Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

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2,889 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,889
Hads: 9,862
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 381
Gots: 1,990 | 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: 2,889 | Hads: 9,862
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 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 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 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)

Photo of brewmaster411
3.03/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

While American IPA and double IPA's are not my favorite style, Arrogant Bastard deserves renown for its chutzpah. You would say "you are not worthy" and expect the customer to drink it?

The beer is dark brown with a medium sized mostly lasting fizzy off white head, with a strong citrusy lemon lime hops aroma with some light piney perfumey hops as well, with light sweet caramel tones. Pineapple candy overall.

Taste was upfront strong grapefruit and moderate pine, with light nutty maltiness, followed by a dark breaded maltiness, somewhat bittersweet, followed by a second front of hops, this time harshly grapefruit in nature, followed by an herbal, tea-like bitter hops, licorice, and the same sweet gelatineous lingering finish. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied, slightly creamy, fizzy and moderately astringent.

Overall, the nose is spellbinding, the appearance good. The balance of hops to malt seems such to enliven the hops, but to not let it get overly out of character. Perfect in that sense. The finish is rich with flavors, but I would have liked to see a bit more complexity on the foretaste though. Excellent overall. (1,138 characters)

Photo of jerrymiller
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark reddish brown with a nice fluffy tan head that leaves monster amounts of lace behind as it slowly recedes.

Smell has hints of citrus, malt and pine. It is a complex beer.

Taste has some cherry, malt, floral hops. The alcohol doesn't overwhelm, so I guess you chalk it up to being well balanced.

Mouthfeel is smooth bodied with healthy carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability is good, although complex.

I don't know that ABA could possibly live up to the marketing espoused on the bottle, ie: "you're not worthy."
I enjoy the beers Stone brewseven if their advertising smacks of elitism. ABA is a very nice beer and it is made even better as it is widely available here in Las Vegas. (722 characters)

Photo of Jaguar
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hops. and more hops.I put down porter as my favorite style when I joined beer advocate, but it seems for the last couple of years I've been trying mostly I.P.A's and hop monsters,or malty wee heavy scotch ales. Or trying to find the elusive cheap drinkable macro lager so I don't go broke.
I've come to love big beers. big malty beers, or big hoppy beers, something out of the mainstream. this is a definite favorite.

Someone at Stone decided to cram as much malt and hops, and more hops, as possible into this one, with excellent results. If you're in the mood to try a big ale, a 22oz. bomber of arrogant bastard isn't a bad place to start.

Careful, grasshopper, this could be like a gateway drug to Barleywine.
Once THEY bite you on the ass, you're hooked for life. (770 characters)

Photo of DoShek
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - poured into a snifter with two fingers of tan head, beer is a deep amber with some crimson color, head subsides over a few minutes to a thin layer and solid ring where beer meets glass

Smell - piney hops, brown sugar/molasses notes, grapefruit aromas, some toffee or caramel as well, as the Bastard warmed hints pineapple came forth as well

Taste - light malt sweetness on the front that gives away to pine and citrus hop flavors, the hop profile sticks to the palate until the next sip, also picking up some slight bread and biscuit, as the beer warms it balances enough to make sure the hops aren't overpowering but still leaving them in the forefront

Mouthfeel - very full and smooth, slight astringency, great carbonation

Drinkability - this Bastard is magnificent, would definitely drink again

I had been waiting to try Arrogant Bastard until I developed the taste for hops and am glad that did. This is a great beer that I don't think I would have fully appreciated before. I'm proud to say that I am worthy! (1,032 characters)

Photo of dyingwrist
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle into a pint glass with a slow pour. Deep red brown color like mahogany. Foamy off white 1.5 inch head. Head retained for a while. Lacing down the whole glass. Smells of pine, maybe hints of grapefruit, and I get some grass. Not fresh cut grass, but grass you smell when your out in the field playing some baseball. Makes me think of my little league days. Nice hop profile balanced with a great malt backbone. Nice long finish. Pretty arrogant brew. Does a good job of ripping through my tongue but I am loving it. Incredibly smooth and easy to drink. Don't think i could do more than the 22 oz bottle at once. This beer screams to be paired with game or steak imo. (679 characters)

Photo of Sperzel
4.79/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle... very inviting label :)

Dark, blood red color with bright amber hues. A good amount of sticky lacing, leaving interesting shapes down the glass. The smell is amazing. Complex mixture of hops, fruit esters, and toasty grain malts. A musty aroma perhaps created by the arrogance of this bastard. I dare say this beer has hormones!

Roasty caramel flavor. Big malty hit with a good amount of hops to round it out. Very smooth, big and bold, rich and complex. A big wow with the mouth feel. Medium body, yet a huge flavor. The juicyness of hops, the chewyness of chocolaty malts. The bitterness mixes well with the sweetness reminding of straight-up raw chocolate.

This beer is a flavor sensation. It's sweet, bitter, and musty in a way to put hair on the bottom of your feet. Such a complex array of flavors, enough to label this as brewing genius. (861 characters)

Photo of guinness310
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: a very dark reddish amber and body, supports an off-white dense head with mild head retention.

S: hoppy and clove-like phenolic scents entice my nose.

T: WoW! so much hop! in such a good way. great lacing. its got a wonderful creamy feel to it. the bitter at the end slightly stands out more than the boldness at the beginning and the middle of the drink. definitely stimulates the mouth as it claws its way down your palate with a hoppy kick at the end... definitely a great session beer for Hop-Heads! (509 characters)

Photo of GoodBeerTire
3.61/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured copper-brown, with a 2 finger tan head. Slightly cloudy. Head stayed well, and decent lacing.

S - Malty, some citrus from the hops. Not overpowering. Not very memorable.

T - Starts malty, not a lot of sweetness. Hops bring some bitterness, but not a lot. Tasted the alcohol on the 3rd or 4th mouthful. Pretty strong and staying aftertaste of alcohol and hops.

M - Nice and creamy. The carbonation was just right.

D - Bomber was about the right size. Will drink again, but not a session beer in my opinion. (522 characters)

Photo of Rguardian989
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This will be my first formal/written beer review, what a way to start.

Poured from a bomber bottle into a large wine glass

A - Wow. dark reddish amber color with an offwhite head with pretty good staying power. laces pretty well.

S - Malty upfront with caramel and hops lingering under

T - This is how a beer should taste. All the notes present in the smell are also in the flavor. Nice and malty in the front and finishes with a tasty bittering hop finish that lingers to the next sip. Well balanced in this man's opinion. I love it.

M- Good viscosity with carbonation. Compliments the flavor and makes you wish it could stay there for longer.

D - definitely could have a few of these in a row with no trouble.

Notes: This is a very very good beer. In my top five easily. It might not be something a novice beer drinker would take to easily but that's simply because they aren't worthy...yet. (901 characters)

Photo of Brewmiser
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

&Great Beer But holy crap the size of the bottle! I was a few beers in decided to have just one more & want to try another new beer. So I ordered an Arrogant Bastard & the Beastly Beer came in a 1 pint 6 oz bottle.

I wasn't sold on the marketing on the bottle, It's just some winged demon, But I was impressed by the size.
The smell was somewhat hoppy but not too over powering.

The color was A nice dark carmel beer pouring into my mug with a lot of head. A great flavor with a good portion of hops to start out then blending into a sweet fruity carmel flavor. A top 10 beer on my list. (590 characters)

Photo of neilgavigan
3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Medium reddish brown. Cream head persists and leaves thick lacing

S - Cherries and chocolate and many layers of biscuit and roasty notes. Nice hops but definitely the hops dont dominate. Set off against a sweet funk that matches nicely with the sweet and nutty smells.

T - Bitter coffee and roasted malt with a good amount of floral hops. Bitterness balanced nicely between hoppy and roasty. Long finish starts sweet and then through coffee and finally the lingering herbal hops.

M - Medium body, med-low carbonation and slight chalkiness. No burn from high alcohol level.

O - Complex and rich without being over hopped. Great job hiding the booze and nice profile overall. (681 characters)

Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,889 ratings.