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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,916 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,916
Hads: 9,996
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 22.78%
Wants: 398
Gots: 2,135 | 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: 2,916 | Hads: 9,996
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!

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Photo of mactrail
2.78/5  rDev -33.3%
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.

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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.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.53/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1 pt 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Three finger head of good cream, nice thickness, and good retention. Colour is a dark copper colour. Semitransparent.

Sm: Musty caramel, nuts, and fair cream. A mild strength aroma.

T: Caramel ridden body alongside some very slight roast notes. A little cream is present. Generally, it's a bit simply built. The nuts don't come through. It's not really well balanced, but it could be worse.

Mf: Pretty smooth and pretty wet. Doesn't really suit the flavours of the body.

Dr: Too difficult to drink for the ABV. The flavours are a damned distraction. The price is higher than it should be. It's far from awful, but I wouldn't have it again.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
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

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Photo of Jason
4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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

First had: bottle as a gift

Really hard to get all the way through when I first tried this hefty beer years ago. But it gets easier once you know what to expect. Its greatness can't be denied. Pours a dark reddish-brown with a small off-white head that retains well and generally leaves a bit of clingy lace. Lots of strong hops in the aroma, rough around the edges, with notes of toasted grains and malts, and hints of dark fruits. Taste is complex; strong with pine hops, woody, bitter, biting, with toasted caramel malts, and notes of resin, raisins, tobacco, molasses, and coffee. Alcohol presence is noticeable. Medium bodied but full of flavor, can be a bit harsh to drink for beginners, but is a wondrous quaff for the experienced palate.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cherry brown with a lingering massive head that leaves a fair amount of lace on the way down. Nose at first seemed like blueberries, but calmed down after a minute. Taste is massively complex and thorough. Sweet edge follows a burst of hop flavor with a deep almost oaky presence, which turns into what I want to say is a slight alcohol presence on the end. Not for the faint of heart, or palate. This beer is complex and lacks mercy for those who are immature in beer.

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

Pours a gorgeous ruby red with tons of clarity. Huge wipped up tan going to brown head, big time lacing.

Smell: Sweet up front maltiness, raisins& other fruits, smokiness, caramel and alcohol

Taste: Huge caramel maltiness up front, dryness and hops smack all over your throat & mouth! Warming alcohol & cinamon, smokiness, and a slight pepper taste?

MF: Chewy, silky with great balance and carbonation.

Beautiful ale, but any more than two & it's time for a nap!

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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!!!

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Photo of smcolw
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cascading full head that poured three fingers thick; this is something I expect only from the nitro-can stouts. Unfiltered cloudiness with an orange hue from a bright backlight. Maroon-brown in normal light. Very impressive sticky lace on the glass sides.

Grassy dark malt aroma up front; strong molasses-like smells. Sweet like caramel candy or maple syrup.

The flavor is rich and complicated. Strong carmelized sugar flavors in the beginning of the sip. The hops crecendo slowly and powerfully. I am fascinated with the experience after the swallow: the molasses sweetness returns followed by an intense IPA-like hop bitterness. This beer has a body like light cream. The higher-than-typical carbonation provides the perfect foil to nearly overwhelming flavors.

This beer offers one of the best carnival taste rides: malty to hoppy to candy sweetness to dry hop bitterness. I'd love to know how they made this beer. It's like drinking a symphony.

PS I notice that my reviews are longer when the beers are interesting and complicated. It seems that my ratings are proportionate to the length of the review.

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Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best by 2/28/2012. Pours slightly hazy brick red color with a nice 2 finger dense dark cream colored head with fantastic retention that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some nice spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, pine, toasted grain, biscuit, grapefruit, light chocolate, herbal, and a touch of dark fruit. Fantastic aromas here with great balance. Taste of big caramel, biscuit, pine, grapefruit, light chocolate, toasted malt, herbal hops, and some dark fruit. Nice amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, biscuit, toasted malt, pine, chocolate, and citrus on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor balance with the bitterness. Medium carbonation and body; with a nice creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Very smooth and easy to drink, but is still a bit of a sipper. Alcohol is very well hidden; with hardly any warming noticed on the finish. Overall this is a fantastic brew from Stone. I have not had this in a while, but it impressed me much more this time around. Excellent balance; with nice flavor complexity.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark crimson coloration, thick'n'rich'n'cloudy, under a perfunctory whitish head.
Aroma: a big hit of juicy fruit, deep, dark ones, grapes and berries and cherries and more, a rich elixir..definitely got the barleywine thing going on, zesty, spicy, loaded with flavor...'bout time I taste, eh?
Big, chewy, grabbiness on the palate, full and thick, powerful, and omnipresent, digs in and in, climbs and clambers about the senses, not trying to dominate, but doing it anyway, through virtue of the fullness of flavor...zing, zing, zing, again, I sing, this is deliciousness pressed into service and doing double-time, brothers,...Lordy, it's loveliness, indeed, thick and full on the palate, wow, rich and tasty, sets the senses a'spin, leaves the soul reeling...mine is, I luxuriate in the pleasures of this brew, and they are aplenty!
I'm drooling of the day I can visit San Diego and try it fresh on-tap, maybe other versions, the Oak-Aged, as well?
As it is, this is a supreme brew, a just king, who wisely judges the imbibers from his throne...if thou art not worthy, tarry not 'round these vessels, seek a softer, sadder brew for you..let only those who can claim worthiness hoist a chalice of this finest ale!
Got to be one of America's best barleywines, bar none!!!
I could rant on some more, for the bottle is not yet finished, but let it be known, that this ale has powers over me, bewitches and bewilders, and all in the best sense, for I leave the normal earthly realm to visit sublimer planes, all courtesy of this bottle!
Good Lordy-Lou!
I am sent, in the most sensational way, lifted, aloft, delivered, dropped beyond the heavens into a metaphysical stratosphere beyond human reckoning...
Yes, I proclaim it "good"....and will merely melt and luxuriate at the rest of the consumption of this rare delicacy...I envy you Cali types who can snort this back with the ease of an ordinary day....

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Sierra Nevada tulip.

a - Pours a mohogany-brown amber color with one and a half fingers of off white fluffy head that has decent retention. High carbonation evident and a little bit of lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells of caramel malts, fruity malts, and fruity hops. Light pine and tropical fruit.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, fruity malts, bready malts, and citrus hops. Some slight bitterness in the taste as well thanks to the hops. Tiny bit of alcoholo comes through as well.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good strong ale. Definitely a lot of malts coming through in the smell and taste, but the citrus hops come out nicely in the taste to create a little bitterness. Have had many times and will have again.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Lakeview Binny's for $3.99(!). Enjoy by March 15th, 2010, so this is about a month old. Served in my Stone Arrogant Bastard pint glass.

A - Pours a lovely transparent dark caramel-orange color. There's a huge three fingers of tan foam that dissipates to a thick cap and leaves intricate patterns of lacework.

S - Aggressive piny and floral hops, notes of orange, with perhaps a touch of soapiness. There's a hefty malt backbone full of toffee, spicy fresh-baked bread, and brown sugar.

T - Taste is chock full of piny bitterness that lingers well into the aftertaste. Mid-palate there is an eruption of orange milk chocolate, and brown sugar. A bit of spicy alcohol pops up as well at the back end, which is surprising for a 7.2% brew.

M - Smooth medium-full body that implies a much bigger beer. Lower end of the carbonation spectrum, with just enough zing to keep things from getting syrupy. Lots of bitterness in the finish and a lightly sticky residual feel.

D - I can down a bomber of this one, but the bitterness gets punishing and palate-destroying. This certainly is a bastard in that respect. An American classic - marrying the strong a German-influenced malt tradition with American bruising hoppiness. This should be one of the beers representing the US on the global market instead of BMC.

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Photo of chinchill
2.72/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

I remember having this beer many years, before I started taking notes and entering reviews. I didn't like it then but was still surprised to find I don't like it now either. In general, I'm a big fan of Stone Brewing and my tastes have expanded to include many 'extreme' and big ales. This revisit started well enough, with an attractive red-amber ale topped by a small but durable tan head. The aroma was a slightly boozy mix of medium malt and herbal/earthy hops. The main impression made by the flavor is, unfortunately, the overly bitter aftertaste.

M: medium body and carbonation.

O: too challenging.

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Photo of jwc215
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured deep caramel with a thin white, bubbly head that left some lacing.
The smell was of floral hops, caramel and a touch of alcohol. Quite inviting.
The taste was well-balanced. Citrusy, crisp hops, caramel malt with a slight alcohol finish. Medium to full bodied. Flavors lingered a bit.
It was incredibly smooth. The alcohol taste was retained, but didn't interfere with the lingering flavors.
A very good brew - easily drinkable - a bit thinner than it could have been, but still aggressive - esp. in the mouthfeel.

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

Not sure why I don't have a review for this posted on this website, I thought for sure that I had, oh well, maybe it got misplaced.

Poured from a bottle without a date into a becher. Beer is brown and hazy forms a thin off white head of medium bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate.

Aroma is strong, lots of malts, nice hop character and a slight tinge of alcohol. Smells good.

Medium body with nice carbonation in the mouth allowing the late bitterness a decent entry onto the palate. Its not as sweet as you'd think but the mouthfeel is consistent and good. Of course, what can I say about Arrogant bastard that hasn't already been said, its a great beer from a great brewery and of course I would have it again.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a lightly hazy dark amber in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation near the surface of the beer. The beer has a creamy finger tall beige that reduces to an extremely thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Moderate aromas of caramel malt sweetness upfront with lots of piney hops.

T: Heavy flavors of pine/resin hops that are quite oily - there is an intense and aggressive bitterness to this beer. Underneath there is a caramel malt sweetness. Not quite in balance but still enjoyable. The bitterness lingers.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: The alcohol is well hidden in this beer but it is not an easy beer to drink - the hoppy bitterness is kind of too intense for my palate. It is an enjoyable but more of a slow sipper - not the greatest match with food (in my opinion) as the flavor is too dominant.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes 2/5/11. Thanks to THECPJ for sharing.

A: Pours a very dark amber, almost ruby color with an off-white one finger bubbly head. Nice sticky lacing.

S: Some juicy citrus and a little bit of tropical fruit. Also get a good bit of malt, lots of caramel.

T: Nice citrus fruit flavor and some pine. A little bit of spiciness and a lot of sweetness from the malt. There is some brown sugar and some biscuit/caramel as well.

M/D: Medium bodied very creamy. Has a bitter dry finish. Overall, quite good. A little heavier on the malt than expected, but something I would definitely drink again.

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Photo of mothman
3.03/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this a few times and I really can't get into this beer. I have had it out of the bottle aged a little and it was too malty. I have had it fresh on tap and it was just a whole mess of things going on.

Pours a beige head. Color is an amber.

Aroma: Lots of malts and hops. Caramel and chocolate with floral and grassy hops. Citrus fruits blend in.

Taste: Pretty much the same as the nose. A mix of malts and hops all blended together. Not really my thing. I like the hop profile, but the malts take away from it too much.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and bitter. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends sticky.

Overall, as I said early this beer just isn't my thing. Go hops or go malts here. The mix isn't my style for this beer.

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Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am kind of confused why I don't already have a review up for this. I have consumed it on many occasions and I guess it just goes to the way side with paying more attention or picking the double bastard or the oaked version when it is available. Oh well, here goes.

Poured from a bomber into a fitting stone pint glass. For the life of me I can't make out the best by date on the bottle but I believe it to say by the end of this month. AB appears a clear amber color with 2 fingers of creamy head that is tanned but has a bit of yellow about it as well. The cap of foam retains well but as it receeds, sticks around the glass with quite a bit of patchy lace.

The aroma of this brew is a pleasant mixture of hops meets malt. There is a sweetness about the nose that suggests carmelized sugars and it blends very well with the hops. The hops come forward with a scent of oranges and pine with a little bit of floral aspect about it as well. Just smelling this brew is very deceiving, it smells like this brew is going to be sweet.

The flavor of this brew includes toasty malt that is a bit like carmelized sugars leaning toward a bit of smokiness. The hops are resinous with a flavor of pine and orange rind. There is a false sense of vanilla-like sweetness before the bitterness of the hops comes back in to pierce the tongue. The hops cling in the mouth and stick long into the finish. Quite a bold presense of alcohol is included and meshes very well with the flavors of the toasty malt and hops.

This is a medium bodied brew with moderate level of carbonation. Well rounded and overall just a good example of how enjoyable hops can be when done right with a modest amount of malt and moderate abv to back it. About the only thing holding this brew back from being super drinkable is the bold character of the alcohol, there are beers with twice as much abv that are not this forward with the alcohol presence. Regardless, the name of this brew is quite fitting. A must try.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark ruby red color with a thick off-white head that slowly fades. The aroma is great! It has a rich malt scent which is enhanced with the presence of beautiful citrous hops. The taste is good. It has a complex malt core which gives it a dark, yet very bitter flavor along with some intense flavoring hops. This brew is truely fantastic. It goes down easy and has a lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great sessions brew. It has great flavor; a good drinker.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally getting around to reviewing this legendary beer.

The beer appears a gorgeous hue of ruby tinged sunburst orange. The head is off white and measures a finger's width, leaving some sticky lacing on the sides of the goblet. The aroma offers pine, hops, malt, bread, alcohol. The flavor brings a subtle sharpness, with dank malts and pine resin. Lingering pine and wet hop flavors with a substantial malt body. Medium to full bodied. Overall, a solid beer. I would have this again.

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Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,916 ratings.