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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

8,653 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,653
Reviews: 2,786
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 259
Gots: 954 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-15-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Arrogant Bastard Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,653 | Reviews: 2,786 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 21, 2004
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Phyl21ca, Aug 09, 2004
Photo of BEERchitect
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

BEERchitect, Jun 10, 2005
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Texasfan549, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
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!

mikesgroove, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

kjkinsey, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

GRG1313, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

womencantsail, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -4.1%

spycow, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

kylehay2004, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

jaydoc, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Jun 09, 2008
Photo of Knapp85
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
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".

Knapp85, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

oberon, Jul 06, 2003
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

TMoney2591, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

largadeer, May 11, 2008
Photo of zeff80
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

zeff80, Jun 27, 2007
Photo of biboergosum
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First ran into this bad boy at a Shell gas station (!) in Sandpoint, Idaho. Not knowing what it was, sitting in a standard cooler next to the gargantuan BMC offerings, the anti-marketing on the bottle had me at "Bastard". That first bottle was unfortunately consumed out of hotel room tumbler, with predictable results - under-appreciation and a fuzzy subsequent stroll by the lake front...

Now, poured into an American pint glass, this beer exhibited a dark-hued and somewhat cloudy cola colour, with a reddish tinge. Two fingers of soapy-looking beige head, that disappears momentarily, leaving practically no lacing. This beer looks mean. It smells primarily of sweet malt, molasses, and raisins, but with a pine hop essence lurking just under the surface. The taste is big and malty, to be sure, but the oily hop bitterness asserts itself a whole lot more, to balance things out, leaving a nice mellow hop kick in the finish. There is moderate carbonation, and the malt presence is far from cloying. The elevated alcohol is a no-show, until you've finished the bottle, and then you know. This wonderful strong ale will put hair where there wasn't hair before, as evidenced by my girlfriend giving me her share of the bottle, in exchange for some nice tame Belgian ale, after a few sips. And due to its in-your-face nature - one bomber at a time would be plenty.

(trying not to mouth the words as I re-read this...)

biboergosum, May 25, 2008
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -4.1%

JAHMUR, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
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!

NeroFiddled, Jul 25, 2002
Photo of SocalKicks
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

SocalKicks, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of Jason
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweeter than the bottle, bit more deep caramel and highly toasted malt come through before the hoppiness sets in. Quite a treat but quite estery after it warms up, lovely mix of flavours. Something to start or end with but not make the night of being that it is such a strong ale.

Jason, Oct 20, 2002
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.63/5  rDev +11%
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.

TheManiacalOne, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This huge beer pours an awesome deep brownish ruby red. It forms a nice full cream colored head that holds well. The aroma is filled with an agressive hop aroma, some sweet maltiness, and a great aroma of figs or other fruits. The beer has a great fullness to it and the first sip is nice and thick almost chewy. A very upfront somewhat abrasive bitterness is complemented with the sweetness of the fruit flavors and malt. An awesome brew very well done, in fact it is a go to. This beer complements food better than most beers, the Bastard is amazing. My complements to the brewers at Stone!!!

WVbeergeek, Jan 26, 2003
Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,653 ratings.