the head with a brick – plainly lots of malt and hops are included in here. The alcohol is a subtle but complement very well. (546 characters)

Photo of steinlifter
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow! Pours a beautiful dark clear amber! nice head, with some retention
Smells of malt hops and fruit,quite complex and lovely.
taste, is fairly well balanced, but a big wallop, of both hops and malt, if you want a big taste, this is it! and it has the best of both worlds(hops&malt) dueling it out!
Mouthfeel is very pleasant, well carbonated, crisp with a bit of creamyness also.
drinkability, I'm not sure?,... It IS a class act, but I don't think, I could put down too many of these, but just to sip a couple, is an experience you should not miss!!! excellent! (569 characters)

Photo of doho95fu
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer has forced me to begin reviewing again. Finally got my hands on a load of west coast brews and my taste buds have been resurrected. This beer is great to look at, but the real treat is the taste.

Smells hoppiers than it tastes. Hints of fruit, but that does not seem to figure prominently in the taste department either.

Thick, in a malty way, with some hops in the background. Really not your typical ale. Undertones of brown sugar and some spice. The taste stays with you for a bit - but that's a good thing. The mouthfeel is exceptionally smooth considering the ABV. Would love to get a try of this tremendoous brew on tap.
Keep it up Stone. (661 characters)

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

Oi! This beer lives up to it's name... pouring this at a party from its massive bottle attracts a crowd. Surely enough, curious people ask to try... and the reaction is usually priceless... especially from girls sipping on malternatives. I think one of them actually gagged. Nevertheless, I had to bite my tongue from declaring "YOU'RE NOT WORTHY!!!!" And now no girls will taste anything I have in my hand, it is glorious.

If that doesn't give you an idea of this beer... I'll continue. Aggressive, wonderful, hoppy, spicy, caramel, creamy, fruity at times, alcohol comes through just a little bit. Stone Brewery is a godsend. (631 characters)

Photo of kmcnair
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at my house, from the kegerator. Booyah.

Bastard pours a rich redish brown color and makes a thick offwhite head. Head retention is great and laces the glass nicely all the way down. Smell is rich and inviting. Heavily roasted and malty aromatics fill my nose. Flavor opens up bitter and spicy, and then the rich and roasted character appears again with a nice layering of hop flavor and finishes with a malty sweetness. This beer is so unique, the flavor profile is really unlike any other beer I have ever tried. Mouthfeel is medium to full and leaves a slight sticky coating on the throat, warming as it goes down. Arrogant Bastard is incredibly tasty, drinkable and in my opinion a nice session beer... cause frankly you can't drink much else after the havok this wreaks on your pallate. (809 characters)

Photo of sacfly
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruby red color. Made me think of blood for some reason. Wonderfully sweet, fruity smell. Sweet beginning rapidly becomes an intense (but not too intense) bitterness. Nicely balanced. This place had a great selection of beer on tap, but I every time I looked the beer list over, I found myself ordering another Bastard. Goes down very easily. Maybe due to the slightly lower ABV for a IIPA? Hope it is as good in bottles. (425 characters)

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