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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: 9,922
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 384
Gots: 2,052 | 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: 9,922
Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Real hoppy,
lively. Fun before dinner as tad bitter and dry aftertaste. Citrus and
spice. Redish brown with foamy
head is interesting, need to swish in a big beer glass. Works well on tap too, had at Blue Tusk in Syracuse in late 2004 and had stouty roast in it and bitterness. (280 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 6 fl. oz. poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - Pours a really beautiful dark amber color with a 2 inch khaki color head that shows very nice lacing.

S - Very malty with hop essence.

T - VERY BITTER. Left a very bitter hop taste in my mouth for some time after each sip. Almost like pure grapefruit extract. The malt taste is present but the bitterness takes a front seat.

M - Left a creamy feeling in my mouth with good carbonation.

D - I can recommend this being good with a heavy meal. I had this on St. Patrick's Day with my corned beef and potato feast and it was still quite something. This beer is not for everyone. (632 characters)

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

Awesome brew that tasted better than expected and went down smooth.
Poured from 22oz bottle into pint glass.
A- Large off-white head and beautiful copper color
S- Strong complex smell I can't put my finger on
T- Carmel and malt with hint of hops
D- Extremely smooth but has a nice kick. Drinkable for a strong ale.
Bottle had 10/24/10 drink by date, drank on 10/03/10 and beer was still extremely fresh.
I'm trying just about every Stone beer this month. So far everything has been excellent. (494 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours clear dark amber with a big head that dies down quickly into a silky thin layer of bubbles that are off-white in color.
S: The smell isn't quite that strong, but there are distinct aromas of piney hops with some subtle hints of the underlying malt.
T: There is a bold taste of piney, oily hops with a lot of bitterness in the finish. In general, the taste is well balanced and the hops aren't that overpowering.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate.
D: If you can get through the hoppy bitterness, it's relatively easy to drink because the alcohol is rather well hidden. (593 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish-hued brown with a nice head and plenty of lacing. The aroma starts out with plenty of bitter, resinous hops as well as some toasted malt and accompanying sweetness. Good caramel scent, which follows through into the flavor with a bit of toffee. Some floral hops alongside the bitter piney hops. Medium-bodied and well carbonated; very drinkable. (361 characters)

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

nice buy for less than 5 bucks a bomber. pours opaque red/orange in color, thick looking, with a nice 2 inch tan head. smells like citrusy hops right away, bitter and bold. also a full bodied red malt characteristic. flavor is very dynamic, with an exciting hop and malt interplay going on. the hops are indeed fruity but bitter, while the malts are dark and sweeter, with notes of toffee and bread pudding. feel is properly arrogant in this beer, with lots of silky smooth body, a detectable alcohol sting, and mellow luxurious carbonation. overall this is a pretty good beer, definitely something different, but i dont think its as incredible as some people make it out to be. a complex glass of ale, but its not made by the hand of god. (739 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a huge head that really delivers in the lacing department

Smell: Ruby red grapefruit, with an underlying caramel aroma

Taste: The citrusy grapefruit is front and center, while the caramel tries to fight it out and ultimately succeeds somewhat by mid-palate; after the swallow, both flavors come together in the finish, creating a unique aftertaste that has a lot of brown sugar sweetness and grapefruit bitterness - kind of like a grapefruit topped with sugar for breakfast

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The last bottle I had of this was a couple of years old and was a bad experience; a fresh bottle has a lot more delicate and citrusy hoppiness and a balanced malt profile; lesson learned about aging the Bastard (802 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fell in love with Stone after having this beer. I loved everything
about it, The bottle was awesome looking the name was great. The story on the back was also very cool. This beer was just a really good starting point for me when venturing out into the beer world. Had my first bottle on 4-17-2008. The beer poured out as a deep amber color. The head is pretty thick looking and white. head that laces the glass really well. The smell was stronger than what I was used to at the time, It was big and hoppy, a subtle sweetness on the nose as well. The taste has a strong pine flavor to it. The hop character of this beer is very good. The other tastes were of some caramel malts that gave is a slight sweetness and a light wooden flavor too. The mouthfeel is medium and had a good drinkablity to it. Overall, I think this beer is a classic in it's own way. As long as Stone makes this beer I don't see them going out of business anytime soon. It's a beerthat's got the balls to stand up against all the others out there and say "I'm better than you". (1,049 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
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. (1,511 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 largadeer
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can't believe it took me so long to review this beer; it's been a staple in my diet for years.

Appearance: A body of reddish-amber with an off-white two finger head served in a 16 oz mug. Clarity is excellent.

Smell: Earthy, piney hops, a touch of citrus and caramel.

Taste & mouthfeel: An utterly unique and instantly recognizable combination of caramel and toasted malt flavors and intensely bitter resiny/earthy hops. Hops come out with even greater presence in the finish, drying the palate with flavors of pine and bitter lemon peel. Body is on the fuller side of medium.

Drinkability: High, though the aggressive bitterness can take its toll on the palate after a couple of pints.

Notes: I never seem to get sick of this beer; an absolute classic of American craft brewing. (784 characters)

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

22oz bomber. I first ran into this bad boy at a gas station (!) in Sandpoint, Idaho. There it was, sitting in a standard cooler next to the gargantuan BMC offerings - the anti-marketing on the label had me at "bastard". Unfortunately, that first bottle was consumed out of a hotel room tumbler, with predictable results - under-appreciation and a fuzzy subsequent stroll by the lake front.

Anyways, now, poured into an American pint glass, this beer exhibits a clear, dark-hued red brick amber colour, with two fingers of densely foamy, rocky, and yet soapy-looking beige head, which disappears at a measured pace, eventually leaving some splendid roiling sea froth lace around the glass. This beer even looks mean.

It smells primarily of semi-sweet, bready caramel malt, biscuity toffee, molasses, besotted raisins, root beer syrup, and a bitter orange cream and pine resin hop essence lurking just under the surface. The taste is big and malty, to be sure - dark fruit-tinted caramel and toffee abound, but the oily pine and citrusy hop bitterness asserts itself well, aggressively, to teeteringly balance things out, over the lesser, but not forgotten brown sugar and earthy root notes.

The carbonation is quite moderate, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight, and so-so smooth - y'know, sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. It finishes off-dry - malty, oh yeah, but still duly assaulted by a wayward hop bitterness. The elevated alcohol is a general no-show, until you're nearing the end of the bottle, and then you start to clue in.

A wonderful, beefed-up ale, one which will put metaphoric hair where there wasn't any before, as evidenced by my girlfriend ceding me her share of the bottle, in exchange for some relatively 'tame' strong Belgian ale, after a mere few sips. And due to its all around, in-your-face nature - one serving at a time would be plenty (trying not to mouth the words as I re-read this). (1,927 characters)

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

My first Stone beer (IPA) was quite an experience, so I'm approaching Arrogant Bastard Ale with a great deal of anticipation and some pretty high hopes. The label attempts to frighten me off, but fails.

Dark coppery orange with a pale toffee-colored crown. The beer looks slightly menacing, if that's possible. I think I hear an intermittent growling sound, but decide that it must be my imagination. The head is not as generous as it might be (ultimately a barely-covering film), but does leave behind some nice, dense sheets of lace. If my first two are anything to go by, Stone beers are uniformly gorgeous in the glass!

The aroma is interesting. I can't say that I've smelled a beer quite like it before. It's a sort of sweet, caramel-like, roasted maltiness infused with citrus zest. If this beer smells like it tastes, I'm in for a real treat. Arrogant Bastard is not called a strong/old ale for nothing.

The flavor is strong, assertive, aggressive and in-your-face. The label does not lie. I find myself sipping this beast, not because of the alcoholic strength (a relatively tame 7.2%), but from the sheer taste bud swamping, gustatory overload. If it intensifies as it warms, my tongue may throw up the white flag.

Citrus fruity hops are on full display. However, because there's such a huge, caramel-like, toasted maltiness, they aren't as upfront as in the IPA. Malt-hop balance is achieved... a remarkable feat since each one threatens to crush its side of the overburdened scales. Wow! Boatloads of malt and hops slammed together, yet coerced into a unified whole.

Stone has impressed the hell out of me again. While I don't believe that it rises to the heights of their beloved (in my case) IPA, I can recognize Arrogant Bastard Ale as yet another superb example of this brewery's brilliance. Am I worthy? Barely. Just barely. (1,848 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark amber/burgandy color with a foamy, tan, two finger head. Left huge rings of lace.

S - It smelled of malt and powerful hops.

T - It tasted of grassy hop bitterness. The malt flavor is toasty and burnt. Also, a warm alcohol flavor.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - Great in so many ways. The description on the bottle was hysterical. The taste is outstanding. I am very pleased with my first beer from Stone. (470 characters)

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

Poured a deep brown with a nice creamy head and thick lace throughout. Smell has a definate nuttiness as well as some hops, smells very thick. Taste is caramel and nutty as I expected from the smell, but has a nice dry hopped back. Very nice and smooth, leaves you wanting more. This is a definate keeper and a good way to welcome myself back home from vacation! (362 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown with medium sticky head,aroma is somewhat hoppy and maybe a little orange-like.Taste is pretty hoppy and zesty to begin with,with some nutty tones as well as caramel tones on the palate.Wow this is a complex brew,have heard alot of stuff about this one,now I know why. (289 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark brown with some reddish tints (in the right light), "off-white" foam.

S: Not as intense an aroma as you might expect. Some dark fruit, caramel, and hops.

T: The first thing you notice is the intense bitterness, which I love. There are some subtler caramel flavor.

M: Great mouth feel: good amount of carbonation. The bitterness comes into play here as it lingers.

D: A great beer, but I would not call it very "drinkable". Something I'd recommend trying, however. (480 characters)

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

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-amber body with a medium, lasting, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling maltiness with a sprinkle of gooey brown sugar. There's a slight oxidized quality present, leading me to assume this bottles a bit on the older side. Dark fruits smelling of golden raisins. Pine-scented, woody hops.

Taste: Toasty, bready malts with a medium sweetness and taste of brown sugar. Slight dark fruitiness. Hoppy pine wood flavor, a bit of fresh mint. Medium hop bitterness, though it holds on through to the bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A really delightful beer fresh or even with a bit of age on it. (675 characters)

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

A - One and a half fingers of off-white head on a reddish brown body with good clarity and ruby colored highlights. The head reasonable retention and leaves excellent lace. An unusually nice looking beer.

S - Spicy, floral hops and a strong backbone of caramel and malt.

T - Strong, smoky hop bitterness, supported by dark caramel malt and a hint of roast barley. The hop flavor has a secondary role with spicy and floral flavors and a bit of citrus. Strong hop bitterness and dark malt characterize the finish.

M - A thick, chewy body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is a pretty intense beer, but as every word on the bottle indicates, they were not trying to make a session beer. The hops are very aggressive and while the malt does its best to keep up with them, they dominate the flavor profile. Personally, I would prefer less emphasis on bitterness and more complex and subtle hop flavor, but that might also require less dark malt to let the hops shine through. Overall, this is an enjoyable and interesting beer, but there are better west coast hop-bombs out there. (1,106 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

How has it taken me so long to review this bastard? It pours a translucent dark tawny brown, capped by a finger or so of ecru foam. The nose comprises a good amount of citrus, grapefruity, and piney hops backed by a strong backbone of solid caramel. The taste holds similar characteristics, though all elements are taken to a higher level: hops are large, the maltiness is large...maybe I'm not worthy after all, as I'm not sure how else to describe this flavor combination. The body is a hefty medium, with a moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a beast, yes, but not as beastly as it would have me (or you) believe. (664 characters)

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

Easily one of the best beers I've ever had. A really unique beer utilizing a heavy charge of dark crystal malts and hop flavor. Highly hopped and luxuriously malty. The balance is clearly toward the bitter & hoppy side, but the malt balances perfectly! It's this razor sharp balance that allows the beer to finish clean and dry - not too flabby from alot of malt, and not too grating from back-of-the-mouth hop bitterness. Precision!

The body is a hazy orangish-copper with crimson highlights, and its full and foamy tan head holds quite well. It drops to a thin 1/4" that remains throughout the first half of the glass, and it leaves dense, clinging rings of lace.The beautiful colr and head make up for any distraction that the haziness might cause the inexperienced taster. The bouquet wafts from the glass loaded with fresh hops (somewhat earthy and leafy, but also clearly citrusy... Goldings and Cascade?) over rich caramel malt. The firm body is accentuated by an exceptionally fine carbonation and it's smooth and creamy in the mouth. The flavor is rich and fairly complex with a sweet caramel and lightly fruity malt note up-front that combines with earthy and citrusy hop flavors as it crosses the palate. It finishes with a firm, drying bitterness and residual earthy and leafy hop flavors. If there's anything that hinders it's drinkability (apart from the fact that it's a full-charged malt & hop attack!) it's the 7.2% alcohol by volume. I may not be able to drink more than two, but I want to drink more than two! Well worth seeking out! (1,556 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. The bottle tells me that I'm not worthy.
Let's find out.

A: Nice deep brownish-crimson color with thick, even tan head and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: Strong hoppy smell that lets you know your drinking a beer that doesn't mess around. There's also some malt and a bit of sweet fruitiness in the smell as well. Nice combination.

T: A heavy, bitter hop flavor hits you right off-the-bat, but it's not the "Eew, this beer tastes awful" kind of taste that you get with some beers. It's more of a "Yeah. This beer is hardcore!" I'd call it a "kick" but it stays throughout each and every sip and in the after-taste as well. So, by definition, it's not really a "kick" it's more like a "strangle-hold." The strong hop flavor is complimented very nicely by the same malt sweetness that you get in the smell.

M: Crisp, smooth, medium-bodied. The carbonation is just right.

D: This beer is most certainly drinkable, but only for one who appreciates good beer. I could go with this stuff all night long, but that wouldn't do the beer justice. After a couple of 22oz bottles, I would switch to some other "buzz maintainer" that I won't need to taste.

If you're used to drinking the common beers of the big 3 (Miller/Bud/Coors) don't try to broaden your experience with this stuff, because it will probably turn you off, but if you're reading this review, you'll be fine. Just below the "Arrogant Bastard Ale" on the bottle you see the quote "You're Not Worthy" and they were RIGHT. I was NOT worthy before I became a beer advocate. (1,582 characters)

Photo of mactrail
2.78/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Hops wrestle with the sweet malt for a long, long time. Eventually the malt gives up. Oddly light bodied. Oily pine on the lips followed by grapefruit pith. Carbonation lasts well if your tongue can take the workout. Pleasing head on the amber brew with nice lacing.

From the cask at The Linkery in San Diego. I thought it might be interesting to try the cask version, but I wish I hadn't. The unfortunate part is the warm cellar temp accentuates the astounding excess of bitter hops and makes the whole concoction harsh and and brutal. (538 characters)

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

I had this on tap at Brew 22 in Jonestown, PA. Served chilled in a standard pint glass.

The color is deep copper bordering on bronze w/ murky appearance and thick whipped up inch of light beige. There are rings of lace clinging after the first sip so retention and lacing are good.

The smell has mild hooppy aroma w/ light pine odor when I first checked, but it was served very cold. As the beer warms more malt w/ mild caramel and toasted notes come forward and a mild alcohol note is apparent closer to cellar temp

The feel is mildly creamy on entry w/ high bitterness and a warming feel w/ slightly high stickiness on the palate w/ a dry finish. The bitterness lasts long after the swallow

The taste of the strong ale has strong piney hop flavor w/ herbal accent and slight woody note w/ caramel taste under the highly bitter hop flavors. There is a slight creamy yeast tinge w/ mild stone fruit in the taste as it goes down. The taste is very aggressive and almost biting w/ a very grassy sharp taste that doesn't mess around. You can feel the stomach acid in action after the beer is consumed when tasted on an empty stomach.

A good west coast strong ale w/ lots of bitterness that makes it a challenge for me to have more than a couple. The acidity seems to linger, but it achieves its goal -arrogance. This beer is not for everyone, but I still find it highly drinkable (1,382 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper color with a nice fluffy head. Taste is medium bodied, great caramel malt upfront with some nice balancing hops on the back end. Refreshing not to have a hop bomb from Stone and this a is a great all around beer. Super smooth with great drinkability, this beer is dangerously good. (296 characters)

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