Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 8,392 | Reviews: 2,765 | Display Reviews Only:
4.08/5 rDev -2.2%
This brewery has a unique marketing approach, definitely read the bottle as you drink this one. This beer for all of the hype is quite balanced between the hops and the malt. Definitely hop flavor, aroma and bitterness crawling all over the place in this one, but a nice strong maltiness & sweetness that carries the hop brigade quite well. This is a great beer that is a nice amber color.
09-22-2003 16:29:54 | More by Gueuzedude
4.38/5 rDev +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.
03-28-2004 22:06:23 | More by smcolw
4.28/5 rDev +2.6%
22 oz. bomber,
A: Pours a dark ruby red, almost brown with a thick yellowish tan head which lasts for the whole glass, unbelievable lacing, thick and rich.
S: Dark toasty bready malts and piney hops.
T: Much of the same as in the smell, toasty bready malts start out the flavor, backed by incredibly strong piney hop bitterness.
M: Smooth, resiny, a bit oily, a good American Strong Ale.
D: As warned on the label, this ale is definitely not for a novice beer drinker. Strong flavors abound, good drinkability though, a great beer from Stone, definitely shows what they're about.
07-16-2007 06:28:07 | More by Halcyondays
United Kingdom (England)
3.5/5 rDev -16.1%
My third and final beer at Pour 24 (New York, New York), Las Vegas.
I did say I'd never have this again after my bottle review, but seeing it on-tap I thought I'd do the decent thing and give it another go.
Looked like the bottle version, ruby red and with an off-white head, thin covering and very little lacing.
The smell was sweetish caramel, malts and a splattering of hops.
Still not a huge fan, the flavours don't blend too well in my opinion, the hops don't like the malts and vice versa.
Glad I've had it from a tap and it is still the only Strong American Ale I've reviewed so far.
05-31-2010 19:48:46 | More by BlackHaddock
4.43/5 rDev +6.2%
The ale arrived sporting a lovely dark amber color with a perfect off-white head. The aroma was good, with some hoppiness being the strong effect on the nose.This has a fantastic malt and hop balance that has your tastebuds wanting more. The sweetness and bitterness lasted together on the tongue well after the swallow. A nice lace formed on the glass as the ale was being emptied from the glass. Very drinkable and overall a great product.
10-02-2003 21:20:21 | More by Gavage
2.53/5 rDev -39.3%
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.
09-03-2011 06:19:21 | More by kojevergas
4.18/5 rDev +0.2%
05/10/05- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA
Presentation- 22oz bomber poured into my Stone IPA tulip. No dates seen on the bottle.
Appearance- Opened to be greeted by a volcanic erruption of beer all over my counter, sink and floor. Damn glad I didn't open in over the carpet. Probably lost a good 4oz or so of quality brew :( Pours a very red-copper color with a large bubbled head which disapates fairly quick. About average lacing.
Smell- Very hoppy with a dark caramel malt scent as well.
Taste- Gee, what a suprise....hops, in a Stone brew? I never expected that! This one is both hoppy and malty at the same time. Like drinking a barleywine with lots of hops, then tasting a sweet caramel on the finish. Very woody flavored hops. A bit of citrus, but mainly pine.
Mouthfeel- More carbonation than expected. Took a while to finish the whole thing. Fairly heavy mouthfeel as well. Very mouthcoating.
Drinkability- Was excited to try this brew for the first time and it held up pretty much to my expectation. I was expecting a bit more of a "spiritual awakening" from it, but, nonetheless, it still is an excellent brew that I'm sure I will be having again in the future. Pretty yummy concoction.
05-11-2005 01:46:03 | More by GClarkage
4.18/5 rDev +0.2%
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.
03-21-2012 03:55:39 | More by oriolesfan4
4.22/5 rDev +1.2%
Thanks very much to my GF for bringing this back from the States for me.
Pours with a ruby-flecked dark amber body. Shiny and clear, capped with a yellow-white head of filmy bubbles. Fantastic lacing, but minimal carbonation. Love the colour, looks like a great, strong, ale.
Amazing nose, huge hits of American hops, tropical fruits, aniseed, pineapple, passionfruit, capsicum, resin, berries. Delicious, luscious, rich. Hint of something deeper and darker as well, perhaps bourbon or strong vanilla. One hell of a rich smelling beer.
Initial vegetative hint of crushed lime leaves on the palate; that fresh, natural character, followed by quite a strong resiny hop bitterness. Peppery, astringent and robust. Quite delicious and fragrant. Pine, lime zest and lots more of the pointy end of the taste spectrum. Alcohol hidden behind the hop character. Quite delicious. Mouthfeel is quite syrupy, thick and smooth.
This is, truly, an aggressive beer. But it's a well brewed one, and it has a measure of balance to its madness. Full-flavoured, rich, robust and unforgettable.
I'm very glad I got to try it.
07-20-2008 07:31:00 | More by lacqueredmouse
4.19/5 rDev +0.5%
There are several ironies afoot here. First, as a long-time reviewer with over 2,300 reviews under my belt, I have not reviewed this one until now, despite its being one of the most reviewed beers on this site. Second, I HAVE reviewed Double Bastard, which leaves me scratching my head.
From the bottle: Let's come back to that as an edit. I want to drink some beer. "'You're Not Worthy'"; "ar-ro-gance (ar o gans) n. The act or quality of being arrogant; haughty; undue assumption; overbearing conceit."; "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 on an unsuspecting public in 1997, Arrogant Bastard Ale openly challenged they 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!"; "Ingredients: Nothing but the finest barley, most aggressive hops, clearest water, our proprietary yeast strain and abundant arrogance."; "QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? If you don't like this, keep it to yourself - we don;t want to hear from any sniveling yellow-swill-drinkin' wimps, 'cause Arrogant Bastard wasn't made for you."
Larry, the former bartender at Hemingway's in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, used to refer to this as "The Medicine" because no matter how bad a day (or morning) you might be having, he believed that this would put you "on the Recovery Trail". Ha! He once put down an affluent customer who was waffling over Bud Light, Coors Light or Miller Lite the morning of the guy's daughter's graduation as I looked on, amused as hell, and he poured himself a draught of "The Medicine". Larry, this one's for you!
My pour created just over a finger of dense, foamy, tawny head that sat atop the beer in arrogant defiance of my desire to begin drinking. Color was a garnet-red with NE-quality clarity. Nose was ticklish with its inherent heat along with a toffee-like sweetness. I felt as though I might sneeze for a moment. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full and the heat of the alcohol felt as though it were evaporating on my tongue. I may not be worthy of this beer! Getting past that, I began to take in flavors of anise; dried, dark fruit; caramel/toffee and an odd mintiness. Finish was dry, to the point that it was making me sweat and tear up involuntarily. I could only bow in deference to its glorious intensity. Make sure that you know what you are getting into if you open a bottle of Bastard!
07-15-2013 23:42:21 | More by woodychandler
4.3/5 rDev +3.1%
Jesus, why the hell don't I drink more of this?!
The beer was a nice ruby red with tan head and lacing. Strong aroma of grapefruit and sweet caramelized malts. Taste is a little different than I remembered. I've got strong pineapple and citrus hops, the pineapple surprised me. Overall a great, bold flavor than is still fairly drinkable.
12-09-2006 18:06:16 | More by tempest
4.33/5 rDev +3.8%
Poured a deep red/copper color to it. It has a big hop aroma, too, very citrusy and piney. These people must love using cascade, chinook or perle hops. It has a slightly heavy body, but is definitely drinkable. With your first taste you get the wonderful citrus piney hop flavor on your palate and then it mellows out and the bitterness flows through leaving a nice crisp finish. This is a very nice beer to drink and because of the big hop flavor you don't even realize it weighs in at 7.2%.
03-10-2008 18:55:12 | More by barleywinefiend
United Kingdom (England)
4.6/5 rDev +10.3%
Purchased from the BSF bar of GBBF 2008; coming in a 1 Pt. 6Fl. Oz. brown bomber bottle, served cool in Tripel Karmeliet's branded long-stemmed, tulip-shaped goblet;
A: pours an ultra elegant dark mahogany hue, coming with fairly good clarity and moderate, fine fizziness; the dark beige creamy froth comes thin but tight and creamy, lasting loyally throughout the drink.
S: tell me what's the difference b/w this and an "American DIPA"?... maybe the colour and (by inference) how much dark malt takes up the overall percentage of the ingredients. Apart from that, the aroma here is just as marvellous as any heavily hopped American ale - the creamy malt, sweet nutty, sweet coffee-ish, raisiny and longan-fruity façade cannot prevent the rich, spongy, thickly aromatic hoppiness from sneaking through. The fantastic lychee-ish hops are truly pleasantly pronounced but not quite as sharp or lively as other heavily hopped ales by Stone, maybe due to the equally assertive presence of complex and oily maltiness.
T: simply sublime - the lubricating hoppy swallow of grapefruits and lychees fruits along with lots of mixed dried fruits is never far from semi-toasted walnuts and jammy malts; the aftertaste develops seamlessly following the tail of the main flavour, not so sharp but rather 3D-structured bitter, as a sign of interaction b/w dark/lightly-toasted malts and quality hops. The finish goes especially enticing but deep, where the chewy part of the almost roast tea-ish hops creeps down the palate and renders a dry but soothingly bitter finish down the wings of the tongue. Not to be ignored is a delicate touch of black cherry, licorice and spice that adds to the overall complexity. This is an Anglo-American hybrid ale at its best, I reckon.
M&D: due to successful bottling, the palate is really fresh and helps to lift the weight by a good margin with only the necessary dose of soft carbonation; the flavour profile is balanced, deep, yet overall surprisingly approachable - I find myself in deep thought about the structure of this ale and blissful imagination of how it might have tasted on the cask-conditioned form... Truly, a "well-hopped premium bitter" like this (this is how I appreciate this ale, regardless of any self-acclaimed beer style imposed here or by Stone, which it hasn't) shouldn't be an "Arrogant Bastard" in any sense. Frankly, I've never been able to grasp the humour (or pretentiousness) of Stone's beer-naming "strategy" (on top of lines and lines of unnecessary/redundant/quite uninformative explanation on the back label for many ales they bottle), which is quite a failure; but, I loyally love their beers. This AB is firmly on my top 3 from this brewery (so far) without a doubt. Being this drinkable and approachable, I almost feel I can stick to this ale the whole night...
07-20-2009 20:35:03 | More by wl0307
4.3/5 rDev +3.1%
on tap, fresh and tasty! pours a regal dark auburn, tiny bubbles lifting a moderate head and leaving some killer lace. This brew oozes HOPS, citrus, grapefruit, resins. Oaty/bready malt balance. This is a tasty strong brew to be cherished and sought out, again and again...enjoy the Arrogance!
02-15-2004 17:08:06 | More by Billolick
Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,392 ratings.