Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,889 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

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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 tdm168
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Village Draft House in Raleigh

Arrived a deep amber with a very thin lacing of head. Smells malty with hops coming through. Taste is initially malty and slightly sweet, but quickly changes to a piney, floral hop characteristic. Very well hopped and very well balanced. As the beer warms the alcohol begins to come through in the nose and in the finish, but in a very complimentary way; adds further balance in the nose, meshing well with the malts and hops, and adds warmth to the finish adding to the overall balance. This beer is nicely carbonated and medium bodied; I actually thought it was quite light on the palate given the style and alcohol content.

Just another great beer from Stone. I have this beer several times a year, and I've never had a bad pour. (779 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (594 characters)

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

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! (293 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (595 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Alesmith pint glass. Poured a deep red in color with a very active off-white head. Very good head retention and lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma shows a lot of citrus and pine hoppiness to it with grapefruit playing one of the bigger roles. A malty sweetness seems to come through a bit providing a nice base for the hops.

The taste also shows a bold citrus and pine hoppiness to it with even more pine coming through in the finish. The malty, caramel, sweetness helps it from becoming overly bitter in the finish. It's big and bold and has a great mix of flavors.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being moderate. Drinkability is very good, it's an excellent beer with a lot of bold flavors. All the flavors really mesh well together though and make for a great beer. (839 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into pint glass.
Very nice amber/golden body with a two 1/2 finger foaming head that lingered and laced.
Smell of grapefruit hits first, followed by pine and malt.
Taste was strong; hops-grapefruit, good oil effect to coat, but didn't get in the way of the taste. Curls the tongue and puckers up the lips. Darn good.
The first several sips are intimidating, but very addictive.
Good crisp finish. Nice beer. (414 characters)

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very large shampoo like foamy head forms off the pour that is light tan in color. Some visible carbonation off the bottom, but color out of the bottle is a gorgeous brown/red almost ruby. Body is a clear dark red almost ruby but darker brown. real nice color.

Bouquet is a real big hoppy floral sense it seems. Very garden smelling. Not so much malt on this it seems.

Taste is thick and spiced hop but a big body that mutes the bitterness. A little resiny a bit getting into oil/pine feeling.

Overall fairly solid, but I think there's other bastards for stone that I would have and prefer. (643 characters)

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

Arrogance is Bliss. Arrogant bastard pours a amber/brown with a nice pillowy off white cloud of a head. Chunks of lacing.

Smells of bready malts and some hops lying underneath.

Intense piney hops with vague caramel in the background. Resinous hop tones with a caramel finish. Grapefruit flavors fall flat, leaving a bit more pine and a distant roastedness.

Medium to full bodied, a bit prickly on the palate. Semi Dry finish.

A classic hoppy, strong beer here. Warms the soul in the winter months and quite tasty any time really. (533 characters)

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

From Escondido to Vendome to my house, on to the beer:

Poured into a huge Oktoberfest mug, its a rich amber orange color with a thick and everlasting head. Dextrin, caramel, citrus, and hops are noticed through the smell. The taste is somewhat enjoyable, though it leans towards the bitter side. They don't call it Arrogant Bastard for nothing! The bitter hops and citrus are more intense in the flavor than the smell, but I think there needs to be a little more malt (update: I object your honor! It's already pretty malty and sweet.) Perhaps I've been spoiled by its maltier brother, Double Bastard. Despite that, you can taste the sweet flavor more as the beer warms up. It's awfully sticky as some of it spills around my lips.

It's not my favorite of Stone's products, as this Bastard will come right after you. This is a beer that gets better the more samples you have of it (the original overall score was 3.85). (921 characters)

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

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. (341 characters)

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

On tap at Miller's Ale House in PBG. Finally, they serve something drinkable.

Appearance - Dark amber body. I didn't really check for clarity because this beer just isn't much to look at. It's gotta be said that it isn't pretty. It looks the way it's supposed to, I guess. Imposing.

Smell - Strangely, I never seem to get a lot of aroma from AB. I get the hops first. Mostly grapefruit. Maybe a bit floral. Behind that I get roasted malts with some caramel. It's not a strong or complex aroma.

Taste - This is where the goodness is. I get just a bit of grapefruit hop at the start, followed by some malt. Caramel malt, but not sweet. The bitter finish is when I love and what steers the feeble drinkers away. The bitterness lasts and lasts until you take another sip to get just enough malt for a brief reprieve.

Mouthfeel - Well carbonated. Enough body to help the malt flavor linger until the finish. Not syrupy, though.

Overall - It defies comparison and it's a beer that grows on you. I'm thrilled that I can finally go to the Ale House and get something decent. It's not a beer I go out and buy, but it's a beer I'll always get when I'm out at a restaurant. (1,167 characters)

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

Pours a ruddy dark amber with a small head. hazy. The smell is of grapefruit and spicy hops. Tastes spicy, grapefruity, and piney from all the hops. Long finish, amore grapefruit at the end. A little raw tasting, with a little bit lack of integration. The mouthfeel is alittle overcarbonated and a little thin. Not creamy. A pretty big beer and nice and brawny, but a little superficial and harsh. (397 characters)

Photo of Kelp
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice ruby red red hue as it pours into my glass. Two fingers of head grow. Fades at a decent rate slight lacing.

Medium hops smell, along with pine and light caramel finish.

A quick hop bite right off the bat. Followed by the maltiness of the beer and finishing with a piney after taste.

Medium body to the beer smooth across the tongue. Good but not great feel to it.

I couldn't drink more than one, maybe two. Not really my cup of beer as they say. Good once in a great while. (484 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (1,111 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear very dark ruby brown ale.

Smells sweet and hoppy as hell, it's a hop monster.

There might be some complex flavors in here but the hops obliterates everything else. Bitter in the extreme.

Mouthfeel is ok.

Not really drinkable. Might be able to choke it down.

Flushed the rest of the bottle down the toilet.

RE-REVIEW, yes I am the guy who gave this an overall 2.0.

4.5
2
1
2
1

The first time I reviewed this.

Appearance is still a "Pours a clear very dark ruby brown ale."

Smell is sweet and malty with a banana scent that is rather nice. Nice malt and tutty fruity scent to this.

Taste is still super hoppy although I can taste the other good points mainly the malt and fruity flavors from the hops. Still this is a mighty bitter brew.

Mouthfeel is good.

I can drink this, maybe I just grew to like Hop Monsters? Who Knows? (881 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2/27/2011

On tap at Stone.

A: Dark reddish brown with a creamy off white head. Good retention.

S: Caramel accompanies big pine resin notes. Grapefruit and earth are evident. Pretty aromatic.

T: Upper moderate bitterness with lots of resin and grapefruit. Caramel malt makes an effort to balance, but that tilts toward the aggressive hops. Alcohol is noticeable in the flavor.

M: Upper medium body with upper moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and dry with some astringency.

Overall: An aggressive American Strong Ale. Nothing particularly special about it. (569 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%. (492 characters)

Photo of wl0307
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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... (2,825 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at the Stone Brewery. The beer is a beautiful red-copper color, with a thin ring of head. It has a malty smell with hops undertones. The flavor is initally a spicy-malt blast, followed by light bitter hops. The flavors are very strong and full, and very well balanced. There is a spicy, bitter aftertaste to the beer, with a hoppy finish. Great beer with heavy, non-apologetic flavors. Kudos! (406 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Arrogant Bastard is of a beautifully polished cherry-wood colour that would look every bit as classy and handsome as a bar top as it does just sitting on one. Its leaking highlights broadcast the fact that this deep, darkish beer is actually spotlessly transparent and chalk full of fetching chroma. Its head is a tarnished ecru and leaves a sticky mess of lacing.

I'm sure Stone has already looked into whether it's possible to legally trademark a smell - this audaciously hoppy aroma is distinguished by the sheer pomposity of its wickedly bitter pithiness and unrivaled piny attributes. It smells like someone set a (Tim Burton-inspired) forest on fire and grinned the singed and seething remains into the bottle.

Imagine encountering a dark, sinister side to pink grapefruit, pine serum and toffee-coated wafers. In fact, Arrogant Bastard is kind of like a vigilante - not everyone will agree with the way it goes about things but few will dispute the overall good brought about. Do its flavours need to be this brazen and excessively bitter? Couldn't we have just had a bright and citric hoppiness without all these harassing, pithy, weedy herbals?

Couldn't we have a leisurely walk through the forest rather than death by a thousand pine needle pin-pricks? Couldn't we have a spritz of citrus rather than being gagged with a festering, entire grapefruit in our mouth? Couldn't we have sweet, toasty biscuits rather than having the sugar scorched directly onto our tongue? In so many words... no.

If you want all smiles and sunshine then look elsewhere because the experience here is not the sunshine, it's the storm weathered. And to hell with smiles. This is about being brash, impertinent, impudent, ill-mannered, unabashed and, in a word, arrogant. This may be the world's most deliberately unappealing flagship beer... which is exactly why it's so popular.

Love it or loath it, this beer does capture a great deal about its brewer: loads of brash character and plenty of clever marketing. And you may be hard-pressed to find a flagship offering with better value, more distinctiveness and this level of decadent maltiness and brimming hoppiness. Love him or loath him, Arrogant Bastard is one cool bad-ass. (2,226 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a golden-brown body with a creamy thick beige head that last for a good bit and a slow carbonation of bubbles.
S- The full green citrus hops aroma has pineapple weed and resin aromas to it. As the beer warms up the caramel malt comes through and adds nice balance.
T- The green herbal and citrusy hops have green grapefruit zest notes and a nice pine bite to it. There was just a bit of grassy flavor but not much. The malt was a nice sweet malt with some toasted flavors and caramel qualities. The hop bitterness finished the beer and lingered a bit after each sip. M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft fizz that boost the hop finish and no alcohol heat noticed.
D- I'm not sure I could distinguish between this and the regular AB but it as a great beer. It would have been nice to have a full 12. oz glass but I'm not sure I could drink many of these in one sitting. (928 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap in a tumbler.

A: The darkest of the line-up, a rich dark caramel amber color. Still translucent, this beer has the visual heft an arrogant one needs. A white head laces in thick strata around the glass.

S: Very malty. Very hoppy. Plenty of both make this beer fire. The caramel is syrupy, a sweetly dry introduction that coaxes out the citrusy pine bitterness of the ale. Big and bold.

T: The caramel jumps out as the malts stake an early lead. That richness tends to linger throughout the ale. The hops, piney and citrusy, quickly come in to balance things out. They bring an intensity that is both hoppy and flavorful. A boozy warmth runs throughout the ale.

M: A delicious fullness that doesn't feel nearly as strong as it actually is. Plenty of hops but more than enough balance. (794 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber chill hazed hue with a finger and a half pillowy off-white creamy head. There was very good retention and excellent sticky lacing.

The smell featured a strong oily citrus hop with a mildly sweet caramel malt aroma.

The taste was very well balanced. A solid sweet grain was perfectly balanced by the resiny citrus and peppery hop. Mild warming alcohol as well.

The mouthfeel was full and slightly chewy.

Overall an excellent ale. Worthy of all the hype. Potent and drinkable. (506 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a extrodarie beer. Pours a dark amber/red. Not much of a head and leaves a small trace of lacing. Scents of hops and malt in a sweet surrounding. Medium body with a great sweet taste with a little hop bite at the end. I really like this brew. (250 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a DFH tulip shaped pint glass. Best by 7/17/13

Pours a dark toffee color with a 2 inch white head. Smell is slight caramel and toffee, not too strong. Taste is sweet caramel and toffee, extremely enjoyable. no bitterness at all here, just an amazing taste. Medium body with medium carbonation, such an easy to drink beer.

Overall its a world class brew that is available readily and for a great price. This is one that i go back to again and again and am never disappointed. A beer that truly deserves its high marks and esteem. (554 characters)

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