Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,914 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,914
Hads: 9,986
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 22.78%
Wants: 398
Gots: 2,127 | 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: 2,914 | Hads: 9,986
Photo of rcairney1
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

I revisited this after a couple years. The older I get the better good beer tastes. Actually did the revisiting with my brother in law, who hadn't had it in a while either. We both found this beer outstanding, again. It is very good. I would recommend trying and re-trying. If you haven't had it in a while, do yourself a favor and get some of this arrogant bastard between your lips ASAP.

 395 characters

Photo of SeanMurray
1.25/5  rDev -70%

This has GOT to be the worst beer on Earth. WAY....WAY...WAY too much hops. It taste like you just poured a liquid lawnmower bad down your mouth. YUCK

 150 characters

Photo of Ranger337
3.81/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Nice thick head that you can float a bottle cap on. Very strong malt smell and flavor, and heavy aftertaste. This is not a beer for beginners, nor the faint of heart. I am fairly new to the beer tasting scene, and this is very strong and defiantly way out of my league. I read the reviews and wanted to try it out. It's gonna be a while before I try this one again. But considering other reviews from the more experienced beer drinkers this is a great beer.

 462 characters

Photo of Seumas
3.62/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I may not be worthy, but I've got this thing about sweet, high-test beers.

This was definitely a beer I wanted to enjoy more than I did. It has everything I like, big body and big hops. Unfortunately it also has a fair bit of residual sweetness, which I don't much like outside a Scotch or Old Ale.

Dry it out a bit and it'd be magnificent.

 346 characters

Photo of swhitt
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Boom, this is a well known strong and taste-full beer. Pours deliciously red into my pint glass. Head about 1/4" but quickly dissipates, something that I see a lot in higher alcohol beers.

Taste is good, a little too much alcohol from my taste. Orangey and fruit.

The drinkability rates high for this much alcohol but low in general simply because

Double Bastard is way better. A lot of this guy is hype.

 414 characters

Photo of rick0776
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle.

a - thick, tan head. nice lacing throughout. dark, reddish brown color.

s - citrus, hoppy smell. stonger after getting closer to the bottom. grapefruit, pine.

t - first impression - hoppy. some sweetness, molasses. dry, hoppy aftertaste.

m - chewy, think feel.

d - like it. aftertaste left me wanting more. probably drank it too fast, cause the abv is hidden fairly well.

great marketing though. def makes you want to believe that you like it, otherwise you must not like beer. nonetheless, this is a great beer. would def have it again. now i need to check out the double and oaked bastard.

 623 characters

Photo of travisd13
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is review #1 for me!!

What’s left to be said?
This is old faithful. When in doubt the Bastard will always treat you well.

Served from a slightly-chilled 22oz bomber into a snifter.

Pours a very dark red color, with a thick tan head about two fingers deep.

The smell is complex, citrus, caramel malts, and a light hint of hops.

The flavor is as good as the smell. Not an IPA. A bit of a tease to the taste buds between hops and malt. Get ready for a ride!

The mouth feel is clean and carbonation levels are first-rate. For the strength of this beer it is very drinkable!

Enjoy it if you get the chance! Cheers

 636 characters

Photo of auburngrad82
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Whole Foods in Durham, NC and poured into a pint glass.

A- Nice dark red color with a tan head and lots of lacing.

S- Hoppy but not overpowering.

T- You can really taste the hops in this one. Also quite fruity. High alcohol content but doesn't negatively affect taste. Very good.

M- A nice chewy feel to this one.

D- Very good ale. Looks as good as it tastes.

 378 characters

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

22oz bottle poured into a nonic glass.

Pours a very nice dark amberish-brown color. One and a half to two finger head that leaves an impressive lacing.

Smells sweet, you can pick up the malts right away. At the same time, the hops are definitely noticeable too, great balance.

On taste its slightly bitter, with some citrus notes added. Good roasted malt also. Seems to be medium bodied and overall the perfect balance. I really enjoyed drinking this.

The 7.2 abv is hidden very well, could drink many of these. Don't let it sneak up on you though, as I picked up a hint of the alcohol near the end.

Awesome brew, highly recommend it!

 642 characters

Photo of ambluhm
4.11/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The appearance of this beer is gorgeous. It pours a rich reddish/amber color. The head was thick with a coffee colored deliciousness... mmm.

The nose of this beer definitely shows a strong presence of hops. There is some citrus and floral notes as well as a faint, faint hint of sweet caramel smelling malts.

The mouthfeel is definitely bitter. The first sip will put a wallop on your tongue, but there is enough malt character to balance the bite. A real nice texture.

Overall, this is most certainly a beer I would drink again. It won't be something you could have a bunch of, but is certainly a well-crafted and delicious brew.

 634 characters

Photo of SteelerNation
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lets see if this lives up to the name.

This brew eminates a strong aroma of hops that I can smell a few feet away from the glass. Has a sticky sweet malty smell. Lacing and head are both pretty sick and beat everything but nitrogen carbonation. The beer pours a dark bronze color. There is still foam left 15 minutes after the pour.

Citrus American hops dominate the palate for most of the taste. The hops taste of pine and grapefruit. Roasted malt makes up the malt backbone with a dark chocolate-like aftertaste. Tastes very much like an ESB, only with more punch.

The mouthfeel is thick and heavy, which is a big plus for me. I can hardly feel the alcohol content, even after drinking 22oz. The aftertaste isn't overly dry either.

This beer packs a punch and puts light beers in their place. I was skeptical from the big talk marketing campaign, but this beer lives up to its own smack talk. I cannot see any flaws in this brew.

 937 characters

Photo of MisterTiat
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Beautiful amber color, creamy thick head, off white, little yellowish brownish, lacing is good, not fantastic.

S: strong hop, piney smell. Balanced with some roastiness

T: Complex. Earthy hop notes at the back of the tongue and throat, sweet maltiness at the tip of the tongue, roastiness comes in along the sides. Taste of hops lingers long after finishing.

M: Feels good, rolls around of tongue pleasantly, not fantastic but good

D: With such full flavor it is hard to drink a bunch of these, and also dont expect to be able to sample other beers after this one, the hops stick to the mouth

 599 characters

Photo of JHamm
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: Slight piney smell with floral and caramel notes.

Taste: More malty than I'm used to in an IPA but the hops balance well. Again, piney hop flavor that is balanced well by the hops. Nice after taste.s

Mouthfeel: Nice smooth mouthfeel. malts and hops both linger in good balance

Drinkability: One bomber will do the job well but I have to convince myself to stop there. Excellent job Stone.

Serving type: bottle

 420 characters

Photo of colefsuwr
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer from a 24oz bottle. The first time I had it, it was a LOT of beer in one bottle. It was heavy and bitter! I was not worthy just like the back of the bottle says. After going back to it knowing what to expect I loved it. It also prompted me to make my own american strong ale.

 291 characters

Photo of RRoeb1123
4.52/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first time I had this beer, I thoroughly enjoyed it, so I decided to get a case of it to enjoy throughout the year. I'm still pretty new to the reviewing game, so here goes!

Bottle Appearance: Very cool bottle, and the humor on the labels makes it quite a good laugh to read. My favorite quote being on the case "Keep Refrigerated, Numbskull!"

Appearance: Very nice looking beer out of the bottle, leaves a very nice head, that hangs around quite a while, and leaves very nice lacing. Almost a copper red color to it, and the head was a nice tan.

Smell: Very strong scent of pine (because of the hops, I believe) However, there are other scents intermingling. I smelled also a bit of malt to it, almost like a caramel scent, and also a hint of a lemon zest to it, there is also a slightly roasted malt quality to it too, which gives a very nice depth to the scent.

Taste: Very hoppy. There is a taste of citrus that appears also with the hops.The malt does a great job balancing it out, and only gets bitter at the finish. I get almost a piney taste at first, and then the flavor simply explodes, lemon zest and hints of caramel in the beer, it's absolutely a joy to the senses, The finish of the beer is very dry. However, all the flavors are quite strong, which may scare some people away.

Mouthfeel: There was a bit of carbonation to it, which gave the beer a very interesting mouthfeel, the beer would almost coat the palate.

Drinkability: I find it to be pretty drinkable, however the strong flavor profile definitely doesn't make this a session beer (at least to me). This is a beer that I could have when I want a darn good beer, and want to know how real beer should taste.

Overall: A Bastard Everyone can love!

 1,734 characters

Photo of dunit697
3.69/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Let me start out by saying I am not a big Stone fan. I think the hops are normally a bit extreme. This beer is no exception, I tried grading very objectively and most standards its a good beer. I personally only recommend Stone Beer's in general if you love hops to death. I can say I won't be buying this one again.

 316 characters

Photo of Misajet90
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a good solid beer to go along with a strong flavored meal. I usually will have one with a steak or burgers but to be honest it's a good beer to have just about anytime.

If you can find it on tap it's worth it every time. I've only seen it at the Brewery and at Barney's Beanery but I'm sure there are more. Out of the bottle this is a great beer also.

Overall I highly recomend this beer to everyone, if you like dark beer or not it's worth trying it out.

 467 characters

Photo of krantul
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I give this beer a 5 for appearance. Sure, it's a gorgeous, deep dark beer with a menancing reddish glow to it, and it pours with a thick head worthy of Belgian beers, but it ascends to the next level with the best bottle design in the industry.

A strong malty scent is hightlighted with a floral hoppy zip; Stone is certainly one of the more masterful hoppers out there, and they really get the aroma into their beers.

To be fair, the bottle warned you. This is a rough-and-tumble, take-no-prisoners strong ale. The malt character is present but doesn't get in the way of some powerfully bitter hops that leap to the forefront of your palate. The faint alcohol burn is present, but contrubutes quite well to the character of this ale, like a good whiskey.

Drinkability? It seems wasteful to drink too much Arrogant Bastard. It's so powerfully distinct in its big, up-front flavors, that I appreciate it best in the context of other beers. After enjoying an AB, IPA's seem crisper, english bitters seem smoother, and doppelbocks seem sweeter.

 1,051 characters

Photo of electrified
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear red-brown in color. Not much of a head, but what's there sticks around. Pleasant fruity-sweet aroma. Lots of flavor -- mollases, chocolate and toasted maltiness and hops too. Rather light bodied for the intense flavor. Clean, dry finish. This one packs a punch while being very smooth. Nice. And dangerous.

 312 characters

Photo of liquidnoise
3.4/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Considering Stone's IPA is currently my favorite brew, I wouldn't call myself a fizzy yellow beer drinker.

That said, what the hell is with this beer? Drinking this beer was like drinking a bunch of hops that were thrown in a juicer and this is what came out.

This definately wasn't my cup of tea. It's so strong it's going to kick you on your ass like the arrogant bastard it is, so do you want to spend your hard earned money on something that will behave in such ways? (especially when Stone is brewing stuff like Stone IPA)

Worth a try to laugh at the audacity. Pick up a bottle of Stone's IPA while your at it so after you spit this out, you have some backup.

 670 characters

Photo of BladeRunner
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful ruby red, with a nice foamy head that stays for awhile. Lacing is great aswell.

Nose isn't too strong, and almost makes this beer seem tame at first. Though, I did get some nice fruity overtones.

Taste is very strong/aggressive while also offering complex flavors, then it kicks you in the ass when it finishes, but in a good way. I do taste slight roast grain and strong hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is a kick in the ass. First it seems mellow than right after it warms up the mouth a second later it slaps you in the face with an aggressive aftertaste that isn't for everybody. This is not a session beer by any means. This is a beer you will want to drink when you want something that is no holds bar tough, or an arrogant bastard.

I give them high kudos for the name they gave this beer. It fits it in everyway. Damn, arrogant bastard!!!

 861 characters

Photo of Pedro07
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Haven't had this one for a long time, so I picked up a cheap bottle at the local.

A- Pours a nice deep, rusty amber hue, producing a 1+ finger light tan/white head. Falls, but gives nice lacing.

S- I get some modest hops here. I can tell this one will be flavorfull. While the smell is lighter, I get the full range, oily-hops oders, a lot of earthiness and pine-notes, even a little citrus.

T- Oooh yes, I get hops. A nice surprise I did not remember is how balanced this guy is. I can get some sweet malt on the initial taste. It's very balanced. With the taste, I don't get any citrus in the hop. Rather, there is grassiness, earthiness, and some pine. A nice change from a floral, citrus bombs I've had lately.

M- This guy is good. It has a little weightiness on the palate which is nice. Plenty of carbonation to boot.

D- This is where this guy shines. Full flavor, great mini-session beer. Feel free to pull a couple back and enjoy.

This beer is a great value. I just thought I'd re-state the obvious. A bomber costs me $4.99, for that price that's almost two pints at home, compared to one (or less) at a bar.

 1,128 characters

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

Very fruity aroma; strong citrus smell

Beautiful amber color; nice even head;

Very strong pungent flavor; strong bitter hops taste; you will say, "Damn that is an arrogant bastard" after the first taste.

Smooth mouthfeel; Goes down easy;

Definitely a beer to consider when making a selection.

 298 characters

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

From draft at Pete's Apizza (DC).

Appearance = Nice reddish brown color. A few dispersed carbonation bubbles. Solid two finger's worth of light tan head that goes down to beer algae. Nice lacing.

Smell= Very piney smell. Some hops in there. Caramel and hints of sweet malt. A little citrusy smell.

Taste = Like the smell but a bit less malty and a bit more hoppy. Grapefruit and hops dominate, but there's a nice malty backbone.

Mouthfeel = Low to medium amount of carbonation. Gets smoother as it warms. Medium to heavy body.

Drinkability = I first reviewed this beer on 4-19-2008. At that point, I hated hoppy and/or bitter beers. That has really changed, and now I love them. So, while back then I said this beer was too bitter for my taste, now I think it's just right.

 778 characters

Photo of BlankFrank
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a tumbler with a nice, dark red-brown color and good clarity(though as dark as it was). There's a decent amount of head, and it leaves plenty of lacing.

S: Fruity and hoppy with some malt in there, too. Tells of good things to come.

T: Maltiness for a split second, and then big grapefruit hops flavor that sticks around for awhile. This is very bitter, but in a good way. Celebrate the great taste by drinking more.

M: Medium bodied with a really nice texture. It has just the right amount of carbonation.

D: This probably depends on your tastes, but if you like more bitter and hoppy beers, this is definitely more balanced and easier to drink than most.

This is a brew, and a name, that'll I'll remember.

 727 characters

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,914 ratings.