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Arrogant Bastard Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Arrogant Bastard AleArrogant Bastard Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,620 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,620
Reviews: 2,784
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 259
Gots: 931 | FT: 6
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-15-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,620 | Reviews: 2,784 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bfarr
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%

I must say I have a soft spot for ABA as it was one of the first to open my eyes and taste buds to the craft beer world. But really, you can't ask for a much better introduction. It pours a nice burnt sienna with a thick umber foam. The bitterness takes a harsh bite out of your palate immediately and keeps biting. In fact, as you continue the bitterness continues on for 3 or 4 swallows after you stop. Surprisingly, as you become accustomed to it you can begin to appreciate the roasted malts and even a little sweetness from the alcohol as it warms. Moderately high carbonation keeps everything in check. Altogether, I still love to drink this beer and test friend's taste buds with it.

Bfarr, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of Daniellobo
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%

Nice draft pour, but while it feels a bit more assertive on the hop profile than bottled versions it is close to compromising a bit the richness and balanced experienced there.

Presentation: 16 oz draft offering. Menu offers a fair one liner description and brewery location. Served in a pilsner-like glass.

A - Deep amber color with a fine off-white foamy head. Fine retention and showy lacing as it goes down to an assertive surface lid.

S - Smell is not particularly assertive, It has a faint not of sweet caramel malt notes with a citrus hoppy hint.

T - Taste remains far more assertive and rich than the smell. There is still a good sense of malt and somewhat fruity flavor finished, but the rich citrus hoppy bite takes a far more prominent role than what it does on the bottle.

M - Fine carbonation on a medium to full bodied beer. Creamy and smooth feel.

D - Still drinkable on tap but feels like a different beast, not far from other versions but while good maybe a bit less memorable.

Notes: Remains a nice offering on tap, but feels a bit subdued... Too cold probably and the glassware is fair but not ideal.

Daniellobo, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of mrmanning
4.13/5  rDev -1%

Stone, you are my hero! Probably one of the best beers I have ever had, hands down. Body is dark amber, almost a red with about a half inch of foamy white head. Aroma is incredible. It almost made my eyes water. Hoppy to the max with some citrusy notes present as well. Taste is a well balanced hops/citrus/malt mixture that leaves an interesting sweet and sour bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is crisp and clean. This stuff hits the nail right on the head. Aggressive indeed!

mrmanning, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of mjw2808
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%

Pours a dark mahogany with a 1 1/2 finger head that leaves a lot of lacing. Lots of things going on in the nose but the only thing I can smell for sure is the hops. The taste is over powered by hops but there is a presence of malt and caramel. Very nice mouthfeel and drinkable. One of the better beers ive had.

mjw2808, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of jmfc8237
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%

a-Love the bottle, the dark brown bottle and the funny warning on the back fits the name very well. Dark redish brown that has a sticky white head that retains itself pretty well. Slow carbonation though- I thought it would be a bit more frothy.

S- Wow. there is alot going on here, Alot of bready toast, and some choc. malt stands out. I even got a little raisin in the end too. Some sweet notes with alot of toffee and caramel notes.

T- BIG! really big. It scared me a little. I deff. have never had anyhting like this before. Tons of malt on the tongue that are crisp and toasty. Biscuity and browned bread flavors surrounded by a balance of hops that are not as apparent as the malt.

D/M- Big and strong beer that needs its respect. Deff. Enjoyed when you have nothing to do for awhile.

jmfc8237, Feb 26, 2010
Photo of kdawg105
4.97/5  rDev +19.2%

Really good brew!! The appearance is super dark the color of the bottle it came from but is nice and frothy with a lace that hangs out the whole time. It is full of aroma with a lot of hops character. The mouthfeel is great very smooth which makes a perfect drinkability though it does finish kind of dry. I really enjoyed it.

kdawg105, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of MeisterBurger
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%

It's been one year to the day since I joined Beer Advocate and MAN, what a year it's been!

Not really.

To be honest, as milestones go, this is hardly one of the absolute pinnacle hallmarks of my life. So I thought, what better way to not celebrate this non-achievement than over an Arrogant Bastard Ale. If nothing else I think this'll bump my beer styles stats up to 74. So there's that.

Pours a ruby hued brown topped by a mousey, foamy, ample, indefatigable beige head that leaves behind loads of sticky lacing. This is one damned handsome beer.

The aroma is a creamy caramel malt casually walking down the street before turning a hard corner and bumping headlong into a leafy, grassy, pithy hop that knocks it on its ass while sweet perfume notes point and laugh. It just really draws you in and makes you want to drink it.

This brutal bastard of a beer is one bitter beast, but they've got the bitter to malt ratio spot-on here. Predominantly a leafy, cedar bitterness runs the show, with caramel playing a strong supporting role, the Garfunkel to hops' Simon, really, playing an in some ways even more important but much less understood or appreciated role in the harmony between the two. Orange peel comes out as things warm, as do some toasted notes and roastiness, with suggestions of black coffee. Great depth of flavor as each sip commands your full attention and draws you in.

It's full bodied and viscous, absolutely teeming with hop oils, but with a good amount of carbonation to keep things tasting clean and fresh.

Overall it's hard to imagine anyone who is a fan of big, hoppy American beers not appreciating this beer. I know I do.

MeisterBurger, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%

Review from notes on Aug 27, 09 at the Old Toad. On cask and dry hopped.

A - Dark amber brown with a bubbly tan head. Quite clear and patches of lace. 4.0

S - Grapefruity, piney, rich with hoppiness yet a light caramel body keeps the hops in check... with the hops winning. 4.5

T - bold sweetness of malt grains, caramel, and roasted barley give way to more intense hops. Quite pronounced bitterness lingers as citrus rinds. 4.0

M - Smooth and creamy yet light in body. Mild carbonation. 4.0

D - Pleeease ruin my palate even more! This is insanely good. 5.0

My only complaint is that IMO, this is a beer that requires American levels of carbonation, not cask. Still wonderful though.

DmanGTR, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of ghebel
4.38/5  rDev +5%

A - Pours clear, brown/red with adequate off white, creamy head. Moderate lacing on dissipation.

S - Caramel malts, toffee-like with a roasted character. Sweet, dark fruit as well. Hops are spicy and earthy. Nice complexity.

T - Moderate to high bitterness, sweet malts. Hop flavor follows aroma. Again, great balance and plenty of complexity to keep one thinking.

M - Carbonation bite followed by bitterness and finishes sweet. Warming, tangy sensation in the end that lasts long after the swallow. Bitterness persists also.

D - Great beer, Drinkable. Good to share with a good friend.

Overall - Complex beer that is well balanced.

ghebel, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of flagmantho
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: rich amber-brown with two fingers of medium tan compact foam head. I'm thinkin' it's looking pretty good.

Smell: rich aroma of slightly toasty, slightly caramelly malt with a nice dose of quite funky hops. This is not one of Stone's wood-aged varieties of AB, but it does have what I would call a slightly woody aroma to it. I guess that's just a bonus.

Taste: a thick, unforgiving, uncompromising malt flavor paired with funky, herby and bitter hops. It's certainly not subtle, but it's also not terribly refined. My mind's eye pictures an unfinished, un-sanded 2x4. Maybe that's just because this beer reminds me a lot of pine resin. In any case, it's quite tasty, if rough around the edges.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a nice carbonation. The mouthfeel is seriously smooth, in great contrast to the suckerpunch flavor. I like it.

Drinkability: Arrogant Bastard is not for beginners. I recall having a trying time of it not too long ago. Still, despite its rancor for humanity, it maintains as an extremely enjoyable beer. This is one serious package.

flagmantho, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of backfat
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%

pours a brilliant and sexy copper tinge with a perfect tan head that sits neatly on my beer. picture perfect. smells of caramel malt and freshness. tastes glorious. apples and sweet pine hops hops hops. bitter finish but not harsh like ive heard. great carbonation and creamy mouthfeel. strong malt back. you can just taste the quality put in this brew. always my go to $5 beer.

backfat, Feb 18, 2010
Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%

Awesome bottle. Possibly the most bad ass beer bottle ever. Complete with "bad ass message" on back. Poured from a big boy bottle into a giant crystal stein.

A: Dark amber/brownish red with a frothy tan head. Respectable lacing.

S: Quite hoppy, piney and citrusy both. Notes of apple cider, caramel and dark fruit. Smells syrupy.

T: A creamy, slick mouthfeel accompanies the piney, semi-sweet body. Definitely hints of grapefruit peel and maple. Finishes sticky and slightly bitter. Like Stone IPA, but less hoppy.

D: I got one, and I'm not really sorry I didn't get another. One is enough for me.

Value: $4.50 for a 22oz. Not bad at all considering in a bar you'd pay that for a 22 oz of crud.

WeezyBoPeep, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of kalkavekkian
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%

Poured out of a 22 into a weizen glass. Color was a deep, copper- amber with a thick creamy tan head that stuck around for awhile. Thick sticky lacing all down the glass even after empty.
Medium to strong hop smell and a nice sharp, bitter bite that doesn't fade too quickly. Loved the aftertaste and slight burn in the throat. Very strong hop flavor with some malty aftertones. Mouthfeel was creamy and rich with good carbonation that went down smoothly. Drinkability was very good for me with only a light buzz after about a leisurely 45 minute session with a double deuce. I would recommend this to any hop lover who likes a big taste! The only gripe i have about this as well as the other stones offerings is it is very hard to make out the exp. dates. They need to change the color of the ink, especially for those of us east of the big muddy.

kalkavekkian, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of TheOtherMike
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%

As Stone is now one of now my default beer choices, I decided to try another one of their offerings. I found a 220z. bottle of this sitting on a shelf at a shop I had never been to before.

Wow! Even though this is a strong beer by my standards, it is very enjoyable and drinkable.

The color is a beautiful deep ruby red. It has plenty of head and the carbonation won't quit. It leaves a nice lace on the glass.

The taste is strong but very good. I was worried that it would be too much to remain pleasant before I could polish-of the bottle, but to my surprise it was quite good to the end - maybe it even got better!

TheOtherMike, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of BlackBearForge
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Arrogant Bastard, pours a deep ruby brown with a huge rocky tan head with loads and loads of sticky lacing all across the glass as it falls.

The aroma has a big strong caramel malt presence backed up by an equally huge floral and citrusy hop scent.

The flavor has the same huge malt backbone from the scent, big biscuity flavors with somewhat buttery caramel and toffee tones and a touch of salt and cocoa. Big hop flavors of pine resin only somewhat citrusy as well. Alcohol is extremely well hidden but noted mostly as a bit of burn on the tongue in the finish which is long and bitter but buffered by the sweetness from the malts.

Mouthfeel is full and ceamy, and very smooth. Carbonation is fairly robust.

Arrogant Bastard. was I worthy? I can't say, my wife doesn't doesn't like you and my son thinks you are pure evil in bottled form, but I could certainly warm up to you. I will say I still have half a bomber to enjoy all to myself!

BlackBearForge, Feb 13, 2010
Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%

Pours into a pint glass a beautiful clear dark copper, light orange brown color with an off-white bubbly head.

Smells of strongly citrusy floral hops and a toasted malt note with dark aged fruits.

Very rich with sweet maltyness and roasted barley tastes in harmony with an aggressive hop bitterness. The alcoholic bite is faintly detectable, but the beer is very well-balanced and complex; everything fitting exactly in its place. It is medium/full-bodied and lightly carbonated. Very drinkable.

MrHassellYaHurd, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.88/5  rDev -7%

I've had this many times, usually on tap in various bars around town. I am just now getting around to writing up a review.

A- Minimal head. The beer is a deep red color. There is a small amount of lacing at first.

S- Hoppy. However this beer wont be confused with an IPA. Its got a nice toasted malt base under all the bitter smelling hops.

T- As the smell suggests. Hoppy with lots of malts underneath. This is one biting beer. Alcohol is slightly noticeable.

M- Prickly carbonation but all in all a really smooth and fuller beer.

D- I cant sit and drink this stuff all night like some people can. One pint and thats about it for me. I do like this beer but I am not someone who loves it.

MbpBugeye, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of stevenseg
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%

I love Michigan. I can stop at any major party store and be greeted with a bevy of high-quality alcoholic concoctions of malted barley and hops. The four-hour drive to Grand Blanc from Columbus, Ohio is tiring in its own right, but my need for sleep was great enough to prompt me to stop by a BP gas station and pick up a 22oz bomber of Arrogant Bastard ale, the famed hoppy amber ale from Stone Brewing out of Escondido, California.

I poured the chilled bottle - about 45 degrees of chill - into a pint glass provided by my gracious host. This brew is hard to incorrectly pour, as long as I adhered to the 45%/50%/90% rule. AB poured a deep and rich rusty color with about 70% opacity. The head formed a nice off white layer on top, which never really dissipated, but rather formed very prominent lacing rings with every sip. That's the making of a more full-bodied ale than its thinner amber counterparts.

Stone Brewing is very consistent with the hops character of its beers, and Arrogant Bastard is no exception. The nose is citrusy with lightly-roasted malt sweetness. The alcohol content tries to bust through with a bit of aromatic pungency, but the 7.2% ABV is relatively well-hidden.

The lacing is beautiful...there is almost a solid coat around the entire glass. Of course, I am drinking at a higher temperature right now than Steve Wagner, Stone brewmaster, had intended (approximately 50 degrees). Higher temperatures = heavier body. It's beautiful regardless. The bittering hops make up the prominent character, lingering on the back of the palate between drinks. The fruit-like sweet lightly-roasted malts are more of an accent. Big malt flavor with bigger hops. The hops generate a grapefruit-like bitter character on the palate, but not so much in the nose.

I love fuller-bodied beers. The carbonation is very well done, and the viscosity renders this beer extremely smooth, perfectly adept to travelling down my throat. Try taking your time to let the beer warm up a bit. The characteristics that make this beer unique will emerge. Drink the first 11oz of a bomber at around 40-45 degrees and the last at 50-55 degrees. You'll notice the "arrogance" of this brew hit you right in the face.

With such a high alcohol content for an amber, Arrogant Bastard needs to be handled with caution. It's sweetness and hop balance will beg for you to spend a night with your nose in the air, but if you're not careful that same nose you thumbed at light lager drinkers all night long may end up facing the bottom of the toilet. One bomber at a time, young padawan, and ride the complexity of this brew to an appreciation of the best of beers. Cheers mate!

stevenseg, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of zimm421
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a 12 oz snifter. Dark brown, with a little burnt orange hint to it. Comes with a nice thick off-white head that dissipates fairly slowly leaving some great lacing down the glass.
Smell is full of roasted malts and some good citrus scents from the hops as well. The taste follows pretty well, starting out very sweet, and the aftertaste is very bitter, beating up my tounge for 15 to 30 seconds after each sip, absolutely love it.
The mouthfeel is thick and creamy but still has a decent amount of carbonation. Not hard to drink at all, every sip makes me want to go back for more.
I absolutely love this brew, I wasn't really looking for it, but when I saw it, I knew I had to go for it, and I'm so glad I did. Absolutely a great brew!

zimm421, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of Otsaika
4.63/5  rDev +11%

I've heard about this beer for a while, but never gotten around to trying it. I wish I hadn't waited so long!

A: Pours thick. A darker caramel color, with a larger head that lingers.

S: Hops, hops and more hops, and a bit of citrus.

T: Delicious. A nice grapefruit taste to start off, then a big hit of the hops, finishing with a bit more grapefruit and maybe a hint of pine.

M: A bit thick, but very enjoyable. Definitely not something to chug down at a frat party.

D: Because it's so big, I don't think I could drink more than a couple of these in a night, but boy does it go down smooth.

Otsaika, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of boudreaux
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%

Had last summer during a weekend road trip to my buddy's beach house in Mexico Beach, FL.

It tasted great. The idea of naming a beer "Arrogant Bastard" pretty much defines the confidence of the brewery in this ale. You definitely taste alcohol, but more as an aftertaste. The first thing I noticed was the hoppiness.

boudreaux, Feb 05, 2010
Photo of MikeGill
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Arrogant Bastard is not about the cool bottle or the hilarious disclosure, it's all about quality.

22oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Dark red with creamy tight head. Huge aromatic hop nose with some toasted malt and grapefruit coming through.

Lots of fruit cake sweetness and dried herbs. Pine and citrus resine with a solid malt backbone. Carbonation is there but seems to just carry things along. If there was any less CO2 it might be syrupy. Spicy hops are relentless. Abundant grainy finish with plenty of alcohol warmth and mild traces of coffee grinds.

MikeGill, Feb 05, 2010
Photo of keytones
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%

A: Very inviting dark color with a honey-colored head about an inch high that sustained throughout the drink.

S: Like walking into a brewery and being smacked in the face with a sack of hops.

T: Very strong flavor that lingers well after the sip. Malty with even a bit of citrus. My friends were convinced that I had squirted some lime into my mug

M: Thick, almost like molasses. Hearty and goes down smooth.

D: Very delicious but the higher alcohol content and strong, thick content of the beer keeps me from drinking more than a couple.

Overall I would suggest that you try this beer if you ever have a chance.

keytones, Feb 05, 2010
Photo of morebeergood
3.43/5  rDev -17.7%

We went out to dinner with friends on a Friday night in the South End at the Stork Club. The only interesting beers on tap were Ipswich Ale and Arrogant Bastard, so I went with ABA as the first beer of the night. Looking back online, I know I've had this beer before, but I am now surprised that I have never reviewed it. Anyway, it was served in a pint glass. Very dark red color. Rich and creamy looking head. Not much smell was noticed. Taste is what you expect from a Stone beer: quality through and through. Nice mix of hops and malt, with a hint of sugar to brighten things up. The only thing that caught me off guard was the mouthfeel. While I liked it, it was much more creamier than I remembered. My wife also had a pint, and she swore it drank like a Guinness. Do they do ABA on nitro tap? Because that is what it tasted like. Didn't expect that, from Stone or this restaurant. Problem with the tap line perhaps? I don't know, but I need to try this again somewhere else to see if I am going crazy or maybe I just haven't had this beer in a while. I liked this beer, but it left me puzzled.

morebeergood, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of popery
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%

What can I possibly add to other reviews of this beer? It's fantastic stuff, the kind of beer that converts normal folk into beer geeks. The combination of big citric hops and sweet caramel malt makes a mockery of style guidelines while still feeling utterly natural and refined. The flavor is balanced - big hops, big malt, big flavor. Arrogant Bastard has become a defining beer of the American craft movement and sits as the flagship of one of the best known and most loved craft breweries. All hail Greg Koch.

popery, Feb 01, 2010
Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 8,620 ratings.