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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

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2,901 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,901
Hads: 9,924
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 384
Gots: 2,054 | 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: 9,924
Photo of getatmeimevil
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer!

But it's what got me started on craft, so I'm as biased as possible...

Pours a beautiful deep redish brown with a very light tan head. Smell is much more subtle than the name would imply but it gives you just enough hint at what's to come. Taste is where this beer makes its kill move, so smooth yet all the qualities that you want from a complex brew. As an IPA guy I love ther bitter bite at the end. Overall, this is my favorite beer, it's the beer I would constantly have fresh on tap in my house if possible. (533 characters)

Photo of morris786
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark amber large head with good lacing. Much more visually appealing than most beers. It's not overly aromatic but I'm detecting malts earthy hops and maybe hints of light Carmel and black licorice. Taste is more earthy hop forward with malt backbone and lingering hop finish. You still taste the hints of Carmel and licorice but it's very drowned out by the hops and also the alcohol that is very pronounced in the flavor. A very good beer overall and will definitely purchase again. (490 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 SSGPat
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am not worthy.

A: Lovely pour. Reddish brown in color. Nice head that dissipates quickly into a nice lace.

S: Hoppy with malty undertones. Better than crappy yellow rice beer.

T: Wonderful. Malty and hoppy. Yet very mellow A very bitter aftertaste lingers.


D: I could drink this beer all day and all night long, until I dropped to the ground because I'm not worthy. (407 characters)

Photo of barrettds
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy brown-red with a great head that leaves sticky lacing all the way down. Magnificent looking brew.

S - Smell is actually the weakest aspect of ABA. Nothing really jumps out at me when give it the old waft n' sniff. Maybe some nutty malts.

T - Citrus hops at first followed by a rush of delicious nutty malt. A bitter but welcomed hop finish, as well as a nice warming trait. Good winter brew.

M - Smooth, slightly creamy and with the perfect amount of carbonation. Very satisfying.

D - A very heavy ale that packs a good punch. I'm now left with about 9 oz left of a 22 oz bottle and I feel pretty happy. Good thing this is expensive, otherwise you'd be in a world of hurt the next morning. (723 characters)

Photo of FlyFisher2782
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this one lives up to its hype. Served from a bomber.

Pours a beautiful brown copper color with average 2 finger head.

Never have I had a more well rounded ale. From the moment it hits your mouth there are several flavors that come across, malted caramel, cherries? and very slight citrus of some sort.

Where this ale really earns its stripes is the finish, with so many complex flavors, they have hopped it perfectly to allow them all to be rounded out without an overpowering hop finish.

There is NO WAY this is a 7.2% beer, drinks like an absolute dream, smoothest ale I have had to date.

I bought a case after my 1st one.

Anyone have any double bastard they want to trade? (704 characters)

Photo of freeeekyyy
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown. Little carbonation.

S - Mostly malt. Not much of a hop smell.

T - Some vanilla, a little banana, alot of malt, and not as much hop flavor as I remember it having from when I last had arrogant bastard. That was bottled though. I think there might be a difference.

M - Not as heavy as a stout, but moreso than almost anything else.

D - Pretty drinkable. I think I could have had another if I weren't concerned about getting drunk. (448 characters)

Photo of FishHeadLover
4.95/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This (obviously) is one of my favorite beers to drink on a regular basis.
A- Dark amber color with a good white head that laces around the glass. I love the way this beer looks.
S- Aggresive hop odor, very aggresive hop odor. Everytime I drink this beer, and I drink it often, I forget how hoppy it is and it always brings a smile to my face.
T- WOW!! So stong and hoppy. I get a piny after taste with a bite in the back of my mouth. Yum!
M- Once its in your mouth you know its a stong ale and you can definatly tell the ABV. Makes your tounge happy before destroying your tastebuds.
D- Yes Yes YES!! Sorry I just really enjoy this beer. I recomend it to anyone who mentions they like a hoppy beer. (699 characters)

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

Another from a Stone tasting:

Appearance was nice amber/mahogany color. Nice head with lacing throughout

Smell was bourbon, woody, with alcohol and hops.

Taste was very 'in your face', strong start to finish with layers of flavor and hops.

Strong, but drinkable. Definitely lived up to its name. (299 characters)

Photo of Diesel76
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was my first beer ever from Stone Brewing. It was on tap at a local sports bar... and I loved it. Great taste, great appearance... it is what a good ale should be!

My next trip to BevMo and I saw some of their other beers, I knew I was in for a treat. A tasty treat! Bravo Stone Brewing! (293 characters)

Photo of khensley
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appeared dark brown almost black. Pours a brilliant thick head that kept it's pillowy top all the way down to the last gulp. Perfect rings form to count each sip, with cobweb laces sliding down the glass.

Smell reminds me of a drive down the country road, past the wheat fields, through the corn rows, and accross the dairy, of all places. Very earthy.

Taste begins very organic, then turns to honey glazed sweet rolls, only to be puckered up with a barrage of hops that stay in the back of the throat for a loooong time.

Mouthfeel is immense, creamy, and delighfully full. This beer is enormous.

Overall this beer was enoyable to sip while driving down slice after slice of my favorite pizza. After my pizza was gone, I had a difficult time finishing the beer. The beer completely warps your sense of what beer can be. Perhaps the label is correct, I'm not worthy. (869 characters)

Photo of Pouland77
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great combo of malt and hops and the yeast tops it off and brings it together with a subtle sweetness and velvety feel. You really have to look hard to find anything wrong with this one. (186 characters)

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

'Tis a shame, living in Jersey; no bottle of Stone can be found at any store within this state. Ah well, thanks to the wonderful resource of the online trading forum, i was able to grab a nice 22oz bomber of this. Many thanks to mntlover for the help!

Appearance- Pours a deep copper with a healthy, but not excessive, amount of carbonation rising up from the bottom of the glass. 1" off-white head with excellent retention and small sparkles of lacing all about. Barley-wine esque, with better retention and more carbonation.

Smell- Very nice, i'm a big fan of caramel and this seems to slap on plenty of it. Nice hops round out the nose as well; background floral notes fight, but eventually give up, a losing battle with the strong malt character. Tiny roasted character hiding in there somewhere.

Taste- Ever feel like you've just been slapped after taking a sip of beer? This is only the second time this strange feeling has occured with me, and the other time was with the wayyy wild Old Crusty. Sweet upfront, excellent caramel/toffee/nutty taste that seems to be relatively mild and even "normal". The beer then makes you apologize for ever thinking it was normal for even a second. Hops come in, citrusy/grapefruity, but they are still nice and somewhat subdued. After-taste is a solid slap to your jaw. Pure brutality. I love it. I read other reviews stating that this beer lacks a certain balance, and it's true. But it's polarizing in that sense; a love it or hate it taste if i've ever seen one. I happen to be one of the people that really liked it.

Mouthfeel- Thanks to the brutual bitterness that comes from this brew, the taste will stay in your mouth for a LONG time. That's not a bad thing at all (consdering it tastes great), except after drinking a large amount of it the after-taste does seem to wear you down a little. Very thick and oily.

Drinkability- i could THEORETICALLY see how someone could make this a session brew, but it just isn't my type. Beats me up too badly. Grab a glass here and there, though, and i'll be a happy man. Great taste, just a bit too rugged to be making a frequent trip to.

I read the back label, and Stone made it a point to say that "i probably wouldn't like this beer". Well, i loved it, but i can see how the average macro drinker (the same macros that advertise "say goodbye to aftertaste" these days) would hate this brew with a wild passion. Strong, brutal, and arrogant. What a nice way to start off my experience with Stone. (2,504 characters)

Photo of kevin62
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This large bottle poured out a reddish brown color ,with a thin head that quickly dissappears.The aroma is of hops and more hops ,as well as pine and citrus.The taste is also hoppy and citrusy,and I guess if this is your favorite style,you will like this beer.As for myself,I think it is a little too hoppy and while I thought it was good.I guess I was expecting more.I suppose I am not worthy. (394 characters)

Photo of WaffleSauce
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

. This is the beer that started it all for me. The first time I had ABA was the first time I saw the light. . .

Poured from a bomber into my trusty Stone pint glass. Nice, frothy head, about 1" - 3/4", an eggshell brown head, Hardly any bubbles to speak of, and not a whole lot of lacing action.

I could sit and smell this beer all day. The nose just beckons you to jump in. Very sweet, and tart, an almost prune-like hint.

Strong tart taste up front which hangs on to the front of your tongue, and quickly rolls down the throat as a spicy, piney taste. It’s damn near impossible to keep up with how quickly the profile of this beer changes on you. I know there were some deeper fruity and coffee flavors in there between the upfront tart and the rolling spice, but it’s worthless trying to track them all.

This was (and still is) my favorite beer to watch a movie with. As your glass mellows, and the beer changes temperature, you’ll get a slightly different taste down to the last drop. Call me a wussy, but I don’t like to drink these one after the other. Generally following an Arrogant Bastard, I like to move to some sort of hoppy IPA. This bear is definitely heavy and complex, and tends to leave one with cottonmouth reminiscent of high school days. Definitely recommended for any fan of strong ales. If you’ve never had it, read the back before you buy it. It aint lying!

Cheers!! (1,410 characters)

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

Reviewed and submitted on 6-19-09

I got this guy at Davidson's in Denver when I was down for a weekend of family stuff. I had heard a lot about it so I grabbed it the first time I saw it. I'm glad I did.

Appearance - A firm pour gave me three fingers of head perched atop a burnt red mass of goodness. The head subsided with in minutes and added a bit of lacing to the glass all the way down.

Aroma - Earthy, orangy and a little earthy hops right away. After sitting it down for a minute, the next whiff gave me pears and caramel. Odd...

Taste - It starts with a big bunch of sweetness followed by a bucket of bitter. I got brown sugar and caramel with some fruitiness and then the bitter truck shows up which leaves an almost stinging bitterness that can only be quenched by another drink. As it warms the malt seems to give a toasty and grainy version of itself. I keep getting a small but unpleasant dose of alcohol with each drink. I don't feel like it enhances the brew at all.

Mouthfeel - This guy is creamy and thick. It definitely encouraged picking the glass back up and having another swallow.

Drinkeriness (because I hate "drinkability") - It's best described by the inner dialog I noticed myself having during this review: "Why does it take so long to take these notes? I should be drinking this beer instead of writing about it." The taste makes you want to drink a few of these (if I had another) but the bit of alcoholic taste makes me slow down the process.

Overall, this is a great beer. I'm really happy that I went (way) out of my way to grab this when I had the chance. I definitely be doing my best to get ahold of another one when I'm in a Stone-friendly area. (1,689 characters)

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

Poured into a Stone IRS tulip

Appearance: Beautiful frothy dark brownish-ruby red with good one-finger off-white lace.

Smell: A big hop aroma with toasty malt characters. Very fragrant.

Taste: Complex rich toasty, caramel malt flavors with very aggressive hop bitterness with a hint of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Smooth, medium carbonation.

Notes: What a unique beer. Definitely light beer loves can't take this aggressive complex malty hop-bomb. A very fragrant powerful flavored yet sophisticated beer. This is one of the pioneers of the creative West Coast craft beers. Outstanding. (599 characters)

Photo of Shamgar
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber.

appearance: held up to the light this thing is a deep rubby color with hint's of golden brown in the bottom of the glass. Nice 1 inch head that dies down to a filmy head within a few minutes but stays with the rest of the drink. Nice lacing.

smell: hops, and that distinct Stone mixture of hops, followed by a toasted malt behind this.

taste: That is delightful. Hops up front, followed by nice malt flavors that are slightly toasted, with a dry hop finish. The smell and the taste are very similar to each other.

mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lighter than the taste would suggest, which is a good thing. Not too much carbonation.

drinkabiliy: this bomber went down smoothly. I could drink more, not the 7.2 percent abv discouraging me here, just feel like I need to change up the after taste after a little while.

Great brew, cheers!! (851 characters)

Photo of RobertTh3Texian
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite beers. Deep amber on the pour. Hops Hops and more Hops on the nose, as well as sweet malt and some fruit on the nose. Small tan head in the glass. Oh I can't get enough of this hop smell. One of those things that you can smell even when you are not around it. The taste is one a the great bitter balancing acts of all time. Not saying this is a balanced beer. But like a good hot salsa, it is just uncomfortable enough to make you want to came back for more. Tons of hops and malt on the tongue. Lots of sweet from the malt coming out as well. BUY THIS BEER AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.!!! (607 characters)

Photo of IPASetter
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A very dark amber color with a slight head. Some nice lacing throughout the beer.

S- A little confusing to the nose..smell some malts and also a hint of hops which i appreciate.

T-The label on this beer doesn't lie, if you haven't had a fare share of flavorful beers then your mouth will be all sorts of confused. At first it hits you with a nice toffee malt flavor then as it sits you will experience a nice hop bitterness that smooths out to leave you wanting more. For such a high ABV you can't notice either.

M- Medium mouth feel with some carbonation.

D- If you enjoy a flavorful beer that will challenge your taste buds then this beer is for you.

After all I have heard and read about this beer I had to try it. Stone has not let me down in the past with their IPA and again they came through with this one. The only complaint I have is the price but you pay for good beer. (887 characters)

Photo of swede96
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 32 oz glass I picked up in Barcelona Spain while in the Navy back in 1976.
Poured entire bomber bottle into glass, it poured a wonderful 2" offwhite head that stuck to the sides of the glass and did not go away. Beer was a beautiful dark amber in the glass.
Smell had a nice hoppy tint.
Taste was great, very smoothe start with a nice, but not overpowering hop finish that left me ready for another sip of this awsome brew.
Mouthfeel was a pleasant medium, and drinkability was great. Great brew... (513 characters)

Photo of CAcreeks
2.96/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This ale is not worthy to reach my stomach. Actually I drank the whole pint poured on tap. It is unremarkable given verbiage on the label. Looked like muddy water. Had nice aroma but not as good as any Stone IPA. Aftertaste was poorly balanced bitterness and sweetness (can't put my finger on it). Lagunitas Brown Shugga is far superior. What a surprise, Stone brews are usually great. (385 characters)

Photo of Bombers4Benedict
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A plum color, almost purple body. Nice thick off white tannish head sticks to glass nicely creating a thin but nice lacing.

S - Although there is a sweet fruity aspect to this brew the malty, barley side takes over. This has a very natural beer smell if that makes any sense. not to overdone with ingredients and processes.

T - Smooth, yet bitter. Once again, there are hints of a caramel sweetness but the full bodies malt aspect is what drives this brew. There is definately an alcohol bite to this one as well.

M - This one is very thick, definately leaves a couring on the mouth/tongue. Overall, well done.

D - I would come back to this beer eventualy, but maybe not right away as there are no individual qualities that demand its consumption over other beers. In a night, this beer is heavy enough where I would have to keep it at a pint or two. (858 characters)

Photo of Melikeydahop
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a big fan of Stone's IPA...and have been wanting to try this one for a while. Lucky enough to find it on tap at my one of my favorite sports bars. Poured a beautiful light reddish color with maybe a finger or less of white head. I've never had a strong ale before..so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. This beer was delicious...nice deep malt sweetness almost a cherry flavor, balanced by a good kick of hop bitterness on the finish. Nice amount of carbonation, and left an absolutely fantastic lacing on the glass..perhaps the best I've seen.

If a pompous male cherry and female grapefruit got together for a night of intense passion and produced a love child made of beer, and the cherry skipped town the next day, the grapefruit would have named her baby Arrogant.

I'll be looking for this one again. Absolute must try. (832 characters)

Photo of david23
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish brown with a billous head that never went away. beautiful lacing to the finish. Aroma of hops and a roated malt that is oh so inviting. Although it has a high ABV content I never felt this got in the way of the superb rich malt that receed for a while to be replace by the hop flavoring only to give way again for more rich malt. Defintely one of the best of it's style. As this will now be distributed locally, I am looking forward to enjoying it when the mood strikes me to just relax and take some time to enjoy a really great brew. (551 characters)

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